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Thread: The Eternal Exile: A Nation Hopping AAR

  1. #721
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Personal gain is okay, just be sure to take care of the important things first...

    Phase 1: Dump Catherine de Medici
    Phase 2: ???
    Phase 3: Profit!
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  3. #723
    Lt. General Aliasing's Avatar
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    And I wonder if France will be back for IT'S cores

  4. #724
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    And really, what else would you say... No?
    To people that pop in and out of time? All the time! Nice to see Maria is on the run too, from the Time...police/bureau/lords
    PEW PEW indeed.
    Oh I'm all for dumping the Medici in a lake with her tied to a grand piano and looting her jewelry box but still Henri won't live forever and now its time to plan. Unfortunately this for a post modern military woman seems to be her weakest suit. Evidently never on staff doing powerpoints.
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  5. #725
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: Yes, it certainly took a while. Sadly...well, you'll see.
    Chris: That's the plan! Just...not executed well.
    Boris: No, Spain got pretty smashed up in that war...then they got lots of regencies. Which means that until the next war they never attacked at all.
    Aliasing: I only have one unclaimed core by this stage, and that's Brescia in Venetian territory! Fortunately that dies off. Oh, and Calais, but England's my ally.
    blsteen: Well, she's more of a front line leader than a staff officer! How this story might have been different if she had been!

    Chapter 29 – A New Player

    23/2/1537



    Her name was Mireille Du Pre, and her arrival started a most unexpected and long ranging series of events. It all started with the death of the wife of the Duke of Armagnac, Marguerite. This had occurred shortly before the war with Spain, leaving her seventeen year ward Mireille in the care of her husband, Henri. Mireille Du Pre herself was herself the daughter of a prominent nobleman killed at Pavia and taken in by the Duchess, who was herself the sister of King François.
    However, in the last days of winter the girl appeared at Fontainebleau unexpectedly, with just a couple of retainers and a dilapidated carriage.
    Talena had come out to see the commotion, and saw a blonde girl dressed in very sparse clothing hurrying over the snow towards the doors.
    “Wait a moment,” Talena said, stepping in front of her. “What are you-“ she said and stopped. Angelique’s face bore the unmistakeable mark of fading bruises. Her pale arms were likewise blackened, as if she’d gripped tightly.
    “Please, I must see the King!” she pleaded. She looked terrified, and worse, she looked haunted by something.
    Talena scanned her, and there was no way she could be concealing any weapon. “Of course. Let me give you this coat. You must be freezing.” She pulled off her own coat and gave it to the girl before walking with her inside.
    They soon passed the two armoured bodyguards at the entrance to the throne room and entered. There, the King was looking over documents with Cardinal Moreau and Count Reynard. Both the Queen and Maria were not present.



    Henri stopped in mid-flow and looked up. “Mireille?” he asked, surprised.
    “Your Majesty…please, I must talk to you!”
    “Of course but…what happened to your face?” Henri asked, stepping forward in concern. Reynard and Moreau also came forward to help Talena, who was barely supporting the girl.
    When Mireille spoke it was barely a whisper. “He hit me, Majesty,” she said in a frightened voice.
    “Who?” Henri asked.
    “The Duke. He came to my room and…made advances! I tried to get away, but he hit me! I managed to get out of the window and take my friend with me. And I came here because I have no one else! My father died and my mother is gone, God rest their souls.” She started to cry, and her remaining words were cut off.
    The King, barely older than the girl, looked awkward. “Why would he do such a thing?”
    “His Grace has been known to…indulge in wine,” Reynard said anxiously.
    “That is no excuse!” the King said piously. “Talena, take Lady Mireille to a guest room and make sure she is comfortable.”
    “Of course, Majesty,” Talena said. “Come along, dear,” she said, helping the distraught girl away.

    1/3/1537

    It was as Talena was idly perusing some records that she heard the argument. It was hard not to hear it; it was being yelled so loud she could hear it through stone walls.
    Talena headed to the door into the King’s private study and carefully opened the door. She was of course curious, but was masking it behind concerned duty.

    Mireille was cowering a little in one corner while Catherine de Medici and the King faced off over his desk.
    “Catherine, you are being irrational, and I will not be spoken to that way!” the King said sternly.
    “But your Majesty I am your wife!” Catherine almost wailed. “Why do you not come to me? Why do you allow this other woman, all the other women, near you!”
    “That is surely my concern and not yours,” Henri stated. “I think you’d better leave.”
    Flushed red with anger, Catherine turned to leave, almost running into Talena. “You! You…woman!” With that she shoved Talena.
    It was a silly thing to do, but Talena disliked the Queen immensely, and instincts kicked in. If she thought about it she should have let herself be shoved. After all, the young girl couldn’t hurt her.
    Instead she acted on instinct which was to grab the Queen and twist her arm up her back. It all happened so quickly that Talena soon had the Queen of France pushed against the wall.
    “Talena, enough!” the King shouted, rushing forward. “Release her at once!” he commanded. Guards appeared, waiting for orders as Talena stepped back.
    For a moment Catherine seemed so overcome by rage and surprise that she couldn’t speak. Finally she glared at her husband. “You would allow your wife to be manhandled?!” she shouted.
    “I was stopping her hurting herself,” Talena said, probably unwisely.
    “This woman has bewitched you so, has she, that the Queen of France can be touched with no punishment?”
    Henri sighed, rubbing his forehead. “Take her away,” he ordered the guards, pointing at Talena.
    “Majesty, I…” Talena said, looking hurt.
    “I will deal with you later. For now, I have other things to do.” He looked to Catherine. “Madam, I think you should go. We will talk later.”
    Talena didn’t resist as she was led away by the guards. There were too many, and she hoped to still convince the King of her innocence. Again she cursed herself for her impetuosity as she was led away.
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  6. #726
    The Avatar of Time 4th Dimension's Avatar
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    YES YES. Finaly the downfoll of this wretched immortal pest!
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  7. #727
    Lt. General Aliasing's Avatar
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    Talena shall RULE ALL!!!!

    But other than that Talena should scram soon if his doesn't blow over

  8. #728
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Sheesh, does she check up on anyone who comes and wants to see the king? Or maybe she knew the girl?

    So she makes a political mistake this time, well she was in France way to long.

  9. #729
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Somehow the "dump Medici" part of the routine went a little differently than I had envisioned.

    I still think counter-conspiracy is the way to go. Exhibit A:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    ... Catherine entered. She did not look pleased; she rarely did. The young woman’s face was flushed, and she looked angrier than normal.
    “Henri, what is the meaning of this?” she demanded of her husband. She held up a piece of paper in her hands.
    “What is it, my love?” Henri asked, bewildered.
    “It is a letter you wrote to your father! In it you say that you have been feeling well, but that I have not been! You also say that asked to be moved to a new apartment! I did not! You made me!”
    “You go through my private letters to my father?” Henri asked, astonished. “Those are private!”
    If his wife's comments there ring true, the King's already looking for the exit. All Talena would have to provide is a little incentive.

    Wouldn't take a whole lot of effort to pull an Anne Boleyn—find some suitable lady-in-waiting, contrive a meeting between the King and said lady, make sure she's not going to give up the goodies before marriage, and voila. He'll do all the work in getting rid of Catherine.
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  10. #730
    Captain Mr. Sometimes's Avatar
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    I told her to do a counter conspiracy instead of solving her problems with violence but noooooo.

    Considering the effect Talena has on a nation, Henri better pardon her or she'll leave and France will collapse within months. And that would be terrible.

  11. #731
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sometimes View Post
    I told her to do a counter conspiracy instead of solving her problems with violence but noooooo.
    Considering the effect Talena has on a nation, Henri better pardon her or she'll leave and France will collapse within months. And that would be terrible.
    And the collapse of France would somehow be...bad???Le Blob, the BBB, the bane of IN? Are we talking of the same nation, l'etat c'est moi?

    And really...too many guards, what a platoon (or the medieval/early modern equivilant). Time for Henri to pull a Henry VIII and send Catherine to the headsman, and move in on the new piece of pretty that the carriage delivered.
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  12. #732

  13. #733
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    4th Dimension: Wouldn't be much of a story without her, now would it?
    Aliasing: Wise advice. Fortunately it does blow over. Later on I sort of regretted making France so powerful. Heh, you'll see.
    Sather: Well, I think this time it was justified - Mireille was clearly no threat to anyone.
    Chris Taylor: Very perceptive! Very well done...I was hoping that someone would pick it up.
    Mr Sometimes: What can I say...action not words is Talena's motto. Or possibly action without thought!
    Boris: Oh, no need. She's already dealt with....

    Chapter 30 – The Issue of Issue

    17/3/1537

    “I hate prisons,” Talena said, and kicked the wall irritably. It hurt, but it soon stopped.
    Judging by the small grill window she’d been in prison for sixteen days. It was as she was beginning to suspect that she might have to spend another year in a cell that there were footsteps.
    “Probably the torturers come to make me confess,” she added. “Oh yes, I confess I’m a partly immortal woman from the future. Right….”



    Instead, behind a pair of armed soldiers was the King himself. Also present was Cardinal Moreau.
    Talena controlled herself with a great effort from making and comment, just bowed respectfully.
    “Guards, leave us,” the King ordered. They seemed sceptical, but he repeated the order. When they were gone Henri looked at her. “I apologise for having you imprisoned. However, you did strike the Queen, and thus action had to be taken.”
    “I apologise, Majesty. It’s hard not to react instinctively.”
    “You are a most curious woman. More of a soldier than most of my own guard…” the King trailed off.
    “Yet still a woman?” Talena asked wearily. “I won’t lie, it is unusual, but I’ve always liked you, and your father, Majesty. I thought I’d finally found purpose here.”
    The King looked to Moreau, seemingly undecided about something.
    Talena sighed. “So what’s the charges? Treason? Witchcraft? I’ve heard them all before. Nothing like picking on someone just because they’re different,” Talena said morosely.
    “Actually…Talena we are here to release you!” Moreau said, looking a touch amused.
    “Oh…well, that’s great then!” Talena said, relieved.
    “Striking the Queen of France is a grave crime, one punishable by death,” the King said. “However, the Duchess is no longer the Queen of France.”
    “Wait…what?” Talena asked, surprised.
    “His Majesty has petitioned the Holy Father for an annulment of his current marriage, and has received dispensation from the Papal representative.”
    Oh…” Talena said, not sure how to respond. “That is…good?” she ventured.
    “Now that I am King I am expected to provide an heir, a son I can train as my father trained me. Catherine and I…” he waved a hand vaguely.
    Talena nodded. Annulment on grounds of non-consummation. Since they had married so young it had probably been a matter of health, and later during the war of necessity.
    “So consider this your formal warning against striking another, non-royal, lady,” Henri said with a small smile.
    “Thank you, your Majesty. I hope we can continue to work together.”
    “I hope so too, Talena.”

    24/3/1537

    “Oh, thanks for helping me in prison,” Talena said as Maria walked past.
    Maria scowled. “I did help, for your information. I planted some convincing looking forgeries in the Queen’s papers suggesting some illicit dalliances. But now I’m not sure I should have bothered.”
    Talena sighed. Yet again she’d opened her mouth. “I’m sorry,” she muttered.
    “Well it’s certainly not made you any more cheerful,” Maria joked. “Anyway, if I’m any judge there will be wedding bells very soon.”
    “What do you mean?” Talena asked.
    “I’ll grant you’ve been in prison, but his Majesty and his new guest have really hit off together. I think that the quick nullification was in response to that!”
    “Wow…I see. Well, thanks again,” Talena said.

    It was as she was heading outside in the thawing weather that she saw the King of France and Mireille together. She could already see where this was going….


    XXX

    In the aftermath of the Crown War France was in a good position, and due to the exploration of Jacques Cartier, a picture of the Americas was being developed. It was during this time that the first French settlement in the Americas. In the following years this expansion would be followed by more islands in the Caribbean, and by settlements in Newfoundland to the north.


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  14. #734
    Major Chris Taylor's Avatar
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    Ding dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch...

    Too bad we didn't get to see the confrontation. I'm sure Catherine was her usual sunny self.
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  15. #735
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Well yes she was no Danger, but can any person ring the bell and get to see the king within 5 minutes? Without even asking for names?

    Ah I know, I am a nitpicking bother again

    Anyway, so we got rid of Catherine. Nice, I guess. So more frog storys to come.

  16. #736
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Action packed updates. A war with Spain won, imprisonment and now divorce and a new marriage seemingly on the way, interesting stuff. Talena is released and thus able to vex some more irritating snobs, which is very good, and seems rather settled in France surprisingly. Certainly she appears to have no wish to begin wandering once more despite the imprisonment.
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  18. #738
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Chris: I'm sure she would have been. It's part of the problem in having a fixed 3rd person narrative.
    Sather: Well, look at it this way. The girl is clearly noble. She's distressed, bruised and terrified. She's in a carriage and her clothes are very rich. She's unarmed and is no match for the half dozen bodyguards by the King. So yes...it isn't implausible. I mean, I could have had her come back a few hours later, but that loses the dramatic impact both in story and out of it too!
    morningSIDEr: Yes, she does seem more settled. A lot of that is due to me as the writer. Moving countries is a huge...annoyance...since the AI is really incapable of proper management. I do plan to move countries in the future, but less frequently.
    Boris: I want the caribbean islands. They're guarenteed to have good resources, relatively high tax, and easy to defend. I've also taken Newfoundland because it's an important naval base. I've got no real interest in the '13 colonies' region though.

    Chapter 31 – The Murder Plot

    30/5/1537

    The marriage was overdue. No one could fail to have noticed that the King of France and Lady Du Pre were spending so much time together. Nor could Talena or anyone at court miss the telling signs of sickness in Mireille that showed that a royal heir was on the way. A quick marriage was therefore necessary to make the heir legitimate.

    After attending the service Talena walked through the crowds attending the occasion. There seemed to be little of interest here, though she noticed that there were a good amount of foreign dignitaries present, including several members of the English court of King Henry.

    Talena completed her circuit of the room and headed back to where the King and Queen were greeting nobles and dignitaries. She got some odd looks for the way she was dressed and armed, but no comment. It seemed that if the King of France wanted a woman with a sword wandering around then that is what he would get.
    At first nothing seemed wrong with the scene. However, something nagged at her, and as Talena moved in closer she noticed something odd. One of the two bodyguards of the King and Queen were unusually out of place. Instead of being close like his comrade, he was several paces to the left of the Queen.
    Still, in the crowded room this wasn’t unusual. However, there was one figure that caught her eye. A man in expensive clothes, but unlike all the other nobles he seemed alone, without retinue.
    Talena appeared near the out of place guard and watched as the single man got closer and closer to the front, to receive the blessing of the King and Queen. The guard stiffened slightly, and Talena knew something was up.



    Then it all went to hell.

    Talena opened her mouth to shout a warning, but a hand clamped over her mouth from behind. Pain exploded into her back as something sharp pieced there. Fortunately, ever so fortunately, the attacker was right handed, so in stabbing her he had pierced the right side of her chest, missing the heart!
    Talena lashed out and up with a foot, hitting him in the groin, turned and hammered her fist into the man’s nose. Losing blood from the stab wound, and also finding it hard to breathe, she saw what was happening.
    The lone man had drawn his own knife and advanced on the Queen and King! Henri pushed his knew wife back and drew his own blade, but the assassin aimed not for him, but for the queen!
    Labouring, and in awful pain, Talena hurled her knife at the assassin. It hit, but only with the handle. It gave her the one second she needed though to tackle the man, a knife still in her own back.
    He was strong, whoever he was, and Talena struggled to hold him as guards flooded in to help. But there was a new threat. The guard who had stabbed her was advancing on the royal couple, and there were no guards that could get there in time. The King was a competent swordsman, but against one of his own guards it would be a tough fight with a ceremonial blade.

    Talena launched herself up, tripped and grabbed the guard’s ankle. He fell, and kicked her hard in the face.
    Talena pulled the dagged from her own wound and stabbed up. She had aimed for his throat, but her arm was forced down, and the stupid dress restricted her from using her legs, so the blade plunged deep into the guard’s leg.
    “Help her! Get them!” the King shouted.
    Finally, Talena got help, and as the King and Queen were hurried aside Talena fell to the ground, breathing hard.
    The shocked audience had seen it all, seen her defend the royal family. It’d only be a matter of time before she became a lot more well known!



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  19. #739
    Captain Mr. Sometimes's Avatar
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    Gah, I missed an update! Need to check more often.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai
    Maria scowled. “I did help, for your information. I planted some convincing looking forgeries in the Queen’s papers suggesting some illicit dalliances. But now I’m not sure I should have bothered.”
    See Talena? That's how you do it.

    And I wonder how the entire saving the royal coupe with a knife lodged in her back situation will affect how people see her; Guardian Angel, or Evil Witch.

    ...She better get out of France fast.

  20. #740
    Lt. General Aliasing's Avatar
    Darkest HourDivine WindVictoria 2

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    I think Strong Willed Matriarch instead of Evil or Good

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