More sordid stories from the diary of Count Martinos…
March 795 AD: I’m a grandfather. Symeon kept with the animal-naming gimmick and named his boy Leon. That’s my boy-monkey!
December 795 AD: There has been an Iconoclast uprising in Panarmos. Somehow, some religious fanatics have been able to gather an army in one of my counties larger than I could put together in both. Must be something in the communion wafers… Fortunately, this is a risk to the entire Byzantine Empire so the King is going to fight this war, not me. Man the hammocks!
March 796 AD: The peasants in have asked me for money to fund their annual carnival – about half the treasury worth. If I decline, they’ll hold their breath until I give in (and possibly revolt). I don’t need two revolutions this close together. Someone might suspect I’m not up to the task of Counting.
April 796 AD: Bishop Anastasios has died. That’s two bishops in two years. You’d think with all the religious chaos going on, we were doing something wrong. At least this time I did not kill him with my boring confessions…
December 796 AD: The Iconoclast Uprising has been defeated without me lifting a finger. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Orthodoxy.
May 797 AD: Apparently, I think my daughter-in-law fancies me. You ever hear of killing two birds with one stone? Well, this would be like throwing a handful of gravel at two hawks – my wife and son. I’m a fool, but not that foolhardy. I’ll keep it in my pants.
May 798 AD: The one-eared poachers have returned. Wasn’t losing one ear enough? Apparently not. I tracked them down and cut off the other ear. Still, again, no one complained and actually praised the punishment. What is wrong with you people?
January 799 AD: I’ve sent my Chancellor to try and fabricate a claim on Syrakousa. If I’m going to control Sicily, I need to make a move before I get too much older. Otherwise, all my claims on this God-forsaken rock will disappear with me.
December 799 AD: The Duke has left the building… permanently. A new Duke has been installed (apparently, the King forgot about his favorite father-in-law). This could be the opportunity I have been waiting for…
April 800 AD: I discovered a plot that would have my daughter-in-law murdered and put a stop to it. This woman is really causing me a lot of stress and I’m not even married to her.
September 800 AD: Spurred on by my lack of conquest, at home and on the battlefield, I decided it was time to take my stab at immortality. Borrowing from the Jewish merchants again (this time they called me a “schmendrick”), I raised my personal army and hired a band of 2,000+ Vikings to invade Agrigenton and Syrakousa. I easily crushed the Duke’s levies and set my eyes on occupying the entirety of Sicily… which could explain why I failed to notice the additional 4,000 reinforcements the Duke called in from his allies abroad. Seriously, Greece? You came all the way to Sicily to help this guy? I hired an additional 1,700 Frankish mercenaries to defend against the reinforcements, but apparently 4,000 foreign peasants armed with pitchforks and clubs can massacre 3,500 heavily armed merchants of death. Who knew? Now penniless and without an army, facing down a seemingly invincible plebeian militia, I do the only noble thing… poison myself and my entire family with ouzo.
And there ends the sad, thirty-two year reign of Count Martinos Kritharatos. I did it again – I overstepped way too early in the game. I didn’t even make it two generations. The game asked me, “I shouldn’t even let you play – what did you even learn?” Well…
- If your King/liege decides to one day up and change the entire religious denomination of his/her realm and label all no believers as heretics, you’d better send your bishops and religious emissaries out to the counties to ensure your people are buying into the system.
- If you’re going to expand your territory, you should probably make sure your intended victim doesn’t have more allies than you can handle (or can dissuade from battle by sowing dissent previously). No matter how far away they are, those allies will come and in full force.
- Larger armies often fair better in war than seemingly more skilled ones.
To which the game replied, “Ok – you can have one more go… But I’d better see stark improvement.” My pride beaten black and blue but not knocked unconscious and left for dead in a snowy embankment, I’ve decided to give my Crusader Kings blog series another go, albeit more cautiously. A quick roll of the dice says this time we’ll start off in Wales, as Count Nowy Brycheiniog of Gwent. Prepare yourselves for more double F’s, D’s, and L’s than you can shake a stick at as we start: TEPID TALES OF THE CLAN BRYCHEINIOG.