+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 57

Thread: We Valiant Sons of Hector: A House d'Este AAR

  1. #1

    We Valiant Sons of Hector: A House d'Este AAR

    The Table Of Contents

    THE HOUSE OF ESTE

    AZZO D'ESTE, DUKE OF LOMBARDIA AND SARDINIA: A MAN AND HIS INSANE DREAM, 1066-1080
    Prologue
    The St. John's Day Proclamations
    Making Friends
    Taking the Plunge
    The Sweet Smell of Success
    Preparing For Tomorrow
    The Big Pay Off

    VALERIO D'ESTE, DUKE OF LOMBARDIA AND SARDINIA, 1080--
    Regency of Hugues d'Este (1080-1085)
    A Transitional Period
    The Quiet March to Glory
    A Matter of Faith
    A Brief Diversion
    The Workings of Power
    Last edited by Space Oddity; 07-06-2011 at 17:31.

  2. #2
    PROLOGUE

    LOMBARDIA
    DECEMBER 26, 1066


    Ahh. Hello. Happy Saint Stephen's Day. Please, take a seat. Don't be shy. You're my guest.

    The map hanging from the wall in the corner? Well, this is my plotting room, and those are fairly standard decor. Now--oh, don't be alarmed by Tybalt. He just wants to say hello. He's a real sweetie. Aren't you, Tybalt? Aren't you a sweetie kittie? Come sit on Daddy's lap. Yes, yes, you're a sweetie kitty. Ooo, boo, boo.

    Relax. BLACK cats are witch's familiars. White cats are perfectly okay. Now--you're here as my Saint Stephen's Day act of charity, and...

    What? Who am I? You don't know? I am AZZO D'ESTE, DUKE OF LOMBARDIA! Okay, that's the short version. My full name is Alberto Azzo d'Este, the Second, and my full title is Duke of Lombardia, Count of Lombardia and Pavia. But hey--everybody calls me Azzo. And that includes you. Say it! Very good! We're going to get along just fine.

    The painting in the corner? A pig? Nonsense, my good man! That's not a pig! Why, that's my liege, Heinrich, King of Germany, Italy and Burgundy, and prospective Holy Roman Emperor, MAY HE LIVE A THOUSAND YEARS!

    Suspended in a pit of dung. Head first. Hung by his feet. With fornicating rats making a home in his belly.

    There. Got that out of my system. Sorry for the whisper, but that's the state of things in our happy little quasi-empire. A man can't even be safe in his own plotting room.

    As you've gathered, I'm not a happy camper. Why should I be? I'm an Italian nobleman, and my master is a spotty teenage German prince with a face like a pig, and a heart and mind to match. I call him 'King Oink' myself. You'd think we Italians would be used to calling the sausage-eaters over the Rhine 'boss' by now, but--no. No, it still stings. Especially the present lot.

    You see--I don't know if you know your history, but Italy--well, it used to be something special. Once, a little city named Rome united the pennisula, and then united everything else they could get their hands on into this thing called 'the Roman Empire'. Most of the world--the bits that mattered, anyway--was run from Italy.

    It's all been downhill from there, I'm afraid. We don't run much of anything now. There are remnants of the Empire left out east, but they're "ruled"--and I use the term loosely--by a squabbling bunch of Greeks who hate each other. And the Roman church. And occasionally, when they get their act together, the Turks, the scariest bunch of Mohammedians in existence. They have, shall we say, a rather shaky set of priorities out there.

    As for out west--well, the Kingdom of Germany likes to pretend it's the Roman Empire. Sometimes, it even manages to get a sausage-eater crowned. But no one really buys it. In some ways, it actually makes those Greeks in Byzantion look like the model of efficiency. The problem is that German kings follow a sort of regular cycle. Some savage world-beater from the far North comes down, with a lot of angry barbarians in tow, and carves out a kingdom for himself. If he's close enough, he invades Italy, and makes us all swear to be his subjects, or failing that, pay him. Then he or his son get a touch of civilization, and start REALLY working to take things over. They make noises about Christ, and Rome, and Charlemagne--one of the few German Emperors worth a damn in my book--and these days Otto, who I'll grant you, wasn't completely shabby.

    And then, they run into a problem. These guys usually know how to take over a kingdom, but they don't know how to run it. And so, we Italians wind up getting recruited to handle all the hard bits, so some German can oppress us more efficiently. And then the fun really begins. Because by this time, the we're down to the sons of the sons, and they have generally been coddled enough to be less than stellar at the whole 'conquest' thing. But they've been taught by their fathers to despise the whole administration thing, which results in Kings who can't do anything very well. This results in a lot of civil wars, invasions, break-away kingdoms, until at last, some NEW hard "King" from the far north comes down with his band of hard angry barbarians, to start the cycle all over again.

    We're on an interesting variation of the usual cycle at the moment. The House of Franken never carved out much of anything. All the hard work was done by the House of Saxony, a bunch of reformed barbarians who started things off on a high note by beating the pagan Magyars under the leadership of Otto, thus saving Christendom and making us hope that maybe--maybe things would be different this time. Sadly, Otto never quite equaled that one great moment, his son turned out to be a rather vicious mediocrity, his grandson showed potential, but died young, and his other grandson was decent enough, but died without direct heirs. And then--somehow--out of nowhere--the House of Franken stepped in. They pulled some arms, made some promises, and got themselves elected King. They have not exactly covered themselves in glory. Most of their time has been spent using the vast empire the House of Saxony carved out to bludgeon its component parts into submission. King Oink has been in charge for ten years now, and he's already spent much of those ten years following the family tradition--or rather his proxies have, since he was all of five when he came to the throne. It hasn't really worked--the end result is that most of His Royal Swineness subjects spend their spare time wishing various hideous ailments upon him. Not just his Italian subjects either. His German subjects as well. It's hard NOT to hate the Frankens. They're spotty little nobodies who arguably stole the throne, and they are JUST competent enough to keep things mostly together, but not competent enough to make them work well.

    Yes, I'm resentful. My father spent most of his life fighting the good fight against King Oink's father, though in the end, he had to give in . And my family--we're not just Italians. We're old nobility. Remember, Charlemagne, that one German Emperor who was worth a damn? My ancestors rode with him. We weren't called 'd'Este' then--but we were there. And we go back further. How far? Well, family legend traces our descent back--patrilineally, I might add--to Hector of Troy.

    Yes, that Troy. And that Hector.

    Wait, you don't know what I'm talking about? You've never read the Iliad? Well, I'll get you a copy. You can't read?

    ...

    ...

    Man, I'm going to have to do something for the educational standards in this Duchy. Okay, I'll read it to you some time. But for now, rest assured--this is a big deal. My family is--most likely--a scion of some of the oldest, best nobility there is. Warrior kings, of unparelleled nobility with ties to Rome itself. And with a lineage like that--I'm sitting here in my plotting room, taking orders from King Oink, and remembering the days when being Italian meant something.

    Well--that's going to change. Italy shall be free of German kings. An Italian king shall rule Italy. And anywhere else he chooses to rule, I might add. We've got prior claim. And this king--shall be of the House of Este. It is our destiny, by blood, and by right. And we shall claim it!

    But not now. My heart and soul loathe King Oink with a passion, but my mind is perfectly aware of the fact that if I make too much trouble, his troops will easily storm my lands, tear away everything I hold and love, and probably take me to him a captive, at which point he'll make me wear a dress, and do a little dance while calling myself a pretty, pretty princess.

    Don't laugh. He did that to Adalbert of Hamburg earlier this year. And while that old fraud might have deserved some sort of punishment, being made to declare himself, the "prettiest princess in all of Europe" before the Estates General was... well, a little over the top. I don't need that. I'm pushing sixty. Which is another thing. There will be an Italian King, ruling over Italy, and he will be of the House of Este. But he won't be me. My son, perhaps. Or his son. Even the son of the son of that son. We have time. If this family has a talent, it's for surviving. Kingdoms fall. We pull through, and rise to the top again. It's in the blood.

    So--for the time, being, I'll play the good, reasonably loyal subject. I have other projects to pursue, after all. If Italy is to be united on any other basis then "listen to the terrifying Germanic tyrant" some local ruler is going to have to start putting the pieces together, and that will be tough. Years of conquest, reconquest, civil war, popular uprisings, and very, very strange bequeathals have made the north of Italy a tangled quiltwork of bishophorics, petty noblemen and crackpot "Republics". The last are states that elect worthy citizens to run things. It's supposed to be a return to the glory of Rome, though the fact that the end result are a few families getting 'elected' over and over while constantly squabbling among themselves tends to be ignored. We've got one next door in Genoa, actually. Lovely city, that. My family used to run it. Actually, my father was the rightful Count, though during his squabbles with the Emperor, they backstabbed him and were vassilized directly to His Swineness's father, who then made dad give up his claim.

    Why, yes. Reclaiming Genoa does happen to be on my 'to do' list. How'd you guess? But--that will take some time. Right now, I've got to buckle down and get to work. I am the fourth most-powerful landowner in Italy right now. The first is the Duchess of Tuscany, a woman named Matilde who hates Heinrich more than I do, and happens to have the ear of the THIRD most powerful landowner--His Holiness, the Pope. (Understand, when I say power, I'm talking in terms of land ownership here. If one were to consider other factors, the Pope might be the most powerful.) The second is the Duke of Carintha, a transported German who, to his credit, has largely gone native, and my sources tell me, is less fond of doing what King Oink tells him. My job--move up the list, so that I at least outrank the Pope. And I have ideas how to do this. Oh, I have many plans, many plots, many schemes. Why else do you think I have a plotting room? It gets used, my friend! Used quite a bit.

    All right. Now that we've had our friendly little chat--the less pleasant business. You see that pit in the other corner? Right that's it. Now--if you would be so kind as to climb into it using the rope I provided, I will be so kind as to not unload this crossbow bolt into your throat. Very good. My goodness, what a climber! All right, I'm pulling out the rope. You comfortable down there? Excellent! Well, see you again soon. I have business to attend to, and...

    Look, don't worry. You'll be fed. Like I said, this is my Saint Stephen Day act of charity. Do you know what the penalty is for chicken-stealing in this Duchy? You're getting off light! Hey, don't blame me! I don't make the laws, I just enforce them.

    Okay, technically I do make the laws, but trust me, changing that one would be more trouble than it's worth. Especially with some of the... other legislative alterations I have planned. We'll talk about them later.

    Now--come on Tybalt. Daddy's got some table scraps for you...

    ----------------------------------

    OOC: My first attempt at an AAR. I've decided to follow the style of such gems as, "If You Can't Do It, Nubia Can", "Suenik the Beleagured", "NavAARra: A Little Kingdom Modestly Refusing To Go Down", and "He's the Prince of Pronsk And He's Finally Made It!". Largely because I like them the best. Hopefully, you all find this amusing. And sorry for the lack of screen captures. If I figure out how to make them, they shall appear.

  3. #3
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Rome GoldVictoria 2Victoria II: A House Divided

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Oxfordshire
    Posts
    733
    Blog Entries
    2
    Sounds like the Duke has had a bad day at the office and is going through the traditional "my boss is a pig and doesn't deserve to be in charge" routine.

    All right. Now that we've had our friendly little chat--the less pleasant business. You see that pit in the other corner? Right that's it.
    Nice finish as well
    Exile in the East - a Helleno-Varangian CK AAR (Part 28 posted 03 January 2012)
    AARland Choice AwAARds - CK historybook winner Q3 & Q4 2011
    Showcased 09-Sep-2011, Character writer of the week 28-Mar-2011
    Fan of the Week 07-Feb-2011 & 03-Jul-2011

  4. #4
    Well, thank you. In our next entry, Azzo will explain his Grand Design(s), comment on a few legislative changes, make education a priority, and deal with a truculent six-year old vassal.

  5. #5
    THE ST. JOHN'S DAY PROCLAMATIONS; or 'IT'S GOOD TO BE DUKE OF LOMBARDIA.'

    Lombardia
    January 7, 1067

    Ahh. Hello again. Just wrapped up Epiphany celebrations, so I have some free time again. It's been a busy couple of weeks.

    You comfortable down there? How are the throw pillows? And the food?

    ...

    Look, don't complain. I've known men to live for years on rat. Why, some people even grow to like it!

    So, anyway--my business. After I left you, I went and amended a few of the Duchy's laws. First up was the inheritance laws. Now, we Italians are a funny lot, who like to boast of our civilization and sophistication and descent from Rome, and the Lombardian laws of succession reflect this. While it's not a Republic per se, like Venice, or Pisa, or... Genoa, the Duke is an elected position--on the death of the last Duke, the city fathers of Lombardia, Pavia, and a little mountainous backwater called Grisons gather together to select 'the citizen most prominent and excellent' to be the new Duke. My family's been massaging said election (which used to include a few more people, I should add) by pawning off Grisons on a son--or nephew or cousin, if sons are in short supply--and as the 'Count of Grisons' is clearly more excellent than say, the Marshal of Lombardia, we're set. I've done it myself, actually. More on that later.

    Well, it's a good enough system if you're a tiny part of a larger whole--like, say, the spoke of a wheelbarrow--but, as I've noted, I've got plans. Lombardia is going to be a lot bigger when I'm done, and I'm not doing this so that one of the minions I pick up along the way can get the whole thing when I die. So yesterday, I announced a change in our election laws. Oh, we still hold elections--no question about that. I've just added one tiny little proviso. They now select 'the citizen most prominent and excellent who is a direct, patrilineal descendent of Azzo d'Este'.

    The people took it quite well, though that might have been due to the fact that I was flanked with armed guards when I made the announcement. And they also were surprisingly serene about my announcement that I'm now the supreme authority on religious matters in my realm. Really, the only one who seems at all alarmed is my son Fulco, and that's...

    Ah, yes. Fulco. Well--time to explain family matters to you. I have three sons. The eldest, Guelph, was by a terrifying German woman. We--don't get along very well, and I sort of disinherited him, and he sort of chose to be viewed by the world as large as the head of the House of Welf. He's living in Bavaria at the moment, making himself useful, and hoping that he can get King Oink--or at least the Duke of Bavaria--to get behind his plan to make HIM Duke of Lombardia instead of me.

    Next up is Hugues, rightful Count of Maines. He's a bright lad, and the eldest son that I truly consider a son. Even if his mother was a cruel harpy whom I have divorced, and am well rid of. Hugues should be sitting in France right now, being waited on hand and foot by eager French servants, as he is legal heir to a nice little province there. Unfortunately Roger, Duke of Normandy contested this inheritance based largely on the principle of 'I have troops in the region', with a few other legal nicities to make it stick. The Normans, if you're wondering, are bunch of Frankified Germans from way up north--the roughest bunch yet, and nastily smart to boot. My hopes for some form of revenge in this matter were dashed when Roger went and died on me, and left everything to his bastard son William. William the Bastard incidentally, just managed to become King of England based on the same principles his father used. He's even sending notices around that we should start calling him 'William the Conqueror' from now on. I personally will be calling him 'William the Lucky Bastard'.

    And yes, one day, the House of Este shall be avenged on the House of Normandy. Somehow. Who knows? Maybe it'll be my descendents sitting on the throne of England when it's over. Hey, it's possible!

    The third son is Fulco, presently count of Grisons. My original plan was to have sons holding land in Germany, France and Italy. That way--well, no matter what happens, we'd come out pretty well. Guelph's treachery and the Norman affair have pretty much dashed those hopes. And I have to face the fact--I'm old. Sixty years. Oh, I'm in great shape for my age, but 'great shape for my age' often means 'capable of moving'. I could go--at any time. If so, I don't want my heir to be the younger of my two underage sons. So--Fulco will have to give up Grisons. Still--not immediately. I'll let him calm down, and then--suggest he give up his titles. Hopefully he will. I don't want to begin the glorious new age of Lombardia waging war against my underage son. Something tells me that won't look good. But--I've got plans. And Fulco has a sweet tooth.

    Of course, I have bigger concerns. My people inform me--yes, I have people. A pair of rather skilled widows handling my finances and chancellory, a fellow named Cosimo in charge of intelligence, and a spindly little nobody named Umberto serving as my Marshal. Umberto claims to be a priest, and a holy soldier of God. Cosimo informs me that he is the bastard offspring of a bishop and the daughter of a tailor, who got a quick bit of instruction in the holy rites from his father, and then was shoved out to make his way into the world. As a marshal, he's crap, but he's still better than me. I'm not a 'fight guy' when you get down to it. I'm a 'sit in my plotting room, and scheme' guy. Anyway, my people inform me of all sorts of wonderful opportunities.

    For example--in Aquitaine, Duke Guilliame--who holds so many Ducal titles sometimes he has to enter a room three or four times in succession--is without a clear heir. And he has a daughter, who will be marriageable in a little time. True, she's young enough to be my granddaughter--but we must all suffer to see our ends completed. If everything works out--I could have another son, standing to inherit one of the richest Duchies in Europe.

    Or--to the south. Past Genoa. There lie the isles of Corsica and Sardinia. Sardinia is itself divided into two provinces--Arborea and Caligari. These are tiny, little fiefdoms, owing loyalty to no higher authority. Which means there's nobody looking out for them. And it gets better. The three counts--one of them, the Count of Corsica, is a distant cousin, actually--all hate each other, and have claims against each other. The situation is such a mess that it's easy to get your foot in the door. And once you do that--well, you stand an excellent chance of getting the whole thing.

    Or if I really want to play it dangerous--the Duchy of Apulia. Most of southern Italy is in the hands of the Hautvilles, a family of especially nasty Normans who moved in with the Pope's blessing a while back to serve as a counterweight to the Greeks and the Arabs. The family has designs of getting their hands on the rest of the south, if they can stop squabbling with each other first. Of course, that one will probably end with me begging a crazy Norman duke for mercy--but it's on the table, if I ever get tired of living.

    Yep. My options are wide open. I have plenty of plans. One of them HAS to work.
    Last edited by Space Oddity; 02-02-2011 at 20:13.

  6. #6
    MAKING FRIENDS, or HOW TO DESTABILIZE EUROPE WITHOUT EVEN TRYING

    Lombardia
    March 5, 1069


    Ah. Hello again. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Sorry about that. Still--you've been amusing yourself. Love the decorations? Rat bones, you say? I never would have guessed!

    What have I been up to? Well, I've been busy. Nothing--too major, really. Just lots of little things. Like--we're putting up a forestry in Lombardia.

    The--awful noise you've been hearing? No--that's--not a forestry. Actually--it's complicated. I'll explain.

    Well, first, the candy plan worked. Fulco gave up Grisons, and came back to Lombardia, where he and Hugues have been like two peas in a pod. I'm getting quite proud of Hugues. He seems a reasonably skilled lad, and if I should go suddenly--well, he'll do all right.

    He's been hanging out in the chancellry all hours. Tells me the most fascinating stories about what's going on abroad. Did you know there's a new Emperor in Byzantion? And that he stutters?

    And the marriage went off without a hitch. I sent an emissary over to Duke Guillaume, and he consented immediately. They told me he was so overjoyed, he burst into laughter. Said it was a 'load off his mind'. Why, I have no idea. No danger of Agnes growing into an old maid. Not only does she carry a potential inheritance to one of the wealthiest duchies in Europe, but she's quite the beauty to boot.

    I guess the Duke is just an--overly-worried man. He's just had another daughter after all. If I were in his shoes, I'd wonder if I could find suitable husbands for them.

    Anyway, while we were--celebrating our nuptials--I recieved a rather interesting note. It appears the Count of Savoiy had quietly declared his independence--a big surprise to me, as he happens to be King Oink's father-in-law. Then again, I don't imagine His Royal Swineness gets much better on closer examination. I had the chancellory send him a message suggesting that the best way to avoid King Oink's vengeance would be to rejoin the Empire as my vassal, noting that we Italians have to stick together.

    Well, I must have struck a nerve, or maybe he was just worried about his daughter seeing him in a dress, because he said yes. That tickled me pink. I sent another round of "Come join the Duchy of Lombardia!" letters to the Sardinian crew, and then found myself paying a social call to the Count of Saluces. He was an old friend of mine, and we'd spent many long hours commiserating over the fate of Italy, and the inferiority of our sausage-eating overlords. Well, in between the marriage and suddenly becoming a major force in the north of Italy, I was feeling full of vim, and marched into his chamber, slammed my hands on the table and began a lengthy speech about how now was the time for us to work together and destroy the Germans--that King Oink could never withstand the power of the Italians if we just united. It was great stirring stuff--but everything was sort of ruined when I looked down and saw a twelve-year old staring at me in astonishment.

    See, the old Count of Saluces had died, and he'd told his son that Azzo d'Este was a person worth speaking to, and...

    Well, damn it, everyone makes mistakes on occaslon. I probably should have just stuck with nodding sadly, and declaring 'And have you ever seen a German make a Roman road? Well, have you?' But--damn it, now I'm married to it. I shall rebel! When it's safe to do so. Which...

    Well, I'll get to that part. Still that was a fairly minor matter. Anyway, when I arrived home, I discovered one of my offers of vassalizations was returned with a yes! The Count of Caligari--who happens to be the most obnoxious and hateful of the Sardinians, but beggars can't be choosers--accepted me as his liege. And to make matters better--he was at war! With Corsica! Naturally, being a concerned Duke, I had Umberto mobilize the Pavian legions, and sent them out to the island. It cost a pretty penny--we even briefly dipped into the red--but in a little while--I was thinking about saving up to have myself crowned 'Duke of Sardinia' and the Count of Corsica was calling me his lord.

    Before riding out to fight the King of Germany.

    See, King Oink, when he heard about my actions, decided to help out his vassal, probably for the same reason I helped out mine. And apparently, he never got the message that the Count has joined our team, because there was a massive army traipsing through Burgundy. The Count valiantly battled with them, I'm told, and took a nasty wound doing so, before the whole matter was cleared up.

    Of course, by that time, King Oink had other problems.

    See--remember Duchess Matilida? Well--this little war was spun into the perfect pretext for seceding and launching an attack on Heinrich. And she wasn't alone. The Duke of Carintha creapt out, and most of the Republics have also left. In fact--I seemed to have inadvertently started a major civil war.

    That's the noise you're hearing. Tuscany and German soldiers, duking it out next door. It really is an awful mess.

    Which has got me thinking--that maybe--soon--I might just secede myself. I mean--I want a good time, and this might be as good as it gets...

    Well, I'll tell you how things turn out next time. Wish me luck, eh?

    Oh, and Agnes is pregnant. Yep. I still got it. Oh, there you are Tybalt! Come on! Daddy has some nice table scraps...

  7. #7
    Human Enewald's Avatar
    200k clubArsenal of DemocracyHearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Darkest HourDeus VultDungeonlandEast India Company CollectionEU3 Complete
    Divine WindFor The GloryFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III Collection
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneImpireEuropa Universalis III: In NomineIron Cross
    Leviathan: WarshipsThe Kings CrusadeMagickaMajesty II CollectionMarch of the Eagles
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSemper Fi
    SengokuThe Showdown EffectVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of Darkness
    Rome: Vae VictisWarlock: Master of the ArcaneWar of the RosesEU Rome Collectors EditionEU3 Collectors Edition
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hellsinki,Finland
    Posts
    22,741
    Tybalt?
    Quite impressive writing actually. Pictures could make it even better.

  8. #8
    Thank you.

    And I'm looking into that.

    As for Tybalt--he's the King of Cats!
    Last edited by Space Oddity; 07-02-2011 at 16:35.

  9. #9
    Captain Cornelius Rex's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Intermittent
    Posts
    313
    The witness-in-a-hole idea's really effective, too .
    NavAARa: a little kingdom refusing to go down (My first little CKI AAR: reached goals, eventually abandoned)
    (Subbed) Emperor Nicholas the Leper at Imperium AARlandium Sacrum.
    Duchy of Dioclea, the (roundabout) return of the Illyrians. After St Mihailo... all hail the Nasokrator! (also abandoned)
    Now returning with Horns in the mist - The saga of the sons of Stenkil A brief CKII AAR. Already in 1380 and still going strong.
    Character Writer of the Week 18-03-2011.

    "When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream, and shout".

  10. #10
    Thank you. I'm working on installment 4.

  11. #11
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
    Deus VultFor The GloryRome Gold

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Posts
    2,364
    Blog Entries
    3
    A very well written and funny AAR! I particularly like the "prettiest princess in Europe" line - that had me chuckling.

    You also said nice things about me so that can't help but endear this AAR to me further
    ~~ My Current AARs ~~
    The Sleeper - an EU3 Narrative
    These Oranjes Are Not For Eating - Fun and Games in the Orange Free State
    Favourite Comedy Victoria AAR: Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Best Character Writer: 28th Feb 10; 5th Jul 10 WritAAR of the Week: 6th Mar 10
    For AARs past and present please visit my Ink Well


  12. #12
    TAKING THE PLUNGE, or, 'THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES, BUT THEY'LL NEVER--WELL, WAIT, ACTUALLY, IF THEY KILL US, THEY WILL HAVE TAKEN OUR FREEDOM, WON'T THEY?'

    Lombardia
    October 31st, 1071


    A merry Eve of All Saints' to you, sir! Hey--no Tybalt! No burying your claws in daddy's meaty thighs! Off!

    Anway--it's done. I'm my own man now, owing no fealty to King Oink. Lombardy is free! For the moment.

    Actually, it's been an interesting couple of years. And--sorry about the delay. Life just catches up with you... In the big picture--the war between Tuscany and Germany drags on. And that stuttering Emperor I mentioned last time is already dead, and it seems there's a dispute as to the rightful heir.


    Me personally. Let's see... to start with, Agnes and I have had our second child. A son, Doumenge. Just like our first child, Valerio. Who is presently heir to the Duchy of Aquitaine, though the Duke's got another child on the way. He's a very healthy, happy boy, and he shows all signs of being quite bright. Or--so the monks tell me. I'm hoping they can give him a sound religious background. My family needs something like that. So--that's been--sucessful.

    Actually--well, I've been married three times now. My first wife was thoroughly German, and she proved it by waging war on me. My second wife was French, and quite possibly related to Satan. So--I didn't enter this marriage with high hopes on the personal level.

    Well, I have to say, third time's the charm. Agnes and I are happy as can be. She loves our little Valerio, and speaks eagerly of the day when he becomes Duke of Aquitaine. And--she is just a bit fond of me, actually. And vice versa. My little Occitan rose is probably the finest bit of luck to fall my way in a long life. And realize, that includes the Pope deciding to grant me a divorce from my second wife, so--we're talking about some stiff competition here.

    Of course, not everyone appreciates my marital bliss. I was visiting a tourney my neighbor, Count Uddon de Monteferrato was holding, and the Count started making cracks about 'old goats and young ewes'. Now, I have a low tolerance for that sort of mockery, especially coming from "Uddon the Simple" whose parents got a papal dispensation to marry despite close relation, a fact that Uddon has been paying for all of his life. Though the simple-minded git has an actual castle. In Monteferrato, a tiny backwater, while I, the Duke of Lombardy, a wealthy and populous trading center--have a fort on a hill with thick wooden walls. All right--three forts on hills, really, but still...

    So, Uddon and I parted as bitter enemies. And on going home, I had my staff do a little checking, and they discovered that my ancestors GAVE the Monteferratos that castle, and used to be their overlords. And that by insulting me, Uddon has given me the right to take it back. Of course, at the moment, he's a German vassal, but still--it's on the table. I told Hugues about it, and he just--looked at me rather oddly, and asked if it was fair that I deprive a man of all he possessed. When I said 'of course,' he coughed quietly, and then headed back to the chancellry.

    I'm going to have find something for him to do soon. He's getting funny ideas.

    And after some saving--I had myself declared Duke of Sardinia in a lovely little ceremony. Yep--addded an extra ring and everything. And shortly thereafter, the Count of Arborea signed on. The library I ordered built in Lombardy was finished--so now anyone in my duchy can read the Iliad. Life was good. I'd turned my small holding into one that covered a good portion of northern Italy. And I said to myself--'Azzo--now's the time.'

    And so, we left Germany. I briefly considered joining Tuscany in its war, but that really didn't seem too--smart, so we did it peacefully.

    I hope His Royal Swineness appreciates that, because his emissaries have just arrived in my court. Well--I'll let you know how that turns out.

    Unless--well, you know... Oh, and I'll have them send you some blankets. It's getting chilly down there. Oww! Tybalt! What did I tell you earlier?

  13. #13
    Human Enewald's Avatar
    200k clubArsenal of DemocracyHearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Darkest HourDeus VultDungeonlandEast India Company CollectionEU3 Complete
    Divine WindFor The GloryFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III Collection
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneImpireEuropa Universalis III: In NomineIron Cross
    Leviathan: WarshipsThe Kings CrusadeMagickaMajesty II CollectionMarch of the Eagles
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSemper Fi
    SengokuThe Showdown EffectVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of Darkness
    Rome: Vae VictisWarlock: Master of the ArcaneWar of the RosesEU Rome Collectors EditionEU3 Collectors Edition
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hellsinki,Finland
    Posts
    22,741
    His Royal Swineness, so bad it makes me laugh.
    Shame on you!

  14. #14
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
    Europa Universalis 3

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shuttling back and forth between work and that someone special...
    Posts
    1,677
    This is cute!

    Subscribed.
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  15. #15
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
    Deus VultFor The GloryRome Gold

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Posts
    2,364
    Blog Entries
    3
    Count Uddon de Monteferrato! Possibly one of my favourite CK characters, ever since I discovered him in a random "people watch" back when Suenik first started... Although, in my game the de Monteferratos end up as kings of Sweden. Yes, really.

    Great update - you're doing a fine job of explaining some of the random little events CK chucks our way.
    ~~ My Current AARs ~~
    The Sleeper - an EU3 Narrative
    These Oranjes Are Not For Eating - Fun and Games in the Orange Free State
    Favourite Comedy Victoria AAR: Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Best Character Writer: 28th Feb 10; 5th Jul 10 WritAAR of the Week: 6th Mar 10
    For AARs past and present please visit my Ink Well


  16. #16
    Thank you, sir.

    Next entry--see what the Germans want! See how Duke Azzo's feud with Uddon the Simple goes! And witness a miracle pregnancy and its results!

  17. #17
    THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, or BEING A TRIUMPHANT BASTARD MEANS YOUR VICTIMS SAY SORRY TO YOU.

    Lombardia
    May 1st, 1074


    Hello again. I've brought a treat for you. Yep, since we no longer have to throw kickbacks to King Oink, the Duchy is swimming in wealth. I think I'm going to build a castle here soon! Right after we get done with the tile-factory. Man I love those things. They're like forestries--you spend a little money to set them up, and they make tons for you.

    Anyway, all that extra money means roast chicken for you, and goose liver for Tybalt. Because he's a little sweetie--yes he is!

    So--those German emissaries I mentioned last time... Well, they weren't at all what I thought they would be. I went to my throne room expecting to have to either wave my fist in defiance, or beg for mercy, depending on the circumstances. Instead, as soon as they're brought in, the Germans bow--they bow to me--and start explaining how King Heinrich humbly--humbly--craves an alliance with the most puissant Duke of Lombardia!

    Naturally, I said yes. Later, Hugues--the kid's turned into a wizard at diplomacy--explained the whole thing to me. See--the von Frankens had an alliance with the Emperor of Byzantion. It was mostly a prestige thing for both parties, but it symbolized something big, the two most powerful rulers of the East and West united--a sort of continuation of the Roman Empire, if you will. But the present kerfluffle out east--invading Turks, nobles rising up in rebellion, two claiments to the Imperial throne--well, it's pretty much ended things between them. And Heinrich's problems aren't helping Germany's prestige any. Frankly, in between the revolts and the failures Heinrich's starting to realize that the Pope isn't going to come up to Castle Franken with an Imperial Crown any time soon. He needed to link Germany to someone notable. Which is where I come in.

    See--my rebelling--the war with Corsica--getting named Duke of Sardinia--turning Lombardia into a center of learning and enlightenment--well, it made me the talk of Europe. Heinrich needed some of that to keep his kingdom going--and wanting to hold off an invasion--I gave it to him. It's not absolute security--but it'll give me and mine some breathing room, which we can use to get bigger. That's the only way to be genuinely safe, by the way--get so big, the Germans decide we're too big to swallow.

    Shortly after hearing of the Germanic-Lombardian alliance, Tuscany came to the table, ending the war. It wasn't a shining moment for King Oink--Matilda gave up a couple provinces, and a title--but she's still free, and in control of most of northern Italy. The Duke of Carintha crept back into the fold as quietly as he had crept out. Of course, there were a few other rebellions going on by that point--but His Royal Swineness got them under control. And a few little provinces had followed my example and left the empire.

    Including your friend and mine, Uddon the Simple. The moron I had a claim on.

    No, I didn't invade immediately. I saved up my money, and then when the moment was right, I sent Umberto and Count Savoiy out to take over that nice little castle. Uddon lead his troops himself, they tell me, and managed it surprisingly well for a man whose conception of numbers goes from one to 'lots'. Yep, he boldly launched his outnumbered, outclassed men at Lombardia's legions. And then he did it again. And then one more time. And then his chancellor knocked him out, tied him to a tree, and said that they would give me all their money and Monteferrato, if I didn't have them all killed.

    I thought that was a good deal. As for Uddon, he's gone to live with his cousin, the Count of Saluces, and is apparently considering joining the priesthood.

    Since then, it's been quiet around here. I've got Hugues handling my accounts for the moment, but Fulco's showing an interest in that direction, and if he turns out to be all right at it, I'm moving him there, and making Hugues my chancellor. Like I said--the kid's a wizard at diplomacy. And that brings me to Valerio.

    I've got him training in arms--and he's showing a proficiency at it--and well, remember Duke Guillaume's wife was pregnant last time? Well--the child was another girl. And his wife was nearly forty. And then, last year--she became pregnant again. The Duke was overjoyed. Sermons about Abraham and Sarah were read throughout Aquitaine. The pair eagerly awaited the birth of their little miracle.

    Another daughter. I sent the Duke my congratulations, and told him that Agnes was pregnant yet again. Hugues informs me he's developed a twitch in his eye when I'm mentioned. And that the western windows in Bordeaux should be enlarged when they fall into d'Este hands. Which is extremly likely as--barring unforseen circumstances--Valerio is the next Duke of Aquitaine. And that means--I have to consider things.

    This is exactly what I hoped for when I married Agnes--though the wedded bliss is another benefit. And now--now I've got to figure out how to handle this. And I think I have.

    Tomorrow, I'm sending Valerio out to Grisons. He's going to be the next Duke of Lombardia also.

    I'm old. I was pushing sixty when we started talking. Now--I'm pushing seventy. With good luck--I'll make that. Maybe a little more. But--I've got to face the facts. I don't have much time left. I need to leave everything to the right child. Valerio--seems to be that child. He's the heir to a wealthy estate--so if I don't leave him Lombardia, the family holdings will be divided. And--he might be the best choice for--my plans. We need to grow. House d'Este need to become kings. And that means--we have to become what we once were. Warriors. Hugues--he's a brilliant administrator, but he's not a king. Fulco--he's not going to be either. But Valerio--well--so far, he shows every sign of living up to his name.

    It'll mean a child regency, of course--but Hugues can handle that. Like I said, he's a brilliant administrator. He can keep our holdings going until Valerio is old enough to take center stage. And hopefully--hopefully I last another--six--eight--ten years. Just long enough to make things secure. To give my son everything he needs to stand taller than his old man. The world has--briefly--marveled at me. Let them marvel long at him. Let him show the world that when my house claims descent from Hector, we do not boast. Let him straddle the world, like a colossus.

    But I'm getting morbid. Plenty of life in thse old bones yet. Plenty of work to do. Got to arrange matters for my other sons, after all. Hugues is old enough to wed--though I'm holding off on that for the moment. See, the King of Croatia--he has a daughter, no sons, and his closest male relative just died. So I smell a wopping big inheritance there. Maybe. Thing is--that girl's a bit young. So--we'll wait a while, and then--Hugues and Neda shall embark on a life of wedded bliss.

    Oh, yes. That reminds me. You've been looking rather lonely down there. So--guards!--I've brought you a companion. Her name is Mad Dulce, and they tell me she's the town fool of Grisons. Anyway, her family--well, the people who used to look after her, anyway--died recently, and I figured life in my plotting room pit should prove--comfortable. Now down you go--and--oh, my!

    Look at that, Tybalt! She likes him! Well, I'll leave you two to enjoy yourselves. And hopefully, you'll have lots of children, so that my children can come and talk with them!

    It'll be a shared family tradition.
    Last edited by Space Oddity; 11-02-2011 at 22:27.

  18. #18
    Human Enewald's Avatar
    200k clubArsenal of DemocracyHearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCities in MotionCrusader Kings II
    Darkest HourDeus VultDungeonlandEast India Company CollectionEU3 Complete
    Divine WindFor The GloryFor the MotherlandHearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III Collection
    HOI3: Their Finest HourHeir to the ThroneImpireEuropa Universalis III: In NomineIron Cross
    Leviathan: WarshipsThe Kings CrusadeMagickaMajesty II CollectionMarch of the Eagles
    EU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: RevolutionsEuropa Universalis: RomeRome GoldSemper Fi
    SengokuThe Showdown EffectVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of Darkness
    Rome: Vae VictisWarlock: Master of the ArcaneWar of the RosesEU Rome Collectors EditionEU3 Collectors Edition
    500k clubEuropa Universalis IV: Pre-orderEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Hellsinki,Finland
    Posts
    22,741
    Crotia? Slavic tribe? Now that is low.

  19. #19
    In case it wasn't obvious, Azzo hits the bottom, then finds a way to dig deeper. (That said, Croats are Catholic Slavs, and thus, all right in Azzo's book.)

    Though I will add his 'Croatia' scheme is doomed to failure, as will be explained in a later update.
    Last edited by Space Oddity; 11-02-2011 at 22:13.

  20. #20
    Patron Saint of Suenik Iain Wilson's Avatar
    Deus VultFor The GloryRome Gold

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Posts
    2,364
    Blog Entries
    3
    Nice update and an even nicer ending! You've almost got to feel sorry for the poor pit dweller!

    As an aside, your updates are a good length. Long enough to enjoy over a cup of coffee but not too long as to lose your readers.
    ~~ My Current AARs ~~
    The Sleeper - an EU3 Narrative
    These Oranjes Are Not For Eating - Fun and Games in the Orange Free State
    Favourite Comedy Victoria AAR: Q1 10 Q2 10 Q3 10 Q4 10 Q1 11 Best Character Writer: 28th Feb 10; 5th Jul 10 WritAAR of the Week: 6th Mar 10
    For AARs past and present please visit my Ink Well


+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts