• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Chapter 11​

The Will of the Anscarids (1126)​


Prince Richard and his deceased eldest son

Now King of the Franks, Guy’s fortune kept playing tricks with him. While he managed to climb at the top of the French hierarchy, his family’s future looked dim. His eldest son suffered a stroke mere days after he received the French crown. Richard’s condition worsened so much that he was confined to his bedroom, barely able to move. He spent most of his remaining days bedridden, either asleep or discussing short moments with his wife Aveis or his court bishop. Richard’s eldest son died of illness years before, which meant that the 2nd person in line to the throne was Guy’s great-grandson, the infant Richard, with his younger brother Arnault as 3rd pretender. The young boys were 6 and 4 respectively. Most likely, Richard the elder wouldn’t live for much longer given his crippled health. Putting his hopes on Richard the younger and Arnault, Guy personally tutored the young children, preparing them to rule France soon.


2nd and 3rd in line to the throne

Time worked against the old king. Guy revised his testament and enacted the final version of his will. His greatest fear was that the country would sink in civil war once again, especially if he were to die before little Richard came of age. This would leave the kingdom vulnerable to its powerful neighbors: the Holy Roman Empire and the unified crowns of Norway and England. Guy never forgot the Germans either when they mercilessly invaded France to depose Hughes II. The Old turned to his predecessors, seeking wisdom on how to rule such a big kingdom prosperously. Scholars and bishops from all the country gathered to Paris, presenting various documents of the previous Frankish rulers. Perusing through this vast knowledge, Guy and his council glimpsed wisdom from France’s most successful rulers. They started with the first Catholic King of France: Clovis I.

Clovis I and Clotilde, King and Queen of the Franks​

Part of Clovis’ success lay in his collaboration with the Gallo-Roman clergy, an important faction who represented the population of Gaul. They viewed him as a lesser evil to Syagrius, the petty roman king, and the Visigoths in Aquitaine, who maintained the reputation of an iron fisted master and unwilling to have warmer ties with the Gallo-Romans they were controlling. His cooperation with the Christian population of Gaul, followed by the conversion of the Franks, cemented his authority over the Gallo-Romans.

He married a high ranking Burgundian princess, Clotilde, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who was also a devout Catholic. Clotilde would have a great influence on her husband and played a key role in having him baptized. According to legend, Clovis I, the first Catholic King of the Franks, converted to Catholicism during the Battle of Tolbiac. Clovis yearned to the Christian God of his wife, swearing that if He brings him victory, he shall convert and honour His name.

Battle of Tolbiac in 496​

"O Jesus Christ, you who as Clotilde tells me are the son of the Living God, you who give succor to those who are in danger, and victory to those accorded who hope in Thee, I seek the glory of devotion with your assistance: If you give me victory over these enemies, and if I experience the miracles that the people committed to your name say they have had, I believe in you, and I will be baptized in your name. Indeed, I invoked my gods, and, as I am experiencing, they failed to help me, which makes me believe that they are endowed with no powers, that they do not come to the aid of those who serve. It's to you I cry now, I want to believe in you if only I may be saved from my opponents."
- Clovis I, King of the Franks​

A few seconds after he said those words, the leader of the Alemanni was killed by an axe. The emboldened Franks then conquered the rest of the Alemanni, integrating them into the Frankish kingdom. True to his word, Clovis converted along with his soldiers. This cemented his alliance with the influent clergy, while earning the approbation of the Christian Gallo-Romans. The Frankish king led a successful campaign to conquer and unify Gaul under his rule. At this time, the Franks developed a solid military expertise and experience serving the Roman Empire decades before, most notably during the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields against Attila, the Scourge of God.

Codification of the Salic law, 8th century​

Clovis’ methods were pretty much a part of Guy’s political agenda ever since he became a Count. What he wanted to avoid, was how Clovis divided his kingdom between his sons. This led to internal warfare, which stopped France’s expansion. Sometimes, a great king could have his work undo by unworthy successors. France’s kings already adopted the Primogeniture succession law, but Guy wanted to change one aspect. He wanted women to be able to inherit should a male heir was absent. After all, the Anscarids’ link to the Carolingians was because Emperor Louis the Pious’ daughter sired his own house generations later. If women remained unable to inherit, his legitimacy would be weakened. Guy’s hatred of the Salian house was known to his court also. Perhaps he wanted to change the Salic law so that it would be one less thing to attach him to the Salians. One could ask if Guy was an early feminist, but I doubt it. While he loved his wife and his daughters, he made no concrete effort to better women’s conditions, even if he was a loving father and husband.

Charles Martel​

Charles Martel was next on Guy’s list. Charles Martel safeguarded Western Europe against the Umayyad advance, forever stopping them from expanding into Western Europe. The key to the Hammer’s success lay in his military genius. He struck when his opponents weren’t expecting him, he always chose where the battle would take place, he attacked how his opponents believed he wouldn’t, and he foresaw his adversaries’ strength and danger. All of this was possible through discipline and fierce loyalty from his troops. The only option possible for all these feats was the maintenance of a permanent core veteran army, the first since the fall of Rome in 476. Martel trained his veterans all year round, forging them into a powerful heavy infantry core. While Martel introduced some cavalry later, his strongest asset remained the Frankish heavy infantry.

“Nobles are fickle at best and traitorous at worst. What I need is an elite force that will be loyal to the crown only.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​

Battle of Tours in 732​

“At Poitiers the Franks fought as they had done two hundred years before at Casilinum, in one solid mass, without breaking rank or attempting to maneuver. Their victory was won by the purely defensive tactics of the infantry square; the fanatical Arabs, dashing against them time after time, were shattered to pieces, and at last fled under shelter of night. But there was no pursuit, for Charles had determined not to allow his men to stir a step from the line to chase the broken foe.”
- Charles Oman, in his History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages​

While not all of my historian colleagues agree on the significance of the Battle of Tours, I can safely say that this battle is one of the few in history that is still remembered centuries and perhaps millennia after it happened. Some Muslim contemporary sources didn’t place the battle as important as the siege of Byzantium in 718, which was considered a crushing defeat in comparison.

Pippin the Short​

Martel’s son, Pippin the Short, was only Mayor of the Palace like his father. While Martel didn’t care for titles per se, Pippin did, and so he sought an audience with the Pope, where he asked his question.

“Who should be king, one that has the title, or one that has the power?”
- Pippin, King of the Franks​

At the time, Pope Zachary needed the Franks’ army to defend the Papacy against the pagan Lombards. He understood the significance of Pippin’s question and replied the following. “The one that has the power should be king” was his answer, so he promptly crowned Pippin as King of the Franks. The puppet Merovingian dynasty was no more. As such, the Franks became de facto the protectors of Christianity. This alliance would later serve the Carolingians well, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor by the Pope. Like Clovis before him, Pippin earned the clergy’s support.

Charles, most serene Augustus crowned by God, the great, peaceful emperor ruling the Roman Empire​

Guy had already learned many lessons from his collected studies. Last, he planned to intertwine his rule with a folklore legend: the paladins of Charlemagne. Instead of appointing only a small elite guard, he raised a veritable cavalry contingent. Re-enacting the legend of the twelve peers, Guy proceeded to make these knights the elite force of the Franks. As Charlemagne had his paladins to guard him, the King of France would have the Palatinean knights, or Paladins, to defend the kingdom. The Old delved further into the legend when he created an honorary title for the marshal of France: Durendal. This title took its name from the sword of Roland, the greatest of Charlemagne’s paladins, who died fighting the Saracens. At least, according to legend, since like the Arthurian legend, there is little actual historical evidence that these events effectively took place as they are mentioned. Nevertheless, Roland was an extremely popular figure in the Middle Ages, so borrowing key elements of the myth served to glorify the newly created Paladins. Having a permanent elite army helped solidify Guy’s position as king. He hoped that it would help his family stay on the throne for more than just a few years.

The Durendal of France, on his way to inspect the troops​

Accurate painting of a paladin, 12th century​

Ok seriously, how they really looked like. Probably.​

The Old added his studies’ conclusion into his will. This testament, the Will of the Anscarids, served as a failsafe if Guy died before Richard and Arnault came of age. Copies were quickly written by court monks and distributed to his council and heirs. Guy wanted to make certain that his courtiers understood his intentions to avoid any false interpretation. To sum it up, the king’s recommendations went as follow:

- No division of land between princes.
- Modify the Salic law to allow women to inherit in the absence of male descendants.
- Maintain the clergy’s support.
- Train a permanent army based on Charlemagne’s paladins.


This is only a very brief summation of the manuscript. The whole lengthy document is actually Guy’s memoirs where he relates the important events of his life and his reflections on many events. He literally exposes his ideas and feelings freely, urging his descendants to adopt his ideas after his death. Guy added his own lesson after his illustrious predecessors.

"Word and sword are the two arms of a ruler. Smooth your servants as much as you can, save the sword for the others."
Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
I really like this, this is the first AAR ive actually read thoroughly and your format is fun to read. If I make an AAR in the future you will be my inspiration. Vive le Roi Guy!
I am humbled. Thanks and welcome aboard! I really liked playing the old guy.
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Chapter 12​

Reconquête (1126-1130)​

As Guy promised to the Duke of Aquitaine, he didn’t increase crown authority and allowed him to rule his demesne as he wanted. The ban on private wars was also lifted. The Nine King ruled over a united France for the entirety of his reign. Driven to firmly seat his authority on his subjects, he created honorific titles among his strongest vassals, flattered them, restored the crippled royal army, and founded the Order of the Paladins, a heavy cavalry unit that would serve the crown as its permanent elite army. They were sometimes named “Les Joyeux Compagnons”, “Roland’s Chosen” or “Knights of Roland”, in reference to Charlemagne’s legendary sword, Joyeuse, and his greatest paladin. At the head of the Order were the Peers, his most trusted marshals who commandeered the knights in battle. The marshal of France was named the Durendal after Roland’s sword. Draped in Frankish legends, the Paladins’ aura only increased as the populace revered them as their greatest champions. They could not afford to fail their first test, which would come sooner than expected.


The deposed Renaud I

After he was crowned in Reims, Guy visited his predecessor, Renaud, now a captive in Paris. The Old paid his homage to the Bourgogne king by stripping him of all his titles, including the Duchy of Burgundy. After nearly six decades, Guy finally obtained the title he coveted all his life. The Bourgogne dynasty became powerless. Ironic that the traitorous Free Duke usurped a kingdom and that the previous king was now the traitor. The royal demesne now comprised Paris, Toulouse, Maine and Dijon. There are no further mentions of Renaud in the annals of history. Not even Guy bothered to spell his name after his coronation, as if he was merely a bad memory.

“Henri II had been right all along. God did grant me my just reward. I will not make the same mistake the previous Bourgogne kings did. I will not underestimate my enemies and strike them so hard they will never get back up again. I must hurry.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​

With his vassals pledging loyalty to Guy, France was now united. The time for internal wars ended. Much to the relief of the new Peers of France, the royal army would now be directed against outside forces instead of their own brothers. The king began a series of reconquest campaigns to bring back lost territories into France’s domain. He looked north at the weaker Duchy of Flanders, a previous vassal of France.


La Reconquête commence!


The Duchy of Flanders is invaded

During the 18 Year War, the duchy broke free from France’s rule. However, it was gradually absorbed into the much stronger Holy Roman Empire. The stubborn Duke Rutger I refused to swear fealty to either France or the Holy Roman Empire. The only choice left was force. A noble lady by the name of Echive of Bethune wished to possess her ancestral lands in Artois held by Flanders. Guy proposed that he would conquer Artois, on the condition that she swears fealty to him. Echive gladly accepted. Rutger was already under attack from the mighty Kaiser Heinrich IV the Cruel for control of the County of Brugge. The war for Flanders sparked a race between the two powers. In September 1126, the French army invaded the duchy, engaging the meager Flanders army.


Now for something more difficult...

Badly pressed against two giants, the dwarfed duchy surrendered to France and the Holy Roman Empire, losing two Counties at the same time. In April 1128, Echive became the new Countess of Artois, bringing the reconquered land back into France’s domain.

After 2 years of intense training, the Order of the Paladins was now ready for their first campaign. Guy elaborated an ambitious plan to recapture Normandy from Norway. In 1128, the Duchy of Normandy was a vassal of the united crowns of Norway and England, a powerhouse during this period. King Erlend I of Norway campaigned in northern Europe against Denmark and Sweden, far away from northern France. The opportunity to quickly assault Normandy before the Norwegians could establish a defensive position tempted Guy enough to risk an offensive. Plus, one of his subjects had a legitimate claim to the duchy: Countess Adelinde Capet of Carcassonne. In August 1128, France’s royal army marched north to Normandy.



Normandy under attack

Two companies assaulted Vexin and Évreux, pressing the Norwegian king hard. Erlend I abandoned his northern position and hurried back to Normandy. His first army made landfall in December, hastily seeking confrontation with the Franks. Instead of answering their provocation right away, the 1st royal army withdrew from Évreux, joining the 2nd army where the Paladins were camped in Vexin. Witnessing the combined might of the royal armies, the Norwegians attempted to circle around the superior army, marching east to reunite with their comrades. The Franks intercepted them in Amiens, routing them effortlessly.


The main army is coming


Farewell Walpurga...

On January 13th 1129, sad news reached the population of France. Walpurga, the Queen of France, died of old age at 74. The king was so heartbroken that he openly wept at her funeral. There have even been rumours that Guy sought comfort in the arms of another woman at court, an unnamed lowborn woman. Of course, no sources could confirm them. However, it was clear that the old king was deeply mourning his wife who had been his faithful spouse for decades. Walpurga had been loved by everyone in the Free Counties and later the royal court. Guy’s advisors suggested that he married again, despite his advanced age. A king needed a queen and more importantly perhaps, a life companion to comfort him. The old king stubbornly refused for the time being, still deep in mourning.

“Dear Mother died yesterday. Lord father is so heartbroken like all of us. It seems that only biscuits can comfort him. Pernelle and I will keep him company until his sorrow vanishes. If only Richard could walk and talk to him...”
- Alice d'Ivrea, Princess of France​


I think Guy prefers brunettes

With the arrival of spring in March, Guy finally cedes to his council’s pressure and agrees to marry a second time. It appeared that the Nine King came to terms with his mourning, regaining his political acumen. His whispers proposed a young Saxon duchess, Ælgifu of Norfolk, from the fallen House of Godwin, who recently came into conflict with her liege, the King of Norway and England. This seemed to amuse the old king and he reluctantly accepted. The duchess herself was in desperate need of a strong ally, now that she became an unfavoured vassal of the taciturn Erlend I. Her family’s history with the Norwegian conquerors didn’t help mend the relation either. After all, it was the Norwegian that deposed William the Bastard, which had previously overthrown Harold of Godwin.


The resemblance with Walpurga is striking

Guy and his daughters were awestruck when Ælgifu arrived in Paris. The young woman bore a striking resemblance to a younger Walpurga, except for her hair, which were coloured a rich black instead of light brown. The resemblance stopped there; while Walpurga was a discreet, well-mannered and graceful woman, Ælgifu contrasted heavily. Tomboyish, choleric, sociable, amiable, she also loved to practice with swords and to the surprise of everyone present at court; she actually beat the Durendal of France in a friendly duel! The old marshal went easy on her as he claimed, but other sources clearly state that the young duchess dueled brilliantly. Ælgifu intended to make clear that she would not be a mere trophy for the old king. The Nine King was so impressed that he warmly congratulated his new wife, praising the new Queen of France at their marriage. Despite her odd manners at the time, Ælgifu quickly gained the affection of her new attendants, Guy included. He merely thought this a political marriage at first, but overtime, he clearly appreciated his new spirited wife. The young duchess returned his affections sincerely. Amusingly, she took a liking to biscuits, which Guy was known for devouring several daily.

“Perhaps an energetic young woman is what I needed for my last days. I believed I would marry a little girl, almost like a grand-daughter, but I see in Ælgifu a worthy Queen. I married a strong woman instead of a child.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​

This may sound like an extremely disproportionate marriage to modern readers. After all, Ælgifu was only 16 while Guy was well in his 70s. However, noble women in the Middle Ages were mainly expected to deliver healthy sons for their husbands. Of course, there are some exceptions where women became brilliant administrators, scholars, regents and rulers. Still, the customs of this period remained as is: women bore sons first and foremost. And Ælgifu would do exactly that.


The 2nd Crusade

Many years ago, The 1st Crusade ended in failure for the Christians. The new Pope, Silverius II, presided over a council with his fellow cardinals. The growing Muslim power in the Middle East preoccupied the Papacy. While the Byzantine Empire managed to reclaim some territories in Anatolia from the Seljuks, their advance halted due to several civil wars against Imperial crown. Seeking a way to break the stalemate and to secure the Holy Land from the various Islamic factions, the 2nd Crusade was launched. On August 25th 1129, Silverius II appealed to every Christian ruler, urging them to liberate Jerusalem. This time, the Holy Roman Empire eagerly answered the Pope’s call. France declined, since Guy was leading his reconquest campaign against Norway. Officially, he blamed it on his old age, though I believe he didn’t see any immediate gain to be earned. Besides, the old king wasn’t interested to battle Muslims far away from his kingdom. Better to let his neighbours exhaust their strength in pointless crusades while he fortified his own land.


Maybe next, I'll defile the Bourgognes' tombstones...

You know what’s better than deposing a previous dynasty and rendering them powerless? Depose them, rend them powerless AND sleep with their wives! Life is an adventure, which is comprised of many adventures. Adventures come in many varieties, which mean variety is the spice of life. After all, if you’re not caught cheating, it never happened in the first place. Um, you still following me?


The main Norwegian army attacks the Franks

On New Year’s Eve 1130, the main Norwegian force debarked in France. This would be the first test of the Order of the Paladins. The Norwegian king himself led his troops to Normandy: there would be no mercy given and none expected. Unimpressed, the Peers awaited the dreaded confrontation in the plains of Aumale, where they could unleash the heavy Frankish cavalry. As expected, the Norwegians went on the offensive, confident they would crush the unworthy Franks.


The Paladins' 1st victory

Revisionist historians estimate that Norway lightly outnumbered France. However, they didn’t expect to face a trained and disciplined core of heavy knights. Guy’s secret weapon served him well, as it served Charles Martel back at Tours. Indeed, the presence of a disciplined, trained, permanent army proved essential. After several skirmishes between the two armies, it felt as if Norway would break the Frankish lines at any moment. While the Franks’ infantry endured the brunt of the Norwegians’ archers, they kept their cavalry behind the infantry’s shields. Overconfident, Erlend I ordered a charge, expecting the French to turn and flee. It was there that the Paladins broke formation, charging frantically at the overconfident Scandinavians’ left flank.

The plan worked. Roland’s chosen entered the melee, overpowering Norway’s infantry mercilessly. The left flank buckled unto itself, only to be slaughtered. The Paladins then pierced the centre, joining their infantry brethren. What was about to become a defeat transcended into a cheering victory for the Franks. Their first test passed with flying colours, the Peers ordered a pursuit. The Paladins quickly followed, where they managed to corner and capture Erlend I, the king of Norway and England, at the Battle of Arques.


:blink::eek:hmy::laugh::D:cool: (I experienced the following emotions from left to right)

The Order of the Paladins earned many honours with their brilliant victory. Guy warmly welcomed them back in Paris with a large celebration. The poor Erlend I marched in the streets of Paris, “escorted” by the Durendal, his Peers, the king and his wife. Ælgifu took an immense pleasure in nagging the imprisoned king. Guy tactfully reminded her not to press her luck, since she was still a vassal of Norway. She complied, not before visiting him with her husband in his cell, while they were eating biscuits in front of him. The Nine King then offered him to relinquish Normandy for his freedom. Erlend accepted. Satisfied, Guy ordered his release. With Normandy back under French rule, the Nine King turned towards other potential conquests...

“Watching my liege, the King of England, squirm in my husband’s dungeon brought me great joy. I’m beginning to love my dear husband more and more.”
- Ælgifu I, Queen of France​


Where to next...
 
Last edited:

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
I've been meaning to do a France game, this ARR has inspired me to do just that tonight
Excellent! Tell me how it goes! And thank you. My next full game is a Byzantine with the ruler designer, just for the satisfaction of restoring the Empire. (I don't like the Doukas dynasty...)
 

Jarren

Sebastokratōr
71 Badges
Sep 2, 2012
770
87
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
Excellent! Tell me how it goes! And thank you. My next full game is a Byzantine with the ruler designer, just for the satisfaction of restoring the Empire. (I don't like the Doukas dynasty...)
Komnenos> Doukas
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Komnenos> Doukas
I agree. I remember my history teacher's class about Alexios Komnenos, the 1st Crusade and his daughter Anna who wrote the Alexiad. Quite an interesting period... The way Anna kept talking about the Westerners as barbarians is quite something, and then she fawns over Bohemond, one of the Crusader leaders... Striking! I guess the 14 year old girl had a really big crush on him.

France certainly has entered a golden age under the Anscarids.
Oh, it's still a bit early to call it a golden age... It'll depend how my 2nd protagonist turns out. I can say that Guy's rule was a success at least, but who knows about the future? My last save is at 1140.

I am humbled again. Do have fun and watch out for Aquitaine!
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Chapter 13​

Expansion part 1 (1130-1133)


Richard the elder dies

As Guy accumulated victories, he also welcomed grievances. His eldest son Richard breathed his last sigh on March 24th 1130. He was 51. While the king cried for his son, he expected him to die at any moment. Crippled and infirm, Richard the elder wouldn’t have been king for long if he had outlived his father. The royal court now looked at Richard the younger, Guy’s great-grandson, who would become the future Richard the 1st.


The future Richard the 1st, my 2nd protagonist

Now that the 10 year old boy officially became the Dauphin, the heir apparent, Guy kept him close at all times. The Nine King remembered how his great-granddaughter Éléonore was murdered by a maid, killed on the orders of a covetous Scottish duke. He would not risk having his young heir being put in harm’s way. As such, the old king watched over him like a hawk. Also, the young prince showed great promise as an orator. Ambitious and hard-working, Guy placed much hope on the Dauphin. The family’s records mention that Guy took Richard everywhere, always reciting his own life experiences, tutoring him in the ways of the spoken tongue. Guy’s memoirs confirm that he saved his most important lessons for Richard alone: namely, how to govern. He never ceased repeating to Richard that nobles are fickle and traitorous. A king can never fully trust his servants, no matter the circumstances. Usually, the harshest betrayal always comes from the most unexpected person. Just to be safe, he also increased security over both Richard and his brother Arnault, who was 2nd in line to the throne. His grandson Josselin, now the new Duke of Berry, ascended as the 3rd pretender.

“I can only hope that I live long enough for Richard to complete his education. I must hurry, for he has much to learn.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​


Guy still has it

The old king surprised his court by proudly announcing the first pregnancy of Ælfgifu in November. The sceptics have been confounded. After this, Guy’s subjects were hardly surprised anymore whenever any news concerned the king. It’s as if he could accomplish anything, or experience the most peculiar of events.

“With my husband at my side, I feel that I can accomplish anything. Besting the Durendal with the song of my steel may only be the first step. I pray he lives for many years, so that I may regain my family’s fortune against my liege once the truce between France and Norway expires.”
- Ælfgifu I, Queen of France​


Pisa is defeated

Seeking a new conquest to add on his achievement list, the Nine King looked south. Years before, the County of Rosello fell in the hands of the Republic of Pisa. While Pisa had funded Guy’s bid for power, a new Doge named Enrico I had been elected the preceding year. Free of his honour debt, the king had no scruples about declaring war against Pisa. One of his vassals, Pèire-Bernat of Foix eyed the County and this would prove an excellent opportunity to expand France closer to the Pyrenees. Guy also wanted to reunite the distant land of Castellon, deep in Iberia, with the rest of the French holdings. In January 1131, the royal army marched south, defeating the Republic’s forces in the mountains of Alet.


Curses!

This is where things become unclear. What is known is that the French entered Rosello in March and then retreated back. The war had been hastily concluded, without any victors. The status quo remained for the time being. As a historian, I cannot give a clear explanation to what happened. Much like how the Pope managed to spare Rome from the Hunnic King Attila, this event remains a complete mystery. Perhaps Pisa managed to diplomatically rebuff the Franks out of Rosello, or they bribed them. One theory elaborated that the title changed hands in order to rend the casus belli void. Another stipulated that Pèire-Bernat’s claim laid on unreliable family documents. We may never know.

To be honest, I have no frickin idea why the war became invalid. This annoyed me to no end...


Daddy's favourite is gone...

On February 7th 1131, Guy’s eldest daughter Alice died at 58. The Nine King deeply mourned her, lamenting that he was cursed to outlive all his children. Only his second daughter Pernelle now remained at his side in Paris. His only living son Archambaud now lived in the County of Finland. Still, his young wife Ælfgifu would give birth soon, siring a new cadet branch for the d’Ivrea house.

“Alice is my 4th child I personally buried. I am cursed to lose my wife, my children and my grand-children while I linger in these old bones.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​


Heir to the Duchy of Norfolk


Children of the cadet branch of Norfolk-d'Ivrea

A new life birthed in Paris for the Anscarids on the 6th of June 1131. Ælfgifu delivered a boy, Bouchard d’Ivrea, now the heir to the Duchy of Norfolk. These were much needed good news for the old king. He promptly announced a celebration feast in Paris to welcome their child. Ælfgifu herself was relieved: her own succession was safe and her marriage proved fruitful. The alliance between France and Norfolk remained strong and true. Unsurprisingly, the young Queen soon became pregnant again the next year, giving birth to twins on October 22nd 1132: a girl, Ermengarde, and a boy, Ancel. At the time, not even old age seemed to be able to stop Guy from anything he set out for. Many of his fellow courtiers grew so accustomed to the king that they barely seem to notice his age (77 in 1132). There was genuine shock when the Nine King eventually succumbed from a natural death. Guy never showed any signs of illness or weakness in his last years either, adding to the surprise of his future demise.


Boulogne is part of France once again

After the mysterious events of Rosello, Guy decided to send his armies north to Flanders once again. The weakened Duke of Flanders now faced a rebellion from his vassal, Count Folbert Rutgerszoon, the lord of Boulogne. The noble lady that Guy appointed as his vassal a short while ago, Echive of Bethune, married a claimant to the County of Boulogne. This courtier, Simon de Boulogne, made the same deal his wife had concluded with the French monarch. That is, the royal army would invade Boulogne, secure the County for him, and he would pledge fealty to Guy in return.

Not losing any time, Guy sent a contingent north, where he crushed the Count’s rebels at the Battle of Bethune. In late summer 1131, Boulogne was brought back into France’s domain.


Rosello is invaded for the 2nd time

Despite his setback against Pisa, the old king never forgot about his southern plans. In January 1132, he resumed his campaign for Rosello. At the time, Duke Anastasio II of Barcelona revolted against his Pisan overlords. Guy quickly sent his armies south, hoping he would enter the County first. The race started between Pisa, Barcelona and France who all fought for control of the County of Rosello. While France effectively entered Rosello first, the Republic of Pisa managed to capture Anastasio II. Thus, they won the 3-way race for Rosello for the time being. Frustrated and annoyed, the Nine King pulled back and sought a new outlet to vent his anger.


-______-


Brittany shall suffer my wrath instead

Brittany, a duchy situated in north-western France, was a peculiar province. Many Britons from the British isle immigrated there during the 5th century, fleeing the barbarian invasions that occurred in England. While Brittany suffered heavily during the Viking invasions of the 10th century, they rose again to prominence by expelling the Normans under the leadership of their first duke, Alain “the Fox”, thus firmly affirming their autonomy from foreign powers. August 1st 939 marked the liberation of the Bretons from Norman power. It also became their national holiday. Also, the tenacious Bretons were known for their fierce autonomous position towards England and France, who never ceased to plot their assimilation into their respective kingdoms. One such autonomous Breton lord, Hoël, participated at the Battle of Hastings with William the Bastard in his ill-fated campaign for England. However, the autonomous duchy was now in the middle of a civil war lead by Count Budoc of Cornouaille.


The royal army enters Nantes

Here entered Count Aimery of Thouars, the Dauphin’s maternal grand-father, who vouched the king for his claim on Nantes, situated in south-east Brittany. He cunningly suggested Guy to take advantage of the civil war that was taking place there to move his own pawn unto the Breton chessboard. The Old agreed. In the summer of 1132, France’s campaign for Nantes debuted with its occupation by the royal army. The Duke of Brittany, Hoël II, kept his forces west, regrouping for the expecting battle.


There's nowhere to run

With Nantes secured, the French penetrated further in Brittany with the Paladins serving as the rear guard of the main army. The fated battle with the Bretons took place at Quimper, where Hoël’s army was destroyed. Vying for peace, Brittany ceded Nantes to Aimery of Thouars.


Nantes is now part of France


The Holy Land now belongs to the Holy Roman Empire

Astonishing news reached every Christian lord in August 1132. The Holy Land had been liberated by the Crusaders. The Pope granted the lands to the Holy Roman Empire, main participant of the 2nd Crusade. While Kaiser Adolf I proved a successful commander, he lacked the political genius of his father Heinrich IV the Cruel. Soon after his triumphant return, some of his unhappy vassals sent him a stern request to grant them independence in Italy and Moravia. The news didn’t fall on deaf ears, for Guy’s whispers caught wind of the plot long before it came into motion. The old king eagerly told Prince Richard where his next plans would be. Satiated with his success in the north, the Nine King gazed one last time south and for the first time of his reign, towards the east...


Guines joins Guy's protection

In October 1133, the County of Guines broke free from the now defunct Duchy of Flanders. Guy graciously offered his protection to Count Baudouin, which he accepted. The French king prepared his next plans regarding the Holy Roman Empire and the Republic of Pisa. Finally, he had the occasion to avenge the affront France suffered during the 18 Year War.

“My lord great-grandfather told me once to never forget the Salians. I will follow his advice, for he is never wrong. Someday, I shall never be wrong either.”
- Richard d'Ivrea, Dauphin of France
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Chapter 14​

Expansion part 2 (1133-1135)​

At first, I had intended to make the previous chapter and this one a single block, but the amount of screenshots prevented it. So, I broke the larger chapter into 2 smaller ones.


You can't weasel from me forever Pisa

If 3rd’s time the charm, Guy surely proved it. For the 3rd time, he campaigned to Rosello in order to conquer it from Pisa. By now, the old king had little patience left. While Guy orchestrated his troops’ movement, a daughter, Aurengarde, was born to the Queen on November 6th 1133.


Guy sure is a fertile old man


It's becoming a habit to crush Pisa


Rosello is under siege

In the autumn of 1133, the entire army mobilized to Rosello to crush the Pisans quickly. Before the royal army crossed the border, it encountered the Italians in the mountains of Foix, where they locked in close combat. Needless to say that the French outnumbered the Italians greatly, resulting in a curbed stomp battle. After the Pisan force was slaughtered, France entered Rosello in April, intent on quickly finishing the campaign. The Republic sent reinforcements who were spotted in Melgueil by Guy’s scouts. The Republic’s army marched to Carcassonne, where they took control of the barony after months of siege.


Aquitaine is split between 2 infant dukes

In late summer 1134, Alias I, Duke of Aquitaine and Guy’s strongest vassal, died at the age of 64. His large demesne was split between his 2 infant sons. The old duke had remarried after his escape from Maine’s dungeon years before. Glad that his heir Richard wouldn’t have to deal with the powerful duke, he nonetheless advised him to keep both eyes open on the two young dukes. Worst case scenario, they might form an alliance and challenge Richard’s rule, or they would fight each other first for their father’s inheritance, and then the victor would oppose Richard. At best, the Dauphin might be able to smooth them enough to assure their loyalty to the crown, but at this point, it was impossible to discern the intentions of such young and powerful vassals.

“I am no longer bound by my promise to Aquitaine. However, it is Richard who will have to deal with his successors. I must hurry.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​


Friction between France and the Papacy

There’s never been any mention of a tension between the clergy and the Nine King during his reign, except for one particular moment. In November, the Pope wrote a letter to Guy, urging him to adopt the Papal Investiture, who would allow the Pope to appoint every bishop in the kingdom. Many times during the Middle Ages, the religious diplomacy was always kept in balance by having either a strong king with a weak Pope, or a weak king with a strong Pope. When both parties were strong, sparks happened. Guy was far from intimidated by Adeodatus III. He even threatened to appoint one of his bishops as Anti-Pope if it came to that. The Holy Father took the refusal very badly, but he took no exceptional measures against the Nine King. After all, Guy remained a popular ruler among his vassals, bishops included. Besides, he had taken one Muslim stronghold from Iberia years before and France had a long tradition of being the defender of Christianity against Islam and paganism. Interestingly, the Dauphin Richard was a more fervent Catholic than Guy and even he showed a fierce autonomous sentiment concerning the clergy.

“I don’t understand why the Pope is so angry. Isn’t the crown bestowed upon us by the Divine Grace? The king told me many times that we are the protectors of Christ. Why doesn’t he show us the proper respect we deserve?”
- Richard d'Ivrea, Dauphin of France​

In real history, Philip IV’s disputes with the Pope and the Templar knights were legendary. Legend has it that he was cursed by the grandmaster when he was burned alive at the pyre. In a sinister way, Philip’s direct descendants died one by one and these chains of events led to one big succession crisis called the Hundred Year war...

Rather than being a mere bootlicker of the Pope, Guy chose to remain independent as much as he could. Of course, this led to a precarious balance between the spiritual and the political powers. Richard, on the other hand, proved to be a lot more devout to the Christian faith than his great-grandfather. Guy reminded him time and again not to let his zealotry blind him from cold reason. The Dauphin understood the lesson, though it didn’t stop him from disliking non-Catholics greatly.


The royal army returns to France

Focusing once more on his southern campaign, the king received good news. The castle of Perpinyà fell to the Franks. Next, Guy ordered them to purge the Pisans from France. In January 1135, the full French army withdraws from Rosello, recklessly charging at the Italians stationed in Carcassonne. Unwilling to commit his forces, the Doge retreated to Narbonne. Carcassonne is easily retaken by the Paladins, while the main host advances towards the Pisans now situated in the city of Béziers. Unable to call a retreat fast enough, the Republic’s army organized a defense against the Franks, but proved too outnumbered to contain them. The following month, Pisa surrenders to Guy, ceding Rosello to his vassal.


Pisa is crushed again


Finally!

With spring comes the news Guy had been waiting for. The coalition of the rebelling vassals of the Holy Roman Empire finally made their move. Having refused their independence from the empire, the Kaiser branded them as traitors and was preparing to send the Imperial army to Italy and eastern Moravia. At long last, Guy’s patience would be rewarded. He summoned his Peers, presenting them with his ambitious campaign to seize the Duchy of Provence from the Germans.


The Holy Roman Empire fractures

Bishop Pons-Guilhèm of Charroux was a current claimant of the duchy who now lived in Paris. With a perfectly valid casus belli in his hand, Guy gathered the Paladins, his Peers and his levies, promising them a grand victory against the powerful empire. Such an ambitious campaign caught the Peers by surprise, as some of them haven’t forgotten how hard the Holy Roman Empire had invaded France years before. The Nine King needed to secure a victory against Germany to prove his army that they could stand up to their rivals. To increase morale, he pronounced a speech to his soldiers, promising them an easy victory, since the Kaiser was preoccupied with a large civil war. Indeed, the rebels proved more than a match for Adolf I. To further motivate his troops, a large ball was issued, followed with a feast. On the next morning, cheering in unison with the old king, the French army set out for Provence, fully intent to strike fast and hard before the Kaiser had a chance to counter-attack.


The dreaded confrontation between France and the Holy Roman Empire

“Only by triumphing over the Salians may our kinsmen recover from the past trauma. I must show the whole kingdom that we can stand up and conquer the Empire. This campaign will determine whether we will prosper or fall against their might. My only disappointment is that Heinrich is already dead, but perhaps I can humiliate his descendants instead.”
- Guy I "the Old" d'Ivrea, King of France​


Well, gold has no odor after all

Unexpectedly, Guy received support from none other than the Republic of Genoa, who recently came at odds with Adolf I. The king graciously accepted the gold. However, Genoa didn’t know that the French kingdom desired their cities back. Nîmes and Béziers were still under the jurisdiction of Genoa... Guy just chose a bigger target for the time being. During his military lessons with his protégés, the king fully intended to reclaim the Genoan cities in the near future.


Guy's last child is born

On May 22nd 1135, Aelfgifu gives birth to a son, Alain d’Ivrea. This would be the old king's last child.


The invasion begins

In June, the Paladins were the first to cross the Germanic border, entering Vivarais. The plan proceeded smoothly; the Kaiser was caught by surprise on his western frontier. Never would he have expected the meager Franks to dare attack him so soon. The French army was hot on the Paladins’ heel.

To the surprise of everyone in Paris, King Guy never woke up on the morning of July 10th 1135. At the incredibly old age of 80, Guy the 1st died a natural death. The crown then passed to the 15 year old Richard, now the new King of the Franks. The Nine King would never see his revenge vindicated against the Germans.


Farewell Guy, thanks for the fun times

Well, this is it for Guy’s story. I intend to take a break from writing this AAR. I have yet to complete Richard’s story (I’m currently in 1140) and I prefer to have a larger view of events while writing this tale. Also, there are a few AARs I’d like to catch up and start reading for more inspiration. Last, I’d like to start learning playing other Paradox games. I may start with Sengoku... apparently it’s shorter. Perhaps I’ll start a failed EU3 game and progressively get better.

I’m not quitting either, even though it’s a lot more work than I thought it would be at first (only 320 years to go!). I hope you all enjoyed the story so far! I plan to write a small synopsis of Guy soon to make it easier for new readers and to sum his accomplishments briefly. Until next time!

- Mith
 

Idhrendur

Keeper of the Converters
96 Badges
Feb 27, 2009
9.767
994
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
Looking forward to when you continue! It's been a good journey so far.
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
I've found that playing through a ruler before writing gives perspective on events, and allows forshadowing.

Can't wait for the next chapter, hope to see an Emperor d'Ivera before too long.
I agree. At first, I wrote the chapters as I played them, and around 1100, I just played to Guy's death before wrapping it all up. I do give some subtle spoilers here and there... As for the Emperor title, I gotta conquer Brittany and more territory from the Holy Roman Empire in Burgundy. It's always a pain to go against the HRE...

Looking forward to when you continue! It's been a good journey so far.
Thanks! I'm happily playing through Richard's story at the moment. How goes EU3 for the Romans?
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
I'm sad to see Guy go. Still, it was a great ride.
Oh yes, I get attached to my characters after playing them for many years. So far, Richard has quite an interesting ride as well. Still no nickname, though I have an unofficial one or two for him.
 

Mithfir

Major
68 Badges
Jan 4, 2013
512
17
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Knights of Honor
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Synopsis
Guy I "the Old"​


Young, middle and old Guy

Attributed quotes

"Word and sword are the two arms of a ruler."
"I must hurry."
"Never forget the Salians."


Also known as:

Le Roi Neuf (The New King or the Nine King)
The Old
Free Count of the Counties (Self-attributed)


Born to Geoffroy d’Ivrea and a commoner named Béatrice, Guy received the County of Mâcon at a young age. He soon developed an uncanny ability to charm nobles and peasants alike. His prowess with the spoken tongue would become his greatest skill. At the age of 16, he married a lowborn woman, Walpurga, who gave him 6 children. Much later in his life, after Walpurga’s death, he married the Duchess of Norfolk, Ælfgifu Godwin. This second union produced 5 children. A family man, Guy personally tutored most of his children, grand-children and great-grandchildren with his wife, including his successor Richard I.

His successive lieges praised his ability by naming him chancellor, a post he would keep until his rebellion against King Renaud I. Hard-working, pleasant and charming; Guy also developed a love for biscuits. His cooks prepared several for him alone each day. Apparently, this helped the young Count in his daily meetings, as he shared them with his council and courtiers. Many sources mention that the Free Count was always seen munching them even while working or playing with his children. There’s even a diplomatic event with the young King of Castille where biscuits were shared between the two men, much to the horror of the Castillan court chaplain.

While Guy is remembered as a skilled diplomat, he nonetheless pursued his main ambition to seize the Duchy of Burgundy. In order to do this, he launched a series of private wars against his fellow ruling nobles. Eventually, he ascended as the Duke of Berry at the age of 45. Earning great recognition in defending the Free Counties against the Duke of Upper Lorraine in the 18 Year War, Guy soon came at odds with his liege, King Renaud I. The taciturn ruler was the only person Guy failed to seduce with his silver tongue.


The direct dynasty branch

After the 18 Year War, he grew a fierce hatred against the Holy Roman Empire. He urged his children to never forget the Salians. Once he successfully usurped the Frankish throne from Renaud I, Guy reigned with a sense of urgency. At the age of 71, his greatest fear was that the country would sink again in civil war after his death. Peering knowledge from France’s previous rulers, he enacted a family testament, the Will of the Anscarids, as a reference book for his successors. To sum it up, the king heavily suggested maintaining a permanent army, to keep friendly relations with the clergy and to modify the Salic law in order to allow women to inherit if there aren’t any male heirs. The Nine King succeeded in expanding the kingdom by recapturing Normandy, parts of the Duchy of Flanders, and by conquering Nantes and Rosello. Guy launched an invasion of Provence when he died at the age of 80. The crown passed to his great-grandson Richard.


Scotland cadet branch


Holstein cadet branch

Through his daughter Alice, Guy’s descendants would become claimants to the throne of Scotland. His third son Archambaud sired a cadet branch in the Duchy of Holstein, situated in the Kingdom of Denmark.


France at the time of Guy's death (1135)

I eagerly burned through Richard's story and I now know who my 3rd protagonist is. I'll be slowly writing his story for the time being. Now to browse through my huge pile of screenshots and to make something coherent out of it all... I also included a political map of the year 1135 just for good measures. Well, back to reading and writing!

Political map of 1135​