Crusader Kings II

Crusader Kings Chronicle: The Prologue

T.J. Hafer at

The Duchy of Munster in a nutshell

The House of ua Brian are from the South of Ireland, ruling from the county of Thomond in the Duchy of Munster.

Crusader Kings 2 has a pretty in-depth vassalage system, and this is as good a time to explain it as any:

  • Empires are the largest bodies, ruled by an Emperor or Empress and encompassing multiple Kingdoms.
  • Kingdoms are the next step down, ruled by a King or Queen and encompassing multiple Duchies.
  • Duchies are the middle tier, ruled by a Duke (that's me) or Duchess and encompassing one or more Counties.
  • Counties are the lowest playable level, ruled by a Count or Countess and containing one or more Baronies.
  • Baronies are the individual towns and castles within each county space on the map. They’re either ruled by a Baron (for military castles), a Lord Mayor (for municipal cities), or a Bishop (for religious settlements.)

Phew, got all that? So my starting leader, Duke Murchad I of Munster, is the Duke of Munster. It is a Duchy that includes the Counties of Thomond and Ormond. Thomond is the seat of my power, while Ormond is my vassal, ruled over by my bannerman, Lord Mayor Ragnvald of Ormond. Within Thomond and Ormond are Baronies that don’t actually show up on the map, which swear allegiance to me by way of their County-level superiors (myself and Ragnvald).

Anyway, that should give you an idea of why I started with a smaller realm. If I were playing as, for example, the Holy Roman Empire, the first two weeks of this column would just be explaining who my vassals are.

Now then, let’s get to know the important characters better...