You know how it is. You’re managing your titles and territories in Crusader Kings III when you get a marriage proposal from a naked woman somewhere in Germany. “This must be a glitch,” you think. “There weren’t naked folks just running around in Medieval Europe. What would the Church think!” There were, in fact, naked folk running around Medieval Europe. They’re called Adamites and their presence in Crusader Kings III speaks to one of its strengths—learning about all the weird shit from history you never learned in school.
The centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire are mythologized as dark times of tribalism, feudal lords, and violence. It was also a time of religious experimentation. People mixed and remixed the Bible with local traditions and gave rise to heresies that Catholic church crushed and religious traditions still practiced to this day.
The Adamites were one of these religious movements. Like many of the sects from the era, we don’t know much about them and what we do know comes from written sources that weren’t sympathetic to the movement. Fifth century historians in North Africa first described the sect, noting their nudity and tendency towards free love and the abolition of marriage.
An Adamite sect emerged in the lands of Bohemia in the early 1400s. The Bohemian Adamites were a small sect who, like their predecessors, rejected clothing and traditional marriage. “In this sect free love seems to have been the rule. The Adamites declared that the chaste were unworthy to enter the Messianic kingdom,” British historian Norman Cohn told The Guardian. “The sect was much given to ritual naked dances held around a fire. Indeed, these people seemed to have spent much of their time naked, ignoring the heat and cold and claiming to be in the state of innocence enjoined by Adam and Eve.”
One of the joys of Crusader Kings III is discovering sects like the Adamites. History wiped out such heresies, but the player has a chance to nurture them and see them thrive. The player can even start their own religion and spread it across the Medieval world if they’re savvy enough. In a recent game I played, I accidentally spread Ibadism—a sect of Islam mostly practiced today in Oman—to Ireland.
Your game isn’t glitching, those characters are supposed to be naked. It’s their religion. But if you’d rather the Adamites cover their shame, there’s an option in the menu to make them put on some clothes. But this option has to be changed when you’re starting a new game, it can’t be changed in the tutorial or once a game has begun.