A few decades after my last report about the Trpimirović Dynasty, things sure have changed. My interest in Crusader Kings II, however, hasn’t changed a bit. This game is wasting a huge amount of my free time and I’m loving every moment of it.
So what happened?
Part 1 – Keys to the Kingdom
Well, we just lost the war with Venice and I was lacking funds. You can get to negative income in Crusader Kings and other than you not having money, this also affects how other nobles see you. Luckily, I was soon given the option to make a compromise with the church and get back to a net positive at the cost of some good standing with the local bishop.
Then Stjepan died.
I was pushed into the role of his son, Castimir. He was still underage and his guardian just died, so he gained a regent – his mother.
It was a few uneventful years until Castimir got old enough to rule on his own. His bethrothed was a few years older than him, but she waited and I immediately made it my aim to give Castimir a few sons and daughters. I also married off his two sisters into the dynasty to strengthen my claims and possible inheritance options.
There was a faction that pushed for a change of succession laws in the kingdom of Croatia, so I joined it, figuring it would give me a greater chance to raise in the ranks one day.
The plot to kill Mihajlo of Duklja failed completely, what with he plod leader dying. Castimir went for a different plot – kill Zvonimir of Slavonia. Why? Because his sister started the plot and she wanted her kid to rule, a kid who was much closer to my blood line. Over the span of a couple of years, this actually worked, so another kid gained a few territories to rule over.
Within this time, the King of Croatia also died and got succeeded by a child. Basically, the entire Kingdom of Croatia was ruled by children for several years.
After a while, they all got old enough and I was finally able to do more. I’m not sure if the faction I joined failed or succeeded, but eventually, I realized I was next in line to succeed the throne of Croatia. I also managed to fabricate claims to several territories in the Duchy of Croatia and was even able to demand the title Duke of Croatia from the King. For some reason, this was a request he actually and gladly obliged, even though he discovered my plot to kill him and demanded me to abandon it just a bit before that. I guess he hates the game, not the player.
So I was made Duke of Croatia and I had an extra territory now. However, the king, even though he was very agreeable with me, started making trouble. He lost a territory to a Venetian family early in his rule and he kept pushing the Kingdom into failed wars with them, trying to get the territory back.
Since I was bordering with Venice, Castle Frankopan was usually the first location to go under siege and fall. Luckily, this didn’t affect me too much, since I was a count under any rule, but it was still annoying and was messing with my plans.
Eventually, the other nobles also got sick of it and my plot to kill the king got enough supporters. He had some wine at a party that didn’t agree with him and I was made King of Croatia.
And now I really have no idea what I’m doing.
Part 2 – Poor management
I really thought I was doing well. It was the beginning of the twelfth century, I just became a king and all of my vassals actually liked me!
I was stuck in a losing crusade for a year or so, but soon after that, I was able to throw parties, organize hunts and fairs. I even threw a grand tournament to please as many people as possible. In no time, I would have been able to change succession lows from Gavelkind to Primogenitor and everything would be perfect.
Then my cousin, the duchess of Slavonia, decided to go ballistic. Her son, Radomir, had a claim on the Kindgom, so she decided to press it. Her alone, I would have been able to handle, though she was in control of the strongest counties in the military department.
The problem was, just as I was about to beat her to a pulp, Venice decided get a piece of the cake. They fabricated a claim on Veglia and used the opportunity to attack. I was forced to sue for peace with a full surrender and lost my home county. It was either that, or lose both Veglia and also be forced to abstain from the throne.
Before my cousin got a chance to surrender, the Byzantine Empire decided to chip in as well. They had a claim on Rama and, of course, claimed it at the worst possible time. Well, it’s the Empire, so it’s never a good time. They’re basically so powerful, whatever it is they want to take, they can just ask for.
I defeated my cousin, imprisoned her and her son and then foolishly tried to defend against Byzantium. This cost me a big part of my military, which I ended up needing later.
The fallout? I still had my kingdom, but I lost 2 counties. I managed to banish Radomir, so he wasn’t posing a threat any more, but banishing his mother was not an option – everyone would end up hating me. The only real option was to simply release her.
Months later, she decided to start a plot against me. I tried asking her to end it politely, but she outright refused. By this time, she already had the Bold title. The other option was to try and imprison her and this failed with a 48% chance, so I was suddenly in another war.
This time, she brought in two allies and that was basically it for me. I tried fighting them off, even got into the positive war score a few times, but eventually it was over and I was forced to abstain. King Castimir was no more.
Long live King Mislav, Castimir’s son!
Yup! Radomir was banished, so he wasn’t able to touch the throne. Since the law was Gavelkind, Mislav, Castimir’s oldest son, got the throne. Sure, he lacks some land, but he’s still king.
That’s the thing with Crusader Kings. It’s really, really difficult to lose completely. At worst, you might end up with a lower end score as someone’s vassal.