The Righteous BastAARds: An Introduction
And now for something completely different, my young friend. A man with a taperecorder up his brother's nose. No, I tell a lie. It is an old, old story, really. It is a story of benevolence and betrayal, of mediocricy and madness, of the power of the pen, leaky though it may be, versus the power of the sword. Gather round now, while I tell you of the fate of the Iberian peninsula. Ah, dear listener. I see you believe you know the story already? You know of the kings, the battles, the slighly randy, though eminently memorable, stories of the princes of the Church? You know of the dignity with which the martyr St. Bonafattio met his violent death at the hands of thirteen starving albino potboys? Of the tragic death of Chastity Ignobile, the patron saint of ladies of negotiable affection? You have read all the learned dissertations on the royal schizophrenia with seemed to latch onto each and every Monarch like a curse?
Ah, dear listener. I see your knowing nod. None of these momentous events are outside the realm of your knowledge. But, I tell you this truly. You know not the true story of Castille, till you have heard what I now have to relate.
Please, dear listener, remove that doubtful expression posthaste. I will now proceed to enlighten you. Our story, nay, our history, begins in 1419, in the very heart of the kingdom of Castille. On the throne sits Juan II, king by the grace of God since 1406. As all the world does know, for the king takes great pain, often others', to make sure it does, Juan II is a devout man. His most influential advisors are men of the cloth, and mighty men of learning are they. But a problem has arisen amongst his advisors. A problem I say? I should say, perhaps, a conundrum. Scholarly disseratation and rational argumentation have now taken their final bows and made way for intolerance and diatribe. As schizm draws near, the advisors are drawn to two central figures.
Cardinal Biggles of the Chanting Lefthanded Genuflectors (whose left hand never knew what his right did) and Cardinal Fang of the Order of the Swinging Sheepshagging Sinners (who believed in knowing all sin personally, the better to resist it).
Ah, dear listener. You perk your ears? Perhaps, then, your knowledge of our common history is slightly less complete than you thought. Doubtless because subsequent generations have done their utmost to excise certain passages from history.
Now Juan II was a strong king. But being forced to choose between such eminent princes of the Church was beyond him. A wrong choice might condemn Castille to civil war. So what did he do, you ask? I'll tell you what he did, all right. He stole a page out of the old Testament, is what he did. Like a new Solomon he decreed that each Cardinal, representing his entire school of thought, should be the king's advisor half of the time. Initially he envisioned one Cardinal before noon, and the other after, but since none of the Cardinals were early risers, this plan had to be abandoned.
Now, it must be said, since I haven't mentioned it previously, that both Cardinals were fairly young and healthy, with many years of life left, barring an act of God. They were thus, grudgingly mind you, forced to acquiesque with Juan's second suggestion, namely, that they advised in turn over a slightly longer period of time. They were not, however, fully prepared for the period of time Juan II had in mind: A decade.
But in the end they caved in, their sojourn in the royal dungeons being a salutory experience, and, praising the lord and the wisdom of the king, they prepared to fight for the first slot.
Cardinal Biggles won by 8 nuns.
Gnashing his teeth, and mighty impalers they were indeed, Cardinal Fang left the palace vowing to return a decade later.
And Juan II thought his problems were solved. Unfortunately, royal schemes of government, once instituted, are hard to do away with. His Solomoronic solution was to form the basis of four centuries of shadow government. Not that the king lost all power, mind you, but always he was strongly advised by one of the ever fervent acolytes of the original schizm. This had some rather unfortunate effects. Not that the advisors were uniformly bad, let me be the first to assure you, but rather, perhaps, that with time they went to considerable pains to poison the oppositions' term of government. This, in fact, explains the tendancy that has stumped most historians: How to explain the frequent changes of policies and declarations of war around the end of the second to last year of every decade. Since the shadow rule began in January 1419, the last chance an outgoing advisor, a socalled lame quack, had to - let us be crude - screw the opposition, was December 1428, and thus 1438, 1448, and so on and so forth. Not that any of the advisors, with a few notable exceptions, truly intended to endanger the state, mind you. They just wanted to get even. Sometimes preemptively, of course.
Ah, my young listener. You look incredulous? Yet I assure you, I tell you nothing but the truth. Over the coming weeks I will tell you the true story, as I have learned it through my long studies. But for now, I grow weary. Let an old man rest for a while, and return in a few days time. Then I will tell you of the good advice of Cardinal Biggles.
Cardinal Biggles of the Chanting Lefthanded Genuflectors and his eminent successors will be controlled by that magnificent Dane, Peter Ebbesen. His knowledge, if it can be called so, of Spain is limited to Caesar, bullfighting, the Inquisition, and quaint strangers going Olé! And what can be gained from Asterix, of course. He goes first.
Cardinal Fang of the Order of the Swinging Sheepshagging Sinners and his magnificent acolytes will be controlled by that most puissant Norwegian, Norgesvenn. His knowledgde of Spain is that Rioja leads to considerably pleasure, followed by a tough headache, that Toro is not just a Norwegian brand of soup, that his friend Ole claimed to be popular in Spain, and that the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain. He goes second.
The game will be EUII v1.04, on Hard/Normal. Thus none of the insane 1.04 BB wars VHard would cause, which would cripple our style.
Autosave must be enabled to make sure that one's factions' turn ends on January 1st, 1xy9.
It is obligatory for a new advisor to mark the change of power by immediately implementing a new policy, that is, changing a DP-slider, on his very first day in office.
An advisor should attempt to make his successor's term interesting according to the ancient curse, may you live in interesting times, but not impossible.
No cheating. We may be Righteous BastAARds, but there are limits.
Goals? Surely you are kidding.
The first installment will be coming up in a few days. Until then, olé!