+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 43

Thread: di LuccaARR - The Joyous Life in the Vineyards of Tuscany

  1. #21
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter Nine: Riyahdids and Fatimids

    As the Riyahdid Invasion of Italy continues, I more or less ignore the commotion it causes. I don't even raise Lucca's special forces task force of 300 to be captained by Theodorich. Why do I simply ignore Duke Herman's pleas for my support? To be truthful I don't have a reason, I just felt like being a liar, as Mariano raised me to be.

    So for now let us forget an infidel invasion is even taking place. For if they show up to Lucca I think I'd simply just convert anyway and bend my knee to the new sovereign. It isn't that big of a deal, I am a liar, and therefore it would come as no surprise should I renege on the vassal contract to my silly little Duke.

    While the invasion is occurring Martino comes of age and needs to get married. The only lady I see that is of worth any note to marry him to is the Duke of Blois's daughter Mascarose de Blois, they agree and bring in a bit of a dowry to our humble home in Lucca. Sadly the marriage really brings nothing to the table, but it is nice seeing my brother married, and perhaps he can tell me the secrets of how to perform the impregnation dance.



    After the celebrations my Marshal Guillame d'Ivrea, my wonderful Frankish step-dad, informs me that the Fatimids have decided to declare an unholy Jihad for Sicily. The poor Normans of Sicily, it seems they are destined to be cleansed from the Earth much like their English cousins.



    The good news however is that Martino does know how to perform the impregnation dances and teaches me how to go about it, so that night I return to Lady Judita's bedchamber where she is busy kissing and making out with one of her serving lasses. I interrupt that of course, for it is time to do my duties as husband and Count. As it would turn out she gets pregnant several weeks later after a much successful dance, again I must state for the record she did not seem to enjoy this one bit!



    The ritual produces an heir at least for after 9 long months of my loving wife's fat belly she poops out a son, little Bernardo, who for whatever reason seems to have an internal strength within him that may propel him to greatness someday. But then again he may only prove to be a mediocre Count of Lucca in this family of Mediocrity.



    More years pass by again with little note, the Invasion of Italy continues but really no one is winning. For the armies of Toscana are busy in Sicily, and the Riyahdids are well, lost and confused really. It seems they have been drinking too much of Tuscany's grand wines and have lost their heart for true battle and are taking it rather easy at the moment. As d'Ivrea has suggested this may be a good time to release the Luccan forces, so the call goes up to the country side to muster our wondrous strength.

    Meanwhile my hunchbacked brother Aldobrandino comes of age, and can now marry the Baroness Mariana di Monferrato of Tivoli. Tivoli is a small Barony to the east of Rome deep in the heart of the Papal States. I like this idea having a di Lucca's ruling a barony within the Papal States would be a definite plus, and it helps our family look a bit better than some rich wine selling family that holds one County. The marriage is accepted of course, and so the first di Luccan male to wander off outside of our lands to another castle has happened. Not only will we finally have dynasty members ruling that little barony, but it gives us a close eye upon the Pope, which is something that at this moment is probably more priceless than any other chunk of land our tiny family could manage.



    Dire news occurs not long after the marriage between the Hunchback of Lucca and the Baroness of Tivoli. As Marshal Guillaume d'Ivrea was sweating profusely as he informed me of the fall of Sicily!

    The Fatimids now have a strong hold upon Southern Italy, and with the fractured unity of Central Italy there is now nothing stopping them from reaching further north to Tuscany and beyond!



    The future of Christendom has gone from unknown to dire with the fall of Sicily. One can only hope the Pope's first order of business will be to liberate the South, but it would seem the Holy Father has other plans.


  2. #22
    Sol Invictus Shaytana's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    this multiverse, sometimes another
    Posts
    2,927
    I quite enjoyed the last installment, waiting for more.
    Check out my Better Looking Characters CK2 mod

    Lux Invicta My CK2 overhaul featuring Romans, Diadokhoi and much more!

    A CK2 Arche Seleukeia AAR! made possible by Lux Invicta.
    Building up the setting in preparation for The Katabasis, the Tale of the Indohellenic Heirs of Alexandros.

  3. #23
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689
    Thank ya, I felt my narrative was a bit off on that update, was missing the muse this morning, but glad you liked it!!! Probably put another update up in a little bit, trying to catch it up to my current ruler, but still a ways to go before that.

  4. #24
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter X: Marriages and a Brief History of England

    Shortly after word of the Fatimid occupation of Sicily my Luccan Hordes were arrayed on the fields ready to be marched of to war in defense of Central Italy. My Spymaster Theodorich von Cascina, Hero of Tuscany, and former Lord Protector of Lucca, was off running intriguing missions in some far away Italian province, so sadly and much to our great misfortune the hero was not available to be our Captain.

    Instead the duty fell to Alcide di Capanorri, the elderly former Marshal of Lucca that had been otherwise enjoying retirement. His role as Captain was sadly short-lived. I'll explain why in a minute, but first when I left off in my last entry to the Luccan Tome of Wise and Grand Rulers, I said it would be amazing if the Pope decided to call the First Crusade to liberate Sicily, I also said he had other intentions.

    Come to find out the Pope even with the Fatimids knocking on his door in Sicily, felt it very unnecessary to free Sicily, instead he thought he would take Christendom's war to the doorsteps of the Fatimids themselves by ordering a Crusade for Jerusalem. No one truly knows why he would come to a conclusion that this was the best decision to be made. I suppose we all are prone to crappy advice from time to time, and in a way I think this was all part of some master scheme hatched by my hunchback brother Aldobrandino Baron of Tivoli, to somehow rid himself of the true Luccan branch of the family.

    With all that said, Alcide's role as Captain was a disaster for at the battle of Bologna he proved that the Luccan war machine was anything but invincible. In fact our troops were all slaughtered, the only one who survived was the wily old drunk Alcide.



    After the humiliating defeat, I decide not to risk any more of the local vineyard workers, my populace especially the merchants in Pistoia would be rather angry with me if I sent any more of their laborers off to their deaths. Instead, I decide to send my sister Aloisia off to marry the Doux of Capua Chrysanthos Spartenos I.



    Months after the wedding ceremonies in Capua, a marriage that would hopefully one day sow the seeds of partnership between us Luccan Catholics and the Capuan Orthodox Christians, I receive a letter from the hunchback Aldobrandino Baron of Tivoli. It seems he is marching around the Holy Land by the side of his liege Pope Adrian, and taking in all the wondrous sites that ancient land has to offer. It is quite the extravagant letter, and never in my life since becoming Count did I think it would be possible to feel a twinge of jealousy towards my deformed brother. But nevertheless I did feel jealous, while he was out fighting for Christendom I was stuck in Lucca trying to keep the vineyards safe from the marauding Riyahdids. Thank god they've stayed away from our quaint County though.

    As I read his letter I discover some rather ominous news though, it would seem that Pope Adrian had been maimed in battle, and many of the surgeons in his retinue felt he would not live to see another fortnight. A month passes after that letter, when our Chaplain the Bishop of Cascina shows up to court alongside our Chancellor bearing news that Adrian had died in the Holy Land, and Pope Stephen X had been elected in Rome. Word has it from our dearest Bishop that Stephen won the election by stating he would spend his energy and vast powers of Pope attempting to liberate beautiful Sicily.

    I hope that is true, but I dare say with the current entanglement in the Crusade for Jerusalem it will be a long time coming before the lords of Christendom would feel up to the task to take on the Fatimid behemoth in Sicily as well.

    After the Bishop shares this news my Chancellor sits and sips at the wine I offer him. He tells me of an advantageous marriage betrothal he had dug up from England. It would seem the Prince Magnus Yngling of England was searching for a beautiful young woman and had heard Katalina's beauty was beyond compare. Now, to start you may remember me mentioning something of the Norman destruction in Sicily being compared that to their English cousins, I suppose its time I backtrack a little to divulge the story since it seems a Luccan will soon be residing in ancient Londinuum.



    As you can see things over in that little island have been rather tumultuous over the last twenty years. Two Kings residing in dungeons, and four kings in that short amount of time. It all started with the story all of Europe knows about the race for the London Chair. William the Bastard deciding to be a bastard and swimming the channel in hopes of elevating himself to a much higher station and riches, all the while the old and evil Norwegian King feeling the need to pillage and rape the succulent little lasses of Saxon England.

    King Harold II of England would not survive this dual war very long and surrender rather quickly to William. But King William was destined to failure as well, for in the drunken celebrations his generals never thought to inform him the Norwegians were still killing, and raping his newly acquired subjects. Soon the Norwegians would be beating upon William's door and take him prisoner, forcing him to hand the crown over to Harald, naming himself the III of that name in England. William de Normandie still resides in a dungeon in Oslo by the way.

    The drama does not stop there however. In fact it gets even better. King Harald III of Norway and England died 10 years after ascending the throne in England. It was actually an era of peace and tranquility for the isles, even though it was a melting pot of cultures, with Saxon Lords, Norman Lords, and Norwegian Lords all ruling over their rival fiefs. Any King inheriting that mess has my utmost respect. At least here in Lucca all we have to worry about are wine-drunken peasants.

    But his children split the thrones England going to King Magnus I Yngling, and Norway being handed out to King Olaf III Yngling. It was a separation that would lead to more wars and chaos. Only unfortunate thing is that King Magnus would be captured in battle and now shares a cell in the dungeons of Oslo with his fellow King of England William de Normandie. But through some odd twist of fate Magnus was allowed to keep his crown and his son Prince Magnus was all but ready to sit his happy large butt upon the gilded chair in London. But first he needed a wife, and it was time to send young Katalina on her way.



    After that wondrous meeting and good tidings, for my father Anselmo is probably pissing himself silly in the afterlife knowing that a grandchild of his may eventually sit upon a throne. But let us veer away from that subject for on the day beautiful Katalina set sail my wife Judita felt it necessary to go into labor and bring forth another boy into this wonderfully dark and dreary world besieged by the Riyahdids.



    At least the defense of Toscana has finally started swinging in our favor now. And of all amazing things Katalina has sent word that she was no longer marrying a Prince at Canterbury Cathedral, but instead that Prince promised to her was now a King, a young King, and a King destined for glory. I was pleased to see her so happy in her letter, and wished her the best, for it seems the luck of us di Lucca's may finally be looking up.

    But then, Guillaume and Theodorich both found some bad things going on in the forests that are all mine to hunt in. It seems some poachers have decided to hunt my furry little friends. So I tell the Marshal and Spymaster to go lop those thieves legs off, but ensure that they survive, for it is time to have some more rolly-pollies as friends.



    Finally the Riyahdid's agreed to an armistice and left our lands for the first time in almost eight years. This would hopefully breathe a bit of life back into our economy and please the peasantry a bit more. One can hope of course, but I am sure some more ill-fated things will befall us shortly. Besides, now I have more time on my hands and decide to venture in Anselmo's Library. That great room we added onto our Castle in honor of my father the most illustrious Count Italy has ever seen.

    I decide it would be a good idea to begin studying, as learned men seem to be faring better and better in the world these days. And I want to be able to impress people and hopefully become smart enough to avoid any such mistakes as my father and the rest of Toscana made during the Incident of the Capuas.

    I hunch over reading a most interesting book. It seems to have some odd tales in it, maybe they are curses I don't know, but needless to say the writing is quite scintillating. It has my attention deep into the night, when I begin to feel my heart race, racing faster and faster and faster. Then, without warning I begin to feel sleepy, and lay my head down, and here I must stop writing for it is time to wonder off into that wonderful world of dreams and fantasies, hopefully I will be able to write more about my adventures on the morrow.



  5. #25
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XI: Bohemian Storm Clouds Over Lucca

    I awoke on the morning of April 11, 1095, to an empty bed which was rare as the sun had yet to start rising over the eastern horizon and usually at this hour Martin my husband was usually snoring away happily in his dreams. Our marriage has been anything but happy, more reward set up by my mother and his father for Lucca's amazing triumphs in the Rebellion. But since he was gone I call in my beautiful young Italian maid and order her to pleasure me for a bit. No harm done, Martin knows this happens when he is away, and we have only done his so called "dance" three times, all of which have resulted in impregnation through some joke of the Lord.

    Oh, yes, I forgot to mention I am pregnant yet again, or so I am led to believe since I am now several weeks past due on getting the woman's bane. After my made successfully pleases me we retire to the washroom to clean up and she dresses me ever so gently. I am at my happiest when me and her are together, but I fear one day her father will show up and take her away for marriage, or some disgusting merchant will be in court and favor her with gifts and rape her. I shudder at the thought of my unblemished young partner having to feel the pains of her maidenhead stripped by such unkind hands.

    After all this hard work the dawn sun slowly starts peaking over the horizon blazing down upon the beautiful green vineyards of Toscana. I love the spring mornings the best in this country. If my father Duke is to be believed the lands he came from in far away Bohemia was a much more dreadful and unforgiving place. In a way I find it hard to believe that the lands of beautiful Italy could have bread such men in ancient times that felt the desire to straddle the world, for all Italians I have met were perfectly happy to withdraw from the world of politics and live in their quaint palaces and drink wine. It was only through my mother's marriage to a Bohemian that Toscana felt the need to rebel, sad that our cousins didn't join in breaking the back of the Holy Roman Empire.

    I walk down from the apartments as it seems Bernardo and Martin were both sound asleep as most young boys are at this hour. I walk on to the new San Anselmo Library curious as I see the faint glow of a candle from the doorway. Could my husband be in there reading? Surely he was asleep, possibly having an affair. Oh I could only hope he was having an affair. Duke Herman's retribution would be swift and furious if he ever cheated on me and I would be placed as Regent of Lucca.

    I walk into the Library and much to my sorry surprise Count Martin is asleep face firmly planted atop an open book.

    "My Lord," I say quietly at first and repeat it louder several times. "Martin?" I walk up to him and give his shoulder a nudge backward, and he limply spills over the reading bench. My heart starts racing, what is this? He is laying there now head on the floor arms splayed out as if trying to embrace some large obese woman and his legs still upon the bench. I kneel over him and place my face near is mouth and nose, and too my surprise I discover he is dead.



    I stand up calmly and rush out into the audience chamber and shout for a guard and direct them into the library while I run upstairs back to the apartments and throw open Bernardo and Martin's door rushing inside to ensure they were still alive and well. They both awake sleepily at first, I assume sensing my motherly anxiety. I don't inform them of what has happened just now, for they are still young boys, but Bernardo will surely have to be sat down and told eventually, for he is now de facto Count of Lucca at all of 5 years old.

    I have no idea how my dearest husband died, he was only 25 years old, it seemed he would have a long long life ahead of him. I start thinking of what to do, should I inform his mother Anna? She's still alive and still to this day has some power in our little County, especially since the Hero Theodorich still has her ear. I decide against it, the last thing I want is that damnable fool of a spymaster exerting his force and proclaiming himself Regent yet again.

    So I grab Bernardo and pull him downstairs, whispering to him of the greatness this day has thrust upon his young head. We walk into the audience chamber and the only man there is Bishop Alberico of Cascina, Martin's faithful Chaplain. I believe he would be trustworthy enough for he is Lowborn and would surely not feel the need to place himself in the office of Lord Protector of Lucca.

    He comes forward at that moment as if reading my mind and kneels upon one knee and proclaims, "My Lord, Count Bernardo di Lucca, Lord of Lucca, Humble Vassal of Duke Herman of Toscana, and his beautiful mother, Countess of Lucca Judita Premyslid, may you protect our small County and that of the frail young body of our Count."

    It seems I have just been named Regent of Lucca by a overwhelming majority of Lucca's present councilors.


  6. #26
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XI Part II

    Shortly after my power grab for the esteemed office of Regent, a Norman traveler by the name of Ralph de Normandie appears in little Lucca preaching to the masses that would gather to hear his rants and raves against the Norwegian barbarians that sacked the isles that his grandfather had laid claim to. He was dressed as a friar, in some of the most disgusting travel stained attire. Someone even had the brilliant idea to grant him an audience with me where he proclaimed he would be the most faithful and honorable servant my son Count Bernardo di Lucca. It was a sad attempt to be given the office of Chaplain and our dearest lowborn Alberico was more than competent enough, not to mention dressed so much better and cleaner.

    I also turned Ralph down for fears of Papal disgust, as it seemed the English Yngling were Pope Stephen's favored Christian family, it'd be a sad day to see Lucca harbor an enemy of that family and smear our good name across St. Peter's Chair. But, I do allow him to stay in Lucca to practice as a lowly friar in the streets of Lucca and Pistoia, to preach and hopefully in some small way repent and cleanse his soul of the damnation the Bastard had placed upon his ill-fated descendants.

    The next order of business was an audience with a man named Atenolf di Aquino. And he presented me with quite the offer. He had shown marvelous skills in subterfuge under the auspices of a local merchant family in Pistoia and seemed to feel he may be a good fit in Lucca's ever growing court. I have to think about this offer for a while in silence while he waits, I eventually come to the decision that di Aquino's appointment as Spymaster would not only be a refreshing change but a necessary one. For the Hero of Toscana, Theodorich von Cascina yet lived and served as Spymaster in our illustrious little fief, and the German could not be trusted anymore after Martin's death.

    I send immediate word that he is to be sacked and stripped of all rights and privileges that come with being Spymaster and a former Regent, and order our guards to escort him to his family's small farm outside Cascina. I'm sure this decision will not go over very well in the months to come, but to cement my roll as Regent and make sure no one can question my orders getting rid of that man, as honorable and heroic as he may be was a necessary evil.

    As the days business wraps up I feel a sharp pain in my womb and realize with a start that I was going into labor. I shout for help to be escorted to my chambers, and silently pray that this birth goes well, for if I were to die this day all my hard work to prevent the rise of Theodorich would be for naught.



    A month later I finally recover from the birth of Isabella di Lucca, and thankfully find that I am still Regent and Lucca has not had any problems during my absence. Although it shouldn't be surprising as Aquino was more than kind to constantly come to my chambers reporting back on any plots locals may have had against me.

    On that day I recieve word that even more di Luccas had been born. Twins in fact, to Martin's brother Martino, Cesare and Marietta di Lucca. I send them my well-wishes, for keeping Martino happy was necessary as he could easily depose me and little baby Bernardo in an instant should he have an infusion of ambition roar through his meek mind.



    To further tighten my grip on power, I decide it best to appoint Martina di Pallestrina as Bernardo's tutor and guardian, and invite her to reside in court where she could have the room right across from mine, so I could keep an eye upon her as well as her husband, Lucca's new Steward.



    That is when Chancellor Engelbrecht von Pistoia sends a set of documents back to us from his station in Parma. Documents claiming that little Count Bernardo my dearest of all sons is the rightful Count of Parma. I toy with these documents for a while and hide them in a chest in the study, knowing that at this moment it was not the best of times to press such claims, better if we wait till Bernardo is a bit older to try and expand his own territory, for a man that can conquer is a true ruler indeed.

    A year later later Atenolf di Aquino has discovered a corrupt noble lord in Firenze and asks us what to do about it. I order him to use it as he sees fit, for it could potentially weaken my brother Duke Herman which would make my claim for the entire Duchy of Toscana look that much better to the locals.

    But then, as if the fate's detesting Aquino's elevation as Spymaster at the expense of the Hero of Toscana, the Mayor of Firenze Slavomir caught Atenolf in the act of some mysterious plotting and had him killed. As a matter-of-fact at the behest of my little brother Herman the Mayor chopped the Spymaster's cock off and sent it to me in a beautifully gilded box.

    Now, I must find a better Spymaster who is not Theodorich Hero of Toscana. I conduct many many interviews when my husbands arch enemy Comita Torchitorio enters the room. I like the things he says, he seems sneaky enough, seems cruel enough, and most of all he seems to hate the old guarde of Lucca even more. Maybe I should have been worried by what seemed to be a lack of morals in him, but in some way it woke a lust in me to see his hand glide a large dagger across someone's throat, just thinking about it makes me want to throw myself upon him!!!

    So Comita Torchitorio finally fulfills his father Mariano's ambition of sitting upon the Governing Council of Lucca.



    Guillaume d'Ivrea Marshal of Lucca, walked into our audience chamber with his wife Anna Jak in tow where he brought me news that it would seem Anna's son-in-law, King Magnus II of England had finally won the Crusade for Jerusalem in the name of all of Christendom. The news should have elated me as the Fatimids would no longer be looking at marching up Central Italy and would have to turn their weary eye back towards their home-turf of Jerusalem and with hope would look away long enough for Pope Stephen X to liberate Sicily.

    Wishful thinking of course, but I also find this news slightly disturbing, Katalina never struck me as a dumb nor peaceful child, and she has been bearing sons and sons and sons in such a multitude that I dare say if I do not tread lightly she may very well encourage a Norwegian incursion into the heart of Italy. So I elect to send my congratulations to my sister-in-law and pretend to be most excited in front of Anna and Guillaume (another man I can't wait to be rid of).



    That Spring marking my second year as Regent of Lucca, I arrange a betrothal contract between the heiress of Spoletto and Bernardo, this is a very advantageous marriage, for Lucca would gain Spoletto and with luck possibly even Parma should my son live long enough to successfully press his claim to the North. As we sign the contract though our Chaplain bursts into audience chamber not even dressed in the regalia of his office but in more ragged riding attire.

    "My Lady!" Alberido proclaimed. "Pope Stephen X, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, has found that your brother, Duke Herman Premyslid of Toscana, has lived in sin too long! And has issued a Papal Bull of Excommunication, calling upon all Catholics, even you, my Lady, to turn your swords upon the Apostate Herman!"



    But now, what to do about my sinful brother?



  7. #27
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XII: The Premyslid Wars

    I've called all of the Governance Council back from their duties abroad. Every single last one of them after I received word from our Chaplain that my brother had been excommunicated. I didn't necessarily call them back to seek counsel on affairs of state. But more to test the waters of my ambition a bit before diving in head first.

    As Matilda's oldest daughter, I think my claim on the throne is stronger than any other nitwit that may get the courage to attack us. And sadly the enemies are already lining up. In fact I dare say the Kaiser himself is watching in complete and total amusement as we Tuscan Premyslids gear up to devour each other. That is also a dangerous thing to think of as well, for not many may know this, but due to my mother's secession from the Holy Empire, the Kaiser has a weak claim versus all of Toscana and her sister duchies.

    Should he decide to press it now? Well lets just say little Lucca would be best to be seen revolting rather than supporting. It really all comes down to self-preservation. Of course I want to elevate myself, one cannot forget that, but to survive this storm we will need to tread very very carefully.

    Our Chancellor agrees with me and shares my points of view, but why shouldn't he? Our Steward is another matter entirely I'm afraid. In fact he's still going on and on about Lucca's rather light purse.

    "My Lady, I think you just don't realize how little funds we truly can throw at a war," He says sullenly. "We could easily hire mercenaries with no problem, but what would be left? Bernardo may come of age to debtors pounding the door and repoing his horse, and foreclosing on our castle! It would be the saddest sight in all of Italy and you my dear would be to blame."

    Some of his words are pretty cheeky I thought. I don't know what to say to the half of him, but he is right Bernardo being in debt would further lower his prestige among the new generation of Italian nobility. "But if I were to be successful?" I muse, not really meaning it to be serious, I mean how could Lucca win anyway? I'm sure Theodorich would refuse service and its not like we have any other Captain that could ever match a fraction of his skill...maybe I need to bring him back and beg for mercy?

    "Lady Judita, he is your brother, you mustn't forget that," Comita says very slowly thinking, obviously grasping for straws. "So...I think there is a second path we can take that we have yet thought of. You peak of deposing him, yet you gain nothing, Lucca gains nothing from this. For your little brother would ascend the ducal steps and you would well never be trusted by him. If you ask me Judita, I would raise Lucca's flag in Rebellion, in honor of your mother Matilda, and lay claim to your rightful seat as Duchess of Toscana."

    Everyone looks at the businesslike and sharp featured Comita Torchitorio speechless. I drum my fingers on the table and turn my glare to the Steward watching him perspire as he did the math of how bad this would dent the treasury.

    Guillaume nods in agreement as does Bishop Alberido, but at the other end of the table sits Anna Jak grandmother to my son Bernardo. She does not look all that amused nor happy in fact she looks troubled.

    "What are you thinking Anna?" I try sound womanly and concerned.

    She looks at me, her cold icy blue eyes glaring into my soul. "You could care less if this was for Bernardo, Judita. We all know you wish to be as grand as your mother. And I wonder what our little prince would say about the decision to go to war? Perhaps its time we include him in a Council meeting."

    I glare back at the aging woman, wondering what on earth could possess such a weak creature to tempt or even consider testing me in such a way. But she is right, and I can't deny it any. "Perhaps we shall go ask, Bernardo, but in the meantime, gentleman go forth and prepare all the men of Lucca for war, and begin to fortify our holdings."

    Me and Anna walk out together followed by Guillaume making our way up the steps to the apartments where we find this sad horrific sight.



    Of all the things in the world it seems God is raining curses upon all members of my family, I pray Bernardo will survive this latest curse.

  8. #28
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Premyslid Wars Part II

    I left off after the Council signed off on my war, adhering to Comita's advice to lay claim to the Duchy of Toscana. I feel it is a great idea in all honesty, I will finally return to the palace of my youth should we be successful against my brother. Pope Stephen X was even pleased with Lucca's decision blessing little Bernardo for his courage in the face of an Apostate, and decreed that should we usurp the ducal jewels of Tuscany, he would allow Herman's little baby boy to retain his titles of Duke of Modena and Ferrara. I like these terms especially since the babe would be weak and I could further press my claims against him and regain all of my mother's lost territory.

    Bernardo, however, recovered from his sickness rather quickly and was back at playing with the other children. Sadly though a year later he fell deathly ill once more. And at that time us Luccan's were having a hard time gaining any ground against Herman.



    Even while little Bernardo is sick he still is a proud child always holding his head high. In a way I think he is an exact replica of his grandfather Count Anselmo, and too make every thing that much better Bernardo finds himself spending much time in the library looking deep into the eyes of Anselmo's portrait while he is still sick. But miraculously he gets better once more. I worry about his constant sicknesses, perhaps he is too frail and that my youngest son Martin would be a better match for the inheritance. I try to push all these thoughts from my head as it seems Bernardo is blessed in some strange way, almost as if he can see those lose strings of fate and at such a young age it is rather promising.



    Another year passes and still there is no good news from the war front. I begin to despair, surely with the amount of enemies Herman is fighting off we should be able to win! Alas, word reaches me from Guillaume that the siege of Sienna has finally been won and that our forces are on the move to Firenze to sack Toscana's graceful capital!



    Feeling the tipping point nearing, and all of my ambitions about to be fulfilled I call in the remainder of my advisers that were not out working in the battlefields, Comita, Alberido, and Guillaume, and inform them to ready Bernardo and the rest of Lucca's household guard, for we are going to head to Firenze and watch the siege unfold in person.

    Guillaume does not enjoy this idea, but Comita once again supports me stating that it would be a grand experience for our young Count to see how a siege takes place and to witness events of state when Herman sues for peace.

    I know this could end all too badly, we could be captured, we could be killed, Bernardo could fall ill once more, and countless other things.

    By the time we arrived to the field my brother had already waved the flag of surrender and sued for peace. In fact we had only just arrived at my Captain's pavilion when Duke Herman rode out through the gates with a small detachment of men begging to be allowed to leave in peace. It was on that day the 23 of August the year 1100, that I signed the armistice, and would be proclaimed the Duchess of Toscana.






  9. #29
    Sol Invictus Shaytana's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    this multiverse, sometimes another
    Posts
    2,927
    I just caught up with this again. I am curious to see Bernardo grow up and see what he looks like and what he does. He seems like he might actually achieve something .
    Check out my Better Looking Characters CK2 mod

    Lux Invicta My CK2 overhaul featuring Romans, Diadokhoi and much more!

    A CK2 Arche Seleukeia AAR! made possible by Lux Invicta.
    Building up the setting in preparation for The Katabasis, the Tale of the Indohellenic Heirs of Alexandros.

  10. #30
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Premyslid Wars Part III

    With the ascension of Bernardo's mother Judita in Arezzo, Firenze, as Duchess of Toscana, word was sent through the camps of Lucca's levies to begin to pack their gear and prepare for the march back home, it would be a joyous march, but at the same time a weary one, as no one truly could believe what we had just accomplished. Sadly, there was the inconvenient fact that wars were still slowly raging through Central Italy, therefore safe passage could not necessarily be guaranteed.

    Then, there was the Count to be concerned about, his safety at this moment in time was my paramount duty to Lucca, for if he perished on the road, well the di Lucca family would more or less be thrown into the darkest of recesses and never ever be allowed to rise again. Its as we begin riding out that I fully begin to comprehend the severity of the situation that falls upon my shoulders. Judita had never hesitated at doing evil things in order to further her own agenda. And after the rumor I heard while in Arezzo, sent to me by one of Theodorich's little whisperers, I could no longer believe that Judita was truly a Lady.

    For it would seem she had embezzled money from Bernardo's treasury during her tenure as Regent.



    Which ultimately begs the question of who robs their own little child?

    The afternoon son begins to grow ever warmer as we continue our march and we ever so slowly cross into the County of Lucca, and knowing that we were in familiar territory once more the moods seemed to lighten among all our entourage. Nevertheless no matter how light the mood became as we set up camp outside Pistoia, I singular thought kept creeping through my head.

    Could Duchess Judita Premyslid poisoned Count Martin?

    A disgusting thought for sure, but how else do you explain the Count mysteriously falling asleep for eternity in his father's library? Surely someone slipped something in the wine.

    I try to shake these sinister apparitions out of my head but they will not leave, and now my stomach is turning in knots ever tighter. That is when I send word to Theodorich von Cascina to meet us in Lucca, as well as send a messenger to all the council members to meet me in the Captain's Pavilion and request Anna Jak and Guillaume d'Ivrea to bring Count Bernardo with.

    Tonight I intend to have a discussion, and tonight I intend to protect Bernardo with all my power, to make my father Mariano proud.

    "Why the long face, Comita?" Bishop Alberido inquired as the councilors funneled into the pavilion. I merely look at him and smile as I sit looking about as Bernardo Guillame and Anna finally enter and take their seats with Bernardo beside me.

    "Lord Torchitorio, what brings us here at this hour? My grandson needs his rest," Anna says.

    "Well now that we are all present I must ask our young lord how he feels about his mother being Duchess now?" I say slowly looking at the young boy.

    He first glances at Anna and then Guillaume unsure of himself at first and then back at me, "I miss mother! Will she come back to Lucca?"

    I grimace sadly disappointed I thought Anna had been talking to the boy about his mother's ill-traits. "My boy, my boy, your mother is much like your grandmother Matilda, ambitious, and unaware of those she loves, for she feels the undying need to hurt those most cherished."

    Bernardo looks confused and seeks out Anna's kind face for reassurance. "Lords of Lucca, during our long war against Duke Herman Premyslid I set in motion an investigation headed by our dearest Hero of Tuscany, Theodorich von Cascina. I ordered it merely as an inquiry as reports from our Steward seemed well rather queer, and I was curious about the treasury. There were other matters as well that this inquiry sought to find, and sadly I have found some things out that must be brought to light at long last."

    The Lords all look well dumbfounded. They obviously had no idea the blow I intended to deliver. "You see it has come to our attention that before as well as during the war the now Duchess Judita Premyslid formerly Regent of Lucca for Count Bernardo had been stealing her son's inherited money straight out of the treasury. This was a failure upon all of our parts, and we should be ashamed we never caught it. But it is too late for regrets, for you see my young Lord your mother she used you, she never loved you, she views you as her stepping stone to greater and greater wealth and power. And now that she has that power what should we expect her to do now?"

    The Lords erupted in surprise Alberido not believing at first but they eventually all calmed down as they realized it had to be true. "Comita," Anna said patting her grandson's hand. "What can we do to protect our lord?"

    "We must keep him safe, we must watch him carefully and ensure that no one but us ever sees him," I say slowly. "The Hero of Toscana will be Lucca awaiting our arrival. I suggest we appoint him Regent of Lucca right here, right now, he served honorably in the past as Regent and as Captain, I think he will be best suited for protecting the Lord during these dark days ahead."

    Anna, Guillaume and Alberido all immediately shake their heads and protest. "No, Comita, it can't be the German again," Anna said. "He was right during that time but now we need an Italian for we are dealing with matters regarding the future of Central Italy, and a noble Italian house. And I fear Theodorich would best serve Lucca upon his steed in command of a host of men."

    "Then who could possibly lead our country till Bernardo comes of age?"

    Alberido looks up no longer sullen and stares at me as do the rest of the councilors. Then Alberido stands, "Comita Torchitorio as the Pope's servant in Lucca, I say you should be Regent!"

    Guillaum nods then as well and looks at me, "Yes, yes. Comita Torchitorio Regent of Lucca, it has a nice ring to it. Besides it was your foresight that led us to these discoveries and I am sure we will be much saddened yet impressed at the totality of your evidence you bring against the Duchess."

    I smile and try to act surprised but this this has all gone as planned, my father would be most proud, for now I shall be Regent of Lucca.


  11. #31
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689
    Quote Originally Posted by Shaytana View Post
    I just caught up with this again. I am curious to see Bernardo grow up and see what he looks like and what he does. He seems like he might actually achieve something .
    It is looking promising for the little Count, but then again his mom was an ambitious woman. Caught your comment right after I got done putting up a fresh update, so allow the politics and intrigue to begin.

  12. #32
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Premyslid Wars Part IV

    We had only been back in comfy Lucca for a few short months when the wheels of fortune would once more begin to turn and turn and turn. For most of those months, me and Theodorich had been working hand in hand, digging up an ever increasing amount of dirt on our newly raised Duchess. Those months though were tumultuous ones for Central Italy. Judita Premyslid was making her power felt as she consolidated her lands, and Duke Herman had officially abdicated his Ducal chair wishing to survive after his embarrassing defeat to us Luccans, so now the Duke of Modena and Ferrara was passed Herman's son and Judita's nephew, Duke Raimondo I Premyslid, Bernardo's cousin. This is also where things get a bet tricky, for the widower of Matilda, the father of Central Italy's rulers happened to attain the Crown of Bohemia at long last, so not only was our sovereign now Duchess, but she could add Princess to her name as well.

    None of this was good, it only added to her power, the thought that she could lobby a foreign monarch into pushing the Kaiser into another Italian war was well nothing short of scandalous. Have no fear though with Theodorich more or less working as my Spymaster while I rule over Lucca as Regent and Alberido's willingness to please anyone in power in Lucca, I do believe we are in the best of hands now.

    Not too mention the sad fact that Theodorich and I have hatched quite the plan with our partner in crime the Bishop of Cascina Alberido. It was a several pronged attack, with many tiny pieces all moving in different directions. Some offering up misinformation to keep the Duchess's inept birds from whispering in her ear about certain nasty plots going on in Lucca. While other little parts led by our faithful Bishop, and an Ambassador of the Doge of Genoa, were sitting in the Vatican discussing certain facets of our plan with his Holiness Pope Stephen X.

    I can't really offer up a whole of details as to their purpose but I'm more than positive that many can figure it out. I'm not at the Vatican sadly, I do wish I was, for I"m sure those are most interesting discussions that could prove to be very very significant. Other than that though I'm sitting in Lucca at the moment, finally caught up on summarizing the events of the last few months when the door to my study flies open with Guillaume and Theodorich all piling into this little already tight study.

    I look at them wearily up and down not enjoying the dour look upon their faces. "Well let's get on with this obviously great and joyous news gentleman," I say sitting back in my chair.

    "Comita," Theodorich starts, "It seems the Genoese have decided to break with our agreement of sorts."

    I bolt forward hunching over the desk, "What do you mean, Theodorich?"

    "He means, the Genoese have crossed our border into Lucca with a host of nearly four thousand men led by none other than their Doge," Gilluame states matter-of-factly.

    I sigh, "Good lord, can anyone in Italy ever be trusted?"

    Theodorich scratches his aging face obviously thinking, that German is always thinking! "We should go to the North Tower at the Palisade, I'm sure we could see his armies approach from there. And if nothing else it will give us a great vantage point for planning our escape."

    "Let's not ponder an escape quite yet Theodorich, I still think the Doge should be entrusted, and that perhaps we'd be best served if we send Engelbrecht out under a peace banner to request a parlay."

    Guillame and Theodorich both nod in agreement and riders are given the order to ride out to set a meeting with these well equipped invaders. Meanwhile we sit and wait, and drink some wine contemplating our well obviously nearing demise I am sure.

    The time for the meeting is set, under the cover of darkness halfway between Lucca and the Genoese encampment. Guillame, Theodorich, Engelbrecht von Pistoia, and myself all ride out together, arrayed in our noble chain mail and swords, I'm sure we don't look very menacing but I'm also sure us old Lords of Lucca could cut one or two Genoese down if it comes to that.



    We meet at the appointed spot facing the Doge resplendent in gilded armor and a white silken cape, he is quite the site to behold especially in torchlight. In fact it makes me think that perhaps these Merchant Republics are onto something as they seem to have no shortage of cash on hand to splurge on shiny objects. This may be an idea I have to place before Bernardo when he's old enough to understand politics. I can see it now the world could see a Doge di Lucca ruling over Tuscany perhaps.

    "Regent Comita Torchitorio I presume," the man that was obviously the Doge of Genoa boomed in greeting.

    I urged my horse a little bit in front of my comrades a bit, "Yes indeed, my Lord, and may I ask to what grand occasion do I owe the good fortune to entertain you and your host?"

    The Doge laughed, obviously one that either is annoyed by honeyed words or thoroughly enjoys them. Personally I am hoping its the latter. "My ambassador has informed me that the Pope has decided to excommunicate your Lord's mother Judita Premyslid, you see. And my ambassador decided it would be a great opportunity instead of working in cooperation with your insignificant little Count, that instead perhaps we should just cleanse the world of all the descendants of Matilda and that bastard King of Bohemia."

    I cough, a bit disgusted and well worried that this was the end of the line, yes, I could already see a sword coming my way ready to sheer off my well attached head. "Oh come on! For the love of Christ, my lord, you know we both want the same thing!" I proclaim. "Lucca has promised and promised you that we want to end Judita's reign and punish her for her ill-treatment of our Lord, Count Bernardo. She even poisoned Count Martin!!!"

    The Doge sneers a bit then and brandishes his sword, causing Guillaume and Theodorich to respond in kind.

    "Torchitorio, son of the disgraced Count Mariano of Arborea, I pray you are trustworthy, because if you do not rebel, if your Lord Bernardo refuses in a childish tantrum to refuse to attack his own mother, then we will sack and burn Lucca to the ground."

    I sigh in obvious relief. "You see, Doge, we want the same and Bernardo has already accepted his mother's sad fate. In fact he is kind of enjoying the thought of watching a grand execution."

    The Doge laughs again. "Then I assume tomorrow you will march?"

    "Well, we were rather hoping we'd have some more time for our Mercenary regiment to return to Lucca, last I heard they were a few weeks away from Siena," Guillaume offered, "But I suppose we can raise our levies and instead converge in Siena rather than wait if it would please you more?"

    "It would please me very much more, otherwise my siege of Lucca will begin and you will be unable to leave to fight," the Doge sheaths his sword at that point and his men start to turn their horses around. "Oh and Comita, just so you know, we will be camped right here until we see a conclusion that makes us happy, so I would suggest to both you and your little butt buddy Theodorich to not try any of those well known tricks you are both known for."

    It was my turn to laugh now, "Oh don't worry Lord, no tricks from us, and if you would be so kind, leave my peasantry alone, they need to continue to make their wine and its rather hard when foreigners are raping their wives to focus on such things. Hope you understand."

    And with that we went our separate ways, and that is how the War to Depose Duchess Judita Premyslid began.

  13. #33
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Premyslid Wars Part V

    The war has thus far went well fairly easily, little if anything of note has happened, but then again Lucca makes up 1/3 of Toscana anyway and Matilda has only been on the throne for nearly a year thus far, so it isn't that surprising that she is well unable to match Lucca's military might. In fact after our mercenary commanders captured Siena and began their march to Arezzo and then Firenze (Florence from this point forward) to join up with our own privately raised peasant army under the watchful eye of Theodorich von Cascina.

    Though no battles were waged and only sieges built, there was still things happening about the castle. For one Marshal Guillaume d'Ivrea became wounded by peasants he was trying to train as reinforcements to our levies. In fact his injury upset the aging Marshal so much he tendered his resignation, only to reaccept his post a week later after the wound had begun to heal.

    Sad news would also reach us straight away from Cascina near Pisa, for Bishop Alberido of Cascina, our little Bernardo's Chaplain had passed away in his sleep at the age of 45 on June 28, 1101. After the memorial services to our dearest Bishop another Lowborn nominated by the clergy of the Luccan Diocese named Camillo as Bishop, who then is subsequently appointed as Chaplain, as has been the traditional post for the Bishop of Cascina.

    Oh and I forgot to mention the Doge still sits beyond Lucca's walls seemingly completely happy with resting his ass upon our vineyards. But as of yet there has not been any major reports of rape or any such nasty things, in fact we've allowed supply trains to come into his encampment throughout the year, just to keep his hordes more than happy. Lord knows a pissed off swarm of nearly 4 thousand Genoese is not something our wooden palisade could withstand for long.

    I should note however that my spies have reported that his army isn't actually at four thousand anymore, in fact there have been deserters, rumor has it some have left to work in our vineyards, and others are down working with Marshal Guillaume after realizing they won't see a war under their currently lazy Doge.

    My policy as Regent of Lucca has been to allow these Genoese turncoats into our levies, into our cities, into our vineyards, and into our brothels, and the outcome? A massive economic boost!!! The whores are buying new silks from our merchants in Pistoia, our wine makers are having troubles keeping casks of wine on hand, our armorer can't find enough steel to keep making new swords and breastplates and mail, and best of all the new citizens have been calling their sisters to town, so as we speak there has not only been an influx upon the fortunes of our locals but there is an overwhelming amount of fresh beautiful young faces scurrying through the streets.

    Its an odd atmosphere for sure. Who would have thought a county at war could flourish such as this? There were even masons and architects showing up constructing new buildings outside the palisade so who knows perhaps Lucca will be the next Rome?

    As I am writing this latest entry into my story as Regent we are camped outside of Florence where Duchess Judita my young Lord's mother's capital. There is really no where for her to go and hopefully she sees the error of her ways and will surrender soon.



    Its a week before Christmas as well, so if we can wrap this up in time for the celebrations that would be most spectacular. Its been just a short year and some odd months since me and Judita and young Bernardo set out to Arezzo to usurp the Duchy from Judita's brother Herman, and now yet again we had marched from Lucca to see the final days of the war first hand. Bernardo is actually enjoying the army life, he's only 11 years old, but already thinking he's more than capable at playing with swords and shields, and Theodorich amuses him by teaching him crafty strategies on how to maneuver forces to surprise an enemy flank. Who better to teach a child the arts of war than the Hero of Tuscany himself?

    As noon approaches riders are seen sprinting forth from the Florentine gates under a banner of peace and I know the siege will be over now, it seems Duchess Judita has been persuaded at long last to surrender.



    We are all welcomed into the city, and marched to Matilda's Villa near the heart of the city where she presented herself in her most splendid of silks and jewels, most of which were bought with the money stolen from Lucca's treasury.

    "Comita," She says with obvious distaste. "To think I used to trust you, and now you turn my son into the blind attack dog for some Republican Mayor in Genoa?"

    I smile as our troops enter the hall escorting Anna Jak and Guillaume and Theodorich inside to join me. "I suppose you had never been taught the arts of diplomacy and politics my lady. I'm sure your father the King of Bohemia never thought you would end up being a ruler in your own right. And Matilda, well all we can say is you have done her proud, allowing the stalwart di Lucca's rise to glory at her expense."

    Judita sneers, almost like an angry dog backed into a corner. Thank god this woman has no sword nor armor! "Well you have won, Comita, so the question is will you truly place Bernardo upon the Ducal throne of Toscana? Or will you instead use this as way to further manipulate the world into gaining your father Mariano's lost County of Arborea back?"

    "I do all in the name of Lucca, my lady," I say bowing as our retinue of guards place the chains upon Judita. "I hope you don't mind this ugly necessity, but you are a danger to the Count, and therefore must be restrained."

    As she is ushered to the side my three advisers Theodorich, Anna, and Guillaume, all escort little Bernardo to the chair of Toscana, and sit him upon it. The boys face is one of utmost joy and pleasure, he even looks at his mother who is now silently weeping while looking at her child, the prince she bore from her womb, the prince that is destined to devour her.



    "Mother, I am glad you kept this safe for me," Bernardo says obviously gloating. "My friends told me you killed father, and stole shiny gold from me, the Pope says your a sinner like all nasty Bohemians. And Bishop Alberido and Camillo all say I must help you repent as your Lord and Sove...sove...rain. They say your too ambitious for a woman, a true Jezebel, a whore, and it seems like the whore you are you are pregnant by a man who is not my father."

    At this point Judita's face has frozen to ice, tears no longer stream but a fire is obviously burning hot as the son within her. "So therefore it is my utmost pleasure mother, to see you locked away in an apartment in Lucca, you can only leave to pray at my Chapel under the auspices of Bishop Camillo who will also here your confession each Sabbath Day. Should you refuse these arrangements I will see you executed as an apostate, and heretic and burned at the stake like the witch you so obviously are."

    All of us are deathly quiet, I surely did not expect the young prince to speak in such a frank and well violent nature. It was more than surprising it was a bit scary. Even his cruel father Martin had never actually threatened anyone, well except for my own cat of which he turned into a rolly-polly.

    "Also my little brother Martin whom I wish to keep away from your poisonous grasp, will be made Count of Siena from this day forward, Theodorich and Comita will pick a worthy regent for him I am sure. But now we are finished here, so guards take the whore of Tuscany away, she makes me sick!"

    They grab her arms and begin escorting her, when she faints, so two more guards step up and help carry our prisoner Princess Judita Premyslid Duchess of Tuscany for 16 months.


  14. #34
    Tuscany always seems to rebel. That woman is too ambitious by far! Keep an eye on her.
    Winner of the WritAAR of the Week for 2/16/14 & Winner of the Video AAR of the Month for May 2014.

    CK2 Tutorial

    My LPs:

    Enemies all Around! (CK2 Jewish Khazars), Rise Italy! (Vic2 Two Sicilies LP), Everyone Gets a Pyramid(CK2 Tulunid - Ended), Time to Sail!(EU4 Portugal - Complete], All Glories to the Tsar!(Victoria 2 - Complete), Hunting Tigers on Elephants(CK2 Pratihara India - Complete)

    My AARs:

    Rome Wasn't Built in an AAR, eer, Day - Part 2(EU4 Megacampaign), Rome Wasn't Built in an AAR, eer, Day(CK2 Megacampaign Complete), Mars and Venus, An Austria AAR(EU4 Complete), Mamluk? More like AARluk or something(EU4 In Progress), To Swede or Not to Swede(Complete EU4), Baltic or Bust(Prussia Romuva CK2 Complete), Once I was the King of Spain(Complete EU4), We have the Best Yurts(Complete Cuman CK2), Viking Russia for the All Father(Complete CK2)

  15. #35

  16. #36
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XIII: Judita's Return to Lucca

    I sit here in the little house in Lucca that the Regent Comita Torchitorio has imprisoned me in, it isn't necessarily as horrible as it sounds. I am a prisoner of course, but still, I hope my son will come to his senses someday soon. It seems Theodorich has had his taste of vengeance against me and that is fine, I'm a Premyslid, daughter of Matilda, and the daughter of a King, I will rise again, and on that day the world will shake with my fury I am sure. But until then I am fat with a baby from my new husband, and I should take care for it very well could be a true Bohemian meant to rule in the Holy Roman Empire.
    I receive news every few days from a few serving girls that are still loyal to me. They say there was a grand celebration for the little lord, and that the banner of Lucca had been taken down in that ceremony and the banner of Toscana unfurled behind my son's Ducal throne. I wonder constantly if he is alright I hope he is with all my heart for he is truly my only vehicle to salvation in this dreary present I live in.

    Some of the news is good, for it seems one of my enemies, Guillaume d'Ivrea, Anna Jak's husband has inherited his County in France and Lucca's stalwart Marshal has packed his bags left Lucca with Anna in tow. My son's grandmother though a simple woman in her old age, and a passionate lustful lover in her youth, will not be missed by me either, for she never did like me and obviously with that rumor of Count Martin being poisoned by me floating around Lucca I am sure did me no favor.



    I end up having a daughter months later, and name her Boleslava Premyslid, I wish it had been a boy, a boy that would make my son tremble for his maltreatment of me. But alas, it seems even God himself has turned his back on me, and perhaps that is why Pope Stephen X had excommunicated me.

    I also would hear word that the Count Zdirak of Aprutium who for whatever reason was still thinking he was at war with my brother Prince Herman had finally requested a White Peace from my son, bringing one half of the Duchy of Spoletto under Bernardo's thumb. Apparently in Aprutium news travels very very slowly since Herman had been deposed two almost three years ago at this point. Maybe his councilors are just horrific, he is a Bohemian of course and probably the one final man in all of Tuscany that I thought I could possibly trust. It seems he is a bit more politic than I thought though for he never returns my letters, and instead I hear from my little birds that he instead sings Comita's praises, and even becomes Marshal of Toscana.

    It is the events of one fine morning that make me think that God has not finished with me. For my husband wakes me up telling me the guards have left and the door unchained. In fact outside is most silent for this hour. I pull on some clothes and go outside for the first time in months standing on the street like some little peasant girl. Surely mother Matilda would have laughed and been completely disgusted that such a little upstart family as the di Luccas would ever imagine to treat a regal and prestigious di Canossa/Premyslid so harshly.

    I begin to walk through the streets wondering what would happen if I made my way to the castle. Much to my surprise no one says much of anything, in fact the townspeople bow and get out of my way rather quickly.

    When I reach the gate into Bernardo's home the guards even bow saying, "My lady, the Duchess Judita, how is your morning?"

    "Surprising as you could imagine young man," I answer, "This is my first time out of my dungeon, and was hoping that the Duke Bernardo would be so kind to grant me an audience."

    The guards look at each other and that's when I notice how pale they are. "My lady, in all honesty the Duke is expecting you," the guard says and opens the gate for me letting me pass through.

    I walk through the square and notice people crying, people praying, and that new Bishop Camillo whispering to someone off down a long hallway. I head into the main audience chamber where my son sitting upon his gilded throne that was taken out of my palace in Florence. I will admit it is a beautiful site seeing the banner of Toscana draped in Lucca's court, it really almost looks at home here.

    The crowd parts for me as I make my way within and my son sits staring no longer paying attention to his advisers or friends or what other kind of filthy creatures those men may be. Probably people vying for a powerful position, and I sit their wondering where on Earth could Theodorich be? I can only imagine him plotting my final downfall and perhaps this is where it will end, perhaps this is my trial and upon that chair is my 12 year old son who would be my executioner.

    "Mother, do you repent the sins you committed against us?" Bernardo says sounding much more the man than the boy, I feel proud too at that moment for here is my son, acting as his own man and not even a man yet.

    "I do my son, Duke of Toscana, Lion of Italy," I proclaim kneeling down bowing my head hoping to show some semblance of sorrow and embarrassment over my actions in the past.

    "Good, I have a mind to pardon you," he says waiving his hand. "Comita died last night you see, and Theodorich is old and in retirement he says the last war was too much exposure to the elements. He's a funny man, German helping Italy be ruled by Italians over you damnable Bohemians. But nevertheless mother you were a Duchess once, a Princess still, and most of all my mother."



    "Thank you, your Grace," I say not believing any of this.

    "But there is a condition to your full pardon," Bernardo goes on. "If you do not work with me tirelessly to completely and totally vanquish your brother Prince Herman and his demon spawn Duke Raimondo from all of Italy, I will have no choice but to execute you once and for all as a traitor to me, to Tuscany, and to the memory of my father."

    I feel the color drain out of my face, "Yes, anything that you command my dearest son!" I kneel once more, subjugating myself before him.

    "Then, rise woman, you knelt a traitor, you rise as my Mother, Regent of Toscana!"

    With that I rose, doing my best not to appear defiant in the face of the insurmountable odds that had been stacked against me. My mind already beginning to think of ways I could claw my way back to power.


  17. #37
    I fear this will not end well.
    Winner of the WritAAR of the Week for 2/16/14 & Winner of the Video AAR of the Month for May 2014.

    CK2 Tutorial

    My LPs:

    Enemies all Around! (CK2 Jewish Khazars), Rise Italy! (Vic2 Two Sicilies LP), Everyone Gets a Pyramid(CK2 Tulunid - Ended), Time to Sail!(EU4 Portugal - Complete], All Glories to the Tsar!(Victoria 2 - Complete), Hunting Tigers on Elephants(CK2 Pratihara India - Complete)

    My AARs:

    Rome Wasn't Built in an AAR, eer, Day - Part 2(EU4 Megacampaign), Rome Wasn't Built in an AAR, eer, Day(CK2 Megacampaign Complete), Mars and Venus, An Austria AAR(EU4 Complete), Mamluk? More like AARluk or something(EU4 In Progress), To Swede or Not to Swede(Complete EU4), Baltic or Bust(Prussia Romuva CK2 Complete), Once I was the King of Spain(Complete EU4), We have the Best Yurts(Complete Cuman CK2), Viking Russia for the All Father(Complete CK2)

  18. #38
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689
    Yeah luckily though Bernardo is only about 3 years from turning 16, so hopefully he can survive that long

  19. #39
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XIV: Bernardo Grows Up

    I wish I had the power to make some political gains as Regent, maybe even enough power to buy some poison. But sadly I'm not given a salary like I used to be. I'm only allowed to stay in my apartment and walk to the castle each morning and truly my only duty is to sit and drink some wines and eat lunch and dinner, and oversee Martina di Pallestrina's tutoring of little Bernardo.

    Sadly this child seems destined to walk down the path of his grandfather the now beatified Saint Anselmo di Lucca. For at only 13 years of age he already sneaks into the kitchen to grab some sausages and cheese and can already handle as much wine if not more than most grown men! I wonder what it is about this family and their gluttony?



    I go back to my office and sit back pouring myself some wine when I notice something that just flat out angers me beyond all comprehension. Come to find out while I was contemplating and trying to discover a potential Spymaster to fill Regent Comita's place, that my son in all his wondrous foresight appointed the Hero of Tuscan Theodorich von Cascina back to the post. Well that would explain why the man has not been seen for quite some time I imagine he's out whipping the populace into rebellion against my rule as Regent this time.

    Fortunately I discover later that day what he is doing when Bernardo comes into my office and pounds his fist upon the desk awaking me.

    "Mother!!!" he yells, "Do you not have something productive to do?"

    I look at him eyes cold as ice, this son of mine I realize I honestly have no more love for, "No since you have taken to appointing your own men, men that are untrustworthy I might add, and more or less already rule in your own right, what on Earth do you think I should be doing?"

    "Finding me a new wife to start!"

    "What about Countess Drahomira Ranovec?" I ask bewildered, they had been betrothed for nigh upon ten years now I can't imagine the consequences of him breaking a contract with someone that probably would be ruled by him one day.

    "She has surrendered the County of Spoleto to the Doge Abbondio of Ancona mother. Do you not know anything?" He asks bewildered.



    "Well it appears Theodorich keeps all things of note from me," I sigh. "So who shall we marry you off to now?"

    Bernardo looks at me with a bit of a grin creeping across his face, a grin that had to come from the di Canosa branch of the family, "I tell him to keep things, well everything from you mother. Its your punishment, to be in such a high position but powerless. In fact do not worry about another marriage or betrothal for me Theodorich is working on it and I am sure you would only find a hairy Bohemian for me anyway."

    I start to say something and he turns and walks out laughing. What kind of monster is he? Not only that but what 13 almost 14 year old is so coldly calculating? I go home fearing the worst and hoping to talk my husband into taking me and Boleslava back to Bohemia where we may be able to live out in peace. Unfortunately when I get there I find my husband bent over Boleslava's bed weeping, and Bishop Camillo smiling, (sadly? or was that an impish smile?) "My lady Regent Boleslava Premyslid has died this afternoon after waking up sick as can be. She's received her Last Rights and I will send for someone to gather and prepare the body."

    I fall to my knees, knowing that this is all just some grotesque manifestation of my son's anger against me for the rumor that I poisoned his father. Or perhaps it was all Theodorich's doing, but I cannot help after that exchange today in the study that this was orchestrated purely by the Duke himself. I crawl over while weeping in fear, to my husband, "We have to escape, this was Bernardo, I swear it!"



    Unfortunately I am not allowed to flee Lucca in exile, in fact now things have gotten so thoroughly heavy handed that Duke Bernardo saw fit to post guards outside my door. His reasoning was to keep me and my husband safe from anymore ill-fortunes. I know instead it was to return me to house arrest for they escort me wherever! I have no more freedoms no more moments alone without being watched!

    Months would pass living like this sadly. When I hear some news from Bishop Camillo that honestly makes me smile in delight. Bernardo's Aunt's husband has had a Jihad Declared against his Kingdom of Jerusalem.



    Remember in Anselmo's journal, how he used to complain about his German Steward Markward von Cascina? Well he has finally died. Theodorich's dear cousin in fact, now I can only hope that Theodorich will follow him to hell in the coming months.



    Then January 15, 1106 rolls around finally. My sons 16th birthday. Its a bittersweet day hopefully I won't ever have to be seen in this castle again. Hopefully I can retire to Bohemia. Hopefully my life will be ignored by these men who wish to see me dead. And hopefully I will be able to plot my return.

    I stand in Court, thinking these things wondering what will happen now. What direction will Bernardo steer the realm? But these are things I am sure he will enlighten us on in the coming years. One thing I know his coolness is frightening and his malice even worse. It seems the lessons I taught him through my struggles for power taught him a thing or two for better or for worse, and now it is time for me to take my leave.




  20. #40
    Field Marshal tnick0225's Avatar
    Crusader Kings II500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    The land of eternal rain
    Posts
    2,689

    Chapter XV: Lucca, 1106

    I have finally taken the reigns of Tuscany, truthfully I had been ruling more or less in my name since Comita's death but no longer technically a minor so I have finally earned the right to begin writing my own thoughts within the journal Grandfather Saint Anselmo started forty years ago. I wonder if people will credit me with usurping the Duchy of Toscana though? Somehow I dare say my mother will get the credit for it was her ambitions, and her foolishness that led to this occurrence. But then again perhaps all the credit will fall upon Theodorich, for without his cunning in Matilda's rebellion my father Martin di Lucca probably would never have been married to Judita, although in hindsight that probably would have saved many lives.

    So I guess after briefly skimming through the material thus far it is time for me introduce myself and my court, you will notice some familiar faces, some strangers, and well some familiar families whose roots go as far back as Saint Anselmo.



    And my Council of Luccans



    Anselmo di Capannori, Alcide's son is out collecting taxes and manages to bring in a few extra coins a few days after my official coronation as Duke. He is actually a slightly more capable Steward then his father was in the Marshal position.



    I'm still pondering where to send Theodorich, but at the moment I fear its best he stay near to Lucca to keep an eye out on mother. Judita is currently under house arrest again so I probably shouldn't worry much about her, but Lord only knows when her spidery legs will find a way back out.

    Also this is the family. Father's sisters have done a good enough job spreading the gene pool out, a future King of England and Jerusalem perhaps? Well I'm sure the Fatimids will soon be taking that title away from the Norwegians. But there is my Greek cousin down in Capua Duke Sergios Spartenos II, still only 11 years old. He came about by actually being the death of his mother/my aunt, for she never actually recovered from the birthing bed. At least its safe to say the grandchildren of Count Anselmo now sit upon several Ducal Thrones although not very comfortably as there are Fatimids, and Bohemians, and Germans still swarming around like angry bees.





    There really isn't a whole lot going on in my Duchy at the moment and end up finding a wife, a good Italian woman, which is so rare to find these days. Carla Aleramicci, who is quite attractive. She turns 16 in May so we're the perfect age, and both healthy, I think perhaps we may end up begetting many many many little sons of Lucca before long.



    However, Count Zdirad has other ideas for me besides focusing on the marital chamber. It would seem he feels that it is high time to press my claim upon the County of Ferrara, to further lower the amount of land that my dearest cousin Duke Raimondo now holds. I had my doubts at first it seemed a rather ambitious idea having only been ruling without a Regent for a short five months, but nevertheless it is a weak claim and it is sadly only legitimate during Regencies.

    So I agree and begin raising the levies, and do thereby declare what I think should be known as the 2nd Premyslid Wars.



    The war unfortunately starts out rather badly as Raimondo's men meet my levies just as they had been mustered on the fields of Lucca. In fact I watch the ill-fated battle from the palisades worried, and well horrified at how quickly my soldiers just got routed.



    After witnessing that atrocity I refuse to give in and decide to take complete and utter control of the Armies. Besides what young Duke would ever allow some no name Captain to lead his men? Carla frets and tries her best to talk me out of this course of action, but to no avail. I am set and determined upon this course of action. And we set out after the Armies of Count Oberto of Parma, Captain of Ferrara.



    The battles I lead are far from significant as you can see. But it has cemented my leadership in the war and I even begin to become a bit gregarious as well due to all these minor victories if you would like to call it that.



    Unfortunately I get called away from the front lines as some sad news reached me, as it would seem the Hero of Toscana has died of old age. He served our lands well, rescuing Lucca and Tuscany so many times one wonders where we would be at this moment had his hand not been here. I daresay without him the Kaiser would have crushed us quite unmercifully.



    But with him dead I am faced with a dilemma, who should be my new Spymaster? The only one with known prowess in this field is well my mother Judita. I hate that I may have to do this, but she can easily fill the role so long as I only send her places with a retinue of guards. Sadly that won't work a Spymaster needs to be well sneaky. I sit here and think about this a while longer and finally decide to elevate mother once more. But she will only stay in Lucca and have her subordinates, all Theodorich's men of course do her bidding, only after receiving permission from Carla. Hopefully this arrangement will work, but I must say I'm already fearing for the worst.


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

Posting Permissions

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