Idhrendur

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Reasonable expansion, and I agree that that is some ominous foreshadowing.
 

brovahkiin

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Ominous foreshadowing is oninous
 

BanterCaliph

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UPDATE!

Not exactly total war, but compared to the last few years of peace this is a pretty bloody episode...



Chapter 50, the Last Years of Beorhtnoth I (1050-1055)


1050 marked the high water mark of peace and stability during the rule of Emperor Beorhtnoth I. Decades of peace had seen England become the most powerful state in Western Europe, though the future of its ruling family seemed a little less secure.

The heir to the throne, widely derided as Eadbeald “the idiot” had spent almost the entirety of his adult life in Salamanca, Castille living an opulent life in the palace of Queen Godo Betotez. A privileged upbringing in Britain had done little good to the Prince, however the future of House Nedalskip would survive him and Beorhtnoth was concerned about the upbringing of his grandson, also called Eadbeald, who had been brought up in Iberia. Though the boy spoke fluent English Beorhtnoth would rather he was brought up in Britain as he would one day be the next Emperor. Queen Godo of Castille declined Beorhtnoth’s request however arguing that the boy would also inherit Castille and should therefore be brought up there as an Iberian Prince. Beorhtnoth despaired; the marriage into the Iberian dynasty had cost House Nedalskip, though soon the entire realm would bear the price of the marital union.

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In February 1051, confident after defeating a Tulunid attempt to conquer the Balearic Islands Queen Juliana III of Asturias, Godo’s elder sister began to listen to calls from her nobility to unite the Iberian crown once more. Upon the death of Queen Juliana II the Asturian Kingdom had been divided between her two daughters, Juliana III and Godo I who ruled the Asturian rump state and Castille respectively. Both queens had claim to each other’s kingdoms and the only thing that had been holding Juliana III from forcibly uniting the two was a war with the Tulunids (now won) and Godo’s powerful alliance with Britannia. Juliana III countered this however and married matrileanily into House Karling, wedding Prince Roubaud, the second son of King Arnoul of France. With a powerful ally now backing both sides in Iberia Juliana III rolled the dice in April 1051, declaring war on her sister and plunging Western Europe into a bloodbath.

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Both France and Britain answered their allies’ calls and the British levies were mustered across the entire Empire, this conflict would see tens of thousands of men drawn up for both sides. In Iberia the larger Asturian realm was able to overpower the Castillan defence within a few weeks, laying siege to Queen Godo’s holdings. It would fall to British intervention to prop up Queen Godo and ensure that house Nedalskip would inherit Castille through her son, Eadbeald Eadbealdsson Nedalskip.

Karling France joined the war on the side of Juliana III and prepared to send a large army to assist in taking Castille while leaving a sizeable force at home to counter any British invasion of French soil. Beorhtnoth did exactly as the French predicted and in July 1051 the English levy bolstered by the Royal Regiments of Huscarls and Paladins landed in Mortain. The British were soon besieging French holdings in Evreux. It took until October of 1051 before British troops landed in Iberia and they too began to lay siege to enemy holdings, putting up boundaries to restrict access to the Asturian capital of Oviedo.

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During these months the whereabouts of the large French army remained unknown despite hard work by British spies and French officials bribed by the Nedalskip crown. When the army of Arnoul I was spotted it was too late and the British Emperor realised with horror that this would not be an easy war.

On the 13th November 1051 British scouts with the English fyrd camped on the northern bank of the Seine spotted a large army heading right for the besiegers. Though the scouts passed on their message to the British army in Evreux it was too late and Beorhtnoth knew that they would have to prepare to fight a field battle against a more numerous and better equipped foe – for much of the Karling army was made up of French style heavy cavalry.

The battle of Evreux lasted several days and was actually a series of engagements fought along the Seine, the largest of which ended with a decisive defeat on the 22nd November 1051. Beorhtnoth was well aware that he could not win against the more numerous French force and ordered his forces to fight a retreat back to the fleet. Despite this nearly 5,000 Britons were killed in the fighting to about 3,000 French troops, a fairly gruesome campaign that was ultimately indecisive overall.

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Concurrent with the battle of Evreux British forces were able to win a decisive victory over the Asturians in the county of Salamanca, coming to the aid of the embattled Queen Godo. The battle of Ciudad Rodrigo saw a comprehensive rout of the Asturian forces and saw the tide of the war shift slightly in Britain’s favour, even though the French still had a relatively unbloodied army.

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At the start of 1052 Britain had the upper hand in Iberia though the defeat and heavy losses suffered in Normandy had knocked the war enthusiasm of some vassals. To replace his losses Emperor Beorhtnoth ordered the foundation of a third standing regiment to fight alongside the Huscarls and Paladins and founded the Royal Scottish Guards. The Royal Scots were levied from the best troops of the northern lords and fought as pikemen and archers as opposed to the Anglo-Saxon heavy infantry of the Huscarls. While the home army reinforced Beorhtnoth sailed to Iberia to oversee the war on that front.

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Just as Beorhtnoth left Britannia discontent among some of Britain’s vassals reached boiling point. Since their very public affair of 1046 and the death of their bastard child Emperor Beorhtnoth had grown increasingly cold towards Duchess Shona Dunstaffnage of Moray. In an Empire dominated by Anglo-Saxons and fighting wars that were not in the interest of many nobles the Celtic lords and ladies of Moray and Ireland were increasingly isolated and unrepresented.

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In 1052 Duchess Shona and several other Celtic Dukes made a bid for independence, declaring war on the Empire and forcing Beorhtnoth to redirect troops and resources from the war in Europe. Beorhtnoth cancelled his voyage to Iberia and even recalled troops back home to deal with this rebellion.

The large British army that had been recovering in the south in preparation for a return to Europe was reinforced by the newly founded Scots Guards and force-marched to deal with the rebels in Deheubarth, the closest to them.

The Welsh section of this Celtic rebellion was easily scattered at a battle near St. David’s in Pembrokeshire on the 8th May 1052. After this defeat Lady Shona requested the other rebel lords to march united rather than be destroyed piecemeal.

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This order was ignored however as in Ireland the various rebel leaders were simply unable to get along, perhaps due to the fractured nature of Irish politics and rule in the past. Therefore when the British armies landed in June 1052 they were able to fight the Dukes of Connacht and Meath separately and defeat them both in convincing wins, leaving only Moray to resist Emperor Beorhtnoth.

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Realising the dire situation in which she was in Lady Shona decided to cut her losses and offered Beorhtnoth terms for a full surrender and demobilisation of all rebel forces. News from Europe suggested that French forces were moving south rapidly and if Britain were to win the war in Iberia the Emperor could hardly afford the distraction of a local rebellion. Beorhtnoth accepted the terms of Shona’s surrender and spared the rebel peasantry years of further war, Shona was thrown in prison where she languished until late 1053 before Beorhtnoth decided the future of the rebels.

Back in Europe the situation had deteriorated in Iberia with the Galician Kingdom of Luis de Castilla joining the conflict on the side of Juliana III. In September 1052 the remnants of the British forces in Iberia were completely routed at Oviedo by the large French army and with Galicia’s involvement all of Queen Godo’s lands were put under siege. Some 17,000 (total) enemy troops were now in Iberia and after previous losses and the Celtic rebellion Britain could only muster about half of that number.

Elsewhere in Europe the carnage of the far west of the continent was not so prevalent. The Duke of Holland, Onno Hilditonn, had grown to dominate all the lands of the Dutch people besides Flanders (under French rule). A decade of peace and prosperity in that realm led to the proclamation of a new Kingdom in October 1052 – Frisia was a new power sandwiched between Germany, France and Lotharingia. The security of the new realm was threatened only a few years later however following Onno’s sudden death. He died without producing an heir and so his brothers fought for the crown of the new Kingdom from 1057-1061.

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After the defeat of Lady Shona’s rebellion it took some time for Beorhtnoth to regain effective control of the empire and to rally his armies once more for another sortie in Iberia. Throughout 1053 and 1053 the Castillans under Queen Godo fought desperately to protect their homelands and queen, many castles and armies fell but Godo (and her Nedalskip family, including the Prince and heir of Britain) was always able to evade capture.

Before setting off to Iberia once more Beorhtnoth decided to resolve the fates of those Celtic lords who had turned against him in 1052. Most were simply ransomed back, paying out their personal treasuries for their release. For the ringleader however Duchess Shona was stripped of her dukedom and became a mere countess, ruling over Caithness. The elderly countess Gyrid Ivaring of Ross was made the new Duchess of Moray, once again putting her Norse-speaking family in control of the region.

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With issues at home resolved Beorhtnoth gathered his troops and set sail to Iberia with a force just over 11,000 men: though the British had bolstered their numbers so had their enemies with about 22,000 Asturians and French awaiting them. It would take inspired command to snatch a victory here from the jaws of defeat.

The enemy were not united as one army however and Beorhtnoth decided to attack them piecemeal. On the 4th of October 1054 (after much waiting around) the British armies attacked the French forces in Iberia at the battle of Toro, hoping the Asturians would fail to notice or not come to the aid of their allies.

The plan worked and the French army was caught unawares. Beorhtnoth’s forces carried the day, killing some 5,700 enemy troops for the loss of 3,600 of his own. The French were forced to withdraw after their defeat but it had come at a personal cost to Beorhtnoth who had suffered a serious injury to his left leg on the field of battle. Determined to keep the initiative however Beorhtnoth ordered his army to pursue the retreating French army, hoping to run them down before the Asturians could save their ally.

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Shortly after the victory at Toro ill-news from Britannia told of the death of Beorhtnoth’s second wife, the German Princess Berchte who at 44 years old passed away due to her lifelong struggle with poor health. This news left the ageing Emperor rather depressed at a time when he could little afford it.

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Despite this Beorhtnoth knew that to press the advantage in Iberia he would have to run down the broken French army after the battle of Toro. The French forces fled to the county of Valladolid where they were caught up by the British forcing a battle at Segovia on the 4th of December 1054. Beorhtnoth expected an easy victory against the demoralised French forces, but they held on drawing the battle out for as long as possible. During this time Asturian reinforcements arrived along with fresh Galician troops which bolstered the French side considerably. The British were now outnumbered and had clearly been led into an ambush. The battle went poorly and by the end of it on the 19th December our forces had been scattered, losing about 9,000 men for a total of 3,500 French and Iberian troops.

Following this defeat Beorhtnoth recognised that Britain could not win the Iberian war and Queen Godo would be forced from her throne. The broken survivors of the Imperial army limped back towards the northern coast to be picked up by the fleet and retreat back to Britain. During this journey Emperor Beorhtnoth’s wounds proved too grievous however and the 50 year old Emperor died in the county of Soria, not far from the northern coast. Beorhtnoth’s eldest son Eadbeald succeeded to the British throne, moving away from the Castillan court and setting foot in London for the first time in decades.

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NapoleonComple

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In even a token attempt to assert some kind of presence on the mainland, Britain is once again thwarted by France. Britain and France are developing a disturbingly historical relationship here.

Hard luck. I honestly thought you could manage it, given the odds you've overcome in the past. But I guess there were just too many French and Spanish to deal with.
 

Halocon720

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Excellent story. I look forward to the future of the Nedalskips.
 

Firesaw

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Another lurker here... I've spent much of the past 2 weeks in reading through your history of House Nedalskip. So far a very exciting and enjoying read. I'm looking forward to the next 500 years^^. Keep it up
 

iisbroke

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Another lurker here... I've spent much of the past 2 weeks in reading through your history of House Nedalskip. So far a very exciting and enjoying read. I'm looking forward to the next 500 years^^. Keep it up

What he said ^.^
 

BanterCaliph

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Hey oestado . Is this aar dead or are you just still busy irl ? I am just asking because I really miss your updates

This AAR is not dead, but real life is really busy for me at the moment and will be until summer I'm afraid!

Updates will continue but at a fairly slow pace, the next one will be in a few days though and quite a lot has happened :)
 

Theodolus

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Wow, spent a while catching up on this. It's been pretty awesome so far and I can't wait to see what happens next. Hope real life starts to slow down some and that you haven't lost the save in the meantime. :)
 

oxfordroyale

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Don't let this AAR die, Oestado! It's too good!
 

loup99

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Just wanted to subscribe and hope you will continue it this summer as you have said before. Will you convert to EU4 or EU3?
 
Last edited:

Barsoom

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If and when you return, please fix the images in the first half of the AAR. I got to about 700 AD when all the pics crashed and it's really hard to follow without them - and I was enjoying it tremendously.
 

brovahkiin

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polar bears
 

bussoloni

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If and when you return, please fix the images in the first half of the AAR. I got to about 700 AD when all the pics crashed and it's really hard to follow without them - and I was enjoying it tremendously.
Yes, please do- most of the pictures in the last 13 pages seem to be gone.
But otherwise a great AAR.