• 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

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
7
Well, kids say the darnedest things...
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.885
599
Farquharson said:
Kurt_Steiner: Obviously this is just the way things are usually done in Catalonia... :D
Indeed. I'm the bête noire here, in Catalonia, as I don't spend my time killing no one, but running after each single lady I see. So, just to follow the traditions of the land, any volunteer to get killed? :D

Farquharson said:
BTW I was slightly embarrassed, after my previous reply about there being "very few" Iberian AARs around to then notice that you were writing one yourself. Duh!
Homer Simpson would be delighted :D


This Sancha... dunno what... but... I cannot think she's is not blameless in all this issue.

BTW, a cousin of mine is called Pere... should I call the Catalan Inquisition, just in case? :D
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
The tide of the investigation is dinstinctly anti-Pere. The girl is young though, and no doubt open to manipulation.
 

Kanil

Colonel
13 Badges
Mar 14, 2007
966
101
Poor Huggy! :(
 

Farquharson

Mad Clansman
14 Badges
Nov 7, 2003
1.713
2
malcolm.lyon.free.fr
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
RGB: Especially twelve-year-old widows!

Kurt_Steiner: Well running after ladies and killing off rivals are entirely compatible pastimes in CK, so why not? :D

Duke of Wellington: The story continues in just a moment.

JimboIX: I think despite the Duke's concerns, that Sancha has her head screwed on the right way. She is no doubt destined for great things some day.

Kanil: Hug certainly had a fate worse than "Death by old age happened to us", that's for sure. And my machinations have only made it even worse... :D

Right, well in the interests of getting back to playing the actual game, I have wrapped up this little murder mystery with the following update. In fact murder mystery has always been one of my favourite genres to read (ever since I discovered Agatha Christie when I was about fourteen), and I've often thought of trying to write one into an AAR. When the dramatic events of the County of Empuries first few years unfolded, I realized that this was my chance. Of course, it would be great to spin it out into a mega-tale, but that isn't what I was wanting to do in this AAR, so not this time!
 

Farquharson

Mad Clansman
14 Badges
Nov 7, 2003
1.713
2
malcolm.lyon.free.fr
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
Chapter 4 (1070)

True Lies

The Princess Urraca Jimenez, widow of Count Pere d'Empuries whose body now lay at rest in the crypt of the chapel of the Castle of Empuries, was an undeniably attractive woman and moreover she clearly knew how to use this to her own advantage. Duke Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona, sitting opposite her, was all too aware of this as he put to her the hypothesis he had formed while speaking with young Sancha.


"Well, my Lord," the princess said, "it is true that Pere and Hug never got on well together, that was no secret. And Pere resented the fact that his brother had been made Chancellor, while he was without office." Here the princess leant towards the Duke in conspiratorial fashion, yet with a little smile, as she said "To be honest, he really wanted my position but Count Ponç would not listen to him."

"Would it shock you then to think that he could have fabricated the case against Hug simply to put himself in line for the Count's title?"

The princess appeared to consider this carefully before replying: "No, my Lord, it would not shock me. I suppose I should play the loyal wife and pretend to be shocked, but I would be lying. I think he was ruthlessly ambitious, and - yes, I believe he could have done such a thing."

"And lived with it afterwards?" asked the Duke.

"Ah. Now that is another thing. He did not get on with his older brother, but Pere did not hate Hug. Yes, in fact that would explain a great deal. He seemed troubled after Hug's death - well, we all were, so I did not really notice anything strange. But as the months went by and we all came to terms with the tragedy in one way or another, I don't believe Pere ever did. He did not sleep well for example. Many a time I woke in the middle of the night to find him pacing the bedchamber, or nowhere to be seen. Or I would be speaking to him and then discover that he had not been listening at all. He was preoccupied with his own thoughts instead, but would not let me know what they were. And yet he never admitted that there was anything wrong."

"And before Hug's death he was different?"

"Completely, my Lord. He was ever the attentive husband. He doted on little Sesenanda and seemed happy and contented as a father. And he slept like a log at night. No, after Hug's death he was a different person entirely."

"In other words, he had had his own brother killed, and in a most horrible way at that, and now he could not live with the burden of guilt?"

"It would certainly make sense, my Lord. And.. oh!"

"What is it, princess?"

"Perhaps…" here the princess looked genuinely shocked, and close to tears, "Perhaps the terrible burden was unbearable enough for him to… to take his own life!"

"I confess that that thought had already occurred to me, princess," said the Duke gently. "Poison, self-administered. A quick death, and release at last from the terrible secret that he carried. Perhaps he was in the chapel precisely to make his peace with God before administering the justice to which he had sentenced himself."

Now the princess really was in tears. "Oh but that's awful! And yet… and yet I can believe it."

"Yes, it makes sense to me too. I never believed that Count Ermengol could be guilty of double murder. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced of it. I think we should lay this investigation to rest. Hug will be officially exonerated of all charges of sorcery. I am afraid though that the truth of Pere's crime and his suicide will need to be made public. I am sorry, for your sake."

"You are kind to think of me, my Lord", replied the princess, wiping her eyes, "but the truth is surely more important."

==================================================


Two months later Princess Urraca sat with her brother King Sancho in his royal castle at Pamplona. She had made the request that she should give birth to her child at her family home rather than in Empuries and, given the circumstances of her widowhood, her request had been granted.

"So my dear," the king was saying, "your little plan did not quite work. Indeed it could have ended in disaster if you had been discovered."

"You sound rather ungrateful, Sancho," replied the princess. "If it had succeeded, the County of Empuries would now have been yours."

"But your fool of a husband would rather take his own life than pledge allegiance to me? What on earth was wrong with him?"

"Oh, don't take it personally. The story I told the Duke had more than a grain of truth in it. He was remorseful. He already hated himself, even without being blackmailed. Indeed, that was the weak point in the plan. He was a spineless idiot. How I hated him, with his suspicious mind, and his sneaking ways. Even the way he talked irritated me. The world is well rid of such as Pere d'Empuries."

"Dear me, such invective!" said the king jokingly. "Are you quite certain it was suicide that put your poor husband out of this world, my dear?"

"Ha! I am no murderess, my brother. Do you think I would pass up being a Countess just because I disliked my husband? Then you hardly know me!"

"I was joking my dear," said the king. "Alas I know you only too well. And what about offers of marriage? Are there as yet any other willing takers for your own special brand of wedded bliss?"

"Not as yet, no. Why, did you have someone in mind to marry off to a pregnant widow with a penchant for blackmail?"

"Oh no, not at all. I was just thinking though that wives such as you should come with some sort of health warning, that was all."


 
Last edited:

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
I knew it was the Jimenez.
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.885
599
I never trusted those people -perhaps for that reason this clan suffers me a lot in my two AARs... :D
 

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
7
With a name like Urraca, really, what else did you expect?
 

Farquharson

Mad Clansman
14 Badges
Nov 7, 2003
1.713
2
malcolm.lyon.free.fr
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
JimboIX: Who else?

Kurt_Steiner: Well, it may take a while, but I hope to put the Jimenez family in their place one day...

RGB: I know - sounds too much like verruca or something - another obnoxious phenomenon that's difficult to get rid of. :D

Duke of Wellington: Well, funnily enough, she's on the look out for a husband right now, preferably one with an impressive title! :p

Well you can tell I'm on holiday at the moment and have nothing much else to do with myself. Next update is ready...
 

Farquharson

Mad Clansman
14 Badges
Nov 7, 2003
1.713
2
malcolm.lyon.free.fr
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
Chapter 5 (1071-76)

A Disarming Experience

Princess Urraca Jimenez had failed in her elaborate plan to bring the County of Empuries into her brother's Kingdom of Navarra, and had indirectly caused the deaths of two brothers of the d'Empuries family in the process, but her career of political mayhem was far from over. She might have provided the House of Empuries with a much-needed male heir, but instead, almost as if in spite for her latest setback, she gave birth to a daughter, Teresa, born in Pamplona in the late summer of 1071. She then returned to Empuries with her two infant daughters, Sesenanda and Teresa, to see what fate might yet have in store for her.

Fate did not disappoint her, but came calling the following February in the form of the Count of Urgell, little Sancha's elder brother who, like the Count of Empuries, was also called Ermengol. He wished for her hand in marriage and so the princess became a Countess for the second time. This time she managed to stay a Countess for a little longer than Count Pere's short and tragic two month rule, but not much longer. Less than a year later the Count of Urgell found his title being revoked by the Duke, not because of anything he had done to offend his liege, but simply because the Duke's third son had just come of age and needed some land. The County of Urgell seemed handy enough, since the Counties of Lleida and Rosello were already held by the Duke's first two sons. This left Count Ermengol d'Empuries as the only vassal of the Duke who was not also one of his sons. It was a great relief to him that the Duke in fact only had three sons.

What devious schemes the Countess of Urgell had been working on during this time are not known for sure, but it is pretty certain that she was behind her brother's ill-fated war with the King of Aragon. King Sancho of Navarra declared war on his distant cousin King Sancho of Aragon in November 1072. This should have been a short and bloody struggle to bring the province of Jaca under the crown of Navarra, except that the Navarran King carelessly got himself an arrow in the chest during the first battle, and was somewhat out of things thereafter. Without his leadership his troops somehow lost momentum and the war dragged on for a couple of years before the King finally succumbed to pneumonia and died, leaving his seven-year-old son Alfonso on the Navarran throne. A few days later a white peace was signed. By this time, of course, Princess Urraca was back in Pamplona with her husband the former Count of Urgell, presumably plotting the next move in her chequered career.

Meanwhile, what was happening back at Empuries? The answer is, not a lot, since everyone who was anyone had gone off to war.


The Moors were fighting amongst each other as usual, and the Duke of Catalonia had taken the opportunity to declare war on the Emir of Toledo, mobilizing all five of his regiments to march with him. Count Ermengol answered the call enthusiastically, eager for the chance to win fame and glory, and more importantly, territorial gain, in a war against the infidels in the south. Whether the Duke would actually allow him to keep any conquered lands for himself was extremely doubtful, especially when he had his three sons with him - anything they conquered would just be loot in the bag for the House of Barcelona, but nevertheless Count Ermengol was ever hopeful of some tidbits for Empuries.

The army marched south into the Sheikdom of Castellon, where they met the Emir and his army blocking their way. The Duke gathered his three sons and Count Ermengol to outline his plan.


Duke Ramon Berenguer of Catalonia: First off, Empuries, just remind me will you, you do have a male heir don't you?

Count Ermengol d'Empuries: Ahem, yes, my brother Marshal Berenguer in fact.

Duke: Hmm. And after him?

Empuries: Well, next is my two-year-old half-brother Ramon Berenguer, currently in the court of Castille. But what's all this got to do with our battle plan, Sire?

Duke: Oh, nothing, nothing, Empuries. Two-year-old, eh? Very good, well you and Marshal Berenguer will be leading the frontal assault on the infidel army. My men will be backing you up as and when needed. Now, any more questions?

Empuries: Err…

Count Ramon Berenguer of Rosello: Sounds good to me, father.

Count Berenguer Ramon of Urgell: A foolproof plan if ever I heard one.

Count Pedro Ramon of Lleida: You're a genius, Dad.

Duke: Right-ho, well let's go then!

And so the brave Count Ermengol led the frontal assault, hacking his way through the Moorish hordes like a hot knife through butter. In fact he seemed to be doing so well that, mysteriously, the Duke didn't seem to be offering him much support at all. Finally the Empuries Regiment was whittled down to a fraction of it's original strength and the Count was completely surrounded by a horde of fearsome Moorish warriors baying for his blood. First he lost his right arm to a Toledan scimitar, but he barely noticed this setback and fought on, bludgeoning his foes wildly with his shield. Finally another scimitar stroke took his left arm off as well and he toppled from his horse.


Thinking their Count dead, the few remaining men of Empuries wavered and broke, and finally the Duke noticed that they were in difficulties and might need some help. The main bulk of the Catalan Army now marched forward against the Moors, stopping their advance and turning it into a rout. The battle was won, but at a dreadful cost in men. Count Ermengol was not in fact dead, but was found lying on the battlefield in the evening. The Duke came to see him the following day to demand an explanation.


Duke of Catalonia: Well Empuries, what have you got to say for yourself? You do realize that your ineptitude nearly cost us the battle?


Count Ermengol, wincing from the pain of the army surgeon's crude cauterizations: Err, well Sire, I had no arms left. I guess I just somehow lost my balance.

Duke: Good grief, some people think up the flimsiest excuses. Well, perhaps you're just not suited for this task, Empuries. Perhaps you'd better just head on home. I'll put someone else in command of your men.

Count Ermengol: Oh no, Sire, I can still command my men, don't worry. I'll soon get the hang of holding the reins with my teeth or something.

Duke: Don't be ridiculous, man, you're not fit to go on with this campaign.

Count Ermengol: Well, Sire, if I return my men go with me. They will not follow anyone else.

Duke: Oh well, have it your own way then. You can stay with the army. Just don't expect any preferential treatment on health grounds, that's all I can say.

Count Ermengol: As always, it will be a honour to serve under you, Sire!

And so Count Ermengol bravely continued on the campaign as the Duke chased around the Emir's armies for several more months. By December 1074 the strain was taking its toll on the Count, and he fell ill.


Nevertheless he insisted on continuing on the march to Toledo. After another victorious battle against the Emir, in which the sick, armless Count still displayed great courage, the city of Toledo was put under siege. During the siege a miracle worker came to do the rounds of the camp offering miracle healings for just 10 gold pieces a time.


Count Ermengol: Yes, over here, I'll give you 10 gold pieces!

Miracle worker, looking rather worriedly at the Count's non-existent arms: Er, well, for 10 gold pieces, you know, you can't really expect miracles…

Count Ermengol: But I thought that's what you were? A miracle worker?

Miracle worker: Well, yes but there's miracles and there's miracles, see. I'm afraid I only do the former kind.

Count Ermengol: Which is what, exactly?

Miracle worker: Well, you know, healing the sick, that sort of thing. Absolutely no limb replacements.

Count Ermengol: OK, never mind the arms then, just heal the illness.

Miracle worker, brightening a little: Oh, you're sick too? Oh well, that's all right then. If you'll just hand over the 10 gold pieces and we'll get right down to it…

And so the Count parted with 10 of his precious gold pieces and lo and behold, the next day he felt like a new man. The miracle worker was allowed to add the label "By appointment to his highness the Count Ermengol of Empuries" on the outside of his travelling bag and he was soon doing a brisk business about the camp, where disease was beginning to ravage the already meagre remnants of the Duke's once-proud army.

Toledo fell to the Duke in February 1076 and then the army marched on southwards to Calatrava, which he also captured in October of the same year. Needless to say, he kept all these territorial gains for himself, and the Count of Empuries got nothing. In addition to his arms, he had also now lost all but 16 of his men.

The news from back home was, if anything, even worse. The day-to-day running of the County was now in the hands of young Sancha, who had turned out to be a gruff diplomat and had been made Chancellor. She was aided after a fashion by the new Diocese Bishop, a lustful, skeptical fellow named Berenguer, who also happened to be a member of the d'Empuries family, or so he claimed.

In the absence of any forces of law and order, the County had quickly become a hotbed of criminality, with thieves and smugglers draining what little wealth there ever was to be found there.

The one glimmer of hope for Count Ermengol was the discovery by Bishop Berenguer of an old and musty parchment, apparently drawn up by Charlemagne himself, which clearly showed that the d'Empuries family were the rightful owners of the lands of Viscaya, west of Pamplona.


To the war-weary Count and his men, this seemed like wonderful news. The only trouble was that the Count of Viscaya, a naïve puppetmaster with a speech impediment who was completely bald despite the fact that his name was Iñigo de Haro, was currently a vassal of the King of Castille. With the army of Catalonia in its present condition there was no question of being able to win a war to force him to renounce his claim at any point in the near future.


 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.885
599
Dunno why, but I couldn't avoid thinking about Monthy Pyton Quest for the Grial while reading poor Ermengol's unlucky fate... Well, he has still his head over his shoulders, hasn't he? :D
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
'tis only a flesh wound...
 

RossN

Commandant
52 Badges
Feb 22, 2004
2.866
258
revengeofthekillersequel.blogspot.com
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
Ah that wily Duke Ramon, you'd almost think he intended for something like this to happen.

How much do miracles (as against mirces) cost I wonder?
 

unmerged(59077)

Tzar of all the Soviets
Jul 17, 2006
5.575
7
I don't think Empuries makes enough money to attract the kind of miracle worker that does limb replacements...
 

Jestor

King of Spades
28 Badges
Jun 24, 2004
1.391
9
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
"Come see the violence inherent in the Dukedom!" :D

Sancha intrigues.
 

Specialist290

Field Marshal
77 Badges
Feb 25, 2006
6.207
1.111
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Stellaris
  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • BATTLETECH
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Rome Gold
  • King Arthur II
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • 500k Club
First Princess Urraca, now the Duke of Catalonia... I forsee a prime time TV quiz show called Who Wants to be the Count of Empuries airing in the near future, considering the number of people who seem to want to grab the title...

And, not meaning to echo the others, but that battle scene did seem very Pythonesque :p

On a final note, why does it seem like every other Diocese Bishop in this game is Lustful and Sceptical? I seem to get a lot of that sort when I play this game :wacko: