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Thread: The Grey Eminence - A Narrative/History AAR 1399-1821

  1. #81
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Range: Thanks!
    Sather: Congrats. Yes, I meant half not double. I'll fix. Glad you liked it otherwise!
    morningSIDEr: I think Benjamin's a lot more experienced than his son in many ways. Good to be prepared.
    Dewirix: Nah. Her Ladyship has a thousand times his cash on hand. He'll need more than that. Besides, he's just going for a meeting. What could go wrong?
    Loki: Glad you liked it! Loving your Ming AAR, as I've said.

    And now...the first twist in this tale of the history!

    Chapter 6a – The Burgundian King

    Summarised from Chapter 2 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.





    Victory over France twice had bolstered the King’s reputation to almost unprecedented levels. However, the stress of campaigning and a minor wound he had sustained led to Edward’s health worsening. Over the winter of 1424-5 the King grew more and more ill, and it was clear that he would not survive the new year.

    The King’s son Charles, who had avoided his future realm for almost five years was recalled from Burgundy. Friction with his father persisted though, leading to the designation of Calais as the staple port, the key trading and command post on the continent. This led to an open rift between father and son, and for the last few months of his life the King could barely stand to hear his son’s name mentioned. The fact that his son had rejected an English bride in favour of a Burgundian also did not help.



    Into this time of uncertainly came Richard de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Richard was a man of considerable cunning and intelligence. Faced with an ailing monarch and an unpopular heir he started to manoeuvre himself and his family into a greater position. The fact was that his son was the most direct heir to the throne remaining, Richard having married Edmund of Langley’s daughter Constance. Their son, ironically called Charles, was thus the cousin of the heir, and the one with the best standing.

    In November 1425 King Edward finally died after a long illness. In just over twenty six years he had rescued English fortunes in France, achieved something of a consensus with parliament, and laid the foundations for future greatness. However, he is not well remembered simply because his son Charles was not as English, warlike or sensible as he.

    Charles I was crowned on December 1st 1425. With his accession the crown of Castille passed to him, and officially he gained control over more than half the Iberian Peninsula. This was, of course, a ludicrous situation, as the King in London could not control another kingdom as large in territory and people as his own. Therefore the King wisely delegated power to a cadet branch of the Trastámara family, allowing them to rule the Kingdom freely as long as they acknowledged the overlordship of the English. Incredibly this expedient worked, and Castille would be a loyal ally of England for nearly two centuries.


    As a man Charles I had less to recommend him. While intelligent and personally charming he made little effort to understand his subjects, and even less to work with parliament. He also showed no inclination to continue an aggressive foreign policy, and may indeed have shirked from the responsibility. He was however able to provide fiscal and cultural renewal, and even while he was a Prince he had been an enthusiastic patron of the arts.






    Despite these good points though his people never liked him, worse, they never respected him. Even when Richard de Vere spoke against him in Parliament he stayed his hand. Like his father he was a moderate when it came to enforcing religious uniformity. Although today this toleration would have been welcomed, in his day it was viewed with distrust and as a sign of weakness.

    Furthermore, his marriage to Marguerite of Cambray was childless and unhappy, as Charles was much more interested in a stable of mistresses. After just four years on the throne the King took ill and died on the 27th of June 1429. Rumours he was poisoned are generally deemed to be false, as is the suggestion the King died of venereal disease.

    Whatever the cause, the King’s death brought to power Richard de Vere’s son as King Charles II. The long and spectacular ascendancy of the de Veres had begun.



    (For the record I didn't force the death of Charles I. This all happened by itself.)
    (In case it's unclear I released Castille as an allied vassal. They helped me a LOT in the decades and centuries to come.)
    (EDIT: Having written this before 'Anonymous' came out, I was amused that it featured a de Vere. It was quite a coincidence!)
    Last edited by Ashantai; 08-11-2011 at 21:17.
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  2. #82
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    wonderfully neat sequence of events ... and gaining a large potentially usefull ally too
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  3. #83
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Logical move to turn Castille into a vassal. In terms of realism and even gameplay.

  4. #84
    Captain Sethanon's Avatar
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    So even Castille could have been under direct English rule, would you have wanted so. Thats a lucky coincidence. However the Spaniards make for an even more powerful ally probably. Excellent update.

  5. #85
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    An entirely sensible thing to do, releasing Castille as a vassal. Much good may it do you!

    I take it that the "bad soldier" effect is from your tweak mod?
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  6. #86
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Never going to have much luck as an English king called Charles I. Is mad king James a James II by any chance?

    Good decision to release Castile. Don't want things to be too easy just yet.
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  7. #87
    General Range's Avatar
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    Your AAR plays well as history...colorful and smooth report.
    Last edited by Range; 09-11-2011 at 22:51.
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  8. #88
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Range: Thanks! Glad you liked it!
    Dewirix: Sadly not, though as you'll see later, there's some issues when you transfer over to a new nation, so if you become Great Britain you inherit the HISTORICAL regnal numbers, so even if you've never had a James before he becomes James III. It's weird, and took me a while to figure out.
    Arakhor: Yes, Castille was too hard to control story and game-wise. As a vassal it gave me 10 tax a month as a vassal and big armies and navies in support. The good/bad ruler things are a big part of my mod.
    Rulers with 8/9 in a stat get the following bonuses:
    ADM - +10% tax, -10% stab cost
    DIP - +5 Infamy limits, +5 legitimacy
    MIL - +1% prestige, +1 shock and fire, +10% land force.
    Rulers with 3 in a stat get the following penalties:
    ADM - -20% tax, +10% stab cost
    DIP - -10 infamy limit, -5 legitimacy
    MIL - -2% prestige, -10% land force.
    Only applies to nations with more than 5 provinces.
    Sethanon: Yes, I could have. I guess this whole AAR is an exercise in restraint. It takes me 350 years to conquer France when I could have done it in 35!
    Sather: Absolutely. Since it wasn't connected by land I'd have had to somehow police all those provinces in the face of massed rebellions. Not really my thing.
    Loki: Thanks! And very true.

    Chapter 7 – A Darker Side

    12/1/1820


    Portsmouth was crowded, chaotic and smelly, like all big cities. It was also the greatest port in all the British Isles, and home to a vast flotilla of trading, naval and private craft. As one of the primary bases for the mighty British Fleet it was also thronged with sailors and crew from all over the Empire.
    John had arrived after eight hours of comparatively good travel in a coach to find that the Ryefield Inn initially had nowhere for him to stay. However, the liberal use of his father’s name and significant donation of a gold crown magically created a room for him. John had left his luggage there, but taken his weapon and money with him.

    It was late afternoon, and the cold winter sun was quickly setting. Figuring that a quick walk down to the docks would help him tomorrow, he set off. Soon he had passed through the affluent areas where the merchant traders and naval officers lived and into the rather more confusing maze of alleys down close to the shore.



    As he entered he realised that he looked very much apart from most of the people here. Peddlers, prostitutes, beggars and other unsavoury types were everywhere.
    “Hey there, your Lordship!” one particularly vile woman propositioned, and then spat when he ignored her.
    John decided that it would be a good idea to head back, but when he tried he found his way blocked by three large men.
    “Excuse me,” he said, and tried to step past.
    “You are excused. Come with us,” one said and grabbed his arm.
    John tried to pull himself away, but he was quickly hustled into a nearby alley. No one saw, or at least, no one who would intervene to help him.

    In the alley John found himself backed up faced by the three men, all of whom produced knives.
    “Now, sir, I think that you could get hurt out there. A small fee would be appreciated,” their leader said, his thick Irish accent telling.
    “And don’t try anything or we will gut you like a pig,” a second said. He was French.
    The last of them said nothing, but held out his hand.
    John was now faced with a problem. Thugs of this type generally preferred theft to murder, but were not adverse to the latter. He had his gun, but realised that it was not even loaded, and that they would cut him down if he tried to pull it out. His only hope was to pay up and prey they didn’t steal every penny he had.
    He did keep his head however, and made no rash statements or insults. These men looked like they were professional thieves who made a living off any unwary enough to stray into the haunts.
    “Very well,” John said. He reached into his coat where he had fortunately stashed a small sum.

    It was as he was drawing it out that the sound of a gun echoed in the narrow alley. The close confines magnified the sound to deafening proportions, and made the thugs jump.
    Turning side on to keep John in view they looked for who had fired. Out of the shadows stepped none other than Tempest, Lady Mendenhall’s black maid.
    Casually, and with no effort she used her thumb to pull back the hammer to rotate the cylinder. The shattered copper remains of the percussion cap from her previous shot fell to the ground.
    Her appearance unsettled the men. Here was a woman, and a black one at that, yet she carried the weapon like she was a veteran soldier. She aimed the gun at the three men.
    “You clear out, darkie,” the last of the thugs said, a local Englishman by his accent.
    “Leave,” Tempest stated.
    “There’s three of us,” the Irishman said uncertainly.
    “And soon there will be two of you. Would you like to play that lottery? I have five bullets left.”
    The Frenchman folded first. Giving John an angry look he strode out of his alley, followed by his two confederates.

    Tempest waited until they were gone and lowered the hammer on her gun so it was safe, and then put it away.
    “Mr Adams, I believe this is not a good place for you.”
    John was far too confused to make any protest. “Thank you. How did you…how did you know I was here?”
    “Her Ladyship sent me to ensure you had arrived. I followed your progress down here. Her Ladyship thinks of everything.”
    “Please thank her for me…I will see her tomorrow.”
    Tempest nodded. “You shall. Now I will escort back to your room. I would not want anything to happen to you,” she said.
    John could only obey, still slightly jarred by the image of the warrior maid. He had the sense though that things would only get more interesting on the morrow.

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  9. #89
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    So he has hos own bodyguard, which propably spies on him now? Nice.

  10. #90
    That situation of is yours with Castille (nice work btw!) is the very reason why I'm hesitant about marrying my heir to a weak-claimed Castille, might not neccessarily be the right time to inherit the throne, we shall see! Also the Burgundy (Golden Fleece ftw!) fanboy in me wanted to see the Casa de Bourgogne on the throne of England longer, ;P

  11. #91
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Well, well. Tempest is full of surprises! I'm not sure exactly what Lady Mendenhall is up to, but she is edging towards crazy prepared.
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  12. #92
    Dremora Courtier Arakhor's Avatar
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    Ius Hibernicum, in nomine juris. Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur.

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  13. #93
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Bah tropism
    sometime's the cavalry does ride over the hill in time. And sometimes, not.
    But walking around with an unloaded firearm, that's just not a good idea.
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  14. #94
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    He seems to be a rather naive rich boy, walking into the bad parts of the harbor without noticing. Strange, wasn't there a hint that he was in some trouble before in America?

  15. #95
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Sather: True on both counts!
    blsteen: Well, in those days the firearms were much more dangerous. I suppose that unless you're willing to use it you shouldn't carry it.
    Arakhor: They sure do. I remember one time I was linked by a friend and then spent the next 4 hours on the site. It's addictive people!
    Dewirix: Yes indeed. Lucky she was, eh?
    BishopCornelius: Yes, PUs and inheriting can be bad sometimes, but releasing as a vassal works well. Burgundy...would have caused issues ruling England.

    Chapter 7a – The de Vere Ascendency

    Summarised from Chapter 3 of ’Britannia Triumphant’ by Lady Mendenhall.

    When Charles II was crowned in early July of 1429 few could have imagined that he was inaugurating a dynasty that would last nearly two centuries and bring England to its greatest power, and also most ignominious crisis.



    But who was Charles II de Vere? Many then and now have accused him of being the pawn of his father and the strong Continental faction in parliament. These men wanted a renewal of war in France, hopeful of the titles and honours that would be theirs. Opposed to them were the Islanders, a faction which proposed expansion into Ireland and the subdual of the Scottish. In any case, the perpetual problem faced by the king was one of money.
    However, he faced it in a different way to his predecessors, reversing the tide that had moved them towards a freer parliament and yeomanry.





    The King himself was no genius, and though amiable and good looking he was not a man of great ability. Though personally brave and strong he lacked the instinctive drive and fire that makes a great general. In many ways he was more suited to the theoretical than the practical side of war. It is fortunate therefore that he had the services of Christian Byron, Lord Salisbury and Thomas Cook, Earl of Kent, son of the general from Edward’s wars. These men were of vital importance in advising the King about peace and war.



    As part of his father’s grand strategy to link England and the semi-independent Castille together, a marriage with Maria, daughter of the Castillian King produced a healthy heir, also named Mary. The pair would have other children, but none would survive infancy or childhood. Mary de Vere though was healthy and robust, and was thus the heir apparent to the throne. Could this happen though? Could a woman become Queen of England in her own right? To ensure the succession, and in return for promises of continental titles and land, parliament passed the Marian Code, which stressed that a woman could inherit the crown, but only if no brother existed. This would be, far in the future, a key proviso.



    In any case, the Continentals and Islanders were united on one point; Burgundy was a threat. Its king, Louis I had died in 1427, leaving his ten year old son Charles to rule with a regency council. The unpopularity of Burgundy due to the actions of Charles I made war almost certain, though England had to wait until 1431 to get it.



    In the end it was the expansion into Leinster that provoked a violent reaction. English free holders had long been pushing the boundaries of the pale, and when Irish raiders attacked them the crown declared war. In short order Scotland and Burgundy both declared their support against the English, and a fierce three-front war begun.





    Under advice from Lord Byron, the King used the war as an opportunity to consolidate the courts and revenues under his direct control ‘for the duration of the conflict’. Naturally of course it was never specified which conflict!



    Within two years Leinster had been occupied, though trouble would not cease there for decades. Furthermore Scotland was bought off after the defeat of their army at the River Tweed. Burgundy suffered most, being forced into giving up Picardie. The army reforms of Edward and the competent military skills of the Earl of Kent had contributed to a victory which now linked all of Normandy, Caux, Picardie and Calais together. For his services Thomas Cook was also made Count of Amiens, the first new continental peerage assigned for centuries, and his peerage was upgraded to a Dukedom.





    Finally, there was the matter of Brittany. Culturally tied to Ireland, and with a Yorkist Queen named Claudine they had quixotically tried to invade Normandy. However their defeat led to subjugation and the punishment of the Queen by having her own son dispossessed by member of the de Vere family. Never again would Brittany be an independent land. Such was the price paid for the actions of their silly queen.

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  16. #96
    First Lieutenant Sather's Avatar
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    Kind of an emotional footnote here, like the Lady-author had a personal grudge against that Queen of Brittany.

  17. #97
    Serves 'em right for John of Montfort rejecting Edward III in favor of Philippe VI after enjoying England's patronage against Charles of Blois. But then, I'm a bit biased.
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    Writer of the Week, 14 November 2010

  18. #98
    Second Lieutenant SouthernKing's Avatar
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    So with le blob badly weakened, and Burgundy defeated, and England mostly in the north (although I'm sure that will change very quickly) who is thin south france that everyone has to deal with? Guyenne? Somebody else?

  19. #99
    You should write books. :P It pays at least slightly better than writing AARs. ;D

  20. #100
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    It seems fitting that Mary has a DIP rating of 7: she's going to need it to survive in what is very much a man's world.

    The destruction of French power and the Castilian alliance is really destabilising Europe. Normally you'd avoid antagonising Burgundy and Scotland lest France take advantage and try to seize your continental possessions. No fear of that here.
    AAR in progress
    Yet this will go onward the same: the Yamato Destiny - Continuation of the last AAR in Victoria 2. Last updated 17th October 2012

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