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I am in a terrible vassalage situation. I am one of various counts you can find in West Francia at the old god start.

I manage to get into West Francia current ruler's good grace briefly and asked for a title at a time when he was over his demesne. Of course I didn't expect anything at that point.

The king of West Francia eventually decide that I would be better off to be a vassalage of a duke that isn't even within my main title's De Jure... Worse yet all of my vassal as council members are somewhat inefficient in their duties (lack of skills).

I am actually my current De Jure largest count (3 direct demesne and one isn't mine which is owned by my Heir Son) in Gascogne while my liege is a duchy in Toulouse which have very few titles to give out (4 demesne, 3 vassalage).

Short of expanding outside of realm. Not much I can do to grow.

I would like to break this vassalage and move into direct vassalage to West Francia or better yet gain the Duchy of Gascogne.

I can not declare war on my De Jure Duchy even if I had a valid CB on the duchy Gascogne title itself because I need to break off from my duchy liege first.

To add salt to my wound, Duchy of Gascogne has 4 sons, 2 daughters, and one Priest (took vow apparently). They are all eligible to inherit more or less.

I manage to switch over to Elective Monarchy until I can move to a better inherit law.

Question: How do I grow as a count at this point or other similar situations?

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As a short answer: Factions. You can enforce to increase the Council Power, forcing your duke to establish an elective duchy. Maybe you can use that faction to put yourself as a Duke or Independence from him.

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  • That doesn't help as I was the ONLY vassal direct under this foreign Duchy with a real title (outside of minor title such as city/church/barony). – Vyndicu Aug 12 '16 at 20:20
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Complementing Fernando's answer, your best bet is to use either intrigue or factions (preferrably both). To break free, you need to overpower your liege, but not necessarily militarly.

  • Military power: Conquest more counties, when possible, either via inheritance or councillor's claim.
  • Economic power: Accumulate wealth for some years, so you can hire mercenaries if needed.
  • Diplomatic power: Strategically marry your daughters with powerful dukes to get alliances. Get them in your favor with gifts so they will help you.

Eventually, you will be able to revolt against your current liege with good odds, as soon as you start a faction.

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That said, since I didn't find it in your question, you can create yourself the Duchy of Gascogne if you have the necessary territory, gold and Piety, and nobody has the title yet. That way, you'll break free from your current liege, since your title will be of the same level as his.

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  • Duchy of Gascogne already exist in old god start and short of somehow forcing King of France to revoke the title and have him give it to me. That would be swell but unlikely. More to the point did you actually boot up the game and looked at the situation concerning Count Loup of Bearn at January 1st 769 and look around? – Vyndicu Oct 25 '16 at 4:04

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