Disaster has struck! But first…
I managed to get to war with Norway when Muscovy was weak (and unwilling to enter the war) so I had a pretty easy vassalization of them. When I did so, I was then at war with Scotland, which was trying to reconquer some Norse islands somewhere. Make hay when the sun shines, and all that, so I made Scotland a vassal, too.
With that out of the way, I finally felt like I was hitting my groove. Without blowing a bunch of points on coring and other misc stuff I was able to catch up fairly quickly on tech, and even invest in some ideas. I was kind of boxed in by the HRE–I couldn’t reclaim the last Danish province (nor Shlewig-Hotstein… someday I’ll figure out how to spell that) because Austria and Brandenburg (my ally, too) would jump in, so I made what was almost certainly a sub-optimal move and took an expansionist idea (I think that was the name of it) to get a colonist and set off for Greenland. (Sure, it’s way up north, but how bad could it be? They call it Greenland, for Pete’s sake!)
While that was going on I managed to annex Norway, which was just as well because they were rather pathetic by that point. (I still had to give them money to make them like me enough, but I had plenty by that point.) I thus picked up Vinland as a colonial dependency and am now figuring out how to do that (I guess you have to keep them happy enough so they actually give you money).
I reached the tech level so I could found the almighty state of Scandinavia, which didn’t seem to make much of a difference besides changing the color and the flag and getting me all confused thereby.
I spent some time getting more land for Vinland with my lonely colonist (and army of 5k or so that seems to be necessary to put down rebellions and actually land a colony). I wanted Kola (rightfully part of Scandinavia, currently occupied by the Russians) and I figured by this point I could probably handle Muscovy, myself–but they allied with England, which would have swallowed up my Scottish vassal trivially and probably sank my navy, too.
But it turned out that almighty France would deign to be my ally, so I figured they could hold off the redcoats while I waded into the steppes (together with the Bohemians, who should help to speed up that process a bit). They should also help if I ever wanted to get that last Danish province from HRE member Mecklenberg. The issue with that was that this “imperialism” thing happened and France was basically never at peace, so that “-30 already in a war” seemed to always be present. Ugh.
Finally, though, it happened. I declared war, with France and Bohemia, on Muscovy, England, and–as it turns out–Mecklenberg. Mecklenberg was right on my doorstep, of course, so things started off pretty exciting as they (and England) sank half my fleet and scattered the rest, and marched through Denmark and into Sweden proper (turns out that un-upgraded forts from 200 years ago fall pretty quickly). I force-marched half my army back to retake Skane, though, and once the English fleet was pulled off to deal with their colonial issues with France I retook Denmark and moved into Mecklenberg itself. I eventually managed to get a separate peace with them, retaking the last Danish province and Schlesvig-Holstein as part of it. So that ended up being the best possible outcome.
The Russian bear must have been hibernating–I got Moscow without even seeing any troops, though eventually an army of 45k or so showed up. I beat it off with an army of 60k, plus 10k Bohemian reinforcements, and it never reappeared. Go figure. So I set about besieging as much of the vast steppe as I could. (I guess there’s a bunch of forest there, too.)
All the while there was a whole bunch of back-and-forth in the new world between the British and the French. I didn’t really pay too much attention to it, but Vinland had some initial success against the Thirteen Colonies until the real British army arrived, and a whole bunch of stuff happened in South America, too.
Eventually my manpower drained (from all the sieges, I guess, though I tried to be careful about supply limits) so I called it and took the (single) province I wanted. I also gave some territory to Vinland, some to Florida, some to some random people on the other side of Russia because I couldn’t get any more gold from them, and made the Thirteen Colonies release an indigenous nation in what is now central Maine, because why not.
So now I’m sitting pretty, and I even colonized a region in the Ivory Coast and conquered an indigenous nation next to it–seemed like the thing to do. (Though one of the provinces produced slaves, which is, shall we say, distasteful, even if historically accurate. At least I was able to abolish slavery shortly thereafter.)
And now the disaster.
At this point I noticed that my ruler was getting on in years, and somehow his heir is only four years younger than him. I don’t really know how this is possible, but I’m sure you EU4 vets see where this is headed. The ruler kicks off, and I get a 65-year-old dude with no heir (really? he couldn’t do anything in those 65 years?). I desperately try to get as many royal marriages as possible, but to no avail. Soon enough France and Austria are fighting the War of the Scandinavian Succession and though I’m technically allied to France I just sit it out. I’m too dumbfounded by the whole thing, and I don’t really like France much at all right now, thank you very much.
So now the mighty Scandinavia (still in 6th place!) is a junior partner to France. I’ve almost got as many troops as them (thanks to the quantity idea group finisher), but they’re allied with Morocco (which has much of Iberia) and the defender of their Protestant faith is Tuscany, which has most of Italy, so declaring war on them is going to be dicey. What’s more, my liberty desire is only around 35% or so, despite having 80% of their strength, as apparently we like France (who do you mean we, kemosabe?) and they have a Diplomatic Reputation. This means we can’t declare independence while they’re at war, which I think is really my only hope.
So what do I do now?