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Thread: Savoy - A tale of treachery, lust and fondue

  1. #1

    Savoy - A tale of treachery, lust and fondue

    This is my first ever attempt at an AAR for any game so any feedback is gratefully received. My general goal is to become King of Italy but I shall see where the characters take me. I am not going to play ahead so will write up each bit after I have played it. I am playing 1.05c vanilla.

    Part I – The Duke, His Wife, His Lover and His Brother

    September 1066 - Greetings, noble scribe. I welcome you to my fair castle of Ivrea where I shall put on a small feast in your honour. I am Duke Pierre of Savoy, Count of Savoy and Piemonte, a realm which though modest encompasses both the highest peaks of the Alps and the gentle plains of northern Italy.

    First let me tell you a bit about my family. I am the 3rd Duke of Savoy following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather. I am also no less a great-grandson of a King of Italy on my mother's side. This is an honour and status I will strive to bring about again.

    Now to introduce myself. I am admittedly quite young at a mere 19 years of age but full of vim and vigour. I am already well schooled in the ways of war and people might say that I am a tough soldier. I am ambitious as you might have gathered to promote and improve the fortunes of my noble house. Although ambitious, I am not overly proud and feel that I have the common touch to get on with most people even the occasional peasant! That said I am not without guile and a pleasant manner can hide some of the tricks that I like to play. These skills are also useful when it comes to wooing the fairer sex, at which I am quite adept.

    My first act as a ruler in my own right (I succeeded as a child in 1060) must of course be to cast aside my many tavern wenches and find myself a noble wife who can produce an heir. My chancellor has produced a list of eligible princesses. Unfortunately he is not able to tell me for certain if any of them is especially comely. This is a problem as I could not suffer a plain wife. Fortunately, my lands are on a crossroads and we get many visitors passing through who bring news of events across Europe. Tonight I was entertaining the ambassador of the new King of England, William (known as the Conqueror), who was on his way to Rome seeking Papal favour. I was able to ask him if he knew of any beautiful (and eligible) princesses. He told me about the Princess Ximena of Navarra. Although not a classic beauty her elegance and knowing looks have made her the object of affection for many courtiers who have written countless poems in her honour. I must have this Princess! I will send an envoy tomorrow.

    Now to my realm. My Duchy theoretically consists of 6 counties but I only own two of them myself and the other 4 are currently independent. I must rectify this at once! I think I shall begin with the Prince-Bishop of Valais. A poor clergyman cannot put up much of a fight!

    November 1066 - I asked one of my other would-be-vassals the count of Geneva to assist my war against Valais. He refused! I shall remember this. Nevertheless my troops are marching north. I have 500 men while the Bishop can only muster a meagre 150

    January 1st 1067 - Today is my 20th birthday. We had a lavish feast where there was much food, wine and dancing. During the dancing, I was paired with Jeanne my brother's wife. It felt like something sparked between us and later that evening I gave her a good tumble between the sheets. I should make it clear that this doesn't mean I have stopped going to my wife's bedchamber. I easily have the energy to keep two women satisfied. Of course, I suspect my brother Amédée may be upset if he finds out but it his own fault if he cannot keep his wife satisfied.

    Feb 1067 - I think I am falling in love with Jeanne. We have the most passionate romance perhaps aided by the fact we have to keep it secret from my brother and my wife. We make love in the wildest places - behind the battlements of the tallest tower, in the minstrels gallery of the great hall and even in the Privy (although that was perhaps not the best idea due to the foul odours). In other news, the Holy Roman Emperor has made me Master of the Hunt. Perhaps he recognises my brilliant qualities and I am set for further promotion.

    March 1067 - The Holy Roman Emperor has raised crown authority to limited. Perhaps that title was actually just a way of keeping me sweet.

    November 1067 - My little war did not go so well. As predicted I easily took out the bishop, but the castle was a tougher nut to crack. I didn't quite have enough troops for the siege so I decided to hire some mercenaries. My mercenaries marched up to Valais, at which point I ran out of money and the mercenaries defected to the bishop. Luckily he is in a man of god so was willing to accept a white peace.

    In better news, today I became a father for the first time, not through my wife but through my sister-in-law. I have decided to legitimise the child and baby Oddon (named after my father) will become a full member of the House of Savoy. My brother is not best pleased but I think he would have been fairly unhappy whatever I did.

    January 1st 1068 - My 21st birthday was rather more subdued than my 20th. We had a modest feast accompanied by what seemed like a glaring contest between my wife (glaring at Jeanne) and Amédée (glaring at me). I didn't really feel like drinking and had an early night.
    This will be my last few weeks at home for a while anyway as the Emperor has raised my troops to go and fight the Muslims for Sardinia.

    November 6th 1068 - Well that war didn't last long. I marched my troops to Provence ready to set sail when we heard the news the war was over. I'm not really sure what happened but by all accounts Genoa has now taken over the north of Sardinia.
    Today I became a father again and this time by my wife! We made it up somewhat before I left as Ximena was nervous about me going to war (or maybe she wanted an heir to keep her status if I died). This time it's a girl called Adele.

    May 1069 - Nothing much has happened lately. I have tried to address my poor financial position by putting up city taxes. My income is still meagre though. Lombardy and Carinthia have gone to war over Padua but not sure how this helps me. There must be something I can do!

    9th August 1069 - Jeanne has had another child this time with my brother. He has decided to call the child Amédée after himself, clearly trying to make a point in case anyone wasn't sure.

    February 1070 - The Duchess of Upper Lorraine has asked me to join a plot to kill the Kaiser's son. Why not? I have nothing better to do (well except impregnate my wife again). The other week my half-brother Gerhard asked me for a title. He must be joking with all these mouths to feed!

    22nd June 1070 - My son Antoine was born. This is not entirely the good news it seems as I have gavelkind succession which will split my meagre demesne in half. I would like to change the succession law but I have another problem with the new Mayor of Turin who dislikes me. I have tried plotting against him but cannot find any other plotters. Aha! I have it I shall flatter this man by making him cupbearer. Then he will surely like me! My plan has worked a treat and I have brought in elective succession to keep my realm together. I have chosen Oddon (the rightfully legitimised) as my heir (well you didn't think I would choose Amédée did you?) and have betrothed him to the child Countess of Cremona.

    2nd April 1071 - Another child with my lover, Helie (a boy). I have decided to acknowledge rather than legitimise this time.

    15th October 1071 - Another child with my wife - Mathilde

    25th October 1072 - I've found of late I have become increasingly charitable. While this is no doubt a good thing it may explain why I still have very little money.

    11th December 1072 - My lover wants me to join a plot to kill my wife. This is a really difficult to decision to make but in the end I am going to go with my lover. Maybe I can find a new wife who has lots of money or titles!

    19th August 1074 - My chancellor has managed to fabricate a claim on the Prince-Bishopric of Nice. I have built up a small war chest of 120 ducats to hire mercenaries. Surely this war must go better? Surely!

    20th August 1074 - Unfortunately I have just discovered that Nice is subject to Genoa so may have to go back to plan A - attacking Valais

    18th May 1075 - My plan of attacking Valais has also failed. Apparently I don't have enough prestige to lead my armies against Valais. Well rather than do completely nothing I will start to improve my holdings with a castle village in Ivrea.

    29th August 1075 - My nephew Amédée, son of Amédée is ready for education. I have decided to put him in the charge of my wife. This should distract her from hating me so much and it will annoy my brother when his son starts speaking Basque to him!

    18th September 1075 - My wife has produced another daughter Amelie. Again this will hopefully stop her hating me quite so much.

    August 1078 - I have had another child with my wife, Beatrice. My brother asked me to put his wife in the stocks. Err no... How can I sleep with her behind his back if she's locked up?

    March 1079 - My own wife is not talking to me as she found out about the plot to kill her. I was rather talkative one day after a few too many drinks and now the whole court knows.
    She came into the throne room with all the children in tow and just glared at me in silence.
    “Ah you’re going to put on some entertainment. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? Or maybe a song? A song about what a glorious Duke I am? Or a song about the mountains maybe? There’s always so much going on in the mountains. These hills are alive with the sound of…. of…..goats.”
    She stalked out and hasn’t been seen for some weeks.

    1st January 1080 - Today is my 33rd birthday. It is also only a couple of months until the 20th anniversary of my succession as a child. I ask my chancellor to put together a grand celebration, highlighting my many achievements. He pauses for a second, "Well Sire, we could put on a childrens' party". Hmmm.

    1st March 1080 - Today is my 20th anniversary. I sit back to reflect my situation. Have I added any new territories - no. Have I made any desirable alliances - no. I have less prestige and piety than when I started. But at least I'm still here and I have built a castle village and a wooden palisade! And I have had 7ish children who will all hopefully form many successful branches of the House of Savoy. I have a wife who hates me except when we're in bed together, a lover who likes me but hates my wife and a brother who hates me but is too weak to do anything about it. And I still have many years to fulfil my ambitions.

    As I proceed over to the children's puppet show I turn my mind to something else. Which children are mine by my wife, which are mine by my lover, which are my lover's by my brother and which belong to random relatives? I really should try to find out one day.
    Last edited by Loderingo; 29-04-2012 at 21:17.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    The story so far.

    Duke Pierre I of Savoy has recently celebrated 20 years on the throne of Savoy. Despite lofty ambitions he has failed to expand his territory. He has, however, managed to have 7 children with both his own wife Princess Ximena of Navarra and his lover Jean de Geneve, the wife of his brother Amédée. He has further angered his brother by naming his legitimised bastard Oddon as his heir…

    Part II – Simple Simon was a spyman

    Expecting a Duke were you. Well I’m sorry to disappoint you. No Duke am I, nor a Count, nor even a little Baron. I am one of those other people you don’t hear about in fancy histories, except when the peasants revolt. My name is Simon. That’s it just plain Simon. Didn’t have a father, at least for very long. Didn’t have a mother for long neither – she died of the slow fever when I was 8. I had to make my way up in the world from the streets. Didn’t have no fancy education from some bishop but you’d be surprised what you can learn from the streets. I learnt the price of everything, how to use men’s greed and lust to twist them round my finger and some languages too from the merchants passing through – Catalan, Genoese, Venetian – I even learnt a little German though it’s hard on the tongue.

    And so how did the street boy rise up the social ladder? Luck really. I was in a tavern when I overheard some Genoese merchants discussing a plot to swindle the Duke. I went with this information to the King’s spymaster and was able to get a small reward and a job as an informant. From there I worked my way up and gained the old spymaster’s confidence. He schooled me on courtly etiquette so I could more easily fit in with my betters and when he eventually died I was his suggested replacement ready to step into his shoes.

    This is all very well you might say but why is this of interest. Well my master Duke Pierre came to the throne very young. He was very headstrong and started an affair with his brother’s wife that led to many recriminations and several children. This kept me very busy indeed as the Duke made many enemies and endured the hatred of his wife and brother. However, by March 1080 he had been on the throne 20 years and his throne was starting to look more secure.
    Fate, however, has different ideas and barely more than a year later in July 1081 the Duke was dead as a doornail at the age of 34. Natural causes they said (and his doctor still says) but I’m not sure I believe that. They say there are poisons that the Muslims use that can poison a man while making it look like a natural death. That would need a lot of planning though. The wife is far too impulsive but the brother maybe…

    Anyhow all this meant that his eldest son, Oddon (the rightfully legitimised bastard) became Duke at just 13 years old. And this meant a regent was needed. With a divided court, the regent could not possibly be the wife, or the brother, or the lover (certainly not after the funeral, which I’ll come to in a minute). It had to be someone experienced who could watch over and guide the young Duke through the nest of vipers that was the Ducal court. Step forward yours truly.

    So my first task was to organise the funeral. And a grand affair it was. Savoy may only be a small duchy but is in a key location amongst the Alps and all the local rulers wanted to come and pay their respects from Burgundy, Tuscany, Toulouse, the Genoese Republic etc And so there was much to be done, decorating the great cathedral, ordering food for a lavish feast at the castle, finding beds at the better inns for the less important guests. And of course there was a 13 year old boy to look after, mourning his father and struggling to wear a new crown. As I stood with him in the cathedral looking down at this father, who looked almost saintly resting on a white shroud, and watching the boy try to hide his tears, I thought “I will do my utmost to guide you to your majority and make you a better Duke than your father ever was”. How wrong I was.

    The funeral itself was certainly dramatic as you might have expected from a man with two women on the go. The wife of course took pride of place as chief mourner but then next to her was the brother and next to him was his wife. Of course a strong man, would prevent this sort of situation from happening but then this was Amédée. And was it really wise for the bishop to preach so much about love. Jeanne started sobbing at this point very loudly. Ximena asked Amédée to control his wife. Jeanne then made an emotional speech about how Pierre loved her and how much he hated Ximena. And then Ximena finally snapped and called Jeanne a whore. Can you guess where this is going? Yes these 2 great ladies started at slaps and were soon scratching and biting like a pair of tavern wenches and both of them calling for Amédée to intervene. Of course he just stood there. This was as you can imagine pretty humiliating for the Duchy and it took yours truly to save the day and intervene by getting the guards to pull them apart and escort them away. I had them both locked up for a month. Oh I how laughed in private to see two such great ladies brought low and to sse my main rivals at court humiliated such, all the time burnishing my own credentials as regent.

    This made the next thorny task of nominating a successor that little bit easier. Amédée was now out of the question, having been shown before the barons to be so weak at his brother’s funeral. I encouraged Oddon to nominate his half-brother Humbert (Amédée and Jeanne’s son from before she started sleeping with his brother) as the only other male Savoy of age.

    After this things settled down for a while and life returned to normal in Savoy. Amédée continued his education and I ruled as regent, guiding him in the ways of rulership. Some at court were keen to start another war against the Bishop of Valais but I counselled caution – better to wait until the Duchy was stronger. Suddenly in May I had a bit of a surprise, in front of the whole court the young Duke accused me of stealing from him. Obviously he had noticed my increasingly fine clothes and my guilded chain of office that I had had commissioned from Milan. Of course I had been stealing but I had also brought prosperity to the Duchy – didn’t I deserve a little reward for my efforts?

    This meant I had to be careful though and I made it my business to ensure that my spies in the castle were now closely watching Oddon himself rather than his family and barons as before. Within a few weeks, I started to hear back several worrying stories that the young Duke had been telling his brothers and sisters about his plans for his coming of age. These mostly seemed to involve throwing me in jail and having me executed! This was even more concerning but at the same time I still held the cards “Well little Duke” I thought “you’re not as clever as I thought. You still have nearly 2 years until you are 16 and you have decided to foolishly plot against your regent and the court spymaster. I’m going to make sure you learn a very valuable lesson”

    And so in February the next year (1083) I made my move. Why wait so long you might wonder. Well I could have had the young Duke poisoned or have an unfortunate accident the very next day but it would have looked mighty suspicious indeed after he had accused me of stealing. I preferred to bide my time – and besides I had a better plan.

    And so on the 27th February, we had a small feast at court, to which were invited many of the dignitaries of the realm such as the Mayor of Turin, the Bishop of Tarentaise etc. I was conducting an audience with the Bishop when word came through that the Duke had started acting quite oddly. I went with the Bishop into the throne room and the Duke was indeed acting most oddly indeed. He was twitching frantically and speaking in tongues while sweat was dripping from his forehead. It seemed that the Duke had gone insane and all the barons agreed that he must be confined to his chambers and the doctor sent for.

    Of course you might have realised by now that all this was my handiwork. There is a certain type of mushroom that can be acquired from foreign parts that if added to food can send someone into a frenzied state of madness for a few hours. So how, you may be wondering, was I going to manage the Duke’s return to sanity? Well it wasn’t too hard. The Duke’s guards were in my pay, the cook was in my pay, the royal doctor was in my pain as was anyone else who was anywhere near the Duke. And of course a further bout of insanity could be arranged at a later date if there was any doubt.

    I went to see the Duke a few hours later, now a frightened and angry but sane teenage boy

    “I’ll have you put on the rack for this, when I get out of here”

    “If, your Grace, IF you get out of here”

    Clearly now the power at court more than ever rested in my own hands. The nobles responded by nominating Amédée as the new heir to the throne. They were obviously hoping as the senior member of the House of Savoy he would depose his nephew and me in the process. No chance.

    This did highlight, however, that I needed to take steps to increase my own power base and build a dynasty of my own. I had never previously seen the need for a wife but now it gave me the chance to increase my own power and prestige.
    In April, I was wed to the Dowager Duchess Ximena, the former wife of my late employer. You might wonder why a Princess of Navarre would consent to marry a humble commoner like me. Well I’m sure she saw it as an opportunity to push forward her children’s claims on the Ducal throne. And I also wonder if behind the icy mask she secretly saw it as a chance to get a little of payback on her late husband.

    Again things settled down for a while until in late August a group of clergyman petitioned me. The Bishop of Tarentaise had written to His Holiness with the dire news about the Duke. His Holiness was now proposing to send a Cardinal to ascertain if the Duke was possessed and whether to perform an exorcism or depose the Duke. This was most surprising - why would the Pope concern himself with a small mountain Duchy? Unless he hoped to sieze it for himself. Nevertheless I felt that I could still manage even a Cardinal.

    And so on the 9th September we received word that the Cardinal had entered Savoy and would soon be at the castle. It was time to give the Duke his mushrooms. An extra dose was required to make sure the madness lasted throughout the length of the Cardinal's visit.

    And so the great Cardinal Prendavizio arrived at the castle and was warmly received. We were proceeding to the Duke's chamber when the doctor came rushing along the corridor.

    "My lord regent, grave news. The Duke has fallen into a deep sleep and cannot be wakened."

    "What has happened?" I said. The extra mushrooms I thought.

    We hastened to the Duke's chamber and he was indeed unwakeable. The Cardinal looked at him closely for some moments.

    "It is as I thought..."

    Was my world about to fall apart? Was he about to accuse me of poisoning my master?

    "It is as I thought. He was possessed by a demon but the demon fled because it knew it could not overcome the power of the True Cross. Let us say a prayer for him"

    And as we prayed the Duke suddenly opened his mouth and gave a single great breath and breathed his last.

    What was I to do now? There was only one thing I could do.

    "My Lords and Ladies of the court. I come here with important tidings. It has become clear that our master Duke Oddon II has been possessed by a demon. Fortunately Cardinal Prendavizio has come amongst us and was able to drive the demon away and save our master's soul. Unfortunately the demon took a great toll on our master's health and he has gone to God now.

    The Duke is dead, long live Duke Amédée II"
    Last edited by Loderingo; 09-05-2012 at 23:39.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    The story so far.

    Duke Oddon II of Savoy inherited at an unexpectedly young age following the untimely death of his father Duke Pierre. Simon a lowborn commoner had worked his way up from the streets to court spymaster and was appointed regent. He was caught stealing by the Duke and so to maintain his power he fed the Duke special mushrooms to simulate madness. Unfortunately, he ultimately gave him too many mushrooms and the Duke fell into a coma and died. This brings Oddon's uncle Amédée to the Ducal throne, embittered at his repeated humiliation by Pierre, who had an affair with his wife Jeanne de Genève...

    Part III – The quiet man turns up the volume

    The 9th September 1083 was a day I never expected to arrive. I was at the court waiting with the other courtiers as the Regent went with the Cardinal from Rome to oversee the exorcism of my nephew Duke Oddon II. Suddenly the Regent burst in all of a sudden. I expected him to say that the exorcism had been successfully and that the Regency was over. Instead the news was that the Duke had died during the exorcism suddenly. This meant that I was suddenly the new Duke.

    Sometimes I still find this hard to believe and I find myself checking myself in a looking glass to see that this transformation in my fortunes has really happened. You see when you are born a second son, you must resign yourself to a life in the shadows. Daughters can be married off and become Duchesses or Countesses. Younger sons can become bishops serving God and keeping the church strong. But second sons must hang around court on the off chance that they are needed, the "spare" in "heir and spare". I did not resent this when I was younger. I loved my brother then and sought to help him make Savoy great. Then he started his affair with my wife. If it was a once off I might have found it in me to forgive him but he kept her as his mistress for 14 years until the day he died. I begged and pleaded for him to throw her over, to put her in the stocks, to let me at least divorce her but he would do none of these things. He humiliated me day after day and I could do nothing. Even when he died the humiliation didn't end. My wife and his wife came to blows in the cathedral at the funeral. And then I had to see my wife's bastard sitting on the throne after him. And now after so much ignominy and humiliation I am the one wearing the velvet and ermine. Perhaps the meek really shall inherit the earth! Certainly they shall not snigger at me or beat me down any more.

    My first task as Duke was to put the Ducal house in order. Former Regent Simon was still spymaster and clearly a formidable operator.

    "Spymaster, I have summoned you here to discuss your regency for my nephew. I wish to revisit recent events. I understand that as part of your long experience as spymaster you have built up an extensive knowledge of poisons"

    "Indeed Your Grace"

    "I am further aware that my nephew accused you of stealing..."

    "Totally without foundation Your Grace"

    "And a mere 8 months later, he becomes insane and you have him locked up very securely"

    "Your Grace, it was for his own safety"

    "And then as Regent you decided to marry my late brother's wife, the Princess of Navarre, a marriage which was not only highly improper but potentially treasonous. Some people might suggest that you planned to take the Ducal throne for yourself".

    "Your Grace..."

    "Nevertheless, I recognise your long service to the Duchy as spymaster and I am willing to sanction your marriage, if you will consent to remain as spymaster"

    "Thank you, Your Grace"

    "I have an assignment for you. Thanks to my brother's disastrous reign, the realm has fallen behind in technology. I understand that you speak Catalan and I would like you to go with your family to Barcelona to study the technology there"

    "How long should I go for, Sire?"


    A week later and preparations for the formal Ducal enthronement were in full swing. My wife Jeanne came in with her ladies-in-waiting.

    "My lord husband, as you know the coronation is soon to be upon us and I shall need to buy new clothes for the occasion. I have spoken with the foremost tailor in Turin and he will make me a new gown. For this I shall need 25 ducats and a further 5 ducats for gloves. I hope this is acceptable."

    "Jeanne, it is a beautiful evening. Will you come and walk with me on the battlements."

    And so we climbed up onto the walls and admired the wondrous view of the plain on the one side and the great Alpine mountains on the other.

    "And so husband, the ducats are acceptable? You would not want me to bring dishonour on Savoy by making me wear an old gown?

    "Of course, there is no greater dishonour than wearing an old gown.... Listen to me Jeanne, you will not have the ducats from me. You won't need them as you will never wear the Ducal tiara of Savoy".

    "What do you mean Amédée? Of course, I will wear it as your wife".

    "No Jean, you won't. Things have changed now. For years you humiliated me with your adulterous affair with my brother. I pleaded with him to stop. I pleaded with you to stop but you both humiliated me for years. And what could I do? He was the Duke.Then you humiliated me again in front of the whole Duchy and half of Burgundy by fighting with my brother's wife at his funeral. And what could I do? Your bastard son was the Duke. But now Jeanne, I am the Duke and I can finally do something about it."

    "The Pope would never grant you a divorce"

    "I don't want a divorce"

    "My father..."

    "Your father despises you as much as I do. You have brought as much shame on him as you have on me"

    "You wouldn't hurt a defenceless woman"

    "But I would Jean. Why do you think I brought you up here? Why do you think there are no guards in sight? Ahh... Humbert"

    "Humbert, your father has gone crazy. He plans to throw me off the tower"

    "I know Mother"

    "Humbert, please"

    "Mother, you have brought dishonour on our family. You have humiliated Father. You have promoted the interests of your bastards with Uncle over those of your own legitimate children. It is time for a new start for Savoy, which does not include you"


    "Son, I think we have said enough. You take that side. One, two, three... and over she goes."

    "Father, I think she's still alive in the water"

    "Don't worry, son. She can't swim."

    And that evening as the sun set over Ivrea, I thought to myself, revenge really is sweet.

    Having dealt with my wife and the spymaster , my next actions were to set in order the affairs of state. Firstly Humbert was already betrothed to a Baroness. I broke that and matched him with the Countess of Cremona instead. Then within a year I remarried myself to Filomena, the 16 year old, Duchess of Provence. I also arranged good marriages for Pierre's older children. You might be surprised at that but it got them out of my court, where they couldn't cause trouble. One lucky daughter got married to the Count of Beloozero, wherever that is.

    I also concentrated on building up Savoy's gold reserves and troops until in December 1086, I was ready to do what my brother had failed to do spectacularly - take over Valais. Unlike my brother, the war went without a hitch. My new wife joined the war and in May her troops destroyed the Bishop's meagre forces, allowing me concentrate on the siege . The Bishop gave in and became my vassal but I then tried to revoke his title and the war dragged on for a couple more years. Finally in 1088 I was able to remove the Prince-Bishop and make myself Count of Valais.

    In 1091, The Pope launched a crusade against Jerusalem. I now had a reasonable force and 2 sons with my new wife, Rorgues and Richard. However, what I didn't have was a port and it was too far to Jerusalem by land.

    In 1093, I had no choice as the Kaiser declared on Pomerania. By the time I marched my troops all the way across Germany the war was just finishing and I had to march them all the way back again.

    The next year I had to choose between my wife and my lover. I had acquired this lover after a young courtier threw herself at me. Unlike my brother I made the right decision and chose my wife.

    In 1095 I decided it was time to expand my realm again. The counts of Monferrato and Saluzzo were of the same dynasty, which made going to war against one of them tricky. I successfully plotted to kill the Count of Monferrato and then went to war with his young son. By the following May I had made Monferrato my vassal. I imprisoned the young count and banished him.

    In the meantime I found out that Humbert was plotting to kill me with Pierre's son Antoine. The plot was no threat but I decided to disinherit Humbert in favour of Rorgues. I betrothed Rorgues to the Countess of Innsbruck.

    By 1096, I was ready to repeat my Monferrato trick with Saluzzo. I plotted against the father and then warred against the son.

    In late 1097, Pierre's son Antoine and Humbert's wife both died. My grandson Amédée was now Count of Cremona

    In 1098, I won the war with Saluzzo. Unfortunately, the young count escaped arrest and rebelled but by the end of the year I had won and banished him.

    My final war to re-unite Savoy was against Geneva, where Aymon, Jeanne's brother was count. By 1104 I had conquered the county and banished Jean's family to a life of exile and poverty. I gave Geneva to Rorgues.

    Finally, I had conquered Savoy and reunited the family's ancestral lands, something my brother didn't even come close to doing and I had seen Jean's family thrown in the gutter.

    My peace was soon disturbed by news that my son Humbert was still plotting against me and by now he had enough backers to be threat. I decided to deal with this directly and invited Humbert to come from Cremona and visit me in Savoy. We went up to the tower to talk.

    "So Humbert, I know you are plotting against me and that you even some powerful backers such as Spymaster Simon, who must be tiring of his exile in Spain. Do you plan to throw me off the tower like your mother?"

    "No father, I know you can swim."

    "But what do you hope to achieve? The Duchy will go to Rorgues and you won't get a ducat of inheritance. You could have been a Duke, Humbert, but your plotting has cost you. Instead you will be a nobody, at best remembered as the son of a Duke and the father of a Count but nobody in your own right".

    "Better a nobody than a tyrant and a cuckold. You think you have achieved greatness, Father, by uniting Savoy but you have not achieved honour by stealing lands from babes in arms. You may have conquered provinces with a mighty army at your back but you will always be remembered as the man who couldn't control his wife at his brother's funeral. You ask what I hope to achieve by my plot. It is to restore honour to a family that has been dishonoured by you as much as by Mother".

    "Perhaps I have not always acted with honour but I have brought glory to Savoy. In years to come, history will remember my deeds and not my methods. People will talk about the glorious Duke Amédée..."

    "The people despise you, Father, and laugh behind your back. When I came through Turin, there was a new tavern, the Duke's Head. It was not displaying your head, Father. It is Uncle that they love and that they sing of, of his glory, of his conquests"

    "What conquests?"

    "His conquests of women rather than lands, Father"

    I was silent for some time.

    "Give up your plot and go back to Cremona. I am not long for this world and then Rorgues will be Duke. He is a better man than both of us"

    That night I went back up onto the walls and as the sun started to set and as the shadows started to envelop me in gloom, I looked east and there along the valley I could see a plume of dark smoke starting to rise above Turin.
    Last edited by Loderingo; 20-05-2012 at 23:47.

  6. #6
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Lots of people seem to be dying young and suspiciously. A true Italian AAR at its finest!

    Amédée is my kind of scum (to avoid mincing words), building a great and powerful Savoyard Duchy out of the region. I wonder what future fates lie in store for Turin now that Savoy is united, what new conquests will they seek?
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  7. #7
    You have a fine AAR going; I like how every update's written for a different character's point of view, keep it coming!
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  8. #8
    Machiavellian - Thank you for your comment

    Saithis - My plan was to become King of Burgundy and then Italy. Originally Filomena and Amedee died in the same year and their son Richard inherited both Provence and Savoy, which put me in a good position. I started the game next session to find I hadn't saved somehow Of course they then didn't die and in addition the game has thrown a major spanner in the works...

    Mr Santiago - I enjoy writing first person but of course you have to cut it off before the end of the reign as they can't describe their own death. The next update which is mostly done will be from a female perspective.

  9. #9
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    The last update was great. Amedee really had something to prove. But in the end, he wasn't happy was he? Even his murderous son hated him. Poor man.
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  10. #10
    No he wasn't happy. I was trying to think of a good title for the update with shadow in it because he couldn't escape his brother's shadow. We get a 4th perspective on Amedee in the next update below.

  11. #11
    The story so far.

    Duke Amédée II of Savoy inherited a Duchy in crisis following the premature death of his nephew Oddon. His first act was to plot with his son Humbert to kill his wife Jeanne de Genève who had conducted an adulterous affair with his brother the late Duke Pierre. Following this he reunited the Duchy of Savoy, although in a tyrannical manner by banishing the underage counts of Monferrato and Saluzzo. His son Humbert plotted against him so he was disinherited in favour of Rorgues, Amédée's eldest son with his second wife Duchess Filomena of Provence

    Part IV – The last of the Bosonids

    Very few people can say they have been a Duchess for nearly their entire life but it is sadly true. For I was born on 9th September 1068 and my father Bertrand, Duke of Provence died only a few months later on 1st February 1069. That day was the blackest in our long family history for my father did not leave a male heir and it fell to me his only legitimate daughter and a mere babe in arms to become the latest in a long line of glorious Dukes. My family can trace its ancestry back to Boso the founder of our dynasty who was born in 770. His grandson, also Boso, became Duke of Provence founding a glorious line that stretches all the way to me. My father had three sisters who were already married off and we were already the last cadet branch. So I am the last of the Bosonids.

    As well as losing my father I was soon to lose my mother too. She did not take to the life of a widow and within a few years had accepted an offer of marriage from Svatobar Premyslid, son of the Duke of Bohemia. I still received regular letters from Bohemia but it was not the same as having a mother there.

    Fortunately my regent was a good and kind man and the council faithfully served him. My education was somewhat unusual for a girl of my rank. As I was to be a ruling Duchess I learnt to fight as well as any boy. I was taught the art of statecraft and how to manage my lands. My passion though was for the sea.

    It was only a short journey from the castle at Arles to the mouth of the Rhone. I had a small boat called Marguerite and my regent taught me how to sail. We would sail to Marseilles and look at the fresh fish. Sometimes we would sail nearly as far as Corsica but we could not land as it would be too dangerous to enter a Genoese port.

    As I neared my majority, thoughts turned towards marriage. I already had a candidate in mind as I had fallen in love. His name was Rainaud d'Orange and he was the eldest son of the Count of Venaissin, one of my subject lords. He was a few years older than me but not yet married. He was so handsome and courtly. We would talk for hours to the chagrin of my poor chaperone and we even discussed matrilineal marriage which he was willing to agree to.

    Then shortly before my 16th birthday a messenger came to court to talk to my regent. I sent a lady-in-waiting to eavesdrop and then stormed into the great hall.

    "My Lord Councillors I will not marry him. He is old and most probably ugly and I do not love him"

    "My Lady the Duke of Savoy is only 35 years old and he would be a very suitable husband for you"

    "35 is old. He could be my father. I cannot possible marry him. I won't. I won't"

    "My Lady, you must think of the good of the realm. You are a woman and you cannot rule alone"

    "I can fight as well as any man"

    "My Lady. Provence is vulnerable. Our enemies smell weakness and they would take the Duchy from you. We cannot afford to rebuff the Duke of Savoy"

    "Savoy is no match for us. Our armies would best him easily.

    "However, he has powerful allies, My Lady. He is allied to the Duke of Swabia, he has married his son to Cremona and most significantly of all his sister is the Kaiserin".

    "But I cannot marry him. I must marry matrilineally to save the dynasty"

    "My Lady, I realise that it would mean the end of the dynasty but you would forge a new dynasty. Your children would be powerful enough to become Kings of Burgundy"

    "But I cannot leave Rainaud"

    "Your Grace, you must understand that if you refuse, you will have the weight of the whole empire upon us. Would you send Rainaud to fight and to his death? Would you see this castle besieged and destroyed, Marseille ruined, its dockside lined with maimed and crippled men? Rainaud understands, My Lady"

    I could not take it anymore. I ran out and went to the sea. I thought about flinging myself in or sailing away to never return but that would not help the Bosonids or Provence. And so I left the sea behind and went to the mountains and became Duchess of Savoy.

    As I settled in to my new role, I came to realise that the terrible threats that the council had faced me with were far from reality. Amédée was capable of cruelty and would sometimes torture prisoners in the dungeon but he was fundamentally a weak man who had lived in his brother's shadow for too long. The ladies at court whispered stories about he had been cuckolded by his first wife for years. She had unfortunately drowned shortly after his accession which had led to many dark rumours. I also found out that he was hardly on warm terms with his sister the Kaiserin. I was starting to think that maybe I could escape back to Provence and request an annulment, when I discovered I was pregnant. I would not abandon a child like my mother did.

    The next few years were spent bringing up my four sons: Rorgues, Richard, Guilhem and Jaufré

    I still missed Provence - the sea, the fresh fish and of course Rainaud. Rainaud was now married himself and I hoped he was happy. Gradually I got used to life in the Po plain with trips into the mountains to go hunting. I even started to like some of the cuisine, which mainly consisted of various combinations of meat, potatoes and the strange local cheese they called fondue.

    During these years my husband was often away at war, which I did not mind at all. Sometimes, I wished he would die in battle but of course, he was not involved in the battles, preferring to stay well behind the front line and delegate leadership to his vassals. When he did come back he would brag about how his latest conquest was something that Pierre would never have achieved if he had lived to be 100. My husband's attempts to assert his authority were fooling no-one, however.

    Soon all of Savoy was conquered and my husband was feeling ever triumphant when he heard that his own son (and my step son) Humbert was plotting against him. Humbert had already been disinherited in favour of Rorgues but still he wanted his father dead. A week later Humbert came to Cremona and after they had talked I had never seen Amédée so angry.

    The next day we had an envoy from the Mayor of Turin. A terrible fire had started at a tavern called the Duke's Head and had spread along several streets of the City killed 34 people including women and children. There were terrible rumours as to the cause of the fire and very nearly a riot. From that day onwards Amédée was never quite the same. A spark in his eyes had gone out.

    Things then started to get even worse. In May 1110 our great hope Rorgues died young at only 22.

    Amédée responded by going to war with the Genoese for Nice. This time he had seriously miscalculated. The Genoese hired mercenaries and with some Savoy troops already away fighting the Muslims for the Kaiser, Amédée had to surrender and pay hefty war reparations.

    Rorgues death was not the only one. In 1112 his son Humbert the plotter died, around the same time as the Duchess of Toscana, leading to a division of her lands. In 1114, his former lover Agnes passed away and in 1115 his spymaster Simon. It seemed like many younger men and women were passing on while he was still clinging to his throne crab-like and now looking like my grandfather rather than my father.

    Finally, in August 1117 the biggest death of all occurred with news coming across the Alps that the long-lived Kaiser Heinrich had passed on. The new Kaiser was his 20 year old son Adolf who had taken precedence over some of his older brothers and was not well known for his diplomatic skills. Soon wars of independence had been declared by Toscana, Lombardy and Pisa, while Pomerania was attempting to depose the Kaiser himself.

    By the following January, all of the independence wars were progressing well and merchants passing through brought news that there had not been a sight of an Imperial army south of the Alps. I decided it was time to speak to my husband.

    "My Lord Husband, the merchants bring news that the wars of independence are going well and the Kaiser has not set foot south of the Alps. Is it not time for us to consider our own position?"

    "What position is that?"

    "My Lord, for too long we have laboured for a Kaiser who is foreign to us and neither cares for or even acknowledges our presence. It is time for Savoy and Provence to declare independence"

    "That would be madness, Wife. The Kaiser may not have sent troops yet but he will and he will crush the rebels into dust. Would you see me imprisoned and executed or worse still banished with the loss of everything I have worked to create? This folly is the sort of thing he would suggest"

    "I am not afraid of the Kaiser any more. Maybe old Heinrich but the new Kaiser is young and foolish. We can easily win if we are swift and decisive"

    "I am too old for war now and I will not hear any more of this scheme".

    "Well if you will not declare for Savoy, then I am still a Duchess in my own right and I will declare for Provence. Will you at least support me in my war?"

    "I will not cross the Kaiser"

    "If you will not support me then the Kaiser will raise your troops against mine and we will destroy our children's inheritances in wars against each other. Surely the Kaiser will not expect you to take arms against me and he would not expect you to be able to control your wife"

    "Very well, Wife, but on your head be it"

    The war began well as news came in that Upper Burgundy and Ancona had also declared independence. My troops besieged Vienne, while Savoy's took Forez. I then crossed independent Upper Burgundy and besieged Saintois. Amédée was unwilling to go that far from home for fear that the Kaiser would arrive and so attacked rebels in Lyon before besieging it. In 1120 as the war was nearly won the Kaiser was sighted but instead of attacking myself he settled down to besiege Aargau, capital of Upper Burgundy. Only then did he move towards Lyon forcing the Savoyard troops to take evasive action. It was too late, however, and in July 1121 the war was won and Provence was finally free. Savoy of course returned to being a "loyal" vassal of the Kaiser.

    The next February Amédée who was "too old for war" suddenly decided to attack the Duke of Dauphine for a bishop who had a claim on Vienne. Perhaps I had shamed him by stance against the Kaiser and he now felt the need to re-assert some authority. Around this time we heard that Lombardy had won their independence war but Upper Burgundy had been defeated.

    In May 1122 Amédée's only surviving son with his first wife, also called Amédée, died, meaning that three of his son's had predeceased him. This and the strains of war put ever more stress on my husband and he started look to increasingly pale and wan. In March 1123, he died aged 74

    Although I had never particularly liked or admired my husband it was strange to be a widow after 39 years of marriage.

    After the funeral I had to decide what to do next. I was 55 years old and still a Duchess in my own right but I was aware that I might not have many years left. Guilhem was the new Duke (it had been agreed that his older brother Richard would take Provence in due course) but had already been called away back to the war with Dauphine. I decided to go home.

    I had lived in Savoy for so many years that it was sad to leave knowing that I would never see the mountains again but the call of the sea was stronger. When I arrived back at Arles I saw the councillors waiting and I half expected it to be the same old faces from my youth but of course they had long passed on. Instead I was greeted by Mayor Dietwin of Marseilles who must have only been a small boy when I left.

    "My lady it is good to have you home. The Chancellor has laid on a welcome gift for you if you would be so kind as to step into the Ducal barge down there on the river"

    I got on the barge and we sailed the short way down the river until finally I saw the sea again. And at the little harbour, there was something I had not expected to see again, my old sailing boat Marguerite. As I climbed aboard there was one final surprise.


    He was older now of course with grey hair and a moustache but the face was still that of the man I left behind. He had also moved up in the world as he had inherited Venaissin from his father and become Chancellor of the Duchy.

    "Rainaud, how come is Marguerite still here? I thought she would be at the bottom of the sea by now"

    "Filomena, I have kept her and maintained her all these years for when you came back. I knew you would return but it has been much longer than I thought"

    And so he we took her out to sea and sailed away from the land and our lives. We talked and we laughed and we danced a seaman's jig around the mast. Then finally he asked me to marry him.

    "Rainaud, you already have a wife"

    "I do not love my wife although I care for her. The doctors have said that she will not live another year and then we can finally be free to wed"

    "Rainaud, listen I will not marry you though I still care for you greatly. A bird who has been set free after many years captivity will not enter another cage even if it is made of gold. However, I have been thinking and I will give you a different gift rather than my hand. You will be my heir to the Duchy of Provence"

    "My lady, but the law says..."

    "Rainaud, I have been Duchess for many years and I may change the laws as I see fit. I have chosen to make the Duchy elective and I nominate you as my candidate. The other nobles all respect you and vote will for you too"

    "And you will disinherit your sons?"

    "They are all well provided for. Guilhem has Savoy, Richard will have the county and Jaufré has his baroness. I have won Provence its independence and I will not see it again under the Yoke of Savoy or the Kaiser"

    "But my lady, listen, I am two years older than you"

    "If you die before me then it will fall to your son Aymer"

    "My lady"

    "I Insist"

    And so it was decided. Province would remain free and independent and so would I, although I cannot say that part of me was not tempted.

    We started back towards the land and as we neared the shores of the Camargue, we saw a pair of noble Kestrels. They swooped down and looked like they were going to land on deck but then instead turned and started circling. Higher and higher and farther away, almost into the sun itself until they were gone.
    Last edited by Loderingo; 24-05-2012 at 02:08.

  12. #12
    Colonel MajorMayhem's Avatar
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    God, the death rate seems high! Are you feeling the pressure to re-unite Savoy before the Emperor gets his boot in with the crown authority?
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  13. #13
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
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    Love it...I am slightly confused though are you the Dukes of Savoy or of Provence?

    Fun reading how you deal with being in Burgundy as well though, be nice to the de Forez's though for me would ya? lol jk

  14. #14
    MajorMayhem - The death rate hasn't been too bad. A lot of the characters who have died recently have been from the first generation. Amedee's eldest 2 sons were both in their 50s as they were with his 1st wife. I haven't felt too pressured by HRE crown authority. It helped that the 1st Kaiser had a long reign.

    tnick - I am the Duke's of Savoy. The reason I did the update from the Provence perspective is that in the game the AI suddenly changed to elective and disinherited her son in favour of someone unrelated. I still don't know why the game would do that but came up with the story to explain it! The next update will be back from the Savoy perspective but Provence will still feature heavily. Can't remember if the de Forez's have any land left at the moment but will try and be nicer to them in future.

  15. #15
    The story so far.

    Following the death of Duke Amédée II of Savoy, his wife Duchess Filomena of Provence disinherited her eldest surviving son Richard in favour of her childhood sweetheart Rainaud, Count of Venaissin so as to keep Provence independent from Savoy and the Kaiser. Their second surviving son Guilhem has become Duke of Savoy.

    Part V – All good things come to those who wait

    All of the great and the good were assembled in the cathedral. I processed down the aisle and stopped in front of the altar where I received the sceptre and regalia of the Kingdom. Finally the Archbishop lifted the crown and prepared to lower it on my head. I Richard De Savoie was about to become King of France.

    Then I felt a sharp nudge to the ribs and my wife whispering "pay attention"

    I came to as the crowning was about to take place. We strained to squint, sitting as we were at the back behind a pillar. Finally, the Archbishop lowered the crown and Othon Capet was crowned King Othon II of France. He then received the acclaim of the great Lords of state, first the Dukes at the front, then the various Earls in the middle before finally the Barons at the back. This was the 2nd coronation in two years as the previous King Henri II had only reigned for a short period before dying a maimed cripple

    I consoled myself for the loss of my dream with the thought that at least we only had a short journey home from Reims. My wife was Baroness of Montfort-l'Amaury which is about 25 miles from Paris. In many ways, all though I was only the husband of a Baroness, I felt lucky as the great City of Paris was on our doorstep, a bustling and growing city of some 70,000 people. It made Turin with maybe 15,000 people fell tiny. My youngest brother Jaufré was also married to a Baroness, in Denmark, and all his letters to me seemed to mainly revolve around pigs.

    I was not without greater prospects though. Following the death of my older brother Rorgues in 1110, it was agreed that I would inherit my mother's Duchy of Provence and my younger brother Guilhem would inherit my father's Duchy of Savoy. In 1121, my mother broke Provence away from the Kaiser and so it looked like I would inherit an independent Duchy.

    Then in 1123 my father died and Guilhem became Duke. Guilhem was married to a Sicilian Princess, Margaret but they were childless and looked likely to remain so. Many courtiers urged him to divorce his wife (especially since Sicily had largely been conquered by the Muslims and the Kaiser) and remarry but he refused. He said that he loved his wife but I'm not so sure. I think in reality he was afraid that he was barren and would be humiliated if he remarried and didn't produce an heir. He was certainly aware of the shame Father's first wife had brought him. However, this was good news for me as it meant I was now heir to two duchies.

    Guilhem certainly started energetically by successfully completing my father's war in Vienne. He then went after Forez and had the count assassinated, although this became widely known and sullied his reputation.
    In August 1125, I was very shocked to receive a letter from my mother telling me that she had decided after much consideration to disinherit me from the Duchy of Province in favour of a local noble the count of Venaissin. She hoped I would understand as I had my Countess and would likely have Savoy too.

    Guilhem was furious and sent me a letter saying he would not stand for this. First he started a plot to kill the Count but was unable to find enough backers as the Count was very popular in Provence. He then tried to assassinate the Count but was unsuccessful. Finally in late 1126, he journeyed down to Arles to have it out with my mother in person. I don't know what was said but I was soon restored as heir to Provence.

    Guilhem was soon even angrier. The Duke of Dauphine had joined Prince Andreas' unsuccessful revolt. The Kaiser punished the Duke by revoking his titles, making himself Duke of Dauphine and Count of Lyon and thwarting Guilhem's plans to take the Duchy for himself.

    He took out his frustrations on the poor Bishop of Casale who was assassinated for merely being in the way. The vacant see was given to a exiled member of the von Lenzberg family who had a claim on the county of Bern.
    In June 1127, Guilhem started a war with Upper Burgundy for Bern for the new Bishop's claim. Unfortunately his impetuosity had led him to miscalculate as the Duke of Upper Burgundy called in his allies, the Dukes of Upper Lorraine, Lower Lorraine, Meissen and Tuscany.

    Nevertheless he managed to hold his own for some time and even became renowned for his bravery. My mother now commonly known as "the old" sensed Guilhem's weakness and in December disinherited me again in favour of the Count of Venaissin.

    Before we could even react to this, January brought further disasters. First Guilhem was captured in battle by the Duke of Upper Burgundy and then Adelheid von Babenburg, Countess of Forcalquier (and my second cousin) usurped the Duchy of Provence (later we found out this was with the Kaiser's backing in revenge for my mother declaring independence).

    My mother almost immediately went to war to reclaim the Duchy but as a family we were in a tenuous position. The Bishop of Cuneo had been made regent of Savoy and the war with Upper Burgundy was soon lost leading to a large indemnity. Savoy was not in a position to help my mother as it was 250 gold in debt and only had 400 troops available. Furthermore in March the Count of Bern had his revenge on my brother by having him excommunicated (possibly with some justification). With the Kaiser's troops in neighbouring Lombardy, there was the real danger we could lose both Duchies.

    However, by the summer things started to look up again. My mother had been trained for combat as a girl and managed to lead her troops to several victories against superior forces.

    By the following February, my mother killed Forcalquier's troops but didn't have enough troops to siege the castle. I persuaded the Bishop to commit Savoy's troops, although this also involves taking a loan from the moneylenders.

    In May, my brother who had managed to be upgraded to house arrest escaped from Upper Burgundy and re-took over the reins of Savoy

    In Apr 1130 the siege of Forcalquier stalled due to a shortage of troops, that was insufficient to take the city. My brother disbanded and reraised his troops and now had 800 men.

    In June 1131, Forcalquier was finally subdued but the other provinces were more difficult and In November my brother's improved financial position meant he was able to hire mercenaries to ensure success. Around this time his chancellor also forged a claim for Forez.

    In October 1133 the war for Provence was finally won. The succession was now Gavelkind which meant that I would now inherit the Duchy for certain.

    Guilhem was now able to resume his wars of conquest and that December declared war on Forez with his fabricated claim.

    We agreed that my eldest daughter Pernette would marry one of Guilhem's courtiers matrilineally to ensure that the lands stayed within the family

    In Jan 1134, Guilhem was wounded in battle and for a time it looked like I might inherit but he pulled through. In March, the moneylenders came for the money Bishop Cuneo had borrowed. Guilhem cut off their testicles. In July the Pope died. Guilhem sent a significant amount of money to the new Pope Romanus and had his excommunication lifted.

    In Jan 1135, Upper Burgundy sought revenge for the Bernese war by declaring on Guilhem for Savoie itself. Guilhem was able to count on the support of our nephews, the Count of Cremona and the Baron of Tecklenburg (although Tecklenburg is in the far north and a long way from Savoie). Upper Burgundy was supported by the Counts of Lucca and Braunschweig and the Duke of Meissen.

    In September, brave Cremona took on Upper Burgundy with 200 troops against 2800. In November, the major battle of the war took place with 3,200 Savoie troops beating the 2800.

    In January 1136, the Countess of Forcalquier started to cause trouble again. She went to war against my mother with the Prince-Bishop of Viverais for elective monarchy in Provence but was unable to get far.

    By April 36 a lot of Upper Burgundy's troops had been defeated so Guilhem switched to finishing off Forez, which was captured in May ending the war.

    In September 1136, Guilhem took the war across the border but Upper Burgundy would not submit. Then in November plucky Cremona captured the Duke himself and forced a surrender. Having reabsorbed Lombardy, the Kaiser now set his sights on Ancona. This was very worrying indeed as it seemed to be a matter of time before he turned on Provence. The next year Guilhem started a plot to kill the Kaiser but couldn't get enough backers as most of the Kaiser's enemies were in jail. In 1138, the Kaiser reabsorbed Ancona.

    In July 1138 a new enemy threatened Provence as Genoa attacked the County of Provence with a coastal claim. Unfortunately there wasn't enough time to mobilise Savoy's troops and the Genoese took Provence from my mother. My mother was left with no land but then unexpectedly Rainaud, who has wounded and infirm gave her Venaissin. I suppose as Filomena was willing to disinherit me for him, it was only fitting that he should disinherit his own son. His son Aymer was heir to the Bishopric of Basel anyway.

    in November, the Kaiser declared war on Salerno. Guilhem asked the Kaiser for the Duchy of Dauphine but he wouldn't give it to him.

    In May 1139, there was better news as the Duke of Tuscany usurped the Duchy of Upper Burgundy. This presented an opportunity as Bourgogne, Bern and Neuchatel were not under the new Duke.

    In January 1140 The Kaiser took Salerno and promptly handed out the Duchy of Dauphine to the Duke of Baden

    In Mar 1140, Rainaud formerly Count of Venaissin died at the age of 74.

    In April 1140, Guilhem died of pneumonia. He had looked like getting better but then relapsed and died. He was only 42.

    It was now time for me to leave Paris and take up my inheritance, although it was not the inheritance I thought I would get. My first task was to decide on an heir. With only two daughters myself and a 5 year old granddaughter, I chose my nephew Amedee of Cremona as heir in recognition of his bravery in the war against Upper Burgundy.

    In January 1141, the Kaiser finally declared war on Provence. This put me in an awkward position as I could do nothing to help my mother. In April, in fact the Kaiser instructed me to lead the troops against her. Before the battle, we met for a parley. It was only the second time I had seen my mother in almost 30 years (the first was at my coronation)

    "Mother, I'm sorry to have to do this. if you will submit to the Kaiser I'm sure he will be merciful"

    "Son, I will not willingly give up Provence to the Kaiser's yoke again. He and you must take it from me"

    "Mother, you are making this very difficult. I do not wish to have to fight you"

    "Well you must. I am an old lady and I do not wish to see my men die but I cannot submit. I shall go and rest in my tent before the battle. Maybe if you come and visit me then I will fall asleep and there will be no need for a battle. I am 74 so no-one will be suspicious"

    "Mother, I cannot do that. That would be a mortal sin"

    "Your brother would have done. Well battle it is then"

    Of course, I won the battle overwhelmingly and by September 1142, Provence was back into the HRE (minus the Genoese portion of course). At first it looked like the Kaiser would be merciful as he made Mother the keeper of the swans and high almoner but then he revoked the Duchy and gave it to our old enemy the Countess of Forcalquier! Forcalquier promptly revoked Venaissin and so my mother was landless again and forced to return to my court in Savoy after so many years away.

    I was not going to tolerate this so the following January I went to war on Forcalquier for my mother's claim. As Provence was weak I also attacked Neuchatel who was also an ally of Forcalquier. I sent my own troops to Provence and hired the Swiss Band to attack Neuchatel.

    I called the Baroness of Teck into my wars as an ally. Forcalquier called the Duke of Verona, while Neuchatel called in the Duke of Thuringia

    In June 1143, the HRE started a war to recover its last lost territory of Brescia. Meanwhile, the Muslims attacked Genoese Provence which might have given me an opportunity but they lost.

    In Jul 1144, I received startling news that Amadee of Cremona was plotting to kill me backed by the mayors of Cuneo and Marigny. I disinherited him in favour of Jaufré

    In October I won the Neuchatel war but a month later I was starting to regret this as my new Prince-Bishop arranged a suspicious accident for the Bishop of Tarentaise. Clearly not a man of God. Around this time Brescia fell to the Kaiser.

    While I was dealing with Neuchatel, Verona had marched troops in and besieged Savoie. It took some months but by July 1145 Verona was finally defeated and in August the war for Provence was won. My mother was restored to her lands except for Genoese Provence which I planned to deal with in due course. I urged my mother to execute the trouble-making Countess of Forcalquier but she refused. I vowed I would have my revenge on the von Babenburgs when I was Duke.

    Around this time Tuscany, took Bern and now had 4 provinces North of the Alps. I decided to forestall further Tuscan expansion by claiming Bourgogne for the Bishop of Tarentaise but in 1147 the Bishop died just as the war was nearly successful. I then decided to change tack and go after Tuscany directly by attacking them in Bern

    In 1148, Kaiser Adolf died and was succeeded by his son Heinrich V who had better diplomatic skills than his father but was not renowned for anything else. The Kaiser granted Lyon to a new count so I was hopeful this would improve my chance of getting Dauphine

    In October 1149, I was victorious in the war against Tuscany and then in November heard news that the Countess of Forcalquier had escaped my justice my dying.

    In Apr 1150, the Kaiser instituted medium crown law in the HRE. I had more important things to worry about as I contracted consumption. By November I was on the mend

    In Jan 1151, the Duke of Modena usurped the Duchy of Tuscany. That certainly helped as the remaining part (Upper Burgundy) was now much weaker

    In Jul 1151, I made the decision to divorce my wife after 40 years of marriage. It was a tough decision but needed to be done for the dynasty. I only had 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters. My brother, Jaufré was also getting old and himself had 1 surviving daughter. Amédée of Cremona had died in 1148 and been succeeded by a grandson. I married the heiress to the neighbouring county of Gevaudan and in December Dec 1152 a son Gilbert was born.

    In May 1153, my mother Filomena died at 84 years of age. I had not been able to restore all of Provence to her but at least I had saved her from total ruin. It also meant that after over 40 years of waiting I finally had my original inheritance.

    After my mother's funeral, there was another ceremony to organise.

    All of the great and the good were assembled in the cathedral. I processed down the aisle and stopped in front of the altar where I received the sceptre and regalia of the Kingdom. Finally the Archbishop lifted the crown and lowered it on my head. I Richard De Savoie was now King of Burgundy, the first for 120 years and holder of a title that had been held by the descendants of Charlemagne.

    Last edited by Loderingo; 30-05-2012 at 00:18.

  16. #16
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

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    Feb 2012
    The land of eternal rain
    Well good to see you managed to get things set up to finally create Burgundy! Had my doubts the first part of your update things weren't sounding good, but you pulled through!

  17. #17
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    The endless maze of my own imagination.
    I loved the last couple updates. Lots of intrigue. I take it that Duke Richard is a very pious man unlike most of his family.
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  18. #18
    Nice to see how you've crafted Burgundy, time to get rid of that pesky Kaiser, right?
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  19. #19
    Captain east_emnet's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II

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    Our Town
    I found it kind of funny how often the ownership of the Duchy of Provence changed hands in the last update.

  20. #20
    tnick - yes I finally got Burgundy. Felt like I would never get there at some point.
    Machiavellian - thanks for the positive feedback. Yes, Richard is definitely more pious than some other family members
    Mr Santiago - getting rid of the Kaiser is easier said than done. The HRE has grown quite powerful as it has moved into Sicily
    east_emnet - yes Provence was ridiculous. Every time I thought I had it under control the situation kept changing

    Sorry for the lack of updates. Got a bit stuck so have played on until 1224 but can now see better how I will chop it up. Hope to write more on the weekend. The new DLC is an incentive to get a move on. Also I have a good idea for a mini-AAR

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