The Tree of Liberty (Part II): Rise and Fall

Author: Malafides
Published: 2017-08-12

Part of the campaign:

The Tree of Liberty ( I

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Game: Crusader Kings II

The Tree of Liberty (Part I): Patriot Blood

Images: 38, author: Malafides, published: 2017-07-29

The dream of the Union is dying.

The Jersey Crusade was only the beginning of a great deluge. Even the Big Apple has been drowned in a sea of Christian soldiers. The wicked eat away at the borders of the faithful, as their decadent leaders sit back and do nothing. Meanwhile, the heathen burns copies of our Constitution, thumping their blasphemous book.

I cannot shoulder this burden alone. If my back should tremble, the whole world would come crashing down.
I must seek the Founders' wisdom to weather the flood.
Occupied New York is our first stop. The Conquerer Geoffrey Allan seems all too pleased to let us in. He wants to savor the parade of indignities. Already that sleepless city is in the midst of a nightmare. Its courthouses are torn down as churches are built on their corpses. Merchant ships still shuffle through its harbor, but the old merchant families languish in prison or in the stocks. The excited buzz, the hustle and bustle alive for centuries, has quieted to a low, suspicious murmur.
[Editor's Note:
This entry was too long for aar.li. Sorry!

You can read it on the original imgur album, here: https://imgur.com/a/5372u]
Philadelphia is the next stop. Ruled by the greedy Reynolds family, they are just as happy to be mollified by gold and silver as the heathens. Still, those vultures circle all throughout our visit, overcharging us for whatever they can, peppering their bland conversation with racist innuendo. The Duke calls his repulsive sister "Sweet Dee," but it must be some kind of ironic nickname. She flits around me chirping about this and that like some kind of tone-deaf songbird, trying to wheedle her way into my pants. Philadelphia is a diamond in the hands of roaches.
This next leg of the journey may well be the most important. Boston and New York were both held by heathens, but my trip to Washington fills me with double the dread. I've long admired President Franklin Ironwrit. After the Choptank War, I'm not sure he shares my affection. Now it's time to face him, and face the music.
To my surprise, Ironwrit greets me with open arms and offers me a Presidential Pardon. "I am tired of fighting," he says, "and tired of talking about it too. There are dark days ahead, and I'm nearing the end of mine."

It's always nice to have Washington on your side.
The Duchy of Piedmont is my final stop. Richmond is meant to be a holy city. To me, it's a reminder of a thousand years of slavery. I spend my time rubbing shoulders with the young Duke Urban, then make my way to the true shrine: Mount Vernon. Washington was no less a slaver than Jefferson or Jefferson Davis, but he has always been my patron saint. Like me, he fought against impossible odds to unseat the oppressor, and like me, he won. Now his blood surges through my veins, and goads me on to battle.
My return to Jersey marks the end of my Pilgrimage. Now back to work.
As soon as I return to the capital, my footmen deliver a message from Nicholas Derren. The Duke of Delmarva sent a scathing letter criticizing the envoys I've sent to solidify our alliance. I make a point of employing diplomats who had once been slaves, to show what my state stands for. The old planters of Delmarva can't handle branded men politicking amongst the nobility.

I send a letter twice as sharp right back, attacking him for his disloyalty and criticizing the men his country leaves in bondage.

"My dear brother-in-law, you do me wrong. Have you forgotten how I pulled your fat from the fire?" I say. "When the servants of the bloody God stood against me, I sent them to the bottom of the Delaware. If you would stand by me, then hold your tongue. If you would stand against me, then cross that river, and see where it takes you."

He doesn't bother with a response.
My wife Josephine has something better to deliver. My son is born before the new year. When he came into the world, he cried, and it broke my heart.
Still, the hunt goes on. I realize that I'll never find the White Stag -- but I've never been searching for it, either. My son is what I've been looking for all these years.
My time hobnobbing in Piedmont finally bears fruit. We secure a betrothal between the young Duke and my daughter Aucilla. Soon, the betrothal blooms into a formal alliance.
Just after George Washington's birth brings light to my life, another birth darkens it. The wild witch brings little Theresa into the world, though she never asked to be born.

I wanted to keep things quiet -- but those pieces of living garbage in Philadelphia had other things in mind. The Reynolds' spies found out about the pregnancy and published a scandalous pamphlet announcing my sins to the world.

The political part of my brain urges me to denounce her and disown her, but I was a bastard too. My father was the Duke of South Jersey before me, and he forced himself upon my mother. My father wasn't around. She deserves a better childhood than I got.

I sacrifice my marriage and my reputation and acknowledge her as my own. I know what bastards suffer, and I must suffer for what I've done.
The foolish Regents of Piedmont seize upon our newfound alliance to get us all embroiled in a massive conflict. In an effort to expand the country, they've declared a War of Liberation against the Evangelicals of Southside. They called upon the Emperor of the Unholy Confederacy to defend his flock, and that devil was happy to answer. Now Piedmontese envoys come begging on hands and knees for us to save them. It will be David against Goliath, but I cannot deny my duty.
With the help of Reilly's Rangers, a faithful band of mercenaries, our men stalk through the Appalachians and hunker down in Roanoke. We are outgunned, outmanned, and outnumbered, but not outplanned. These hills are the perfect spot to seize victory from the jaws of defeat.
I hold the center against the foe, and Humphrey follows suit. I even begin to push their center back -- but our left flank can't keep up with the overwhelming odds.
Superior technology carries the day, and we're forced to slink back the way we came. This war is as good as over, but not all is lost. This war is just one battle in the great war for the faith. Even defeat may teach the lesson that leads to tomorrow's victory.
Algernon Littlepage gets assassinated on the heels of victory, and the Unholy Confederacy bursts like a bloated corpse. As soon as Huey Latimer takes the throne, the country erupts in Civil War.
Oceans rise, Empires fall. Across the continent, King Cullen Moore of Gran Francisco storms the palace of Sacramento, and Mickey Yudkow becomes the last Celestial Emperor.
Duke Urban "the Kid" comes of age and dismisses his incompetent regents. He's got his eyes on a new target that'll be easier to chew -- the County of Cumberland. Unfortunately, "the Kid" is looking pretty chewed up himself. He'd always been a frail, sickly child. He's grown up into a frail, sickly man. He developed leprosy as he came of age. Now he looks like a walking corpse, his skin blotchy and pale and peeling off.
♫ The Gang Goes to War ♫

The Reynolds join the war and raise a ragtag army of miscreants and mercenaries. They race my troops to Cumberland, hoping to break our allies against the mountains before we can do the same to them.
When Franklin Ironwrit refuses the Philadelphian army passage, they turn on the President and lay siege to the holy city. Surrounded by such vile creatures, he takes his own life.
Our troops meet in Georgetown. Drunk and disorganized, Reynolds' forces are easy to crush and disperse. Philadelphia is in for some gloomy days.
After relieving the holy city, I make a pit stop at the Capitol itself and announce my candidacy to a ramshackle crowd.

"My dear Washingtonians!" I shout. "My friends among the faithful! The enemy surrounds us on all sides. They would tear down everything the Founders left behind, all for the sake of their bloody God. How long must we hide within our walls? How many more patriots must die for mere survival? If you make me your President, I will bring the war to the Christians. I will liberate the people of Pennsylvania. I will break the shackles forged by their lying priests. No more shall we cower behind our walls and pray for salvation. We shall seize our own salvation, together."
With his neighbors distracted, the Duke of Delmarva marches into Pocomoke to unite the peninsula.
It's going to be a close race. The Americanist flock has divided into three parties for this election.

I lead the Liberation party, intent on giving the Christians a taste of their own medicine.

Baron Alexander Abingdon is my closest rival, a Southron leader of the Independence party. He champions small, decentralized government and supports the status quo. In his speeches, he denounces me as a slave gone wild, a wannabe tyrant who will heap ruin upon the faithful.

Director Clark Gambrill leads the secretive Know-Nothings. Their agenda is hard to discern -- when outsiders ask about their policies, they have only one answer: "I know nothing." What's obvious is that they hope to place the Men in Black in charge of the Americanist flock. Word is their ultimate goal is a united theocracy. Gambrill also errs on the conservative side. He prefers to fight defensively and weather the storm.

This storm will only end when their saints are struck down from heaven. Then, the dream of the Founders may be restored.
I squeak by with barely a third of the vote. All Gambrill and Abingdon managed to do was to split the opposition.

I started from the bottom -- now I'm here. I can't believe it. I was born a slave. Today, I'm a President.

And soon, I'll be a King.

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