III. A Dream too far
The Cîteaux Abbey, The Duchy of Burgundy
March 14th, 1423
Some months had passed since Bastien's return to his home, the abbey. It was still the same as it had been ages ago, in the middle of the forest with little visitors. Yet even the solitude of this religious home did little to soothe Bastien's pain. He had been betrayed by his liege. The Duke of Burgundy, in which so much faith had been vested within, had turned his back to France. He was supporting the Britons in their illegal occupation of French soil! Such thoughts plagued Bastien, that only days within his return the abbey, he fell ill. These days turned to weeks, and these weeks to months. Bastien was growing slowly worse, and by March 14th, he was on his death-bed.
The dark room in which Bastien laid within was quite bleak. Little light shown in, leaving a dark atmosphere surrounded by the shadows. The fire place billowed only some warmth, leaving the dark monks to surround their dear abbot, in his death throughs. The only comforting thoughts that came to the people of the abbey was the fact that soon Bastien would be free from his pains.
"Monsieur, shall I administer the last rites?" Asked one of the monks, causing Bastien to groan out. This was all the abbot was able to do, so sick and weakened by whatever was siezing him. Thus, however unwillingly, the last rites were begun. They were elaborate as so many were. Despite being in his death bed, no luxury was sparred by the monks to ensure their father would pass unto heaven unharmed. Soon, it was finished. Bastien had been given his last rites and not much longer he had died. The greatest abbot the monks had ever known had died. Silently, the dark room where Bastien had spent his final months was emptied. The monks had no time for sorrow: the council needed to be gathered to elect another abbot.
The monks were not alone. As they filled into the main hall, there was a young peasant boy clutching a letter. His clothing was quite nice and it could be known that he was a messenger. But from where? A dark eyed monk of nearly fifty approached the young boy, leaning down. The young child however was unphased by the stony glare of the monk.
"Child, why do you disturb the divinity of the abbey? Do you not know the proper protocol? But I shall forgive you. Tell me your name, and I shall help you in whatever way possible."
"Yer kinda silly, you munks," Said the child with a rash glare. "Yer always so primp and proper. Aye can tell ye, it's not like that out in the fields! But anyways, Aye bring ye news from Deejohn."
The monk shuddered at the child. "You may call me Sebastien. And so you know, the name of the city is 'Dijon.' Not Deejohn."
"It's nice to me ye Sebastien," Said the little boy. "Call meh Doir, and aye know wut aye said! Now, do ye want the news from Deejohn or no?!"
"Yes you little urchin," Said the monk Sebastien with another shudder. "Tell me quickly."
"It's fer the abbet, ye know. But aye guess it's okay to tell ye. Anyways, the Breetons offered the Burgundians a deal at Aymeens, up north."
"At Amiens," Repeated Sebastien.
"Yeh, Aymeens. Didn't you hear me?" Doir shot back. "But the point is, the Burgundians refused the deal! It's a glorious day, and soon Muther France will be free!"
Doir said no more and left, leaving Sebastian with a feeling of numbness. This news, the revival of France against her foes..this might of saved the abbot from his death. Yet it was much too late. Sebastien took his leave; he had things to do in the abbey.
Burgundian Troops Besiege an Encampment in Artois
The Province of Berri, Territory of the French Dauphin
Over two years have passed since the death of abbot Bastien. Despite his death, Philippe, the Duke of Burgundy had little time for mourning. There was simply too much intrigue surrounding him and his lands. While he administered the English held lands in France, he had to deal with the whore Jacqueline, who claimed inheritance over the Lowlands, which were ruled by Jan of Bavaria. This was no help when the English pressed these claims, going so far as to attack Burgundian settlements in the Lowlands! This further empowered Philippe to break from the English as soon as possible; Philippe could not possibly defeat the Dauphin and expand his duchy if he had to to deal with the English his so-called "allies" aiding every slut who came their way, pressing territorical claims!
"Milord," said Philippe's camp de aide. "We must pull back. There is news that the citizenry of Artois have entered into open revolt. They speak of the whore-countess Jacqueline, who will reassume her rule. We simply do not have the troops to put down a revolt and continue our attacks on the Dauphine. Either we allow the countess to run crazy in the norther and we continue to subdue the Dauphin, or we retreat and put down this revolt. The army will support you either way."
Philippe was rather torn over his choice. Indeed, he was not far from the capital of the Dauphin at Chinon. But Philippe could not allow the English and the Dutch countess to run amongst his legal domains, in an attempt to restore the status-quo. Jacqueline had lost her chance at being countess of Holland: The Burgundians would not allow her to usurp the sovereign lands of Flanders and Artois, atleast not without a flight. Turning his horse around, Philippe rode at the head of his troops, rallying them with his cry.
"Men, we will turn back for today! It is the divine providence which ushers us north, to crush the whore Jacqueline and the sniveling Britons! The Dauphin will be spared for now. Let us hope he prays to God for this, for next time we shall show no mercy!"
The troops ate Philippe's words like a sweet soup. Yet it would be a difficult march. Philippe wasted no time to muster his troops back into Burgundian lands, and then north through English occupied territories (Philippe was graciously allowed access through English lands in France, being the Regent), into the Burgundian Lowlands. It would not be a "quick victory" as many hoped. Philippe would spent nearly all of 1426 in the Lowlands, putting down Jacqueline's rebellion. Despite the hardship, Jacqueline's revolt was defeated, and the rebellious countess was imprisoned in Artois. This taught the English a grave lesson: Burgundy was a land that would not tolerate foolishness.
As for the war with the Dauphin, it was more or less quiet. Vast swaths of the Dauphin's land in the south, including Lyon and it's rich merchant houses were occupied by the Burgundian, and had remained so for years. So permenant did the war seem, that Burgundy appointed officials to the various occupied lands to collect revenue. This was very important, for dispite the lavishness which surrounded Dijon and Burgundy, the duchy was losing money. Indeed, so broke did Burgundy become, that Philippe had to arrange a loan from the local Jews in Dijon. Despite the great costs, Philippe was able to refurnish his army, so that it would be prepared for further campaigning in 1427...
The Château of Chinon; Here, the Burgundians and the French Dauphin came to terms in 1428
Chinon, Territory of the French Dauphin
May 6th, 1428
Philippe le Bon and Charles VII shook hands cordially, although a sense of anger burned in the eyes of the Burgundian duke. Both took their seats on opposite sides of the table. Both were surrounded by their affluent nobles, ministers, and guards. Indeed, the war between Burgundy had raged for nearly a decade. Most believed it time to lay down their blades, especially considering the war between England and the Dauphin had come to an end.
"As I have told you time and time again, I will not cede you Lyonnais." Charles VII stated. "I may have lost the battle, but I have certainly not lost the war!"
"I believe it suitable reperation," roared the duke. "Afterall, you had my father cut down, like the coward you are! I will take nothing less than Lyonnais and Dauphine. It is an insult to Burgundy..and indeed the memory of my father to accept anything less."
The Dauphin was aghast at Philippe's boldness. How could he be so rude? As the Dauphin sat, his ministers surrounded him, feeding the feeble man lies. This was how the court at Chinon was, and it was how it would remain. Yet even the ministers of the Dauphin needed a plan. Burgundy was the strongest state in France, and without appeasement, she would certainly gobble the nation whole.
"I will..make concessions," The Dauphin replied. "Not Lyonnais. But Dauphine and Languedoc. I will also give allow you to collect taxes in Lyonnais for some time. I ask that you accept this most gracious deal. You have come to illuminate the true power of France. Certainly you cannot dismantle my domains? I am your legal lord, despite what Troyes says. Henry II is no King..you only rule for him because there is much to gain from it."
"Mother France is dead!" Spat Philippe. "Why I rule for Henry II is certainly no business of you. I will accept your deal, but let it be known that I will never forgive your cowardace. Until you have proven yourself, you are no liege to me. Indeed, Burgundy will serve no one but herself. We follow our own destiny..it will be dictated by neither you, nor the Britons."
Despite the insults, the Treaty of Tours was signed by both Charles VII and Philippe in 1428. It was a great success in Burgundian diplomacy, establishing them as the most dominant state in France. It's most important clause declared the Treaty of Troyes null and void, and in a grand celebration in Chinon, Philippe le Bon denounced the English regency and declared Henry II desposed. Given the weakness of the Dauphin and inability to persue a war against England, the Dauphin named Philippe "Regent of Saint Louis' Crown," giving the Burgundian duke ability to administer all French provinces under foreign rule. This treaty proved a great day for France and Burgundy. The Britons however, were less than pleased. Their reaction would be seen later in the year...