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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Mr. Capiatlist

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Sorry I've not commented in a while. I was wondering, I'm not really asking I'm just sowing the seeds of an idea.
Prehaps now CK2 is released, a mod for Bastions on CK2 would really make my day.
Haha, yeah. It would be pretty fun. I've thought of replaying the AAR using the build-a-king DLC to recreate the Saxons over in Prussia.

However; It is very unlikely as my time is very, very limited (as seen by the update schedule) as I try to run this AAR, my interactive AAR, my mod duties, work, actually playing games and my social life. If someone wants to do it, all the power to them. Maybe I can build a mini-mod that includes some "melting-pot" events if Saxons ever rule over the pagan Prussians. And a titular Empire-level title so you can truly become master of the east.

That said, I am hoping to get some writing done tonight. Maybe enough for an update, but expect something by the end of the week.
 

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Haha, yeah. It would be pretty fun. I've thought of replaying the AAR using the build-a-king DLC to recreate the Saxons over in Prussia.

However; It is very unlikely as my time is very, very limited (as seen by the update schedule) as I try to run this AAR, my interactive AAR, my mod duties, work, actually playing games and my social life. If someone wants to do it, all the power to them. Maybe I can build a mini-mod that includes some "melting-pot" events if Saxons ever rule over the pagan Prussians. And a titular Empire-level title so you can truly become master of the east.

That said, I am hoping to get some writing done tonight. Maybe enough for an update, but expect something by the end of the week.
I wasn't suggesting you do it- good grief no. But someone has to plant the idea out there....:unsure:

If I knew how to mod this damn complex game I would attempted it, but sadly, I looked in the game files and it overwhelmed me.
 

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Just wanted to drop by and say that you've been nominated as Best Character Writer of the Week! Congrats and well wishes!

Oh, yeah and first time comment from a long-long-long-time reader. Great work on an insanely ambitious project! Keep up the good work. Nice to see the AAR going back to its roots somewhat after being slowed down a bit by the widened perspective EUIII must offer the story, but you pulled through gracefully in the end and the stories set in the Caliphate and Persia actually jerked me in even though special love will always be held for the Prussians.
 

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Just wanted to drop by and say that you've been nominated as Best Character Writer of the Week! Congrats and well wishes!

Oh, yeah and first time comment from a long-long-long-time reader. Great work on an insanely ambitious project! Keep up the good work. Nice to see the AAR going back to its roots somewhat after being slowed down a bit by the widened perspective EUIII must offer the story, but you pulled through gracefully in the end and the stories set in the Caliphate and Persia actually jerked me in even though special love will always be held for the Prussians.
This is an very unexpected honor, so thank you very much for your loyalty as a reader.

I will agree that for a while the story was getting rather... schizophrenic... the the character arcs are probably the best solution for that: depth while still having some breadth. I am hoping to eventually settle back into a cast of characters but I just feel that the stories for Doyvát the Elder and Doyvát the younger are a bit over-done at this point. We might not directly visit the royal family for a while and instead focus on "normal" Prussians. I have plans for Werna and Astiya as vehicles for that.

So thanks again, a great way to start my morning.
 

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This is an very unexpected honor, so thank you very much for your loyalty as a reader.

I will agree that for a while the story was getting rather... schizophrenic... the the character arcs are probably the best solution for that: depth while still having some breadth. I am hoping to eventually settle back into a cast of characters but I just feel that the stories for Doyvát the Elder and Doyvát the younger are a bit over-done at this point. We might not directly visit the royal family for a while and instead focus on "normal" Prussians. I have plans for Werna and Astiya as vehicles for that.

So thanks again, a great way to start my morning.
I think you handled it all rather well in the end, after all, when a story is set in a alternate history so fundamentally different as yours other places really need to be visited. The easy way to do this would have been history book-updates, but I think actually doing characters in the different parts of the world helped a lot to get a feel of those places and will add a lot to the understanding as Islam will start to get pushed back in the near-east as well as the eventual break-down of the Caliphate.

I'm rather enjoying the commoners so far, and I feel it's a nice touch especially since we saw most of the civil war through the eyes of the royal family and to see the aftermath and effects it will have had on the lowborn men and women will be sweet.
 

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I have to admit the Caliphate and Islam interests me the most- as does China and the Timmie horde
 

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I think you handled it all rather well in the end, after all, when a story is set in a alternate history so fundamentally different as yours other places really need to be visited. The easy way to do this would have been history book-updates, but I think actually doing characters in the different parts of the world helped a lot to get a feel of those places and will add a lot to the understanding as Islam will start to get pushed back in the near-east as well as the eventual break-down of the Caliphate.

I'm rather enjoying the commoners so far, and I feel it's a nice touch especially since we saw most of the civil war through the eyes of the royal family and to see the aftermath and effects it will have had on the lowborn men and women will be sweet.
I have to admit the Caliphate and Islam interests me the most- as does China and the Timmie horde
I agree with the previous post. While the characterization is great, I am curious about the other cultures and stories, and how they are different from history.
It is obvious that there is a balance I must strike when deciding the arcs from now on. It seems people stand on both sides: wanting more and wanting less of Prussia. Luckily I've been given plenty of time to think about it: I've been working a lot lately and recently the work has started chasing me home and linger to the late hours. I have a three day weekend coming up. I will try to get something out soon.
 

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Just a heads up everyone: the second round of AARland Choice Awards are up and running here. For the first time in quite a while I am not the one running it, rather the Mods are all sharing responsibility. There is a new voting scheme: you get four votes for every game (with a few exceptions, remember to read the rules) which hopefully means people can pick their favorites rather than trying to weasel them into categories they don't belong to.

If you feel that Bastions deserves a spot on the list, please vote for me in the EU3 category. But even if you don't want to vote for me, you should get out and vote and show your favorite authors that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Thanks!
 

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Bastions
Chapter Forty Seven: Gathering an Army
Part 5


Prelude:
Cities were a sign of progress, though few could tell if they looked at the day-to-day existence of the commoners in Medieval Europe. It was at these great collections of human progress that one could find great cathedrals and mosques; the massive institutions of learning like Universities and Libraries; the well-tended offices of power: German town halls, Prussian palaces, or Frandist court houses; and the great monuments of history. But these were not always there for the good of the common folk. They were often located in small quarters of towns reserved for the rich and those that served them. The rest lived outside these beautiful gated areas and forced to live in tight, dirty, over-populated and under-maintained areas. For religious or cultural minorities it could be even worse. Often subjected to unfair taxes, forced to live in small communities, ignored by the law except as criminals; they clung to tight-knit and xenophobic groups. This is how minorities often survived long after assimilation began. They could almost fall off the radar screen, disappearing from public thought until someone brought the limelight on them again. But when something did bring them back to the forefront, it was never good. Pogroms and witch-burnings often started in the ghettos and foreign quarters of the city. Many minorities took up life on the road: the Liths of Prussia, the Roma of the Roman Empire and Serbia, or the Troubadours (nomadic Christians) of Gaul and Iberia. They found it much easier to flee pitch-folk wielding mobs if you were one step ahead of them.

February 8th, 1382

"Ká micil?" Werna asked. Astiya stood next to him quietly as he bartered with the baker. Prussian, to her, sounded vaguely familiar, especially after speaking it for so long. But to her it would always be a foreign tongue.

"Dów ángits in hwitbrát, ænlik ien in fordienæs brát." When she was a young girl her father taught her all the Prussian he knew, it was very little but it was enough to get by. When she was older she learned more when she followed the elders into towns to get food and supplies. Now they had a native speaker, Werna always seemed to get lower prices... no one trusts the Liths.

"Dów?! Dów ángits in brát? Indrátsak! Æs upuráj tæw ænlik ien ángit." She never really understood why her parents had feared the Christians so much, sheltering her from leaving the convoys. But it had been hopeless, the pogroms that would go through towns rounding up young Lith men and women and burning them for being witches. She understood now why her parents were always so afraid. But things had died down for the most part. Many of her tribe were devout Christians, often looking down on those who maintained the old faith. She knew in her heart she could never truly abandon the faith not matter what happened to her.

"Káplomt in ien dien, æs rupáj næ: dów ángits." Some in her tribe were unhappy that she had brought Werna into their fold. He was a foreigner to them. Very few spoke any Prussian and Werna spoke no Lith. She had argued that it would be advantageous to have Werna around: within a few weeks he had saved them a week's pay in supplies. It didn't seem like much but for the first time the clan had gold to spare. It was an odd feeling, to be making money. She recalled when her dress had torn and they had to cut rations for a week to afford the tools to fix it.

"Tas ist kápeŝ tu kien klientæs hás. Mogsieæt taws weorðæs sie slims. Wai háf he tó mániʒ máðus?" The only reason they had let Astiya even leave the camp today was that they were bringing on extra supplies in preparation of moving once again. She watched Werna in a sort of suspended animation as he argued with the baker. She hadn't really been paying attention this whole time and as she focused she got more and more of the conversation.

"Maggots?! My bread has no maggots in it!"

"Then what do you call this then?" Werna asked. He split open a loaf and several of the tiny things crawled out into the daylight.

"Hey! You owe me for that!"

"Owe you for what? Trying to kill us? No wonder there are no customers in here; who wants to buy maggoty bread?"

"That's my mother's recipe you are talking about!"

"Well I don't think your mother intended for maggots to be a key ingredient. I'd consult her on the matter," Werna said in passing. He turned around and grabbed Astiya by the arm and led her out.

"Werna... that is the third baker we've left. Why can we not just buy bread?"

"Bread is too expensive here, why is it so damned expensive?"

"Because this is Memelgrad, everything is more expensive in the capital. What did you expect?"

"Fairly priced bread?"

"We are not going back to Vilnish for bread, Werna. Pick a baker and buy some bread," Astiya pleaded, her stomach growling loud enough that even Werna took pause and then, looking exasperated, agreed. He smiled as he took her hand and she led him to the next baker.

***​

April 3rd, 1141

Four years. For four years Ælle had reigned from Pamplona, but he probably reigned over only a winter of peace. Now, now all was lost. He stood in a dimly lit room in the fortress of Bilbao. So many broken promises. So many people hurt, so many people lied to. Ælle thought of his wife and children for the first time in months. He had tried to forget them. He tried to tell himself that he had kept his promise. He had told her he would send for her when it was safe, but it was never safe in the constantly shifting borders of Iberia. What if she were here now? She'd... Ælle's mind went silent. He was done with all the lies, especially when he had to lie to himself. He could hear the war drums and siege horns. They had gotten to him in Pamplona, which he abandoned to save from yet another siege... though the stories of the rape and pillage began to trickle in. The war room was very weary; few got any sleep with all the horns and drums. The fear too kept them awake. You never knew when a flaming bomb or giant boulder would come smashing through your roof. The King looked around this room and a motley crew of Vasques, Moors, Franks, Catalans, Castilians, Christians, Muslims, and Jews. They looked to him for hope, but he didn't have much to give. He looked at Olaf who had stood by him since the beginning.

"Yes my lord?" Olaf asked instinctively, "I'll do anything you ask."

"I know, Olaf. I know you will. I have one thing to ask of you, my closest friend..."

"What is it my lord, it will be done. I'll kill half of Christendom if it meant finishing it."

Ælle smiled and put a firm hand on the Dane's shoulder. "I want you to use the sewers... escape. Carry word of what has happened to my father. Tell him I am sorry..." Ælle paused as tears welled up in his eyes, "And if he asks... tell him I forgive him. Tell him... tell him his boy tried his hardest. And if he is dead, please speak these respects at his tomb."

Olaf sniffed back tears and a runny nose. "Yes my lord." He turned to start walking away but stopped halfway through and then turned and flung his arms around Ælle. "God dammit, you dirty Saxon. Kill fifty of those Frenchies for me. You owe me that much."

"I owe you much more than that, Olaf. I will do my best." Ælle tried so smile, tried to leave his friend with some hope.

"See you in hell, my lord," Olaf jested. It had become a sort of greeting in the beleaguered Vasque kingdom. They were on no God's side; hell was the only place they had left to go to.

"I'll try to keep your seat warm," Ælle said. He watched Olaf leave the room, but as the door closed he immediately turned and faced out the window. He watched the Dane quickly walk across the court yard. And just as he got to the gates, Ælle saw him make one more quick glance up at the castle. Then he was gone. The King swallowed hard. He tried to be strong. A chair moved behind him and the shuffling footsteps of the old Jewish banker made their way to where he stood.

"Being strong does not mean never showing weakness, my lord. It means never letting it get the best of you."

"Thank you, Eiran," Ælle said. "What do we do know?" he asked the room. Everyone looked back and forth amongst the smaller number. Just about everyone but Eiran was armored and armed. They were prepared for a battle.

"There is nothing we can do to save the city, my lord. Word from Pamplona is utter destruction and waste."

"We all know the stories from Pamplona," Ælle said sharply with his hand held out, "I don't wish to hear any more."

"I am sorry my lord."

"There is nothing we can do for these people. If they leave the city they will be cut down or enslaved. If we leave them here they will be rooted out and scattered to the winds. If we fight, they bear the brunt... if we surrender they will be the fodder for new Christian kingdoms." Ælle strode across the room to another window that could see the main crusader camp. There the banners of Denmark, France and the German states flew in the wind. At least the entire world wasn't against him. Just most of it.

The armies of the Crusades were massive. He had never seen them so united, so utterly driven to beat a single target. They' burn Bilbao down to the ground and with it any hope of breaking free from the grasp of Catholicism. That is what drove them here, what drove them to do such things to innocent women and children. Ælle knew he would not live to see what doom they would bring upon Bilbao.

"It is time to march to war, my lord." The leader of Pamplona's Moors said. "I will not sit and what as our kingdom is sieged without us even resisting."

"I agree," said the leader of the Vasques. "Let us die with sword in hand and blood under our feet.

"I also agree," Eiran said. "Let me call the boys to fetch my armor!" he suggested excitedly as he ran out the door.

Ælle turned to the Frenchman who sighed and then wearily smiled, "Well, I am not going to let the Muslims upstage the French. I too say we march." He stood up with the rest and shook hands with the Moor.

Everyone turned to Ælle who glanced once more out the window at his enemy. "Let us go then."

The men headed down the ramps and out into the courtyard. The spring air was mild and damp; the fragrances of flowers wafted over them and did a great deal to calm their nerves. Their horses were waiting, even Eiran stood in his armor, massive hand-and-a-half at his side. "They didn't think I'd fit," he joked. "I don't of course, but I don't wear it to be comfortable." Ælle smiled and helped the old Jew up into his saddle. Then he pulled himself up on his own horse. Back in the stable was Olaf's horse and the King swallowed back his tears.

All around the churches rang their bells and the Imams blessed their soldiers headed out. They formed up into ranks. They pulled out their banners and flags. Ælle's personal banner was taken out and moved to the very front of the column. It was a white lion on blue under a crown of silver. There were few words from Ælle as he watched lovers bid one another adieu, mothers crying as sons pulled themselves from their grasp, fathers leaving young boys in charge of the house hold. The city bristled with spears and swords and lances. Every lowly knight and nobleman brought out his banner to fly alongside Ælle's. The women stood on the ramparts and threw flower pedals down on the army as it marched out.

All the activity stirred the enemy armies as well. They readied as they watched more and more soldiers come out from behind the walls of Bilbao and as they formed into ranks and boxes. The gates were closed behind them and barred up. Only a handful of soldiers remained to keep the walls manned. Everyone outside those walls knew that the gate would be opened for no one. And so it was on an otherwise nameless spring morning the flags of Christians and Muslims and Jews mingled outside the last free Vasque city. The Kingdom they had tried to build around an exiled Prussian Prince had crumbled to dust around them.

Ælle muttered a silent prayer to himself. Not a Catholic prayer, but an Orthodox one. He remembered the faith of his father: the faith of his wife and children... of his brothers and sisters... of his mother and all his family. He remembered the prayers of his nation, the great battles he waged for his father. He remembered defending ports and seizing Gotland. He remembered the strength that was inside of his soul. The strength granted to him not by God, or a birth right, or petty banners and arms... but the power that was granted to him when so many put their lives and faith in him. His men, his soldiers, his supporters, his subjects. He knew that he had failed them. But still... but still they were here, ready for whatever came next.

"It's been a long time since I've stood in front of this many men," Ælle admitted to Eiran.

"It is okay, lord. We aren't here to judge you. And to be honest, we aren't really here to fight for you either. We are here because you gave hope to us, because you embodied a tiny, little mountain Kingdom that had seen hell and came back with its head held high. It welcomed Moors, and Jews, and ex crusaders, and all sorts of people. And the Vasques draped flowers over our heads and called us allies and liberators... just like they did for you. We did all we could, my lord. But I guess the time is not yet. Apparently a lot of people took issue with a Christian being friends with a Muslim, or just tolerating him. They are wrong, of course. You saw that. You saw that no matter how much faith you claimed to have in God you could still be a monster. You did what very few people ever have strength to do on their own: You fought back; you fought the injustices you saw. You tried to right them. You gave us all the strength to do it too. We thought, if that young little Saxon lad can do it, so can I. Thank you master Ælle. May your God be just when you reach him."

"Thank you, Eiran. May all of our Gods be just to us," Ælle drew his sword. His father had given it to him. It was perfectly balanced and perfectly weighted. He once used it to kill a prince. Now how many more could he kill?

"Men, we've been together a long, long time. We never fought a battle we knew we'd lose until now," Ælle shouted. "We fought in the hills and in the forests; along the coast and in the deep mountains. We used every dirty trick and every clean cut to get ourselves to here. It doesn't seem like much, but that foe in front of us speaks volumes of our accomplishment. The combined forces of Christendom are here to destroy us. And they are so terrified they don't just out number us ten to one, or twenty to one... but fifty to one. They should be afraid, because every one of you is worth sixty of them. They might still lose this. They know it. They can feel it. Can you? Can you feel that strength in you? I do. I feel it in me. I see it in you. If you didn't have it you wouldn't have shut that gate behind us." Ælle paused and looked around. There were no happy faces, only determined faces. Every man knew his fate, but he chose it willingly and with pride. He chose it knowing that his sons and their sons would speak of this day, even if it was a hushed pride told in private. "There is no choice any more. There is no glory or death... only glory and death." The King held his sword up high, "GLORY AND DEATH!" he shouted. "GLORY AND DEATH!"

The troops roared in return, "GLORY AND DEATH! GLORY AND DEATH!"

"DON'T FEAR THEM! DO NOT FEAR THE INEVITABLE! MAKE THEM FEAR US! WE WHO HAVE CHOSEN DEATH FEAR NO MAN, FEAR NO REAPER! GLORY AND DEATH! GLORY AND DEATH!"

***​

Olaf stopped on the top of a tall hill overlooking Bilbao. Drenched in water and smelling of shit he rested on a rock and watched. The sight of the men of Pamplona charging into the only partially prepared Crusaders was awe-inspiring. They cut deep into the camp and the enemy scattered from their charge. Only the free men of Pamplona could do that. Only in Pamplona could you find enough men to defeat an army of 75,000. But the Crusaders were only retreating far enough to regroup. Soon the full brunt of their fury would be felt, but they would pay for Bilbao. They would pay for the conquest of the tiny kingdom. They would pay in blood and sweat and tears. He had to keep going. There was little time.

***​

May 7th, 1141

Imela looked up from her readings. In the other room her young son was trying to teach the language of the lay to his father. Olaf, tired and weary from long sails and a long march from the port to a small monastery outside of Memelgrad. When the Queen stood up, Olaf dropped to his knees and asked in Saxon, "Are you Queen Imela of the Prussians?"

"I am, and who are you?" Imela asked. Her Saxon was heavily accented and Olaf could see why Ælle did not fit in anywhere in this Kingdom. Since he arrived he hadn't heard a single word of Saxon until now.

"I am Sir Olaf, I served your husband's son... his majesty Ælle... in Iberia," Olaf said.

Imela did not flinch or cringe she just asked rather flatly, "What is it you need Sir Olaf?"

"I must speak with your husband, the King of Prussia, his majesty Eadbert if he still lives."

"He does live, but he has retired from the public attention. What is your message?"

Olaf didn't know what to say so it sort of blurted out, "His son is dead."

Imela seemed unsurprised, but taken aback. "I will share this with him." She left for a moment. After a few minutes a young boy with curly hair walked out of a room. Olaf saw he looked like a small Ælle. He saw that Ælle would have had a friendly smile had he ever smiled.

"Kán seæp ðáó?" the boy asked. Olaf just looked confused. "Who are you?" the boy asked in Saxon.

"I am Sir Olaf, I fought alongside your brother Ælle."

The boy suddenly looked very excited, "Is my big brother safe? I've missed him a lot since he left. I tried sending him letters but I don't think he gets them."

"Y... your brother sends tidings," Olaf said. He could feel his nerves breaking down. The boy seemed to pick up on this and looked rather sad. "He wanted to say he was sorry... but that he forgives you... and loves you."

"I heard they made him a King," the young Gunvald said after a sorrowful pause.

"They did. I was there when they did it."

"My father will be pleased, he has missed Ælle a lot." In the other room there came sobbing. Eadbert sunk his face into his hands and soon after Imela came out, closing the door quickly after her.

"Excuse me Sir Olaf, but I feel you should be going. We are headed back to the palace."

"Wait," Gunwald said, "Where are you going Mister Olaf?"

"Home, to Denmark."

"Mother, can we at least give him coin for passage?"

Imela looked unhappy, but then nodded. She grabbed a few coins and handed them to Olaf, "Thank you for coming so far to share that news with us." With that she headed off with the future King holding her hand.

Olaf watched them and after a few minutes headed out as well. Maybe he wouldn't return to Denmark. Maybe he'd stay here. Maybe he could get a job in the port as a sailor or as a guard. It would be strange being back out on the Baltic.


The Kingdom of Pamplona at its height.
 

Killerflood

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I heart your updates
I agree wholeheartedly.

Also, about the modern day country that most of Pamplona was situated in, is it just a country that formed or does it have any connection (nothing tangible of course) to the old Kingdom of Pamplona?

EDIT: Mainly curious because from the topography of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly rocky and mountainous in the inland. I think) suggests to me that the major cities that would have formed in that country might be mainly on the northern sea coast.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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I heart your updates
Thanks! I really appreciate it.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Also, about the modern day country that most of Pamplona was situated in, is it just a country that formed or does it have any connection (nothing tangible of course) to the old Kingdom of Pamplona?

EDIT: Mainly curious because from the topography of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly rocky and mountainous in the inland. I think) suggests to me that the major cities that would have formed in that country might be mainly on the northern sea coast.
Thank you!

This update actually discusses (or at least briefly mentions) the creation of the borders of the modern Vasque State. Pretty old, actually.
 

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Bastions
Chapter Forty Seven: Gathering an Army
Part 5


Epilogue - April 4rd, 1141

The wailing of the wives and mothers of the dead filled the air. The people of Bilbao were forced to pick the battlefield clean so that the Crusaders could begin to divvy up their conquests. So the human-like vultures moved from body to body trying to scavenge what they could from friends and loved ones. One of these people was a small Vasque boy, named Arrats. He combed the land, trying to look busy so that he could avoid being questioned by the Crusaders who lorded over them all. Eventually he came upon a spot in the shade of a banner that flew from a pole stuck into the ground. It was a very pretty banner: blue, his favorite color. On it was a white line, its front paw stretched out forward like it was reaching for something just out of its reach. Above it, a jewel-encrusted silver crown. He had seen this banner before, he knew it. But he couldn't recall where he had seen it. Still grasping the pole was an armored arm, and as Arrats moved toward it, he saw there was the rest of a knight attached to it. The man had labored breath, his body pierced with several arrows. He tried to look back at the city, but could not and Arrats could tell his time was short.

The boy ran to the knight and then saw that in his other hand he still carried his bloodied sword, all around him were the bodies of fallen foes. Words of a strange language babbled from his mouth along with a little blood. It ran down into his short beard, his eyes though still seemed alert. They fixed on Arrats as he moved over the body. It was then, seeing this broken man laying on the ground that he remembered. Arrats put his knee to the ground, "My lord! My lord you live!" he said in hushed excitement.

Ælle shook his head. "I... I only got forty..." he said quietly. Arrats didn't understand what he meant but saw as the life faded from his eyes. The body was still and the boy fell a chill creep down his spine. When the Crusaders were looking the other way he fetched his brother and his brother's friends. Together they stripped their King of his armor, wrapped him in the blue banner and buried him under the other corpses they were taking away. Then, carefully, they fled Bilbao in the dark of night, their King still with them. In a few weeks they could reach the Caliph in Toledo and present the body of his vassal. There, maybe, it would be safe. There, maybe, they would be safe.


Epilogue - June 3rd, 1162

A Danish man sat at his regular spot in one of the quieter taverns in Memelgrad. Outside there was a large commotion growing and the Dane didn't seem to have one clue what was going on. He pulled a couple angits from his pocket and left them on the counter as he walked out to see what everyone was so excited about. In the harbor was a massive ship of Iberian origins, that had thousands of green banners hanging from all of the rigging. Olaf recognized it as a ship of the Caliph of Toledo. He had seen many of them in the harbors of his old home. He shook his head and headed down toward the harbor. He saw an official-looking group head into the cathedral so he made his way there. And once the crowds died down he saw a coffin lying in state. Few people payed it much attention now that the nobles were all gone, but Olaf walked up to it and asked one of the priests who it was.

"The King's brother, Ælle. His body has been returned to us by the Caliphate. Tomorrow he will be moved to rest in Marienshire so that he can rest with the other Kings of Prussia." Olaf nodded and just as he was about to leave the priest continued, "There has been a dirty rumor that he died fighting the Danish for control over Zaragoza! The shame, fighting a fellow Crusader like that!"

Olaf shook his head, "It was Bilbao... and they came to us." He dipped his head and said a short prayer in Vasque. He never really figured out if it was a Christian prayer or a Muslim one. He figured it was too late now if it ever even mattered. He didn't bother making a cross, he just rested his hand on the coffin and thought of all the times he wished he could do something great like Ælle. But the feeling washed over him in time and he left the cathedral. Outside he looked one way and then another. Unsure of where to go, but not tied down to anything he headed back into the ring of farms and houses outside the walls. He heard the sounds of life in the big city. A band of Liths played on lutes for the children, mothers called for daughters to help with chores and menfolk tilled the fields. Maybe he would pack up and move farther inland. Start a family. He was a bit old, but he had a pretty stack of coin. It was enough for a while. He was sure he could convince some widow to settle with him if for no reason than comfort. And after so many years of fighting and fishing he could use a little comfort on a small farm far from the ocean.
 
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And so ends the story of my favorite Prussian. :( However, I can't help but to think that his story will be used by the Prussians during the world wars.
 

Killerflood

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. . .However, I can't help but to think that his story will be used by the Prussians during the world wars.
How so?



Mr. Capiatlist: I noticed that in "massive ship of Iberia origins", Iberia might best be changed into Iberian. Sorry to nitpick.
 

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And so ends the story of my favorite Prussian. :( However, I can't help but to think that his story will be used by the Prussians during the world wars.
A good way to end a good narrative. Bravo!
Thank you guys!

Mr. Capiatlist: I noticed that in "massive ship of Iberia origins", Iberia might best be changed into Iberian. Sorry to nitpick.
Fixed. There are about a million of these everywhere. I tend to not actually edit what I write only because I am usually running late anyway and I am not particularly good at catching my own mistakes.

I think I read that WW2 was fought between the Muslims and Prussia. Aelle's story could be used for propaganda.
Neither of the World Wars are done solely on religious grounds.

WWI is mostly concerning German claims to Alsace and the naval arms race between Germany and Britain.

WWII is more ideological and much closer to our own: the democratic Western Europe fighting a more totalitarian Central Europe. The West tolerates the commies enough to try to get them to help end the war. Meanwhile many of the Balkan countries, still right-wing monarchies, ally with the totalitarians against the forces of "secularism", though they are probably more afraid of Prussia's illegalization of organized religion.
 

Killerflood

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Fixed. There are about a million of these everywhere. I tend to not actually edit what I write only because I am usually running late anyway and I am not particularly good at catching my own mistakes.
Really? It's very rare that I ever see you make a grammar/spelling mistake.