Guess it must be my browser. I can see them now on another computer. Great job on the images too!
It was a Russian noble that became the King of England, so...
Here is a little history of the coat of arms of England and the United Kingdoms.
The top image is just England, the second incorporates Scotland, the third Ireland and the last when then United Kingdoms was created and Cornwall was finally pacified.
It is that time of the quarter again! It is time for the AARland Choice Awards! You should go and vote for your favorite AARs from all across AARland. If you do choose to vote for Bastions, do so under the EU3 - Narrative category.
Thanks again to all my readers and lurkers, and try to vote in as many categories as you can!
Chapter Forty Three: Woes of an Empire
The city of Vienna, a small Christian fortress on the edge of a great sea of Islam, was eventually surrounded by the forces of Duke Mohammad von Zähringer-Holstein, who ruled much of Germany through either his personal lands or through the fear and respect of the other German Dukes and Counts. The Zähringers once ruled all of Germany as independent Kings, and were often assumed to have super-natural powers and luck that helped them hold the fragile Kingdom together, even after its willing conquest by the Caliphate. However, in the summer of 1368, that though was shattered when the childless Duke was killed on the walls of Vienna, ending the siege of the city and the small Austrian nation. His army quickly fell apart, his lands were divided amongst his brothers and uncles, and the dream of a German dominated Caliphate seemed to fade from the minds of everyone. It was a day celebrated by both Christians in the East and the Iberians in the West. But problems started right away when Duke Mohammad's youngest brother seized control over Sweden and declared himself Malik, or King, of Sweden. This removed his realm from the Caliphate and given its geographic isolation, the Caliph was uninterested in fighting for it back. It did; however, make the Caliphate look weak. Even so, no one was in a position to challenge its authority.
The Caliphate in 1368 at the collapse of the Zähringer lands. From north to south: Sverge, Holstein, Styria, Tirol. Other parts of Germany are highlighted in orange.
August 19th, 1368
Doyvát the Younger entertained himself on the border of the palace. The walls of Castle Vishly, now usually referred to as Palace Memelgrád, contained a great deal of space. Most of this was taken up by the fortress itself, stables, granaries and other buildings that would serve the fortress in a time of siege; there was still enough room to fit a pond and an artificial forest for the enjoyment of guests and the King. It was here that Doyvát sat at water's edge eating an apple and wasting his days as his father had instructed him. He watched as a small flock of ducks sailed around the water, bobbing for bugs and small fish. In the distance the laughter of other children filled the air, a reminder of the wonderful weather and the freedom that childhood brought. When his apple was done he tossed it to the side and grabbed his bag, rummaging through it until he had freed a large book that had been given to him by Duke Txomin. It was a collection of stories from the East, particularly loved by the Arabs and other Muslims. He opened it carefully to the first page and began reading.
The Prussian was good, but suggested a non-native speaker. It was probably personally translated by the Duke, which made Doyvát wonder when he had the time to do such things. He was second to only the Caliph; and, with the death of Duke Mohammad of Holstein, had very few threats to his power amongst the Taifa. His next thought was wondering when Txomin was returning to Memelgrád, bringing with him the olive-skinned girls of Iberia. Doyvát lowered the book slightly as he day-dreamed a bit, though he quickly caught himself. After a few minutes of idle reading he turned the book to where he had marked off a particular story of interest. He smiled as he read the title: "Sinbad the Sailor". The idea of adventures in a world almost completely unknown to Europe was highly appealing to him. Especially with Prussia's brand new navy ready to scout the world. As he read a figure walked up to him and sat down beside him. From the Mediterranean fragrances she wore, Doyvát recognized it has his grandmother.
"You are reading Txomin's book? I will have to tell him, he has asked several times if you had started reading it yet," she said.
"It is very good. I usually read alone."
"Obviously, you are rather far into it." She looked over his should and read a little bit, "Ah, you are reading of Sinbad. He seems to be a favorite of young men. It must be the yearning for adventure that is so pervasive in your half of the world."
"Did tav or tátuŝ ever go on adventures?" Doyvát asked.
Viba was silent for a while, reflecting on the wars, "Yes... but not like those that Sinbad went on. There was a lot more at stake: a lot more dangerous, especially for your father."
"What happened? What did they do?"
"That should be between you and your father," Viba answered quickly, freeing her from having to describe the horrors of the Civil Wars to her grandson. "But trust me when I say they were both very brave." She ruffled his hair and he smiled as she got up to leave.
"I've seen paintings."
"Paintings of what, dear?"
"Father. He's wearing black armor and looks rather worried; worried like he can't move in the armor. Was that from his adventures?"
"What was he worried about, bábe?"
"Lots of things, dear. Your father carried a lot of pressure for a while. But you should ask him. It is not for me to step between the bonds of father and son." She walked back over to him, bent down and gave him a kiss on his forehead. When she was gone Doyvát opened his book back up and continued reading. But in time he put his place marker back in and closed the book, resting it on his lap. Where was his adventure, he wondered. All around him stood tall stone walls. In Poland it was the same way. He was cut off, sheltered from the world around him. He packed his book into his bag and, still under the shade of a tree, closed his eyes and lowered his head as he drifted off.
He saw an endless plain of grasses. In his hand was a sword of considerable heft. In the distance he could see a castle, from a tall tower waived a golden flag, only it wasn't a flag, it was the billowing hair of a fair princess. He attempted to pick up his sword and head in the direction of the castle. But the sword would not budge. It was too big and too heavy. It loomed over him, dotting the sky with clouds and rain. But as much as he kicked and screamed, the sword remained planted in the ground. Eventually a rumbling came across the world. From the clouds, in a triumphant roar of thunder and lightning, Doyvát's father descended from the heavens, dwarfing the small boy. He reached down and picked up the sword, which now perfectly fit his hand. Ignoring his son, the King strode off toward the castle. The young man called and called, yelling for his father's attention, for his help, but none was given. He seemed to even forget his own name as his King continued his mile-wide gait toward the princess and sure reward. The Prince stood there in dismay. Rains continued to pour over him and only him, so he headed in the opposite direction, toward a forest that appeared just as he turned around. The space between the trees was an inky black infinity, filled almost brimming with the blood-shot eyes of monsters. They watched, anxiously, as the Prince approached. On the edge of oblivion he stopped, looked back over his shoulder and saw his father was gone; the cast stood with no protector. So there he turned around and headed back.
Doyvát slowly and lazily opened his eyes, still under the tree at the pond's edge. The sun had shifted in its run across the sky. "My lord; my lord are you okay?" In front of Doyvát stood a girl; maybe two or three years younger than himself. Her blond hair waved gently in the breeze, contained by a small bonnet.
"Yeah, I was just asleep," he said. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes to make it very apparent to the girl.
"O, okay then. Have a good day, Prince!" She skipped off, following the path around the pond. Alone again, the Prince collected his bag and things and headed off toward the castle. The dream was already slipping from his mind, and as the last few images fades away forever he thought about the girl's face. She had looked so innocent, but she had also never been outside of the walls, happy to skip in the same circle forever.
Inside, people were bustling back and forth, many from outside the palaces. They all saluted or bowed slightly as he walked by, and he returned the favor. Arriving in the throne room, he saw his father tending to official matters and looking rather busy. His questions would have to wait, then. But watching his father work reminded him of how badly he wanted out, to be anywhere in the world but the palace. To be free.
While I was reading that, I thought "What if he becomes duke of the Prussian New World?", but I don't even know if he's still alive when you start colonizing.
I hope the colonizing doesn't happen too early, and has some reasonable motives behind it. That's two things that bother me a lot: seeing more than one or two tiny one-province colonies in the 15C, and seeing no explanation for why people are moving to the colonies in AARs: is it religious escapism, like in the 13 colonies? What factors are pushing the state to colonize? These things are important, IMHO.
I know I believe in nothing, but it is my nothing
Cogito Ergo Sum
This is just a guess, but it might be people getting scared of the Islamic tide, and running away to escape it.
Depending on what type of Islam the Caliphate is run by, compared to the peoples religion, it might be escaping religious persecution, a la England and the Puritans.
Marco Polo incoming!
With half of Europe ravaged by war it isn't strange if the muslims start colonising. And it's even less strange if the christians do, seeing as they have very little space for growth.
Brittania: A Saga of Albion - Hiatus
† AwAARds †
WritAAR of the Week 11/23/09
Character WritAAR of the Week 03/08/10
Favourite CK History Book AAR 07/06/2010 and 01/02/2011
Yeah, most of the New World is colonized by the Muslims. I think it's only California and the west coast that is Prussian, and a few other places..?