I really wish I could show off my weird Spore creation, but I can't. All the others are too strong.
As someone who used to play Spore for a long time, and has long quit: this statement confuses me as to lack of your ability to share it. But whatever.
But now for an update of sorts on my CK2 game for this thread.
My goal of seizing Greece is complete. I now own the long targeted land. And well before the great Khagan who I am died and I was left playing his then-seven year old son, who wouldn't even be able to take the title of Khagan on account of being too young.
So with that, I was able to move ahead with the epic culmination of the plan: settling down.
This isn't posted in any sense of order, but it gets the point across and illustrates something else. Having settled down and d rifted away from nomadism I established my new lands in once Byzantine territories as a republic. I renamed it the Republic of Stambul, Stambul being an alternate name for Constantinople - now Istanbul - used by the Altaic peoples, or at least the Alanians. I figured this would be closest to what Constantinople would have been referred to by the real-life Khazars.
Abandoning my title as Khagan a new one was elected, and he himself settled in Finland/Western Russia as the Kingdom of Pskov. Though the administrative center of his kingdom *should* be the city of Pskov in the area of Estonia, the bulk of the turf he took in the end was in Finland.
Currently, I'm waiting on getting the ability to bump up crown authority so I can start revoking titles and I can change out feudal land-owners with Republican landowners so I can escape the critically annoying "wrong government type" negative modifier with some of my major vassals, notably my cousin in Anatolia, though he has a maxed out relation of 100 so he's not an issue, same with my other cousin in Punjab (north-western India).
Ruling has however somehow offered me some strange quirks.
Normally a merchant republic in this game competes to rule with four other great houses. I somehow have to deal with five. The UI isn't even made for that!
I also seem to have acquired under my rule the Ecumenical Patriarch, the head of the Orthodox faith in Crusader Kings 2; though technically all Orthodox Christian bishops should have equal political status within the church as opposed to Catholicsm. But that's a quirk the game consciously defies since the Ecumenical Patriarch was defacto the most powerful bishop in the Orthodox world for residing in Constantinople and receiving patronage from the Empire.
But now he is mine, and he refused to drop a plot to murder a woman so I arrested him. Maybe I can acquire the Pope and arrest him later to oblige him from not calling a Crusade?
I actually let this dude go a while ago because I hit my vassal limit as Khagan. There is multiple weird things with this: he's an Abbasid, one of the clans of the Quryash tribe that counts among its members the Hashimites which were the tribe Mohammad originated from. But, he's no longer Arab: he's Armenian. And he turned far, far from his Muslim faith and has converted to the reformed faith of Finnish pagans.
So I guess this song is relevant?
I honestly would have thought he would have been invaded by now. Esspecially by the High Priest of the reformed Tengri church whose sizable Armenian lands are literally right next door. But the High Priest's ambitions seem to lie in simply wanting to own all of, or creating the title of Kingdom of Armenia. And I wouldn't deny him that, though I wanted to give the church Georgia instead.
Of course, pagans holding European lands beyond the Bosporus in the way I am doing can not be tolerated, in much the same way heretic kingdoms can not exist in notable western European kingdoms and Muslims can't march up into France without triggering the wraith of crusades. I've been dealing with Jihad for Persia for a while, which is only considerably more annoying. Also pagan Great Holy Wars because I used to own kingdom titles important to Slavs and Finnish pagans during the Ashina clan's long reign as Khagan.
So I of course opted to adopt the usual strategy of dealing with these, by laying siege to and occupying all the holdings of the person who called the war in the first place to shut them up quickly...
But I guess the Pope actually doesn't OWN anything in Rome anymore.The Byzantines took over the province and put Greeks in charge. The Pope still lives there, but he isn't a land-owner so therefore I can't lay siege to everything and cut the Crusade short. So I returned to Greece to deal with it the traditional way: fighting and destroying every army that came my way.
This was as easy done as said, since all I dealt with were small armies of a couple thousand men from the Templars, Hospitalers, Teutons, and Calatrava orders of knights and a few plucky Irish men. It was just long and annoying in the end.
By comparison, the Tengri version of the Christian knight brotherhoods in this game is by far the richest group in the game, holds substantial land in Hungary, and can muster well over triple the number of raging horsemen and mercenaries than what I dealt with. They were in the process of spanking the pre-pubescent Polish pagan king of Poland for trying to take their stuff.
And of course: I won.
Post-Greece plans now involve consolidating Khazar and Tengri power, pressing out the Byzantines and destroying them, and seeking to establish a Jewish republic in Isreal. I will build this from Sinai to Persia and forever pen the Muslims back into Arabia.
Except for that pesky Straights of Mandeb route and sea-travel. But I aim to lock the Caliphate up and set up a nice Jewish buffer and help them to fix up their faith in much the same way I helped Finnish Paganism theirs after I reformed Tengriism.
Slavic Paganism did it on their own and I'm honestly hoping the AI will follow up with the Norse with Western, Christian Europe being in such a tight spot now.
Oh, and this is the best thing I ever read in this game ever:
I should name more characters "Not-X". Or something like that. Just for these events.
I'm also currently running a Crusader Kings 2 campaign. I'll just share the tale of one of my dynasty's rulers, Godefroy the Great.
Godefroy inherited the Kingdom of Aquitaine at the age of 2 after his father, King Raoul the Holy, died. While he had older brothers, the Kingdom of Aquitaine had agnatic ulmigenture succession, meaning youngest son inherits (and daughters could not inherit under agnatic law). For the duration of his minority he was subject to jerk regents (the first was part of several factions and wouldn't let me do anything to diminish those factions, the second won the regency in a duel but was caught stealing money from the treasury) until the queen mother stepped in and assumed the regency (allowing me to banish the thief regent and confiscate some gold). Meanwhile the Umayyads were an ever present threat to the south. Here is the map of Aquitaine when young King Godefroy first took control (shortly after a quick de jure war against France over the duchy of Anjou).
Shortly after this screenshot was taken, the Umayyads launched a holy war to seize Aragon, but King Godefroy was a brilliant tactician with a large army and was able to defeat the invaders.
A few years later, the Pope called for a crusade for Andalusia which King Godefroy committed his full strength into. The crusade was a success and as top contributor, King Godefroy was granted the title of King of Andalusia along with all the holdings within the kingdom. Some time after winning the crusade, King Godefroy became known as "the Great".
Even with the Kingdom of Andalusia under his control, King Godefroy could not yet usurp the Empire of Hispania title from the Umayyad ruler. He had to evict the Umayyad ruler from all his holdings within the dejure empire, so King Godefroy wound up launching a follow-up holy war to claim Portucale (and in doing so evict the Umayyad ruler). Upon winning the war I was finally able to claim the empire title, so Godefroy was now known as Emperor Godefroy the Great. Emperor Godefroy lived to the age of 77 and for the duration of his life would concentrate on waging various holy and de jure wars against the remaining muslim rulers and converting the counties to Catholicism to bring the rest of the Iberian peninsula under his control (he died with a few counties left to go). Before Emperor Godefroy died he managed to change succession laws of Hispania to agnatic promigenture succession, so oldest son would inherit.
Emperor Godefroy the Great's empire near the end of his life:
His grandson, Emperor Adrien, succeeded him but only reigned for three years before dying of illness. Adrien was only noteworthy for bringing in the duchy of Ferrara (in Italy) into the empire. Adrien was succeeded by his uncle Emperor Herbert, who didn't really do much. Herbert was succeeded by his son Basileus Godefroy II Ironsides, who brought the duchy of Sicily (or rather, the county of Syrakouasa) into the empire with him. Of course, Godefroy II was both Greek and Orthodox, so naturally all his vassals hated him until I had him convert to French Catholic (though all the French culture buildings (i.e. Jousting lists) had been destroyed upon a Greek inheriting the throne, so I'll have to rebuild them). Emperor Godefroy II is my current guy and now that I've turned his son, Tiberios, French, I'm gonna' concentrate on rebuilding those jousting lists.
Current empire (Saxony was brought into the empire through a close relative's marriage):
I'm planning next for my games to establish a Jewish Isreal. At this point I'm effectively determined to try and build up the world to have as much wild and wacky Religious diversity as possible, and preferably all as Republics.
I managed to reform Finnic paganism earlier, after I did the same for Tengriism. The AI somehow pulled off reforming Slavic paganism and unreformed Germanism and Reomuva have refused to disappear. I'm not poised to interfere there but I am in getting the Copts back onto their feet and scouring the middle-east to throw in Jews.
Damnit now I want to get Civ:5. I should really have gotten the complete edition for €12 during the summer sale
I got the basic game first and then bought the complete edition in addition to that. I figured it was fine since the complete edition cost less than what I payed for with the original game. During the sales the prices are totally worth it, I've gotten hundreds of hours out of the game for something like $10.
Now some mo' screen shots!
I only have a handful on this computer, but I had a bunch of cool MC ones (until that computer completely broke) and then a bunch of cool KSP ones on my old computer (until that one got completely broke). Tis' a shame, really should have backed them up.
A real stacked general I had that died, I took an artsy photo to commemorate it (Shogun II)
Random ship outside the galaxy in Stellaris
Nothing too special but you can see the extent of my glorious empire in the lower right hand corner (Rome II)
Killed a dragon in Solitude (Skyrim)
Aftermath of a dragon 2v1 against me (Skyrim)
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king
Emperor Tiberios I of Hispania sustained a crushing blow to the head during battle against King Arnoul of France and soon thereafter succumbed to his wounds. He was succeeded by his six-year-old son, Tiberios II. Originally Emperor Tiberios II was going to be educated in theology to improve cultural research, but as various dangerous factions arose during his minority (culminating in a civil war) I decided it would be best to change his education to espionage. Thus Raoul de Poitou (henceforth referred to as Raoul Sr.), spymaster of Hispania, was given guardianship of Emperor Tiberios II.
Raoul Sr.'s family consisted of:
His wife, Princess Valence de Poitou, older half-sister of Tiberios II
His daughter, Gerberge de Poitou, a courtier in the Byzantine Empire.
His oldest son, Nicolas de Poitou, not currently relevant to the story.
His middle son, Raoul de Poitou, friend of Tiberios II.
His youngest son, Evrard de Poitou, with whom the conflict begins...
Tiberios II and Evrard became bitter rivals after Evrard stole Tiberios's quill, a childish squabble amongst children, but that animosity continued even after Tiberios became an adult. Tiberios II grew into an elusive shadow, a master of espionage. I decided that it's dangerous to have a rival in a time of political uncertainty as he'd be a willing conspirator for any plot against Tiberios, so for the good of the realm I decided it would be best to put Tiberios's spy skills to the test and plot to murder Evrard while he was still a minor (age 15) before he could become a threat. Tiberios's plot was successful and Evrard was thrown from a balcony to his death, but Tiberios's complicity was revealed and thus he was branded a kinslayer and known murderer (the Pope would later absolve Tiberios of kinslaying after he purchased an indulgence).
Tiberios II went to war against King Arnoul of France to press a vassal's claim on Amiens. During the war, however, King Arnoul forged an alliance with Kaiser Adalbero of the Holy Roman Empire by betrothing his son, Prince Rorgon, and Adalbero's daughter, Princess Brunhilde. The France-HRE alliance meant the HRE was brought into the war, though luckily it was also embroiled in a civil war so couldn't lend commit much resource against Hispania. Still, I decided it would be best if that alliance were broken since the French-HRE alliance could prove dangerous going forward, so Tiberios plotted to murder Princess Brunhilde. She too was thrown from a balcony to her death, this time Tiberios's involvement wasn't revealed (though he had to pay off a duchess that had uncovered the plot and blackmailed him). King Arnoul would not be so easily thwarted, however. He then betrothed Prince Rorgon to Adalbero's younger daughter, Princess Gertrude. Tiberios once again plotted murder and Princess Gertrude found herself killed in a "hunting accident".
Adalbero had no more daughters Rorgon could be betrothed to, though he did have a daughter named Princess Gerhilde already married to Prince Megistos of the Byzantine Empire. A HRE-Byzantine alliance would be very dangerous, so Tiberios plotted to murder Princess Gerhilde as well. One of the conspirators for this plot was Gerberge de Poitou (daughter of Raoul Sr.); in fact she was the one who procured the poisonous snake that killed Princess Gerhilde. This time, however, Tiberios's role was revealed and Kaiser Adalbero became a bitter enemy (the Byzantines were mildly annoyed).
While checking the rival section of Tiberios's character sheet, I noticed that Raoul Sr. and Valence had both become become bitter rivals (as well as Kaiser Adalbero and his wife) since the murder of their son, Evrard. I realized Raoul Sr. was still Tiberios's spymaster (very dangerous to have a spymaster that hates you), so I immediately had him replaced.
Still, it's dangerous to have a skilled spy as an enemy, so I've decided to combat the threat he poses, starting with his wife, Princess Valence (Tiberios is currently plotting to kill her), since she's the easier target. Raoul Jr. is still friends with Tiberios, btw. The war against France was eventually won (though they inflicted heavy casualties despite being outnumbered) so now I'm considering hitting the HRE while it's still embroiled in civil war. The only factor that makes me hesitant is the emergence of yet another dangerous Elective Monarchy faction. One potential wild card is Nicolas de Poitou, for while he hasn't been relevant to the drama, he's married to Princess Cothilda of the HRE which may or may not draw him into it. In addition to Tiberios, Kaiser Adalbero considers Gerberge de Poitou another bitter rival since her involvement in the plot to kill Gerhilde was also revealed. And that's where the campaign currently stands.
My concerns about Raoul Sr. became moot once he unexpectedly died in a (legit) accident. I then had Tiberios cancel his plot to murder Valence and instead ordered her into a convent, disinheriting her while keeping her in the court should it ever become necessary to imprison her.
In the years to come, Tiberios would maintain a policy of murdering any vassal that looked at him funny. For instance, he murdered three Asturias kings in a row, only sparing the fourth because a foreigner was next in line and I didn't want that kingdom to leave the realm. His serial killing did not endear him with his vassals, but for the most part his reign of terror kept the factions in line. There were also several wars against various dudes over various counties but nothing really worth mentioning. Somewhere along the way Tiberios earned the nickname, "the Noble", for all his noble deeds I'm sure.
What is worth mentioning is that Raoul Sr.'s son, Raoul (henceforth referred to as Raoul Jr.) remained Tiberios's close friend. Tiberios even took over guardianship of Raoul Jr.'s son, Raoul (henceforth referred to as Raoul III), to shape him into a master spy. As it happened, Raoul Jr. was a mastermind theologian and court chaplain, so I decided to try to maneuver him into the college of cardinals in order to try to make a Pope out of him. Hispania's laws were changed from papal to free investiture of bishops so Tiberios could name him heir to a bishophoric. As it happened, the only bishop that was a direct vassal of Tiberios was a relatively young guy, so to speed things along Tiberios once more resorted to murder.
Upon Raoul Jr. becoming a bishop, Tiberios tried to position him into the college of cardinals by providing campaign funds. Tiberios also set Raoul Jr. to researching cultural tech. After Raoul Jr. was passed over several times despite Tiberios's considerable campaign contributions, Tiberios tried another tactic... Tiberios established Raoul as an anti-pope, called Eugenius IV. Tiberios then waged war against Rome to install Raoul Jr. (Eugenius) as Pope. The mercenaries hired by Rome simply could not withstand Hispania's might. Just as the war was concluding and Hispania about to claim victory...
...Raoul Jr. became a stinkin' heretic, ending the war inconclusively.
A decent representation of my reaction:
Tiberios arrested Raoul, demanded he convert back to Catholicism, set him back up as anti-pope (new papal name, Gregarious IX), and waged the same war again. Hispania won and Raoul Jr. was installed as Pope, willing to grant any boon Tiberios requests. Methinks the HRE kaiser and king of France are about to get excommunicated, as well as any other political rivals. Of course, the vassals have formed a dangerous elective succession faction, so that's something Tiberios will have to immediately contend with.
All I'm gonna' say about my CK2 campaign is, being able to excommunicate and imprison unruly vassals at will is quite powerful. Plus since the Papacy is Hispania's vassal I can successfully request funds at will, so I've basically got all the bishops in Europe paying into Hispania's coffers which is quite nice.