The Let's Play Archive

Paradox Games - Kingdom Come

by Fintilgin

Part 2: II. Baldwin IV 1193-1205 A.D.

After the last, highly successful, Crusade, the Pope is obviously full of himself. In January of 1194, he declares another Crusade, this time on the Muslim citadel of Tunis. This, I think, we can safely ignore. We hold enough Muslim provinces and got enough a piety boost from taking Alexandria that there's no need for us to send our armies so far away. We'll let someone else gain the glory this time.

Our province of Tyrus is suffering from religious turmoil.

Tension between the local Muslims and Christian settlers is reaching a breaking point. We decide there is only one solution and lead the troops in to crush the revolting Muslims. To our delight the province of Tyrus becomes majority Catholic, the first province in the Holy Land to do so, but hopefully not the last!

Even amongst all the revolts, Crusades, and religious persecutions, family life continues as always. We decide to send our second son, Jacques off to be raised by a friendly noble. We don't have control over his upbringing, but we've already taken a fertility hit to raise Charles our self, and in this case I feel it's better to pump out as many kids as possible to get our dynasty rolling rather than focus on making just a few really good ones.

Charles becomes friends with a 14 year old boy at our court, Guy de Lusignan, nephew of the Duke Guy de Lusignan. There's a bit of an age difference between the two, but Charles looks up to the older boy, and Guy seems decent enough, so there doesn't seem to be much to worry about. However, almost as though the game was trying to confuse me, King Baudouin gains a rival that same month, and it's none other then Duke Guy de Lusignan. This puts a serious hit on his loyalty, but luckily enough other factors are in my favor that I don't have to worry too much about him revolting quite yet.

Queen Geneviva continues to play the part of the medieval woman to the hilt. In September of 1195 she gives birth to another son, Gauthier, and in late 1196 do a daughter, Melisande.

Checking on Egypt, we notice that Caliph Mu'izz's heir is a 7 year old boy. This gives us an evil idea. Kingdoms don't hold together so well when ruled by children and regency councils. If Mu'izz were to, say, fall down the stairs, there would be a decent chance of Egypt fragmenting, giving us a better chance of scooping up minor, unprotected pockets of Muslim lands.

We decide to send an assassin to Egypt. Unfortunately for us, he's not a very good one. Mu'izz survives; we spend most of our treasury, and worse then that we're publicly outed as the source of the assassin. Our piety and prestige both take a large hit. Luckily, we still have plenty, but it doesn't do wonders for our reputation.

Furthermore, some months on, in January of 1197, an Egyptian assassin attempts to assassinate our six month old daughter Melisande.

This is a serious insult, and we ponder an attack on Egypt. They're still quite powerful, though, and we decide to let things rest. We could save our money and send another assassin, but we'd likely be paid another visit by Egyptian assassins in turn. Hopefully if we do nothing more Egypt will consider us equal. Two publicly failed executions and no real harm done, except to prestige and reputation.

After the near death of his sister, young Charles comes to King Baudouin with some questions about God. Baudouin tries to instill some good Christian virtues in the boy, but isn't really that lucky. Charles becomes Temperate, which while it gives him a +1 to his diplomatic skill and a +2 to his yearly piety, gives him a -2 to his fertility. Earnestly temperate religious folks are not real wild in the sack, unfortunately. This kinda sucks, and hopefully he'll learn better in time.

Ah! I support their efforts of course, leading to Jerusalem becoming majority Catholic! Hurrah! The center of Christ's Kingdom is now free from heretics and devil worshipers!

In 1198 our attention turns to Egypt. It is difficult for western, European powers to maintain their holdings in the Middle East when they're so far away. The provinces they hold tend to revolt or become independent, and I figure it's up to me to protect them from falling back into Muslim hands. News arrives in Jerusalem that the province of Gizeh, formerly ruled by the French, has revolted and a Muslim leader has reestablished control over the province.

If I wait too long there's a good chance they'll pledge their allegiance to Egypt, so I rapidly raise some troops in Alexandria and march south to crush this attempt at rolling back the Crusade.

Gizeh is the brown province in the south there, and by August of 1198 it has been safely folded into the Kingdom.

That winter, King Baudouin becomes ill. I worry about this, as I didn't change his character stats at all when I restored him to life. There are a few 'hidden' stats like fertility and health and it may be that, as he was a leper in the original files, he was given a very low health. Illness can worsen to pneumonia quite easily and all I need now is Baudouin dying while Charles is still unready to take the throne.

Fortunately, however, the illness only lasts a few months, and by January of 1199, Baudouin has fully recovered. This is a very good thing, as 1199 is about to become an interesting year for other reasons. In February, I'm informed that Duke Renaud de Chatillion has become my rival. Two of my most powerful vassals now despise me.

Being a rival is a big hit to loyalty, and with my bad reputation from seizing lands and sending assassins out, Renaud's loyalty starts dropping like a stone, and it was already low to begin with.

Sooner then we expected, in mid-summer of 1199, Renaud openly revolts.

Our stability drops from 1 to -2, and we gain a trait 'Realm Duress' that penalizes a lot of things including our diplomacy. Most of our vassals remain positive, but Guy de Lusignan is dropping quickly too, and if the revolt isn't ended quickly he'll probably join it.

This is the sort of thing that, under the right circumstances, could be really awful. If for example, we were at war, low on troops, had a child king etc, etc. We might very well have to let them go for a while and regain the land later. But we're well rested and much richer then Renaud, so we raise our armies and grind into their lands.

This is our siege of the Ducal stronghold of Renaud de Chatillion, Kerak. The blue territories are those that have broken away from us. Luckily for us, it's a short war. By February of the year 1200 we've smashed Renaud's armies and taken control of his lands.

Unfortunately, even though he was rebelling against his rightful lord, our reputation still takes a hit for conquering his lands. In fact, it's enough of a hit that it looks like Guy de Lusignan will rapidly revolt as well. In order to prevent this we need to hand the territories off to someone else.

The person we choose is our sister, Isabelle.

Say hello to the new Duchess of Oultrejourdain. Now, she's married, with children, so the land will go to her husbands family on her death, be she's still young, so she should be around a while. She also gets a big boost to loyalty from the fact that she's part of our bloodline, so we shouldn't have to worry about Oultrejourdain anymore.

As for Renaud de Chatillion? Well, a quick glance at my list of rivals no longer shows him there. I think we can safely assume that he has paid the ultimate penalty for taking up arms against the Kingdom of Christ and, even now, is roasting in Hell.

In 1202 Quattara breaks away from Egypt. We raise an army to add it too our lands, but we noticed the revolt too late, and before we can get there Egypt has reabsorbed it. But all is not lost, in November of 1203 we get news that the Emirate of Kirkuk has largely fallen apart and been absorbed by it's neighbors. All that remain of its lands are its capital and the two provinces they stole from my vassals.

You can see everything that remains of Kirkuk here in green. My vassals lost provinces on the left their capital on the right. They have no allies and have exhausted their troops. The war is very short. In February of1204 Kirkuk recognizes our right to the lands taken from us in the Alexandrian Crusade, which we add to our personal demesne.

At long last, our son, young Charles, is becoming a man. He gains the trait generous, which penalizes his stewardship while boosting his yearly piety and prestige gain. Then he achieves his majority.

Here's our boy. Heir to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Quite honestly, we tried to discourage the mustache, but you know how young people are these days. His court training matured into the trait 'Grey Eminence', which as you can see, gives a huge boost to his diplomacy skill. In case you've forgotten the running tally, he's Energetic, Generous, Temperate, and Hostile.

Between our Egyptian holdings of Alexandria and Gizeh is a Sicilian province that they converted into a Bishopric. Unfortunately for Sicily it has since become independent and overrun by rebels. As the security of Christ's Dominion in Egypt has clearly become our responsibility we roll down, crush the rebels and absorb the province of Buhairya.

Charles should probably be given some land, but first we need to marry him off. We choose a young lady from one of the independent Byzantine duchies to the north. There seems to be some slight miscommunication from our messengers, however. Only after the wedding do we realize she's Orthodox Christian, not Catholic. Still, chances are the children will take after their father in matters of religion. The other problem is that she's cruel and stubborn. It's not like there was a lot to choose from though. Eligible women within and near the Kingdom are in short supply. In the future, reluctantly, we may need to start sending to mainland Europe for brides.

We grant Charles the provinces of Tyrus and Safed and the title of the Duke of Jerusalem. From now on, I think I'll consider the title Duke of Jerusalem to be the title of the intended heir of the Kingdom, a bit like the Prince of Wales.

This means however, that the AI now picks Charles responses to events, and almost immediately this bites me in the ass. I am informed that King Baudouin has gained a new rival: none other then his son, Charles. Maybe he doesn't like the wife I picked for him, or maybe he thinks I didn't give him enough land. In any case, family holidays are now rather tense.

There's no risk of revolt, yet, but Charles clearly thinks he can do a better job of running the Kingdom then his old man and is just waiting for a chance to prove it.

Here's the Kingdom at the end of 1204:

As you can see, we're expanding our power base in Egypt nicely. I'm eagerly awaiting the inevitable loss of direct French control over their territories. Charles duchy is the large yellow shield with the white Jerusalem cross just west of the northern of the two little lakes.

Depending on how long Baudouin lives, I intend to try to take the next update to his death and Charles taking the crown…