+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 75

Thread: The Lion and the Lily

  1. #21
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
    Arsenal of DemocracyDeus VultHearts of Iron IIISemper FiSword of the Stars

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Londonshire
    Posts
    4,710
    A too-early Poitiers? If it's earlier it might be drier, does that mean it will be dry enough for the younger Edward to indulge his pyromaniac side on the city of Tours?

    And can I second the hope that their will be news from Scotland, once you finish with Poitiers of course.
    The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR - The finest and most spectacularly slower-than-real-time British AAR on the board. Updated 11th February 2014 featuring Soviet prop shafts, begging Italian admirals and spicy Royal Netherlands Navy indecision.

    Inevitable Defeat - Slovakia '44 - The award winning characters Tiso and Tuka attempt to save Slovakia from defeat and destruction. It probably wont end well. It definitely did win an AARland Choice Comedy Award. Updated 16th September 2013. Voting is still technically ongoing in the 'Which Malar' mystery, but it has been for quite some time.

    Furious Vengeance - A 1944 UK AAR - My actual best work - Winner of the 2009 Iron HeAARt Award

    The other works

  2. #22
    Grumble grumble Lionel grumble.

    I don't know if I caught screenshots of the Cumberland campaign, as clicking "Go to" closes the battle windows, so I'll have to dig through the ledger to see precisely what happened.

    I can, however, say that Edward doesn't burn Tours, at least in 1356. 1356 is spent in the south, racing the Aragonese.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  3. #23
    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
    This is very different from your HOI AARs, but the quality is still outstanding.
    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. #24
    An Unsuited King


    The keep of Conisbrough Castle was a towering, drum-shaped edifice, ringed round by a much lower curtain wall. Its position atop the highest hill in the area meant that Conisbrough stood out like a fang from the south Yorkshire countryside, and Lionel had every opportunity to survey it as the army wound along the road that spiraled in around the hill. The presence of the royal banner, differenced by a label of five points, each marked by St. George's cross, passed as his greeting to the gatekeepers. After all, it was not as if they were unannounced. Conisbrough's most important resident knew to expect him.

    Edward Balliol, twice, albeit briefly, King of the Scots, and son of onetime king John Balliol, was expecting the prince. He greeted Lionel from horseback, draped in a red robe trimmed in ermine and wearing a simple gold circlet. It was obvious that the circlet had once been more complicated; the edges of the onetime crown were bright where pieces had been struck away. Balliol had evidently taken time to groom his beard, but not enough - it stuck out in salt-and-pepper bristles, and Lionel saw why the usual cameos of the onetime king depicted him clean-shaven. He ran a hand over his own chin, his facial hair fine and still damnably wispy despite not having shaved since London.

    The two royals stood in the castle gate at an impasse, then Edward spoke. "You may approach us, my lord of Mide." Next to Lionel, Simon de Segrave gave a short, barely concealed bark, halfway between laugh and snort. Before Lionel could speak, Segrave called back over his shoulder to the assembled army. "You hear that, lads? Welcome to the kingdom of Scotland!" Edward turned beet-red, doing his best to maintain his precarious dignity as his horse cantled sideways. Segrave's voice as ever filled every corner of the space he occupied, and Lionel forced himself not to look back over his shoulder at the older man. "We have no time for this," he muttered, slinging his leg over and dismounting.

    "What forces have you mustered, your majesty?" he asked as he approached Edward, who looked confused. "Ah, that is, we have..." Lionel frowned. "I was told that you would raise such Scots as were loyal to your house."

    "He has," guffawed Segrave. "That's the horse, my lord."

    Lionel realized, almost too late, that Segrave was essentially correct. Edward Balliol was a spent force, and had been no Edward Plantagenet to begin. Even Balliol seemed to deflate on Segrave's comment. "Never mind," Lionel added, quickly stepping forward. "Constable, see that the army is camped, I will speak with his majesty," he called back at Segrave before leading Balliol's horse by hand back into the castle.

    Around Conisbrough, the army went into camp, and in the castle, the prince racked his brains to think of how to proceed. Even the reivers had failed to come to Balliol's banner when promised the wealth of Scotland. Of course, after almost a hundred years of sporadic war, the "wealth" of Scotland was mostly safely behind castle walls now, and mostly English castles at that. He paid little attention to the sumptuous entertainment that Edward Balliol had laid on, the pantomimes and plays - a none-too-subtle story of a usurping Scots king named Macbeth, replaced by the rightful claimant backed by the King of England being the most notable. He ate, true, and ate ravenously, for he was young and active and unlikely to bloat like his ancestor the Conqueror, but unlike Edward Balliol, he drank little. The children of Edward III had been raised from birth not merely to reign, but to rule, and he feared the effects that the amount of wine that Balliol imbibed would have on him.

    When the evening's entertainments ended, Lionel retired early, too depressed by the court of "King Edward" to stay and give a speech as might be expected. He might insult Edward by doing so; he no longer cared. Looking out from the keep, he frowned, trying desperately to imagine what might be done to salvage something from this waste of days while the Scots circled around Carlisle. The circling fires of the army were some comfort - surely if such a force of Englishmen could come north, just as in 1346, they could turn back any number of Scots?

    At dawn the next day, when Balliol finally woke, he found Lionel seated on the dais in the great hall. "What is the meaning of this?" he spluttered.

    "Edward de Balliol... I have weighed your claim to be king of Scotland and found it wanting," Lionel declared. His father could get away with speaking like that; from a barely-bearded boy, it sounded pompous, but he continued doggedly. "I offer you the chance to yield your claim to the rightful king, my father Edward, and to accept your place in his peerage. In exchange, you will continue to live in the style to which you are accustomed."

    "But - but - I am king! King of the Scots!"

    "You are king of a whorehouse!" Lionel yelled, voice almost breaking as he lurched from his seat. "You, sir, are king of a realm stretching from one thigh to the other of whatever harlot accepts the coin given you by your rightful king! You have neither heirs nor lands, and even were you to produce them as if by the artifice of Merlin himself, even then, a duke Anglois is worth ten kings Scots!" History would record the moment, but even so, he knew that the speech would have sounded better from de Segrave, his own voice too near breaking to contemplate. "You will deed out to the clerks that you recognize my father as the true lord paramount of Scotland, the rightful king thereof, and that you offer your fealty to him," he ground out, the Plantagenet temper flaring his nostrils.

    Edward Balliol, at the very end of his career, was a thoroughly broken man, whimpering and retreating before the prince. The man who had once fled his own throne without even the shirt on his back, merely his breeches, yielded even the claim to that crown to a boy barely old enough to have been knighted. Lionel was astounded that it had worked without calling on his armies. He had not slept, had been desperate since conceiving of this idea - to abandon the polite fiction of calling one Edward rightful king in favor of another Edward. Who knew? He might even wind up Lord Lieutenant not of Ireland as hoped, but of Scotland. Scotland was certainly more welcoming than Ireland.

    Edward Balliol joined the army with what few retainers he had, one more landless knight hoping for fortune, his bloodline more illustrious perhaps, but no more fortunate than many others. The army lingered at Conisbrough for two days, long enough to receive word that the new army being raised in the west would be ready for a summer campaign - but between now and then, Lionel was on his own.

    What he did on his own was to strike David of Scotland outside of Carlisle. There were ten thousand Scots blocking the reach between the Eden and the Caldew, quartered in the old town that had grown beneath the castle. When David heard that Lionel's army was approaching, he took the sensible course: he abandoned the siege and fired the town, knowing that if he defeated Lionel in the field, he could return to Carlisle Castle at will, and in his absence, the border families would do most of his work for him, robbing, raping, and reaving as they could.

    The two armies met outside of Carleton, one of half a dozen villages scattered around the town. A valley separated them, more or less an accident of timing rather than a deliberate decision by Lionel. The valley was running at the time, the water frigid and ankle-deep. The Scots drew up on the north side in three sheltrons, large formations of mixed spears and close weapons, each numbering about two thousand jeering, yelling Scots. Most of the foot was drawn from the highland clans, while the lowlanders supplied most of the horse. Only their leadership, and their hatred of England, truly unified them. Just as at Neville's Cross, King David himself led the Scots horse.

    The English foot were drawn up in two lines, the first a thin ribbon of archers, numbering no more than a thousand of the total seven thousand Englishmen on the field. The second, much thicker line was made of four thousand men-at-arms, much more heavily armored than their opponents. Where the average Highlander carried a small shield strapped to his left forearm, either a great cleaving sword or a spear, and at most a padded or leather jerkin, the English foot fought behind heavy-bladed poleaxes, arming-swords, and heavy shields, and wore mail or, when their lords were wealthy enough, plated mail. Gaps in the men-at-arms made it possible for the archers to withdraw through them. Behind both lines of infantry came the English horse, deliberately held on the southeast side of the hill. Simon de Segrave had advised this: "Better to keep the horse out of sight of the Scots bastards, or they'll charge off like they're going to ride into Edinburgh from here," he had boomed out the night before.

    Segrave, Lionel, and Archbishop Oliver stood atop the hill, astride their horses, with Lionel's royal banner fluttering overhead. Next to it was another banner, new-made for this march and dwarfing the royal standard, a red lion rampant on a gold field, with a hammer suspended head-down over the lion's head. They sat there, and sat there, and increasingly, Lionel fumed. "Why won't they attack?" he demanded.

    "Because they're Scots, my lord, not fools. There is a difference," Segrave grunted.

    Hoping for a repeat of Neville's Cross, Lionel sent forward the archers, trying to draw forward the Scots. As soon as the sheltrons began to advance, their clan chiefs, more from memory and dread than tactical sense, pulled them back into seething, angry lines. This stalemate continued for the entire first day, and the armies settled into their lines for the night, the English ever watchful for fear that the Scots might sneak forward and massacre the archers.

    Lionel, in his tent, paced furiously. "It is no good, Simon. We must do something." Segrave shrugged. "They're Scots. Give them time, they get angry, they attack. It is what they do." He spoke patiently, tapping his gauntleted finger against his knee with each word. Lionel shook his head, glancing at where the archbishop-cardinal continued to read by the flickering light of a glass-paned lamp, a ridiculous extravagance for most men, but for a man who amounted to England's chief clerk, an absolute necessity. "My lord of Canterbury, do your Latins have no advice for this situation?"

    Tuchet straightened, shifting to face the prince and frowning in concentration before answering. "When Hannibal confronted the Romans outside Cannae, he feigned a retreat with part of his army, then used his wings to crush Rome. We are told, by no less an authority than the pagan Livius, that this was the greatest victory of the classical age." Lionel's eyes lit up, and he snatched at a camp table, arranging objects so that Segrave could see. "What I wish you to do, lord constable, is take the foot... I will leave the hammer standard here... and pull back to the crest, then a little farther. I will take the horse... tonight... around the abbey at Wetheral, and will, when I receive a rider telling me that the Scots have moved, I will strike them from behind. When you see me, stop the archers and send in the men-at-arms." Segrave frowned; it seemed a complicated plan for what should be a simple straightforward brawl. Nevertheless, he was conditioned to obey the lion's brood. "Yes, my lord," he finally rumbled.

    The English cavalry pulled out as quietly as they could, their lead chains and hooves muffled as they withdrew from the battlefield. They moved in a long, silenced column down the path to Wetheral Priory, Lionel at their head, dozing in his saddle. Over them loomed trees dating back farther than the Romans, concealing their movement from the Scots and leaving the Englishmen thoroughly unnerved. At dawn, Segrave did as he was ordered, the royal banner prominently absent, and a cheer roared through the Scots line. The great war drums began to sound, pushing the Scots onward, and the pipes began to skirl. It was precisely why Lionel had insisted on a rider: only a fool tried to use a trumpet when confronted with Scots. At Wetheral, the horsemen heard it begin, and circled between David and the castle at Carlisle.

    On the hill northwest of Carleton, the archers, with the rising sun at their backs, began their day's deadly work from the ridgeline. The plan offered no opportunity to plant their sheaves of arrows before the fighting broke out; instead, they drew from their arrow bags. The Scots advanced down into the freezing stream, as heedless of the cold water as they had been at Bannockburn. The archers stood fast, bending and loosing in volleys every dozen heartbeats. They had started a half-mile apart, though the archers had only begun to loose at a quarter-mile, when the Scots began to cross the stream.

    The archery barrage would never have worked against the French; even against Scots, the arrows were mostly spent by the time they began to rain down. They acted more like a bullfighter's barbs than as an actual threat, goading the Scots onward. The injured were more incensed than harmed, and the pipes and drums were joined by a deep, primal baying from the creekbed as the Scots began their uphill charge. The ground shook with their noise. "Here they come, lads," Segrave growled out, his voice lower than the Scots' roar. "Hold 'em. Hold 'em! HOLD 'EM!"

    The archers kept up their murderous fire as long as humanly possible, their arcs flattening from a high, plunging parabola in the creek to a deadly-flat trajectory that could punch through plate if it struck plumb. The valley was shallow enough that the Scots could come charging up the hill, unlike some parts of Neville's Cross, where they fouled in bad ground. When the archers were able to pick out individual teeth, their collective line just melted - but by then, the sheltrons had disintegrated into a wild, snarling, charging mass of men and steel that collided with the English line with a ground-shaking, bone-jarring thunder. King David and the Scots horse lowered their collective visors and began to walk forward, anticipating a killing charge.

    They got their wish.

    As soon as the Scots horse had begun to proceed into the valley, Lionel's conroy struck them in the left flank. The line of horse was actually out of place; Lionel had hoped to hammer the Scots from behind. They slammed into the Scots conroy first, obliquely; King David, on the Scots right, was fortunately sheltered from a second ignominious capture. By the time they reached the sheltrons, they were no longer in perfect knee-to-knee killing formation, the valley having diffused them into a broad fan and their own center and right entangled in a brawling, swirling melee with the Scots horse. It did not matter; it only took one sudden check to throw the Scots first into confusion, then utter rout.

    Individual heroes became collective corpses, and when one red-bearded giant in leather, targe, and cleaver roared out his challenge over a knee-high stack of English men-at-arms, the English sent forward their answer: Simon de Segrave, one of the few men who could fight in plate for hours on foot without tiring. His plate was dented, and his shield scored, from other encounters. "OUR NED AND SAINT GEORGE!" he roared, bounding forward, taking the Highlander's sword across his shield and turning it to the side. His own sword missed, but his momentum carried him forward into the red-bearded giant, who stumbled back a step and grunted before bringing his sword down in a great overhand arc.

    The disadvantage of the great cleaving sword was that it required space, and its blows were signaled ahead of time. Segrave's sword was no shorter, but he was trained to use the point as well as the edge. He stepped forward, the point thrusting into the Scot's thigh and sending him lurching to the side. The shield punched forward as he pulled the sword back, slamming into the Scot's face and dazing him. The enraged giant pulled the cleaver back and up, bringing it down hilt-first, battering at the shield. Segrave hid behind it as it took blow after blow, splintering and then shattering to leave him bare-armed. Instead of striking around or over it, he thrust downward, the blade of his sword gouging and stabbing into the Scot's legs until he threw away the shield. Segrave snarled at the Scot as he finally staggered, some vital tendon cut. "Die, you goddamn ginger bastard!" After tense minutes almost body-to-body grappling with each other, he finally drove the point of the sword into the tough, plaid-swaddled abdomen of the Scots giant, a shower of red and brown following his sword as he twisted it free.

    The giant mewled like a kitten, paling rapidly and dropping the cleaver as he toppled completely. A loop of intestine pressed outward from his abdominal wall, slashed and leaking its half-digested contents, the smell foul even over the charnel-house smell of the battlefield. Segrave knelt, drawing his dagger and looking the Scot in the eye as he slit his throat, gently easing his head down to the ground. "You poor, brave, stupid Scot," he murmured, taking the battered, notch-edged cleaver when he stood, suddenly weary. He looked around, seeing Lionel's royal banner at the center of the field, and a man-at-arms approaching the prince with a trampled, muddy gold and red banner, the lion coated in gritty battlefield soil and spattered with blood.

    King David rolled some of the army to the southwest and away, desperately disengaging and fleeing northward, and for the second time in King Edward's reign, an English army followed into the Lowlands.



    With fire and sword the country round
    Was wasted far and wide,
    And many a childing mother then,
    And new-born baby died;
    But things like that, you know, must be
    At every famous victory.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  5. #25
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor The GloryHeir to the Throne
    Rome GoldVictoria 2Rome: Vae VictisCK2: Holy Knight500k club
    Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,251
    That was magnificently written. The description of the battle is worthy of a published novel. You have a great talent, and this is a great story.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
    Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
    The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
    The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!

    Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010

  6. #26
    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
    I particularly enjoyed Lionel in Conisborough Castle.

    The English force going north seems a bit less of a rabble than that going to France. Is this true, or are they just looking good in comparison to the Scots?
    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

  7. #27
    Time to put Scotland to the sword?

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    That was magnificently written. The description of the battle is worthy of a published novel. You have a great talent, and this is a great story.
    Thank you. The game kind of bogs down later on, because the only weakness the empire has is its economy, but that's a consequence of playing EU3 like a medieval warlord rather than a merchant-prince.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    I particularly enjoyed Lionel in Conisborough Castle.

    The English force going north seems a bit less of a rabble than that going to France. Is this true, or are they just looking good in comparison to the Scots?
    It's true, after a fashion. Lionel had several weeks where his troops were not on ships, and Edward essentially struck from ship to Cognac to relieve the siege, in order to ensure the French wouldn't have time to prepare. There is precedent for this (Blanchetaque and Caen, although at Caen, nobody really gave the order), but the effect is that the battle of Cognac was thoroughly disorganized, with the Dauphin dying simply because he wasn't wearing anything that marked him as a valuable prisoner, where the battle of Wetheral Priory (going off the Agincourt example, using the name of the nearest fortified location) is much more the typical set-piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    Time to put Scotland to the sword?
    Nothing QUITE that drastic, because the focus has to be France, but I will say that after Robert Stewart's public insult of Edward III, there will be some succession problems on the death of David II.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  9. #29
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine Wind
    Hearts of Iron IIIHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Europa Universalis: RomeVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedRome: Vae Victis

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    2,362
    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    Is this true, or are they just looking good in comparison to the Scots?
    Everyone and everything looks good in comparison with we Scots!

    A very good update, the description of the battle itself was particularly impressive, although I am not surprised at the result it is still a pity that Scotland lost. I can only imagine complete defeat for Scotland now and a future in which England slowly gobbles her up. ah well, that is what happens when you act with such cheek when addressing the King of England!
    This AAR Soks
    WritAAR of the Week: 8 January 2012 and Weekly AAR Showcase: 15 April 2012

    Are you Deshtined to suffer another kiss?
    Favourite EU Comedy AAR AARland Choice AwAARds 2010 (Q3) and 2011 (Q3)
    Character Writer of the Week: 5 December 2010


    My Inkwell - Warning! This content is rated EP: Extremely Poor
    Fan of the Week: 7 September 2010, 27 February 2011 and 26 April 2012

  10. #30
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    I can only imagine complete defeat for Scotland now and a future in which England slowly gobbles her up. ah well, that is what happens when you act with such cheek when addressing the King of England!
    A better approach would have been to send a nice list showing how much it would cost to garrison Scotland vs how much tax England would collect there. The costs of military occupation generally shocked English monarchs.
    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

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    A better approach would have been to send a nice list showing how much it would cost to garrison Scotland vs how much tax England would collect there. The costs of military occupation generally shocked English monarchs.
    In-game, still true in the 1600s even after building a trade center in Edinburgh. Build in hidden costs like the cost of courthouses to drive down revolt risk, and Scotland and Ireland are more expensive than many of the Empire's other possessions... like Mecca.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  12. #32
    The Road to Limotges


    Where King Edward's army went, desolation followed. Tenants who had not faithfully paid their tithes to London, and not Paris, were evicted, their farms burnt, and their crops and herds either put to the torch or added to the army's stores, so that within a week of their landing, the average archer could boast if not his own, then at least a shared mule or pack horse. The army moved like the Biblical plague of locusts, spreading a bow wave of smoke and desolation. Prince Edward supervised the destruction, sitting in judgment wherever a tenant claimed to have been a faithful subject. His younger brother, John, accompanied him, getting his first proper taste of the war.

    John stopped Edward one day, puzzled about the change in the Prince of Wales since arriving in France. It was not that Edward had gone from brooding and surly to his onetime radiance as the jewel of European chivalry; it was simply that his mood had improved so that now he would occasionally smile and acknowledge one of his old veterans. They were mounted on a rutted lane, idly watching a handful of men-at-arms jerking some poor Angevin farmer upward by a rope slung from the bole of a tree that might have seen Charlemagne. Up the lane, the first faint wisps of smoke showed that the thatch on the low stone farmhouse that likely dated back just as far had begun to catch.

    Edward watched without truly seeing as he contemplated John's question. "It is the war," he finally said, hand running over his beard. Since being on campaign, it had not been trimmed properly. While that had only been a few weeks, it made the prince look slightly piratical. "At first, you think it is like all the stories. One more chanson de geste, only instead of Roland, it's you. I will be honest, at Crecy, at first, I thought that I'd hear Oliphaunt sounding and we would all stand gloriously against the French horde. That wasn't it at all." Edward's horse cantled two steps, and he coughed, a deep, racking cough that he followed by spitting a large gob of greenish-yellow phlegm into the grass on the side of the road. His hands rested on the pommel of his saddle as he looked back at John.

    "It's not like a tournament. It is like... like everything that the Church fathers have forbidden is made wholesome. I should not be surprised to find that it is very much like a possession, a lunacy of sorts. You grow to crave it. I had not felt that... in months, years. The plague, the truce, not meeting King Jean in battle last year." He smiled crookedly. "Then, finally, at Cognac..." Edward paused again. "You've trained your entire life, just like I, for that moment where you spur to the gallop and couch your lance. Only on a battlefield, it's not like tourney. If the blow lands on your shield and glances, so much the better, but you want your man to go down and stay down. At least," Edward added with a surprisingly airy laugh, "until it is time to calculate ransoms. But in that moment, you want to kill, and if you tell the priests after, you will be absolved. That's the magic of war, John - everything that was foul is made fair, and you grow to crave it. Come, we have work to do."

    As Edward began to ride away, John barely looked where he was going, letting the horse do its job. He had seen some of that on the Rade, but for his brother, the Garter champion, to have said all this... it was like the world had shifted slightly on its axis. He wondered if it was all true, or if his brother was well and truly mad. Only a proper battle with the French would tell him. He smiled in eager anticipation, not knowing that Edward, too, was looking ahead to that, and dreading it.

    The world had, indeed, shifted on its axis, though not in the way that John thought. Two messengers, coming from opposite directions, caught up with King Edward at roughly the same time. The first was a ragged-looking man from Bordeu, bearing a message under the seal of Cardinal-Archbishop Oliver of Canterbury, and Edward paid the man a noble for his time before thanking him and sending him to rest and eat. The messenger had expected to have to read the message; he was unused to fully literate nobles, and when Edward glanced at him meaningfully, it took him a moment to realize what it meant.

    The king, recently tired and concerned over the army's progress, laughed aloud when he read the message, and called out for the princes. When Edward and John arrived, puzzled at the late summons, Edward gestured for them to sit, and, smiling broadly, showed them the parchment. "Our cousin of Burgundy has chosen to ally with us. France cannot count on his assistance!"

    Prince Edward looked blank. "Surely that isn't all, sire. It hardly affects matters here, does it?" The king guffawed, smiling slyly at his eldest son. "Not at all. By the time I was your age, your grace of Cornwall and Wales, you were seven years old, don't you think it high time you married? I have received the most extraordinary news. Charles of Navarre is looking for a husband for his sister." Prince Edward stretched, raising an eyebrow. "Which one? The young one? The nun?" He struggled to remember their names, but he made no secret that the court of Charles of Navarre made his skin crawl.

    "Blanche." It was like a thunderbolt, that one word. Six years prior, Blanche of Navarre had been the most beautiful princess in Christendom, so beautiful that Philippe of France had broken her engagement to his son Jean - now the king - to marry her himself. The marriage had scarce outlasted the wedding; it was said that Philippe had rutted himself into an early grave, and all he had gotten for it was a daughter that he never saw. She had famously spurned Pedro of Castille, saying "The queens of France do not remarry," only a few years prior. What hold, Prince Edward wondered, could that venomous spider Charles, already called "the Bad" in his own lifetime, have on his sister that he could push her back into the wedding chapel?

    The prince straightened slowly. "I... cannot." He avoided the king's eyes for a moment, before looking up, strangely tongue-tied and pleading. King Edward stepped forward, hand resting on the prince's shoulder. "Joan?" he asked softly. Prince and king once more locked eyes before the prince nodded dumbly. "It is like Lancelot and Guinevere," he pleaded. The king once more turned away, sighing, shoulders slumping. "You will marry Blanche of Navarre," he finally said slowly. "If it happens that my lord of Kent spends much of his time away from his wife... I will look away." He paused, as if trying to rationalize this tacit approval of adultery between his son and one of his most faithful retainers. "And Tom Holland is getting old... older than me, certainly, he probably won't last long now. If Bathsheba was good enough for David, certainly Joan..." He fell silent for a moment, then turned, his face transformed once more. "And you, John. In earnest of this alliance, Philippe of Burgundy asks that you take his cousin Margaret." John goggled, Adam's apple working furiously. "But she can't be a day over five years old!"

    "She'll grow, boy," Edward growled. "Why do you two have to be so damned difficult? At least Lionel had the sense God gave a goat in rut, and look, he's already given me a granddaughter, God willing there will be more! He even gave me a victory, Canterbury says, bludgeoned the Scots outside Carlisle and is chasing them back to Edinburgh!" The king's voice had begun to rise, and Prince Edward raised his hand, palm out in surrender. "I will marry Blanche," he said, voice soothing, trying to calm his father. "She is still a great beauty, I hear, and it certainly cannot hurt our claim on France to be married to the dowager queen." The king blinked at the unexpected surrender, then muttered something that might have been approval and might have been apology. The conversation turned from marriage to the planned battle against France.

    Ahead of the army, Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster - one of three dukes in England's peerage and the only one not son of Edward III - rode with a sizeable cavalry screen, seeking the ideal place to give battle to the King of France. Jean had been goaded beyond reason by the death of his son and heir, and the news that Blanche of Navarre had been stolen from him first by his own father, then by the son of Edward of England, would doubtless drive him mad, and he would likely accept battle on Edward's terms. Both Edwards agreed with the advice of Grosmont, William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton, and Simon de Waterton, that now was no time to fight fair, that every advantage that could be clawed from the battlefield should be. Grosmont's hobelars - light cavalry raised from the rougher fringes of England, along the Scots border and Wales mainly - therefore sought the ideal killing ground. Riders came back daily with their reports.

    In the meantime, the second messenger reached Edward on the road. This man bore the beehive and keys heraldry of His Holiness. The herald was instantly ushered into the royal presence, and Edward received him courteously enough, awaiting his message, brought on parchment sealed with the Papal bulla. He unfurled it, clearing his throat and beginning to read in a high, clear voice. Edward wondered if, perhaps, the Pope had taken to using castrati as messengers.

    To Edward, King of England, Lord of Ireland, et cetera, et cetera, from His Holiness, Innocent, servant of the servants of God, greetings.

    With great sorrow we witness strife between Christians of the realms of France and England, that kings who should be brothers in Christ instead war against each other. We ask that you lay down your arms and greet each other with the kiss of peace, and that the brother kings submit to the judgment of the Church for the arbitration of the rightness of their claims. We ask first that you, Edwardus Angliae, as the elder and wiser, lay down your arms and seek peace with your brother Ioannes Franciae. We await your response with great eagerness, and greet you once more as our brother in Christ.

    INNOCENTIUS PP VI
    Edward sat unmoving for a long moment before replying. "Tell His Holiness that as ever we serve God in all things, but that the matter between Jean de Valoys and myself is not so severe that it should trouble him in Avignon. I shall refer the matter by ancient law to trial by battle. If His Holiness wishes to intervene in this trial, I shall regret it, but in all faith I am certain of the justice of God and my rights."

    Now, in addition to Scotland and the vassals of Jean de Valoys, England was at war with God's representative on Earth. Riders came in from the English-held fortress at Limotges: Jean had struck there, but had lifted the siege as soon as word had come from Cognac, and was driving west. On the fifth day of April, 1356, word came back from the Duke of Lancaster. Skirmishing had begun on the Limotges road.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  13. #33
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor The GloryHeir to the Throne
    Rome GoldVictoria 2Rome: Vae VictisCK2: Holy Knight500k club
    Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,251
    This was brilliantly written. The character of the old King, his sons and even the representatives are all well conveyed. The descriptions are good, especially showing the real side of war in all its ghastly horror.

    Congratulations, this is epically good.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
    Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
    The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
    The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!

    Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010

  14. #34
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis 3Divine Wind
    Hearts of Iron IIIHeir to the ThroneEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Europa Universalis: RomeVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedRome: Vae Victis

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Posts
    2,362
    Very interesting stuff. This proposed union between Edward and Blanche likely will indeed move Jean to madness, I wonder if that has played any part in the reasoning behind the marriage, beyond diplomatic ties and so forth. The threat of excommunication is also a worry, I doubt it will give King Edward any real pause though. I rather think France will fall soon, the constant harrying of her lands and now with Burgundy also joining the war against her, it does not look good for her.
    This AAR Soks
    WritAAR of the Week: 8 January 2012 and Weekly AAR Showcase: 15 April 2012

    Are you Deshtined to suffer another kiss?
    Favourite EU Comedy AAR AARland Choice AwAARds 2010 (Q3) and 2011 (Q3)
    Character Writer of the Week: 5 December 2010


    My Inkwell - Warning! This content is rated EP: Extremely Poor
    Fan of the Week: 7 September 2010, 27 February 2011 and 26 April 2012

  15. #35
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultDiplomacyEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesGalactic Assault
    Victoria: RevolutionsVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedRome: Vae VictisEU3 Collectors Edition

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Tangled up in blue
    Posts
    2,585
    Blog Entries
    1
    An excellent narrative. I have enjoyed your development of Edward's sons, it will be interesting to see how it changes when they finally face some adversity.

    Two Roland references, love it. Did Gascons really view themselves as enemies to the Caroloingians still in the 14th century? I would think that the Chanson de Roland would have diluted the political identity of Roland by this point to the result that Roland was a symbol of Christian resistance rather than Frankish dominance. Though I know next to nothing about Gascony in this period.
    LibrAARian of the EU1 LibrAARy and the EU1 LibrAARy updates
    "Et pour ce devez amer, prisier, loer et honorer touz ceux a qui Dieu donne grace d'eulx trouver en pluseurs bonnes journees d'armes pour la guerre..."

    Member; Ahistoric Association
    "The Footsteps of Illustrious Men"-USA; Victoria (AARland Choice Award X3)
    The Ink Well: Advertise your AAR's Use it, Love it
    --- I've been Glorified! and Canonized!

  16. #36
    Ashantai - Thank you, though fair warning, if this goes on as long as Siegerkranz, it'll likely become hackneyed sooner or later.

    morningSIDer - Yes, at least on Charles the Bad's side. More I learn about that guy, less I feel bad about the eventual fate of Navarre. On the plus side, the Edward-Blanche marriage gives me an excuse for Jean de Grailly.

    Estonianzulu - Gascon regional identity was strong enough as late as Alexandre Dumas for it to be a punchline in "Three Musketeers," though that was set in the Richelieu era. At this point, it's not so much that Edward views himself as a Gascon prince (though the near future will see the Gascons join the Welsh as what Wellington would describe as "the scum of the earth"), but that Roland is much better for the chivalric ideal of battle than most of Arthur (which won't stop me from using a younger, still idealistic Edward of Woodstock as an Arthurian tie-in in a game I'm running...).

    At least in the case of the Prince of Wales, what happens when he faces adversity is pretty much established at this point. He entered the Crecy-Calais campaign as an idealistic young man with starry eyes. By this point, ten years later, he's seen and done things that pretty much put kill that idea.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  17. #37
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIDeus VultDiplomacyEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesGalactic Assault
    Victoria: RevolutionsVictoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedRome: Vae VictisEU3 Collectors Edition

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Tangled up in blue
    Posts
    2,585
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    - Gascon regional identity was strong enough as late as Alexandre Dumas for it to be a punchline in "Three Musketeers," though that was set in the Richelieu era.
    Well, I know that regional identity still existed, I was just unaware of the perception of Roland. You managed to hit on two very interesting topics to me, political identity in medieval Europe and the Song of Roland.



    At least in the case of the Prince of Wales, what happens when he faces adversity is pretty much established at this point. He entered the Crecy-Calais campaign as an idealistic young man with starry eyes. By this point, ten years later, he's seen and done things that pretty much put kill that idea.
    Sure, but its one thing to know the horrors of war when you are the one inflicting them, its an entirely different one when you are on the receiving end. Thus far the campaign, especially for the younger sons, has been one of unrivaled success.
    LibrAARian of the EU1 LibrAARy and the EU1 LibrAARy updates
    "Et pour ce devez amer, prisier, loer et honorer touz ceux a qui Dieu donne grace d'eulx trouver en pluseurs bonnes journees d'armes pour la guerre..."

    Member; Ahistoric Association
    "The Footsteps of Illustrious Men"-USA; Victoria (AARland Choice Award X3)
    The Ink Well: Advertise your AAR's Use it, Love it
    --- I've been Glorified! and Canonized!

  18. #38
    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
    everything that was foul is made fair, and you grow to crave it
    This is an excellent line. It brilliantly evokes the image of a man struggling with desires he knows to be wrong.
    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

  19. #39
    Personal experience; I make no great secret (and it drives my wife crazy) that, were I in condition to go back to the war, I would.

    AAR is on hold for at least a week, for two reasons:

    1 - The introduction to the Battle of La Roche-Chouard winds up being a talky discussion of geology and genealogy every time I start on it.
    2 - I'm moving from Texas to Virginia between now and then.
    HoI2 AARs: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Siegerkranz - Germany's Place in the Sun - The Prophet Unleashed
    EU3 AARs: The Lion and the Lily
    Awards:
    Third Recipient of KaiserMuffin's Cookie for Services to Syndicalism
    Showcased AAR for Week of 9 April 2010
    Character Writer of the Week, 27 May 2010, 17 April 2011, 19 December 2011
    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  20. #40
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEU3 CompleteDivine WindFor The GloryHeir to the Throne
    Rome GoldVictoria 2Rome: Vae VictisCK2: Holy Knight500k club
    Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,251
    No problems. Take care, good luck and we hope to see you again soon!
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
    Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
    The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
    The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!

    Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 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