Sunday, 25 November 2012
Friday, 2 November 2012
|How about no?|
Before that, though, I've got another problem to sort out. Enri's eldest son is still off fighting the Crusades, and has sworn fealty to a foreign power. For a time it looked like he would be ineligible to take over Connacht, and Enri's second son, Coleman, would be the next duke. However, that's no longer the case, as Emich managed to get himself back in line for the throne. With that I managed to convince him to return to my court, and a few years later Coleman hatched a plot to have his older brother killed. I knew about it and could have had Coleman arrested, but I chose to look the other way because I wanted Emich dead as well.
|Scotland is getting a little too close|
Things haven't been entirely grim, though. I've had another bishop go heretic on me, this time Enri's own brother who decided to embrace Lollardism. I promptly tossed him in prison when he told me this, and after a few years he had the gall to complain that his accommodation weren't up to snuff, and that he wanted something nicer. I told him to stuff it. After a time he died in there since he absolutely refused to convert back to Catholicism. Sad. But on the plus side, his death freed up a landed title which I gave to Coleman since he was still my heir at the time.
So, I've got a lot to work on next time I play. First and foremost is wiping out the last of Emich's family. I don't want Connacht falling under Enri's grandchildren's liege's control. After that it'll be time to deal with Scotland. Thankfully after hopping on the Paradox forums, the people there gave me a bunch of nifty tips for dealing with a larger, aggressive nation that's on your borders. I'm liking the idea of trying to assassinate the King of Scotland, and a few of his successors just after they take the throne. If I can pull that off and create a lot of instability there, I'll be quite happy.
|Enri has also embarked on a quest to improve is intrigue|
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
|It was only a matter of time before Briefne rebelled|
As luck would have it, though, it was a very short war. I marched my troops back into Briefne, and they got down to the business of smacking around enemy soldiers. Moments later I was informed that Arzhel was dead, and that the war was over, so things worked out rather well there. I didn't even need to call in foreign help, which was quite nice.
|The war with Briefne didn't last very|
While idly scanning the map, I also noticed that Scotland has been expanding quite a bit, and has even gained a foothold in Ireland. They seem to be staying put in Ulster right now, and neighboring regions are on guard. It'll be a little while until the Scots are a threat to Connacht, but I'm keeping an eye on them for now. If they try to enter my territory I have a number of alliances at my disposal including Castille, Sweden, Norway, and France. Hopefully the threat of being stomped by some of Europe's greatest powers with give Scotland pause before trying to invade my fair dukedom.
|During the post-war years, Enri's|
wife to a liking to smutty literature
Also, it seems like Enri's heir, Emich, also turned into a complete moron the moment I changed the succession laws. Suddenly he was running around plotting murders left and right. My spymaster discovered these schemes twice before getting bumped off himself by the idiot. It's like he figured he's guaranteed to be duke now, so he can do whatever he wants. After that I'd finally had enough and figured I'd toss the lad in prison for a few years while he takes some time to think about what he's done. Instead he managed to avoid arrest, and buggered off to the Continent. Now he's off fighting in the Crusades.
|One boneheaded son may cost me my entire dynasty|
Monday, 29 October 2012
|Nothing spells fun like having a child on the throne|
|Sometimes you just have to|
bring the hammer down on
Once Heinrich reached 16, things calmed down a bit. A decent number of his nobles were at least tolerating him, and the members of his council seemed to think he was a pretty okay guy. About the only real problem that kept popping up was that one of my courtiers kept assassinating my spymasters, and these guys had pretty good intrigue stats, so it got annoying after a while, and I had to stop it by plotting an assassination attempt of my own on her. It took a little while to find co-conspirators for this because a lot of people had a high opinion of her, but eventually I found a couple, and we got to scheming. It took about a year, but we finally managed to bump her off through poison. Other than that, though, things were quiet in Connacht.
I took advantage of this time to start making political marriages wherever possible, including marrying Heinrich himself. The most important of these has established ties with Castille, one of the more dominant Spanish kingdoms. These sorts of marriages are something that I want to work on now because I'm probably only 100-150 years away from England starting to push hard into Scotland and Ireland, assuming it tries to expand. I want to make sure I know how to swing some powerful connections around so that I can push them out of Connacht, and whatever other regions I conquer when the time comes.
|The assassination was an oldie|
but a goodie
During the early part of his reign, Heinrich was beset with a steady succession of dead bishops. There was nothing sinister about their deaths, they just kept dying of natural causes. Occitan kept freeing up more and more bishops for me to recruit, but I had to wonder about their quality after a while. It got to the point where the only guy available was a certified lunatic. He actually had a trait for lunacy. I hadn't even realized that was a thing in the game until that point. I wound up recruiting him for laughs, though. Figured it would be fun.
Most of my court didn't say anything, but my mayor eventually called out Heinrich on the matter, asking why I had a heretic as a bishop, and why the man was also in his council. First of all, he's not a heretic, Mr. Mayor, he's just crazy. Second, dem learning stats! They're really high. How can I say no to those? Eventually I did capitulate and replace him on my council, but again people in that role kept getting sick and dying, so I had to go and ask the bishop to retake the position. I'm guessing he didn't take the original firing all that well, because when I went to check on him now he had not only the lunatic trait but was now also a drunkard. Great! (Truth be told, I'm half tempted to make him a guardian of someone just to see what happens. Tee hee!)
Oh, and did I mention that I invaded Briefne? Well, I did. The first order of business was to usurp the title of duke back for Enri, which would also return my de jure claim on that region. With that out of the way, I promptly declared war on the county, and marched some 800 troops on it. At first it was a route, as my forces smashed their army, and laid siege to one fortification after the next until finally coming upon the castle of the count himself. This was a much closer battle than I was expecting, as their garrison was quite large, with almost 750 units in it. I only just outnumbered them, and thus was able to win the siege, forcing a surrender from the count.
|Oh, and did I mention that I conquered|
So, now I wait and watch. Maybe I can somehow get the count on side, and we can start having slumber parties and doing each other's hair. If not, maybe it'll mean another war, and if that's the case so be it. I'll just march on Briefne once more, and crush him. Assuming he survives the battle, I'll make sure he spends the remainder of his life rotting in prison.
Sunday, 28 October 2012
|Tadg had a tendency to indulge himself during his reign|
|Just because you're a duke, it|
doesn't mean you don't have to
answer difficult questions
During his reign I'd have to say that Tadg has been the most ennui addled ruler that I've ever played in this game. He would get bored easily, and eventually decided to go and have an affair with his uncle's wife. I didn't even have a say in it. His bad behavior even resulted in a bastard son who I chose not to legitimize, humiliating his mother, infuriating his uncle, and leaving the boy with a deep-rooted hatred of Tadg and his house. Nonetheless, this went on for years, and for reasons I've yet to figure out Tadg's mistress, Helie, just kept on coming back to him no matter how poorly he treated her.
Shortly after this, Ireland was once again facing the threat of a tuberculosis epidemic. I kept my fingers crossed that Connacht would again manage to escape being afflicted by the disease, but I wasn't so lucky this time. At first it trickled into my region, and before long it was tearing through my court, sinking its claws first into Tadg's brother, then hitting several of my nobles. There were a number of deaths at the hands of the illness. As luck would have it, though, it also managed to kill some of Tadg's enemies in his court, including his uncle who was still none too happy about Tadg's affair with his wife. Even my duke was struck by the disease. He managed to pull through, but died a couple of years later due to another illness.
|My first Regency|
If he can hold things together, and bring his nobles in line, he could have an interesting run on things. He still has a de jure claim on Briefne that he can exercise, and his father poured quite a lot of money into castle improvements, so maybe he'll be the one to start Connacht on the path to conquest. It certainly helps that I think I have a better grasp on that element of the game as well. Before that, though, I'm just going to focus on getting Heinrich to adulthood in one piece.
To Part V
Friday, 26 October 2012
|Indeed Aed does love his wife, as we can see by the huge brood of|
offspring that he produced with her.
|Aed really did well for himself|
during his reign, and his heirs
have some big shoes to fill
I also have a feeling there's something in the water wherever Aed's clergy usually hang out, and it's something a lot more sinister because two more of my bishops have suddenly decided to go heretic on me. One guy embraced Walderianism, and I can't remember off hand what the other got into, but I'm thinking it may have been Catharism. Again. I had these people thrown in prison, but this time I was actually able to demand that the Walderian convert back to Catholicism, to which he happily agreed after which I had him released, and he lived out the remainder of his life serving in my council. The Catharin simply shouted, "I don't wanna!" every time I tried to make him convert so I was forced to leave him in prison. Unfortunately, I also forgot about him after time, so he wound up rotting there for many years before finally dying. Did he ever have a change of heart, I wonder. I guess we'll never know.
|It's difficult to see here, but a|
tuberculosis epidemic swept
much of Ireland
After quite some time, though, Aed I finally died. I was actually starting to wonder about this guy because he kept on going and going, living for over 80 years. In his twilight years it was easy to see that age was taking its toll. His stats were starting to go down, and the earl of Briefne was able to usurp Aed's claim on that county. Even after Aed did die, his son was getting up there in years, already in his late 50s, and didn't have a long reign at all before succumbing to age himself. About the only thing that he was able to accomplish was to get the "Lust" attribute. A few short months later he was dead, apparently of natural causes. Right.
So now Aed I's grandson, Tadg, is leading the county. He's suffering a fairly significant hit to opinion of him since he's still in the transition period after taking the reigns of power. This will last for a few years, so I have to do whatever I can to improve people's opinions of him. Thankfully we're not at war right now other than the crusade going on, but that doesn't inhibit feasts, fairs, or hunts like more conventional conflicts do, so he'll have to start up the partying anew like his grandfather once did. Hopefully this well get him in everyone's good books sooner rather than later, and he can get down to the business of expansion.
|Because Aed I lived for such a long time, his son barely had a chance|
to rule Connaught before dying himself
And this is where things could get interesting. Despite Briefne seizing my claim on that region, it's former ruler has died and there is a child on its throne, so I can usurp the claim right back now if I want. I plan to do this. It does get tricky, though, in how I go about invading the region. I recently started the construction of Connacht's second castle, which will be complete in under two years. When it's done, I will be able to muster significantly more troops, and also have a better selection thereof, including a larger number of heavy infantry. The long and short of it is that I should have a good-sized invasion force at my disposal, and I can finally start thinking about expansion.
|Tadg's first wife died, so now I'm|
trying to marry him to a princess
So there are some decisions to be made. I'm leaning toward dealing with Tyrconnell first, but we'll see. Before doing anything I need to shore up morale in Connacht, and make sure all of my nobles are on good terms with Tadg. Only then can I start looking to expansion.
To Part IV
Thursday, 25 October 2012
|Could an invasion be coming?|
Where to begin? Hmmm, first, another neighboring region, Tyrconnell, decided to fabricate a claim on Connacht, which means there's a risk that I may be invaded at some time. I have my army training, but my forces aren't very large, so it may prove to be a problem if this guy marches on me any time soon. All I can do is try and keep my soldiers ready, and maybe see what I can do about improving the area's opinion of Connacht. Not long after this Aed's wife died (of natural causes), and this proved to be a double problem because not only would I have to seek out a new wife for my duke, but I also needed a new spymaster. Filling this position resulted in a flurry of job shuffling in my council as I tried to find a suitable replacement. I had to go so far as to invite some new nobles to my court, but after about a year I finally had a number of new nobles that were very good at their jobs, and at last the spymaster position was filled for the long haul (I hope!). The council even got a couple of new members that were particularly skilled to take on the roles of steward and chancellor.
|What the hell! First you complain at my feasts, now|
you turn heretic on me.
|There have been no lack of spies|
lurking around Connaught.
So things have gone all topsy turby in a little over five years for my little corner of Europe. We're still throwing our parties but it's hard to ignore the looming threat of a potential invasion from Tryconnell, the loss of Aed's wife, and his bishop suddenly turning heretic. Things have started to take a turn for the worse, but now I guess it's up to me to get things back in order, and ensure that Connacht becomes the hippest, most happening place in all of Ireland.
Part III is over here.