There Will Be War: The Big Picture IV

Another overview, now also with history!

  • 1066-1077 : Geir Jonsson arrives at Dovre. Westmen Rising: A nasty civil war caused by Olaf Haraldsson acquiring the Kinslayer trait, due to the bigamy of his first wife. At the end not a single vassal remains, it’s all demesne. Hence Geir is able to reorganise the West, bringing much of the land, and therewith influence in the Ting, into the King’s personal gift. First Crusade, against Jerusalem. Brittany begins its slow rise to power by conquering a few ragged-ass sheikdoms in northeast Iberia.
  • 1077-1088: Geir starts training the Hird, and by marrying Ragnhild begins the long process of the uptimers going native. The death of Magnus, Olaf’s brother, reunites Norway except for Bergen and Trøndelag, who – with the Westmen Rising fresh in their minds – take refuge with the King of Sweden. Some quick punitive expeditions northwards adds the tribesmen to Norway’s domains, and brings Yngling rule to the Baltic. Brittany conquers the east coast of Iberia. Abghazia (Georgia) and Kiev (Rus) form their historic alliance, the first breath of the Roman Commonwealth, and conquer the tribes northeast of the Caspian Sea.
  • 1088-1094: Anja Sigridsdatter arrives at Dovre, and quickly runs foul of downtime custom. Brittany destroys the power of the Iberian Moslems, completing the Reconquista and becoming the first player Great Power. Apulia conquers Libya.
  • 1094-1120: Anja attempts to reintroduce the custom of duels to Norway, killing Olaf’s son Sigurd in the intrigue, and is exiled, ending up in Georgia. Eyvind Dagfinson arrives, and Geir convinces him that the original uptime plan is unworkable in some details and must be modified. Although Geir’s proposed changes are small, the principle eventually becomes widespread among the Ynglings, leading to quite radical departures from the uptime plan. Norway claims its King title, and conquers Mecklemburg, the first Yngling presence outside Scandinavia. Apulia forms the kingdom of Sicily. Brittany subjugates the Christian kingdoms of Iberia, the Moslems of Algeria and Morocco, and the western half of France. The first statements of the form “X must be destroyed” are posted, with X being Brittany. Carinthia (later Italy) declares independence from Germany and goes crusading in Egypt, conquering it. Georgia crushes the Seljuks, taking the northern half of their lands. Byzantium expands to the Danube.
  • 1120-1128: Norway expands south into Sweden and Denmark, destroying both kingdoms as powers in the Baltic although not yet claiming all their land. Brittany claims the Iberian King titles, then spends several years dealing with a civil war due to being excommunicated, a conflict later referred to as the Breaking of the Breton Dukes. A major war to destroy the kingdom of Germany is fought; the duchies of Saxony and Bohemia make their independence stick, forming Lithuania and Bohemia respectively, with domains carved out of Poland and the Baltic tribes in addition to what they held from Germany. At the same time Carinthia takes all German land south of the Alps and forms the Kingdom of Italy. Vague mutters of “X = Italy” are heard when the wealth of these lands becomes clear. Germany is reduced to a shadow of its former self. Flanders takes what’s left of the crown of France.
  • 1128-1136: Kingdom of Finland formed. Remnants of Swedish and Danish power extinguished; Einar Sigurdsson titled King of the Three Crowns. Kingdom of Russia formed by union of Kievan and Abghazian domains; X is set to equal “that huge green blob, ye gods, kill it before it breeds!” Kingdom of Sicily bites over the Medina Emirate and finds it too much to chew; Italy offers aid, at a dear price. England expands into Scotland.
  • 1136-1146: Anja reestablishes contact between the two branches of the Ynglings. Aslak Finnson arrives at Dovre, but goes un-noticed among larger events. Kingdom of Finland collapses; Prussia (formerly Lithuania) gains control of Finland, precipitating the Finnish Crisis when Russia demands a share of the spoils. The Crisis ends in a compromise that satisfies no-one, leading inexorably to the War of the Black Letter. Logistical difficulties force the Western faction to accept a compromise peace; Georgia is split off from the Russian crown, but no kingdom is formed in Khazaria. Norway gains control of the eastern third of Finland. Kingdom of Serbia formed. Italy absorbs the holdings of the former Kingdom of Sicily on the peninsula; in exchange, the Hautevilles gain lands in the southern Levant, forming the Kingdom of Arabia.
  • 1146-1151: Map of Europe. Norway and Prussia sign a defensive alliance. Destruction of Seljuk Turks by Georgia; thus the third and final Great Power is formed. Oddly enough, no “X = Georgia” posts make their appearance, perhaps from sheer demoralisation at Georgia’s vast manpower and defensible location. Intrigues between the Baltic powers.
  • 1151-1158: Death Spiral in England goes exponential; Prussia grabs Wales, Norway snipes parts of Scotland. The War of the Tapestry begins with a little-regarded skirmish in a godforsaken corner of Finland, leading an Yngling in the Georgian court to swear vengeance on Russia and all her works.
  • 1158-1169: Partition of Britain between Norway, Prussia, France, and Brittany. Silvester de Lusignan forms Kingdom of Ireland and Scotland. (This is Ike, our former Finland player. Gollevainen, who used to be England, moves to Novgorod.) Map of the Isles at this time:

    Britain 1169

  • 1169-1181: Scottish War ends in Norwegian victory; threat of Breton intervention keeps the Scots kingdom out of Norwegian hands. Shortly thereafter a Scottish Death Spiral starting with a heretic king forces Brittany to step in to maintain order; Scotland-Ireland becomes a Breton vassal. The first mentions of the Curse of the Isles appear. Holy Roman Empire formed, a loose alliance of Prussia, Italy, and Bohemia.
  • 1181-1190: Sigurd Yngling’s efforts to unite Europe against Russia – the ‘Tapestry’, as it is later called – bear fruit. Norway, Italy, Bohemia, Prussia and Brittany form an alliance to crush the newly-formed Roman Commonwealth, consisting of Russia, Georgia, and Byzantium. The immediate casus belli is the Third Finnish Crisis, a minor dispute over the boundary of the Novgorodian Principality. (Note: Georgian historians have corrected some of the diplomatic details.)
  • 1190-1201: The war initially goes well for the Western alliance. However, logistical difficulties, Italian incompetence, and Breton treachery eventually overcome the success of the Norwegian armies, forcing another compromise peace.
  • 1201-1209: The former allies in the West fall to bickering among themselves. Brittany sends the Red Letter to Prussia, demanding the cession of Finland to Norway and the Prussian possessions in the Isles to Brittany. The Prussians accept, and then ally with Brittany in turn against Norway in the Baltic War. This disaster ends with the Isles completely in Breton hands, and both Finland and Denmark lost to Prussia. On the plus side, the Bretons are very impressed with Norwegian tactics and weaponry.
  • 1209-1224: Nothing much happens. Some internal discussions among the Ynglings. Brittany joins the Roman Commonwealth, then leaves again. The Mongols make an appearance and are promptly crushed.
  • 1224-1248: The British Isles are once again independent under the de Lusignans, Brittany having wanted nothing more than to wash its hands of the place. Norway and Prussia, who have been waiting for this opportunity, spring instantly to the attack, destroying Scots power in a long and exhausting war. France, rushing to the aid of the victors, also grabs some of the spoils. This results in the Second Partition of Britain. Norway is so exhausted by the war that a non-Yngling king, Folke of Sudrey, sits the throne briefly; the Ynglings, however, maintain their control by feeding him mind-control drugs. Scotland, recovering swiftly, then attacks Norway with aid from Bohemia, while Russia attacks Prussia for control of Finland. An exhausted Norway is forced to return several provinces to Scotland, but gains the western half of Finland in exchange for not aiding Prussia. Since such aid would have amounted to three boys with pitchforks, this is an excellent bargain. In response to the growing centralisation of the Roman Commonwealth, the Holy Roman Empire becomes a much tighter defensive alliance including Arabia. Most of the continent is now divided between these two power blocs, who circle warily, waiting for a chance to strike. The Mongols make an appearance and are promptly crushed.
  • 1248-1260: Italy, wishing to strengthen its hand in case of war with Georgia, invades Brittany, gaining southern France and strategic ports in Africa. In response Brittany rejoins the Roman Commonwealth. France sells most of its continental holdings to Prussia in exchange for Prussia’s lands in the Isles, and becomes England. The two then attack Norway, France to gain the rest of the Norselaw, Prussia for the title King of Denmark – they already have the lands. After a long struggle in which Prussia learns why you shouldn’t fight in Norway in the winter, Norway gives in, selling the Norselaw for 10000 gold, and signing a treaty of non-aggression with the Holy Roman Empire. Meanwhile Serbia, having treacherously negotiated to join the HRE in the coming Great War, is destroyed by the other Roman Commonwealth nations, and its lands given to Byzantium. Both these wars are preliminaries to the expected war between the blocs; in both cases the main Powers of the other side would have liked to intervene, but had their hands tied by non-aggression pacts – which, however, are due to expire shortly. Fortunately for Norway, the Curse of the Isles strikes England in the form of Realm Duress and a beginning Death Spiral, and the brief Vengeance War ends with the Norselaw again under Norwegian control. What’s more, Scotland, worried by English expansionism, joins the Norwegian Realm. The Mongols make an appearance and are promptly crushed.
  • 1260-1266: Massive rebellions in Norway, the Curse of the Isles yet again. In this case, it comes from the Lusignans, and some posts mentioning ‘patterns’ and ‘what do you expect from Ike’ were made. When Scotland joined Norway, a guarantee was made that they should receive all the Scots and Irish Duke titles as soon as possible; as a guarantee for this, they were given five Norwegian and Swedish Duke titles, thus becoming overlords to considerable parts of the Realm. Then a Scots Duke rebelled, was crushed, and Ike asserted his claim to four Duke titles all at once, bringing his monthly loyalty loss from badboy to 7.3. Half of Norway erupted in a year’s time. Fortunately I was able to bring the rebellion under control by calling up my Finnish and southern Swedish vassals. Ike now has three vassals left, and I expect them to go in a month or two. The Mongols make an appearance and are only crushed after three years of heavy fighting, due to internal troubles in both Georgia and Byzantium leaving Russia to fight them alone. England gets its rebels under control and joins the HRE. The entire continent is now in one of the two blocs, with the single exception of Norway. The world awaits the spark that will light the conflagration.
  • 1266-future: There Will Be War!
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