The Lion of Flanders - Chapter I: The Lioness of Flanders

Published: 2017-09-12, edited: 2017-09-12
A Megacampaign centered around Flanders, started in 1204 AD as Johanna van Vlaanderen.
Hello everyone and welcome to my Megacampaign called The Lion of Flanders.
It is heavily inspired by Kingdom come, one of the most amazing playthroughs I have ever seen or read. (Link:https://lparchive.org/Paradox-Games-Kingdom-Come/)
The campaign starts in CK2, will be exported to EU4, continued in Victoria 2 and either be completed in one of the HOI games.
We start the game as Johanna van Vlaanderen, first daughter of emperor Baudouin of the Latin Empire.
The Starting date is the bookmark 'The Latin Empire' in 1204 AD. All DLC are enabled except for Aztec Invasion.
The year is 1204 Anno Domini, I, Duches Johanna van Vlaanderen rule over Flanders since my dear father departed for the Holy Land, he never arrived. Instead he chose to overthrow the Romans in the east and create a new empire. The Latin Empire rules over Adrianapolis and Thrace, a weak pretender to the Roman Empire of old. While my father goes wasting his time in the east, I will make sure my homeland will be freed from the french opressors and establish a kingdom which will last a thousand years.
To ensure a royal and noble bloodline is established, my regent arranges a bethrothal with a Roman prince, a mighty alliance indeed.
The wretched french king had taken our de jure land and distributed it amongst his nobility. It is high time we reclaim it.
Our holy father requests our aid to defend the holy land!
We join the crusade despite having no spare resources. considering our war in Boulogne still rages on. If we have the men, we shall support our brethren in Jerusalem. The court chaplain tells me to pray for the people of Jerusalem.
A new order rises to protect us from the northern heathens. It must be horrible for the people in Svea Rike to live with people like that. I will keep them in my prayers.
I was reading a beautiful poem today. I felt as if I was in the story, it is absolutely lovely. I start writing and the words just flow on the paper. I think I am a poet now.
My marshall tells me a great battle occured today. Our noble forces destroyed the enemy's host and are now laying siege to the Boulognese castle. I think I will write a poem about this battle. All of the generals will recieve a copy!
The lords of France made sure we could stay more autonomous. This is a great victory for the people of Flanders!
This is an outrage, the French bastard keeps me from breaking away from his tyranny in a peaceful manner. It shall be war if this law is allowed to remain.
More news from our marshall, we have won the siege of Boulogne, although it is a glorious victory, 275 men lost their lives. I will pray for their souls. The war will be won any day now.
My chancellor told me it is important to be a just ruler, abiding the law at all times. Although I agree with him, I asked him what a ruler should do when the law changes; abide the new law, or the old one? He told me to do what our Savior, Jesus Christ would do. I will follow his advice.
My Spymaster told me a story about living shadows today and how they were destroyed by the light. It took me some time to realise he was talking about the Hashshashin to the east. I could not help but wonder what it must have been to see your home burn and your people slaughter. The spymaster told me to not worry, as they were infidels and they would be taken care of by our Lord.
After taking back Boulogne, I and my council figured it would only be just for us to take back all other lands belonging to Flanders.
My spymaster told me about an ancient artifact today. Such object would be of great value to our house and nation alike! I told him to immediatly start the search.
I granted my spymaster more funds, we must find the artifact!
Cleopatra, Livia, Sappho, Boudicca, these people are my idols, I need to be like them, I need to inspire my people and make Flanders a great power. I will show the French what a Lioness I can be!
A black day, I regret not sending troops but I doubt they would have made a much of difference. I will write an official letter of apology to our Holy Father.
Another black day, is The Lord angry at me? Is this my fault? I wish I had crushed those muslims when I had the chance!
I will pray for the people of Jerusalem and confess in church.
Another victory for the Flemish people. Eight men lost their lives. I made sure the widows would recieve estates and ensured their children became pages for high ranking lords. I visited the newly conquered city, blood flowing through the streets. Anger swelled within me, these people have betrayed me, they deserved this fate.
We have conquered more Flemish lands, I shall grant it to a Flemish lord in due time, preventing the French from taking it away.
The Count of Guines has a surprisingly large army, the Flemish army has assembled and is marching for Artois. We need to break the siege.
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I've grown up, my father still ruling in the east, wasting away in his petty empire while I have struggled to take back what is ours by right. I may be an ambitious woman, but I will run off to some eastern country and abandon my people.
The ungrateful Lord of Boulogne has risen up against us. I will crush them, personally leading the army.
My spymaster keeps asting for more and more funds, I hope he finds the artifact soon.
Troubling news from the east, a mighty man has risen up and is now threatening the eastern christians. They are horsemen, could this be the end of times?

She opened her bible and read the book of revelations again.

"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds[a] of wheat for a day’s wages,[b] and six pounds[c] of barley for a day’s wages,[d] and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth."

They were the horsemen of the apocalypse.
I did not sleep well that night.
The war isn't going that well, after the defeat of our forces at the hand of the enemy, I have decided to lend money and hire mercenaries to crush my foes.
A charming man appeared today, he proposed working for me, I accepted, hoping to surround myself with wise men.
I've had it with my Spymaster. All the funds were for nothing. If he doesn't get the artifact soon...
I have realigned myself. In due time I will marry the second son of the Leonese king, giving my children a loyal bloodline.
We have won the war against Guines. Flanders grows bigger and bigger.
Pedro is officialy an adult now. The marriage is concluded and I collect my Royal Aid Duty. The money will be invested in the war to stop the rebels.
My lord husband doesn't visit me often at night. I wonder God would forgive me if I acted on my lustful thougts.
I am with child, and somehow, the future starts to look a little brighter for me. I start to write poems about children, youth and joy. My courtiers expressed their appreciation and wonder for my poems.
The Royal Treasury is dry, all our gold is gone and the duchy is in debt. It is only rational for Captain Savary to break contract. I have decided that it would be just to not hold a grudge against these men.
Days pass and my pregnancy comes to its end. On the 26th of December, Second Christmas per Flemish tradition, I give birth to my first son, Robrecht van Vlaanderen. It was a difficult birth and I remain weak and ill afterwards, having a strange rash. Luckily my Court Physician treats me well. I expect to be healthy soon.
Waking up, i noticed the rash was gone. I felt much better. I decided to write a poem about life and death, I'll call it 'Memento Mori' after the saying. It is good to be the duchy.
My husband isn't attractive, nor strong nor smart, I've decided to lay with a young attractive man at court, I hope my husband doesn't become suspicious...
Flanders prevailed and the traitors are locked up. I will redistribute their lands and titles to the children of the eight men who lost their lives during the siege of Arras.
(Rebel general surrendering to the loyalist forces)
A change of law was required to bring justice to the rebellious traitours.
I have stripped away his lands and titles, but he will remain in prison until the day he dies.
It seems I am surrounded by traitors, they claim my aunt has a greater claim to the throne than the daughter of an emperor! I will crush the cursed rebels and strip away their land.
My Spymaster asks for more resources. By now, i had almost forgotten about this artifact. Considering I'm an honest woman, I do not need spies for scheming and betraying. I send what little spies I have to my Spymaster.
My lustful behavior has resulted in a child, I hope my husband does not find out.
God has presented me with an opportunity to redeem myself! If I burn this apostate my sins will burn with him and I will be accepted in the Kingdom of God!
Turmoil in Europe, The Holy Roman Empire, England, Bulgaria, Sicily, Portugal, Venice are all faced with civil wars. Will the onslaught ever stop? I look at the messages, one day civil war will strike France too, then, it will succeed.
The Flemish army destroys the rebel army and sends them back to their wretched lairs. Songs will be sung of this day.
I give birth to my first daughter, I name her Clementia after Pope Clement III. The man who managed to start The Third Crusade.
The civil war in The Holy Roman empire rages on and it appears another revolt has struck England. Civil war is spreading like wildfire.
A man of cloth appeared at court. I have decided to make him my court physician considering the previous one died helping the sick. His knowledge will be a great aid to my advisors.
Spending time with the soldiers, commanders and of course with the enemy, I have mastered the secrets of combat on the plains. I will put this knowledge to great use.
Word reached Brugge about a trade league. The greedy men won't be able to pull Flanders in its grip.
I make sure my steward makes preparations to secure our economic position.
We have defeated the enemy, the rebels who denied my claim will be stripped of all lands and titles. I decide it is time to add Vermandois to our realm, it might not be de jure flemish, but Flanders needs a bigger powerbase if it is to become independent from the opressors.
I have another son, I name him Ludewijn, his birth was easier than the first. I decide to write a poem in honour of my sons and husband, they are the ones who secure the future of our house.
We win the siege of Laon, afterwards I pray for the fallen and put the french bastards to the sword. Vermandois will soon be a part of our great nation.
King William of England has crushed his rebels but it seems like the rest of Europe keeps struggling. I send a letter to King William so I can congratulate him with his victory.
My second child out of wedlock. Maybe I should break up with my lover and stay faithful to my husband.
Maybe...
Another revolt sparks in France right after conquering Vermandois. I grant it to my second son, expanding the influence of the van Vlaanderen family. I look back at my achievments. I reclaimed all our De Jure lands from the French throne, I crushed all the revolts threatening my family. It seems as if nothing could go wrong. I decide to write a poem about the lands that gave me the ability to accomplish all this. I call the poem 'Brugge die Scone'. It rapidly spreads through Flemish lands and gives the population a truly nationalistic feeling. Several nobles have come to court to show their appreciation for the poem. I thank the Lord for giving me such a blessed life.
I decide to grant my son Ludewijn Vermandois. The county will be ruled by a Flemish Lord from now on. A regency will act in his name until he comes of age.
As duchess of Flanders, i feel like I have not been doing enough for my people. I raise The Order of The Claw, this Flemish order is loyal to the Duchess of Flanders and is charged with the protection of the clergy, smallfolk and nobility. The Order of The Claw is also the retinue of the Duchess of Flanders. Along with appointing the Heralds of The Claw, I have ordered my Marshall to train 250 orphan peasant boys to become Knights of The Claw.
The first Heralds of The Order of The Claw have been appointed. I have assembled the five most virtuous men in all of Flanders and granted them command over the order.
I give birth to my third son Ekbert. He will recieve a fief of his own to rule and govern.
I granted my son Ekbert the county of Boulogne. Just like his brother, there is a regency to govern in his stead.
Beautiful songs do not last long. (dutch idiom) I am a sick woman, I will pray to The Lord for his help.
My physician suggested to stop eating fatty foods and spices today. I tried it for a week before I realised it didn't help whatsoever.
Hendrik came with another proposal today, I think this time it helped. I will continue to heed his advice.
Despite Hendrik's good advice and excellent care, it seems i have cancer. I beg The Lord for mercy and salvation.
Hendrik says he could cure my cancer. Is this a sign from God? I decide to follow the will of The Lord and accept Hendrik's offer.
It was weird, certainly, but it worked. My cancer is cured but I am a changed woman. My hunger is never satisfied and I don't have the same ambitions as I used to have. I wonder what happened to me...
I had a vision tonight, an angel of death sat at the end of my bed. It told me The Lord had spared me once. I was shocked when I saw "Memento Mori" written on its forehead.
It is high time the Bastard-king grants me another duchy, I sent a letter with my request.
Heathens rose up in Vermandois today, how could my son's regent allow this?! I send a letter of complaint to the regent with my court chaplain, who is also ordered to bring the heretics back to the true faith.
The Bastard-king has refused my offer. he will regret this day soon.
I am with child, I'll have to take it easy from now on.
Heretics rise up in France. Luckily they show no interest in Flanders.
tu autem Domine miserere nobis, I hope my family in the east is safe.
More news from the east, The Jihad has failed and now Jerusalem stands strong against the infidels who ravage Europe.
It is high time the king's power decreases. In his moment of weakness, I send an ultimatum demanding a change of succession.
A count invites me to his party. I think this is a great opportunity to be more well-liked at court!
our Tyrannous liege has implemented gavelkind, a great victory for the Flemish nobility!
The party starts, I have never seen such extravagance. Before commencing to eat and drink, I say a quick prayer to The Lord so he may forgive my sins. The others do not join me in my prayer.
I had an amazing time with Count Onno, during these days I feel like we've truly bonded. I'll write a poem about friendship after the party.
false
I probably had too much to drink as I can't remember it clearly but a courtier told me I had a fight with my new friend.
It is known in my court that the marriage with Pedro wasn't a marriage of love, yet during these few days I feel like I've grown closer to him, not in a romantic way but as a friend.
The party comes to an end, I had a great time and so did my friends. I can at last start writing a poem about friendship.
Disease hits brugge, I decide to close the keep off. I send out letters to encourage any man of cloth and medicine to help the local populace.
During these troubling times I give birth to a daughter, I name her Reynilde. She is a beautiful child and makes me think about the friendship with my husband.
We are running out of food, I have ordered the cooks to ration all food. My steward tells me we can hold out for a few more days.
Death rages through Flanders, is it my punishment for my lustful behavior? I pray for the people of Flanders, surely death is nothing in the light of god? I organise an evening of intense prayer with my courtiers.
It seems death and disease have been beaten. It is high time to reopen our gates and help the people of Flanders.
My friend invites me to another party, surely God would not be angry for such a small festivity?
I was enraged when I saw Gilbert, I ordered the guards to immediatly seize the man and throw him in prison.
Despite the disease that ran through Flanders, the harvest was plenty. I have enough funds to repay my debts with the Jewish Moneylenders. A loan that had been standing for more than 10 years.
My daughter is sick, just when I thought the plague had burned out. I order my physician to treat my beloved Clementia. I pray for her soul.
A French swine tried to seduce me, I tore his letter apart and send one of my guards to tell the duke to never bother me again. I feel more inclined to break up the relation with my lover.
My husband introduced me to his brother today, as we talked about the God and poetry, I feel like we could be good friends.
Autonomy for my vassals, just like I want autonomy from the french bastards. I introduce a new law to the kingdom allowing more power to my vassals.
I told him I would beat him, were the great battles I fought not enough to prove it?
I decide to make more time for these boardgames.
I hate the french king, really, I do, but the Duke of Champagne made some compelling arguments today. I Perhaps I should give a speech to my people one day, explicitly mentioning my complete hate for all that is French.
The Bastard-king has passed another law bringing the position of his vassals in danger. I will not tolerate it!
Under the guide of The Lord, I have decided to break up with my lover and become more loyal to my husband. I feel bad for Pedro, should I reveal the actual ancestry of some of my children to him?
A new party! I am delighted by the things I see, remembering the encounter with the angel, I try to be modest.
My friend challenges me for another boardgame. I crush him round after round as he tries to win the battle.
In the end I win the game, Count Onno told me that he considers me a 'Game Master', I thank him for the honour and promise to teach him in the future.
The debates with Godschalk are so intriguing. He never talks down to me and respects my opinion. I think I have a healthy friendly relation with him now.
I have to decline another invitation of my dear friend, I have something greater planned for the near future.
I have been dreaming of Jerusalem since I was a little girl, now I have the opportunity to go there and look at its wonders myself. I assemble my most loyal courtiers and set out to the Holy Land.
A fire! Remembering our Savior Jesus Christ, I helped putting out the fire. The local Innkeeper is devastated, his only income came from the inn. I send a letter to my steward back home, informing him to deliver funds to the innkeeper so he may rebuild his inn.
I felt sick today, but I believe in Our Lord and go on, I will not shame the legacy of Christ!
An escort from knights, it seemed as if I was in a story, walking inbetween these mysterious holy men. I wrote a poem about these protectors of our faith and read it to them. They greatly appreciated it and promised to add it to the royal library in Jerusalem.
The heretics have taken advantage of my absence and now openly practice their vile customs. I sent a letter to my court chaplain, ordering him to convert these fools.
This spiritual journey moved me, I now truly realise that the only path to salvation is through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My courtiers think I'm zealous. I'll pray for them.
My sickness didn't get any better, a local physician told me spend time in prayer, realising The Lord is the only way, I agreed and spent the next 2 hours in the chapel.
I am home, a reborn woman. I feel like the holy spirit is more present than ever. Things will change in Flanders, everyone will have to lead a more pious life, that much is certain.
Thank you for reading Chapter I of my megacampaign. Chapter 2 will be coming soon. i hope you enjoyed it, if you have any feedback or tips, I will always welcome them.

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The Lion of Flanders - Chapter II: All for Flanders, Flanders for Christ

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