Ekkehard's reign ended with his death from natural causes in 1147. Some notable stories from the latter part of his reign:
- His daughter Anna came up year after year in court gossip. Taking a page from her distant ancestor Kuno's book, she had a succession of lovers and illegitimate children. Though Ekkehard had a soft spot for her and tried to let her misdeeds slide, her husband was less forgiving. She died during her third stint in prison for adultery.
- A claimant to the throne of England arrived Ekkehard's court during a period of relative peace, so just as Matthias II did with Sweden, Ekkehard made the man a king and then pressed his claim. It was the first and only offensive war Ekkehard declared during his reign (though he joined a couple others as an ally.)
- Absolutely tired of vassals joining religious uprisings, he started demanding that his most powerful vassals convert to Catholicism, which most of them were ready to do, especially when he used his diplomatic skills to bribe them with gifts. The hope was that his heir's reign would be less troubled by powerful revolts. (I had wanted to run a more open-minded society, but the game's mechanics proved a little too punishing in that regard.)
- Ekkehard's wife died, and he remarried. He and his new wife had three daughters, including one born months before Ekkehard died. Vigdis had the "lunatic" trait, which as far as I can tell only manifested in her benign request to name each one of her daughters Ekkehard. They were in love.
Ekkehard was succeeded on death by his grandson, Kulin. He left him a full treasury with which to manage his vassals, and the move where he took the Khanate of Sweden as his own title means his heir controls a sizable army.
But Kulin has none of the grandfather's charms. He's paranoid and an adulterer (his lover is his cousin Gundes) and absolutely no one likes him.
Next week ... the sordid tale of Kulin and Gundes.