I have recently made my heir the ruler of a small county I recently conquered. Problem is, one of my other vassals suddenly declared war on my heir over his county! Most uncool.

I've not yet given my heir any other titles, and since it is a small and recently conquered county, he can barely raise any levy of his own. Defeat is therefore imminent for him. I thought about imprisoning the aggressor, but it seems challenging my heir is not a justified reason to do so. Nor can I revoke his title.

As I see it, I have a few options:

  1. Give control of more powerful counties to my heir, thus making his powerbase stronger
  2. Let them duke it out for themselves, and plot against the aggressor
  3. Imprison/assinate/revoke the title of the aggressor anyway

I don't really like the third option, even if it seems the most natural. The reason being, that the bishops for example like me just a bit more than the pope, and the penalty would make them pay their tax to him instead. The numbers are not in my favour for an assassination attempt.

Option two may also have some drawbacks. What happens if my heir is jailed by the aggressor? Would I have to ransom him out (and how does that work)? It might take years for me to set up a plot against him, and it's not cool to have my heir sit in the slammer in the meantime — and even then, I wouldn't know how to free him. Would he be transferred to me when the aggressor suddenly gets whacked of natural causes, or do all his prisoners receive the get-out-of-jail-free-card?

Have I overlooked any options? It would be nice to simply demand the aggressor to denounce his claim, or to give military support to my heir somehow — as far as I can see, my best bet here is option one above, even if it leave less profit$ for myself.

How can I avoid this in the future? In hindsight, I guess I should have given my heir more power right off the bat, but I wanted to expand a little bit to give him a complete duchy.

It's been a while, but here is the thrilling conclusion to my little conundrum. I pondered over it, and figured out I had been unwise when dividing up my lands. I had reached my limit before my son became of age, and had ended up giving a strong county to the later aggressor. When my son came of age, I gave him a small recently aqcuired land (means no standing army) as I had planned to expand and give him a whiole region later on.

Now, seeing as the land I had given him was useless anyway, I gave him a better one. Still not enough to win the war, but at least he'd still have a title while I plotted revenge.

Coincidentally, my ruler died shortly after, and the heir became a young king with a strong goal to take out the garbage. I knew the count wanted a duchy, so I planted my spy master there and waited a few years, untill he discovered a plot. I actually failed to imprison him, which may not have been such a bad thing, because I could then crush him with military might, which is more satisfying anyway.

Since I had a claim to my original land, I first revoked that title (I realized, that I might have been able to do that as soon as I became king. Comments?) I then revoked his first title, on the grounds of treachery. This meant I went over my demesne limit, but instead of making the same mistake of handing out lands to third parties, I've decided to hang on to it untill my heir becomes of age (ten years or so). Lastly, I upped the crown authority to medium, which means none of my vassals my wage war on eachother.

Slightly off-topic, but interesting post scriptum
A curious thing happened. I wanted the count to rebel against me, so I could have his head cut off, and tried numerous things, such as making him a court jester and bad mouthing him. Finally, I raised all his units (only a couple of hundred) and sent them off to the holy land, figuring this would not please him. Coincidentally, a prolonged crusade had been going on, and the city it was all about, was unguarded. I moved my forces in. I hadn't nearly enough men to besiege anything, untill a rather large English force moved in shortly after. Since I was there first, I became the siege leader. With such a large army of people I didn't care about, I kept assaulting the walls. Although all my men died, the city was taken in my honour. I didn't bother sending more men, but the sultan never retook the city, meaning I slowly racked up the war score. When he eventually sued for peace, I therefore "won" the crusade with absolutely no effort, and the pope declared months of celebrations in my name!

  • 1
    what you described in the epilogue is a big game exploit... and should be fixed
    – Eliy Arlev
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 19:02
  • 8
    @EliyArlev Maybe it's an exploit in the game, or maybe it's a real-life exploit of the social fabric of the medieval ages. It's totally plausible that some dude with a token force could, by accident of social protocol and being their first, gain the "official" recognition and reward for a victory that wasn't truly theirs. That happens all the time in real life social hierarchies, such as in modern office politics. Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 20:29
  • I had a slightly annoying occurrence with vassals warring against my second son. I'd given him titles before he actually came of age, my disloyal subject beat up on him, and now he's exiled to another kingdom. He came of age, but I still can talk him into coming back to my court and I fear he's going to be a huge thorn in the side of my son once he inherits (because 2nd son now has a bunch of claims all over my realm).
    – Wjousts
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 21:41
  • 1
    This question could use a brush up since the Conclave DLC makes it possible to stop vassals from warring
    – Oak
    Commented Sep 4, 2016 at 23:04

7 Answers 7


I would go with option one. You say that it leaves you less profit, but that is only partially true. Since you will eventually die and play as your heir, all of that money will drop right back into your pocket. It is possible that your heir will waste some of it, but not a large amount. Most of the money he earns will go back into his properties, and so that gold will end up benefiting you in the long run.

As an additional bonus, if/when your heir wins the war, he will get money and prestige from your non-heir vassal.


I've been in the same situation. I solved it by excommunicating the aggressor which gave me the ability to imprison him with causing tyrany. If the pope doesn't like the agressor and you have 100 piety, this might be a solution for you.

  • 4
    +1 for providing a solution I hadn't thought about. This was not a working solution for me, though, as the pope and I weren't really homies at the time (things changed a few year later, when a few hundred of my men accidentally ended a twenty-year long crusade by a hilarious coincidence and I became a patron of the holy church!!!)
    – Nix
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 10:51

to arrest a vassal you need a reason, so: 1. send your spymaster to find plots in his capital, success = free jail 2. ask papa to excommunicate him, success = free jail 3. piss him off, causing him to rebell, success = cheap jail (some troops might die)


you could make your defending heir more powerfull,

  1. give him more land
  2. send him a lot of gold trough gifts, enough gold and he'll get himself some nice mercenary army's
  3. (late game option), if you have several dynasty members who own significant amounts of land, they will count as allies. so your heir will call his uncle('s) into the war, suddenly this agressor finds himself at war with (several) kingdoms knocking on his door

To prevent this from happening in the first place,

  1. Medium crown authority, for obvious reasons
  2. your heir, as future king, should have a bigger power base then his neighbours
  3. keep an eye out on who has a claim to his titles, if your own vassals have a claim to it then they have a CB. foreign kingdoms cannot attack without causing a war with you.
  4. a good spymaster will notify you of plots to obtain claims to his lands, and can prevent this from happening in the first place
  • You don't need a reason to imprison people. Sure, if you don't have a good excuse, people will think you are a tyran ... but if they protest, they can join their friends at Dungeon Inn. :)
    – Nix
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 7:24
  • Funny, but not a good suggestion Nix
    – Budda
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 5:25

Another option is to just let your heir fight their war without daddy's help and watch them lose. When he loses the county, your dynasty might have lost a demesne, but it is still in your realm. Because the vassal now holds more than one title, you will likely get the option to plot to take it from him (which is far easier and faster than a murder-plot and has no negative consequences for your reputation like direct title-revocation). This will likely end in a civil war between you and the vassal, but unless some external circumstances come into play, you shouldn't have problems to win it.

End result: Some soldiers will have died in battle and your one vassal will likely be quite pissed, but the county is still in the family while all other vassals are indifferent.


I believe you can weaken the vassal's military strength by calling up his levy and letting them just sit around.


I guess you could give your heir more counties, maybe a duchy. That way he'll have more troops to raise. Or, send him gifts of money, so he can decide to hire some mercenaries. But again, I'd just let them do what they want. I never used assassinations in my games, I find them too 'cheaty'

  • 1
    That doesn't answer the question at all.
    – kotekzot
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 17:48
  • @Rodolfo What does this have to do with the question?
    – Frank
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 18:33
  • 1
    the 2nd paragraph isn't an answer to the question? In fact, 2 answers?
    – Rodolfo
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 19:46
  • I removed the non-answer part of this answer. Commented Jun 30, 2012 at 14:44

A solution to this is to join your heir's war. You can go to diplomacy on your heir's profile and hopefully it should give an option to join their war.

  • 2
    You may not join your vassals' wars. Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 17:24

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