Chapter Eighteen: Loving Father
Meinekinus and Bozislava were wed to limited fanfare. Sviendorog was interested only in ensuring Bohemia's support for the Kingdom. Though much weaker, annexing Bohemia would supply needed manpower and resources to Prussia. Moreover, a Catholic country converting to Orthodoxy would be a serious blow to the already crumbling façade of the Catholic Church. Sviendorog had become a powerful player in the European concert. As the massive wall between the wilds of the Steppe and the heart of Europe, Prussia played an important role in the existence of Europe and trade from the east. But just as Christianity was divided into East and West, Islam also began to show its divisions. The Islam of the East was, like Orthodoxy, mostly unconcerned with the Infinite War. Instead progress was stressed through building projects, culture and architecture. Christian/Islamic relations were not friendly in the East, but far more relaxed. Trade was common and nations took a common interest in the protection of pilgrims headed toward Jerusalem. Western Islam became more conservative, turning to war and persecution to gain its end, a reflection on Christianity in the same region. Increasing numbers of converts and mixed-blooded peasants led to a more ethnically diverse and divided Western Europe.
January 14th, 1186
"A gift, my lord, from the Sultan of Egypt, he sends wishes of health and good fortune to the son and his wife," said an ambassador. Meinekinus received the gift, ten pounds of myrrh.
Bozislava, pictured here as Queen of Prussia.
"That is quite impressive, send our sincerest thanks to your sultan and tell him that we plan to switch out our guard in Jerusalem within the next few months," Sviendorog said. The ambassador smiled and bowed as he left. Weddings of Prussian royalty, especially high Prussian royalty had become a beacon to all those around the realm who sought some form of audience with the King. Notably absent were the Germans and the French.
"Father, I don't seem to understand why we deal with the Egyptians so lightly..."
"Ah, Meinekinus... it is politics as usual. Jerusalem is a Holy City to many people, Christian and Muslim. Many Christians head there as a pilgrimage, just as many Muslims do. It becomes a hot spot for crime and rebellion, so we all take care to act orderly there, especially with the Edessans still waging their crusade." Meinekinus nodded, but didn't fully understand. With the gift-giving over Sviendorog retired out of the public attention and summoned Meinekinus with him.
"Father, I just don't see why I am to be heir..."
"And who do you propose to be King, then? Borut? Your only surviving brother?"
"The one who is currently in a cell locked away because the last time he was out he saw Jesus descend from the ceiling and believed that he had a mission from god to kill the ambassador from Rome and then impregnate his wife? That one?!"
Meinekinus looked at his feet, "What about one of your brothers?"
"Listen, you have time to get used to the idea, I am not going anywhere anytime soon," Sviendorog said, pounding his fist on the wooden table. "Plus you do not know of my brothers. They have been sent away for a reason. Meinekinus, you need to understand the position we are all in. We do things differently here, in France and Rome and many other places there is an association of the first born child to the right to rule..."
"But we don't have that here..." Meinekinus said.
"Right, we chose leadership through ability as well as blood. You are your brother were to co-rule Prussia. Obviously you cannot co-rule a realm alone, so it is up to you to be King." The young man nodded, trying to be strong for his father.
"You get used to it, I understand where you are coming from. Your grandfather was not an easy person to live under, sometimes I would plan wars for him just to get away from here."
"But now you stop the wars and sit here, why?"
"Prussia needs peace, my son. As do I."
"The Saxons are not happy with peace, why is that?"
Sviendorog sighed, "You know where the Saxons come from, right?"
"Yes, we used to be Saxons."
"Yes, but the Saxons are not happy with us in power. They see Gunvald as a usurper and they feel that the true line of succession is through Aelle, my uncle. Aelle's family is mostly died out. He had three sons and a daughter, his youngest son, Aethelbert, is a chaste member of a Franciscan abbey in France and the only child of Aelle alive."
"How do you know this?"
"I keep tabs on my enemies. Anyways, my father appeased the Saxons with war, giving them provinces to rule over as they pleased, but I am refusing to empower my enemies. They know it. It isn't always about peace and money."
"But blood will define the next heir, won't it, father? My first-born son with Bozislava will be made King of Bohemia, even before I am King of Prussia. Therefore to make your plan work, I must make my first born my heir regardless."
"So we are hoping he is a competent King."
"Yes." Meinekinus buried his face in his hand, and sucking in breath started to say a prayer for strength.
"Father, I assume I am not to return to the monetary." Sviendorog nodded, sadly, "Fine. I believe then my only move in this chess game of yours is to consummate my marriage then."
"I am sorry, Meinekinus. I truly am."
"I know, father; and I have already forgiven you. But until a year ago I was content with feeding soup to the poor and quietly saying prayers and copying bibles. Now I feel as if that is below my status and that saddens me."
"And thus you'll make a fine King."
"Thank you, father."
Greater eastern Co-Prosperity Sphere? And when are the mongols/chinese coming?
I like Meinekenus, he seems a fair guy... but do he have the strength for his new position ? will he have the heart of a warrior when it comes to it ? surely peace won't last forever
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I cannot understand that Anglo-Prussic poem, although I can understand German.
So how is the bohemian princess faring?
Edit: For those who don't read titles I have a four-day weekend which means updates, lots of them.
Chapter Eighteen: Loving Father
The birth of Dzintis, son of Meinekinus and Bozislava, was one of the most celebrated days in Prussian history. Readily named Prince of Bohemia, even the King of Bohemia personally made the trip to Memelgrád to see his eldest grandson, his heir by law in Bohemia. Sviendorog seemed pleased with the turn of events, keeping his subjects happy with a seemingly endless flow of goods and mead. But it was all part of a clever scheme. Sviendorog won the hearts of the peasants and weakened the very feudal contract he and his father put together. He wanted to ensure that, in the end, his vassals received their power only from him, and not from the people they were supposed to control. His tactics made him one of the most beloved Kings of all time with the people, and one of the most hated with the nobles. He remained enigmatic with foreign dignitaries. His push for understanding lost to much of Europe blossomed into a rebirth of European Mathematics that would last until the fifteenth century. It wasn't until the 1180's and Sviendorog's reign that Europe saw Prussia as something more than just a military with a realm under its yoke. Sviendorog changed Prussia's image to that of a traditional Christian realm. With secure, stable boarders and the clarification of claims came respect from the international community.
February 20th, 1188
Tiny Dzintis was now over a year old. Meinekinus was very attached to the small boy who he referred to solely as 'Prince.' Sviendorog mostly left the new family alone, letting them be before the eventual separation when Dzintis became King of Bohemia. Instead he and Sabe patrolled Memelgrád with Sviendorog's guard.
"You have been growing restless, my liege," Sabe pointed out as they started their third circuit of the city.
"Yes I have, friend."
"You miss the battlefield."
"No, I miss the freedom of the battlefield."
"Understandable. Maybe you should do something a little more time consuming than walking. Why don't you do some building project here, so you can run the country and have something to do."
"Yes, that might work. I could expand the fortifications or the castle."
Memelgrád; the castle is marked in cyan and the cathedral in red.
"Or pave the roads, especially by the port." Sviendorog's eyes lit up now that he had something to do in his spare time and the walk quickly ended as he headed back to the castle. Sabe smiled to his men, and nodded. A small token that their long random walks were over. They hurried to keep up with the lightly encumbered King as he quickly walked to the castle. The city was growing at a rather alarming rate. The hope of trade, stable work, and a high quality of life led many peasants to move into the city or any of the other major Prussian cities. In the far south and far east of the country cities were semi-nomadic, run almost entirely through a military class of nobles, mostly Russians and Normans. These famed cavalry units patrolled the border lands, but were finding resistance from the other nobles.
Hyg Dormandy was a chief of one of these groups. When Sviendorog arrived at the castle he found Hyg and his guard mounted waiting outside while guards kept them out of the castle.
"Vet! Lord King!" The large man in the center exclaimed as he saw the King approaching. "I am Prince Hyg!" Sviendorog looked up and saw a very young man, no older than sixteen.
"This is Hugh de Normandie, he is the count of a small border region in Volga region," a guard said.
"Why is a count waiting out here?" Sviendorog asked, trying to defuse the situation.
"They refused to enter without you here," the guard said. Sviendorog was dumbfounded but nodded regardless.
"Well, what do you need, Prince Hyg?" The boy had very French features about him and he had a Norman's complexion and a boyish face which he tried to hide with a large scare down his left cheek. It was clear that the Norman youth had been impressed by the Russians and the Mordvins and were trying to emulate their styles.
"Patrol rights. My idiot neighbor does not patrol his lands properly, but gets mad at me when I have the 'audacity' to patrol them for him." Hyg leaned back in his saddle. "I told him that I would prove my case before you."
"Why don't you dismount and we can discuss this inside?" Sviendorog asked. Hyg nodded and dismounted and still stood over the King. "Your men are free to enter as well." The remaining men looked to one another and then collectively refused.
Inside Hyg presented a map, it bore Gunvald's seal so it must have been the deed of ownership of Hyg's county. "Here is my claim, here is my neighbor's. See this? This wide open area? That is Turk territory. We are not talking petty little Mordvin bickering, scaring the children with their nakedness from across the river... we are talking raiders."
"Wait? There have been raids by the Turks."
"Three last month."
"Why haven't I been informed?"
"Because we Normans and Russians can take care of it. But my neighbor is some pussy-footed Pole. After enough failures trying to raid my cabbage patch, the Turks have moved on, so I did too. He can blame and scream all he wants, but he thinks there isn't a problem because I have made sure there isn't one."
Sviendorog looked Hyg over, so young yet he knew so very well what was going on, what was needed. Moreover he realized that his scar wasn't a fake. His arms and shoulders all showed signs of blows and cuts. "How long have you been count?" Sviendorog asked.
"Since I was eight. My dad was a pussy-foot like my neighbor. After he died the damn Turks took my mother, so I was raised by local Russians: those men outside."
Sviendorog leaned back, he didn't know what to say. The thought it over, and then reaching for paper and ink scribbled a quick note, carefully rolled it up, and marked it with his seal. "Hyg, tell your neighbor that if he doesn't start defending his own realm, I'll give it to someone who can."
Hyg smiled and nodded, "Sounds good, m'lord." He bowed as he stepped out, and returning to his horse mounted and rode off with his guard.
That Hyg fellow is a squeler
Tabhair onóir dod dhúchas
Honour your heritage
Chapter Eighteen: Loving Father
In 1190 Meinekinus was officially made Prince of Prussia. The actual lands of the Prince were slowly shrinking. In time it would become only a ceremonial title, but in the medieval age it had a large fief attached to it. The original idea was that through ruling a large personal demesne within Prussia, second only to the King's, the Prince would gain skill are ruling a realm effectively and thus would be a stronger King. But between since Dzintis would already have an fief of his own as King of Bohemia the realm fell into disuse. Much of it was partitioned off to wealthy, high-paying nobles as a means of income. Eventually, as the Medieval age gave way to the Renaissance, the Principality shrank further as limits were imposed on how much land a vassal could personally own. Centralization through the pre-modern and then modern eras eventually left the Prince of Prussia as a purely ceremonial title, with few powers and only the main palace as a personal fief. Still it was a title that commanded a great deal of respect. Any crime committed against the Prince of Prussia was treated as if you had committed the same crime twice, once against a high ranking noble and again against the King himself. It was rare, though, that the Prussian Prince would actually physically be present on his fief. He mostly remained in Memelgrád with his father. But one facet of the of the title Prince of Prussia remained intact for its entire existence, the Prince of Prussia was the undisputed heir of the King.
July 6th, 1190
Meinekinus found the Palace of the Prince in good repair. It was still fully staffed despite decades of disuse. A skeleton cabinet had been in place, self-running and self-governing, they made sure that the fief ran legally and that its taxes were collected and paid as the law required. The palace was situated in the far west of the main body of the fief, which as it shrank formed small exclaves and enclaves. In the middle of the fief was a territory that he did not control surrounding one that he did. This out of bounds land was Eadbert's game preserve. A largely uninhabited forest Eadbert had annexed for himself. Its sole purpose was for the King to hunt when it so pleased him. It had never been used since Gunvald became King. The Prince rode up to the palace with his guard, everything seemed deserted, but his own guard took positions at the gates and began to fan out. His captain rode up beside him and smiled, "Beautiful architecture!"
The Principality of Prussia from its formation to its eventual demise.
"Yes, it shall make a fine home away from Memelgrád. I shall have Bozislava and Dzintis summoned immediately," Meinekinus said. He had a boyish smile that complimented his shaven face and monk's hair cut. "We should also send for more guards, this compound is far larger than I expected. We should also have room for the guard's family's if they so desire."
From the door of the palace a voice began to call out. Several figures ran out toward Meinekinus and his guard packed around him densely. "You! This is trespassing! This is the lands of the King and his heir apparent!"
"Step aside civilian!" the captain shouted. He rode his horse up to the front. The few palace guards that had come were lightly armed militia men who backed away from the black-clad soldiers.
"Please, I can deal with this," Meinekinus said in a quiet and cheerful tone. He dropped from his horse and worked his way to the front. "My name is Meinekinus, son of Sviendorog, King of the Prussia and of Poland, and I am the Prince of Prussia and Sambia and Lithuania." He reached into his robe and withdrew the parchment he had brought, signed by his father.
The man who had charged them with trespassing looked carefully through the papers.
"Good lord! You are the Prince! Welcome! I must apologize, we were not expecting you... ever... Are you here for a one-night visit?"
"No I am planning on moving in here. I am very much a novice at this being King idea, so I must try to get used to it. My family and more guards shall be arriving in two or three days."
"Most excellent, my lord! Then I must demand you come in and we can get about showing you around! My name is Demas and I am the chancellor of the principality. The last prince to actually inhabit these lands was Eadbert, briefly. But the principality was much larger back then."
Inside the palace was warm from the day's sun, but well lit and well decorated. It had the air of the outdoors. Surrounded by large trees and hidden away, the palace itself was showcase to the heads of deer and wolf, all the pray of Eadbert and Aethelweard.
"Have you eaten yet, my lord?" Meinekinus turned and saw a short woman standing behind him.
"No, I have not."
"What is your fancy for tonight?"
"Fancy? I... erm... I don't know. I've never been asked before," Meinekinus laughed.
"Then I shall have the chefs make a beef stew."
"That sounds lovely, but make sure they make enough for the guard as well." The young man looked around him in bewilderment. Everyone seemed so willing to do everything for him. Confused he sat down at a desk and after finding the parchment, ink and telling all the staff that he wanted to write it on his own, wrote to Bozislava and Dzintis telling them to hurry to the Principality so that they can begin to move in. After he was done he sealed it and handed it to his messenger.
His captain came up to him after sweeping the entire palace with the others. "Everything seems clear, my lord. You are safe here."
"Lucky me, otherwise it would have been back to Memelgrád."
"The big city isn't that bad, my lord."
"I know, but after a few years in a monastery I enjoy the quiet."
"I understand, my lord. Maybe in the coming weeks we can tour the entire principality?"
"Yes, I like the sound of that," the prince smiled and then found a chair to sit down. "I believe we are having beef stew tonight."
"So I overheard, my lord. It seems that being Prince does have its perks."
"Yes, I do enjoy beef stew."
End Chapter Eighteen
The Azowians are a strange group of people, but they really are just Russians ruled by Russian-cultured de Normandies. I like the idea, though, that they would be cossacks.
Ah, Meinekinus seems to be a rather simple man. A lot of peace that might mean.
Dzintis? Dzintis Khan?
So, is calling Dzintis "Prince" a hint that he will be a pragmatic, cold blooded bastard? And I really like this worlds equivalent of Cossacks. Just make sure they are as badass as the real ones.
The text of the Sultan's letter to the Cossacks:
As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the Sun and Moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians—I command you, the Zaporozhian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.
-Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV
Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan:
Thou art a turkish imp, the damned devil's brother and friend, and a secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight art thou that cannot slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. Thou a son of a bitch wilt not ever make subjects of Christian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck thy mother.
Thou art the Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, Armenian pig, Podolian villain, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, a fool before our God, a grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw thine own mother!
So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. Thou wilt not even be herding Christian pigs. Now we shall conclude, for we don't know the date and don't have a calendar; the moon's in the sky, the year in the book, the day's the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!
-Koshovyi Otaman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host
Just try to tell me people who wrote something like that to an Ottoman sultan are not badass.
Read the entire story and I am very impressed. The storyline has sufficient background yet moves quickly. Also great work with the Prussian language lessons, though I have not made any attempt to read the Prussian AAR passages.
Welcome back all those interested in learning Anglo-Prussian. In order to expand your understanding and ability to read and speak Anglo-Prussian it is important to build a background in the language namely: person, case, tense and conjugation. This update deals with the first two.
Anglo-Prussian has four cases, three are commonly used in day-to-day speech, the fourth is more uncommon. They are: Nominative, Accusative, Dative and Genitive. Nominative deals with the subject of the sentence, Accusative deals with the direct object, and Dative with the indirect object.
Genitive, though a case, is used almost entirely in archaic speech, it expresses ownership when specific ownership is directly important to the intended meaning of the statement. The difference, in English is "my book" vs "the book of mine". In the first case stressing the subject with an adjective removes it from genitive. The second stresses the ownership more than the book.
"min grámátá" (my book)
"se grámátá minus" (the book of mine)
To better understand:
"He borrowed my book." In the end, "He borrowed the book" means roughly the same thing.
"He stole the book of mine." While "He stole the book" gets the idea across, the stress is on the fact that the book belongs to the speaker, and therefore the speaker was personally offended by or has invested interest in the subject. One could also suggest that it doesn't mater what he stole, stealing is stealing regardless.
However, the only true reflection of case is in pronouns. Pronouns in Anglo-Prussian change based on their case, but regular nouns do not. Also, like England and unlike German, the word "the" (se) does not change.
The four persons are based on where the speaker is relative to who he is talking to, and their relationship to the subject. All persons come in singular and plural forms.
1st Person: æs/we (I/we) Speaker is subject or part of the subject.
2nd Person: tu/ju (you/one) Listener is subject or part of the subject.
3rd Person (masculine/neuter): he/hie (he, it/them) Neither listener nor speaker is part of the subject.
3rd person (feminine): vin/viv (her/them) Neither listener nor speaker is part of the subject.
4th person: gæ/gæ (you/you) The speaker has respect for the listener/listeners.