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Thread: The Kingdom of Aarquitania- Alternate History with DVIP

  1. #181
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Defense of the Spanish March part 1

    None had expected the breakout of hostilities between the Kingdom of Brittany and the Emir of Toledo in the early months of 1116. The recently acquired Iberian possessions of the Breton King did border the southern edge of the Emir’s domain but no outstanding issue over the boundary was in question.



    Again, the youthful arrogance of the Emir Yugerten was the cause of conflict. Just as he had pounced on Zavie’s exhausted crusade force years before, he hoped that his holdings might be expanded at the expense of the war weary Bretons. Encouraged by nobles eager for their own chance of glory and conquest, the Emir had been persuaded to declare war on Brittany in March of 1116.

    Zavie received the urgent dispatch from the Breton court at Rennes in his audience room. Marc Kerne, his eternal ally and brother monarch, requested the assistance of Aquitania in punishing the vile Moors of Toledo for their treachery and warmongering. Taking several deep breaths to calm himself, Zavie answered that Aquitania would forever hold the bond between the two nations sacred and that the messengers master could expect relief within weeks.

    War footing again settled on Aquitania as the King sent a flurry of messages to his vassals informing them of the call to arms and the general war plan. The Spanish divisions would attempt to meet in La Rioja (gold star) in order to resist the attack of advancing Toledoan forces (red). Other regiments would gather in Jaca or Zaragoza to prepare for a strike into enemy territory.



    The Emir of Toledo seemed hardly surprised at Aquitania’s intervention, personally accompanying a solid portion of his overall army to battle in Rioja. The campaign fell to a dire start when the invading Muslims caught the hastily assembled Aquitanians outnumbered and outmaneuvered. The fighting lasted most of the day and the toll it took was grievous on the defenders. The few survivors managed to disengage and retreat to Viscaya while Yugerten led the siege of Rioja’s weak central keep.





    A direct assault on the walls by the vast numbers of the Muslim warhost caused the downfall of the stronghold within days. The defenders that survived were given pardon to leave with what they could carry and most were able to make for the boundaries of the province. In a surprise tactical move, Yugerten and the main portion of the army would advance to Navarre against the Genoans with whom they were also at war. They did not anticipate or chose to ignore the gathering Aquitanian armies poised on Rioja’s border.



    News of the defeat reached King Zavie as he led the Bordeaux regiment up through the passes of Jaca. Cursing the Toledoan Emir for a craven dog, Zavie weighed his options. A sizeable force assembled from the other southern counties and bishoprics (black) stood ready to receive his orders as he arrived while another led by Rainers Trencavel (green) was en route to Zaragoza.

    The Toledoan army that had captured Rioja was marching into the foothills around Navarre, eager to do battle with the Genoan garrison there (blue). Muslim reinforcements (red) were on their way, but in much too small of numbers to stand in the way of the Aquitanian army. Zavie could barely make sense of it, such a move would only offer Rioja up as an easy gain for the Aquitanians and Navarre had little enough value if Rioja was back in Aquitanian hands. Still, the King supposed that he should not look for reason in the plans of a headstrong impetuous boy king. He ordered Rioja to be retaken at once.



    Both Zavie and Rainers encountered small enemy forces in their march, but both times saw the Toledoans withdraw rather than face battle. Gathering together in Rioja, that province’s castle was soon under siege for the second time in barely a month. It fell just as quickly, with the defenders seeking negotiation after only a few volleys of missiles were directed at the structure.



    Navarre fell quickly to the invading Toledoans helped by mild weather and superior numbers. They quickly assumed full and direct control of the province, executing the governor after the citadel’s fall and burning several administrative buildings to the ground. The Genoans, hard pressed in their continuing battles against Badajoz, were unable to respond in any way.

    With Rioja liberated and the principal Muslim forces either engaged in the south against Brittany or locked in Navarre, Zavie turned his eye to Soria (gold star). Just a few score miles from his position, the city he had once lost was again within his grasp. He might finally overcome what had been the most humiliating military campaign of his career. No defense force stood to protect it and it was an easy choice to send Rainers to oversee its reduction. Zavie himself would wait to see the next move Yugerten might take in Navarre.



    It came as a surprise when, two days after he had dispatched Rainers’ army, Zavie received a forwarded letter from that commander. Apparently, the Sheik of Soria had clearly seen the writing on the wall and wanted to spare his citizens from the horrors of siege. He was prepared to offer up his title and allow Aquitanian troops into the city in exchange for safe passage and a guarantee of religious toleration in the city. While the majority of Sorians were Christian, a sizeable minority of Muslims had either been converted or immigrated to the city.



    King Zavie did not need to think twice on the offer. He promised the Sheik his assurance that both conditions would be fulfilled. Rainers entered into Soria and quickly secured the strongpoints around the city without incident. The citizens were rather subdued in their celebration, none were eager to appear too delighted should the Toledoans somehow recapture the town. Nonetheless, another piece of territory was patched into the growing Aquitanian state and a personal vendetta of the King avenged to a degree.

    Zavie did not have to wait long for his opponent in Navarre to make his move. Yugerten, suddenly mindful that he was cut off entirely from his homeland and facing an Aquitanian force superior to his own, ordered his army to embark using the few boats they had managed to prevent escaping during the siege. Any overland journey through the passes and towards home would force an army of their size straight to the waiting Aquitanians. A smaller force might manage to sneak by. Over a thousand men were left when the vessels were loaded past capacity and Yugerten ordered them cast away. He would try to lead his pitiable army (red) back through Rioja to safety.

    Luck would not be with the Toledoan Emir, as the scouts of Zavie’s holding force in Rioja (black) were quick to pick up the signs of the Muslim advance. Secure in his south flank by Rainers force (green), Zavie was eager to take advantage of the situation. Looking over maps with his war council, Zavie was informed of a suitable ambush point near the crossing of a small waterway along the Emir’s line of march. The ambuscade was lain out in meticulous preparation and the Emir played his part perfectly



    Halfway across the stream and its knee high icy water filling his boots, Yugerten realized the trap for what it was. The first clue he had was one of his aides taking an arrow through the neck, falling and flailing in the water. Individual streaks of dark mass shot out from everywhere, claiming men by the dozens as they scrambled to find any cover from the murderous fire. Behind him, Yugerten heard yells and screams of panic as a troop of cavalry in Aquitanian colors flashed from a copse of trees and into the line of men that hadn’t even reached the river yet. Lightly armored men were now descending the bank in front as well, crashing into the terrified and confused fugitive army.



    Zavie himself led the charge from the rear. The plan had been executed perfectly, with the Toledoans taken entirely by surprise. Slashing down with every bit of strength afforded him, the Aquitanian King cut through the mass of enemies with his bodyguard, rounding about each time to strike at another quarter of the panicking throng. Here and there he saw an Aquitanian fall, but the day was surely theirs.





    Somehow the Emir had managed to escape the slaughter of his entire force. It had been assumed that the leader of Toledo accompanied the force based on his banner being present and the word of the few captives that had avoided death. His capture or death would have been an awesome boon to the Aquitanian cause, ensuring glory in what was already looking like a victorious campaign. One of the Aquitanian sub-commanders further back from the battle reported seeing an overconfident Aquitanian horseman dismounted by a group of Toledoans who had then helped one of their own number onto the steed. No other had seen the subject and it was assumed that the miraculous escapee had indeed been Yugerten.
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:29.

  2. #182
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Enewald- Thank you very much for the comment!

    It is starting to look that way isn't it? As for conquer Iberia, my stated goal has been to capture and return. Once I have enough provinces to make a territory, I intend to let it go with either afamily member at the helm or a close friend that happens to be from that area etc...

    I don't have much interest in creating an uber-kingdom spanning the globe and I will try to keep the conquests reasonable. Of course, all this could change if a monarch comes along to suit the bill!

    Thanks again for stopping by!

    Wrap up tommorow and, gasp!, maybe a new poll!

  3. #183
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Update put on hold until Sunday. I am going to culture myself at some museums in Amsterdam Saturday and figured that I had too much left to do today to deliver a fair update.

    Actually, if the stars align right, I will have the update tommorow in the evening.

    Sorry for the delay!

  4. #184
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    A nice campaing.

    And the evil enemy commanders allways somehow manage to escape.

    How did the infidel get Navarre?

  5. #185
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Hey there Enewald- I was a little dissapointed in not killing or capturing the commander, but thats how the cookie crumbles.

    As for Navarre, I think Genoa just got tired of holding it or something. Seriously, it took about three seconds after the Toledoans sieged it and they made peace. Pretty odd all things considered, but it gives me a chance to get it now!

  6. #186
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Ach, but one shall never know what the CK AI is thinking. It usualyl is very dumb when fighting wars.

  7. #187
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Defense of the Spanish March part 2

    With the massacre of the Emir’s party, no force at all stood between Zavie and the capture of Navarre. Signs of the brief Toledoan occupation were quickly apparent to the Aquitanian King as his army slowly made its way up through the passes. Burned out shells of villages stuck out of the ground like the blackened ribs of a behemoth and the steady stream of refugees crossing paths with the advancing army gave evidence that the rest of the province had fared no better. It would be a lean winter for the inhabitants.

    Arriving before the walls of the stronghold, King Zavie could see that the siege would not last long. The normally imposing citadel had not been repaired in the period of time between its fall to the Toledoans and Zavie’s arrival. Genoese forces had made a brave stand and forced the Muslims to undermine one of the corner towers which now leaned ominously and exposed a section of toppled wall wide enough for five men. A strong assault through the gap would carry the fortress.



    To the south, Rainers’ army (green) occupying Soria was restive with inaction. Breton armies (black) had overrun the southern part of the Emir’s domains in a series of battles. They now controlled one province fully and were in the process of confronting the last organized Toledoan resistance outside the Emir’s capital. Only one Muslim field army remained in the peninsula (red) and it was making a desperate attempt to flow to the aid of the hard pressed south. It would soon be entering the province of Molina (gold star).



    Rainers Trencavel weighed his options. Staying in Soria would keep his army safe, but confronting the Toledoan army and defeating it would seal Victory in the campaign beyond any doubt. By all accounts, it was a smaller force than his and he was confident in his chances of winning through. Acting on initiative, Rainers advanced into the fief of Molina and engaged the Toledoan army.



    On the open plain, the Aquitanian’s advantage in numbers came into full play. Threatening to entirely engulf the smaller Toledoan army, the Muslim commander was hard pressed to direct an encompassing defense. Eventually worn down by the constant outflanking and Aquitanian manpower, the Toledoan army folded in on itself. Faced with an impossible situation, hundreds of the Muslim soldiers surrendered. Fewer than five hundred managed to escape the envelopment.



    News of the victory reached Zavie as the final preparations of the assault were being formulated. Impressed by his vassal’s enterprise, Aquitania’s King sent a reply detailing Rainers to hold off any further expeditions into Toledoan territory and return to Soria. The Breton armies would soon finish of any straggling armies.

    More important now would be Navarre’s capture, allowing for it to be annexed at war’s end. Zavie had already communicated his intention to incorporate the land to Genoa, promising special tax privileges to any of their ships calling at the Kingdom’s Mediterranean ports in return for their support. The Governor had agreed to the terms, seemingly willing to let the territory devolve to Zavie’s control.

    Like the Genoan diehards before them, the skeleton garrison left by Toledo in Navarre’s citadel was resistant to any diplomatic settlement. Arrows had even been fired at the last messenger sent to present terms for surrender. The castle would need to be taken by storm. In the war councils, a recently arrived minor noble named Girad de Montesquiou, fleeing from the consequences of killing a former friend in a duel, pleaded for the chance to plan the assault and lead the first company through the breach created in the last siege. Impressed by the young man’s enthusiasm and earnestness, Zavie delivered him the command.



    Girad’s assault delivered the castle mere minutes after it was launched. The Saracen defenders had focused their strategy on defending the gap, as it was clearly the most reasonable point for the attackers to attempt their break in. It came as a terrible surprise when a small company of infiltrators that had managed to sneak close to the walls during the night sprung up and quickly lined up several ladders against the far wall from the breach. Other soldiers hidden in the growth nearby charged up the steps and soon threatened the interior of the fortress.

    Alerted by the noise and their sentries to the danger, most of the Muslim host abandoned their positions to repel the new menace only to leave themselves too weak and divided to defend from the force led directly by Girad through the break. Forcing aside resistance, Girad fought from the front rank as his company spilled into the castle. No quarter was asked for or given and casualties for the attackers quickly rose. Nonetheless, victory was in hand before long.

    Impressed by Girad’s leadership and abilities in resolving the siege, King Zavie offered him a direct place within the court acting as marshal. Knowing that he would likely never have a similar chance to be one of the most powerful men in the Kingdom, the outcast nobleman accepted without hesitation.



    With Navarre under his control and the Toledoan Emir powerless to respond in force, Zavie could finally draft a peace treaty claiming sole rulership over that land. His envoy to Yugerten’s exiled court, the Toledoan capital had fallen to Breton armies, returned quickly with the signed document sealing King Zavie’s conditions. Marc of Brittany made a separate peace soon after, gaining the inland territory of La Mancha. The process of demobilization and thousands of soldiers returning to their homes was set in motion yet again.



    The happy news of peace returning was tempered with a letter from Brittany. Zavie’s eldest daughter Dolca had succumbed to an infection after delivering her second child. Always a favorite of her father, he mourned deeply on his ride back toward Bordeaux, weeping bitter tears in the privacy of his chambers whenever his party stopped for the night. Even after not seeing her for years, he suddenly felt emptiness inside himself with the knowledge that she was gone forever.



    Passing through the fief of Albret, Zavie was brought slightly out of his melancholy by the Bishop of that province guiding him on a boar hunt. Zavie had never had much contact with Mario da Carrara, the man had never made much of impression at any of the functions Zavie attended. Hunting was the Bishop’s favorite hobby and the joy was infectious, Zavie found himself deep in enjoyable conversation many times during the day. At the end of his stay, Zavie could say that he considered the vassal his personal friend and insisted that the man come to Bordeaux in the future to allow his King to return his hospitality.





    Returning to his home in Bordeaux relieved Zavie further. Seeing his son, Guitard was now eight, and wife cleared the last bits of sadness from his mind. He would always remember and love Dolca, but his life still needed to be lived. He soon settled into the comfortable routine of ruling his expanded domain.

    Reports from Rosa, acting as his chancellor in council meetings, soon had him shaken from the comfort of normality. Many of the minor nobles and barons, hopeful for land in light of the recent conquests, had been quietly speaking against the King’s choice to keep them as part of his personal demesne. Indeed, the King exercised dominion over scattered plots across the width and breadth of even those provinces he had settled on local rulers years before.

    Rosa suggested ceding some of these claims in order to improve his reputation in the eyes of his vassals. Zavie agreed with the logic, devolving titles for many of the minor plots and recognizing fully the Duke of Gascony’s claim to a sizeable piece of land in the province of Foix.



    Additionally, he set in motion plans to create an expansive bishopric in the provinces of Lleida and Zaragoza. Zaragoza in particular had a majority Muslim population and instituting church rule over the lands would only speed the conversion and incorporation process. The principal bishop of Bordeaux and personal confessor to the King, Agostino da Romano, was chosen for the immense honor. This move would easily make the Bishop one of the most powerful vassals in Spain and hopefully quiet some of the complaints directed against the King’s perceived miserliness.



    Finally, Zavie created two new peerages based on the conquests of the previous campaign. The title of Duke of Navarre was conferred on Emmanuel Count of Viscaya and Urraca Countess of Burgos was granted the title Duchess of Castille. Each proclaimed their undying loyalty to the Aquitanian throne and continued support of its King in all matters great and small.





    As 1116 drew to a close, Aquitania was once again at peace.


    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:30.

  8. #188
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Alright folks, I will use the rest of the weekend to piece together some maps of the world in 1117. Quite an odd place I can tell you. Along with that will be an economic report from the steward, looking at Aquitania's monetary situation. I hope to have some things put together for Monday, so hold on tight and wait to see where things go!

    Thanks for reading!

  9. #189
    Great AAR.
    Very few of us realise with conviction the intensely unusual, unstable, complicated, unreliable, temporary nature of the economic organisation by which Western Europe has lived for the last half century. We assume some of the most peculiar and temporary of our late advantages as natural, permanent, and to be depended on, and we lay our plans accordingly. On this sandy and false foundation we scheme for social improvement and dress our political platforms, pursue our animosities and particular ambitions, and feel ourselves with enough margin in hand to foster, not assuage, civil conflict in the European family. Moved by insane delusion and reckless self-regard, the German people overturned the foundations on which we all lived and built.
    John M. Keynes, 1919

  10. #190
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Zanza- Thank you very much for stopping by and commenting! I am very glad that you are enjoying the AAR so far and I hope it continues to bring you entertainment. As my first major project, it has taken a special place in my daily life and it is good to know that other members of the Paradox community take pleasure in it as well.

    Again, thank you for the compliment and comment!
    Last edited by Count Lake; 13-09-2008 at 21:15.

  11. #191
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    Suckage counts.
    Low statts, buu!

    Ah well, the beating of the infidel has reached its peak for now!

    Onwards with this boring peace, onwards with prosperity and stability and the incest of the most noble aquitanian nobility!

    or is it time for the Spanish Mark?

  12. #192
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Enewald- Honestly, every time I read one of your responses I smile. You have a way of putting the in game situation in words that often make me laugh. Thank you so much for that and your continued reading of the AAR!

    The counts may not be stat giants, but they have substance where it matters most. Specifically, loyalty to me even when Zavie has a bad reputation. All those annexations drove up badboy quickly.

    For the next while, peace does seem to be the goal. I have expanded to a point that I could think of defending myself against French only attack (65,000 to 95,000) and will wait to see where fate leads good king Zavie.

    And maybe we can throw in some incest if it comes along

    Thanks again Enewald for reading and enjoying my work.

  13. #193
    Man! The King's children do not live long, do they? How tragic.

    Well, I'm gratified to see you taking more territory in Iberia. The thing I think was probably best was that Navarre finally passed out of Genoese control to you! You should kiss the Moorish AI for taking Navarre for you, and thus, allowing you to reconquer it for Aquitania.

    I do hope you'll reconsider your modest goals and try to unite all of the Iberian peninsula under your crown.

    I'm also glad to see more hammers hammering.

    Regards,
    Eikinskjaldi

  14. #194
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    It is my duty to read this masterpiece of art, for I rarely abandon aars, unless the authors starts hating my comments, lol.

    Ah, my comments can be vary a lot, based on my mood.

  15. #195
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Eikinskjaldi- Yeah, Dolca dying was a sad little part. At twenty, she has been the longest living of any of Zavie's kids. Pretty sad considering he has had ten legitimate and one bastard. I really hope that this curse doesn't boil over to effect Guitard and Guiges!

    I was really happy to see Navarre given up to Toledo for the reason you pointed out. The CK AI is a little wonky at times, but I got a good deal under these circumstances!

    The last period of expansion was nice, but I think that it will cool down a little depending on how things shape up. Zavie is really starting to get up in the years and campaigning won't be to his taste much longer. Of course, Guitard may be a whole new kind of animal!

    Thanks once again for your readership and comments, its always good to hear from you.

    Enewald- Well, I certainly will never start hating your comments. It looks like you are here to stay then! Thank you very much for your words of praise and for reading my AAR.

  16. #196
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    World Update 1117- Spain and North Africa

    At a council meeting in the depths of Bordeaux castle, the Queen of Aquitania prepared to deliver her report on the state of the world outside Aquitania’s borders.



    “Lord husband, the last months of peace have allowed my agents and I to form a nearly comprehensive idea of the realms that divide Europe and Africa between them. The information we received from our informers in nearly every major court of Christendom will no doubt allow us to plan our next moves to the best advantage of Aquitania. Our mapmakers have been piecing together these accounts and have reached what they think to be a reasonable overall picture of the world. These will aid you in understanding my reports.”

    “I will start with Spain and the North African coast directly below that peninsula.”



    “As you can no doubt discern, our kingdom’s recent conquest in the northern part of Iberia have given us a strong position from which to continue expansion into this land. We must be sure not to overextend ourselves however, for most of our manpower still lies in the Occitan provinces beyond the Pyrenees and marching those levies to Spain is a project bound to take weeks at the earliest.”

    “The principal Muslim Emirs of this realm are generally weak and divided. Toledo has just been defeated by our forces in a grand campaign and will be licking its wounds for some time. Badajoz has been involved in a drawn out war with Genoa and her manpower is lacking for any action against us. Sevilla is the strongest of the three powers, but their power base is also the furthest away and it seems unlikely that they might attack.”

    “Additionally, our allies in the Kingdom of Brittany have carved a sizeable piece of southern Spain into a formidable enclave. They also maintain control of a province in North Africa and the rich city of Barcelona now bordering us to the south. Their position is secure and they will likely continue to expand at the expense of the Muslims of the territory. It is most fortunate that God has blessed us with such worthy friends.”

    “Beyond the narrow straight, several sheikdoms and emirates make their home on the rocky and barren coast of Africa. These are harmless, fighting between themselves and it would not be in their interests to intercede in against the more powerful Spanish realms anytime soon.”

    “Lastly, the Italian states of Sardinia and Genoa maintain positions in the region. Sardinia has managed to wrest control of several inland provinces from the despicable Hammadids while Genoa maintains garrisons on the island of Minorca as well as the province of Leon in the interior of Spain. What will happen to both of these expanding powers is unknown, but their interest in driving back the infidel coincides perfectly with our goals.”

    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:31.

  17. #197
    Strike into Rosello and Zaragossa, I say! Conquer as far sout as the Ebro river and beyond it, encircling Barcelona. Then you will be aptly placed to strike at Toledo and Badajoz.

    looking forward the rest of the world update. I always love to see what a mess the AI makes of Europe.

  18. #198
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    World Update 1117- England and Ireland

    Rosa stopped to take a breath, seemingly the first she had taken in the course of delivering her report. Her husband the King looked intently upon her, smiling gently and making a small motion with his hand to continue.

    “The next area we will cover is that of England and Ireland”



    “Our agents have reported the considerable consolidation of rule over the island itself. Morcar Godwineson has, either through diplomacy or force, reinstituted his family's rule over the majority of the southern half of the great island. A small patchwork of independent duchies and counties continue to exist, but it is clear that the centralization of authority will continue. Additionally, the realm extends to the Duchy of Normandy on the French coast.”



    “Morcar himself is said to be a cruel arrogant man, prone to fits of rage and violence. Still, he has succeeded in overthrowing his grandfather’s killers and bringing effective rule to the territory he has conquered. One day, he might prove a useful ally to move against France, as he no doubt remembers that nation’s support of his family’s overthrow.”

    “Next is the Kingdom of Wales. Tucked behind a protective border of wild hills and forests, Rhun Mathrafal leads his people as a strong and able ruler. There is little else to say of this area. They are too weak to expand in the face of the recently reunified England and would be prey themselves to that larger realm if ill chance befalls them.”



    “To the north is Scotland, caught in the troughs of civil conflict. The King has become imbalanced in the humours, perhaps due to his advanced age. I know not the man’s name for sure, since all of my agents sent back different spellings. Our spies report that he often strikes verbally and physically at anyone that wears two shoes in his presence, believing them demons sent to tempt him towards sin. His son has risen up to usurp the throne in light of this madness, but is opposed by numerous nobles who see the frailty of the King as a sure way to expand their own power. It will be up to the fates to see how this war plays out”



    "The Duchy of the Western Isles maintains a strong presence along the coast of Scotland proper along with a colony in Ireland. There is not much more to recommend their mention. They are a militarily weak nation with little ability to expand unless a drastic event shakes the island."

    “In the land of Ireland, no single ruler has accumulated enough power to drive his rivals from the island. Generally a poor land, the inhabitants seem more focused on survival than on extending hegemony over the other groups present there. It would seem that the status quo will remain enforced until an outside force or exceptional circumstances lead to its unification”

    “Lastly for this report, we can see that the Breton homeland is secure and united. Their small peninsula belies the power they now possess given their expansion into Spain. Our northern fiefs engage in a highly active trade with the realm and the border is quite porous. The King himself rules the majority of the land himself and seems intent on not doling out fiefs to his followers.”



    “King Marc Kerne is our noble companion in many conflicts great and small. He is an effective leader that utilizes his charisma and strength of will to overcome the small crises that always emerged in any kingdom. He has a stable personality and will likely be an effective friend for many years to come.”
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:32.

  19. #199
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    World Update 1117- France and Aquitania

    A thin murmur of conversation enveloped the room as the council members digested the reports and look over the maps provided on the central table. Rosa prepared herself again to deliver the next portion of the description. Zavie still had the smile on his face and had not taken his eyes off her the entire time she spoke. Still, she was supremely comfortable with her husband and was eager to perform her chancellor duties well for his benefit.

    “The realms of Aquitania and France will take up the next section of the report.”



    “The power of France is evident from both its size and the rich territory it controls. The northern fiefs in the lowlands provide incredible trade revenues along with sizeable populations to conscript from. The other regions within France are rich as well, the product of a stabilizing political situation with no rebellions such as those in Burgundy and Champagne in years previous. Indeed, France and its alliance with its eastern neighbor Germany form the most powerful force in all of Europe.”



    “Louis Capet is a complex man well suited to the task of running a country. So far, he has managed to maintain the territorial integrity of his land in light of the rebellions I mentioned earlier. He was shown to be an effective field commander in those conflicts and it seems likely that he will one day decide to test his mettle against stronger prey. Additionally, he is capably advised by a bevy of experienced statesmen that make the running of his Kingdom flow much smoother. His ambitions to punish our state for what he foolishly believes to be rebellion against his father should not go unmentioned”

    “Aquitania, as I am sure you know, is formed from the majority of former French lands below the Loire River and currently extends well into Iberia. For the most part, we are surrounded by forces at least nominally hostile to us, the Muslim Emirs to the south and the French/German coalition to the north and east. Far be our situation hopeless however, for we have the strength of will and fortitude to face down any threat. I will leave it to the steward’s report later in this session to set your mind to the internal status of the Kingdom.”



    “Our glorious monarch Zavie de Toulouse stands as the foremost prince of Christendom, respected from each corner of the civilized world for his prestige, piety and humbleness. Innumerable battles in the court and in the field have tested his mind and body to a keenness unlike any mortal metal. With his leadership, there is no force of this world that may threaten our Kingdom.”
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:33.

  20. #200
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    World Update 1117- Germany and North Italy

    Rosa could almost make out a sort of blush in the cheeks of her husband. Even the praise of his wife was enough to send the man to a bit of a spell. Rosa did love Zavie dearly as a husband and even friend, but she knew also his weaknesses. He lacked a true sense of detachment, he had told her of his encounter with the mad peasant women after his return last year, to be as coldly effective a monarch as he might be.

    The room was once again abuzz with conversation as the other councilors debated the finer points of her presentation.

    “The heart of the German state will be the next point of discussion”


    “For such a large state, Germany has maintained itself well in the preceding years. Ruled by the von Franken family, it maintains itself as the largest contiguous Kingdom in Christendom, with a vast array of vassals to draw money and soldiers from. Still, it is a fragile construct and one that might collapse given a shock to the central authority. Even a short regency period, should it be required, would likely cause dissatisfied vassals to break with the Kingdom. An extended period of civil war would drain even this lands power to the point of incapacity. In all, Germany is a strong rival, but one that teeters on the brink of oblivion precariously.”



    “Adalbert von Franken is another seemingly effective ruler. Within the vast Kingdom, he is by far the most powerful with fiefs running the length of his realm. He has shown no indications of attacking those few breakaway former vassals such as Genoa or Bavaria and our agents report that they are merely at the back of his mind. Instead, he has become obsessed with an ongoing war with the Seljuk Turks of the Near East, spending vast sums to ship and supply his soldiers in the Levant. This preoccupation has left him generally weak at home and perhaps vulnerable to a concentrated uprising.”

    “Genoa, our ally in the recent wars with Badajoz and Toledo, have continued their military expansion along the coasts of the Mediterranean. They have secured several ports in North Africa, the island of Minorca as well as an inland province in Spain. They have been able to finance this growth by their rich trading links with both the Byzantines further east and the valuable north Italian markets.”



    “The nominal leader of Genoa is Stanislav de Blois, a mixed French/Slavic child of notably shy tendencies, none of my agents were able to send a description of him from the court due to him being within private chambers for all hours of the day. None of them were even able to provide a suitable line of reasoning for why the child was chosen to be the head of a prosperous merchant republic. A group of councilors to the last Governor have set up a system to run the institutions of the state while the boy is maturing.
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 17:33.

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