HuniePop Queens: Part 01: 769-774: Early Medieval Dating
I quite enjoyed CrusaderPop game, so let's make it a bit more interesting. My character is based on the only landed woman ruler before 1000, High Chieftess of Kiev, Dobrava Turov. And let's give her Hunie trait - which is 100% hereditary, forbids marriage, and gives some fertility and attractiveness bonuses. I wanted to make all such characters automatically lustful and attractive, but that event crashed the game.
So here's her traits, basically everything that gives fertility or attractiveness bonuses, or otherwise fits the seductress type:
• Grey Eminence (this is the one I was least sure about, I'm not sure if seduction should be about intrigue or diplomacy more; highest fertility bonus would be from Midas Touched, which would also be strongest option, but that made no sense)
For a total of 24/13/10/13/12, 7.0 health, and 140% fertility (base is 50%).
And her name is Olena Slutsky. I swear, that's what randomizer selected, and I did not dare to change that.
Oh, and game is a good deal more modded than previous time.
Well, let's start. Ambition to become queen of Ruthenia, seduction focus, and let's see what else is great about Charlemagne. And as I got event spawned raiders almost right away, I got all my armies and went on to loot high chief of Volhynia.
I'm not sure how subjugation CB works exactly, but I got second duchy and his capital county, as well as strong claims to both his remaining counties. Well, revocation time and of course he refused, but he had nothing left after our war.
I had event that some random dude might fancy me, but I want to get something going with Charlemagne first, so I took -5 prestige hit and passed. And it worked, I got pregnant with Charlemagne and we became lovers.
Since I'm having so much fun, why not seduce Prince Leon, heir to Byzantine Empire next? I wasn't even sure if those events would even trigger while I was pregnant, but they did. That was a fun one night stand, except Leon's wife Eirene decided to rival me.
How about a night with Charlemagne's brother while I'm pregnant? Of course he fell for me, he's lustful.
So maybe emperor Konstantinos? It's apparently scandalous to got for someone 52 years old while I'm 18, but why not.
Apparently being pregnant and unmarried costs -50 piety and -50 prestige, that's pretty annoying as I'm playing tribal ruler who's going to do that a lot. OK, that's just silly, I'll mod it afterwards so it doesn't happen with Hunie trait, for now I'll just give myself that back.
And as a result I got an unremarkable girl Dobrava, whom my lover Charlemagne refused to acknowledge. That's just so mean!
Well, let's make another baby. Emperor Konstantinos, even though he's much older than me, did not say no, and performed pretty well. Let's pass time while waiting for baby to get born and for my levies in newly conquered territories to replenish by having fun with emperor's son. Sadly Leon's wife Eirene revealed what I did with Konstantine, costing me even more piety. I'll kill the bitch! And a snake did, very quickly, and then I had a night in their wedding bed while pregnant with emperor's son.
And the empress rivaled me to? You know what happens to my rivals. She shouldn't have tried this wine. Pointlessly killing wives of my lovers, this takes the game to another level.
Emperor acknowledged our son Volodar, but didn't legitimize him.
I celebrated Volodar's birth with a night with Volodar's older half-brother, and I got instantly pregnant. Maybe I stacked those fertility bonuses a bit unreasonably high. In any case, it will be a fun family tree, and I'll just have fun with other men while pregnant to get those amazing seductress traits.
Volodar's younger sister (and I guess niece) was attractive Viacheslava, sadly not acknowledged. I might designate her as my heir if I get that ability somehow.
King of Avaria rejected me once, but not the second time. Nothing came out of this as I was already pregnant.
Some random courtier Olga declared me as her rival. Who does the thing she is?
In the meantime I attacked another high chief, who had 2 counties in de jure Ruthenia and 1 in de jure Lithuania, but I only got 1 county out of this, not 2 or 3 as I expected.
Well, I'll continue seducing important men of Europe and trying to get a crown of Ruthenia for myself. I plan to go feudal (I modded it to cost prestige not money) and probably some kind of Christian at some point - not yet sure if Catholic or Orthodox or something else (Emperor is Iconoclast, but I think that will just go away by event). In any case there's no rush, and nobody tried to convert me yet.
HuniePop Queens: Part 02: 774-784: Queen of Ruthenia
I decided to mod this game a bit more. So no more -50 prestige -50 piety for being pregnant while unmarried if you're a Hunie, and I also Hunies can do everything seduction focus allows at all times, so I can try other focuses as well, otherwise even trying something out would mean 5 year gap in dating life, which is unacceptable in a dating sim like this (preexisting lovers would remain, but game has very low fertility with lovers unless it's also your spouse).
So let's focus on War this time, and challenge my rival Olga to a duel. She did not accept. Fortunately unknown highwaymen got her.
I seduced a bodyguarnd as event. My spymaster recommended killing my bastard son... Yeah, I don't think he gets what kind of game this is, of course not, and I got Honest trait. A while later I got stressed to - not even to the expected "too many lovers, drop one or become stressed" event, just some regular one.
I got another son, Mitrofan, and the game doesn't even track who he was with. I think it was with the cute bodyguard.
I got into another tiny fight, which got me over 500 prestige, at which point I hired a tribal army and got really into subjugation of Ruthenia.
Even after taking land, I still needed to do some ethnic cleansing - instead of Russians everywhere as it is during later time periods, this land is a mix of Volhynians, Severians, Ilmenians, (mostly Tengri) Hungarians, and (mostly Suomenusko) Mordvins. By the way I made it so that culture conversion events are way faster now, they were ridiculously slow in vanilla.
After subjugating various northern Ruthenian high chiefs, it was time to remove Magyars from our lands. That gave me 24/25 Ruthenian counties, and led to the obvious question - which direction do I go next. West/South-West into Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Wallachia, and Turica seems reasonable.
I cannot stop the wars even for one day or it would lose me all my event troops.
Shockingly Iconoclasm won over Orthodoxy. That was unexpected, and not in any way related to my modding. I wonder if anybody wants to send any missionaries my way, to explain all that filioqeu business. It's so confusing.
Heir to Byzantine Empire prince Leon died of smallpox, so I focused on seducing his younger brother Christophoros. He refused me over and over, until I eventually gave up. Charlamagne died and his brother Karloman inherited all the lands. I thought about having his baby too, but one of my own vassals is strong attractive genius, that sounds like much more tempting than chasing foreign rulers.
I got strong attractive child Sviatopolk, whose father acknowledged him, but I decided to just legitimize him as my heir. He was sadly born ill, but that passed.
I got another baby with my strong attractive genius, sadly he got murdered on orders of Pribislava, and I don't even know which one of two Pribislavas in my realm that was. Our son inherited all his father's lands.
And his wife rivalled me, so I challenged her to a duel - I won that, and I ended up just maiming her, as finishing her off would give me Merciless -10 general opinion forever, and it's not worth it, she might just die of her wounds anyway.
And our second son Vselav was a strong genius. Nice, I have to legitimize him as well, I'm sure they'll get along just fine.
I got pregnant with king of Lombardy. There really should be some serious prestige for what Olena has been doing.
Anyway, I used my subjugation CB to attack Poland, and that bugged out like hell. Instead of getting all his lands game wanted to just give me his demesne, without his vassals in de jure Poland. That made no sense whatsoever. I wouldn't even get counties I occupied.
Well, I waited a bit, hoping that maybe chief of Plock's subjugation of Poland against high chief of Silesia was causing this. Turned out that chief of Plock became independent (as high chief of Silesia), which was a bit of a bug, but that still didn't fix chiefs of Czerks, Kujawy, and Sieradko-Leczyckie. For fuck's sake, I hate it how game gives you one CB per lifetime, then decided to bug out.
Let's get older save and try again. Press the form Ruthenian button, offer to join count of Plock's war (it's hilariously silly as he's enemy's vassal, but what the hell), now press offer peace. And I got it all, helped chief of Plock with his subjugation, so now I control 100% of Ruthenia and 100% Poland.
OK, 7 duke level titles, I need to giveaway some. Sadly I'm stuck with 3 - two that are for my demesne, and one for lands of my strong/attractive heir that everybody votes for, instead of voting for my strong/genius heir I want to succeed me.
I think I'll just wait 25 years for all of Polish duchies to de jure drift into Ruthenia - presumably I'll live to age of 56, and without falling to temptation of switching to another character. (if I do, AI will probably instantly create kingdom of Poland and screw that).
Volhynian culture expanded into Severian lands a bit, but it probably won't expand much further, as Polish lands are under Polish vassals, and Hungarian/Mordvin/LRithuanian/Lettigallian/Estonian lands are generally wrong religion and unreformed pagan conversion changes are really low.
I've been spending my prestige mostly on fort upgrades in my demesne. Going feudal is probably something for Olena's grandchildren.
Right now expansion plan would be to conquer parts of Baltic coast held by Romuvas and Suomenuskos, as well as random Tengri counties. Eventually I'm going to run into Byzantines or Karlings and I'll be forced to go Christian (why don't they just send some damn missionaries, seriously?), so I'd prefer to finish off those bastards while I'm immune to pagan homeland attrition. This will end up in my country having shape weirdly similar to the Commonwealth.
Byzantines already too both duchies in de jure Bulgaria, and Karlings took Saxony, so it won't take them too long to border me.
De jure map will be very interesitng with 25 year drift. It will probably wipe out a lot of dumb small kingdoms.
I'm sort of considering swearing fealty to the emperor, if I actually go Iconoclast. Probably won't happen.
Catholic and Iconoclast Christians are expanding
That's the first time I see Iconoclasm winning, sepecially weird as it happened without me doing anything
Fast speed culture spread
HuniePop Queens: Part 03: 784-792: Hunies from Baltic to Black Sea
I disabled event that turns East Slavic cultures (Volhynian, Severian, Ilmenian) into Russians once they stop being unreformed Pagan (at slow mtth). Severians are already almost assimilated, and I prefer to keep that "Volhynian" name on the map, as I put some effort into making it happen. Not to mention it feels fairly silly to have a single Russian culture that huge in this time period. I'm also tweaking some culture conversion events stuff, and I'd rather that not get messed up.
Culture spread in CK2 is controlled by mtth (of order of magnitude 100s of years), and strict requirements (same religion, both county owner and top liege same culture, neighbouring province of that culture). Both are sensible, but together end result is almost zero culture spread. I kept script requirements but 10x faster mtth.
The only downside is that it would probably interfere with formable cultures like Italian, French, various Iberian cultures etc. since they can flip to new cultures by fast mtth, then they'll flip back fast to previous culture.
Top Karling is French, so that one will work. Italian and all Iberian cultures seem to have less luck so far, but we'll see. There's also some Saxon to German spread, but that's driven by some weird criteria.
The entire kingdom of Poland territory wan divided between three vassals, one child, and one with a child heir (and third who was a count but subjugated some duchy in Hungary for himself), so I arranged Volhynian tutors for both so it will hopefully end up without any revocation war. Of course there's still Polish counts under them, but it's going to be a start.
I ended up with that kid converting to Vohlynian - but that will do zero culture spread as his only demesne county is surrounded by wrong culture counties - all either wrong religion or held by Poles, so all that just isn't working.
This game like all Paradox games really needs a truce map. I have 5-10 truces typically - and most infuriating are ones like "truce with High Chief Arunas the Accursed until 13 July, 784". Accursed of where His ass? I'm tempted to remove all the nicknames from the game just to make truce tooltip less dumb.
Anyway, I was just casually blobbing, when small Slavic Croatian tribe conquered kingdom of Hungary from Avaria, renaming it from Avaria to Pannonia, but somehow leaving out Nyitra, which one of my vassals took.
I got my first peasant revolts - that's the main reason why I increased speed of culture conversion so much, so they'll stop happening eventually. Spread of Slavic religion is actually pretty reasonable for unreformed pagans, better than I expected.
I got lover's pox from new Byzantine Emperor. Sadly he died of severe stress, and his underage daughter got the empire, resulting in instant revolt by her uncle. I got a baby with the uncle then, which he refused to acknowledge, and gods will punish him by loss of rebellion. For now it's just stalled for years.
Oh and my bastard son now has a weak claim on Byzantine Empire, but it would be silly to press that, it's not like I can meaningfully inherit that or anything. I might be even able to win this somehow, but that would then break Iconoclast Christianity and Muslims would take over or something.
Well, I'm getting a bit older, one obvious person still missing on my list of baby daddies is the caliph. I got one son with the caliph, and I'm pregnant with another.
I got Romuvas reduced to one county, whose chief I'm plotting to kill. High chief of Ilmen was close to forming kingdom of Rus, so I got him killed. Sadly it did not gavelkind apart, as he had 1 son and 4 daughters - I only looked at number of children and assumed fail by gavelkind, but no.
Suomenuskos west of lake Onega got mostly conquered between me, Ilmen, and Germanic king of Sweden.
I'm not convinced that my change from 350 gold to 2250 prestige for full fort upgrade will actually work. I can get that kind of prestige to upgrade my demesne (except castle tech will take 50+ years to even get there except in Kiev), but everybody else seems to have too little prestige or too little interest in spending it on such upgrades.
I now border Byzantine Revolt, but not Byzantium itself. So I guess once the revolt is over I could swear fealty to the Empress and convert to her religion, but I'm not too convinced that's a great idea.
Or at least I wanted to convert to some kind of Christianity, but they are doing so poorly. Slavic is third largest religion after Catholics and Sunnis, and somehow even has higher authority than Sunnis.
I'm completely unable to convince anyone to vote for my preferred son, and I have no idea how to influence anybody's votes. My adult male vassals all +100 love me, and he's a strong genius, but that doesn't seem to convince anyone. Maybe I should use console to set him as heir and abdicate?
The only downside is that he somehow became zealous. That's going to hurt.
Slavic is doing pretty well
Few easy places to conquer left
Volhynian is doing pretty well
HuniePop Queens: Part 04: 792-796: Hunie Succession System
I've just realized that Iconoclasts (and other branches of Orthodoxy) can also mend the schism. That is weirdly tempting, but I don't know if this is the direction I'll take this campaign. Actually, I don't see any differences whatsoever between different Orthodox religions.
So I decided that Hunies are not going to use regular inheritance anyway, so I'll just legitimize all of my children. Sadly Hunie trait means daughters can't do much with current succession - they can't marry, they can't hold lands, and as long as they're unlanded game won't give them much dating life. Oh well, girl's life is hard in the Middle Ages.
Now that I decided to do so, I needed some land for them, and I already gave away lands to various Volhynian chiefs. Well, I guess I'll just pick a fight with two Polish high chiefts under me (third became Vohlynian already) - seemed easy, as somehow I have 7 strong claims to random counties there. Sadly I can't do anything about it, as most of them were held by vassal-of-vassal counts.
Here's my whole child list:
• Dobrava, daughter of Charlemagne
• Volodar, son of Basileus Konstantinos - weak claim to Byzantine Empire
• Viacheslava, daughter of Byzantine prince Leon Isauros
• Mitrofan, son of a cute bodyguard
• Sviatopolk, son of chief Zhenye
• Vseslav, son of chief Zhenye
• Yaropolk, son of king Adelchis of Lombardy
• Prebrana Vakrimovna (what kind of name is this?), daughter of Tengri shaman Vakrim
• Yefrosinia, daughter of prince Nikephoros of Byzantine Revolt (uncle of current empress)
• Demid, son of caliph Harun
• Viacheslav, son of caliph Harun
• Praxida, daughter of king Adelchis of Lombardy
Volodar sadly died prematurely, so my temptation for pushing my weak claim to Byzantine Empire did not work.
As soon as Vseslav came of age I decided to distribute the titles manually:
• Mitrofan - duchy of Volhynia
• Sviatopolk - duchy of Smolensk
• Vseslav - duchy of Crimea, duchy of Kiev, county of Cieszyn (which Volodar held for a while), kingdom, and most of the gold
• Yaropolk - counties of Azov and Kuban in duchy of Azov
• Demid - duchy of Yatvingia
• Viacheslav - duchy of Turov
• personal retirement home - duchy of Galich
The only console bit was giving the kingdom and switching player.
• Grey Eminence
• Strong Genius
• Legitimized Bastard
• Honest, Proud, Ambitious, Kind, Arbitrary, Lustful
Fortunately he managed to drop zealous, I'm not sure what's the best way to drop arbitrary, but I'd definitely want to do that. The most obvious plan is to seduce empress Pavlina as soon as she comes of age.
My vassals are generally straight so they don't care for what a Hunie Vseslav is.
A stack of -36 short reign penalty, -10 medium tribal organization, -10 arbitrary is not going to lead to very stable kingdom, at least for the first few years.
It's still not too bad. Only foreigners, and my one feudal count vassal are serious in their dislike. A lot of characters are content, tribals love strong, and his diplomacy is really good, so overall I don't expect too difficult succession.
Olena abdicated to her duchy at age of 43. I switched her to family focus before changing characters so she can maybe help her children get better together. Awkwardly Vseslav managed to switch to Carousing focus in the few months between his 16th birthday and getting the crown, which is not that great, but I'll roll with it. I had to use my once in lifetime capital move to get it back to Kiev, maybe I should have used console for that as well.
I wonder who should I use my subjugation CB on. Getting Pannonia or Bohemia would be most obvious, but that would make me a double king, and I don't want that. Conquering Novgorod is another idea.
Meanwhile in the rest of the world:
• Empress Nikoletta died, succeeded by her younger sistem Pavlina.
• Byzantine Civil War for Seniority seems is still a stalemate
• Viking Age started - with kingdom of Sweden blobbing as fast as it did, I forgot that the worst is only to come.
• Bulgaria has fallen - pushing all Tengris really far away from Central Europe.
• King Peppin Karling setup his antipope
• De jure drift is slowly making the map look nicer.
Expansion is the easy part, now succession time
Not too bad for unreformed pagans
HuniePop Queens: Part 05: 796-803: Hunie King Vseslav
I did the usual succession reassignment, getting new council, designating my mother as regent, and my strong/attractive brother Sviatopolk as designated successor.
Some woman claimed that a baby boy she gave birth to is mine. I have no idea who that boy is.
Anyway, seduce option was not showing, so I thought my character must be seducing someone, but there was no way in hell to figure out whom. I thought I'd just wait a bit for that to trigger, but no luck whatsoever.
It's really infuriating, UI in Paradox games mostly gets better, but something there's bullshit like this. This isn't quite as bad as diplomatic range problems, but still really annoying.
I tried messing with console, then looking into save game, it took me forever to even figure out character ID of the girl I've been seducing. Even after that, I couldn't make that seduction end - console command to trigger events takes just one character ID, and I needed two to break `opinion_seducing` relation. I could end that by killing her with console, but that was too cruel for this casual hunie game.
Finally I just edited the save game, and while I was at it also cleared focus timer (switching it from carousing to leadership) and gave myself attractive like the event that I wanted to mod, but it crashed the damn game.
Anyway, rulership immediately made me diligent and depressed. I got over vassal limit as one of Polish 3-dukes died and gavelkinded. As I have pretty much no other tools to deal with such problems, I just sent assassins to unify their lands a bit.
I even bought one of my vassals a duchy for 175 gold, and painfully I still couldn't transfer count vassal that neighboured him. (because he was called into war as my tribal ally, it took me a while to figure it out as it's not blocked in case of regular vassals)
I really needed to do something with my remaining Polish vassals as they were getting involved in faction nonsense. Fortunately that something turned out to be rather easy, they both rebelled, and both got banished.
I got Pannonia as my second kingdom, and started expanding into the Balkans. Most of Pannonia was ruled by Tengris who got replaced by correct culutre correct religion vassals, but there's still Croatian double duke who doesn't like me.
Sadly empress Pavlina refused my advances, and then died of illness, so this entire attempt failed. And it would have been so good to legitimize firstborn child of ruling empress as mine, easiest empire ever. He uncle's rebellion for seniority ended up with nothing, as she inherited the throne.
I've been trying to seduce queen of Asturias, but that didn't trigger yet. Is seduction much lower chance for men to even fire (I'm not even talking about being accepted or refused), or am I just very unlucky? It's been 7 years and I had it fired only once, so I have no kids.
Two of my older sisters have one bastard each, and my brother Mitrofan has 14 children already at age of 28, youngest one legitimized - and no idea why that particular one.
Apparently I can still get some concubines, which I guess is semi-legit for a Hunie.
Now I have a few options:
• remain tribal and unreformed pagan for another generation or two - it will make succession really awkward
• get empire title - I'm 79% for Carpathia, 73% for Wendish Empire, 50% for Russia, 18% for Tartaria, and 10% for Scandinavia. Whichever I form, I'm probably just going to rename it to Commonwealth. Doing this would break all kingdom map cleanup (I really don't want silly kingdoms like Taurica, Lithuania, and Poland to remain on the map), and it would prevent me from joining Byzantine Empire
• either of those but become reform Slavic - it's quite awkward as 3 holy sites are held by Slavic people I have no sensibe CB on
• somehow convert to Christianity but remain tribal
• do a silly thing and convert to Norse
• swear fealty to Emperor and convert - this was something I was really tempted to do while it seemed I might have bastard in line to imperial throne, as I could push him with a faction, now it looks much less tempting
Oops, actually that last one is not possible. I can convert to liege's culture by decision, but I can only change religion to one in my capital or my spouse's/concubine's. Did that change recently, or did I just remember it wrong? Finding a Christian concubine is a bit complicated as she's need to have pagan overlord for him to agree to give her to me, but that should be doable if I go this route.
Elsewhere on the map:
• In most unexpected development king of Sweden somehow managed to conquer a pretty big chunk of South France, and it gavelkinded as kingdom of Aquitaine. That somehow got rid of antipope too, I think his bishopric was in this territory.
• Severian culture got finally incorporated into Volhynian. Lithuanian and Hungarian look slowly on their way out.
Religion map - would be pretty good if I planned to remain Slavic
Culture map is finally getting somewhere
HuniePop Queens: Part 06: 803-817: Hunies for Jesus
I decided there's absolutely no rush. I'll just rename Ruthenia to Ukraina, and if I ever get Byzantine Empire, I'll rename it Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth or something like that."" Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth" sounds like it just has to be a very successful country, right? And yes, I'm aware this name is ahistorical, so is "Byzantine Empire", and half of the names in the game.
I got into a bunch of new wars - one of them to get the rest of Crimea, currently 3 counties (2 of them tribal) being held by a duke that separated from Byzantine Empire during civil wars. The Empire joined that war, providing certainly a lot of moral support, but no actual soldiers.
I got myself 3 concubines as seduction events refused to fire. Apparently I can't make my half-sister a concubine. I get that full sister would be too much, but even half-sister? Come on. Maybe going Zoroastrian instead of Christian would make more sense, but then again that's about marrying your sister, and I can't marry anyone.
I quickly got attractive genius child with a concubine - awkwardly they start legitimized, with just -1 diplomacy for "child of concubine", same as "legitimized bastard".
I decided that since Slavic has pretty much no fun mechanics, I might just as well bite the bullet and convert thanks to my Iconoclast concubine already. Transition of vassals went ridiculously smoothly - only two dukes refused to convert, and one agreed to revocation without any issues, the other was a quick and easy rebellion to crush.
It was a bit tricky - I needed to stay at war while I was doing it, as to not lose my event troops, but county conquests would get invalidated. So I attacked someone in completely pointless claim war just to have war continuity. Of course right after that it was holy war Novgorod, whichever parts of the Balkans Byzantines didn't take yet, and some small bits of Tengi frontier. Attrition was horrendous, but it was going OK, when I noticed that Byzantine emperor switched to non-Iconoclast Orthodoxy.
Oh come on now... I invited some strong claimant, had to bribe him to event switch to Iconoclast.
Not like I could do much. Attrition was getting really bad, and I started getting endless waves of peasant uprisings of all kinds - I had to spend all my prestige on hiring more and more tribal armies to just not lose.
High chief of Slavonia was the only one smart enough to just convert to true faith instead of losing.
So now my choice is to spend all my money and prestige on mercs and tribal armies and install my Iconoclast claimant on Byzantine throne. Or not, but then I'm a bit screwed - unless I want a second conversion. War against Byzantines wouldn't even be that bad, except of course I'd still be getting tons of rebellions.
After that I'm tempted to swear fealty to the new emperor, and try to have fun from within.
Oh and there's one more problem. Seduction events are just not firing at all. I'm 37 and I had it happen once. I'll try to debug what the hell, but if that doesn't work, I'll just make exception and let Hunies marry. Conveniently I have the only daughter of my Byzantine claimant in my court.
I'd prefer to do it the Hunie way, but if that doesn't work. By best guess looking at files is that leading troops suspends seduction, but I wasn't leading troops for 20 years non stop. There's also slowing down seduction for distant targets, and my target was queen of Navarra (as that never triggered in two decades I couldn't change it). That seems to make distant enough targets up to 8x slower. Between this and leading troops... it still feels like extremely bad luck or glitch, but it's within reason at least.
I quite like what de jure drift has been doing. Culture drift of course stopped, as it requires same religion, and my religious unity is like 5% or so. Unfortunately I think my tweaks broke CM dynamic cultures like Italian, Andalusian etc. - they still happen, but they revert faster than they happen. French is the only one that works, as top level ruler is French so it can't revert.
Oh and none of that is going to work without modding anyway, as Byzantine Empire has magic "Renounce Iconoclasm" button, which make it switch to Orthodox for no reason. Any non-zealous AI emperor will automatically press that, no questions asked, unless you get an endless chain of zealous emperors past year 900, which would disable the button. That's such nonsense. It's not even single use - restoring Iconoclasm is futile as it will endlessly keep flipping back.
And even if I disable the button and win the war, the chance is really good that either king of Ukraine/Panonnia or Byzantine Emperor will screw their country real hard. Even if the Sultan somehow decides not to call a jihad on us. Oh well.
Culture conversion mostly stopped
De jure map
HuniePop Queens: Part 07: 817-829: Constantinople is worth a wedding
With 1 seduction event firing in 20 years, I decided that unfortunately the hunie stuff wasn't working, so I'll let hunies marry after all. They'll now lose their fertility bonus (which I added just to counteract fertility penalty for unmarried lovers), but keep attractiveness bonus and ability to use seduce with any focus. I might turn it back once I figure out what's going on.
As for other modding, I made AI not press "Abandon Iconoclasm" button. Annoyingly pressing that button destroys Iconoclast patriarchate and creates Orthodox patriarchate (which doesn't exist at start of the game) - but Iconoclasts getting emperorship back back doesn't revert this, just provides very expensive way to recreate Iconoclast patriarchate, unfortunately keeping the Orthodox one around forever, I don't think there's any way to get rid of it once emperor presses the damn button.
So, the empire! I made Gennadios and his daughter Ioulia convert, married her, hired 7500 extra tribal armies (on top of 967 soldiers I had left), 3750 mercs, and went for it. Of course AI in its wisdom attacked my 10k stack with 3k, even though the other 7k of its troops were in literally the same province. Not even sieging - it was Byzantine territory, they were just standing there, and AI just decided to not press the merge button. I don't even know what the hell.
As soon as I made sure not to lead troops seduction events started firing reasonably often. Well, that explains the mystery. Olena didn't lead troops much (she can as tribal woman, unlike feudal women), so it worked fine for her. I even managed to sneak in a night with a wife of Emperor I was overthrowing before it happened, but no baby resulted.
And I wish there was a button "I don't want to lead troops" - it just keeps autoassigning me, and it's really annoying, if I forget to unassign myself important hunie business will be left unattended.
I still wanted to kill the emperor as my wife Ioulia wasn't born in purple, so any child, even another girl, would take precedence over her. Not to mention any boy would. Sadly everybody who disliked the emperor decided to rebel instead of join my plot, so that didn't work at all.
As the initial war was much easier than expected, why not holy war everybody around me with my remaining troops? Like all those damn Tengri who lost nearly everything West of Volga... Oh wait, the new Emperor is going to get wrecked by rebels like immediately, that's why I shouldn't do it.
Sadly due to game being dumb there were multiple simultaneous rebellions against the emperor (seniority, 3 claimants, independence, king of Lombardy's county claim, peasant revolt, unless I missed something), but I could only ask him to join against one of them. I always hated this bullshit. I don't even know of any way to do so by console. I could switch tag to emperor, call myself into all wars (that's option only working one way), then switch back and accept, but that would still not let me join future inevitable rebellions.
I don't even have any way to be hostile to them as non-participant, and I can't call my vassals as I'm not war leader and they technically count as allies.
One claimant war fizzled on its own (not sure why, the claimant was still alive, with balls etc. intact, unless it's some different Nikephoros than emperor's brother).
I joined seniority war as it was most dangerous to my wife's claim, sieged some rebel holdings, it ended in white peace. Then Emperor decided to call me into all the wars. Well, assuming no new ones at least, that's pretty decent.
Sadly all that was a bit slow, so Iconolaters got majority over Iconoclasts. It was annoying, but due to lack of any holy orders it didn't really mean anything, and we got back to be majority soon.
For my taste the emperor was far too eager to accept white peace from various factions, but then his situation was not exactly enviable. Independence revolt and Lombardy's county claim were the only ones he crushed.
I continued attacking Tengri rulers - one of them had good sense to become Iconoclast, so the true faith extended all the way to Sibir. Except of course peasants were still dirty pagans, and duke of Itil lost his duchy to some claimant and then got incorporated into kingdom of Turkestan anyway.
None of religions are doing too well.
Slavic failed completely as well, with what was left of Bohemia being conquered by Denmark. Orthodoxy is split between Iconoclasts and Iconolaters about in half, with me ruling over 80% pagan lands.
Catholics lost all of Iberia to Muslims, Aquitaine to the Norse, have second antipope thanks to the Karling (after first lost when his cathedral got conquered by the Norse), and have pretty much all heresies going on - mostly locally.
Sunni caliph has such horrible traits (slow greedy lustful ambitious temperate) that Abbasid got +3.2% monthly decadence gain. It's crazy - Abbasids managed to get their decadence high enough to get a Shia revolt by an attractive quick 3 year old. Revolt of course failed - Blobbasids are OP please nerf; and their decadence got down by a lot, but it's back where it started already.
Sensing Muslim weakness, I even attacked Muslim duke of Armenia who took some Tengri tirbal lands. That unfortunately did not go too well until my best friend forever emperor Gennadios finally finished his wars (including against Lombardy which is one I couldn't realistically help with, but he won anyway) and helped me there. It was going really well for a while, but the Caliph decided to join the war too. Fortunately Caliph decided to attack through river crossing into mountains with divided army, so even his superior numbers didn't save him. If that didn't work, I'd probably just white peace and try some other time.
I got a fun message saying "My King, I am pleased to report that the majority of the population in Rama has been converted to the Iconoclast faith!". It was a nice WTF before I realized I misread "Rama" as "Roma". There will be time for that too.
After fairly embarrassing Hunie career, I managed to recover my reputation by becoming lover of wife of Karling king of Saxony before he had any babies with her husband. And I did the same with wife of king of Bavaria - she had two known bastards before, but they had no legitimate children. So both king's oldest daughers are actually mine. And it does absolutely nothing as Bavaria is elective, and king of Saxony lost to Karling unification CB.
Now that it's only going to cost me 1k event troops (I need to be at peace long enough for him to respond, not just same day another war I think), I could join the empire.
Gennadios dealt with rebellions and converted most dukes to true religion he's probably not going to lose the throne. The biggest risk is if he has another legitimate baby. He's 49, ill, and wounded (2.2 health) and his wife is 59 and in good health (5.2), so he'd need to recover, his wife would need to die, then he'd need to remarry, have a baby, and for this baby to not die mysteriously. That's a long chain of events that would need to happen, and there's always fallback plan of pushing Ioulia's inherited claim against any such baby.
Transformation of tribal to feudal territories is really slow. Maybe it's a bit faster than before (not counting Norse) as prestige is achievable while gold just wasn't, but AI is highly unwilling to spend what little prestige it gets on it. I should probably tweak it to be much cheaper. Not that it would help enough, maybe a third of my realm has necessary tech to even build it, but I really wanted to see feudal transition.
Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth coming
This unfortunately state of events lasted half a decade
Religious mess, Slavic were much more successful before I converted
HuniePop Queens: Part 08: 829-841: Rebel Infestation is worth than STD
I changed costs of full hillford chain from 350 gold to 1750 prestige (5:1), but that was ridiculously high, so I scaled it down to 700 (2:1). I also halved costs of all other tribal buildings.
Buildings in CK2 are already ridiculously expensive (maybe except republican ones and lowest level militia buildings), tribal buildings were ridiculously expensive compared with feudal ones, and non-Norse tribals have zero gold and much lower access to prestige too. It's all crazy unbalanced.
Sadly after 60 years at very slow progress rates even getting the pace reasonable now it's still going to take forever to feudalize most of tribal lands of Central Europe. Feudalization being just early step - they still need all buildings and extra holdings created.
I keep thinking when to join the Empire, but I'll probably wait until my wife gets the throne. She currently hates me due to all the acknowledged bastards, that lasts 10 years, not sure if 10 years for every bastard separately or 10 years without bastards. The second one will be pretty hard.
My easy permanent claim war ended inconclusively. So awkward.
Abbasids finally got their decadence revolt led by Hasan Hasan, a lustful wroth cruel and gluttonous character - precisely the person who should not be complaining about somebody else's decadence. Not that it matters, 30k event troops and 2k gold was just enough, and now the caliphate is in hands of another dynasty, while a lot of peripheral duchies became indepndent. Oh and he came with 2 sons, both of them with Decadent trait.
Of course he got instant rebellions of all kinds, as peacing out disbanded his event troops, so it would be fun time to press my half-brother's weak claim to Arabian Empire. Well, maybe maybe some other time.
Instead I decided to make caliph's wife my lover. That's a much more hunie solution.
Strnagely I got a really nasty Bohemian revolt. Their numbers weren't too high - first just 2k, then more and more by events. My max personal levy is 4k, except of course I never have anywhere near max levy, I ran out of event troops (and spent all my prestige on hillforts), and my vassal allies were just running around in microstacks like idiots.
Of course I was getting multiple other rebellions simultaneously. Well, I'll have to wait and hope my vassals and best friend emperor deal with all that for me, I really can't do anything until my levies recover. Well, I could technically get mercs, but that would be extremely silly.
The biggest problem was that they were getting new troops by events faster than they were losing them to loses to various microstacks. And Bohemian liberation and Slavic rebels joined forces because they were close enough to each other - that was even more infuriating. It was fucking infuriating seeing how two unrelated rebels were coordinating better than my vassals.
Finally I got enough prestige to raise tribal army, got some raiders. And of course I sent them to the frontlines, got Slavic rebels isolated, and I lost anyway. Fuck that, I'll get those damn mercs, it's at -69% already.
It was endless rebellion after rebellion - sometimes I got two in same month. It will eventually pass - peasants are slowly accepting Jesus, and even adopt some civilized culture.
What's a lot worse than some rebel infestation - damn emperor got himself a new wife and a son - putting everything I worked for at risk. Damn baby got ill but recovered, my plotting can barely get over 100% plot power even with a lot of bribes I can't really afford.
Most infuriating was a bug where game tells me I can bribe someone to support the plot, but I can't because opinion is capped at +100. So I wasted some money on bribing emperor's spymaster.
What I'm tempted to do now is to:
• abdicate so Radoslav can get the throne
• swear fealty to the emperor
• kill the damn baby from within, then kill the emperor so Ioulia can be the empress
In some unspecified order. Or I could even switch to Ioulia, even though that would really destabilize the realm.
Religious unity slowly happening
Cultural drift slowly happening
HuniePop Queens: Part 09: 841-850: Ioulia, Queen of the Ukrainians, the Romans, and all the first Hunies
I finally took the time to mod the game so decisions that should be important are marked as such (like expelling Jews), as well as decisions that are not terribly important but have precise timing (like feasts, summer fairs etc.). And some really spectacularly dumb decisions like "ask help to manage titles" lost their priority mark
That will be nice quality of life improvement. It would be much nicer if CK2 got same update as EU4 got in one of the patches, so you could dynamically indicate what you're interested in with a checkbox, but it's good enough for now.
Another quality of life improvement is some way to decide that I don't want to lead any troops ever, but I'll leave that for now. I'm increasingly wondering if I shouldn't just release a bunch of CK2 minimods (not the hunie stuff, just such quality of life changes), unfortunately a lot of things I modded messes with same few files. Most game can manage "one big mod" model, "choose any number of minimods" tends to work less well.
Anyway, I was wondering between keeping the current king, switching to his wife Ioulia, or to their son, and decided mostly based on title of the series to switch to Ioulia. Of course she needed to gain Hunie trait for that. Not that it did much, Ioulia was 44 when she got the crown, so all that attraction evaporated overnight in a few months.
Transfer of power via console was also a lot more messy than previous one.
And the funny thing is - my husband died almost instantly afterwards. Well, husbands are overrated anyway. The only problem was now my painfully low vassal limit of 23.
Of course I got attacked my and rebels after rebels, my vassals started making factions, and even Tengri count tried his luck.
None of that mattered much. The tragedy was that my attempt at killing my brother was completely futile, and even worse the emperor kept making more babies - now I was 4th in order of succession. OK, so this attempt at getting Byzantine crown, even though it was so close, is just not going to work.
Even if I joined the empire - I can't form faction for absolute cognatic (succession laws factions all exist but not gender laws factions), and it won't make it any easier to kill the babies.
Now factions for gender laws sound like something this game should have - but it wouldn't matter anyway, as all my 3 brothers are born in purple while I'm not, so even under true cognatic it would do absolutely nothing. I wouldn't even get a strong claim, so unless either the emperor or my brother dies in the next 3 years I couldn't push the claim, at least not in any easy way.
Actually, I wouldn't be able to even press a weak claim against a child - tooltip lies about it, and women can't press their weak claims in agnatic-cognatic against male children, unless there's succession war already or something like that.
My best way to get emperorship soon is for my father to die, and then for me to swear fealty to my brother, start a faction to install me on the throne, and then win a rebellion. I don't love this, and it still depends on emperor dying already. It's so unrealistic that nobody assassinated him yet.
So instead of easy "kill brother, get emperorship" we're back to a longshot. Maybe it's time to abdicate and let my son continue? He's 30 already, all those successions were meant to happen much faster, but damn emperor refused to die to either illness or assassinations.
I wish assassinate button was back.
At least religious map starts looking like it should, but Ioulia is Greek so peasants are rebellious anyway.
At least christianization is going well
HuniePop Queens: Part 10: 850-856: The Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth
I got married to some random Frenchman just for some stat bonus. And I married my son to some French princess, just so he doesn't do something really dumb.
The emperor got his 4th son before he died, and then just to spite me had one posthumous son. Well, let's try a proper way first before any faction shenanigans - killing some babies. 3 dead brothers later, I'm 3rd in line to the throne. Oh yeah, that's some really dumb mechanic, here's order of succession:
• my younger brother Paschalis Isauros (with strong claim)
• my son Radoslav (who doesn't even have a claim)
• me (with weak claim)
There's only one thing to do, hire 6k mercs, together with 3.5k event troops and 2.5k levy and whatever vassals are going to do that might just be enough.
And of course the emperor did nearly the same trick as the previous one - attacking larger army over a major rivel with half of his forces.
By the time I got the empire I had to deal with 13th Tengri, 7th Suomenusko, and 13th Slavic rebellion, not to mention peasants, Bohemian liberation, and probably a few others I forget.
Byzantine emperor only suffered 8th Orthodox revolt.
Anyway, there was one more bug in the way - taking Byzantine empire would reset me to no tribal organization - like not even minimal, none whatsoever. I just use console to fix that, and since I'm changing laws by console anyway, let's just make it absolute cognatic gavelkind.
Other than Constantinople I have 6 really crappy castles and 2 tribal territories. All my vassals hate me - half because I'm Volhynian and foreign conqueror, the other half because I'm feudal. Everybody hates me for short reign and female heir. And feudal dukes still somehow hate me for granting viceroyalties.
So the big decisions now are:
• switch to Greek or remain Volhynian? Either way is probably going to end up with ethnic cleansing as there are no accepted cultures in CK2, it's just a question which direction I want to do so. Both cultures are kind of bad, but then the only good cultures in game are Welsh/English (not Anglo-Saxon) for longbowmen retinue, and Mongol/Aztec for CBs. The rest is basically whatever.
• what to do with my dating life? I have no good traits, and no good stats except diplomacy (23/7/6/13/7). I could marry for claims, or just casually hunie a lot of bastards and legitimize the best ones. Legitimized bastards will be behind born in purple heirs, so I can't switch to them, except by console.
• what to keep as my demesne? I feudalized most of my original holdings, but they're still awful.
• do I want to spend my prestige on upgrading my tribal vassals' top holding, or hope they'll do it? Most of them have prestige to spend, they just don't prioritize this
• do I want to create all the kingdom titles and give them away as viceroyalties? I can't give kingdom titles to tribal rulers, viceroyalty or not. De jure drift is even fast enough I could redistribute some of the enormous Ukraine to multiple kingdoms eventually. Or they might start creating them, a lot of them are multidukes as I had very low vassal limit.
I'm at low crown authority (and faction to lower it obviously already exists). Unless I increase it to medium I won't be able to revoke infidel titles, like Iconolater patriarch still holding bishopric in Constantinople.
Obviously I'm going to restore Roman Empire (3/14) and preemptively mend the Great Schism, two centuries before it happened (0/5 - not even bishopric in Constantinople is Iconoclast).
• Western Europe is in such a sorry state I don't expect any aggression, maybe some county claims by Lombardy
• Caliphate is in permanent state of civil war with decadence revolt after another, and it shows no sign of ending anytime soon
• Pagan rebellions are finally slowing down
• So biggest danger are vassal rebels on Greek and Volhynian sides, and I need to choose which side I'm going to be on
Ioulia was within weeks of emperorship
HuniePop Queens: Part 11: 856-871: Holy Lands are Hunie Lands
I decided to remain Volhynian, as I was Greek before already. Same reason why I took Iconoclast side this game. I got event that turned Constantinople Volhynian pretty quick, I don't remember this event ever, it's not standard culture spread, that one requires neighbouring same culture province.
And with my demesne - I decided to give my Ukrainian lands to my oldest bastard son. I'm not entirely sure where I want my demesne to end, but it will be exclusively coastal.
Well, first problem was that median opinion of me of my vassals was somewhere in negative -20s, and there were 14 people with various claims to Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth out there.
But I was in a fairly good situation - all major foreign powers near me except maybe kingdom of Lombardy were in no shape to attack me, peasants were finally accepting Jesus, and I had a good war chest just in case.
Both my uncles suffered tragic accidents - God cursed them for refusing Ioulia her birthright, just like he punished her other brothers before.
Vassal management was going better than expected. There were constant dangerous factions, but they never triggered.
Initially I didn't feel secure enough to start any major wars, so I just did some border tidying up including getting Venice. Then I went for it - Muslims were shattered so horribly I declared simultaneous holy wars for Alexandria, Jerusalem, 2/3 of Antioch, 1/3 of Edessa, and Tripoli. What's the point of being an emperor without imperial ambitions?
I gathered an army of 30k - possibly the largest army seen in centuries that's not a decadent revolt. Of course Muslims all together had a lot more than that - that's why it was 5 separate wars.
Sadly it turned out my economy can't support that kind of army - not the mercs at least (except Varangians which come at a big discount), so I disbanded it dowtn to just levies, Varangians, and the leftover event troops I still had.
And predictable I one fucking revolt after another (8 total, not even counting extra rebellions joining existing ones by event), so instead of fighting Muslims I had to withdraw my troops and deal with that. At least one nice thing about tribal gameplay was that vassals deal with rebels in own territory. Massive levy nerf + vassals' zero interest in dealing with rebels really sucks.
One of those damn holy wars I lost - costing me completely ridiculous amount of money (nearly 2k) to ticking warscore. Apparently ticking warscore can go below -120%. Fuck. Fortunately that was the least important one - for 1/3 of Edessa.
I spent a lot of prestige on it, but most of my formerly tribal vassals are now feudal. Of course all their lands are generally still tribals, and feudals hate me for viceroyalties just as much as tribals hate me for wrong government type, so it didn't help much.
Absolutely the best situation now would be if I could find a claimant to kingdom of Lombardy. I found one woman with weak claim and put a baby in her belly, but woman's weak claim is barely worth anything.
Mending the great schism before it happened progress: 3/5
Restoring Roman Empire progress: 7/14
Number of Iconoclast provinces: 212
So embarrassing, nearly 2k gold lost
Constantinople wanted something stronger than wine
There are fewer pagans but just as many pagan rebellions
HuniePop Queens: Part 12: 871-876: Hunies show no mercy to traitors' wallets
I forgot to mention my Hunie situation last time. Radoslav somehow managed to run to another court and get married while I was trying to setup succession from Vseslav to Ioulia, so I killed his first wife by console.
His second wife was some Middle France princess, Ingitrude later knows as "Ingirtrude the Unfaithful". I divorced her on basis of her adultery ("pot calling kettle black" is not a valid legal defense) and low fertility, and married some Bedouin genius girl Jahaira.
Weirdly, Ingitrude became queen of Middle Francia in her own right, she was second oldest daughter of 6, and her father had no sons, so that somehow worked even though it's agnatic-cognatic gavelkind. Right now she's losing war to some claimant.
The whole list of children:
• Daughter with Ingitrude - betrothed regularly to king of Nubia
• Genius son Iziaslav with Jahaira, heir to the throne
• Attractive son Terentiy with Jahaira, viceroy of Alexandria
• Genius son Viacheslav with Jahaira
• Son Yelisey with Jahaira
• Genius son Yefimiy with Jahaira,
• Bastard son Svetozar, duke of Kiev
• Bastard son Ioannes, annoyingly Orthodox like her mother's husband, even though mother is Iconoclast, might get something once he converts
• Attractive bastard son Vyshata, viceroy of Jerusalem
• bastard daugher Gaitelgrima with princess Gaitelgrima, with weak but inheritable claim for Lombardy
• one daughters with Jahaira, another bastard daughter, and a number of children their mothers claim are mine that I have no idea about - they'll just get married away to someone nice
Oh and I setup a one-off decision to sort of restore situation with Iconoclasm before-AI-button-press, that is Iconoclast Ecumenical Patriarch getting bishopric in Constantinople and becomes vassal of emperor. Except I didn't remove existing Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch (the button turns Iconoclast patriarch into Orthodox patriarch, but both exist now so that wouldn't quite work).
That was messier than usual as I can't just console switch to a bishop character and press swear fealty offer to the emperor - there might be a silly way to get this working, but it's really fault of game doing half-assed implementation of Iconoclasm vs Orthodoxy conflict.
So, back to the game. Vassals still hated me, obviously, mostly for levies raised for such holy wars - and it was really long war, I managed to lose one of them to ticking warscore up to -120% or so, I somehow thought it's capped at -100% so if I win a few battles it will never tick all the way.
Weirdly I had -30 foreign conqueror penalty even with vassals who were already born under my rule. I thought it's just a 10 or 20 year timed modifier, but that seems to be hardcoded mechanic. Well, the penalty itself can be modded, but it seems hardcoded to be for my lifetime.
I managed to pass small feudal taxes, so I had some gold, even after paying 1800 or so to damn Muslims. It seems like a huge number as I was tribal for so long, but it's not really that big for a feudal emperor level ruler. I want to setup some king level viceroyalties, but smarter ones, that is not landlocked, and I wanted to get retinue.
Of course full sized retinue would be insanely expensive, so I got just a small one, 2 skirmish to 1 light skirmish ratio, Volhynian unique units (heavy infantry) is crap. It wasn't a huge aramy, just 2700 archers, 2000 light, and 500 heavy infantry to start.
I sent my chancellor to Rome to negotiate with the pope, pope refused to even meet him, but chancellor returned with documents confirming that Rome should definitely be part of any successor of Roman Empire. Like anybody could doubt that.
I finally managed to defeat damn rebels, got a bit of peace time, and decided to use it to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem - a moment which traitors waited for, instantly demanding elective monarchy in Ukraine. It was mostly my native Volhynians, not Greeks that rebelled.
I lost all my money on the diplomatic mission and on forming imperial army, small as it initially was, so I couldn't hire any mercenaries.
And then Shia Caliph / Shah of Persia (when did that even happen?) took advantage of traitors' rebellion, declaring holy war for Azerbaijan, which is as indefensible as it gets even in best of times.
I got 100% warscore against rebels - and I couldn't do anything about it, because Slavic and Suomenusko uprisings occupied some of their territory. Like seriously, I have to crush rebel's rebels for the rebels before I can crush the rebels? And of course they soon unsieged some of their holdings... this is just really annoying, I should be able to crush my top level rebels first, then inherit their peasant rebellions.
Well, I did that, and Shia Caliph / Shah of Persia was taking his sweet time, so I just moved my army against him. Banishments and ransoms after the rebellion as well as +75 defending against infidels were enough to triple the size of imperial army to 8200 archers, 6000 light infantry, and 1500 heavy infantry, setup major viceroyalty of Alania (with coastal access), and increase crown authority to medium in Byzantine Empire and to at least low in Ukraine and Pannonia. So far I don't think I executed a single person in this campaign, I just take their money and titles and have some casual funtimes with their wives.
It took a long time to get to the point where realm is stable. Next step Rome.
Oh and there's awkward issue of succession, I currently hold:
• Greek-Ukrainian Commonwealth, agnatic-cognatic gavelkind with born in purple
• Ukraine, absolute cognatic primogeniture
• Pannonia, agnatic elective gavelkind
• Sicily, agnatic-cognatic gavelkind, originally created by some traitor
• Rus, agnatic elective gavelkind, titular, originally created by some traitor
And I have viceroy of Alania and king of Georgia under me as king level vassals.
My nephew is high chief of Novgorod and is upgrading to feudal now, so maybe I'll give him Rus (renamed Novgorod probably) as viceroyalty, with a bunch of vassal dukes I don't care much for.
Pannonia I don't want to give away as it would be non-coastal - maybe I'll setup some awkward shape like with Wallachia or Croatia. Sicily I'm not sure, maybe.
In any case, I should just change it all to absolute cognatic primogeniture as I originally planned to, and by special decision, allow_laws doesn't work too well.
De jure drift into my empire level title seems to be bugged, unless rebellion not just stopped by reversed it. Mildly annoying, if it doesn't happen in 50 years I'll just console that.
Mending the great schism before it happened progress: 4/5
Restoring Roman Empire progress: 7/14
Number of Iconoclast provinces: 228
Radoslav the Lewd was a fairly successful emperor so far
Culture map just as empire name implies
HuniePop Queens: Part 13: 876-879: Radoslav the Saint, formerly known as the Lewd
I wrote a script to fix succession law in all my kingdom/empire level titles to absolute cognatic primogeniture. I like absolute cognatic gavelkind as a concept, but last time I actually tried that it just had too many problems, and using console for that makes all vassals hate me due to succession law change, times however many titles I have, times two because it would change both gender and succession laws. Maybe I'd have been able to avoid rebellion if I did that by script not console initially for kingdom of Ukraine.
Next time I play, I'll just start this way.
That reduced my demesne size, so I granted viceroyalty of Croatia to one of my bastards.
Well, no time for silliness, let's take Rome and ensure unity of Christianity before pope gets any silly ideas and tries to create a schism with other patriarchs (by the way events like +100 piety each for restoring various patriarchates were not fixed to work with other flavors of Orthodoxy, but main mending decision still works).
Oh and while I'm doing so, why not also push some lady's claim to Bavaria, currently ruled by a 6 year old, and some random county claims to tidy the borders. Weirdly kingdom of Bavaria is elective, German dukes just choose one of themselves to rule. Who came up with that? It's a recipe for permanent civil war.
Sadly getting Rome only got me churches there, and kingdom of Lombardy was at low authority to revoke Catholic barons (I don't really care about mayors much), so I took the tyranny penalty with all my vassals to revoke castle of Tusculum for myself, and then gave bishopric of Rome to patriarch Ioustina. Rome should definitely be part of imperial demesne. They're closing ability to grant churches to women in religions without female priests next patch, so why not take advantage of it now. Maybe I should try seducing the Popess? That's not something I've ever done before. (currently you can only grant bishoprics to women if you're true cognatic and almost nobody on vanilla map is, so it doesn't come up often)
And so it is done. I guess I'm too old to be knows as "the Lewd" now, even though it was well deserved. Pope's attempts at splitting Christianity will go nowhere now.
Number of Iconoclast provinces increased from 228 to 394 in three years. Sunni at 188 and Catholic at 121 are next two, then Germanic and India divided about equally between its three religions. Right now Western Europe is patchwork of Catholic and Iconoclast provinces, but that's going to change soon by missionary work and conquest.
Of major foreign Christian rulers:
• king of Burgundy
• queen of Middle Francia (my former wife) - probably just to spite me
• duke of Normandy
• count of Rugen
• fake pope - obviously
• about half of English and Irish dukes
• king of Lombardy
• king of France
• king of East Francia
• king of Pictland
• king of Saxony
• duke of Aquitaine
• duchess of Toulouse
• duchess of Bourbon
• about half of English and Irish dukes
• king of Abyssinia
• king of Nubia
Pagans still control Scandinavia and Pomerania, but they lost Aquitaine long ago.
Umayyads control all of Hispania and North Africa, but they are losing to decadence revolt.
I feel I should just send the imperial army to deal with heretics in lands of Franks, and to introduce some imperial peace in their permanently war-torn lands.
By the time I'm done, Umayyads will hopefully fall apart and I'll be able to get some more of Mediterranean coast.
The biggest mystery is how I'm going to get kingdom of Lombardy - I have invited some weak claimants, but it shows no signs of falling apart, so I can intervene.
Restoring Roman Empire progress: still just 7/14, Rome and Antioch only partially controlled
It is done
HuniePop Queens: Part 14: 879-883: Long Live Emperor Iziaslav the Lecher!
Apparently Jihads can't start before year 900. So if I remove all Muslims in next 21 years, I'll never have to deal with it. Well, it's perfectly viable to eliminate Muslims from 769 to 900 if you start as Karlings or Byzantine Emperor, or at least king of Lombardy. Well, probably not all of them, just reduce them to a state where they're irrelevant. It's a bit late for that now, but maybe I'll crush them into irelevance until 930s so second jihad won't trigger? I'll probably have to face one Sunni and one Shia jihad for Jerusalem.
Another idea would be to crush their authority, but game files say they only need >5%. Wasn't that 50% once? Crushing them below 5% is pretty much impossible, Catholics have 100% as a minor heresy holding zero holy sites:
• 20% organized religion
• 6.5% pope's 13 diplomacy
• 48.5% pope's 2429 piety (piety related bonuses are just ridiculous everywhere, they're one of reasons Muslim blobs are crazy stable, not sure what gives popes such high piety)
• 24% holy wars won
• -6% holy wars lost
• 3% temples built
• 5% deposed antipope
Oh and I discovered one really fucking stupid thing - even with primogeniture on all titles they'd be split on death of my characters, with empire title going to oldest born in purple child, and all other titles to oldest child. The level of bullshit here is just too big for me.
Basically I have to edit game files to mark kingdom titles I own to use "born in purple" mechanic, and keep editing that list changes. That's just painful.
After schism got premended the whole Western Europe descended into holy wars between true believers and papists, and Radoslav joined that. All the stresses of that life turned Radoslav into a lunatic, but Middle Francia joined the empire, as well as some minor duchies and counties here and there.
Umayyad badshahs of Hispania finally got overthrown, engulfing what was not that long ago the strongest realm in Europe, and second strongest in the world in total chaos. That's very good time to intervene and grab some more of Mediterranean coast.
Radoslav the Saint died during those fight at ripe age of 64. To be succeeded by his son with Jahaira, Iziaslav, already known as the leecher.
Iziaslav already managed to get lover's pox and get awful legitimized bastard with some lowborn Orthodox slut Dorothea - she has 7 lovers and 3 bastards with 3 different fathers. Oh and she's an unacknowledged Hunie as well. I guess she's playing the game too.
Sadly I can't think of any good way to console delegitimize.
• Grey Eminence
• Attractive, Genius, Hunie, Lustful
• Born in Purple, Master Seducer
• Proud, Patient, Charitable, Cynical, Just,
During last four years of Radoslav's reign:
• Iconoclast - 394 to 419
• Sunni - 188 to 190
• Catholic - 121 to 101 - lost third place to Hindu, lost population of Rome, and most of its authority after death of pope Martin II.
• Restoring Roman Empire progress: still just 8/14, Rome and Antioch only partially controlled
For a quick overview of the empire, my vassals are not too enthusiastic about me. My bastard brother Vyshata, duke of Jerusalem, went Paulician. Like what? I sent my chaplain to try to talk him out of it, as I planned to make him a viceroy of Jerusalem, but this is silly.
HuniePop Queens: Part 15: 883-894: The Empire Romans wished they had
I decided to remove kingdom of Sicily from imperial titles, and grant it to local rulers as viceroyalty (which required editing the file to remove born in purple from it). I'll probably setup viceroyalty of Hungary at some point, once it becomes more feudal. Kingdom of Ukraine will forever be imperial title.
Emperor Izaslav's first actions were expanding imperial army by 1/3 to 8k light infantry, 2k heavy infantry, and 11k archers, marrying German lowborn genius girl Alberade (5/14/24/18/12) - none of the major rulers had any eligible daughters anyway, and of course - expelling the Jews. I'm sure they'll find somewhere to go, like India maybe? How many times do they need to get expelled to get the hint?
And then conquests continued. 14 simultaneous wars sound totally reasonable at this point. I had claimants to Saxony and Denmark, but mostly it was holy wars to remove as many Muslims from the map before jihads start. Claimant to Saxony died mid-war, but I got Denmark.
Another try then, king of Saxony is still a kid, so second attempt worked a lot better.
I got to military organization 4, so pagan homeland attrition penalty no longer applies, which means Scandinavia is pretty much mine already.
I've been trying to kill king of Lombardy while his heir is a kid, so I could maybe press some claims there, but that was not even close to working, and now the heir is an adult.
I bribed my brothers with land, so now my brothers all love me, and have:
• Svetozar - duchy of Kiev (not getting viceroyalty, as Ukraine must remain mine)
• Ioannes - viceroyalty of Croatia (later went to him daughter)
• Terentiy - future viceroy of Egypt
• Vyshata - viceroy of Jerusalem (that convinced him to abandon this Paulician nonsense)
• Viacheslav - viceroy of Pomerania
• Yelisey - viceroy of Africa
• Yefimiy - future viceroy of Andalusia
My German wife died soon after giving birth to attractive genius girl Tatyana. Next I married some Abbasid genius girl, with whom I had genius twins - a girl Rostislava (vicereine of Denmark, I'll give her Sweden and Norway too if possible, as there's no point splitting those useless lands) and a boy Yaropolk (planned future viceroy of Mauretania).
Popess Ioustina was too old to have babies, but we became lovers at least.
I ran into a nasty problem with vassal limit - I'm over vassal limit by a lot - and I can't transfer any duke level vassals under any king level vassals. Viceroy or not, de jure or not, it doesn't matter. The only ones I can transfer are grand mayor of Amalfi (but not grand majoy of Venice, wtf?), Varangians, and Ecumenical Patriarch. I never liked this mechanic, so I bumped it by extra +25 for imperial administration, at least until this bug goes away, somehow, I'll go back to original values if this bug goes away somehow.
Catholicism got completely crushed on mainland - only 2 counts in Brittany are still Catholic. There's still some Catholic rulers in Britain, but wife of my brother Yelisey has claim to Scottish throne, and there's civil war going on in Scotland, so I'll probably just incorporate Britain into the empire.
• Iconoclast - 419 to 491
• Sunni - 190 to 177
• Catholic - 101 to 69
• Restoring Roman Empire progress: still just 8/14, Rome and Antioch only partially controlled
Blobbing my way to control over Western Europe
HuniePop Queens: Part 16: 894-898: Empire Almost Restored
Apparently not being able to transfer non de jure vassal dukes under vassal kings is a known design fail, and it can't be modded in any way. Well, I'll just play this game with mucht higher vassal limit until they fix it in future patches, it really breaks any hope for reasonable empire level game.
Or I could script a parallel system of vassal transfers by targeted decisions. It wouldn't be too hard, but I don't particularly want to do that mid-campaign. The idea is that if you have direct vassal with primary title "king of X", your every direct vassal below king level gets targetted_decision "Transfer vassal to king of X". Script would write those for every X. Or maybe just show when X neighbours given vassal.
Or maybe there's a different way. Game allows running arbitrary code against one character by targeted decisions, but there's no easy way to target two characters with one action.
I kept increasing size of royal army - up to 12k light, 3k heavy, 16.5k archers. It's amazing how fast it gets at military organization level 4. By the way it might seem unusually fast, but tech progress is not linear - ignoring ahead of time penalty base cost is 100, 200, 300 etc. so you pay 1000 for 1-4 techs, and 3600 for 1-8 techs. If you also prioritize military organization, you can get it pretty fast.
Now to be fair, there's ahead penalty, and you'll get more tech points later, as there will be more higher level titles, and relevent buildings like universities and monastic schools, but it's not a big difference, so getting to military organization 4 is way easier than let's say feudalizing. And it's not even Constatinople - Kiev has military organization 3 by now, if I kept same capital I'd probably have gotten it even faster.
Anyway, expansion continued. My daughter is vicereine of both Norway and Denmark, and I have viceroy of Ireland, and queen of Scotland under me. Soon I'll have viceroy of England as well setup.
I finally managed to get king of Lombardy killed but his son was an adult by that time. Fortunately the son died a lot faster so it's time to take Italy and restore imperial glory.
I still need to do silly holy war Arabian Empire for single county thing to get rest of duchy of Antioch.
Weirdly independence faciton of kings of Georgia, Bavaria, Middle Francia, Bohemia, and Novgorod, and grand mayor of Amalfi seems to have gathered. I'm a bit low on funds, and it would be awkward if they tried something while I'm fighting Lombardy, caliph, and 10 other wars, but I don't really expect them to try.
• Iconoclast - 491 to 520
• Sunni - 177 to 168
• Catholic - 69 to 51 (it's now 7th largest religion with almost zero authority)
• Restoring Roman Empire progress: still just 8/14, Rome and Antioch only partially controlled
I was looking for young genius women to seduce, found her married to emperor, but she was'nt my wife. Took me a while to figure out she's married to another emperor.
Culture spread is fast, but not crazy fast.
Preparing for another push
Catholicism fell apart
HuniePop Queens: Part 17: 898-908: Damn double kings
I decided to take the time to fix vassal transfer, so now I have big viceroys of Poland, Lithuania, Cumania, Armenia, Aquitaine, and Pannonia, in addition to larger than before Croatia, Bohemia, Pomerania, and Alania. Also far too much internal border gore.
Previous king of Lombardy also got himself kingdom of Burgundy, but I didn't think much of it, as all I wanted from him were de jure lands of Lombardy. And that didn't work, random bits of Latium (2 cities), Apulia (1 feudal county) and Genoa (whole republic) stayed with him, as well as assortment of other holdings. Not to mention there was castle of brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre in Genoa, which I seriously doubt is diplovassalizable.
I really don't want to have to go through 8 de jure wars against Burgundy just to complete kingdom I'm supposed to have just taken, and that's how many it would take, not even counting their county in Bavaria, independent Urbino (at least that was easy to fix), and the holy order.
My vassal kings even tried to do some of this work on their own, but king of Burgundy is allied with kingds of France and East Francia, so that didn't work too well for them.
My heir Tatyana (27/9/12/9/13 attractive genius) was 18 already and was complaining about not being able to get married. Well, let's find her someone. The best candidate was Yaropolk - 22/16/19/11/12 genius and he's just 16. There's just one small problem - it's her brother. I rule in the empire, and if I want to ship my children, that's what's going to happen! So far they don't seem to be interested in making any babies. I wonder if DIVINE_BLOOD_FERTILITY_MULT multiplier applies here (extremely high 0.25x).
Conquest continues, but it's been more cleanup than any major wars. I didn't even need to do any major levy gathering - just my imperial armies and whoever happens to be locally available can deal with pretty much all wars with zero difficulty.
Not sure what would be best way to continue with it all. Even just getting what I need from Burgundy for Rome restoration button would take 4 wars - 2 for counties, and 2 for fucking baronies. The whole system of de jure CBs is just silly. Sadly it pretty much has to be silly in vanilla, as it has so many crazy "de jure" kingdoms and empires all over the place stronger de jure system woupld be super abusable.
Muslims entered Jihad era, but I somehow doubt that will amount to anything.
• Iconoclast - 520 to 575 (total province count is 1198)
• Sunni - 168 to 145
• Catholic - 51 to 29
• Restoring Roman Empire progress: 11/14, that's just sad
Jihads, totally going to happen
HuniePop Queens: Part 18: 908-967: The Aftermath
I didn't have any goals in this game left, so I decided to let it run.
Emperor Iziaslav for some retarded reason cancelled feudal taxes, exchanged all good provinces in his demesne with shitty Scandinavian counties he inherited from his daugher, and ended up bankrupting himself in less than two years. Oh and he got up to 9 duchies for no reason whatsoever, just so he could get -70 with all his vassals. His retinue quickly melted away as he had no money to reinforce it and abused it hard, all while also pointlessly wasting money on levy upkeep and mercs. Gold is so abundant for feudal lords it's shocking that this is the thing AI fucked up first.
When his wife died, he married one of his nieces, and when that one died, another niece. Matrilineally. Perfect AI logic, emperor of known world, marries matrilineally. Doesn't matter all that much, they're both same dynasty, but seriously.
Iziaslav died in year 924 at age of 61, leaving the empire to his 37 year old daugher Tatyana.
Empress Tatyana had two daughter with her brother-husband Yaropolk, otherwise she was a total hunie and had 4 bastards (one of which she managed to pass as her husband's). -1100 unfaithful harlot was fun to see, -10 adultress, and then -25 suspected adultery. Yeah, suspected. For a "genius" he's not very bright. By the way, I tested that and it's a 16 bit counter which can overflow, so if you manage to get it to -33000 they'll love you for it.
I'm not even sure how, but her husband got himself captured by rebels at least twice.
Tatyana's rule was mostly remarkable for losing the entire imperial army - its units were heavily damaged under Iziaslav, but they got down to 0 under Tatyana, and she decided to recruit some tiny and shitty cavalry retinue instead once she got out of permanent state of bankruptcy.
Her brother-husband even went Cathar in old age, but in did not spread.
Imperial vassal viceroyalty of Ukraine got ridiculously huge, but it was such shitty land it was only 6th strongest vassal.
Tatyana died in year 953 at age of 66, leaving the empire to her 44 year daughter Praskovya.
Praskovya of course due to already known AI stupidity got into regular marriage with some non-dynastic character - landless heir to a county. Her first child was a bastard daughter, second and third were daughters with her non-dynastic non-hunie husband.
Then just before turning 45 she popped out two twin born in purple boys, totally non-dynastic of course.
About that time one province in Poland fell out of empire, but that looks like a bug more than anything else (if someone inherits during vassal rebellion, weird shit happens).
Expansion speed was more than zero, but it was very slow. Wars on the other hand, were constant - peasant rebellions of all kinds, hosts, liberation revolts. Even with >90% religious unity and accelerated cultural assimilation. The problem with cultural assimilation was that German vassal ruling in Frankish lands will just never culturally assimilate in any direction.
In 958, 50 years into AI mode, there was first major revolt - to lower crown authority. Forces were 30k on empress side vs 54k on rebels' side, led by vicereine of Ukraine.
Wow, empire had shitty demesne (2 good provinces and 5 of total garbage), very little money, just 5k retinue, and very unhappy vassals, even ones that remained loyal.
Not that they remained loyal for long, as soon as imperial army got into serious losses, independence league revolted as well. And 3 different host invasions plus a peasant revolt. Weirdly lower crown authority revolt got 4 peasant revolts as well.
At this point the most sensible course of action would be to surrender to crown authority revolt, and use their troops against independence revolt. Of course AI would never do such a thing, so she lost to independence revolt.
Hilariously some of newly independent rulers then joined her against crown authority revolt, as they were of same dynasty. Well, that war stalemated as AI wars tend to, with both sides losing vast majorities of their forces to attrition and stupidity.
In 966 empress surrendered to rebels' demands, and in January of 967 she died at age of 967, leaving the empire to nondynastic and generally awful 13 year old Mstislav.
The only thing that went well in this time was religion - Iconoclast went from 575 to 712 provinces, Catholicism got nearly wiped out to 7 (1 independent count, 6 under Muslims in Spain), and pagans are largely assimilated.
The Empire is still strongest country, but it fell from ridiculously overwhelming power to just OK. At zero crown authority of course.
There are still tons of tribes at periphery. Most went feudal, but almost none of them built any extra holdings. There's a bunch of preexisting churches, quite a few castles built by the holy order, and that's about it. Even among the oldest feudalized tribes, holdings are pretty much nonexistent.
It was all quite a fun campaign. Late game it got a bit tedious with all the rebellions and microwars.
I'll write a separate post-campaign post about modding issues.
And so fall great empires
HuniePop Queens: Part 19: Post-campaign retrospective
Having fully inheritable trait to indicate any descendant of the original character was just pure gold. I'm definitely doing that in every future game, even if such trait will mostly do nothing in most of them.
When it's obvious that something is unbalanced, it's a useful technique to change numbers by a ton, aiming to overshoot, and see how it works. I did that to quite a few things this campaign
Tribal mechanics are all awful. Even ramping them up for very easy feudalization and throwing tons of resources at tribal vassals was painfully slow. There's no way in hell AI would manage to turn tribal land into fully developed feudal land within campaign length. I'm not even sure what would be a proper fix. Free church and city holdings when you feudalize on top of everything else?
Culture spread was a cute idea, mostly to deal with endless rebellions. It was probably a bit too fast where criteria matched - but criteria are way too strict. If top liege is X, holder is Y, and culture is Z, Z should still convert to Y if all other criteria match. Maybe block it if intermediate liege is Z too (like Georgian province with Greek vassal of Georgian king of Georgia under French emperor - that shouldn't culture migrate).
The reason I wanted culture migration was to slow down endless peasant rebellions. There's +2% modifier for different culture group - which is most of your realm, and only nonstacking -1% for crushed revolt. So with 50 wrong culture group provinces in your realm even with perfect religious unity you'll still get a revolt every year, then every other year if you crush it. In addition to other revolt types like adventurers. And it's not like you'll often have perfect religious unity - wrong religious group, wrong culture group is 6% per year. (well, presumably per year, game weirdly doesn't say that, but that's the only interpretation that matches observable rate)
The most obvious solution is to make -1% crushed revolt modifier stack. That's a bit awkward to code as it would need to be crushed_revolt_2, crushed_revolt_3, etc. modifiers, with logic to give you one that you don't have yet. Or replace them with crushed_2_revolts etc. Depends on how I want to time them out.
That still doesn't fix host spam, but host spam is not quite as ridiculous unless you're huge.
I keep trying to make dating game happen. First with true cognatic gavelkind, now with true cognatic primogeniture. Unfortunately AI is far too happy to do wrong-lineal marriages for absolutely no value.
Maybe I should just press a magic button make absolutely everyone true cognatic primogeniture and see what happens. Or to make everybody unable to marry. Or something crazy like that.
Well, I even started the game this way, it took me a while to figure out that the reason it stopped working was AI constantly assigning my ruler as commander. I absolutely need to figure out some way to prevent this. It's dumb to lead armies against random peasants. Crusader, trying to get rid of craven trait, or desperation are pretty much the only legitimate reasons.
I like the idea of seduction focus, but it gets pretty samey after a while. I wish there was viable way to get multiple lovers and just have polyamorous relationship with them and your spouse, but there are pretty much no events there, or they have too low mtth, while just repeated chains of one night stands work too well. Other focuses are mostly underwhelming. I'm not sure what to do about it all.
Maybe give extra abilities to all focuses, like:
• Family - adopt people
• Theology - try to convince other people to switch to your religion
• War - extra CBs, like ability to press weak claims you couldn't normally
• Business - offer to buy provinces from bankrupt foreign rulers
• Rulership - make some duchy de jure part of your kingdom by decision
• Hunting - go on hunt with someone, then try to arrange hunting accidents
Minor annoyance I keep having - mostly for restoring Roman Empire button which requires full control over a lot of duchies including barony level - is inability to vassalize most holy orders. If they are in your land you should be able to spend some amount of piety or whatever to just vassalize them with a button. It can be very expensive and have extra requirements like +100 relations or whatever, but it should be doable somehow.
One feature in the game that feels way overpowered every time is ability to revoke infidel titles. It would be much less overpowered if you could demand conversion, and they'd get event letting them convert, lose all landed titles (no silliness like revoking them one by one), or rebel. Existing demand conversion button could be renamed politely ask for conversion. And in either case, no silliness like Catholic rulers demand conversion from Orthodox rulers - if you can't holy war someone, you shouldn't be able to demand conversion from them.
I could even see vassals (probably not top level ruler) keeping their titles after holy war, and deciding to convert or not once conquered by similar event.
And let's get to the biggest problem - de jure system. I wish I had one more level, because then I could probably figure out some way to fix de jure system - within current levels I'm not even sure it's possible.
The best I can think of would be:
• keep current kingdoms, whatever, they're annoying but I can't really fix them within current system
• disable all no automatic de jure drift
• wipe out all de jure empires except Byzantines, HRE, Arabia, and maybe Persia (or whatever they have in India, I don't even know)
• in 1066 definitely make Italy de jure HRE, Papacy de jure independent with de jure Latium
• in old bookmarks papacy and Italy de jure Byzantines
• for any duchy, king fully controlling its counties as well as duchy title in its realm can make it de jure for like 500 prestige and 100 gold. Must be their capital or neighbours their current one, so kingdoms should stay contiguous
• for any kingdom, emperor fully controlling its counties as well as king title in its realm can make it de jure for like 1000 prestige and 200 gold, no extra requirements, as empires can go overseas just fine
• possibly require being at peace or whatever
• make AI extremely willing to press such button
That's a good bit of coding, especially since you can't target a title so it would need to be done for every one separately. It's still less crazy than de jure system they made for Game of Thrones mod.
I think that's it for now.