Despite expectations that a Pagan DLC called Wrath of Odin would be next to appear, Paradox Interactive have announced a different expansion for their grand strategy, Crusader Kings II: it’s called The Republic, and it introduces merchant republics to the game, which currently only features monarchs and sultans.

Set for release in the first quarter of 2013 for $9.99 USD, the expansion sees “trade trump bloodline”, giving players the opportunity to play as the head of a Patrician family in one of Europe’s historical merchant republics. They can then use the seas to expand their trading empire, survive feuds with rival families, and “plot to seize their Trade Posts”.

You can check out some first screenshots from the expansion below.

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