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Mapp vs Gaming Waffle: Crusader Kings 2

Usual Disclaimer: Brain meats suck, computer games are awesome, why not focus on the latter?

I finally went back to Crusader Kings 2 yesterday, picking up my alternate history adventures with the island of Socotra. I'd tweaked the game a little to let me turn the island into it's own trade republic, as there's plenty of room for expansion down there (from the Red Sea all the way around the coastline to India) and I had decided to take a bit of land for myself in the general Oman region. This wasn't a sensible move, compounding the general religious conflicts with holding some land that the squabbling mainlanders were interested in.

As powers rise and fell along the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, each of them waged war on me to take back my slice of Oman. War after war after war started to drain the funds of the Republic considerably, as hired mercenaries arrived on the island of Socotra and would then have to be shipped across to the mainland. When it became obvious that there wasn't any hope for me keeping the land and, even if I could hold it for a few more years, I wouldn't make any money out of it, I did the unthinkable. I surrendered.

The ensuing peace let me do two things: tend to the needs of my own House, and cause trouble elsewhere. Early in this bizarro-alternate-history, the island converted wholesale to the Messalian heresy. Part of this was because it'd allow for marriages between close relations, which would help get around the complete isolation the Republic faced. The other reason, which is likely the reason why anyone does anything in this game, was because it was an entertaining choice and an island of rich, inbred merchants was an appealing, challenging narrative. This decision was coming back to bite me, as smallpox ravaged the courts of Socotra, claiming the lives of many of the inbred, sickly children. I began looking to the outside world to arrange marriages, opting to bring people to the island that possessed good breeding traits and who were willing to convert to the heretical Messalian faith. It's a safe bet that this sort of thing is going to happen repeatedly in the history of the island, with generation after generation getting repeatedly more inbred until some new blood is brought in every seventy five years or so.

The money was rolling in once more, trade flourishing as the mainland remained peaceful and rulers there turned their attention towards making their holdings more profitable. The Republic faced no pressing outside threats, beyond the general religious differences, and a new generation of House members was coming of age. Expansion was on the cards once more, with trade posts being built all along the coast of the Red Sea. Patriarchs died, elections were held, and it was time for the newest Grand Mayor to make his mark on the world. I wanted to stir things up a bit, this time with another attempt at a land grab, and I saw that I was in a position to claim something on the coast which would cause a lot of trouble.

Mecca became the newest holding of the Republic of Socotra. I decided to take a break after this, as a rather large war was declared which saw almost everyone south of Spain and west of India promising to get involved.