Front Office Football Central  

Go Back   Front Office Football Central > Main Forums > Dynasty Reports
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read Statistics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-18-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
The Recluse and the Meta (CK2)



"$20 on Pump 2. And get me a pack of Marlboro Reds."

"You got it."

Just another normal exchange in the gas station and convenience store world. If it was bright day, the haggard looking black man in front of me might be an equally tired white woman with three screaming kids in the car, yelling at Mom for a candy bar. But it's not day. It's those dark, truly dark hours of the night, the slice of time in between the bars closing rush and the sluggish arrival of the dawn. It wouldn't be nearly so quiet were we further south in this barren state, in that schizophrenic city with untold glitzy casinos next to slum neighborhoods.

But here we are, in an unremarkable city. No reason for tourists to come. No reason to live here or do anything at all for that matter. Switch out the desert that encompasses everything for trees, the Mormons for more mainstream Protestants, and we could be Anyoppressedtown, Midwest USA.

I ponder this further as I watch the man shuffle to the door, fingers already fumbling with the strip to unwrap the cigarette pack. I'm sure for some people there's reason to get up, go out, see other people, do things and all that. Not me. I have no friends here and a 35 year old gas station cashier, even one with two failed efforts at masters degrees, doesn't have much in the way of career advancement. No, the only times I leave my apartment are to go to work, and to travel someplace that isn't here.

I guess you could call me a shut-in, a recluse, a hermit, just plain weird. There's a list of girls who will tell you the last for sure. Some days I think about ending it all, just snuffing out this sad life of mine, if you can even call it a life.

But not today. Today, I have a reason to live.

Today is the day I become a Crusader King.

...Well, count, really. And I probably won't crusade. I might not even be Christian, since Paradox, the Crusader Kings producer, now allows you to play Muslims. Maybe I'll even write an AAR about it. Probably not, though. I mean, it isn't like I could compare to the old-time greats of the Crusader Kings I era, like phargle, General_BT, etc. Even that guy Jestor's really odd story about a beautiful girl and a history class was cool. Sure wish I could meet somebody like Melody. I'd even settle for a Becky.

I'd bring my laptop to work and start playing right now, but having a computer in a gas station at night isn't the smartest idea. Hell, working the night shift at a gas station isn't exactly bright, either. But it's all I could find.

Oh, the Nighthawks painting up there? My favorite work of art, ever, and in some ways, the story of my life. But you don't want to hear about me. You want to hear about the game.

After my shift is over.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 02:22 PM   #2
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
When your waking hours occupy night time, the day world becomes a scary, intimidating place. The sun's bright heat hurts the eyes, especially out here in the American West desert. Worse still, every time you *do* go out into that other half of the world, you feel as though you've emerged from a cave where time has stood still, into a new age, a new surface world that bears no resemblance to the universe you once knew. Which leads me to believe that Rip Van Winkle wasn't about a guy who fell asleep for a hundred years or whatever; it was about a guy who worked nights and lived in his own fantasy world filled with bowling gnomes and whatnot.

Kind of like how *our* fantasy world, and by fantasy world I mean those of us on Paradox's forums, which I will write my AAR on, if I ever write it, is filled with historical glories and miseries and delight in success and failure both. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to be a character in a story or a novel. Would I still exist as a separate entity outside of my fictional self? What if myself right now isn't really me at all, but rather, what some writer imagines me to be? That's frightening. Because if I'm just a character, then I'm not really real. Or am I real because I exist in the text? And if I do exist as a textual reality, would people actually read me, and in reading me, do I become alive? Or I will be so much dust, so much e-ink, unread and unloved just as I am here in my actual, physical world, whether it's real or not?

I don't know, and I'm scaring myself, so I'll stop that line of thought.

Work's done now. I nod to the grey-haired woman replacing me and hurry home before the sun gets full in the sky. Liminal states of sunlight I can live; the fullness I can't stand.

There's time enough for me to open my tiny mailbox and find the usual junk coupons and other worthless mailings that I immediately toss in the dumpster on the way to my rooms. Nobody ever sends me anything useful, unless it's an eBay auction I've won.

It's nice having two doors to my apartment - greater security, even if it takes longer to get inside. The inner door swings open, and I'm greeted with a mostly visible fake hardwood floor. It needs sweeping and vacuuming, but what does it matter? No one else has been inside this place since the cable guy came to set up my Internet. Even the grocery delivery service I use just stands outside the door and hands me the plastic bags to carry in.

So I don't care about the little mounds dirty clothes, or the empty bottles of juice that dot the floor here and there. It's still better than my bedroom, which is piled high with clothes that need washing, but it's too much effort and energy to do more than a load or two a week and my closet space is too small to hold it all, anyway.

I don't feel like trying to do anything remotely resembling cooking, so I preheat the oven for a pizza and go to my laptop to start up CKII while I wait.



...So many choices. It's overwhelming. I have no idea where to go or who to take first.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Last edited by Izulde : 10-19-2012 at 02:59 AM.
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
For some reason, I don't know why, I'm being drawn to Scandinavia. There's no particular impetus I can think of. I'm German-American by ancestry, so one would think I'd muck about the Holy Roman Empire. I've always had an odd liking for France, too, but no desire to go there in this game. If I do trundle up to the cold, frozen North, so much like my home state, that means Norway, Sweden, or Denmark. Limited to Catholics, because Paradox still hasn't unleashed the pagans.

No to Norway. I don't want to be embroiled in the squabble over England.

Sweden offers options to go pagan munching, but why hurt the heathens? They're already in miserable territory, in a domain as dark and dreary as my life. Whoops, be right back. Oven's done preheating.

Another 17 minutes and pizza itself will be done.

What about Denmark? No Kynghtlyngs of course. Too phargled.

Fyn! Yes, Fyn is perfect, for like Finn Hudson, all my greatest moments and triumphs are left far behind. They weren't even so much in high school, or even in real life. They were... oh, right. Game. 13 minutes until pizza's done.


My starting situation

...I'm sad. I don't want to be able to buy a Duke title outright. But then I notice it will cost me almost 200 gold to get it, and guess who owns the other half of the Duchy? Yeah - King Svend II himself, who owns most of Denmark, so he'll be able to purchase the Dukedom first. I'm happy now.

But then I find out something even worse.



I'm already married. There's nothing more offensive to a recluse gamer than to have one's initial character already wed. It's cheating. Happily, I'm an underhanded, paranoid, arbitrary rogue, so I can quite cheerfully kill my wife and not break character. If I *were* actually Count Skjalm, I'd imagine things would go something like this...

***

What possessed me to marry myself to such a common person? Her father holds no titles and while she herself is in the first blush of youth at sixteen, she looks more a boy than anything one might call womanly. So she is skilled with the coin? What of it? She can not be my chief steward, so she is ultimately useless to me in every conceivable way. No, I must have done with her, one way or another.

Unfortunately, I lack the funds to purchase a professional outright, so I needs find collaborators, fellow conspirators, who agree she is a blight upon this noble person and house. Fortunately, my spymaster and my chancellor, the latter after being named cupbearer, quite agreed with my viewpoint. Alas and alack, when I tried to convince her lady-in-waiting, Helene, to join, using such inducements as the prestigious rank of High Almoner, and a princely 20 florin outlay, the ungrateful hussy still refused to partake in our schemes.

Helene shall be the next to die, I declare. I do not enjoy being made the fool, most particular when I lavish half the county treasure on that lowborn strumpet.

***

I do wish it wasn't so difficult to murder useless wives in this game. One would think the introduction of two high council members would be enough to ensure she'd be offed, but that damned 16 year old commoner is cockblocking me.

...Crap. The oven went off and there's smoke in the air.

To discard charred pizza I go.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
The burnt remains of the pizza have been chucked into the free-standing, kitchen style garbage bag sitting inside by my front door. There was no proper garbage can when I moved in, so I just decided to use what i had left over from the moving bags. It's simply too exhausting to walk to Target or Walmart, both 20 minutes away on foot, buy a can, and walk it home. This town is too small to have a worthwhile bus system, and an inner ear balance problem prevents me from utilizing a bike. Not that a respectable garbage can could fit in a bike basket anyway, even if I had one.

The idea of making something else felt too exhausting to even begin to contemplate, so I ate three spoonfuls of peanut butter out of a jar and called it a supper. I wish I knew why these circles keep appearing on my spoons after I wash them. Soap and water isn't enough to do the trick, I suppose.

It's starting to get earnestly daytime outside, but happily, my balcony is enclosed on three sides, recessed to give it the feeling of a cavern, and so, when I grab my pack of Parliament 100s and go out to smoke, the sunlight isn't too invasive. I light and inhale, listening to the sound of a car honking to summon one of my complex mates while I stare at the trees that look kind of like palm trees, but aren't, across the street.

What to do next, in the game, I wonder? Set an ambition, of course. But the wife?

And just as I ash onto the pile of cigarette corpses crowded in the crack of my balcony's cement floor, it hits me.

Make her my prison bitch, then kill her.

I finish my smoke and hurry back inside to my screen.

My vassals, a mayor and a bishop, both have 49 opinion of me. Perfect.



Sadly, I'm not holy enough in thought to kill her outright, but I'll just wait for her to slowly die the agonizing death associated with medieval prison life, even the non-Turkish variety.

My half-brother is my heir and he needs to be married, the game nags. But he isn't my direct line, so no wedding bells for him. Halfsies don't count.

Ambition? Let's go with raising my martial ability to at least be competent. I'm paranoid and arbitrary, so war will be my route to success.

Ho-hum, I suppose I should do something with my courtiers, so the usual train troops and get taxes for marshal and steward, neither of whom matter to me right now. My spymaster's shipped off to Spain to study useful technology improvements.

Then begins the long, slow wait for something to happen. Mid-November my chancellor tells me my king has a child that needs a mentor, so in hopes of being awesome, I send off a letter, only to be laughed at and rejected. Game imitating life.

That thought reminds me to look at my cellphone. As usual, no calls or text messages. I get maybe one every month from my mother. In fact, the only times my phone ever really makes noise at me is when I turn it on or off, or when it's screaming at me to charge it, which is often. Terrible, terrible battery life. Still a better life than mine.

Oh, and then the stupid Facebook game notifications I keep getting from the 107 friends of mine. No, I don't want to farm. No, I don't wish to play slots. No, I don't want to be a superhero, at least not that way. The worst part of it all? Of those Facebook friends, 57 are relatives, and the other 50 are people I went to high school with. I never cared about the first group, and as for the second? They ignored me, and now, all of a sudden, it's ZOMG WE WERE BEST FRIENDS!! PLEASE LOOK AT PICTURES OF MY BABIES AND MY TRIPS AND SEE HOW HAPPY I AM WITH LIFE, LOSER!!! ...Okay, so the last word isn't what they say, or maybe even consciously think, but it's implicit in their requests and their postings.

Me? I don't post anything, other than my own albums of vacations, in which case I bombard them with 30 albums of 100+ pictures each trip. Yeah, take that, you contended bastards.

Back to the game.

My steward dies of natural causes at 25. My half-brother would make a better steward, but screw him. I go with someone a tick below. Brosef complains; I tell him to get bent.

That slattern Helena, the one who kept me from murdering the wife I hate, dies at 17 of illness. I'm disappointed I'm not the one who caused her demise, but karma is karma, I suppose.

Then, in the summer of 1067, King Svend II gets a mass case of heatstroke, evidenced by his naming me Chancellor and getting involved in not one, but two wars. At the same time.



Yep, old Svend II gets himself involved in the very English mess I was hoping to avoid, and on top of it, interferes in Swedish politics. I'm just like, hello, oh mighty dumbassed redheaded liege, we're a tiny island nation. Stop trying to act like you're all that and a bag of chips, when you're none of that and a sack of shit.

Time passes. By May of 1068, I've pissed off everyone by refusing to let the Hedge Knights in, my half-brother even more so by refusing to find a wife for him and by making him Spymaster after my old one dies and punting him down to Spain. The war over England is still going on.

An awesome new financial wizard by the name of Hans av Nyborg or some such thing comes wandering in. I name him Steward, marry him off to some court doxie when he wants the old ball and chain, and invite him to join the plot to kill that irritating wife of mine. He accepts, but since my spymaster died, there's nothing doing with that.

Until July, 1070. Finally, after an ungodly amount of Sundays in church, I finally am considered holy enough to execute my imprisoned wife, which I promptly do.



At last, there will be something for me to do. But now the sun's starting to penetrate my living room, which means it's time for me to go to bed before my usual night shift at ye olde station.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
Brian Swartz
Pro Rookie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Haha ... most excellent not-in-our-out-of-character commentary sir.
Brian Swartz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Life is a B-movie; it's stupid and it's strange
A directionless story and the dialogue is lame
But in the he-said, she-said sometimes there's some poetry
If you turn your back long enough and let it happen naturally
Oh yeah
Oh hell yeah

...Yes, my cellphone's alarm ringtone is Ani DiFranco. There's a perverse, yet scrumptious irony in a straight man waking up every day/night to a darling of the lesbian set.

It's even more rich when you consider I hate lesbian culture. I've never understood why so many guys like it. To quote the great Stifler, "Good luck breaking through that force field." I suppose there's the whole fantasy of turning them bi and having rollicking three ways, but it's fantasy for a reason. I hate it even more because my name's Gerhard, which, in addition to sounding like it belongs in a porno, has the same first syllable as Gertrude Stein, who herself was staunchly sapphic and full of herself from the one friend I had back in the day when I still got out once in a while told me.

Jake and I used to meet a couple times a week late at night for coffee and cigarettes. He smoked menthols and dated 16 year olds until he turned 26, because at that point, according to him, as much as he enjoyed reliving the Sweet 16 thing over and over again, dating a girl a whole decade younger was too creepy. Anyway, he used to rant on how Stein and Steinese was the worst thing ever to happen to American literature, even moreso than Flannery O'Connor, Anne Rice, and Stephanie Meyer put together, because as awful as -those- writers were, at least they made some sense. Stein, on the other hand, was pretentious word vomit that tried to pass as advant-garde, but was simply bad, especially Tender Buttons and Three Lives, the latter of which was the most mind-numbing repetitive piece of junk ever to deface the printed page in his estimation.

"What's worse is, poets absolutely love her and go on and on about her," he said one night. "I just look at them, shake my head, and tell them if they want to read great poetry from the modernist era to go back to Eliot. Now *there* was a man who knew his stuff. It's just a god damned shamed nobody's stuff has been worth reading since he died."

My remembrances are interrupted by the Facebook chat noise on my laptop. Of course, it's my mother. Sorry, Mom. Not going to deal with you right now. It's showertime.

Then it's off to work, where nothing interesting happens as per usual.

Back home, straight to the computer and bride hunting, the first truly monumental choice I get to make in this damn game.

If I'm ever going to get out from King Svend II the Stupid's thumb, I should marry a girl who can give me or my sons land, and preferably as close to Fyn as feasible. A solution is quickly found.



Score! Two years until I can start to get something of a real RoI on this one, but alliance with a powerful Duke, marrying his eldest daughter, nay ELDEST CHILD! *and* a prestige bump? OH, HELL YEAH!



...Shit. The second war he's in? Even worse. Evidently the King of Poland decided to live to his national stereotype and take on the pagans to the north, and my father-in-law-to-be decided it was a great idea to join in. That's a -66 war right now.

I'm doomed to forever be linked with stupid people and even stupider kings. Sigh. And you wonder why I'm a recluse.

A week or two later, the fait accompli occurs.



Hmm. William the Bas- hey wait! That fatass king of mine made a Duchy title! Give me that, you fathead!

What do you mean you don't like me well enough for me to even demand it?! DAMN IT!

I snarl at the screen and flip Svend off with both fingers, then wait out the results of the Bastard/Norway fight and the expected beatdowns of FIL, whose name I should memorize, I suppose. But who cares? I just want him to live long enough that he marries his daughter off to me, she pops out a kid, and I get a claim on that title, if not outright inherit it.

Oh, Svend has a white beard now. Hopefully that means he dies soon.

Towards the end of November, scrubby count me gets stressed out because I keep hearing a freaking arrow whistling in my direction, but everybody pretends not to know anything about it, and I'm scared I'm going to take an arrow to the knee. *Then* what would I do?

Unfortunately, this results in me becoming a coward a few months later, and I faint at the sight of hog's blood at the next hunt, causing people to laugh at me. Awesome.

Is there any hope to my so-called noble life?



Well, my new wife is kinda hot, and she's 16. Take that, Jakemeister!



...We need to pop out a kid soon, I think. I don't want my UIL inheriting all that. We'll never beat him in a war otherwise.

Speaking of war...



Hooray. Old Man Svend II *finally* stars a war where he'll get something when he wins.

Too bad for him mini-stacks of pagan doom start popping up and mowing down the combined Danish/Swedish armies.



But then that merry figure of fun, the King of Norway-England jumps in and from then it's only a matter of time before that fairly far-off pagan country flies the Danish flag.

Meanwhile, I *still* have nothing and am going nowhere.

Forget it. This game is too much like my life. I'm saving and going to bed.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
Haha ... most excellent not-in-our-out-of-character commentary sir.

Thanks. Eventually the frame story will go somewhere. It'll just take me a while to get there, not least of which because updates are going to be fairly sporadic.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #8
Cap Ologist
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Nice work so far.
Cap Ologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 04:10 AM   #9
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
My day off today. I don't want to think, don't want to ruminate. It's straight waking up, a bowl of Count Chocula, and to the computer for Crusader Kings II.

Things do not start well. King Svend II creates the Duchy I could have bought and the Duke of Bohemia dies, but I'm unable to press Judita's claim on anything for some unknown reason. She's pregnant at least, so hopefully a son will have a claim that I can use to start a war.

Svend II helps his buddy in Norway win a scrubby pagan county (Lappland) and I have a son. Is this the start of something awesome?



Of course not. Nary a claim in sight. Props for the name, though. Makes me want to go toke, except I have no idea where to go or who to buy from. Haven't known since the two failed grad school attempts.

Time passes and of course nothing happens. Then, on Christmas, 1074, a merchant caravan from Hindustan comes asking for shelter and food. Of course I give it to him, just to see what happens, and lo and behold, I get this guy:



Needless to say, I make some immediate Council adjustments, because my Council hates me except for genius Hans av Norborg:



Want some more proof of how much everyone hates me? I try to instigate a claim on the Duchy of Sjaelland, but nobody's interested in helping. Svend II tells me to stop it, I tell him to go to hell, Svend shrugs and goes back to ignoring me, though he does have the gall to give the royal spymaster a different duchy he created after he creates a third or fourth duchy. I really, really, -really- hate King Svend II. Why can't he die already?

Oh, I have another son now too, named Kristian, but I don't care about him. Toke's my heir and that's all there is to it.

Two years later and I have a third son, Kristoffer. The following also becomes readily apparent:



...Yeah. Kristian is something of a boy genius. So naturally I change to elective law and nominate him my successor. Fortunately one of my two vassals goes along with the nomination. He's already almost as good as I was when I first started and he's flipping 2 years old.

A few years later, I get so bored I declare a war on a lone pagan county, hire cheap mercs and go attack it... and just when I'm about to win the fucking thing, an alliance of pagans comes and drives me out and I lose.

In a fury, I quit without saving. Screw it. I'll start somewhere else next time. But now to do something like zone out on CSI: Miami and figure out where to go next. Damned alliances. Damned everyone in fricking Denmark hating me. Damn my asshole chancellor who was all like OHAIUWANTCLAIMINWALES?! HAHAHA SCREW YOU! NO CLAIM FOR YOU!

...I wish I had work now. I hate days off. Long hours with nothing to do, no one to see, nowhere to go.

I know. You're sick of hearing it.

I'm sick of -being- it.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 04:11 AM   #10
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap Ologist View Post
Nice work so far.

Thanks. Can't say the same for poor Gerhard, though.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 07:58 AM   #11
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004


Horatio Caine. The greatest hero of our age. His slow, deep voice; his intense gaze; his calm demeanor, and of course, his one-liner brilliance make him the world's most wonderful crimesolver since Sherlock Holmes. Whenever I watch a CSI: Miami episode, the world doesn't seem quite so bad, for we have men like him serving for the good of us all. Whether he comes in after the fact or saves lives by his prompt action and quick thinking, he should be regarded as one of our epic heroes.

After I turn on Netflix and watch a few episodes, I'm calmed down enough to go back to CK II and start anew.

Anew where?

In honor of H, where else could I possibly go?



Ireland. And the bloody red hand of Ulster. Look at all those independent counties. I guess you could say.... *puts on sunglasses* Ireland's a bloody mess. YEAAAAH!!!

First things first. Make a marriage that actually matters and send my councillors to work.



The ironing. It is delicious. Old pal King Svend II is now my ally and on top of it, I'm going to ensure the recessive redhead gene lives on in the family!

As you can probably tell from the above, my plan is to secure Oriel first, as it's the richer of the two counties neighboring me. I need a stronger base, and since wars will likely be decided by mercaneries, I need all the cash I can get.

A couple years go by, in which Svend II has me join his de jure war for Lubeck. I send no troops, merely a letter saying I'll support his just cause. Of course he doesn't he need my 209 troops to win.

My first child also arrives, a daughter.

But the best thing that happens is that two farmers come to me about a squabble involving pigs and instead of taking money, I do the just thing and become known as just. This pays off even more further down the line, when both my spymaster and my marshal find poachers and present them to me, and my just sense is able to order their hanging. As my hero H would say, those who commit crimes can not go unpunished.

My council members love me for that even-handedness.



Years pass. My chancellor isn't doing anything with Oriel so I switch him to Tyrone and keep waiting.

While we wait, some interesting things



Willie wins the initial war but is incompetent. You can bet what happens after that.

I marry a couple of courtiers to a couple hot Portuguese girls, one of whom is quite talented and will likely do some mentor work along the way.





A three way dance develops between the Duke of the Isles, the King of Scotland, and the Duke of Lothian. Lothian eventually won independence from Scotland, so Scotland's pretty fractured and reduced in power right now.

My heir finally comes of age and for a moment I'm tempted to have the hot Portuguese girl educate her, but I don't want little Deirdre turning Portuguese, so it's, of all people, my Marshal educating her.



*Finally* my chancellor comes up with a claim on Tyrone and I immediately use my cash reserves to hire the best reasonably priced mercs I can afford after declaring war. And of course...



Naturally, good King Svend II provides only moral support, just like I've done in the four or five wars we've "been in" together. I hate scare quotes, but it's too apropos here.

In the middle of the war, I have another D-named daughter, Derbail, but she's not important. I'll have HPG educate her when the time comes. OTOH, I'm officially giving second daughter a nickname. Derbail "The Gerbil" Sithrigi.

The war goes as expected, but it takes almost all my cash reserves to do it. It's okay, though, because...



Yep. Income literally DOUBLED as a result of this conquest. And that's with 5 years to go before Tyrone settles down. Can you score? I knew you could. Now we just sit back, take the chancellor out of Oriel and send him somewhere else in Ireland until I have enough to buy that hard-earned Duchy and de jure war the hell out of Oriel and the other one in the Duchy of Ulster's domain.

Unfortunately, he proves too quick to make his next claim, and since the good Earl is already in his late 50s...



It's off to war again. King Knud III, who succeeded Svend II to the throne agrees to join the war and the plan is to wait it out until he arrives or until Tyrone gets cleared.

But then the opposing Count raises 346 men and we're at a disadvantage.

Until...



The marshal gave his life and in doing so, secured us a win that ensured we wouldn't lose the war.

But then no help was forthcoming from Denmark, and Tyrone's restoration seemed a long way off, and so I again hired the mercs to finish off this war. It was touch and go financially, but we succeeded and gained a foothold in the heart of Ireland.



Really nice bonus. But I need to keep it in my back pocket for after we clear out Ulster.

Oh, I forgot to mention - I had a son born back during the Tyrone war, so my eldest daughter. Good joss, as it turns out.



I really want to make sure she has a matrilineal marriage nonetheless and one that will secure a strong alliance.



Why back to the Danish well? Because even though the Ynglngs have been no actual help, the threat of their expanding empire, fueled largely by pagan conquests, will keep larger fish honest when they're eying us up.

And also because...



18 marital score and new Marshal huzzah!

...Wait. Why does it say Brother-in-law?



...Shit. I just married my daughter to her uncle.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Last edited by Izulde : 11-04-2012 at 08:00 AM.
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #12
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Some years ago, say 7 or 8, my best friend got married. She was the bride. Her husband graciously made me one of the groomsmen, and her other best friend, the one she would probably call her best best friend if she were forced to choose one, was her maid of honor. It was a small, but beautiful wedding, but also a painful experience for me. Even though I wasn't yet the recluse I am now, being around people made me very uncomfortable, so I kept to myself as much as possible during the day and the ensuing reception.

But that wasn't the only reason. You see, I've been in love with her ever since we met in high school. Yes, I went for it. But she considered me so close a friend that I was like a brother to her, and she simply couldn't conceive of any romantic feelings for me. And so that night, sitting by myself in the hotel room, I cried for hours. Even though I knew she didn't look at me that way, as long as she wasn't married, there was still that miniscule chance, that slight hope of a miracle that could reverse the pounding of doom's drum, introduce the sweet saxophone of success. Once the One Ring slid on that slender finger, the last thunderous hit resounded, and it was all over.

Not just the wispy, fragile form of love's longshot. Even being in her life. Because I saw with heartbreaking clarity, as she chatted with her in-laws, the way the path was headed. After this, her social circle would become more intimately bound up with theirs and I would fall to the wayside, a featured character in the chapters of her youth, but written out of the story once her romantic saga was complete.

And so it has come to pass. They have two children now, a boy and a girl as beautiful, kind, and smart as the couple that made them. While the happy family lives in San Francisco now, and are only a short flight or drive away from this sleepy, forgotten desert town, I myself can't drive and have no way of getting to Casinoland to the south to take that flight. Would they welcome me for a stay? Certainly. But I would feel a fifth wheel to their joyful quartet, a discordant, gloomy note in their merry song.

Thus, I stay away, hidden in my small apartment cavern, where I do not disturb their universe, or anyone else's. As you might guess from the above, I'm a 35 year old virgin. Just five years away from being a movie title. Steve Carrell explains quite well how middle-aged sexual neophytes still happen today:

"It just never happened. When I was young, I tried, and it didnít happen. And then I got older, and I got more and more nervous, because it hadnít happened yet. And I got kind of weirded out about it. Then it really didnít happen, and then Ö I donít know, I just kind of stopped trying."

I did try elsewhere of course through the years. After all, I would be the worst kind of stupid if I spent my whole life pinning my hopes of a never gonna happen high school flame. But I failed. Failed and failed and failed despite my trys. I'm no A.C. Green, either, who was so religious that he kept his virginity vow all through his long NBA career until he got married in his 40s, after he finally retired from the game. Religion doesn't even play a real role in my life, if at all.

Nor am I like the one friend I had back in the day when I had authentic friends. He was asexual. Liked girls and all that, but just wasn't interested in sex. Never flogged the dolphin, never watched porn, never did anything. Not me. I'm very much a participant in all the sexual spheres one would expect a single, reclusive American male to engage in. Which makes it all the worse. If I -were- disinclined to sexuality, none of it would matter. But I'm not and it does.

This is all depressing, though. It's my day off and I should be spending it going further in the one part of my life where I am having any success. Time to go back to CK2 and forget about friends, fun time, failure, and gas station employment.

So I guess you could say about that whole mistake I made with marrying my daughter to her uncle that... *puts on sunglasses* ...I was keeping it all in the family. YEAH!!!!

Niece and uncle have a daughter a short time later and she doesn't appear deformed or anything, so good joss for that.



My heir is ready to be educated, but his lack of stewardship and military acumen alarms me, so despite the poor job he did with my eldest daughter, my old marshal, now steward, gets the job again as the most overall talented of my courtiers.

And finally, some time later...



I was scared Count Cu would die before he got enough money to fully reap the rewards of his success and become Duke, but at age 61, he holds out long enough to get the title he so richly deserves. Now it's time to check our military abilities and see if we can carry out these de jure claim wars without needing to invoke mercs we can't afford.

We can put together just shy of 500 troops between our personal levies and vassals to 301 for Oriel, 261 for Tyrconnell. We'll go claim the smaller of the two and see what happens.

What happens is something very cool.



No, not my incestually wedded daughter plotting to kill my lone male heir. (By the way, I have yet another daughter now, and I think my second eldest came of age during this war).

Look at the siege panel. Yep, that's right. King Knud III finally lent actual physical assistance. Not only does that mean Tyrconnell has no chance at all of winning this war...



...But I'm able to use my other armies to contest his pitiful sieging of my counties and prevent any occupational losses.

Needless to say, he's now my vassal and not happy about it in the least.

An interesting situation pops up shortly thereafter.



What's this? A weak claim on the Duchy of Galloway, whose boy Duke only has one county?



Ah. A courtier who drifted in. So if I win, boy Duke loses prestige and the courtier becomes an independent Duchess? Not interested.

Instead, I wait a bit to let my troops recover and then attack Oriel, which leads to something -really- awesome happening.



Yep, best buddy Knud III sends -two- waves of troops to help me out. Naturally, it's an easy win.

Next up:



Say hello to Dual Duke Cu. How coo is that?

As it turns out, I have two options.



Hmm, make a vassal count who doesn't like me stronger, or force another count as my vassal? Gee, what do you think?

We're so powerful by this point that all I do is raise my personal levies in the three counties and let my vassals take a break. Someone else doesn't get one, though.



I love King Knud III. May he reign forever. Of course, we win, and I now have control over all of the north of Ireland.

Logic would say to go for the Irish crown, but that means being a big fish in a small pond. I have far greater ambitions than that.

To realize those ambitions, though, I'll have to gain a foothold elsewhere.



Tough nut to crack here. Between Carrick and Galloway counties, the Count of Carrick can raise over 600 troops. We're sitting at about that amount between our personal levies and vassals after all the warring we've done. But it's use it or lose it and Cu is in his mid-60s.

I can't risk losing the claim. We'll go to war, fight defensively, and hope that Knud III continues to have our back as we look to push onto the larger island and work our way into the Great Scottish divide.

Happily...



Which turns into this:



And ultimately becomes this:



Due to Knud III conquering Carrick, it'll be 10 years rather than the usual 5 before things are up and running, but that's okay, because the truce with Galloway lasts until 1102 anyway.

Plenty of time to rest up, restore, claim, and continue our Scottish expansion.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2012, 03:32 AM   #13
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I can't help but think that if this history were the true history, books, or at least a few scholarly articles, would be written about the deep friendship between King Knud III and Duke Cu and how the Danish monarch was directly responsible for Ulster's rise as a regional power in the late 11th century.



One thing I forgot to mention last time - It appears I was wise not to have HPG tutor any of my heirs, because though she passed away during our successive wars, she nonetheless turned my second daughter Portuguese.

Derbail the Portuguese Gerbil comes of age a few weeks later.



She's not very impressive, to say the least.



But her marriage is. Another King for an ally, albeit far, far away. It's yet another reversal from the last game, where the stupid Bohemian marriage netted me nothing at all. This time, it pays off very sweetly.

That's not all. Her new hubby?



Midas touched FOR THE WIN! Say hello to my new Steward friend.

Unfortunately, then something very bad happens.



Deirdre got her wish after all and managed to kill off my only male heir. She's now first in line, and she got him just before his 16th birthday.



Not that he would have been a great heir for anything other than diplomacy anyway.

A few months go by and my grandson is due to be educated, but then I notice something.



He's the dumbest six year old in the history of the world. I mean, we're talking so stupid, it's a wonder he even remembers to breathe. That simply won't do.



Impressive, no? But wait, it gets better.



Yeah. 9400%. This dumb kid is so dead not even a Level 100 priest who's so holy he shits Holy Avengers +5 with 20 hit dice fireballs by the hundreds could resurrect him. And I don't think that's all my conspirators even.

Needless to say, it works. Unfortunately, the stupid assassin gets killer's remorse and cries in his beer about killing a kid, so now I'm considered a Kinslayer. Awesome.



Okay, dude. Good luck with that. It's like me last game trying to claim the Duchy of Sjaelland. Hope you revolt against me so I can kick your scrawny ass. That's why I didn't let your daddy get his hands on Connacht either, because I thought you might be a jerkface when you inherited.

An update on Scotland.



Well that's no good. Looks like Malcolm will re-unite a large part of the kingdom.

Oh, and a Crusade's started.



Good luck with that, gang!

And then sorrow strikes.



Duke Cu doesn't seem too upset by it, though. He's too busy being a 72 year old badass who has been gradually upgrading the home castle of Downpatrick to be as awesome as he is.

Time to marry again for the cash grab and a useful alliance.



Perfect. But what's this?



Hmm. Intriguing. But we would need to have a son first before it was worth it, so we'll wait and see what happens. After all, Duke Cu is 72. That doesn't bode well physically or timewise for a son to come strolling on out of him and his 17 year old bride, though I do hope he gives it the old college try.



Come on, come on. Live long enough, you bastard Cu!

If it's a daughter, I'm going to have to immediately switch to Elective Law, so I bribe my two disloyal earls to get them to accept the change if it's a daughter. It might all be for nothing if Cu dies or if it's a boy, but I have to be sure...



HELL YES! GAME ON, GWYNEDD!

Partway through the war, the inevitable happens.



Long live Duke Cu I, you magnificent fellow. You had a long, long reign in which you took the County of Ulster from minor Irish county to a dual dukedom force to be reckoned with. Best.initial.ruler.ever.

Want further proof?



Yep, by the time the Danes showed up to help, the war was pretty much over. No greater testment to Cu I's legacy than that. About the only thing Knud III did was make it so that we didn't have to buy mercs to finish off the war. Instead, we could spend it on a training ground to beef Ulster up further, something that's really needed given how many vassals hate the boy Aed.

We also picked up a nice little alliance from one of Aed's half-sisters coming of age.



Sure, Prince Robert's in prison, but every little bit helps.

And so finally, we win and this beautiful picture emerges.



But we weren't the only ones to have a rousing success.



The King of England really cleaned house, but in the end, he wasn't the one to get the land.



It was the Papacy. That's going to make for a -very- interesting Spain if the Muslims start fighting back.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 07:46 AM   #14
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
So long, Ireland.

The gas station hasn't changed, but CK 2 has. It's up to 1.09 now and I've neglected my game, filling those vast, empty hours with, of course, CSI: Miami and various other Netflix and Hulu+ options. It's amazing really - the early 21st century has become a golden age for American television, unlike any other we've seen. Film quality has gone way, way down, in my opinion. But I'm not somebody who matters. All I do is process retail transactions. I don't even pump the gas, or wash windows. I think New Jersey does that still, but the desert is a long way from America's armpit.

It's starting to get warm out here again, or at least warm by my Mid-Southern roots. There have been a few times I've looked at my battered, ancient tennis racket that I, for some reason, still keep resting on the wall in my bedroom. Maybe I should go back out there, hit the court again like I did when I was young. Back before the fat, the sloth, the depression consumed me whole and dropped me out of the real world.

But why do that when I have a computer game to play?

Okay, so no go backing to Ireland. That's old hat. The breath of out of season spring makes me want to try something a little more outside my comfort zone.



Like, say, the Byzantine Empire?



Much as I despise the lack of my own love life, I love finding women to marry.



...Wow. You can't marry the daughter of a Doge without taking massive prestige hit? Oh well, I suppose it's like I found out in the paper I did on Mexican aristocracy as an undergraduate - the pursuit of money is an undignified thing.

Let's find something more palatable, shall we?



Much better, although it's gonna be a few years before this comes to fruition. At least I have an heir already, so no worries.

My vassals think I'm cool and all, but I toss them each an honorary to make them like me even more.

Next thing that happens:



Yeah, I'm totally going to take that Martial increase, especially since I, you know, want to be Marshal for my liege.

Speaking of war and fighting, we start off fighting the Seljuk Turks. Not that I care because they're all the way across the other side of the Empire.



....Looking pretty scary there.



...Or, you know, not. That battle singlehandedly turns the tide in favor of the Purple. Yay!

Meanwhile I get married to the Duke of Apuila's daughter and my Chancellor gets me in a claim on Zeta. Double yay!

...But what's this? You are unable to call Duke Robert to war. ...What.the.HELL?! ROBERT, Y U NO COME TO WAR?!

Fortunately, an odd twist of fate occurs.



The Venetians also go to war with the Duke who is liege of the Count of Zeta over some port city and because they chased down the enemy army instead of sieging, I get there first and win siege rights to ZZeta. Booyah!



My diabolical plan to split the army and send a vassal off to claim siege rights on Dubrovnik, the ducal capital, almost works.

But then that piddly 39 man army you see there beats my tiny vassal army. Happily, the Venetians were awfully slow in getting in gear, so my main county army was able to sneak in there first, even after the vassal army got routed, which becomes this:



Hooray for the Venetians, whose Doge was almost my father-in-law!

Oh, another cool thing that happened during the campaign...





Of course, this Ultimate Bad Ass becomes my new Marshal and I quick marry him to the girl with the highest Marital skill I can find.




Ahh... that lovely, lovely shade of purple.

And Venice's war for some city?



...Somehow went to the Emperor. ...Yeah. Don't get that at all. NOT COMPLAINING, THO!



My newly inherited vassals hate me. Watch me not care. That's my chancellor in Hum, by the way, hoping to score me another sweet, sweet claim, so I can cheerfully break the truce and go to war again with mercs by my side.

I might also move my capital to Zeta for closeness, but we'll see.

For now, victory smoke, and then back in.

This is the best I've felt in years. I now have the urge to go... ALL THE WAY WEST TO ROME!
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 04:09 AM   #15
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
When you're a recluse, smoking is one of the few pleasures and avenues to fresh air available, nevermind the irony of polluted lungs. I know some people, like my father, smoke in their houses, but that always strikes me as strange and unusual. Why would you want the place you live to feel and smell like the sooty insides of a chimney or coal mine? I suppose part of it is also the trend across the nation to ban smoking from bars and restaurants. It's become so ingrained a habit to be outside to smoke because of those laws, that I can no longer do it indoors, and I especially can't do it when I'm eating. Yet, oftentimes, 5 minutes before or 5 minutes after, there it is between my lips, effects on taste and aftertaste be damned.

But anyway, victory smoke consumed (even though I, of course, didn't *actually* eat it) and return to the Purple we go.



There's a new Duke of Dukaljta or however you say it. He's getting involved in stupid wars. Good news for me.

Even better news?



I fulfill my wife's ambition to be Spymaster and she's so thrilled, she gets instapregnant.

More on the results of that in a bit. But first...



Uh oh. Looks like the battle to end the Seljuk threat was just a temporary setback.



Good news: Instapregnancy = new son!

Bad news: Gavelkind is law of land. I have to use my last honorary title and bribe the other vassal to make everyone cool with passing this shiny new elective law. Result?



We <3 Count Ioannes Day!

Which means...



FLAWLESS VICTORY!

In other news around the Empire, the Basileius (sp) dies. His heir?



Yeah.

So it's no surprise when:



The Byzantine Empire. Now with less purple.

But let's back up a bit. Before that sad event, I decided to try and plot to get a claim on my liege's Duchy. This naturally makes him so angry he does the following:



To which *I* say...



Screw you, pal.

While the war for Independence that's actually a war to Change Liege goes on, I get the following message:



Cool. But first I have to win this war and that means buying mercs, eating into the fat treasury I've saved.



Ain't nobody revokin' jack, now, old man who won't die and who is Imperial Chancellor so everybody tells me to sod off when I'm like Hey bro, you should totally join my claim on the Duchy, yo.

While the war was taking place, I noticed this in our sphere of interest:



...Excellent.

Operation Fast HUMmingbird Launch!



Things are going according to plan...



And then...

...Then there's a change in Dukes AGAIN, resulting in inconclusive war.

Well shit. I still have 98 gold, but that's too low to go charging off to war again just yet. I'm just going to sit tight, build up my cash reserves, and *then* go back at it. Notice the usurp title icon up at the top? 192 gold and change and that doesn't land me Hum, even though my claim will pass on to my UNANIMOUS VICTORY heir when I croak and he's elected. Too much money right now. I'll have gone to war over Hum before then and claimed it, *then* use my three territories to raise enough money to usurp the ducal title.

...Oh wait. I'm at my max demense limit of 2 already.

Oh well. Screw it. I'll sort it out when the time comes. Now to push play and wait.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 04:45 AM   #16
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
When you live alone, and by alone I mean completely alone, you become a dilettantish consumer. Partially watched TV series, half-read books, midpoint-played games... It's as if we recluses, recognizing that we'll never take part in life, need to devour as many of the entertainment forms as possible to make up for the gaping voids in our existence. Yet, we can never finish these things. Half of it, I think, is because we're afraid of missing out on something by not exposing ourselves to it. The other half, and perhaps the real reason, finishing something is a too stark reminder that we, too, are being closer to finished, as in dead finished. If we can exist in this perpetual state of incompleteness, perhaps we can somehow extend our lifespans by leaving tasks undone.

I don't even remember where I was playing or what I did all those months ago. All I know is, I got lost in Skyrim for a while, managed to finish the two Netflix seasons of The Killing (which, by the way, doesn't count as a completed thing because I later found out a third season is on tap so there), wandered through some other TV series and games I don't really remember now what all they were - just that I stopped every single one short of conclusion.

It's been a long time since I've been able to watch shows like Glee or Community, by the way. When one has failed at life like I have, the harsh reminder of those high school hopes is too painful, makes the waste too real, and the same goes for Community, though I've heard there's an old guy on there who should make me feel less bad.

Other than that, the endless monotony of the gas station. Some days I fantasize about what it would be like to walk in with a gun one day and just take everyone out before turning it on myself. Not that I would ever do it. That would mean interacting with other people to get the gun, get the bullets, all of that. And frankly, why should I punish other people for the mistakes I've made? That isn't fair and it isn't right, so just take those thoughts as idle daydreams that will never come true.

I visited the Paradox forums a few days ago. Found out there's this expansion called The Old Gods coming out soon. Being able to play pagans sounds okay, even though I'm not all crack-happy about it like some people are on there. Like I've said before, religion plays no part in my life at all, and as fun as it would be to find one of those slutty neopagan girls and get laid finally, pussy acquired via fraud is worse than the Jerry Maguire shoplifting of the pootie. In fact, it's worse than paying a prostitute. At least in the last case, you're being honest about exchanging money for ejaculatory marvels.

But I guess that means the last game, whatever it was, is officially on ice since it's reportedly so close to TOG. Just like my collection of race and class combos in every Elder Scrolls game ever, they will remain loosely floating in the air, left to hang in medias res.

Until the hard drive destruction comes.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2013, 05:45 AM   #17
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Two weeks without a cigarette. Barely contained rage lidded only by incessantly pacing the apartment and punching the air. Fury elevated because of the smallness of this town. I long to go back to the light-polluted metropolis to the south. Why did I ever leave it in the first place? Because I thought my frayed nerves could use the rest, the healing. Shut everything out and just convalesce. Good idea in theory, and the novelty of the silence had an initial therapeutic effect, but the improvement proved ephemeral, and not at all a fantasia.

At least The Old Gods finally released, offering a temporary respite from rage. In fact, it's been out a few days, but the thought of beginning again has been an exhausting one. Every time I contemplate starting, goosebumps of revulsion pop up my acne-scarred skin and I do something like play and sing along to Jason Derulo videos. ("Whatcha Say" is the loveliest cheaters' anthem ever). It's the same sensation I had in those distant days when I swam for my high school - In order to get into the water, I had to hurl myself into it, or, more often, be thrown in by my teammates. On the other hand, once in the water, it felt natural, and I practiced just fine, although my mind tended to wander and result in such things as hallucinating Kappa from Final Fantasy 6 on the pool bottom.

So here we go with the forcing myself to launch Crusader Kings II and of course go pagan. I predict I will die within five years.



Bjorn isn't a pink Viking dinosaur, but he does have awesome facial hair and is quite the diplomatic and learned fellow. Not like me. Well, I'm learned enough, but I have all the charisma of a hostile drunk skunk.

What? You don't know who Bjorn the pink Viking dinosaur is? Allow me to educate you, young 'un.



...Bjorne. Close enough.

Much to my annoyance, interfaith marriages now appear to be nerfed. Every comely lass I try to marry comes back with "Hot Chick Must Not Marry Your Infidel Pagan Ass". Even other pagans.

As a result, I'm forced to choose between a few noblewomen who are uglier than me and a collection of varying levels of attractiveness and skills lowborn women. What to do?



The hot blonde 16 year old who doubles as an awesomesauce Spymistress upgrade of course. Always choose the hot blonde 16 year old.

So I should go raiding, but I'm landlocked. Fortunately, Medelpad to our southeast is a coastal county and we should have more troops than them when all is said and done. I have no patience so I'm of course going to attack now.

They fire up their 292 troops and I wait until we're at 345 before attacking. It's a good thing too, because we need every last troop advantage to eke out a win that magically shoots our warscore up to 40%. I have no idea what that's all about; maybe decisive battles are given higher warscore now? In any case, we pingpong them a bit to get warscore up to 49% and then this happens:



Losing an awesome commander isn't going to help things for Medelpad. Unfortunately, we don't have enough troops to actually seize the county, so time to go back and rest up.

It's a long and protracted war, but finally we manage to win out:



Her fate will be decided for later, but for now, I'll bask in this hard-won initial success. Although my objective is to become King of Norway, a Swedish foothold is a good thing for expanding territory and power.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2013, 06:18 PM   #18
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Ingrid is neither pretty enough nor stats-sexy enough to make a concubine, so I simply release her, because her husband doesn't care about her and won't pay the 10 gold to get her out of jail.

Gavelkind is my bane - I had two daughters in the war for Medelpad, which means a split inheritance should I die right about now.

In November of 871, Bjorn becomes Just, which means hooray, no over max demense penalty!

But some months later, I get this stern warning note:



Time to go raiding, I guess, even though I've never done it before.

I very quickly discover I don't know how to raid. I raise my levies, raise my fleet, and land on a random Christian county... and nothing happens.

A Google search reveals what I needed to do, but guess what? The fleet refuses to dock into an enemy port, even though the arrow is green, which means I have to disband my levy and lose almost 200 troops. Not.happy.

So I've pretty much wasted a bunch of time, money, and troops here. But wait - it gets worse.



...Joy.



Chance of stopping that? Zero. And Fairhair won't accept my surrender to try and save Medelpad, which is in Sweden, not Norway, from being razed.

Then this hits:



Now I'm thinking oh effing great. But then I realize something...



Cut out Fairhair from adding another territory to form Norway and save Medelpad? Hells yes.

The good Petty King is pissed, so much so that he offers to give me back my second daughter for 26 gold. I tell him to stuff it. My eldest daughter was as good at 2 years old as second one is at 5, so no loss.

Even more interesting?



My crownly ambition switches to Sweden, likely because of my primary title change.

But this guy wants to be King of Sweden, too



12 vassals to my, um, 0. Not good.

Fortunately, there's opportunity:



It takes hiring a weakened Lappish Band to do it, but at the end of the day, we have 23 gold in our pocket and we control two Swedish counties.

I'll close out with an awesome event.



Take that, gavelkind.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2013, 04:15 PM   #19
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I'm so thrilled with my ability to hang on that I decide to do two loads of laundry. Not even the tiniest of dents in the dirty piles littered on my floor, I know, but each small step matters. How much worse the problem is when one has a washer and dryer combination the size of Thumbelina's flower. I shouldn't complain too much, though - even having a washer/dryer unit within the apartment itself is a blessing, so that I'm not forced to haul my shame to the laundromat. Then again, a common convention in the world of meet-cutes is the laundromat. But I am no longer young, and would look simply the old, skeevy pervert to the winsome young things mixing in the detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. Although I have to say, they would neither soften me nor make me dry, even if they would leave me hanging dry.

But enough of these transparent innuendos. It's time to reassess my CK2 situation to the soundtrack of the washer and dryer's humming and thrumming, and see where I might progress.



It's clear that the way out is to attack the same Tribe of Somi who I surrendered Jamtland to, as two of their provinces lie within the domain of Sweden. If I can obtain Lappi itself, the stronger of the two, and the one held by the High Chieftess, I can control the center and consume the other one, giving myself a base from which to defend against the Ugly Red Man's likely incursion.

Unfortunately, things escalate quickly.



The Ugly Red Man attacks, and I know there's no way in Valhalla I have any shot at beating him. There's more troops on the way and it'll be a massacre. The other Scandinavian titan, King Fairhair, is taking out an independent county in purple, a county that wishes it was Byzantine purple.

So I do the only thing I can, surrounded as I am by giants.



That poor High Chieftess.



Someone else jumps in to try and eat her vassal's county, so she's gone from establishing a powerbase of her own in the north, to three separate enemies each trying to consume a different one of the domains under her control. Can you say wiped off the face of the earth?



We win Jamtland back, because after we occupied the territory, the High Chieftess wanted to cut down on her enemies, so she made peace.

But you know what's going to happen if we stay independent. King Fairhair is going to take Jamtland or King Ugly Red Man is going to seize Medelpad and Angermanland or, most likely of all, both. Obviously, I have to kowtow to one of the main men. But which one?



Fairhair it is. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement. He gets to add Jamtland to his dominion for another piece in the Norway puzzle, while I can still pursue my separate dream of Swedish kingship, by doing things like this:



Better news:



I have no idea what this actually is, but titles are awesome.

Unfortunately, then the bad news starts hitting.



Needless to say, we've lost this war and have to pay out something like 30 gold. Not cool, not cool at all.

More miserable news to report, but I'm going to go drink some wine at a dive bar now, and try to forget this sudden torrent of rain.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Last edited by Izulde : 06-04-2013 at 02:48 AM.
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2013, 02:47 AM   #20
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Same bed but it feels just a little bit bigger now
Our song on the radio but it don't sound the same
When my friends talk about you all it does is just tear me down
Cuz my heart breaks a little when I hear your name

I've never known what it's like to experience that type of bed expansion or feel that sort of lyric texture alteration. But oh so damn well do I know the agony of a tearing heart, a wounded soul of a cherished name spoken with the undercurrent of Never yours, Never yours, Never yours.

She contacted me yesterday to ask if I wanted to visit them some weekend this summer. I told her I needed to check my schedule, which means I won't. Distant pain is minor and manageable to the point where I don't notice it. Immediacy is one of Dante's infernal circles. Plus, I can't help but be reminded of Gatsby's shock at seeing a little girl. The tangible, three-dimensional announcement that yes, it was that other man's spear that struck home. Boy and girl? Worse yet. Not only did he strike at least twice, his conquest was so complete as to create another masculine miniature of himself.

I wanted to buy a bottle of wine at work after that short exchange (*Invitation* *Schedule-check* "Okay, let me know. Gotta go." "Okay, bye."), but the only kind we have our those with corks in them, and the last time I tried to get a cork out since I don't have a screw and have never had any kind of screw, it ended in splinters floating in the liquor and a broken bottle when I tried to extract it via a butter knife.

So let us repeat endlessly the Mars anthem while Venus-banished me relates further the miseries of CK 2...

Remember how I said more bad news was coming?



I seem to remember an idiot son in a previous game. I'm cursed with moron issue. Wafna! Wafna!

Maybe I'll get a brilliant daughter who will make me want to risk Gavelkind's tempest?



...FMCK2L.

Well, let's get her married off.



Yay, alliance! Now watch, he's probably a vassal to somebody, so won't be much else. I'm too lazy to check, though, because...



Back to war! This time I don't screw around and wait until I'm loaded for bear to attack, and by the time the dust settles...



I GET THE POWERUP AND WIN MY FIRST VASSAL! WHO DOESN'T HATE ME! JOY JOY JOY!!!

But I'm checking things afterwards and realize something horrible:



Death to the Byzantines for blinding my still insanely hot blonde wife!

...But we got a long way to go before that happens, especially with The Imbecile waiting in the wings.

What will get me over my depression?



Improving my capital!

And....



RAIDING!!!!!!



...That escalated quickly. Needless to say, we get destroyed, losing every single man, so I pack my fleet up and go home, feeling like a total and complete failure as a Viking. It gets even worse when somebody shows me the cost of this expedition.



OMG I'm the worst.Viking.ever. Not only do I epic fail a raid, I lose money in the process. I feel like hanging my head Eeyore styo now. "Hello. Thanks for noticing me, big bad army that killed my puny raiders."

We grimly sail into Medelpad, sorrowful at the disastrous expedition.



...What? I don't know how the hell that happened, but.. I'LL TAKE IT! As the wise Rosie says in White Men Can't Jump, "Sometimes when you lose, you really win."

Going to be a long, long time before we can do anything, though. A long, long time.



...Yeah. I wish I drank beer right about now. I want to get completely smashed. Here's Rosie again, "Sometimes when you win, you really lose."

I'm as pathetic as Woody Harrelson, without the awesomeness of a Wesley Snipes to get my head straight and get me hearing Jimi. Or at least *try* to.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 07:19 AM   #21
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
One of the great ironies of being a 35 year old virgin at a gas station is that sexual opportunities do occasionally arise. Most often it's with men who are haunted by their homosexuality and so furtively pursue it in the dark secrecy of night, their breath reeking of hard liquid courage needed to dare to ask a nighttime gas station clerk. Then there's the now and again group of drunk girls who sacrifice one of their number to give me a phone number (almost always fake) and hopefully get a rise out of me. But I take these alcoholic siren and satyrs' calls as they are - foolish decisions under cloudy-headed premises, and so politely, with all the enthusiasm of the grayest of all rocks, decline or say thank you, depending on the situation. Seeing me not taking the gambit, their ardor cools, and they swear at me, or mutter under their breath, the loss of fun piercing the pleasant mood of their buzz.

Rock-like is precisely how I feel as I wait for the levies to wake revive from their depleted slumber.

And then Odin decides to act like a daedric prince.



Bastard. First he offers no help in war, then he whores my daughter.



Terrible news. No matrilineal marriage for her.



The Ugly Red Man is destroying his real main rival for the throne of Sweden, after which I think he will have enough territory to create the throne.

And then...



So let's recap here. We have a 10 year old imbecile on the throne, with a hot, blind, blonde MILF as regent, and he has three sisters, one of whom is forced into concubinage, and who gets a county if Valdemar the Idiot doesn't live long enough to make a kid.

...Yeah. This is so not going to end well.

But just when I think all is lost, something happens.



Immediate thought:



You know what happens next.



Checking up on things down south...



So far, so good.



Getting awfully close for comfort there... Can't afford to screw around on this one.



INTO THE BREACH, BRAVE VIKINGS!!!!



VICTORY IS OURS!!!

*insert much dancing and cheering*

What do Vikings to do celebrate victory?



Go raiding, of course.

On my way back from a full 140 gold raiding of Ireland, I notice the following:



Ugly Red Man is now Ugly Gray King. Can't say I'm surprised, though. I gave it the old college try, and maybe King Fairhair, daughter stealing nitwit that he is, can be of some help in getting the throne, if, you know, Fairhair ever forms Norway, which he still hasn't. I don't know what he's waiting for, either, but I *need* him to form Norway.



As you can see, the raid of Ormond was so successful, I decided to tackle bigger fish and keep raiding. Yay, money!

Not long after, Valdemar the Idiot comes of age. Let's see how bad this looks.



Um, what? A Midas-touched Imbecile. Now I've seen everything. I mean, I know of idiot savants, but this is just ridiculous. Let's see how he really looks.



...I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Maybe laugh so hard I cry.

Anyway, time to peal those wedding bells!



This inspiring leader who is the daughter of the King of Jorvik (petty crown, petty cash dowry, too, but yay alliance), is pretty much the antithesis to Valdemar the Gold Idiot. No wonder she hates him.

I think now is a good stopping point in reminiscing about this in my head. Food and all that would be good. But as crazy as all this news was, it was nothing compared to what happened next.

Yes, audience of the mind, the fan is about to get not just shitfaced, but shitbombed.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 08:10 AM   #22
Swaggs
Coordinator
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Almost Heaven
Enjoying this one, good work.
__________________
DOWN WITH HATTRICK!!!
The RWBL
Are you reading In The Bleachers?
Swaggs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #23
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaggs View Post
Enjoying this one, good work.

Thanks. This portion of the CK2 part goes on hiatus after tonight, since I won't have my desktop with me in Wisconsin this summer, but the non-CK2 half of the narrative will still be ongoing, and I'll probably start a game on the Mac laptop so it's not all narrative.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #24
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
As part of my many raiding adventures, I'd captured prisoners, including...



Note that this picture comes from before Valdemar the Gold Idiot's majority, so she's younger than what she is now. Naturally, I make her my concubine, but I wait util after I've been married a few months.



And of course, she's the first one to pregnant. Out pops a daughter.

But wait, there's more! She gets pregnant a second time, and almost immediately after, the Chieftess gets pregnant, too. Valdemar the Gold Idiot.. doing his ladies like a boss!

Unfortunately, this becomes a problem.



*Two* sons, the first one which is named Bjorn after Valdemar's father, the second of whom you see listed here. It's interesting that concubine's offspring are given equal inheritance rights as those of proper marriage issue.

And then, all Hel starts breaking loose.



King Ivar the Boneless marches on my liege, still Petty King Fairhair for the rights to Norwegian territory.



...Well that ended quickly. Wonder what King Fair-



On what? OH HELL NAWH! HOMEY DON'T PLAY THAT! FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE! And yes, I did actually scream FYA out loud.

Resisting the urge to hurl my keyboard and mouse at the screen, I immediately declare war and show Nancyhair what real Vikings do (which is raise the levies and hire a fatty stack of mercs)



Let this be a lesson to you, kids:

1. Don't screw with angry Vikings made rich from raiding.
2. Be careful who you pledge fealty to. As you can see in that picture (or could if I was posting this online, which I'm not), when your liege loses a subjugation war, -ALL- of the territory in the kingdom goes to the new ruler, including that of your vassals. Which means I got hosed out of Jamtaland. Thanks again, Nancyhair. Dick.



He gets the right idea and goes and takes land from some other fool instead.

But by this time, I've had enough of Womanhair. Getting what's mine back isn't enough. So screw the fact that I'm now a Truce-breaker. It's on like Donkey Kong, bitch.



So long, Assclown of the Girly Hair.

I wait a few months. And then comes the sweet song of the Valkyries.

No, I didn't die. I... ascended!



A glorious moment in the House of av Jamtland!

But realistically, we're exposed. The Scottish could come calling at any time, and let's not forget the Ugly Gray King, under whose de jure dominion we are. Sadly, there's only one thing to do.



This way, we don't have to go through a time and resource wasting war when he eventually declares against us, and the Ugly Gray King should be able to protect us better than Womanhair did.

A few more capstone pictures.

#1. The mighty Boneless King



AKA 80 Year Old Badass.

#2. The King Jarl



Somewhere along the way I had a third son. Succession gonna get ugly. Speaking of which...

#3. The Ugly Gray King



#4. Northern Europe



Yellow Outline = My Domain
Black Outline = Kingdom of Sweden's domain, including some continental conquest
Red Outline = Kingdom of Scotland's domain, including pieces of England and Ireland
White Outline = Womanhair's domain, a mere fraction of what he once had, thanks to Boneless's ruthlessness and the former's own stupidity in taking one of my territories.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2013, 09:13 AM   #25
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
A quick look since someone on the Paradox boards asked about East Francia having the suspicious blue of West Francia. A great post by another user shortly after TOG came out sums it up nicely so I'll quote him here before showing the map.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tufto
Since the fall of IN and the rise of HTTT, it had lain dormant, watching, waiting... silently judging for the correct moment. It calculated. It watched as those new to EU3 destroyed it time and time again, never knowing the horror it had once been, merely seeing its tamer counterpart.

But it had a plan. And as thousands of Paradoxians began to start their innocent Norse raiding up the Seine, they suddenly saw something loom out of the fog of war, an army ten times their own, with all the malice, all the hatred against the hordes of patch-wishlist-posters, all the evil lurking in the hearts of the devs- the Big Blue Blob was back, and this time, it was out for blood.



Not sure why Empire of Francia hasn't formed yet, TBH.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2013, 04:33 AM   #26
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
The silence of the gas station was pierced not by the shouts of drunks, but by the blaring of music from a car sliding into a parking spot outside the door:

I feel you creeping, I can see it from my shadow
Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo
Maybe go to my place and just kick it like Tae Bo


And then silence again, again punctured by the open and slam of a door. Unfortunately the auto in question wasn't a Gallardo, or even a sports car of any kind. Not even a Porsche Boxster. I couldn't tell the color, other than that it was dark. The hinges on the gas station door's squeaked as it was swung open, and I was greeted by one of the more unusual sights of my sad little cashiering career.



Her steps were unsteady, pink-black hair shifting and rippling as she staggered toward the candy section. As she stared intensely as the overpriced bars in their bulk boxes, I reflected this situation was both ordinary and unique. Clearly drunk girls in these moon-overseen hours were quite common, but usually they were in groups, hedonistic herds of high-pitched harpies who haunted my after-shift horker huggings. This one was by herself, a lone bird whose silver-winged necklace pendant I noticed only when she diagonally schlepped her way to the counter with a Snickers bar and a bag of pixie sticks.

She studied the electronic screen, and I studied her studying the electronic screen as I rang up her purchases.

"You're not you when you're hungry?" I asked, sliding the Snickers into a plastic bag.

Her eyes, hazel and vivid against her mascara, flicked up to me. "I'm always a pixie girl."

Hpnotiq, her breath informed. Also at least two shots of Bacardi Razz.

"Are you manic?"

"No, just drunk."

The pixie sticks joined the Snickers in the bag and I rustled it.

She looked at me.

I looked at her.

She looked at me.

I looked significantly at the screen.

She looked at me.

"Um, your total is $3.77," I prompted.

Finally, movement. She dropped her head and searched through the pockets of her impossibly tight, short jean shorts. After a few moments, she smiled, shrugged, and looked up, "Sorry. All out of money!"

"...You seriously don't expect me to pay, do you?"

"Of course!"

"...Why?"

"Because I'm hot. And because I'm hot, that means we're having a meet-hot, like in the movies. You're meeting me, a hot girl."

"...You mean a meet-cute?"

She squinted, tipping her head and tapping her cheek, "...I guess. You're a little too pale to be cute, though."

I let the irony slide.

"No deal. They don't pay me enough to pay for customers' purchases."

"Aw, come on!" Then came the eye-bat and the rise on tip-toe, bringing her face close to mine, "Please?"

"No."

She pouted and dropped down, stumbling a couple steps back. Then she dug again into her pockets and, giving a shout, slammed a nickel down on the counter.

"There! Down payment! I'll pay you the rest tomorrow."

"...Fine." At this point, I just wanted the damn ordeal with. Arguing with people, even insanely hot girls, drains me. Hell, just talking to them does.

"Cool. You're cool. I'll see you tomorrow then. It'll be like a date. Except nothing like a date."

And so saying, she grabbed her bag and made her way out, narrowly missing overturning two endcaps and banging her kneecap on the door.

I sighed, slipped her nickel in my pants, and completed the transaction with a five dollar bill from my wallet.

She'd damned well better show up, I thought, although something told me she wouldn't. Drunk girls always forget the boys of the night when morning comes.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2013, 10:32 PM   #27
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I get in 'till the sunrise
Going 90 in a 65
Windows rolled down screamin' out
Hey-ey-ey so paid
Number one hustler gettin' money
Why you wanna count my money


Payday always feels wonder, despite my pittance. I always play this song, and rap my favorite verse as I spread $100, all in 20s, across the table:

I just sound like money, baby I should've been a Porsche
Paid like a like a sugar free Red Bull
I'm so paid you know I keep a pocketful
And that's before the taxes
Took my own gross and hid it under my mattress
I used to get bored, count 20s for practice
Paper therapy we let that money relax us


Then I put the money in a shoebox and do put it under my mattress. Every time the shoebox gets full, I rubberband the whole bundle and walk to the bank. Unfortunately I haven't even filled it once yet. Too big a shoebox, I suppose.

I don't know if pink pixie girl will be there tonight or not, because I forgot to tell her it's my day off. I forget a lot of things, which means I repeat myself a lot to myself, and sometimes I know I'm repeating myself right away, and other times I don't remember until like a week later when I'm making peanut butter toast or something. And the times I don't remember at all I've repeated myself, well I've forgotten them, and no one else hears me, so in a way I'm not really repeating myself.

I should do the dishes, but fuck that. I've been non-stop listening to Akon songs other than the one I use for getting money so I have something to talk about with Pink Pixie girl if she does show up. And if I go over there, I mean. I have a firm no going to work on days off policy.

But one can only take so much of catchy beats and repetitive lyrics, so it's time to lumber my skinny-fat ass over to the computer and crank up CK 2.

This probably isn't a good idea given how many patches it's been, but I'm going to dare to forge ahead anyway.



Hmm. Worth investigating.



Candidate #1.



Candidate #2.

While I'm trying to decide who to go after, I receive terrible news.



Hot, blonde, blind MILF is dead.

Time to war out my grief!



Sorry, pal. You have the smallest army, so I'm going to force vassalize you first.



...Uh oh. War was going great until the defenders launched a successful sally, but no worries. I shall merely summon my small vassal's army, who will give me enough!



...Well, shit. That means I'm forced to call in the mercs. But while this happens...



An independence war breaks out against the new Swedish king, King Ugly Grayhair having died at 60 of depression from having to look at his own ugly face in the mirror every day.



What a crappy new king. Needless to say, Bjorn I loses the independence war, while we win the war against Candidate #1. Since we still have the mercs, we immediately go to war with Candidate #2 and force-vassalize him as well.

A look at post-independence Sweden:



As you can see, most of the continental territories, except for part of Lithuania, has been lost, and the only significant extra-Swedish territory is in Finland. I'm feeling rather frisky, so I decide to start a faction:



Yeah, I probably should have joined in the recently-successful independence war, but let's keep Crappy King Bjorn on his toes. I'll need to expand my territorial base if I hope to beat him solo, or with the puny ally who joins later, so I...



Why Lithuania and not Finland? Because I have plans to hit a certain someone else in Finland, first.

As the war is going on, a beautiful thing happens.



D'aww. Which means...



STEWARDING AND MAKING BABIES LIKE A BOSS!

Along with the beautiful thing, a very, very bad thing happens.



Assnugget Candidate #1 plans to do away with me, so I imprison him. That's a lot of money and some land I could get, but my vassals would be about it.



What's that? Y'all still be cool with me? OKAY! BYE-BYE, CANDIDATE #1! SO LONG FAT, FLESHY OLD ASS!

Even better?



Boom! Goes the Viking dynamite! But now I have to plot my next moves carefully, very carefully...

I'm hungry. I'm going to go eat something.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2013, 05:47 PM   #28
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Mmm, ramen. The godsend of the poor. Back to the game because I'm too absorbed in it to bother with PPG. And no, that isn't points per game, though I wouldn't mind scoring with.. never mind.

Good news to start off the session.



That'll keep 'em happy!



What's this? 216.8% of liege you say, because the King's involved in some massive war? You know what that means... TIME TO DEMAND INDEPENDENCE!



...And Bjorn gives up without a fight. WINNING!



How the world looks after FREEEEEEEEEDOM.

But we're also too far close to King Bjorn I. Time to pack up our bags and move.



Which means we can do this:



And this:



Call up the troops and hire the Pecheng Band, and the war is going swimmingly. This is fantastic! I'm taking names and kicking ass!



Shit. Breaking Bjorn is breaking bad and Bjorn is boss anyway.



Double damn. We have a rash of available men in the court.



Hey look, a scholarly theologian. But she's a woman. No position fill for us.

We betroth her to the Jarl of Estonia, who is vassal to the King of Denmark, but it's going to be a while yet. War is still going well, and I'm sure Bjorn will do just f...



...Well...that's awkward. Will he even produce children now? Or will he, you know, bugger the other men only?



A gay brilliant strategist? I seem to recall some dude name Alexander who fit that description.



Can I just say how great it is to be (petty) King again?



This is going to be a v.v. long engagement, but she's Chieftess under the King of Sweden, so hopefully that will give me another piece of land to steal.



*Two* Brilliant Strategists?! What can this mean?! (Other than that we have a new Marshal).



The war finally comes to an end in our favor.



Sweden is starting to break up.

Time for a smoke break to enjoy the victory and the schadenfreude.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2013, 05:49 AM   #29
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Back from smoking and time to check on how the King of Sweden is doing.



So Bjorn died and his underage son took over and is in a whole ton of wars. Good news for us, as that'll keep him out of our affairs while we have some of our power consolidation work to do.

Speaking of which, Sverker?



As the legitimate child of the Queen of Jorvik, he's also heir to the petty thrones of Jorvik and Norrland, and their attached counties, plus one of the Finnish counties. Where's Jorvik, for those not familiar with this setup?



That fractured mess of England, still dominated by the Scottish kings who maintain a strong presence in the Scandinavian isles (And I need to kick them out at some point).

But I, as Bjorn the Brilliant Gay Man, am not without my own inheritances.



The problem is, apparently if I inherit those lands from my brother, the counties pass out of my realm? I'm not sure I understand that, but hopefully that doesn't mean I'm back under Sweden's banner.

In any case, now that we've won the war started by Valedmar, it's time to...



...Change primary titles and make my ambition...



...Well damn. Pro Tip: The Kingdom you can go for is apparently tied to the county your capital is in, not your primary title.

Guess I'll have to change that.



And here's the problem of gavelkind. The territory you're left with is so small in most cases, that people like this can tell you to sod off. I'm hoping he declares war against me.

Happily, he does, and it's time to play every small army's favorite game.



AKA hire mercs.

The Chief of Riga and that small county whose name I can never remember sends me a letter demanding independence. I tell him to go to hell.



Not a smart move, buddy. Not when I have mercs hanging around, who I had to fund by ransoming prisoners, incidentally, and not when your own troops aren't full strength yet.

Especially not when the Chief of Memel surrenders a few days later, freeing me up to launch the brunt of my armies at you.



You can bet I revoked his title.

I start noticing other red armies on the map and I get scared, even though I didn't notice rebelling Riga calling anyone into the war. The answer to the fear arrives quickly:



Apparently by going independent, other wolves started circling and trying to claim the territory, so he comes crawling back. As you can see by the state of the armies here, and my own rapidly thinning purse, I was happy to take it.

I decide to take a huge, *huge* gamble and risk him fleeing to another court, by trying to righteously imprison him despite an only 50% chance of success.



Happily, it succeeds, and I'm free to take all his titles and that fat, fat load of cash. My vassals already hate me, so what's a little more hatred?

Having now consolidated my power in our Lithuanian possessions, I'm now free to:



Easily the best territory in the lands and the natural capital.

And now...



Time to game on.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2013, 05:19 AM   #30
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I gave in.

I vowed that I wouldn't, that I would just sit home all night playing CK2, and to hell with what was sure to be a disappointment, but the flush of success gave me the courage to get my ever-expanding ass (now 215 pounds) out of the chair and to the gas station, trembling my jelly belly and spindly shoulders in hope and anticipation.

I passed out of the night and into the bright, too-honest fluorescent light of the station's interior. Empty, save for Barry, the beefy black middle-aged man with three kids and two mortgages who gets by mainly on his wife's administrative assistant salary and wins on selective football bets.

"Hey man, you seen a girl with pink hair today?"

Barry scratched his cheek, peering up at the ceiling in thought.

"Nawh. Why?"

I shrugged and walked over to the chips aisle, where I stared at the red, blue, and burgundy bags of Doritos regular, cool ranch, and spicy nacho. It's funny, when you stare at a stationary object long enough, you begin to see the flash-bright outlines of it moving to another area. It's as if your eyes and brain can't tolerate stillness and needs motion, change to prevent going into hysterics. I could sense Barry looking at me, so I picked up a half-filled bag of Spicy and turned it over to read the nutrition facts and ingredients list with pretend intensity. I read somewhere recently that Doritos cause cancer, but what the hell doesn't these days?

This is what my life has been reduced to - melancholy meditations on snack chips I'm not even hungry for. For all my unhappiness about not having a girlfriend, hence why Pink Pixie Girl set my scarred, frozen heart just ever so slightly aflutter, the stark truth of the matter is, I don't even have friends. I mean, even the worst kinds of nerds have at least somebody they can talk to or hang out with even on a semi-regular basis. But I rank lower than that - my limited human contact is defined by cashier interactions that could just as easily be done by a machine. In every sense of the word, I am completely expendable and unworthy of notice. When I die, at most I will have a two line obituary in the death notices, and the only grave I will be buried in is a pauper's plot, unmarked and unvisited.

It's the reason why I still smoke, despite the very real knowledge that it will give me cancer long before any level of Doritos consumption. It's one of the last pleasures left to me, and while one could argue it's a form of long-term suicide, the truth of the matter is, I simply have no reason to want to prolong my life. It just doesn't matter. And maybe I've said this before. When you live as a recluse, time has no meaning, and with only yourself to talk to, repetition is a natural habit and consequence. After all, there's only so much you can say to yourself after a while, without fresh new experiences, and even though I save all my money for travel, I'm not able to leave often enough for it to be constantly refreshing.

And that leads me to another thought, as I squeeze the top half of the bag to verify that yes, it's just air, empty as my existence. As much as I genuinely enjoy traveling, there's the constant awareness that I'm doing this alone, that I've been doing it alone ever since the days of family vacations ended (when I went off to undergraduate). Even in a sea of millions of people, such as London or Istanbul, I am Lone Fish in my own Lonely Planet.

Yet, some part of me refuses to give up entirely, which is why I'm still standing here in this stupid aisle, holding this stupidly overpriced and underfilled Doritos bag. I'm hoping she'll stumble through that door, that she'll be more than a one-off event.

Half an hour later, during which I've examined in great detail the same doughnuts, ice cream treats, and sodas that I see every night, I buy two Mountain Dews and trudge home. Barry doesn't ask. I don't volunteer.

Stupid thing to get Mountain Dew. Now I'll just be awake and alone longer with my thoughts, and I'm too depressed now, too dispirited by Pink Pixie Girl's failure to come sprinkling her vibrant hereness dust, to want to bother with video games.

Guess I'll just watch The Office, the US version. There's comfort in shared misery and humor with mundanity as its source.

CSI: Miami? Death, death, death. Monotony, monotony, monotony. Too dangerous for so grim a mood.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013, 08:50 AM   #31
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Can't breathe. Can't breathe. Panicking. Must retreat to CK2.



Having successfully changed my ambition to Lithuania, I start expanding my territory by bullying this guy. It's a very easy victory at this point, which allows me to do this:



Very important for keeping that beautiful capital of Riga as my capital. I learned my lesson well from the last inheritance.



I have no idea why I decided to marry such a lowly person. I'm betting stats played into this, but I don't remember why now, as I write this the day after.

I do know why I did this next marriage though.



Building those fatty alliances and friends in CK2 life! If only it was so easy as this in real life. Curse the lack of arranged marriages.

Now that we have all the weddings sorted out...



TIME FOR MOAR WAR!



Sadly, I'm not the only one trying to horn in on this territory.



But in the end, it doesn't even matter, because when I put my trust in me, pushing as far as I can go works beautifully in CK2.

So another easy conquest, and then...



Mmm... titles. Let's go usurp that bad boy.



OH NO YOU DIDN'T!



Fine. We'll just take it by force then.

But then something terrible happens.



...Yep. Ruler died and now this old ass is in charge, negating all my war efforts. To say I'm pissed would be an understatement.



Screw going for the single county. Now we're taking the whole damned thing! Revenge, MFer.



Yay, marriage. Nevermind that I'm a totes gay brilliant military strategist.

Speaking of, remember an earlier marriage?



REAPING DIVIDENDS, LIKE A BOSS!



War is going smooth as Skippy Creamy Reduced Fat peanut butter. Which, by the way, has not succeeded in reducing my fat at all.



On what? You stepping up to me, boy?! Homo don't play that!



I WILL END YOU, SCRUBBY MAYOR!



...Shit.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #32
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
The situation after coronation:



Ugliness abounds in our fractured realm. But we're still fighting a war, and we need to make sure we don't lose it. Royal portrait? Ain't nobody got time for that!







That's one way to make sure the whole of the Petty Kingdom is fighting against the enemy!

But wait, there's more!



Mercs. Always mercs.

Sadly, things can never be this simple...



Yeah, like I'm going to pay attention to that.



I am Jack's complete and utter lack of surprise.



Sverker, you are a kindred spirit.



More Eeyore news. No Marshal. No Chancellor. Poor me.



So, some upstart thinks he can just cut in on Kurland and add to the Danish control of Northern Europe. This means I'm going to have to divert resources from our Lithuanian theater to deal with this jackass.



Or not! BAM, MARIENBERG, YOU JUST GOT WHITE PEACED OUT YOUR GREEDY GURDINESS!

Now to deal with that traitor Falki...



...Of course.



Depression and strife leads to sickness. I feel even more like a stuffed blue donkey.

Then one of the prisoners I got in war has the temerity to complain.



Oh, you want out the dungeon, do you? Fine, I'll just make you my whore, whiny whore.



Well that's nice. Not that it matters all that much - Scandinavia is no longer an area of real interest or concern for us.



FINALLY! I didn't think that war was ever going to end.

A year later...



Yay! Hooray! Now time to take out the principality or whatever of Lithuania, which White Mustache Guy lost somewhere along the way and...



lolwut?



__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #33
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I laugh every time I see Dear Valued Customer on a flier for a car dealership. While I know it's all part of a mass mailing, and they have neither the time nor the money to be more specific, I still get humor out of the fact that I, who possess no driver's license, still receive these advertisements for mediocre automobiles. But then, I live in a comparatively mediocre rent/month apartment, so why should it surprise me? I do wish somebody would send me a Lamborghini catalog, though. The Countach was my dream car as a kid in the '80s, though my friends preferred the Diablo or the Dodge Viper.

Yes, I had genuine friends once. I think the changeover happened in middle school - We moved to another part of town and instead of the middle school I was supposed to go to, it was a new one where I knew none. Factor in the metal mouth of braces that didn't work after I got them off, and face so splotchy I made a Pepperoni Lovers' pizza look empty by comparison, and you had all the hallmarks for being picked on, if not outright bullied. What made it worse was, back then I listened only to 1950s and '60s music, because I liked it and that's what my parents listened to. I'll never forget that day, third period, fourth day of school, when Mick Gustavsson, who weighed the 12 year old equivalent of a 400 pound adult, laughed scornfully at me.

"You don't know who M.C. Hammer is? Or Vanilla Ice?"

"...No."

The whole class laughed then, and though the cranky industrial arts teacher told us to knock it off and go back to sanding, it was already too late. I was marked forever, stained with the loser L that would follow me to high school, because even though I begged my parents to move again, they refused. And just as we stayed in the house, a ramshackle two story of no noteworthy architectural distinction, so I stayed ugly. Never took a girl to dance - not a middle school social, nor the 8th grade graduation dance. High school dances? Fellow white boy, please. The closest chance I had at getting to a dance with a girl was to grow my beard out and sneak out to a strip joint with a pack of singles in my hand. Which I never did even as a senior and legal. Too scared to.

Am I repeating myself again? I don't know. Recluses have only themselves to talk to (unless I want the pain of calling my mother or forcing myself into a Facebook conversation with people who could not possibly care less), and so the circles and the repetitions continue, continue, and continue, just as my pacings throughout the apartment continue, my only home respites either sitting at the computer or standing outside on the patio (I have to be on the second floor for it to be a balcony, apparently) for a smoke. And I've gotten so fast at smoking, that's only good for two minutes tops.

Sometimes I amuse myself by juggling an empty plastic Vons bag. But that never lasts very long. Even though it's slow and just one item, my dexterity-challenged fingers miss it too often, or they catch in the bag and accidentally throw it down on the perpetually dirty floor.

This is no American Beauty, where the bag is the most beautiful thing ever seen. After all, I don't have a pretty enough teen neighbor, and as for a lovely cheerleader blonde? Maybe the wrinkly, white-haired woman in 133 was during the Great Depression or something, but I don't think they had cheerleaders back in. There certainly isn't one in *my* Great Depression.

All these thoughts of pretty blondes makes me want to go watch Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23. Dreama Walker walkas ina mya dreamas, and her terrific acting in Compliance makes me anything but pliant. I could rail against the brevity of that delicious series whose plug was pulled too soon, but my mood would grow darker still, and so I shall simply trudge to the computer and try to deal with this fucking independence war.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2013, 07:34 AM   #34
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Oh, by the way, out of character note - this dynasty evidently won the Weekly Showcase Award on Paradox's forums for this week, which pretty much floored me.
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #35
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004


Vassal #1 forced back into line. I imprisoned another one, too, I think.



...Go to hell, Sverker. Depressed, sick people aren't supposed to be able to fall in love.



Who cares if the vassals hate me? THAT'S ALMOST 300 GOLD! I'S BE RICH!!!!



Imprisoned Vassal #2, or maybe he's #1. I get my vassals confused. Anyway... ....I can't revoke the title? Fuck you.



I take it anyway.



Dealing with all this crap would make anybody stressed out. I have no idea what that's like, though. I'm depressed, not stressed. Not like one of the guys I did my masters program with. He's a part-time teacher and he's not only depressed and stressed, he's also the most anxiety-ridden dude I've *ever* seen. I should ask him next time I see him on Facebook if his name is Sverker.

Anyway, I'm winning the war against the independence faction way easily, so I go ahead and do this...



Because I'm a boss like that.



Forgot it was my own brother who led the rebellion. Dick.



Sverker's mom dies. I wish she didn't. I really don't want to have to worry about Jorvik right about now.



Ho hum. Another war, another win.



Oh yeah. You know what's coming.



I AM TOTES LEGIT KING, HOSERS!!!! KISS MY CROWN!!!!!



They should call me King Sverker the Awesome, because I am.. that.damn.awesome.



...Yeah... this kingdom's gonna be an asspain to rule. BUT I AM KING! HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW, UGLY REDHAIR AND UGLY WHITE MUSTACHE DUDE AND ALL YOU OTHER UGLY ASS CROWNS! KING! KING! KING! SEE IT AND WEEP, YOU BASTARDS!

Time for VICTORY CIGARETTE!
__________________
2006 Golden Scribe Nominee
2006 Golden Scribe Winner
Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

Rookie Writer of the Year
Dynasty of the Year: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)
Izulde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #36
Tellistto
College Prospect
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Whitman, MA
Nicely done, Jestor.

Tell
__________________
FOOL - Ann Arbor Winged Lingerines
FOOLX - Portland Axemen

Hattrick - Fizzle United (222968)
Tellistto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:37 AM.



Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.