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Bastions
Chapter Forty Eight: The Queen of Cities
Part 4


Prelude:
King Doyvát was true to his words: he sent a large force of Prussians to settle the on-going civil war; and he removed his son from command, forcing him to essentially retire to Krakow. By this point the Prince was a hardened commander, having served in multiple conflicts and wars. Too many he was the father of the Black Sea Fleet, an integral part of Prussia's defenses for centuries to come. But as long as the Baltic remained open, the Black Sea was always going to play second fiddle. Prussia's position in the East, easily cut off and strangled by either Denmark or Rome, made maintaining a strong fleet an issue of constant importance. In many ways, fighting wars through the navy - wars like the Roman Civil Wars and the many wars to keep the Bosporus open - was important in promoting the idea of Prussian dominance at sea. In the Baltic both the Christians and the Muslims focused on land battles. It was a lot easier to accept Prussian naval dominance that try to rebuff it. But in the South, states like Egypt, Syria, Rome and the Caliphate all jostled for trading rights and therefore had more reason to build up massive fleets. For Prussia it meant having enough of a fleet in the Black Sea to compete while not over-extending themselves. In the North they could have a large navy that would keep the Scandinavians and Germans frightened while being able to project that authority out to England and Ireland if need be. It is surprising to learn the lengths that Kings like Gunvald II and Doyvát I went to ensure that in case of an Irish or Scottish victory over England that Prussia would be able to restore their western ally.


A Roman description of the Prussian fleet defending Constantinople.

March 16th, 1386

The younger Doyvát sat in his reading chair but was not reading. He wasn't doing anything. He was waiting for everything to end. The days had all become interchangeable: passing without a single change in the status quo. Welcome to Poland, Doyvát thought, a place where the living strive to be dead and the dead live in perpetual boredom. Not too far away Sophie sat posed for a portrait. "Doyvát, what is the purpose of the Lord-Protector?" she asked.

"To protect and lord over Poland," Doyvát answered coldly.

"I mean what do you do?"

"It is a ceremonial title, I literally do nothing. I had more authority as Lord-Commander. Here I have nothing. Just this estate. O but I get to be called 'Lord-Protector' and everyone knows I am the next King of Prussia! Oooooo! Meaningless... completely meaningless."

"If it was meaningless, why give it to the Crown Prince?" Sophie asked.

Doyvát looked up at her to try to judge if she was honestly ignorant or playing devil's advocate. He couldn't really get a strong signal one way or the other, probably because she was trying to pose for the painter. "Because being the son of a King does not make you a King. I am lucky, in an older age I'd be fighting with my brothers for rule over the country. That was the way of the world. Nearly killed many a future King."

"But guaranteed a shrewd King," Sophie was quick to point out.

"I would not want to see a Prussia under some of Vishly's other sons," Doyvát admitted, "And not just because I would not be here... How are your Prussian classes going?" the Prince asked after a brief pause.

"Better now that I am not also trying to remember Greek lessons as well," Sophie answered honestly. She knew Doyvát was not going to raise children speaking English in the palace. She needed to pick up on it quick so she could serve her diplomatic and Queenly purposes. She looked at her husband from behind the painting and didn't see a man; she saw a wolf that had been pitifully trapped in a hunter's snare. His soul was crushed. He just stared blankly out into the void. His only retreats from this hell were the daily letters from the war. Old war buddies and people unhappy with his dismissal sent him news and asked questions: all trying to pique his thoughts and expertise. An old guest bedroom had been turned into a war room; there he had his maps and lead soldiers to map out the current course of the war. She sighed.

"Min Láodá, Đáó mussáp náa ósedæt," the painter said, his voice verging on the exasperated.

"Sárik," she said trying to straighten out her back. "What stops you from heading to Morcargrád?" she asked.

"My father," was the inevitable reply. The King's spies were everywhere in the country. After the civil wars there was no other way to do it. "It is strange to link of how he acted in his youth: brash and free. I used to hear all sorts of tales from the guards and the maids. How he fought a lone war, his tattoos, his affairs with the enemy's daughters and how in the end he marched a band of soldiers right into the castle and over-threw Vishly. I used to drink it all in, every word. There was an old tale, this was my favorite, that he single handedly defeated a regiment of knights by challenging them to a drinking game."

"What happened to that respect for your father?"

"I got older I guess. And stupid. He kept trying to tie me down, but I wanted to see the world like he had. I wanted to fight and fuck and drink and fuck some more. I wanted to be a hero, I wanted there to be stories about me like there were for him. But nothing. Nothing ever caught on. I was forgettable. I was nothing. No stories or love for Prince Doyvát the Second. Just as unoriginal as his name." He stood up to walk away, but then stopped mid stride and stood there. Sophie knew he wasn't going anywhere. He hadn't planned on going anywhere. It was the pacing of a man who needed something to do.

"It's strange," Sophie started, "the English and the Prussians are made of the same stock. But history has turned us into two completely different things. When we were in the north, I could cover my ears and it wasn't hard to imagine that I was standing in York. It is a bit different here in Poland, but I can certainly see it in you."

Doyvát smiled, "It is strange. There is very little Saxon left in the noble lines. Memelgrád, Mariengrád... those were Morcar landed with his Saxons. It is where they settled and where they laid the foundation of our Kingdom. If I were to take you to Æstlinn you would not think we were so Saxon anymore."

"What color was Morcar's hair?"

"I... I... have no idea. He was a man who lived over three hundred years ago. I could just as easily tell you what Julius Caesar's breath smelled like," Doyvát said, his voice tinged with annoyance.

"Saxons mostly have blonde hair, but you and your family have black or dark brown? Why?"

"I cannot tell you. We've all had dark hair since King Gunvald the First. It is a sort of mark of our line."

"I like it," Sophie said, "It makes you stand out, very regal; exotic even."

"I'm glad you find it attractive. The English and Prussians are alike in many ways; we are both fighters. We are not ruled, we rule. England will rule Britain, and Prussia will rule the East. We do not cower before stronger forces and are first to kneel and lick the hand that feeds. I have believed it for many years that Prussia and England should try to ensure cooperation between their peoples and nations. Maybe my father took my advice."

"Would you ever want to go back to England?"

"I am not sure if I ever could, to be honest, Kings rarely leave Prussia unless at the head of an army."

"I'm sure that England will see her fair share of wars."

"I doubt the Irish raiders require the attention of an outside power," Doyvát said.

"Have you not heard?"

Doyvát tilted his head inquisitively, "Heard what?"

"Like you said, it is for England to rule Britain. It is our destiny. My father plans to try to unite the Isles under his banner. My mother is the Duchess of Moray, rightful Queen of Alba. He plans to invade and hopefully with the support of the Hieland clans reclaim Alba after a hundred years of absence."

"Forgive me, the 'Hieland clans'?"

"Highlanders: Gaelic-speakers of Scotland. My mother's family, the macMurchaid clan, is a Hieland clan and is owed the allegiance of the other clans," Sophie said.

"Let me tell you something about ancient family alliances, Sophie," Doyvát said sitting down, "No one remembers them if they are better off under the other guy. In one hundred years have any of the clans revolted? Have any tried anything?"

"Clan Cameron did, briefly, but they ended up being paid off."

"I support your father in his quest, but the game of politics is not an honorable game. It is not played by gentlemen. It is played by kings and despots for personal gain. If the people experience some stability or their lives are made better; that is good... but do not fool yourself into thinking it is the point. In every war there is a winner and there is a loser. And they wouldn't be called a loser if they were better off."

"You make it sound so... so selfish."

Doyvát nodded, "Sometimes that is just the way it is. I wish there was more to it. But it is either monarchs or the mob, and I find that you can deal with monarchs. They succumb easily to flattery... mobs... mobs tend to want to see people killed and the more the better."

"The stories of Constantinople... are they true?"

"Depends, which stories are you talking about?"

"The massacres?"

"Ah, those. I was certainly there for them. But what really happened was I turned a blind eye at let Stephen do all the dirty work. An utter oaf, that one. Most men have a goal, Stephen seemed only to react. Couldn't read the writing on the wall."

"The Emperor Stephen did that to his own people?"

"Aye, I was okay with taking the blame if it meant a stable Rome. The people there would love Stephen for his cool wits and the people here would love me for my punishment of the Romans. Like I said, I am not innocent in the matter. I could have stopped it..."

"But it left you better off, so you let it happen."

"See, you are getting it. I am sorry I am not the model of chivalry you hoped for. I play my cards as I need to."

"But your position is assured."

"For now. It is true: my father had only me, and he was alone as well. My grandfather outlived most of his brothers, but a few still linger here and there. I think they are powerless at this point but to assume they are powerless would give them all the strength they need. But the House of Hwicce is nothing if not prolific."

"Are you worried, then?"

"I think ahead so that I don't have to worry. My dear, I've been playing this terrible game since before you were born. I like to think I am proficient at it. To be a truly great king you must be as fearsome as Eadbert, as cunning as Gunwald, as quick as Sviendorog, as pious as Meinekinus, and as loved as Kiten. Rarely does one king embody the soul of two let alone five."

"All those men ruled in a row, right?"

"No. Kárnák reigned between Meinekinus and Kiten. And technically there was Dzintis as well," Doyvát said, remembering lessons long ago taught.

"Dzintis?"

"King Dzintis was King of Bohemia; he was the son of Meinekinus and the father of Kárnák, who was King of Hungary at the time. Dzintis was a cruel as Vishly, but not nearly as intelligent. He overthrew Kárnák and attempted to rule Bohemia and Hungary as independent Kingdoms. But he killed himself during a fit of madness, so Kárnák took the throne of Hungary-Bohemia under the guidance of Meinekinus."

"I was told that Kárnák was the son Meinekinus."

"Aye, it is a common thing. He is registered as Meinekinussun on his tomb. Dzintis is a man who is often forgotten in Prussia. His moniker is se áizmirzáfást."

"The Forgotten?"

"Yes, the Forgotten."

"ÓSEDÆT!" shouted the painter.

"Sárik!" replied the couple.
 

Aliasing

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(Link Broken D: Ur nur....Too lazy to redo it, so noes)

I hope this shows, but I tried to do it. The double vowels just means to hold the sound longer than the macron or diaeresis'

(Also nice update)
 
Last edited:

Mr. Capiatlist

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I hope this shows, but I tried to do it. The double vowels just means to hold the sound longer than the macron or diaeresis'

(Also nice update)
I have to admit, I at least like the way it looks. I need to write something rather long in Prussian so I can get a real feel for the look of the language. But I feel we've had enough memes for now.
 

Aliasing

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I have to admit, I at least like the way it looks. I need to write something rather long in Prussian so I can get a real feel for the look of the language. But I feel we've had enough memes for now.
Thank you, I love languages and such. It's weird though, I can hear and pronounce the proper way to say Prussian in my head, but I cannot seem to say it properly out loud. It's a tough little language. But the couple dynamics of Dovyat and Sophie seem to be showing, it's rather adorable.
 

Orlov Kruskayev

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When I saw a beer called "Baltika" I had to try it.
Oh well, the "Baltika" I know is in petty Cyrillic. From the tales I've heard, it doesn't taste so good.
Maybe if it was from glorious Prussia it would be better. :D


It's always nice how Doyvàt faces things crude as they are. Such an awesome King will not be forgotten, I hope...
 

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Thank you, I love languages and such. It's weird though, I can hear and pronounce the proper way to say Prussian in my head, but I cannot seem to say it properly out loud. It's a tough little language.
I find it gets easier with time.

But the couple dynamics of Dovyat and Sophie seem to be showing, it's rather adorable.
Great update, loving Dovyat and Sophie!
Thank you! I'm glad everyone likes them.

Oh well, the "Baltika" I know is in petty Cyrillic. From the tales I've heard, it doesn't taste so good.
Maybe if it was from glorious Prussia it would be better. :D


It's always nice how Doyvàt faces things crude as they are. Such an awesome King will not be forgotten, I hope...
It was different. I'd try it again, but it certainly isn't replacing my drink of choice (Guinness). I actually brew beer at home and I am planning on making some Prussian mead at some point.

Hopefully.
 

gigau

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Great update, once again... although i'm still having trouble with the Prussian parts of the texts... :eek:o
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Great update, once again... although i'm still having trouble with the Prussian parts of the texts... :eek:o
I never write anything necessary for understanding the story in Prussian just for that reason. The point is that Sophie still doesn't understand Prussian, so their chatter in Prussian is still foreign to her.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Next update will end chapter 48 and potentially the Doyvat/Sophie arc. Should I continue that arc on the other side or is there something/somewhere else you guy would like to see?
 

Aliasing

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Next update will end chapter 48 and potentially the Doyvat/Sophie arc. Should I continue that arc on the other side or is there something/somewhere else you guy would like to see?
Personally I'd like more Modern Day updates. But since the focus is on the time period this book actually is in the majority of time. I would like to further see the dynamics of the two Dovyats with Foreign rulers and members of their own court during such troubling times.
 

flyguy117

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Could the next arc be set in the isle or maybe carthage? That would be pretty interesting.
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Personally I'd like more Modern Day updates. But since the focus is on the time period this book actually is in the majority of time. I would like to further see the dynamics of the two Dovyats with Foreign rulers and members of their own court during such troubling times.
Could the next arc be set in the isle or maybe carthage? That would be pretty interesting.
We haven't heard much about the Dormandies or the Qurati people. I vote for them!
And here I was expecting a little consistency. ;)
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Oh on that note, I would like to hear more about the other Ethnicities on the front page that you haven't covered yet.
That is a good point...
 

Mr. Capiatlist

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Why does the painter in the last update remind me of this? :D
[video=youtube;LranUGGqRtM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LranUGGqRtM[/video]
Must be a popular tropé.
 

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Oh! There is one more thing I want to know. This is of utmost importance....

Is there anyone as terrible as Nikki Minaj in the Anglo-Prussian universe?