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So, I was there, casually playing as Ragnarr Lodbrok of Scandinavia, comfortable in the thought that I would soon come to pass to Valhalla and leave the Empire to be divided by my four sons according to the laws of Elective Monarchy (where my eldest was the primary successor). And then things happened.

First of all, my first son, Sigurdr, inherited the Empire of Scandinavia and Kingdom of Sweden. My second son, Snorri, inherited the Kingdom of Danmark and the freshly succession-created Kingdom of Norway. He remained a loyal vassal of the Empire of Scandinavia. However, my third son, Gandalfr, gained independence with the duchies of Austergautland and Finland. As did my fourth son, Thorolf, with the duchies of Estonia and Vestergautland.

So, I did what any good loving brother would and I quickly proceeded to re-annex the domain of Thorolf to unify the land. And then things went even more wrong. First of all, Gandalfr declared a Subjugation War on the Kingdom of Finland (consisting of Karelia, Kola and Livonia) which he also surprisingly won. This resulted in an independent Kingdom of Finland (and Austergautland) under the rule of the third son. I had already reclaimed Estonia and Vestergautland by this time.

However, due to some anger-management issues the second son had, Snorri accepted a duel challenge from one of his vassals - and lost, forgiving his life. This resulted in the Kingdoms of Norway and Danmark being passed through four holders within a single year, eventually ending in the hands of the now-independent king Gandalfr of Finland, Norway and Danmark. Currently, the Empire of Scandinavia consists of Estonia and Sweden, while the third son rules the rest. I've already managed to place him as the heir to, in case of accidents.

For one, should this even happen? For two, how would I go about preventing this from happening again? And lastly, what is the best way of speeding up the reunification process on my end?

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    Hah, "Snorri" is similar to a swedish slang for "Penis". My apologies for not being able to provide any actually useful information. – user1337 Jun 9 '15 at 15:13
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    Well, that would explain why he was such a dick. Thankfully, was. – user115002 Jun 9 '15 at 19:29
  • Were you above vassal limit at the moment of Ragnarr's death? It is a common reason for some vassals getting independence. My advice in this case - avoid creating an empire unless you have solid crown and succession law. After you have ultimogeniture succession and middle crown authority, you can start expanding. – Alien-47 Jun 10 '15 at 12:55
  • I can't remember exactly, but I probably wasn't - Scandinavia consists of only a handful of duchies after all, and I held both of the kingdom-level titles and three duchies myself. – user115002 Jun 10 '15 at 17:16
  • Also, you can't change from Elective Gavelkind as an unreformed Norse Pagan with tribal titles. So I was a bit out of options to get away from the kingdoms separating... – user115002 Jun 10 '15 at 17:26
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Junior heirs always get a choice as to whether or not to become independent. In this case you get strong claims on their titles. Short of changing your succession laws, you can't prevent this from happening. However you can reduce the probability by educating the non-heir children to be content and doing anything you can to increase their opinion of the heir (try to give them compatible traits).

The speediest way to reunification is to declare war on the newly independent sons and take their lands back. Of course Gandalfr will remain king of Finland (since this is a title he gained on his own not through inheritance), and will still remain independent.

If you want all his titles, then two possibilities I can see. One, who is Gandalfr's heir? If he does not yet have children it could be you, in which case an assassination might come handy. Second is gain a casus belli the way you would usually (fabrication) and take the titles that way.

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    I decided to go the other way around to unify the kingdom: I committed a glorious suicide by trying to raid all the provinces of Francia. Resulted in Gandalfr inheriting the entire kingdom. – user115002 Jun 18 '15 at 1:14

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