Empires

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De jure empires in 1066.

Empire.png An Empire is the highest tier of landed titles in Base icon CK2.png Crusader Kings II, above kingdom. The title is held by Emperor-ranked characters only. The portrait of emperor (or equivalent) has a golden border adorned by gems. Emperor Feudal.png

To create or usurp an empire, a character needs to:

  • Control at least 80% of its de jure territory
  • Hold either two kingdom titles, or an empire-rank title
  • Pay 600 wealth plus 400 piety (or equivalent) (wealth cost is gradually reduced as the character amasses piety, with 50% discount at 1000 piety)
  • Comply with specific religious and/or cultural conditions (since patch 2.0, most conditions only apply to the AI).
  • Comply with any other conditions

Empires are very large and difficult to form. However, emperors' ability to employ kings (or equivalent) as vassals makes management of large realms considerably easier, as is their ability to assimilate kingdoms via de jure drift once the kingdom is fully held by the empire. A Catholic emperor can hold the Papacy as a vassal after successfully pressing an antipope's claim. By granting de jure duchies to the various holy orders, a Catholic emperor can easily terrorise heretic and infidel realms. A Zoroastrian emperor in control of the Persian Empire can reinstate the High Priesthood, creating a religious head for the faith. Once in complete control of the Persian Empire, they can declare themselves the Saoshyant, the One Who Brings Benefit, which enhances their (and their descendants') standing with Zoroastrian vassals.

Additionally, independent dukes within the de jure empire or have the same culture as the emperor are more likely to accept diplomatic vassalization if offered.

The Byzantine Empire exists for all start dates; the Holy Roman Empire for all start dates from 1066 onwards.

In the DLC icon Charlemagne.png Charlemagne start date at 769, the Abbasids have only recently taken power and are on the ascent; the Holy Roman Empire has yet to exist, but may be formed by decision. In the East, the powerful Empire of Tibet looms over its smaller neighbors. In Dlc icon the old gods.png The Old Gods start date at 867, the Arabian Empire is under the control of the collapsing Abbasids, while the Holy Roman Empire may also be formed by decision. The Tibetan Empire has collapsed into a patchwork of warring states by this date. In the 936 start date, a new empire shows up in Iberia - the Caliphate of Cordoba - and another in the Balkans, Bulgaria.

By 1066, the Arabian Empire has collapsed; the Fatimids control Egypt and a sizeable portion of the former empire. In 1186, the Empire of Rajastan in India appears. The Latin Empire exists between the years 1204 and 1261. The Mongol Empire appears on the map when starting after 1206 and may also spawn as a horde from 1210 if playing from earlier start dates. The successor Mongol Empires of the Golden Horde, the Ilkhanate and the Chagatai Empire appear at the end of 1227. The Deccan Empire will appear only in the last possible start date (The Hundred Years War) in 1337.

If the Horse Lords.png Horse Lords Expansion is active, many more empires are available: independent nomadic rulers, or khagans, hold an empire-tier title and will form titular empires when settling (or custom empires named after the capital county if DLC icon Charlemagne.png Charlemagne DLC is also active).

Mechanics unlocked at emperor rank[edit]

There are two additional mechanics available to emperors, which are unavailable for lower-ranked rulers; they are tied to the Legalism or Majesty technologies:

  • Imperial Administration: Grants automatic "Duchy Viceroyalties" law and revocation of duchy viceroyalty, free vassal retraction, revocation of duchy-level titles (without DLC icon Charlemagne.png Charlemagne DLC), and a substantial bonus to vassal limit (+25 bonus; combined with -10 from "Duchy Viceroyalties" law, net increase is +15).
    • Imperial Administration is also required to restrict vassals' ability to declare wars.
  • Viceroyalties (requires DLC icon Charlemagne.png Charlemagne DLC): They are lifetime-only title grants that revert to the emperor upon the viceroy's death. The emperor may pass Kingdom Viceroyalty (-5 vassal limit), or both Duchy and Kingdom Viceroyalties (-10 vassal limit).

Those laws are visible on the demesne laws tab; if the DLC icon Conclave.png Conclave DLC is active, the player can find both under the realm laws tab.

The Byzantine Empire starts with both "Imperial Administration" and "Duchy Viceroyalties" enacted.

Nomenclature[edit]

The proper title of emperor-rank character and their respective land titles are generated according to the combination of their religion, government type, and culture, for instance:

  • The Byzantine Emperor is called basileus if their culture group is Byzantine
  • A German emperor-tier character is known as kaiser, while a Russian liege is tsar
  • An Arabic emperor is known as badshah, while a Turkish liege is padishah
  • An Iranian emperor is shahanshah and an Indian liege is called samrat
  • An Altaic emperor is known as khagan, while a Tibetan liege is called tsenpo
  • A merchant republic liege who attains the emperor-tier title is known as grand prince.

Custom empires[edit]

If the DLC icon Charlemagne.png Charlemagne DLC is active, rulers can create a custom de jure empire.

This decision is available to an independent king with 8,000 prestige as well as either 180 holdings in their realm, or else three kingdom titles. Custom empires are named after, and take the color of, their creator's primary kingdom (although they can be renamed by owning the Customization Pack DLC).

When formed, all kingdoms either held or entirely controlled by their creator ruler become de jure vassals of the custom empire, so long as their original de jure empire does not exist.

List of empires[edit]

DE JURE EMPIRES
CoA Empire Capital De Jure Kingdoms Special Requirements AI additional requirements ID Alternate names
E abyssinia.png Abyssinia Gondar (883) Abyssinia, Nubia King of Egypt, Nubia and Abyssinia East African culture group e_abyssinia
E arabia.png Arabian Empire Damascus (728) Arabia, Jerusalem, Egypt, Syria, Yemen
769 only: Maghreb, Africa
Arabic culture group e_arabia
E bengal.png Bengal Empire Laksmanavati (1151) Bengal, Bihar, Gondwana, Kamarupa, Orissa Empire of India does not exist. e_bengal
E britannia.png Britannia Middlesex (32) England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales English, Anglo-Saxon, or Norman culture, or Celtic or North Germanic culture group e_britannia Prydain, Alba
E bulgaria.png Bulgaria Tyrnovo (499) 936: Bulgaria, Wallachia
All other starts: None
e_bulgaria
E byzantium.png Byzantine Empire Constantinople (496) Anatolia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Epirus, Georgia, Greece, Serbia, Sicily, Thrace, Trebizond (& Cyprus, Saruhan, Trinacria, Tekke, Ottoman Turks, Rum, Mentese, Karaman, Germiyan, Eretnid, Aydin, Candar) Roman Empire does not exist. Latin empire does not exist. Must be Orthodox or Hellenic/Hellenic Reformed. e_byzantium
E carpathia.png Carpathia Pest (522) Hungary, Wallachia, Croatia e_carpathia
E deccan.png Deccan Empire Manyakheta (1210) Andhra, Karnata, Lanka, Maharastra, Tamilakam, Telingana Empire of India does not exist. e_deccan
E france.png Francia Paris (112) All starts: Aquitaine, France, Brittany, Burgundy
Additionally in 769: Frisia, Lotharingia
One kingdom title other than Aquitaine, France, Brittany, or Burgundy French, Norman, or Occitan culture e_france Gallia
E germany.png Germania Nassau (121) 769: Bavaria, Carinthia, Germany, Saxony (& The Hansa)
All other starts: None
Saxon culture or Central Germanic culture group e_germany
E spain.png Hispania Toledo (197) All starts: Andalusia, Navarra
769 and 867: Asturias
from 769 to 1147: Badajoz
from 769 to 1212: Galicia, Valencia
from 1066: Aragon, Castille, León
from 1109: Portugal
No de jure kingdom is held by an infidel (with Holy Fury.pngHoly Fury) e_spain
E hre.png Holy Roman Empire Jülich (90) 769: None
All other starts: Bavaria, Carinthia, Frisia, Germany, Lotharingia (& The Hansa)
Additionally from 15 September 1066 on: Bohemia
Can only be created by special decisions.
867 on: requires Catholic or Fraticelli religion, German or Dutch culture, neither the HRE nor the empire of Francia exist, the ruler be adult, not a prisoner, not Incapable, 1000 Prestige, 180 Realm Size, Kingdom of Germany and one other Kingdom title, and 2 years of wealth
769: requires Catholic or Fraticelli religion, not holding the Byzantine Empire, the ruler be adult, not a prisoner, not Incapable, 1000 Prestige, 220 Realm Size, holding the Kingdom of Italy or Empire of Italia, a Kingdom or Empire title within Francia, Germania, Britannia, or Hispania, no Christian holder of Francia, Germania, Britannia, or Hispania other than the ruler, 100 opinion with your religious head, and 2 years of wealth. It will inherit the coat of arms of the ruler's previous primary title if it is an empire.
e_hre
E italy.png Italia Rome (333) Italy, Romagna (Papal States in its place in most bookmarks), Sardinia-Corsica, Venice (& Genoa, Pisa, Naples).

King of Sicily. (This requirement changes based on de jure drift. You must own all of the following kingdoms if not titular and not de jure Italia: Kingdoms of Sicily, Naples, Trinacria, Italy, Sardinia-Corsica, Romagna, Venice.)

Italian culture e_italy
E kanem.png Kanem-Bornu None Hausaland, Kanem e_kanem
E maghreb.png Maghreb Marrakech (843) 769: none (titular)
All other starts: Africa, Maghreb
Berber culture e_maghreb
E mali.png Mali Timbuktu (911) Ghana, Mali, Songhay West African culture group e_mali
E persia.png Persian Empire Esfahan (646) Al-Jazira, Daylam, Iraq, Kabulistan, Khorasan, Persia, Sistan Iranian culture group e_persia Parthicum
E pontic steppe.png Pontic Steppe Saray (619) Alania, Crimea, Khazaria Altaic culture group, Alan culture or Hungarian culture e_pontic_steppe
E rajastan.png Rajasthan Kanyakubja (1356) Delhi, Gujarat, Kosala, Malwa, Punjab, Rajputana, Sindh Empire of India does not exist. e_rajastan
E russia.png Rus Kiev (547) Chernigov, Galicia-Volhynia, Kievan Rus, Novgorod, Vladimir East Slavic, North Germanic or Finno-Ugric culture groups e_russia Suomi
E scandinavia.png Scandinavia Uppland (290) Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lapland, Norway, Sweden North Germanic culture group or Finnish culture e_scandinavia
E tartaria.png Tartaria Sarkel (594) Cumania, Mongolia, Sibir Altaic culture group e_tartaria
E tibet.png Tibet Lhasa (1498) Guge, Kashmir, Kham, Nepal, Yarlung, Xia e_tibet Bodchenpo, Tufan, Tubo
E turkestan.png Turan Khiva (626) Khotan, Oghuz, Transoxiana, Zhetysu e_turkestan Turkestan
E wendish empire.png Wendish Empire Krakow (527) All start dates: Lithuania, Poland, Pomerania
Additionally at 769 start: Bohemia
Additionally at 867 start: Bohemia, Great Moravia
West Slavic or Baltic culture groups e_wendish_empire
E idel ural.png Volga-Ural Bulgar (610) Nenetsia, Perm, Volga Bulgaria e_idel_ural
TITULAR EMPIRES
CoA Empire Capital De Jure Kingdoms Requirements AI additional requirements ID
E mexikha.png Aztec Empire None N/A Impossible to create. Always exists once activated. If the Sunset Invasion DLC is active, it can show up somewhere on the Atlantic Coast between 1250 and 1350. Never e_mexikha
E chagatai.png Chagatai Samarkand (903) N/A Impossible to create. Exists if you start after 1227. Never e_chagatai
E golden horde.png Golden Horde Saray (619) N/A Impossible to create. Always exists once activated. Exists if you start after 1227. Never e_golden_horde
E il-khanate.png Ilkhanate Esfahan (646) N/A Impossible to create. Always exists once activated. Exists if you start after 1227. Never e_il-khanate
E rajastan.png India None N/A (Inherits everything in India region when formed) Activated and created by the "Become Samrat Chakravartin" decision. Rajastan, Bengal Empire, and Deccan Empire either do not exist or are held by you. Completely control the India region. 500 gold, 1000 prestige. e_india
E latin empire.png Latin Empire Constantinople (496) N/A Catholic religion or Catholic heresy. Neither Byzantine Empire nor Roman Empire exists. Control Kaliopolis and Thrake. e_latin_empire
E mongol empire.png Mongol Empire Kara-khorum (1457) N/A Activated and created by the "Become Genghis Khan" decision. Must be a nomadic Mongol with 1500 prestige and control of 35 counties. Always exists once activated. Exists if you start between year 1206 and 1227. Almost certainly arrives in Mongolia between 1210 and 1218, if it doesn't already exist. e_mongol_empire
E outremer.png Outremer Jerusalem (774) N/A (inherits de jure land of ruler's kingdoms in Near East region and de jure kingdom of Egypt if Egypt is fully controlled) Activated and created by the "Form an Empire of the Outremer" decision.
Requirements: 5000 prestige, Catholic or Fraticelli, not Byzantine/Roman/Holy Roman emperor, king or emperor title in Near East region, complete control of Near East region, County of Jerusalem in demesne.
Never e_outremer
E roman empire.png Roman Empire Rome (333) N/A (inherits de jure land of player's main title when formed) Activated and created by the "Restore Roman Empire" decision. Requires Legacy of Rome DLC, Christian religion, 3000 Prestige, full control of duchies of Latium, Venice, Ferrara, Sicily, Genoa, Capua, Apulia, Thrace, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Athens, Tunisia and Croatia. With Holy Fury DLC there is also an option to revive Hellenism under a Greek, Italian or Roman Christian Emperor. e_roman_empire
E russian empire.png Russia Vladimir (582) N/A (inherits as de jure kingdoms of Galicia-Volhynia, Kievan Rus, Chernigov, Novgorod, Vladimir, Nenetsia, Perm, Volga Bulgaria, Khazaria, Alania and Crimea when formed) Activated and created by the "Form the Empire of Russia" decision. e_russian_empire
E seljuk turks.png Seljuk Empire Esfahan (646) N/A Impossible to create. Seljuk can appear between 965 and 1200, and if he is successful forms this empire. Never e_seljuk_turks
E lechczechrus.png Slavic Union Kiev (547) N/A (inherits as de jure kingdoms of Bohemia, Poland, Chernigov, Galicia-Volhynia, Kievan Rus, Novgorod, Vladimir and Pomerania if Pomerania is fully controlled) Activated and created by the "Form the Slavic Union" decision.
Requirements: 5000 prestige, king or emperor title, complete control of Bohemia, Poland, Chernigov, Galicia-Volhynia, Kievan Rus, Novgorod, Vladimir, culture must be one of Russian, Polish, Bohemian, Volhynian, Ilmenian, Severian, Pomeranian.
Never e_lechczechrus
E timurids.png Timurids Esfahan (646) N/A Impossible to create. Timur can appear between 1350 and 1370, and if he is successful forms this empire. Never e_timurids
E china.png Western Protectorate Dunhuang (1448) N/A Always exists as a Chinese tributary. Its Chinese Bureaucracy government type makes it unplayable, unless a Chinese pretender lost their rebellion and invaded the Western Protectorate instead. In games without Jade Dragon.png, it is largely inactive although it still has a court, and only has a physical presence in DLC icon Charlemagne.png769 and from February 1227 onwards. Never e_china_west_governor

See also[edit]