Crusader Kings II AAR: Part 4

Nomedas is dead, and now it’s time for Sergonis to take over. Sergonis is a pretty good sort. He’s got very high diplomacy and martial, and has good learning and decent intrigue. He’s also got just about every good virtue trait, and none of the bad ones. His only failing is that he’s club-footed. But is he going to let that get in the way of joining the warrior guild? Of course not!

Sergonis has a plan. Being such a good, learned, religious guy, he knows that his simple tribal pagan religion isn’t good enough. Sure, the gods are great and all, but the actual organization of the religion is…lacking. Like, at all. So, he wants to fix that. Trouble is, you need moral authority and/or command of the various holy sites, and Sergonis is lacking in both. Thus, it will be Sergonis’s life-long quest to take those holy sites back from the infidels, and return them to rightful Romuva hands.

One of the bad things about not writing notes: I don’t remember if this is a rebellion or just another kingdom.

Easier said than done, though, since they’re spread out all over north-east Europe. One is out on an island in the western Baltic, one in Riga, one is held by the Serbian mega-kingdom, and one is held by the horsemen. At least we’ve got one of the five, right? I guess all there is to do is expand, expand, expand.

Fortunately, Sergonis is good at that sort of thing. And he’s good at picking when the time is ripe…and just getting lucky sometimes. And relying, and helping out, his vassals. Powerful vassals might be a threat to their king, but they’re also able to handle things themselves, if you let them. So the kingdom is able to expand north, south, and east, getting close to double its size when Sergonis started out. And he discovers he can create a new kingdom (or at least a new title for his current kingdom):

The dynasty, and the people, have always been Prussian, and now it’s official. Sure, it took old Sergonis 20 years, but he did it. And he doesn’t rest on his laurels, either. Nope, gotta keep expanding. But he isn’t just a warrior: he’s a hunter, too. But when you’re that old, and not too careful, sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted.

Sergonis was a great ruler in just about every way possible, but he wasn’t quite able to claim all the holy sites and get ready for a reformation. Unfortunately, his successor Gauronas isn’t nearly the king he was. He tries his best, but unfortunately barely lasts a year, before dying in a war.

Gauronas is succeeded by Ulinniks, who is a perfectly Prussian member of the dynasty, despite his looks. No one really likes him to start out, and he’s not a particularly good guy. He’s also fat and depressed, and has an old wife. He’s on an upward trajectory, though, and keeps up the momentum of his predecessors. Well, until he dies too early.

This new fellow, Karatas, he’s a bit different from his predecessors. While they were all about the warrior lodge, he doesn’t like the fighting so much, not big into arm wrestling and duels. He’s got a big of a foul streak.

Yep, he’s a demon worshiper. Good ol’ Chernobog, all about sex, drugs, murder, and rock-and-roll. Perfect for Karatas. With his acting skills, he’s able to seem like the perfectly devout Dievas worshiper, but it’s all a farce. (Incidentally, this goes completely counter to my goal of organizing the religion, since the events lower moral authority. Oops.)

But besides all the orgies, secret murders, desecration of temples, and whatever. Karatas is a decent-enough ruler. He expands the empire more and more. But it’s not all about him, not in the wider world at least. For the first time, Prussia loses territory: not in battle, but to inheritance. While he wasn’t looking, one of his dukes inherited the kingdom of Austrasia, which then proceeded to blow up.

Fortunately for the world, Karatas eventually meets his end. He is succeeded by Ulitis, who is a much better person, if a bit dull. But he knows how to fight, and he is a competent negotiator. He starts off with grey hair, which basically means he can drop dead at any time, but he just keeps on going. He’s mostly able to fill in those hold-out areas, and expand the realm even further. But, being an old guy to begin with, he doesn’t last that long. Sill got more than a decade of being king, which is pretty good, all things considered.