Arslan of Ili, Emperor of India: Part 0: Pre-campaign notes

Let's roll back the clock to year 769. In mountains of Ili lived a remarkable character - Arslan of Ili. So remarkable that I had to turn off ruler designer costing to create him. I know how to abuse it to get gay wounded lustful dwarves with stats I like, but let's just skip this step and create character we want.

Like everybody else in his small Karluk tribe he was a poor goat herder. From the youngest age he was remarkably good at one thing - organizing cattle raids. Be it goats, sheep, cows, or horses - he and his merry band were able to steal it all and get away with it, occasionally also getting some shiny trinkets or a pretty girl or two while they were at it.

But he had a much bigger dream. Rumors had it that across impassable peaks of the Himalayas - impassable as far as anybody knew, frankly nobody bothered as there was nothing worth stealing there, and it would be too much effort to do so otherwise - there was a land of boundless riches. Why steal goats when you get steal some elephants? Why hunt rabbits when you can hurt a tiger! And however practical they might be, nobody enjoyed mud huts heated with burning goat dung during cold winter nights much, so moving to a palace in some warm climate sounded like a great idea.

He was strong like everybody else in his tribe - weak ones never survived harsh mountain winters. When he wasn't raiding, he was hunting. Or feasting. Or whoring. Of all the cardinal sins the only one nobody could accuse him of was slothfulness - people of Ili knew how to enjoy their short lives, never knowing if they'll have enough goat dung to avoid freezing to death next winter.

He wasn't especially religious. As was proper in land dependent on wellbeing of the herds, he sacrificed a goat to sky gods on designated days. But what did he care that in other lands other people worshiped their gods differently - by staring into the sun all day, going onto distant pilgrimages, or for that matter fucking their sister. He didn't have a sister, so that one was out, but if the tribe ever moves to faraway places with different gods, he might need to worship the new ones appropriately.

Some shamans, usually after they smoked too many holy herbs, talked about future coming of grand shaman chosen by sky god, who would lead all tribes together against foreigners who worship weird gods in weird ways. Few treated that talk seriously.

At his 16th birthday he was elected chief of Ili by tribesmen hopeful for bountiful cattle raids. Little did they know how far he'd go.

As first in his family to lead the whole tribe, he chose blood red horse and saber on night black shield as his symbol, celebrating many successful cattle raids.

Full stats: 6/25/8/11/7

* Brilliant Strategist
* Strong
* Organizer
* Hunter
* Ambitious
* Brave
* Lustful
* Gluttonous
* Greedy
* Diligent
* Envious
* Wroth
* Proud

This build would cost a lot of points, even though objectively it's not that great.

Other than resetting ruler designer cost the only change I'm using is disabling all dynastic names on the map (so it's Arabian Empire not Abbasids etc.) as I can't stand them, and using Arumba's keyboard shortcuts mod.

A fairly major annoyance in CK2 game starts is that game files don't bother to specify anybody's daughters and sisters, so there's no way to get any dynastic alliances early game unless you live in 1066 Europe. Obviously history is pretty spotty at recording that, but game should just randomly generate some sisters.

I don't plan to give super-detailed reports like with EU4, that would probably take forever in this game.

Khiva is Sunni-ruled and civilized, and everything north of it is Tengri or Manichean and tribal - this means I want to unite as much of the tribes as I can early - starting obviously with Chuy, so I get long border with Khiva to raid. Due to lack of boats in this region that's the only way I can make decent money and prestige from looting.

The most obvious way would be to take ambition to become king of Turkestan, but that's really awful 12-holding title - relocating capital to Cumania or Khiva has a lot more potential (even if Cumania extends crazy far away from India).

The easiest way I can fail is early, once I get rolling, steamroll all the way to India is not unlikely.
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