Ituk of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 15: 818-828

Something really weird is going on with warscore system - instead of being really easy to get to 100% like it used to be it's now much harder. I think it just calculates occupation warscore by holding not by county, so if you have mix of tribal and feudal counties, feudal counties (with multiple holdings) count for way more than tribal counties (with one holding each). Between this and painfully slow travel time (here's an idea - why not make travel time same between any neighbouring provinces? I know, it sounds radical, but it's such pain in CK2 and EU4 depending on which part of the map you're on, and how stupid map projection is there) this makes tribal wars really slow.

Anyway, finishing finishing high chiefdom of Alania took forever, with help from my both nephews, but wasn't too difficult.

Then khanate of Volga Bulgaria took even longer - and while I was at it duke of Kabulistan attacked me for de jure claim over one of Indian counties. My second nephew helped me defend against that while my army was busy in the West.

Weirdly High Chief of Bolghar inherited duchy of Moldova with 3 counties (while still under Volga Bulgaria). That extends my country uncomfortably far to the West.

I created 2 duchies in territory already held by my subjugated nephew and gave them to him, so now he tolerates me. It might end with less kinslaying than previous succession, hopefully.

Fight against duke of Kabulistan was victorious, but my armies suffered massive losses. Fortunately so did my nephew's so it's time to reunite family lands. It took 10 years to resolve succession - and with successions happening mostly brother to brother that means realm will be in state of succession crisis more often than not.

Unlike with my tribal nephew who accepted his position in life, all 3 nephews who happen to be feudal dukes under me hate me - 2 as title claimants, 3rd without claims just because he's ambitious. At least 4th feudal nephew - who holds 3 counties, but only 2 of them in his main duchy, so he can't be a real duke likes me there.

I have loads of nephews like that - House of Ili grew to 49 living members, and has already higher prestige than Karlings - even if not as high as Abbasids, Umayyads, and various ancient Indian dynasties. Those minor titles really add up.

Contrary to my predictions, Caliph's invasion of Byzantine empire failed miserably, but that had little impact on the Caliphate. Caliph is 73, and his successor is content, so there's some hope thing will get better.

And yes - it turns out I'm so good at this game, I win even metagame, Muslim decadence is no longer hardcoded at 0%, Abbasids got to 38% somehow. But then Umayyads are still at 0%, and most other Muslim rulers are very low, so it could be just some event-driven decadence here, and not actually fixed Muslim decadence? Only time will tell.

Right now I'm helping king of what's-left-of-Khazaria defend against holy war waged by a Miaphysine duke. It's totally awkward as I'd rather de jure claim the county I'm defending as I just need one more county to crown myself emperor!

Feudalization is progressing nicely. Double high chief of Bolgar (tribal) and Moldau (feudal) used his feudal income, even with -75% penalty, to build stone fort and reinforced fort in his tribal holdings. It could be that remote Bolgar will be the first place to feudalize, due to their weird family situation.

My demesne on the other hand is just 1 reinforced hillfort (level 3), 1 wooden hillfort (level 2), and 7 earth hillforts (level 1). Somewhat quite disappointing as lands two previous khans spent money and prestige improving are now mostly under their vassals - and they've spent tons of money on creating all the high chiefdoms.

That's 3450 gold for demesne only feudalization, and 400 gold for imperial title. With current khan at age of 41, he probably won't make it long enough to feudalize his realm.

I'm not sure what's the best next step. Some possibilities:

* Invasion of Kabulistan is definitely doable - he's just Buddhist duke and everyone around him is Hindu, so the only help he'd get is Buddhist holy order.
* Suomenusko rulers hold 5 counties in my de jure empire, so if I wanted to get imperial title quickly that would be a way - but that's extremely painful arctic.
* Holy war against Byzantines - or even invasion - if Caliph failed, it feels like an extremely poor idea, but then who knows, maybe it's doable. I'm also allied with Karling empire of Francia. My nieces married kings of Serbia and Saxony too, but that unfortunately doesn't count as an alliance.
* Wait for truce with Khan of Khazaria to end, de jure that one missing county - sounds like at least part of the plan.
* Holy war or Pagan subjugation against Slavic rulers to the West - that's really really off route to India, but at least it's not arctic over there, and more land means more power base for my future empire, and more power means less worrying about the Caliph. That duchy of Moldau I got is sort of asking to get connected to the rest of my realm, and it's either that or holy warring Byzantines for it.
* Clean up Miaphysite counts in Caucasus - easy, but they provide distraction for Caliph and Byzantines, so I'm somewhat willing to let them be.

I'm not even totally sure if this is still India campaign... That's what drove chief Arslan out from his home village, but then his successors might have different ideas. I'll probably decide once I'm feudal emperor.
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