Holy Trinity

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Holy Trinity.png

To receive the Holy Trinity achievement, the player must directly control Jerusalem and have the Livonian Order, the Teutonic Order and the Knights as marches while playing as the Papal State. It's worth noting that if the Knights or the Livonian Order are annexed at some point, reforming them is technically impossible unless they gained a core on a province of their main culture (Maltese and Prussian respectively).

Note: This achievement requires the Art of War.png Art of War DLC.


Despite what one may think, this achievement is fairly easy to get since all it takes is vassalizing some minors that would eventually fall on their own anyways and taking Jerusalem from the Mamluks who aren't known to be the most powerful of adversaries either. Here's a quick guide to your starting position, your objectives and the possible hurdles to overcome.

Starting Position

The Papal State starts the game divided and surrounded with France and Provence potentially wanting Avignon, the HRE blocking expansion into northern Italy and Aragon/Naples blocking expansion southwards. You're far away from all the targets for this achievement. But you are the controller of the curia which gives you some nice bonuses and everything you can take in Italy will quickly be worth your while with all the tolerance of the true faith and autonomy reduction you will get.



To deal with the issues north of you, getting into the HRE is highly recommendable. However you are already quite loaded on basetax, so even if Urbino looks like easy prey (which they are), as soon as you annex them your basetax will be too high to join the HRE so if you absolutely want to attack them (which is a risk as they tend to ally with Aragon frequently and fresh alliances can trigger mid-war, leaving you with an opponent you cannot beat at the moment), you can either vassalize them or release Avignon afterwards so you get below the taxbase threshold for joining the HRE. You will need to ally Austria, maximize relations with them and then fight a war or two together with them to reach the necessary relation level to join. Once you do, expansion into northern Italy should be possible. Careful expansion into Venice is feasible as well. Pay attention to Austrian claims! You do not want to lose this ally.

For southern Italy there is but one thing to do - beating Aragon and Naples. If the Personal Union breaks, Naples will be vulnerable for a short period of time. You can vassalize them in one war and annex them later. So keep an eye out for Aragonese prestige and the age of their king. But in any case your goal should be to make Castile your ally and sooner or later attack Aragon for Sardinia, Sicily and Malta (and Naples, should the PU hold).

Expanding into Croatian lands and releasing Croatia as vassal or march is another option. Since you will already be loaded with diplomatic relations, this is completely optional though.

The Knights

To get a strategical angle on the Knight Orders you have to be able to attack them directly and you must be able to deal with their potential allies and all the backlash this will get you. The Knights will be allied and/or guaranteed by Venice, so you need a way to deal with Venice and get to Rhodes. The logical way to do that is by allying Austria. In a lot of games Austria sets Venice as rival, but even if they don't and happen to like and ally Venice (they have the "historical friend" bonus to relations), you can just attack a Venetian ally together with Austria and force their alliance to end that way. Once that is done, you can proceed In all likelihood there will be no available CB against Rhodes and it is unfeasible to attack Venice directly for this since you cannot easily overcome their fleet and you cannot make a separate peace with the war leader. So you will have to attack without a reason and take the stability hit and the AE that come with it. Once Venice has been sufficiently beaten by Austrian troops you can make a separate peace (war reparations are a good idea) and proceed to invade and vassalize the Knights without any problem. Turn them into a march asap. You don't get much money from vassals anyways since you're not a feudal monarchy. It is advisable to give them Malta too (it's the only province of Maltese culture so it won't defect and the knights can be reformed there should anything bad happen) to prevent them from falling to rebels and vanishing when you're not looking.

The Livonian and Teutonic Order

As with the Knights, you will not be able to get a CB to interfere into their business. Also it is very unlikely that you will be able to single them out and fight them separately. So you need an ally to do your dirty work. That said ally is undoubtedly Poland since they are already pitted against the Knight Orders and will pack the punch to crush them easily together with Lithuania. If you absolutely cannot get Poland to ally with you, Austria will have to do but it is going to be more difficult that way since Poland will have separate truce timers from you and might swallow up the Teutonic Order when you're not looking (something you really do not want). The best entry point in this conflict will be a direct declaration of war on the Livonian Order as they are small enough to be directly vassalized. When they are beaten, do not forget to take Kurland for yourself for the time being. Use it to fabricate a claim on the Teutonic Order. Then give it back to the Livonian Order. If you have gotten hold of Riga, give them that as well. It'll bolster their strength and if they have a core in a Prussian province the Livonian Order can be reformed from there should they happen to vanish. Proceed to chain wars against the Teutonic Order together with Poland (so their truce timer resets). When they are small enough to vassalize, do so. Poland will most likely break alliance at this point (although they might not - depends on claims, missions and relations), but that's ok. They served their purpose, you get your diplomatic relation slot back and they will not dare attacking you with all your vassals and Austria and Castile backing you unless your alliance is really exhausted. Turn both orders into marches.


Not much to say about this. Use the usual claim the Knights have on Cyprus to attack it once the Mamluks are too weak to interfere. Use Cyprus to claim Nablus and/or Gaza before giving it to the Knights if you plan to do that at all (convert it if you can). Then work your way towards Jerusalem. Should the Ottomans have taken it in the meantime, expand like you would normally and form an alliance strong enough to beat them. Attack and take Jerusalem! Congratulations! You did it.


There are some things that can go wrong with this achievement. Here is a quick list on what to watch out for.


If you wait too long, either the Knights or the Livonian Order may fall to rebels or conquerors. If they do, you are pretty much screwed. The Knights MAY pop up in Malta again as Maltese is their main culture, but the Livonian Order will be gone for good since their main culture is Prussian and they do not have a single Prussian province at the start. So even if you reconquer their lands, you will not be able to release them again and Prussian rebels elsewhere will just defect to the Teutonic Order or form Prussia. The Livonian Order is very threatened by Muscovy, Denmark/Sweden and Poland/Lithuania. They will not succeed and will vanish at some point. So time is essential. Likewise the Knights are very vulnerable to Greek/Orthodox rebels. The rebel stacks will be bigger than their whole army and as soon as they enforce their demands the Knights will be gone and the province will defect to Byzantium/Trebizond or form Byzantium/Greece. Only the Teutonic Order can take some slacking since while they will fall as well, they're Prussian and will only lose their cores after 150 years and can be reformed from the Prussian lands. Don't let them form Prussia (or Kurland for the Livonian Order as well as Jerusalem for the Knights although I have yet to witness that) though. If they do, their cores will be gone and you can restart.


You have to attack without a CB at least twice. That means you will be raking up some decent AE penalties. If you failed to secure the necessary protective alliances, this might spell your doom right there. Even if you already vassalized the Knights and survive the coalition, they would be freed if you fall, possibly become someone elses vassal and be integrated 10 years later which would pretty much force you to restart.

Jerusalem in Ottoman hands

The Ottomans can be a tough nut to crack if left unchecked and expanding rapidly. Steady expansion, outgrowing them, securing strong alliances and striking when they're weak is the way to go. Secure naval dominance over the Mediterranean and divide their lands by blocking the Bosporus. That way they should go down eventually.

France wants Avignon

If France is very successful and you neglected your relations, they might want Avignon (or Provence if you took it from Provence). There is three ways to deal with that. Crush them with the help of Castile and Austria (and possibly England), deter them by allying Castile and Austria and becoming mean and strong yourself, or simply give it to them and be done with it.


  • Ally Austria, Poland and Castile
  • Join the HRE
  • Attack The Knights directly with the help of Austria and vassalize them after a separate peace with Venice
  • Attack the Livonian Order directly and vassalize them with the help of Poland
  • Get claims on The Teutonic Order and eventually vassalize them in consecutive wars with the help of Poland without raking in too much AE
  • Take Cyprus when the Mamluks aren't looking
  • Outgrow and dissect the owner of Jerusalem and pry it from his hands.