Chapter 4 of Marriage and Daggers, a Lombard Ten Thrones Run

When King Ilderic finally crumbles into pieces from leprosy I incarnate from him into his eldest son and heir Alahis Gausian, now King Alahis II of Lombardy.

Long live King Alahis!

See the preceeding chapter, Chapter 3, for the riveting chronicle of the last days of King Ilderic of Lombardy.

King Alahis II of Lombardy

808 AD – Orientation

I, as Alahis, am just six months away from coming of age now. My betrothed is the Duchess of Malorca and still alive despite the plots against her by her regent the odious Count of Menorca. I hope she will live a little longer until I can come of age and then renew my father’s plot to kill the Count. It is my only chance to save her.

The immediate situation on which I must decide is the aftermath of gavelkind. Due to my father, King Ilderic, having held two titles of comparable stature, King of Lombardy and King of Bavaria, gavelkind succession has given the Kingdom of Bavaria to my younger brother even as it gave the Kingdom of Lombardy to me. As king my brother could not be my vassal so he and his kingdom have become independent. I do however get a strong claim on his title, which I could press with a war.

This is the decision then: snatch back from my younger brother the title to Bavaria to reunite the kingdoms with a quick war or let Bavaria and my brother remain independent in peace.

Little brother did not get too much land for his new kingdom, I could take it back from him easily I think. But I guess he will resent me for it…

Little Bro’s New Bavaria (Grey)

I will make my decision based on whether he will make an alliance with me. If he will then I will not press my claim. If he won’t then it will be war.

Oh little brother… War it is.

I just declare war when I am informed that my Holy Foreskin is in need of some tender loving care to the tune of 250gc or I’ll lose it. I really would hate to be separated from my Holy Foreskin. The relic is nice, it gives a buff to health and fertility but 250gc is serious dollar for a tidy up. I pay it, but grudgingly.

809 AD – Coming of Age

So I come of age. Mostly I turn out alright. I graduate as a brilliant strategist and as a cavalry commander. I am honest, brave and fair albeit cruel. But I am also a bit stupid. Oh well.

Graduation Day

With these qualities and skills I am a natural warmonger so warring is what I shall do. First I must subdue my brother and reunite the realm.

An uprising of Lollard heretics breaks out. I’ll crush them later as I must finish up the job reuniting the realm first.

Job done, the realm is reunited and I become King of Bavaria and Lombardy as my father was before me. Little brother is not liking me too much now for usurping him. Oh well you can’t please everyone.

Little Brother Resents

I am off now to crush the heretics. Hopefully I can get a quick coronation after that.

810 AD – Perfidious Alboin

Little brother Albion has come of age. Where I am a dashing fighter, he is more of a skulking sneak thief. I shall have to keep an eye on him. Until I get some children out of some woman he is my heir just as I am his. The quickest way for him to get back his crown from me would be a drop of poison in my tea.

Albion Comes of Age

My army is still in transit towards the heretics when another army of them goes into revolt. They now outnumber the forces I have raised, though I can raise a bit more yet. Bloody heretics!There are a few factions forming but only one is really becoming significant. Their aim is to put the old King of Bavaria who was usurped by my father on the throne of Lombardy. Who knows why they want him? He is such a loser.

Purge the Heretic

The heretics are crushed when my spymaster informs me that my sneaky bother is indeed plotting to kill me. I demobilise my vassals, who have been in the field for long enough to become resentful, and just send my own troops to where he is to effect an arrest. Brother or not, I will see him caged.

I check on my imperiled betrothed and see that she has a new regent and the old Count seems to have died of stress. She is probably safe now, or at least safer. She is still only 11 so it will be 5 years yet before I can have her.

My brother is arrested before he can raise his vassals. Excellent. I’ll leave deciding his fate for later, for now I will organise my coronation. Given my stature as king of the powerful kingdom of Lombardy and also Bavaria I should have nothing less than the pope himself crown me.

Brother Albion Caught
Nothing but the Best Will Do

The pope’s price is a war on the excommunicated King of Asturias, or the remnants of Asturias. Phew! I was worried he’d want a pile of money but I’ll happily war on anyone just for the smell of blood in my nostrils. So it is done.

War to Depose Asturias for the Pope

811 AD – Coronation

My demesne troops and retinue are shipping over to Asturias when the slavs up in the north east have another revolt. I leave that one to my vassals.

Asturias Besieged

The Kingdom of Asturias has been whittled down to a single county by the waves of Mohammadans. Its king is easily defeated.

The Pope’s End of the Bargain

I get my coronation by the pope himself but I have to have a small one on the battlefield due to the ongoing war to suppress the slav uprising.

The Battlefield Coronation of King Alahis II

My brother is asking for more comfortable accommodations in prison. I oblige him, he is my brother after all.

812 AD – A New Lance

Following the suppression of the revolting slavs there is a period of peace now. Time for some fun. I go on hunts, sponsor fairs and tournaments. War will come soon enough so I commission a new lance too.

My New Lance

813 AD – On Popes and Pox

The pope dies and the newly elected pope randomly excommunicates me! I am fuming! This means war. For starters I usurp the Papal States.

Excommunicated
Usurpation in Reprisal

My threat levels are high, I can hardly have a war with anyone right now without bringing down a cascade of allies in against me. I am thinking about throwing myself against the muslim princes in Spain as they don’t yet see me as threat.

It is now that I catch the smallpox which has crept across the nation. I’ll war when I get better.

Small Pox

814 AD – Another Faction for a Loser King

Besides the pope, I want to be rid of my vassal the Duke Kunibert of Ivrea. He is leading a faction against me. He aims at deposing me for this pointless failed King of Bavaria who is now just a vassal count to the King of Swabia.

Duke of Ivrea

I believe the Duke has been a pest against my family for a quite a while but has somehow escaped justice until now. I will remedy that. Just as soon as I am better, I’ll get them all.

Oh I see the Duke is now trying to fabricate a claim on my crown. Well that is treachery right there. I send my troops to arrest him. I’ll knock his block off now, see if I don’t.

My troops soon have the duke without a fuss and I have him thrown in the oubliette. Let’s see how long he lasts in there.

My threat levels are subsiding a bit, time for a war. I want to press a de jure claim on the Duchy of Bavaria which is currently held by an independent Prince Bishop but my council is blocking it. I reshuffle the council until I get some team players who will let me get on with it.

De Jure Claim on Duchy of Bavaria

The Prince Bishop only has one county and can only summon 400 troops to defend his own. Consequently I can crush him with my demesne troops alone, so that is what I do.

Battle for Bavaria

While my troops are on the way, my smallpox clears up so I ride out to catch them up and take command. I want to try out my new lance.

815 AD –

The Prince Bishop of Bavaria is vassalised when a great host of Norse adventures begin raiding my western coast. I raise the whole kingdom to repel them.

Muster to Repel Raiders

While my troops are mustering to fight the Norse, my betrothed Duchess Eldonza of Malorca has come of age so I make a detour to get in a quick marriage for returning to the field of battle. She is mawkish and frail but chatty. I don’t expect to get along with her, I just hope she is fertile.

Marriage to the Duchess of Malorca

The Norse are defeated. Now it is about time I punished the pope for his trespasses against me. Since I now have usurped Papal States I can press a de jure claim on the Duchy of Latinium held by the papacy. The Duchy includes mighty Rome itself.

Unfortunately doing so now would bring in too many Christian princes in against me due to my threat levels. Chief among them are the King of Germany and the King of Swabia. I must bide my time then.

No Hope For War on Pope

Byzantine is riven by a big revolt and is not in any defensive pacts against me. It is a good time to chip some titles from them. I have no claims on Byzantine but some of my vassals do. So I will press my vassal the Count of Capua’s claim on Neapolis.

Vassal Claim on Neapolis

Just as I declare war on Byzantine the faction for the lost king of Bavaria sends me an ultimatum.

Duke Landari’s Ultimatum

Nice timing chaps! I have just raised the whole kingdom to arms, to hell with you! So they revolt. I will have to crush the traitors first.

Landari’s Revolt

I win the first battle but more vassals join the rebels. I think I may still have the greater numbers.

More Join the Revolt

816 AD

A few more battles are won but then rebels reform into great host that exceeds my own numbers. However my commanders, including myself, are considerably superior to theirs so I meet the enemy host for battle in Rimini confident of victory.

Battle in Rimini

They are indeed defeated. As I am dispatching prisoners a rider informs me that my wife is pregnant. She is fertile then. Good.

The Battle in Rimini’s Result

I pursue the enemy host to the capital of the rebellion in the County of Pisa for another test of strength. Once again they have the superior numbers but I have the better commanders. Again they are defeated. I have word that the leader of the revolt, the cowardly Duke Landari, is hiding in his castle here in Pisa. With his army fleeing I lay siege in hopes of capturing him.

The Battle in Pisa
Battle in Pisa Result

817 AD – An Heir

The siege continues when I receive word that my wife has given birth to a boy. An heir both to the Duchy of Malorca and all my titles.

The Landari’s castle is taken but the Duke is not found there. I hire some mercenaries to bulk up my numbers. I get The Sardinian Band because they have heavy cavalry and I am particularly good at commanding cavalry.

Having combined my forces with the mercenaries in Parma we set off to intercept the rebel army in Modena. The battle is won and Landari concedes defeat.

Final Battle Against Landari’s Faction

My forces return to the task of taking Neapolis from the Byzantines.

I ransom off my prisoners including my brother and Landari and gets stacks of gold for it. The influx of gold completes the War Chest ambition. My next ambition is to Groom an Heir. I have a son but I’d like more.

Intercept Byzantine

While I was defeating the revolt against me the Byzantine Emperor has crushed his own rebellions. A Byzantine force is moving up the peninsula sieging down my provinces as it goes. I raise the levies of my formerly rebellious vassals to join my army in confronting the Byzantine Army.

Battle with Byzantine in Benevento

The Byzantine Army is soundly routed and I proceed to liberate the territories they have taken.

818 AD – Another Rebellion

The Byzantine Army reforms and meets my army again in Salerno. Their numbers are less this time and their commanders no better than last time but they defeat me decisively. The credit for that may go to the cataphracts and horse archers they had. A set back.

Battle with Byzantine in Salerno

I am still grumbling from this defeat when another bloody faction, this time lead by the Duke of Ivrea whom I recently ransomed, is also demanding this ridiculous Count of Bavaria take my place. War on them too then.

Kunibert’s Ultimatum

It is a much smaller revolt than before but the additional distraction will probably cost me the war with Byzantine if that isn’t already lost. I have pots of money for mercenaries though. My vassals are very resentful of the long time they have been mobilised. It may be I should let them go after defeating this revolt and then carry on the fight against Byzantine with mercenaries.

Kunibert’s Small Revolt

I head north to engage the main rebel forces when I get news that my wife is pregnant again. She is fertile indeed.

819 AD – On Slow Fevers and Harelips

Some battles in the north are won, the rebels are being brought closer to defeat but Byzantine is unchecked in the South. I dismiss my vassal’s levies who are getting resentful of their duties. I’ll give them a break and in the meantime rely only on my own troops and mercenaries. I return to the capital for a fresh mustering of demesne troops and mercenaries.

I hire the Bulgarian Band in addition to the Sardinian Band whom I still have under contract. This combined with my retinues and my thinned out demesne troops gives an new army of 4500 ish that will reinforce up to 8000 ish.

I head south with this host to get some needed victories against the Byzantines. As I pass through the Duchy of Pisa I raise up some of the Duke of Pisa’s levies to bulk the army up further.

Pisa Supplements my Host

A daughter is born to my wife around now. She has a harelip, ugh.

There is a sizable force of rebels besieging Capua, I’ll drive them off before going for the Byzantines further south. The rebels are driven off but I am feeling unwell. My doctor thinks it is the Great Pox.

Rebels Intercepted in Capua

I am marching south when I hear that a Byzantine army has been routed by an independent army out of Sicily. That will make things easier. It is not all good news though because there is a peasant uprising up in the far north and I have diarrhea and a fever.

Peasant Revolt in the North

I am besieging Amalfi when my ailments consolidate as Slow Fever. That’s it I am in no fit state to be leading my troops so I leave them in the hands of my generals. I return to the capital to recuperate.

820 AD – A Fast Ride from a Slow Fever

I have recovered from the Slow Fever and am now riding hard to rejoin my army which is still besieging Amalfi. A byzantine force is in the area so I recovered just in time.

821 AD – Rebels Disband

After several long sieges and a few victorious encounters with Byzantine forces I bring Amalfi and Neapolis under occupation. Now I am heading to Salerno to remove the Byzantine occupying garrisons there. The warscore with Byzantine is solidly back in the green.

The rebels under the Duke of Ivrea have disbanded, though I am not sure why that happened.

There is still a peasant revolt loose in the north though so I summon a second army composed only of vassal levies to put it down. I disband the levy army straight after putting down the peasants.

822 AD – Byzantine Bashed

With a few more victories over the Byzantines the Emperor must concede defeat and so my vassal takes the County of Neapolis, now called Napoli. This one county is enough to give me just over half the counties in the de jure Kingdom of Sicily which is enough to create the title. If I have that title I can get de jure claims on the rest of the counties in the kingdom.

I delay making the title for now because my threat levels are still high so I won’t be pressing any claims any time soon.

My cousin Uta, the only legitimate child that Aunt Sichegaita has produced, has just given birth to her second bastard son. She is as much of a slut as her mother. Her father had the Quick genes so I would really like her breeding true Gausians instead of bastards.

Uta Gausian Married Off

I matri-linearly marry her off to a Parthian nobleman who blew into court from the east. He also has Quick genes and he has a legendary bloodline. Perhaps they will be kind enough to produce some nice legitimate Gausians now?

Parthian Mate for Uta Guasian

While I am arranging marriages I see what I can get for my son and heir who is now five years old. The Duke of Sardinia, a byzantine vassal, has only daughters for heirs. He is willing to betroth his eldest, who is ten, to my son so that is what I do. If all goes well this should deliver the Duchy to house Gausian eventually. The duchy will also enable the creation of the Kingdom of Corsica and Sardinia for my house.

Daughters of Sardinia

Disaster!

I just reloaded to continue my run when I see that somehow achievements have been disabled! The tooltip says that the save file has been changed but I don’t know how that could have happened unless there was a synchronisation glitch with Steam Cloud.

Well there isn’t much point continuing with this run then, at least for now. I’ll keep the save file in the probably vain hope I can restore eligibility for Steam achievements. In the meantime I will with lemming like pluck start a new achievement run and hope the same does not happen again.

Damn.

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