Part 16: How It's Made: French Kings 1253 - 1263
With all of the holdings of Normandy and Valois in our demesne, we are hopelessly above our demesne limit. Our new holdings must be reorganized and handed off at least until we're under the limit. A good first start is to assign appoint new owners for all of our town and church holdings. Again, this is done by right-clicking the holding and then pressing the 'Create New Vassal' button.
Another thing that we'll want to do is gain the Duchies if Normandy and Valois. Even though we control all of the counties that make up those duchies, the ducal titles themselves are still held by their prior owners. We can plot to revoke them without angering our other vassals.
Our second son, Loeguire, is given possession of Paris as well as several other counties in Valois and Normandy until we are under our demesne limit. For any county that has more than one castle holding, we tick the 'Include Lower Titles' checkbox. This puts all of the holdings within a province which we own under his control at once.
It just so happens that the Dukes of Valois and Orleans are excommunicated. This means we can just imprison them on the grounds of their excommunication, and then when we launch our plots to revoke their titles, they'll already be imprisoned and unable to fight back against us. We can see that Duke Eudes is currently reigning over his realm in Orleans.
Our Marshal is sent to Suppress Revolts in Orleans. This gives us a bonus to our chance to successfully arrest a character in that location.
Unfortunately, it didn't work out and now we find ourselves at war with him.
The troops of our personal demesne and those of our vassals in Ireland and Scotland are given a break, and we send the troops of our new French vassals against the the Duke of Normandy and Orleans instead.
Woah Loeguire, please calm down and just be patient. We're not ready for this yet.
Our realm is so huge there are just people plotting and scheming against each other all over the place. We demand for several of these known plots to be ended, especially those detrimental to members of our dynasty. Another interesting plot to note here is the plot by the King of Georgia to kill a courtier of ours. Hasqar is an heir to a Georgian duchy who is married matrilineally to one of our family members. The King of Georgia must really not want our Irish blood in his realm. We can't ask him to end his plot, but we can demand that most of his co-conspirators end their support of his plot, since they are apparently all vassals of ours.
We also have some prisoners to deal with. Poor Gudbrand, who I managed to forget about, is ransomed for gold. The Duke of Flanders and Mayor of Millau are simply released.
No Loeguire, it's still not time yet.
Things being dangerous as they are right now, we hold on to plenty of money to call up mercenaries should we need them.
The worst possible news reaches us in late 1254. Our second son Loeguire dies in Paris, suffering from a crippling injury. It appears that the injury was a diagonal slash through his beard. King Fingen has now outlived all of his sons. His grandchildren by his first son will carry on his direct line, we hope.
With Loeguire gone, we must pass our French holdings on to another member of our dynasty. Our second grandson is far, far too young to manage, so we turn to the fourth son of one of our related Dukes. Fedlimid has adequate diplomacy and stewardship for the task, but his true strength lies in intrigue which may help him overcome any plots by his French vassals in the future.
The Duke of Orleans and Normandy's rebellion is crushed, and he is finally imprisoned.
Once he is safely locked away, we begin plotting to revoke his title. With enough tacit support from other vassals in the realm, we'll be able to get away with it without angering anyone but the Duke of Normandy himself.
With the plot selected, we can click this button to add co-conspirators for the plot and raise our Plot Power.
The browser that it brings up shows any character who would be willing to take part in our plot as well as how much Plot Strength they would add. We invite anyone who is willing to take part.
As the days pass, we receive word back from many vassals of their support in our plot.
The Duke of Valois - and former King of France - will be receiving the same treatment soon. We're going to attempt to arrest him to prevent a rebellion once more. Our marshal is sent to his location to improve our arrest chance.
This time we succeed. Once our plot against the Duke of Normandy has completed, we'll turn our attention to Geoffroy.
There is a problem, though. France's crown authority is so low that our French vassals are doing nothing but fighting each other. We're incapable of launching our plot against the Duke of Orleans and Normandy until he finishes his current conflict against the Duke of Flanders. We need to raise France's crown authority to prevent this from just happening continually, but I'm not prepared to immediately raise crown authority on a newly conquered Kingdom. Its difficult keeping them happy as things are now.
We do receive a bit of good news. Loeguire's widow has produced a son. Loeguire has a direct male descendent, and we'll watch over him in our court.
Hasqar asks for our support in his retribution against the King of Georgia. Knowing of King Askhkadar's attempted murder of Hasqar, we support him in his choice.
Unfortunately, the King of Georgia is a better scheming weasel than King Fingen was. Hasqar's feud costs King Fingen his life.
Fingen's grandson is still only 15 and a regent takes charge of his duties for the remainder of the year. Our French vassals clearly see this as an opportunity for rebellion. Even a couple of our Dukes closer to home are considering a play for power, but we can easily fix most of this. First, we hand more of our holdings in Normandy off to Fedlimid to bring ourselves under our new demesne limit. Next, I transfer vassalage of some direct vassal counts in France to their proper de jure ducal lieges. This pleases them.
We have honorary titles to hand out, as well.
And finally, we've saved so much gold that a nice gift to the remaining troublemakers should patch relations up at least long enough for us to come out of regency.
All of these actions improve the situation to an easily manageable level.
Our councilors all seem happy with us as well, except for our Court Chaplain, but that's okay.
An uneventful year passes and King Colman officially assumes his duties as King of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and France.
Colman is much like his father. He picked up his father's stutter, but his kind and generous nature makes him well liked by his vassals. His cowardly and craven nature is looked down upon by many, though.
Colman is married to a Russian woman. Generally, I won't marry a character of dire importance to a woman who has already lost 9 years of child bearing age, but Colman needs the help of a skilled diplomatic wife to hold his realm together and Vseslava was by far and wide the best candidate for this.
A plot is launched to revoke the Duchy of Valois. Geoffroy goes as far to declare war on us from inside of his cell, but we remind him that he's in our dungeon and immediately accept his surrender and his title.
Fedlimid is granted the Duchy of Valois. Once we gain the Duchy of Normandy, we'll be just about ready to hand France off so we can focus on other matters.
Overseeing our new French holdings has been taking up so much time that we've overlooked our struggle against England. After noticing that one of our Dukes has a claim on an English Duchy, we head to war to press his claim on that title.
Our forces at home have had years now to rest and recover. On the other hand, England has been struggling with a constant state of civil war for some time. This war will not last long.
Victory is claimed and the Duchy of Norfolk is added to our realm.
And back in France, the Duke of Orleans finally ends his wars with other French vassals long enough for us to launch our plot and revoke his title.
Much like Geoffroy, Eudes seems to think that declaring war on us from inside of his dungeon cell will have some kind of effect.
He immediately surrenders and we claim his Duchy of Normandy. This duchy is passed to Fedlimid as well.
Crown authority is raised in France to prevent the constant infighting.
The lords of France approve our law change, and the diplomatic skills of Colman and his Queen keep everyone's tempers in check.
Colman and Vseslava produce their first child: a girl named Fine who seems to take after her mother.
After Colman's recent string of victories in war, intrigue, and diplomacy - not to mention the birth of his bright daughter - he begins to show that he no longer knows fear.
He becomes proud of his achievements, as well.
King Colman's traits and attributes at the age of 21.
We may be having a problem here, because a Grand Tournament that I called about two years ago still isn't ending and there are dead bodies piling up in front of my castle as people keep fighting each other.
Finally, everything is in place to transfer the crown of France to Fedlimid. I only hope that after all of this work, he and his offspring are capable of holding onto the Kingdom.
King Fedlimid Ua Briain of France and his lovely cousin wife.
There is only one problem from this transfer of power: The Duke of Toulouse controls an area that isn't a de jure part of France. His land is still a de jure part of the Kingdom of Aquitaine. I don't really have a good way to transfer him to Fedlimid's control, so I'll likely just goad him into revolt so I can claim his titles, form the Kingdom of Aquitaine, and put another Ua Briain on another throne down there. You can also see that the territory of Navarra didn't pass to France's control, either. I plan to take us on Holy Wars against Beja in the near future so we can carve out an Ua Briain kingdom to rule in Iberia as well.