Part 3: III. Baldwin IV 1205-1217 A.D.
Of course, it won't come to that, will it, Fintilgin?
Do you doubt the Soldiers of God?
One thing I forgot to mention in the last update was that the Pope personally appealed to King Baudouin to take up the Cross and join the Crusade. He agreed of course, to avoid the piety hit for refusing, without actually intending to ever march on Tunis, the current Crusade target. There were plenty of Muslims closer to home…
Bad blood between Baudouin and Charles is not the only family feud. Our sons, Jacques, age 11 and Gauthier, age 9 rapidly develop a enmity for one another. Perhaps it's because young Gauthier is simply modest, while we have received a pop-up informing us that Jacques is becoming a 'great statesman' and is honest, just, proud, and pragmatic. Gauthier may be jealous of his elder brother.
Our first born daughter, Elizabeth hits sixteen years of age the same year, in 1205. Early the next year we marry her to Guy de Lusignan, the young friend of Charles. In time we'll appoint Guy to Marshall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He may be Charles friend, but he's not Baudouin's rival.
Interestingly, in 1206, our spymaster goes blind. Furthermore this IMPROVES his intrigue, making him better at his job. At first I'd feared I'd need to remove him, but instead he just became extra-cool.
In 1208, our son Gauthier starts down a rather un-Christian path.
He becomes lustful and indulgent. Quite the different personality from his eldest brother, Charles. Hopefully this means he'll have lots of kids. The inheritance of the Kingdom can always go to a nephew or a cousin. As long as there's a male descended from Baudouin alive our dynasty won't go extinct.
About this time we start receiving a lot of spam from strange, random European duchies, begging to become our vassals. Interesting an idea as it may be, we repeatedly refuse to accept places like the county of Baden and the Duchy of Burgundy as our vassals. The Kingdom of Jerusalem has a HOLY MISSION and it does not involve mucking around in the politics of France and the Holy Roman Empire.
I finally deduce that the spam of requests (once or twice a month from Baden, for example) must come from my high prestige, which has climbed to nearly 1500. I burn off nearly 1000 points of prestige to grab claims on the entire island of Cyprus. I don't intend to invade it in the near future, but eventually I'd like to add it to the Kingdom, and I might as well spend the prestige while I've got it, if Baudouin dies, all his piety and prestige go as well.
The vassal spam stops. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Our son Jacques becomes a man in 1209.
We hold off granting him any land, because we thought we might wait a while, so we could marry him to a little fosterling girl who he supposedly had a crush on and had become friends with. She was only fourteen, so we'd have to wait a couple years. Jacques had other ideas though, and gains the reckless trait for insisting…
We hand the little twerp the county of Tiberias. Let him find his own wife. The next year we see that he has, a young woman named Constance.
Our neighbor Egypt is, meanwhile, engaged in a drawn out war with the Emirate of Mosul, which controls most of modern day Iran. Surely God has blessed the Kingdom of Jerusalem by sowing dissension amongst her enemies.
Again we declare war on Egypt, hoping for a quick, clean campaign. Our goals are to take the Sini and northern Egypt, putting most of the country under Christian control. In March of the year 1211 we attack!
Our troops have barely entered Egyptian territory when a courier comes rushing to Jerusalem. Guy de Lusignan has raised the banner of revolt and is readying his troops to march on Jerusalem and seize the crown!
Here you can see Guy's territory in red while our invasion army is off in Egypt on the left and Jerusalem sits undefended. I pull rank and force my sister, the Duke of Oultrejourdain, to give me her troops, this will upset her a bit, but I don't want to wait for her to agree, and she actually already declined to raise her soldiers for my Egyptian campaign. I send the soldiers from Hebron and Kerak rushing to the defense of the capital while I try to raise more troops up north.
Guy reaches Jerusalem first, beginning his siege of the city in May. Our troops from Oultrejourdain arrive shortly thereafter and, in a fierce battle, drive Guy away from the city.
As planned and prayed for, our soldiers sweep through Egyptian territory, facing little resistance. In October of 1212, the Egyptian Caliph cedes 9 provinces to us, including all our war goals and Cairo. We could probably have taken more, but those 9 already put a serious hit on our reputation, especially as we'll be taking another three from Guy.
Our troops then march on Guy de Lusignan, and with the whole might of Jerusalem arrayed against him, he quickly is forced to surrender. It is a great victory for the soldiers of Christ.
This is how the Kingdom looks on the first day of the Year of Our Lord 1212. Eventually we'll need to get the French out of Egypt, but for now we're content to have the richest part of the country firmly in Christian hands.
Speaking of rich, or rather, the opposite of rich, the war was expensive. Extremely expensive. From now on the Kingdom will need to maintain a much fuller treasury to take advantage of times like this. We only had 200 gold when the war started and we're now 1200 in the hole. We get a bunch of events where we're forced to sell off province improvements, but it's still worth it. Further more we get an event which drops our stability because the Kingdom is in debt, so that we're down to -1. It tempers the glory of our great victory, but again, totally worth it.
The biggest outcome of the war is that we now have far too many territories in our personal demesne. This results in lots of bad events, lowered tax income, and the chance of damaging our monarch. Furthermore we've gained a reputation of -7, which is subtracted from our vassal's loyalty each month. About half our vassals will eventually drop to zero if we don't do anything.
First we drop the duties our vassals have to pay us to zero for a while. This makes them a bit happier, even if it means it will take longer to climb out of debt. Then we start handing out territories. Lots of them.
Gauthier becomes a man that January, and we give him Gizeh, Buhairya, and Cairo as well as making him the Duke of Alexandria.
In the end we give away our entire demesne, excepting only the provinces of Jerusalem and Alexandria. Really, Alexandria should go to the Duke of Alexandria, Gauthier, but it's SO rich and has so many troops that I can't help but keep it a part of the personal holdings of the King. Gauthier may be Duke, but the city itself belongs to the Crown.
Our high piety from seizing pagan lands helps our reputation drop and we give away enough land that all our vassals loyalty begins moving back up again. Crisis averted.
In June of 1212, our daughter Melisande grows up. She's shy, modest, ill, and depressed. Not the most appealing of brides. I marry her off to Charles' Marshall.
The next month, King Baudouin gets the chance to call the Estates General to raise money to get the Kingdom out of debt. He asks for a large contribution, and gets it, over 1000 gold, giving us a grand total of positive 40. Unfortunately the demands for cash drop the Kingdom's stability to -2, where it remains for a long time.
The war seems to have done a number on Egypt as many small provinces are breaking away. Most are reabsorbed and we don't push too hard right now, as we've got enough problems without launching more wars.
By the end of 1212, we're able to reinstate taxes on our vassals without complaint. We also notice that we still hold Guy de Lusignan's title of Duke of Jaffa-Ascalon, which we hand off to our son Jacques, making all our sons Dukes.
The Kingdom has another problem, though. By 1215 neither Charles nor Jacques has had a single child! No sons, not even a daughter. It's difficult to understand what the problem is. Our lustful, indulgent son Gauthier is the only one who apparently knows what to do with a woman. This is his wife:
They have a daughter, but more importantly they have a new born son, Louis. At this point it looks like the Crown may eventually end up on his head, unless Gauthier's stupid brothers start performing their marital duties!
In December of 1215 we're feeling secure enough to snatch the province of Asyut, south of Cairo, but Egypt reclaims it before we can. We swing our armies around and take Tobruk instead, and hand it off to Gauthier. A prize he well deserves.
We appoint a new spymaster, a Muslim of all people. He's in a secretive, non-public position and he's far better then all the other candidates.
It will come as no surprise to some of our readers to find out the shadowy Muslim puppet master, with the dyed beard, named Usama, is evil. In October of 1217 he suggests to King Baudouin that they send assassins to murder their enemy: Duke Charles.
By now, King Baudouin is 56 years old, gray and tired. But he's not stupid. He refuses Usama's suggestion flat out. But the wily old Muslim had no personal grudge against Charles so, Baudouin lets him live, indeed keeps him in the position of spymaster, seeing as how the other candidates are so god-awful.
This is Baudouin's last act of mercy.
On Christmas Eve in 1217, the Angels of the Lord take King Baudouin in his sleep.
There are those, indeed, who say they saw Gabriel himself in the sky over the Holy City, bearing the soul of the King up to Christ in Heaven. There were also claims of miraculous healings on that Christmas Day, and it was said that Virgin appeared to a caravan of Muslim traders headed for Alexandria, all of whom promptly converted to Christianity. This news was taken to the Pope. There, in Rome, they would ponder if King Baudouin IV, the Lord of Jerusalem, the Conqueror of Egypt, the Sword of Christ, would be considered for sainthood.
Duke Charles was already in Jerusalem, to celebrate the birth of the Lord Christ, and on Christmas Day he was crowned King Charles I, of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
LONG LIVE THE KING! LONG LIVE THE KING!
Here's a thumbnail of Europe in the year 1217:
The Holy Roman Empire seems to have largely fallen apart and Byzantium seems to have inherited large swathes of Russia. They used to own nearly all of Novgorod, too, but apparently weren't able to manage territory so far away, and it broke away.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that the Kingdom of Jerusalem also owned the counties of Auxerre in France, Oldenberg in Germany, and Consenza in southern Italy. I don't remember agreeing to any vassalization requests, but they apparently belong to me. At least one other such country must have been mine, because I got a notice that a vassal had broken away and never figured out who it was. I intend to ignore these distant vassals and pretend they don't exist. I think they'll go independent soon enough and I have no intention of building a European kingdom when the Middle East still so desperately needs the redeeming Light of Christ brought to them at sword point!
30 years down and 236 years remaining of Crusader Kings!