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bombshellboi

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Hello everyone.

Here I am going to write a small "mini-AAR" in "story" format inspired by a game of CK i played after inserting my own family into the game as the "Dukes of Strathclyde" in Scotland.

Ive included lots of screenshots; entirely of the characters because well we would like to know who the heck im talking about right?

This is my second attempt at an AAR (the first was an Eu2 AAR about Scotland that died after my old computer quite literally exploded - seriously the fan went haywire and the tower caught fire while i was playing Civ 3 funnily enough :rofl: ) so please be gentle.

Ill begin writing just shortly so please bear with me. :D

EDIT:

Oh why I dont tell you a little about my family.

Well we are Scots people who live in modern day "Strathclyde" and we are descended of the Clan Lamont.

My father is Duncan he is my biological father and exists in game as the former Duke of Strathclyde and for story purposes he was once Marshall of the King Duncan the First of the House Macduff and for his services was awarded the title Duke of Strathclyde.

My mother is Lilian who is my biological mother and exists in game as the Duchess of Strathclyde and an accidentally overpowered Spymistress.

My elder Sister is Nicola who is my half sister, the daughter of my mother and adopted by my father. In game she was first Stewardess of Strathclyde and then later became wife of the "Earl" of Carrick. She wont be talked about in this AAR.

My elder brother is Stephen who is my half brother, the son of my mother and adopted by my father. In game he is awarded the title "Earl" of Tir Connaille and later Ulaid and becomes wedded to the daughter of the Scottish Chancellor Donald Dunkeld. In order to represent the "half-sibling" status of my brother and sister they both have the "bastard" trait; though later Stephen is legitimised by event.

Myself, I am Kenneth. I am the only biological child of both of my parents. And in game I am the only heir to Strathclyde and served as its Marshall; however annoyingly at one point I had to change my succession laws to allow myself to inherit my father because of an event which legitimised Stephen.

Every other member of my "family" that appears in this AAR is fictional.
 
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CatKnight

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Well, that takes some courage! I'd be too worried about my family getting random plague events. :rofl:

Good luck with this!
 

bombshellboi

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Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 1

It was a dark and foul day that day.

Rain was bombarding the city of Glasgow; the dark skies lit up occassinally by a flash of lighting as if the sky was threatening to burst with heavens wrath upon the Archduchy of Strathclyde for some unknown slight.

Normally the Palace of Glasgow was an impressive and magnicicent structure to behold built as it was as a summer retreat by King Duncan I of the House of Macduff many years before; but on that day, that foul and horrible day the Palace itself seemed to reflect the dark skies looking like a great black claw reaching into Glasgows skyline.
As if the Palace and its inhabitants were at war with the heavens itself; but of course that is not true.

Within the Palace a depressed dark mood prevailed in its inhabitants; and to them it seemed like the weather was an outward reflection of many of their own feelings.
For you see the Archduke lay dying from a terminal illness in bed, and the future of the Clan Lamont, and of the Archduchy, and yes even of the Kingdom of Scotland lay hanging in the balance.

The Archdukes chambers as you might expect were sizeable larger than even the Royal Chambers in the Castle at Edinburgh; and as you might also expect the room to be decorated in an ornate and luxurious fashion, however in this thing you would be wrong.

The Archduke deliberately kept his chambers understated, almost spartan in appearance; the decoration natural colours only and the ornamentation sparse.
The only highly ornate and luxurious thing in the room is the queen-sized four poster bed positioned at the "top" of the chambers, furthest from the door and nearest to the balcony.

Who IS the Archduke you might wonder?

Well THIS is the Archduke...
Kenneth_the_Just.JPG


Archduke Kenneth I Lamont, "the Just" as he was known to the people of Scotland, for his legal reforms within the Duchy were adopted by the King Donald II of the House of Dunkeld.

King_Donald_II.JPG

King Donald II of Scotland

The Archdukes chambers were currently empty of people save for the sleeping form of the Archduke himself, his laboured raspy breathing the only sound that could be heard.
Save for a faint clip-clop sound that can be heard somewhere in the distance.

The clip-clop sound becomes steadily louder and faster; and it becomes evident to all present (if there WERE any present who could hear it) that it is the sound of footsteps - female footsteps to be precise.
Suddenly with a thump the chamber door is thrown open and slams against the stone wall; causing the Archduke to awaken with a start, leaping up into a sitting position casting his eyes wildly around the room before promptly doubling over into a coughing fit.

A tall blonde woman stood in the doorway regards the Archduke Kenneth with sudden alarm.

"Oh Kenneth!" She exclaims, running forward to his beside, "I did not realise you were sleeping!"

She assists the Archduke back into a fairly settled and mostly cough free sitting position, propped up by pillows (of the feathered kind you understand) so that he could regard her without too much strain.

"It is alright wife, you couldnt have known I was sleeping." He reassures the woman he has identified as 'wife', "You wouldnt have deliberately startled me so; at least not yet..."

Ah so, it becomes clear doesnt it?

The woman is none other than the formidable Archduchess Emma De Montgomery herself!
Archduchess_Emma.JPG


"What do you mean not yet?" She asks, furrowing her brow in confusion (a most unnattractive expression for a lady if you ask me).

"Emma, you know that I love you..." He begins, having been interrupted by a cough jumping out at him, "Ahem...and that you are an extremely important part of my life..."

"Yes?" She says confounded even further (causing the unnattractive expression to appear ghastly in this narrators opinion), "Of course I know that..."

"There are things wife, that I have kept from you." Kenneth says , attempting an apologetic look resulting in a somewhat frightening grimace, "I shall attempt to remedy that this day; for you see I should not be called 'the Just' as they say but should be known as 'the Merciless' instead."

Lowering herself onto the edge of the bed beside her husband, the Archduchess begins to check his temperature and other vitals causing Kenneth to growl in frustration.

"What ARE you doing woman?" He rasps at her, attempting to fend off her concerned touches.

"Checking to see if you fever has gotten worse" Emma replies, "You must be delirious; you have done nothing to warrant being called such a horrible nick name!"

"No no woman!" The Archduke grabs the wrists of his wife, and glowers at her, "Will you bloody listen to me? Im trying to explain!"

"I am sorry husband but the people love you, why would they call you by such a name?" She asks, casting him a look which was at the same time apologetic, loving, and concerned.

"I should start at the beginning I suppose..."

*****

In the days of the Archdukes father, Duncan; the King Malcolm the first and the Duke Duncan had a rivalry in their teens which developed into jealousy and mistrust on the part of the King.

King_Malcolm_I.JPG

King Malcolm the First

Jealous of the Dukes influence within Scotland and mistrustful of this "upstart commoners" motives.
Of course the Duke was no commoner; and he had long and loyally served the Kings father as his Royal Marshall and had been rewarded for his service with the Duchy of Strathclyde.

Duncan_the_Pious.JPG

Duncan the Pious, Duke of Strathclyde

At first the King could do nothing against the Duke Duncan, but as time passed and various schemes to check the power and influence of the Lamont clan in Scotland came to fruition; King Malcolm began to move against the Duke secretly.

However the King did not count on the brilliance of the Dukes wife, Lilian, or her extensive spy network on catching wind of the Kings plans.
The Duchess arranged for the King to have an "accident" - and so clean was the assasination that there was no trace back to the Duke or to herself.

Lilian_the_Spymistress.JPG

Lilian Glately, the Duchess of Strathclyde

*****

"Your mother had the King assasinated???" Emma was aghast at this revelation, so much so that she nearly slipped off of the bed.

"Yes she commited regicide" Kenneth replied, "In order to protect her family she murdered a King; and I - I have done worse..."


----------------------------------------


What you guys think so far?

Also whats the limit on pictures in posts?
 
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Veldmaarschalk

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Nice AAR

I believe the limit is 10 pictures per post, not sure though
 

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Thank you for your encouragement Catknight :)...Very nice of you.

Veldmaarschalk - Thanks for the compliment; hope I can get this out pretty quickly.
10 pictures should be good then; think I can flesh out the story to show 10 people per part...


--------------------------------------------------
Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 2


The rain seemed to have abated somewhat; dissapating in concert with the Archdukes confession to his wife about his mothers crime.
It still came down, but lighter now, the lightning had gone but the dark clouds seemed immovable.

In the Ducal chambers the Archduke remained propped up by his feather pillows; however now his eyes were closed, and his head drooping slightly.
His wife, the Archduchess Emma de Montgomery, sat on the edge of the bed next to him waiting patiently for him to continue his story, and waiting, and waiting.

She began to fidget; not wanting to interrupt again, and so kept waiting - until she huffed in frustration before giving her husband a sharp prod in the shoulder.

Archduke Kenneth Lamont was her husband of course; at the prod his eyes snapped open and looked at her in surprise.

"Did I fall asleep?" He asks, furrowing his brow in confusion.

"Yes you did; should I ring for some tea?" She confirms to him, but does not wait for his answer instead rising and walking over to her vainity by their beside and picking up a small silver bell.

Taking the bell with her she walks over to and pokes her head out of the door and rings the bell thrice out so that the sound echoes down the hall way; before returning and replacing the bell on the vainity before returning to a sitting position at her husbands feet.

"How long was I asleep for?" He inquires of her, reaching out to clasp her hand.

"Oh a few moments" She replies, smiling wanly at him, "You are unwell husband, I understand. Please continue your story..."

"Ahem...Yes..." He clears his throat preparing to continue his confession when he is interrupted by a breathless servant bursting through the door.

"You rang m'lady?" The young servant, a boy, asked of the Archduchess before bowing in respect to the awake Archduke.

"Yes, would you fetch some tea for myself and for the Archduke?" She asks of the servant who nods in response and flees from the room as quickly as he burst in, "It was most kind of the Count of Asturias to provide us with that batch of Tea he obtained from the heathens in Hispania..."

"Hmm yes...The Count of Asturias, he will prove useful to our son in future..." Lord Kenneth makes an attempt at a smile, "With the fall of his County, there only remained the Duke of Braganza as a christian Lord in Iberia..."

"Yes and he's a Frank" She smiled in response, "Only by the grace of the King of France is that Duke still holding onto his lands..."

"Well as I was saying, mother had the King killed in order to protect the Duchy and our family; so King Malcolm was succeeded by King Duncan..." Kenneth continued his story.

*****

King_Duncan_II.JPG

King Duncan II, called the "naive"

King Duncan II, so called the "Naive" or as he preffered the "optomistic", ruled the realm for 11 years from the death of his father when he was a boy until he was 20.
He was intelligent enough to see that continuing his fathers unwarranted fued with the Duke of Strathclyde was pointless and potentially damaging to his family and to the realm.

However he was also a man with very little patience; and so his younger brother Malcolm was able to manipulate him into declaring war on the Sovereign of England.

At this time (around 1078) King William the Conqueror still held the throne in England; and although locked in a war with the King of France at the time, proved that he and his realm would be no push over for the Scots.
Over the course of a year the Armies of Scotland and England warred across the north of England and south of Scotland; until William the Conqueror himself came into the field from France (where he had negotiated a peace with King Phillip Capet) and soundly defeated the Scot Armies at the Battle of Berwick before marching onto the capital and capturing it in a almost reckless assault, and almost immediately after seizing control of Fife.

The King attempted to Marshall what was left of the Scot army to retake Edinburgh Castle; however unfortunately for everyone he died in the attempt.

The then Chancellor Donald II with the assistance of Duke Duncan of Strathclyde was able to bring King William to the negotiating table upon the death of the King of Scots to negotiate a peace.
Williams initial terms were harsh - he wanted the territories of Fife and Lothian, he wanted Scotland to recognise England as its nominal overlord, he demanded a promise that the Scots would not make war on the english in his lifetime and that of his sons, and demanded 70000 florins tribute per year for the next 3 years.

The Duke of Strathclyde outright refused; such a deal would destroy Scotland he said (also he noticed that the next King would likely seek to make his permament residence in Glasgow; therefore the Lamont family would lose its seat) and threatened to call up fresh Irish levies to harrass the already exhausted English armies - the Duke was nominally the High King elect of Ireland but had not officially taken the title out of respect to his sovereign, the King in Scotland.

Though even with Irish assistance the Scots likely would have lost the war had it continued; William was far too formidable a warrior and tactician, so formidable that the former Marshall of Scotland couldnt have even hoped to compete with him; the King of England realised that he would pay for every inch of land he conquered in Scotland at the cost of the loss of thousands of his troops.
He wisely (for a wise man he was) agreed to listen to a Scottish counter offer; the Chancellor Donald was then able to sieze upon this and offer terms which were far less harsh.

Scotland would grant the territories of Fife to Williams youngest Daughter, and allow the land to fall under English jurisdiction.
Scotland would promise not to pursue war with England during the remainder of Williams reign, nor during Williams sons reign.
Scotland would pay a one off payment of 20000 florins tribute.

William agreed and took his armies home.

This left the Chancellor Donald with the task of ensuring that King Duncans younger brother, Malcolm II succeeded to the throne; this was not in any doubt however and that is indeed what occurred.

By Scottish law, King Malcolm II of the House of Dunkeld assumed the throne at the age of 18 in 1080.
King_Malcolm_II.JPG


It was shortly after the coronation of the King Malcolm II that the Duke Duncan of Strathclyde abdicated in favour his son, the Archduke Kenneth who had previously been serving as his Marshall.
In the early stages of the war with England the Duchess Lilian had passed away; and the Duke was too aggreived to continue governing the Duchy without her beyond the conclusion of the war.

Archduke Kenneths father continued serving as his sons Marshall until his death in 1087.

*****

"Well there doesnt seem to be anything wrong with that!" Declared Emma to her husband who had stopped telling the story when the rare tea had arrived, "Indeed it seems like something your family has to be proud of husband..."

"Well it was something to be proud of, my father caused the mighty William de Normandie pause and not many in this world could make that man stop for anything..." Kenneth smiled at Emma before taking a sip of the hot tea, "But during the war as you may remember I was serving as the Kings personal Marshall while my father and the Kings own marshall lead a second army, and the Duke Maelmuire lead a third with the Chancellor Donald..."

Duke_Maelmuire_of_Atholl.JPG

Duke Maelmuire of Atholl, House of Dunkeld

"Yes I remember, you served with distinction and honour when facing my countrymen..." Emma smiled at him before taking a sip of her own tea, "I was very proud of you then."

"Im afraid that is when it all began didnt it..." He smiled sadly into his tea, "You may remember the King Malcolm suspected i was responsible for the death of his brother; that that stray arrow had come from my own bow and not one of the enemies..."

"Yes I remember." Emma de Montgomery frowned fiercely at the cup of tea (a positively thunderous expression, awful to see on a beautiful woman of noble birth), "Stupid paranoid little man, thank goodness he died of that accident before he could strike at Glasgow..."

"Well wife..." Kenneth sighs and places the cup of tea down on the beside table, "That is where you were wrong. Chancellor Donald let it be known that it was an accident in the Kings camp that killed him in order to try and settle the Dunkeld-Lamont feud which Malcolm the first began and the son of his name seemed intent on continuing..."

"You mean it wasnt an accident?" Emma asks, horrified at the thought.

"No Emma it wasnt." Kenneth shakes his head, "I...I killed him..."

For the longest moment the Archduke Kenneth had ever experienced there was no sound save his own raspy breathing.
That moment stretched on and on his mind, his thoughts raced and he saw the very real possibility she would strike him maybe even bounce the cup of tea off his head...

The moment in reality was brief; and almost immediately broken with the sound of Emma's cup shattering on the stone floor next to the bed when in her shock she let go of the cup...


-------------------------------------------

Okay got some more out.

What you all think?
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Besides your dynasty everything seems to go normal, England taking Fife is a normal random :) development in CK

The screenshots of the characters are a bit confusing though, since the characters are all dead already and the Coat of Arms are 'wrong', meaning that the Dunkelds as kings have the CoA of Atholl and the Lamonts as archdukes of Strathclyde have the CoA of Scotland

So I suspect that the Lamonts will become kings of Scotland at some point :)
 

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Veldmaarschalk said:
Besides your dynasty everything seems to go normal, England taking Fife is a normal random :) development in CK

The screenshots of the characters are a bit confusing though, since the characters are all dead already and the Coat of Arms are 'wrong', meaning that the Dunkelds as kings have the CoA of Atholl and the Lamonts as archdukes of Strathclyde have the CoA of Scotland

So I suspect that the Lamonts will become kings of Scotland at some point :)


Well currently in game im at 1113 so that is the reason for a lot of the characters "being dead" in their pictures.

A lot of AARers play a game strictly for the purpose of writing an AAR; I didnt - ive been having that much fun playing as my own "family" that the game inspired me to write this.

I took a lot of the screenshots when I decided to write this AAR; just scanning through the "family trees"; though some I had to start up a "new" game to get a screenie of...

The reason for the CoA confusion is well the "dead" characters move to the court of their nearest relative...
You will soon see what happens. :D

I have to ask though what do you think of the style of writing im using so far?

Its a new style for me; never written in this "1st person-3rd person" mix before...
 

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Oh well since no one seems to be replying; but I am getting readers according to the "times viewed"...

Any comments, constructive critisism, or spammy smileys would be welcome. :D

-------------------------------------------

Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 3


A loud rumble of thunder followed a sudden unexpected flash of lightning causing more than a few Glaswegian women (and not a few men too :D ) to momentarily cringe in fright.
The lighting only caused the Archduchess Emma de Montgomery to sigh.

She was now standing at the window watching the rain come down on the balcony attached to her and her husbands chambers.
She wasnt sure if she could come to terms with her husbands admission of Regicide; a most grevious crime in her eyes - and more she believed it to be a sin in the eyes of God.

Ah now you see dont you? People of this era you see were deeply religious; and she must have been fearing for her husbands immortal soul.

The servants - 3 of them (one maid and two man servants) - had arrived to clean up the accidental tea spillage and cup smashing on the floor indicident.
One to clean up the broken cup, one to clean up the spilled tea, and the third to supply the Archduchess with a replacement cup.

Ah to live as a noble yes? With servants to carry out your every whim...

Now now I know what your thinking; Lord Kenneth of the Clan Lamont like all the lords of the day must own indentured servants (and any modern mind would instantly find this concept repugnant and reprehensible, for how could one known as "the just" own anyone?) and indeed he did but to his credit he was the only Lord in the entire west who insisted upon paying ALL his servants indentured or not a fair stipend (thats wage/salary to you and me) whereas most Lords paid a pittance of a stipend if they paid them at all.

The servant deposited the tea for Emma de Montgomery on the bedside table just as the others completed clean up duty; and together the three rapidly fled the room for they could feel the tense atmosphere in the room.

"I knew we came close to all out civil war Kenneth..." Emma said continuing to stare out of the window, "But I had no idea just how close. Why did the Chancellor cover up for you?"

"He...he covered up...because he did not want more blood to be spilled needlessly..." The Archduke coughed, "He makes a good Chancellor because he loved peace..."

"He did it to prevent continued war?" She asked disbelieving

******

The King Malcolm II of House Dunkeld declared war on the Archduke of Strathclyde and marshalled his own armies gathering them at Stirling (because of the Castle there so he could stay in the luxury he to which he was accustomed) and encamped the armies while the various Lords gathered; some (Like the Duke of Galloway, Maeldred of Atholl) attempting to dissuade the King from marching and others (like the Lord of Atholl, Maelmuire Dunkeld) trying to encourage the King to keep marching.

Old_Duke_Maldred_of_Galloway.JPG

Duke of Galloway, Lord Maeldred of Atholl

The King was in conference in Stirling castles Conference Chamber with the Chancellor Donald, his own personal Marshall, the Lord of Atholl, the Lord of Galloway, and the Lord of Berwick when unexpectedly the arrival of the Archduke of Strathclyde was announced.

Old_Duke_Gospatrick_of_Berwick.JPG

Duke of Berwick, old Gospatrick I of Atholl

"Ha! The fool, ill have him strung up!" The King was heard to have exclaimed not a moment before the door to the chamber burst open and the armour clad, swordbearing Lord of Strathclyde marched in.

"Dunkeld whelp!" Kenneth barked before any in the room could speak, stalling any words on the Kings lips from shock, "I have come, not to swear I am loyal, or beg your mercy this day; nor have I come to die."

He draws his blade, causing the Lord of Atholl and the Kings Marshall to draw their own and leap up from their seats in defense of their King; needlessly it seemed as the Archduke slammed his sword down onto the conference table and commanded the other two standing men to sit.

Which they did, for so athoratative was the command that they instantly sat without thinking about it.

"I have come to end this you paranoid little brat..." Continues the Lord Kenneth before the two aforementioned warriors could realise what they had just done, "For the honour of my family I have come to challenge you to single combat!"

"NO!" The chancellor leapt out of his seat this time, "You would kill him Kenneth!"

"Silence!" The King Malcolm snarled at his uncle, the Chancellor, causing the man to sit back down, "Why should I agree to that when I can simply have you arrested and hung right now?"

"You should agree because currently I am closer to you than your guards are to me..." Kenneth replies, patting the crossbow slung at his side, "You mean to have me killed anyway - ill take you with me if I have to"

"You wouldnt dare!" The King, who had gone slightly pale at realising the Archduke still yet held onto his crossbow. "I am the rightful King! Your sovereign!"

"You are a paranoid manic brat and you are no sovereign of mine Malcolm..." Response Kenneth causing a gasp of surprise from the Chancellor, "You will fight me because its your only chance to make it out of this room alive; and coincidentally its my only chance as well..."

The Archduke had trapped the King in a difficult position; take the chance and call for the guards and that the Archduke would miss - or agree to single combat and possibly die.
The Lord Lamonts terms were as follows:-

If the King landed three blows he would accept the Kings judgement and die a traitors death.
Conversely if he landed 3 blows on the King, the King would pardon him and forever accept him and his family as the Lords of Strathclyde.

The King accepted. The Lord of Atholl granted the King the use of his sword; and a furious duel ensued where the older more experienced Lord of Strathclyde and the younger quicker King of Scotland strived to land light cutting (with the tip of their swords) or slapping (with the broad side of their swords) blows on each other.

The Duke however proved the stronger and more skilled of the two combatants and the King soon became angry and careless allowing the Duke to land his first blow, a strike to the rear end of the King with the flat side of his sword.
Of course the humilation of this blow further enraged the King who threw himself back into the duel and becoming even sloppier in his dueling. The Duke was in quick succession able to land another slapping blow (to the Kings right shoulder) and then a cutting blow (to the Kings left arm).

The Archduke moved away as if expecting the King to conceed after the third blow had been landed; but to his surprise the King instead charged at him determined to land a blow having become angry beyond all reason.

The Chancellor shouted for the King to cease, but to no avail for the King continued swinging his sword with increasing carelessnes in an attempt to harm/kill the Archduke while Kenneth remained in a completely defensive posture hoping that the King would tire and conceed.
However the King did no such thing and continued to try and find an opening in the Archdukes defense; which mostly by luck he found when he landed a glancing blow against the Lord Kenneths upper right arm.

The Lords of Berwick and Galloway leapt up out their seats at this point, making to end the duel; calling for the King to stop, when the Lord of Atholl stopped them.

"Let his majesty kill this traitor" He said.

The Archduke was growing tired, and therefore beginning to slip in his defense as evidence by the blow the King had landed on his arm; Kenneth knew now that the King would never let him live no matter the outcome of the duel and that there was only one recourse left open to him.
He knocked away the Kings sword with a single blow, and slashed his sword in a wide arcing blow which came into contact with the Kings throat as he attempted to leap backwards out of the way.

The King died within minutes, after the Marshall and Duke of Atholls attempts to stem the bleeding, and upon his death the Chancellor immediately barred the door shut with a heavy decorative halberd he lifted off of a nearby wall.

"No one must know of this!" He said, "The King made a mistake reviving his fathers fued with the Lamont family; he forgot that the Archduke is effectively High King of Ireland and a civil war between House Lamont and House Dunkeld would have ripped this country apart!"

And he was right; with the levies House Lamont could raise from Ireland he could have seriously challenged the Kings power.
And although in the end the Scots and their King would have won out against the "rebellious" Lord of Strathclyde, it would only have been after the deaths of thousands of Scots and Irish soldiers.
All needlessly caused by a suspicious, paranoid, and verging on insane Monarch who could not trust his most loyal of vassals.


*****

The Archduchess had resumed her position on the bed, peched next to her husband as he took yet another breather from telling his story; running through it in her mind coming to understand why it had been done but horrified that she had not known her husband was capable of killing someone like he had.
Nor could she quite believe he had kept it all from her. She was his best friend after all.

"The Kings Marshall swore before the Royal Court that he and the King were sparring and the King killed himself with his own sword by accident..." She mused more to herself than to her husband, "And they bought it?"

"Yes wife they did..." Her husband coughed, "The Marshall told them that the Kings grip slipped when he fumbled and tripped, the sword slipped from his grasp as he fell it spun and caught him in the throat."

"And they believed because...?" The Lady Emma still could not understand

"Because the Kings ineptitude with the blade was well known at court and it was unsurprising that he met his end in such an embarrasing fashion..." Kenneth gave her a sad lop sided smile, "The other Lords swore to keep quiet about the incident and it was announced that the 'war' against myself was caused by a misunderstanding caused by a traitor who was a spy for the King of England..."

The Archduchess nodded and rose once again walking over to the vainity table and regarded herself in the mirror.

"I look awful..." She whispered to herself

"What is that Emma?" Kenneth called over to her

"I said our son is off at the Palace in Scone now for the accession ceremony now; they should have started deliberations this morning..." She says to him as she returns to his beside, "The last two years have been most turbulent, what with King Donalds untimely death, the accidental death of both of his immediate successors, and now with the dispute over who will be crowned upon the Stone of Destiny..."

The Duke reaches out to take Emmas hand in his own and giving it a squeeze.

"Im afraid wife the events of the last few years...the turbulence..." He sighs in regret, "Im afraid its all my fault..."

---------------------------------------

Okay part 3 done.

Ill try and do part 4 for tomorrow.

So what do you all think so far?
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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All seems suitably mediaeval and Macbeth-ish. Murder and plot going hand in hand. The gallery of the dead almost makes it feel as if this AAR is populated by ghosts, which may not be so far from the truth if you think about it.
 

bombshellboi

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stnylan said:
All seems suitably mediaeval and Macbeth-ish. Murder and plot going hand in hand. The gallery of the dead almost makes it feel as if this AAR is populated by ghosts, which may not be so far from the truth if you think about it.


God ive gone bright red. :eek:o

Macbeth-ish; what a compliment to be compared to shakespear...

Im afraid the "gallery of the dead" is as I said only because I didnt plan on writing this AAR to start with; I merely got inspired one day after I had a dream about playing CK lol.

----------------------------------------

Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 4


The tingling of the silver bell rang down the hallways of Glasgow Palace (yes Palace - built by some Scots King that I dont know it was so for the purposes of this AAR ill say it was built as a "summer" retreat by Duncan I Macduff alright? Good glad you agree), three chimes to be precise to summon a maid servant to the Lords Chambers.

If you were there to listen you would hear within moments the rapid clacking tread of a woman half running down the long hallway to the Lords Chambers.

Said maidservant was a nonedescript thing of unknown looks and origin.
What is known about her is she is in fact indentured - if you asked what her story was she would tell you simply that the Orphanage (run by nuns) she lived in had sold her and several other of the stronger children to slavers during a year of famine in order to get some money to feed the rest of the weaker and smaller charges; and that she was purchased by Lord Archibald Lamont (the father of the Duke Of Strathclyde Duncan Lamont) when the Lord served as Marshall for the Duke of Argyll.

Her contract was then passed onto Lord (Later Duke) Duncan upon the old Lords death when she was 6 (a year older than a young Kenneth) in 1065; and upon the retirement of Duke Duncan her servitude passed to the Archduke.
But do not feel sorry for her; she had risen to almost the very top of the domestic staff in the household with only the Archdukes old nurse being above her and thus she directed most of the household affairs; and soon after she was able to purchase her freedom from the Archdukes son, Nicolas.

She reached the Archdukes door and rapped on it 3 times before entering.

"The Archduchess be calling for a Maid?" She asks upon entering, looking at the kindly Archduke with a brief expression of concern before turning her full attention to the Lady Emma.

"Yes my dear." The Archduchess smiles warmly at the maid (finally an expression which makes the woman look beautiful!), and gestures to the now empty tea cups, "If you would remove these?"

"Yes my lady..." The maid steps forward to lift the cups as instructed, she allows herself a momentary indiscretion and asks, "Is the Archduke being okay today? Will he get better soon yes?"

Kenneth looks up in surprise at the maid he had known most of his life, surprise at the genuine concern he heard in her voice; concern for her enslaver - he could not understand.

"Yes im feeling a little better today thank you..." He gives her a small smile of reassurance, which she returns gratefully before sweeping out of the room with the cups in hand.

"She...she sounded so con...concerned..." Kenneth attempts to smother another coughing fit unsuccessfully, only just keeping from doubling over again.

"Of course she did, everyone here loves you..." Emma responded when he had gotten his coughing under control, "You have always been fair and kind to the staff and to the peasantry; its only natural they love you for it..."

"Hmmm..." The Archduke frowns at his wife before shaking his head slightly, "Promise me you will get Nicolas to free her when I am gone..."

"I will husband" She promises, "Now you had gotten to where you were talking about the accession of King Donald I to the throne?"

"Yes, if possible Donald was an even worse prospect for King than Malcolm the second was..." Kenneth began explaining to her, "He was reckless and foolish, and his mental state was as suspect as his brothers...

*****

It took 3 months for the investigation proceedings that the Royal Courts had ordered to investigate the suspect circumstances of the Kings death to be concluded.
The Court had concluded that it was indeed the most likely explanation that since the King Malcolm was an inept swordsman (his brothers had greater skill in that department) and since all parties had sworn to it, that the King had indeed accidentally and most embarrasingly managed to kill himself while sparring.

To expatiate his shame, the Kings marshall threw himself from a window in one of Edinburgh Castles upper floors; though some suspect that the Duke Maelmuire had something to do with this.

Until the Court had completed its investigation King Donald I could not ascend to the throne and be confirmed as King of Scotland by the Assembly of Lords; so it wasnt until january of 1082 that King Donald the first of the House Dunkeld assumed the Kingship of Scotland.

King_Donald_I.JPG

King Donald the First, called "the reckless" or "the foolish"

At first all was well in Scotland after the accession of King Donald with peace reigning over the land; except in Ireland where the Duke nominate of Leinster John Stewart had forced the last independent Duke, the Lord of Munster, to accept the Archduke Kenneth as the High King Elect of Ireland.

Cousin_John_II_Stewart.JPG

Duke Nominate John II Stewart, bastard nephew of the Archduke Kenneth

Duke_Enri_of_Munster.JPG

Duke Enri of Munster, the last independent Duke

However the Archduke did put into place certain measures in order to protect the Lamont clan from further surprises like the one he recieved when he got word that King Malcolm II was marching against him.
One of these measures was to reactivate much of his mothers old spy network and place it under the command of his new spy mistress.

It was through this spy network he caught wind of impending disaster.

The Duke Maelmuire's retainers had recently been having trouble on the economic front competing in markets against retainers representing the Lord Lamont and his clan; angry at their losses they complained to the Duke of Atholl.
The Duke in an attempt to curb what he percieved to be growing Lamont influence within Dunkeld spheres of influence he decided to break the compact he had made with the other Lords at Stirling.

The Duke of Atholl paid a visit to his nephew in Edinburgh and "accidentally" told him that the Archduke of Strathclyde had in actual fact murdered his brother; and that the other Lords had forced him and the Marshall into going along with the story.
Needless to say the King was furious and immediately vowed to march against the traitorous Lord of Strathclyde.

Fortunately a spy working for the Lamont spy mistress was within ear shot at this time and was immediately able to alert his contacts who passed word along the the spy mistress who then informed the Archduke of the impending threat.
The Archduke was then forced to make a grevious decision; not once but twice was he forced into this position.

He ordered measures to be taken to delay the King, various little disasters that would take up the Kings time and allow the Archduke time to take measures to protect the clan, and family.
Word was sent by fast boat to France to a secret order requesting the services of a trained assasin; and not 2 days before the King was prepared to march did one arrive in Glasgow to see Lord Kenneth.

The assasin was paid 3000 florins for his services; and instructed to infiltrate Edinburgh castle and kill the spy master there; and then the King - he would be paid an additional 3000 florins upon his return to Glasgow.

On the dawn of the next day the bells of Edinburgh Cathedral rang out to announce the death of the King along with the news that two bodies were discovered in the night in the Castle - one belonging to some "unknown" noble and the other the King.

It was also around this time that Archduke Kenneth conferred upon his brother the title Earl of Ulaid; in order to settle any differences that had arisen between them over the succession of Strathclyde (their father had insisted Kenneth succeed him even though Stephen had been legitimised).
Stephen_the_Bastard.JPG


It wouldnt be outwith the realms possibility to assume that this act by the Archduke was more to ensure his brothers support and thereby the support of the Irish levies in the coming days should his hand in the Kings death be discovered.

Fortunately for the Archduke the Assasin of the Secret Order (tm) was well worth the 6000 florins; he had left no trace as to whom was responsible for the death of the Royal Spy Master and the King.
The Archduke was so relieved that he paid the assasin an additional 2000 florins bonus.

The Archduke and his clan pressed for the Lords Assembly to confirm Chancellor Donald to become King Donald the second; though the outcome wasnt really in any doubt ans the assembly generally followed Scots law in selecting the next Monarch to be crowned upon the Stone of Destiny.

The new King rewarded various supporters with minor titles and concessions and gifts; chief amongst those rewarded was the Clan Lamont and their retainers.

The Archdukes reward came in the form of a supreme compliment when the King adopted several legal reforms that the Duke had imposed years before within the borders of his Duchy as Scotland wide laws.
The Archdukes fathers cousin, Lord Ewan of Lamont-Carrick was awarded the title of Earl of Carrick.

Old_Duke_Ewan_of_Galloway.JPG

Old Ewan of Lamont-Carrick; Earl of Carrick and later Duke of Galloway

Lord Finan O'Neill of Mide was granted control of the Earldom of Dublin; and endorsed as Duke designate of Meath by the King and sent a gift of thanks.

Old_Duke_Finan_of_Meath.JPG

Lord Finan of Mide

The other Irish Lords, including John II Stewart and Duke Cairthenn of Connaught, were also awarded various monetary gifts.
Duke_Cairthenn_of_Connaught.JPG


*****

"For the next few years things were relatively stable and peaceful as you know..." Lord Kenneth finished explaining

"So you paid to have the King assasinated? So not once but TWICE you commit regicide!" She almost shrieked at him in disbelief, "Why in gods name would you do that?!"

"Dont you see wife?" He pleads, "I had to, to protect the family and to prevent a civil war...with Donald II on the throne the realm was safe and secure..."

Angry beyond toleration the Archduchess does something she had never done before and gives her husband a good smack; the satisfying crack which echoes through the room when her hand connects with his cheek makes her smile perversely.

"You are an utter fool!" She critisises him, "What if you had been caught? It would have meant civil war anyway; and I doubt your brother would have supported you then!"

"No Stephen probably would have come here and had me strung up himself..." Kenneth replies while rubbing his throbbing cheek, "And given himself command of the Duchy and the family in the process; thereby preventing royal retribution..."

--------------------------------------

Okay so I did part four sooner than I expected.

:D

Is anyone objecting to my pace?
 

stnylan

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No, not at all. Quite an expensive assassin, but at least a competent one. Kenneth does like taking these little gambles.

Regarding the portraits - I know they were unintended, but I just thought it was a nice effect.
 

Veldmaarschalk

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No, problem with the quick updates.

By the way, what do you mean with 'mini-AAR' do you just want to achieve a certain goal and then end it ? And if that is so, then whay is your goal ?
 

bombshellboi

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Stnylan - Basically how this happened in game was King Malcolm II declared war on me and wouldnt make peace; so in order to force it I charged my army into Lothian province to tackle his.
My army defeated his and out of sheer good fortune for me the King died during the battle; I decided it was better for story purposes to translate this into a "personal duel"...

The next King, Donald I, didnt continue warring against me (ie he kept his armies at home and I kept mine in Strathclyde) and except for the occassional attempt by the Lord of Atholl (who had raised his army against me independently) to attack Strathclyde.
I tried several times to negotiate peace so i could repledge alliegance to him but he kept refusing; but at the same time for some strange reason wouldnt attack.
So I had to bump his spy master and then him off; both attempts occurred successfully without trace.

The new King Donald II was quite happy to make peace and allow me to repledge.

Veldmaarschalk - I mean "mini-AAR" because it isnt really an AAR at all; its more of a short story based upon the game I had played.
Things during Duncans reign were relatively peaceful, except for King Malcolm twice declaring war on me - asking for white peace then allowing me to repledge.
During Kenneths reign things got interesting; which is what inspired me to write this.
And I am now onto Nicolas' reign.

I dont really have a goal as I have already played "well-beyond" what im planning on writing about here.


EDIT:
I had started the fifth part of my story there but the sight I use for the linking of my pics seems to have just gone down.

Most irritating - no doubt it will be back soon but im going to have to wait now...
 

stnylan

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Oh, I entirely approve of twisting game events mercilessly to make a good story. That is one of the best things about AAR writing, in my opinion ;) Hopefully that site will get itself sorted out soon!
 

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Okay Silent Whisper is back up so I can begin again. Woo!

--------------------------------------------

Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 5


The rain seemed to have stopped now; as if the Lord Kenneth Lamonts confessions to his wife seemed to be having a direct affect on the weather.
For every lie and half truth that the Lord admitted to, the weather seemed to clear up a little.

The Archduchess Emma was now sitting at her vanity table in her and her husbands chambers attempting to gather herself and attempt to improve her stressed and tired appearance while her husband dozed on the bed.
He had ceased his confession for a time to rest and regain some of his strength for remaining sitting up for such a prolonged period of time as he had, had drained him.

The half hour he had stolen also allowed the Lady Emma to gather her thoughts and attempt to decide on how she felt about what he had told her so far.
What do you say to your husband and best friend when he tells you he had committed regicide not once but twice? And not only that but that his mother had been guilty of the same crime?

Three Kings had died at the hands of this family; and Kenneth somehow claimed responsibility for the kindly King Donald the seconds death also - and knowing how good a friend Kenneth considered the King to be and knowing full well that the King returned the feelings of respect and admiration that he was given; she found it difficult to believe or even comprehend how.

Also she found it difficult to reconcile such crimes he had confessed to with the man she knew and cared for.

Completing the minstrations to her hair and face she scrutinised herself.

'Well, an improvement at least...' She thought

She decided that what he had told her so far while shocking to her was far from inexcusable.
Protecting ones family is hardly an evil thing, she told herself.

She went over to the bed and shook her husband lightly; waking him from his nap before resuming her position perched on the edge of the bed beside him.

"How long was I sleeping?" Kenneth asked her after he had pulled himself into a more upright position.

"A half hour, maybe a little more..." She responded

"As you know King Donald the first died in 1082, and Donald the second of his name succeeded him..." Kenneth cleared his throat and began speaking in a businesslike tone, "King Donald the second ruled until his death in the beginning of last year, 1096..."

"Yes I know, and I also know that your great nephew the son of your nephew was next in line for the throne..." Emma filled in for him, "I assume you had something to do with goings on there?"

"Yes wife I did, when I realised that Angus's son was Donalds heir as it looked unlikely his wife would ever sire any more children beyond his 3 daughters (the eldest of whom was the wife of Angus Lamont) I realised that a Lamont was going to sit on the throne..." Kenneth sounded almost disbelieving at that, "That meant my incompetent boob of a nephew was going to be my Lord and Master; him and his lecher of a wife. It all seemed so unfair that but for an accident of fate the competent skilled line of the family, that which will spring from our son is relegated to the subordinate position beneath the lesser branch..."

Angus_II_of_Ulster.JPG

Angus Lamont-Ulaid, Lord of Ulster, son of Stephen the Bastard

*****

The Lord of Ulaid, and Tir Connail; the Archdukes brother Stephen bore several children chief amongst them was his only son Angus; and through much political maneovering on his own part (in competition with his younger brother and Lord) managed to arrange that the eldest daughter of the then Chancellor Donald II should marry his eldest son.

The wedding of Dyddgu Dunkeld to Angus was a lavish affair; Stephen is his position as Duke designate of Ulster used much of the Duchies wealth to throw the "biggest party the Duchy had ever seen" which the Lord of Strathclyde felt was unnecessary.

The marriage produced an heir around 1094 shortly before the death of King Donald II; and in the beginning of 1096 the Lord Stephen died - apparently have said upon his death bed that with his line secured he need not fight the cold spectre of death any longer.

The Lord Angus began pushing for the Lords to recognise his son as King of Scotland and himself as the Regent.
The Assembly of Lords (and the Royal Court of Edinburgh) was reluctant to name the Earl regent for two reasons; Angus Lamont-Ulaid was a mere Earl (for Lord Kenneth still officially held the title Duke of Ulster) and they couldnt allow a mere Earl to be regent, and there was serious question as to the legitimacy of Angus' son that was yet to be decided.

Maelmuire of Atholl claimed that his brother the King declared his grandson was illegitimate and designated Maelmuires son his heir in accordance with Scots law; this position was supported by the Dukes of Argyll and Mar, and the Earl of Angus.

Duke_John_of_Argyll.JPG

Duke John Loarn of Argyll

The Earl Angus of course disputed this claim and sought to gain support for his position; he got it from the Duke of Galloway but was unable to secure support from the Duke of Berwick, or from any of the other Irish Lords, who preferred to remain neutral.

The Archduke of Strathclyde remained ominously silent on the whole issue while it was being fought over in the Court; at least until the accidental death of his nephew.

The accident came near to the beginning of 1097, the Earl was out riding and suddenly his horse bucked and threw him. He broke his neck in the landing.

It later became known that the horse had been shot with a poisoned dart which caused it to buck and throw its rider; and that it was suspected that Duke Maelmuire had something to do with this "accident".
The Archduke of Strathclyde at this point declared his Great Nephew, King of all Scotland, and declared the Lady Dyddgu the Queen Regent and had her brought from Ireland to Glasgow.

The issue became deadlocked in both the Court and in the Assembly; with the question of the young boys legitimacy still in doubt there seemed to be no way to decide.

The ArchDuke of Strathclyde presented evidence to the Court which not only suggested that the Duke of Atholl was not only responsible for the death of the Earl of Ulaid but also for the death of the King Donald II.
Kenneth claimed that the Duke of Atholl had paid off the Kings cook to poison his food with an extremely slow acitng poison; so that when the King died it was after weeks of "illness" and nothing could be attributed to the Duke.

The Archduke went on to suggest to the Court and Assembly that only the Duke of Atholl would have anything to gain from the deaths of the King and the Lord of Ulaid, and his attempts to have the boy-king discredited so that his own son could succeed to the throne.
Although the evidence was circumstancial and certainly not strong enough to prosecute the Duke; the Court ruled in favour of the young son of Angus Lamont-Ulaid and endorsed the declaration of his accession, and appointed the Lady Dyddgu Queen Regent.

It was in August of 1097 that the Queen Regent made her way to Edinburgh in preparation for the journey to Scone so that her son could be crowned King of Scotland.
However shortly after her arrival in Edinburgh it was discovered that her son had been poisoned by his nanny; and he died within the day. The nanny did not live much longer.

This left the issue of succession wide open, and once again polarised Scotland firmly into two camps.
One supporting the Duke of Atholl and his son, Roger in their position; the Duke of Atholl claimed that recent events had all been a machiavellian attempt by the Lord of Strathclyde to undermine House Dunkeld and gain the throne for himself.
The other camp supported the Archduke and his son Nicolas; the Archduke claimed that Nicolas, as the closest direct male relative of the young boy-king, was the natural successor to the throne and that he claimed that it was the Duke of Atholl who had been attempting to maneover his branch of House Dunkeld onto the throne by using the historic enimity between Clan Lamont and House Dunkeld.

The_Pretender_Roger.JPG

The Pretender Roger Dunkeld, son of Maelmuire

And in order to decide the issue by the end of 1097 the Earl of Angus demanded all parties be present at the Palace in Scone to dicuss the issue and agree a resolution. He declared that no party would be allowed to leave until a King (either Roger or Nicolas) was crowned.

Earl_Maldoven_of_Angus.JPG

The Earl Maldoven of Angus

As the Archduke of Strathclyde had recently become far too ill to attend the Assembly sent the boy Nicolas to represent Lamont family interests.

*****

"Duke Maelmuire was right though wasnt he?" Asked Archduchess Emma, "It was you all that time; you arranged for the accidents which claimed all those lives..."

"Yes it was me..." Kenneth admitted to his wife, "I arranged for Donalds death, but he found out it was me and thats when he declared Roger to be his successor..."

"Thats why it took so long in the courts?" Emma was in a state of shock, not for the first time this night, "You killed your third King and were found out? And you were responsible for the accident which claimed Angus' life too?"

"I had to do something - I wanted better for our son Emma!" Kenneth began coughing violently while attempting to continue, "He was within arms breadth of inheriting the throne, but there was no guarantee that Donald would die any time soon, or that Angus' son would die young!"

"You did it to make sure our son became King?"

Emma shook her head not quite able to believe it, this man was a stranger to her. It had to to be the illness that made him act like this, it had to.

"I did" He replied, "When Maelmuire went to the Court with the claim that his son had been designated King Donalds successor, the Court didnt believe at first but as the months passed and the issue remained deadlocked; they slowly began leaning towards granting the throne to Roger instead of allowing that incompetent fop Angus to be regent..."

He sighed, and tried to make eye contact with Emma, to try and make her understand.

"Our had the chance to be King, Emma" He said passionately, "I had to seize the opportunity..."

"So when the court began drifting towards Maelmuire's way of thinking you had Angus assasinated?" She asked, "And made it look like the Duke of Atholls handiwork?"

"Yes" He nodded confirming her supposition, "That pushed the Court into declaring Dyddgu's son the King; from then it was only a small matter of making sure the boy died..."

"And because of your previous actions it looks like it has Maelmuire's hand prints all over it..." Emma sighs in dissapointment, "Do you realise what you have done?"

"Yes; the Dunkelds will lose the throne and my son will gain it..." He replied, "That family will then be stripped of its position and power and never again threaten me and mine!"

------------------------------------

Okay I had some more to write but i decided to end it here and leave it for the next part.

This part im not too happy with; its not written as well as the others I dont think; but its all I could think of at the moment.
I might go back later and edit it somewhat.

Well tell me what you all think? Please?
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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"And because of your previous actions it looks like it has Maelmuire's hand prints all over it..." Emma sighs in dissapointment, "Do you realise what you have done?"

"Yes; the Dunkelds will lose the throne and my son will gain it..." He replied, "That family will then be stripped of its position and power and never again threaten me and mine!"
This little passage at the end perfectly demonstrates the two conflicting viewpoints between Emma and her husband. Very nicely done.
 

bombshellboi

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stnylan said:
This little passage at the end perfectly demonstrates the two conflicting viewpoints between Emma and her husband. Very nicely done.


Thank you for the praise stnylan.

Got any tips on how I can improve my writing style?

You, and Veld seem to be my only readers so far. :(

Anyone else out there got any suggestions?
Or comments?


On a related note ill try and get part 6 out tonight or tomoro...
 

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bombshellboi said:
Thank you for the praise stnylan.

Got any tips on how I can improve my writing style?
I give praise where it is due. And as for improving, the only two sure ways I know are by reading and writing. This is definitely one area of activity where practice makes perfect - I can attest to that myself! But read lots as well.

On a practical note, you seem to have a good sense of presentation - just make sure to include a clear line between all paragraphs as monitor reading is not so easy as book reading. Also however, and you may be doing this already, I find it useful having written an update to walk away from it for an hour at least, perhaps more (like a day or two) and then return to look at it with fresh eyes. Not only does this help pick up typos, it also aid in larger editing. Finally, and again you may already do this, if there is dialogue, I find it helpful to speak the parts out loud, acting them out. Actually in my own AARs I usually read the entire thing out loud since I think it helps to focus the concentration, but with dialogue especially it is useful. Hope that helps!

You, and Veld seem to be my only readers so far. :(
The question of readers is a very long-standing one. I am just reading through a bunch of AARs from sep-dec 2003 in the EU2 forum (for the Redux OscAARs) and several of those just have one or two commentators. Some people just do not comment either because they are lurkAARs, or becausethey simply feel that they have nothing useful to say. One way to boost readership however is to be active in other peoples' AARs and comment yourself. Indeed, I cannot stress this enough. However, even with everything else building a commentating readership can take time. But persevere - I am sure you will get there!

On a related note ill try and get part 6 out tonight or tomoro...
Looking forward to it!
 

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Really interesting so far, hopefully your family and you don't act the way like they do in this AAR :)

I can't give you such good tips as stnylan but I think you are doing a pretty good job

About getting not that many response, that can be frustrating sometimes, I have had that experience myself but luckily there is stnylan who always has a nice word or comment to make.
 

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Stnylan - Thanks for your praise and suggestions.

Im kinda using this story as a sounding board for my talent you see; writing his a hobby for me and ive been wondering lately if I was good enough to get published.

Not sure if im quite there yet.

Veld - Thanks mate.

I was hoping I held off on posting this part I might get more replies... Oh well...

--------------------------------------------------

Lamont_Family_Crest.jpg


Tales of the Lamont Clan - Part 6

The weather appeared to be clearing up, the dark clouds were still there but the rain had abated and the citizenry appeared willing to brave the streets of Glasgow to assess the damage.

The Palace, though thoroughly soaked, had gotten off lightly in the storm; and it no longer looked dark and frightening like it did in the storm. The citizens crossed themselves and thanked God for not destroying the city.

Within the Palace however a tempest of sorts raged; raised voices echoing down the halls from the Archdukes chambers could clearly be heard and the staff busied themselves with their work pretending not to hear.

"You are a fool Kenneth!" Said the tall blonde woman, the Archduchess, who was standing at a large oak vanity table, "If you think for one minute that our familys fued will have ended with your actions you are mistaken!"

"No I am not" Replied Kenneth, the Archduke who was in bed propped up by many pillows, firmly, "It is over now; our son will become King!"

"His ascension is by no means a certainty!" She shrieked angrily, tightly grasping a small vial in her hand ready to throw it, "And it certainly wont protect him from their plotting if he does become King!"

The Archduke looked towards the balcony window as he sunk down further into his pillows in resignation; staring out of the window he sighed.

"No wife..." He responded, quietly and firmly, "It is completely over now; all is in motion and cannot be stopped; by the end of the year our son will be King and I will be dead..."

He turned his head back round to regard his wife Emma intently.

"And within a year of my death the threat the Dunkelds pose to my family will be neutralised..."

"What have you done?" Emmas eyes narrowed, and she gripped the vial tighter, "No dont tell me I dont want to know anymore!"

The Archduchess of Strathclyde threw a small vial of a fragrant liquid across the room, which promptly smashed against the wall next to the bed; and stormed from the room slamming the door behind her (at least as well as she could slam an oak door).

The Archduke slides further down onto the bed in exhaustion and frustration; whereupon he drifts off into a fitful sleep plagued by dreams of arguments and nightmares.

*****

"My Lord please wake up" A hand shook his shoulder, "My Lord a messenger is here to be seeing my Lord..."

The Archduke Kenneth woke, blinking his eyes slowly; he struggles up (with assistance from the hands that had been shaking him) into a sitting position before regarding the face to which the hand belonged.

It was the Chief Maid. She looked anxious he thought.

"I is sorry My Lord but there is a messenger being here..." She looked ill at the thought that she had been forced to lay hands on her Lord, "Should I be bringing him in?"

"In a moment, help me up first..." Kenneth replied as he threw his legs out from beneath the covers down to the floor, "Help me stand."

The Maid nodded and immediately put her arms around the Archduke and aided him in his attempt to get out of bed; helping him so that he was stood under his own power near to the bottom of the four poster bed.
The maid then went to admit the messenger as instructed.

The messenger entered the room as the Maid withdrew; he bowed before the Archduke.

"My Lord, first let me say that it does my heart good to see that you are well enough to be out of bed," The messenger says before continuing, "and secondly I would like to introduce myself, I am James Fleming the son of your vassal Alexander Fleming..."

"Alexander?" The Archduke inquires, "My administrator for the edge of my territories in the Cumbernauld-Falkirk area?"

"Yes Lordship" James, the messenger, replies, "I was sent by my father to accompany your son to Scone. The Lord Nicolas has sent me back to bring you word."

"Nicolas? What word?" The Archduke tries to keep the concern out of his voice, "What does my son have to say?"

"The Lord bid me tell you that things do not go well in the Assembly and in the Court, 13 of the 24 Lords Ordinary in the Court appear to prepared to declare the son of the former Earl of Ulaid illegitimate," The messenger James tells the Archduke Kenneth, "And that Lord Maelmuire appears to have total support of the northern Lords and with the help of the Courts looks ready to force the sourthern Lords to accept his son and not the Lord Nicolas as King..."

"What!?" Kenneth exclaimed, having to place his hand on the post of the bed to stedy himself, "The law is clear my son must be King!"

"There is more Lordship..." The messenger looked grave, "The Lords Ordinary of the Courts appear to be prepared to vote in favour of excluding the Irish Lords from voting in the Assembly..."

"Dear god..." The Archduke leans heavily against the post of the bed appearing to contemplate the situation before looking directly at James, "Go fetch my Maid and tell her to come here at once, then go to the stables and have them prepare a cart..."

"My Lord?" James seems genuinely confused

"I am going to Scone!"

******

Less than an hour later the Archduke was ensconsed comfortably (more or less) in the back of a cart surrounded by pillows and covered over by a fabric awning of sorts; though he was sweating terribly as the maid had insisted he wear several layers of clothing beneath his outer travelling robes.

Set to pull the cart was 4 of the ArchDuchies fastest, strongest, and fittest horses, and perched on the small wooden seat in front of the Archduke was the best horse driver they could find at short notice.

"I want to get to Scone as quickly as possible!" The Archduke ordered, speaking to the driver and to James Fleming (who had sworn to accompany the ArchDuke on horseback on the journey to Scone).

"It will take a few hours my Lord" James responded, "And it will likely be a bumpy ride, if we go more slowly it will be far more comfortable for you..."

"NO!" Kenneth barked before dissolving into a coughing fit, before continuing, "As fast as possible!"

*****

Hours later the cart carrying the Lord Lamont thundered loudly over the drawbridge to the gates of Scone palace.

"Who goes there?" The gate guards called down from the wall to the cart.

"The Archduke of Strathclyde demands admittance to the Assembly!" James shouted in response, "He has come as is his right to speak!"

The guards looked at each other in surprise; for last they had heard the Archduke was on deaths door not well enough to get out of bed never mind to travel all the way to Scone from Glasgow.

"And who are you? For we know you are not the Archduke" The guards shouted down to James Fleming.

"I am James Fleming, knight in the service of Lord Nicolas Lamont!" James responded, "I have brought his ailing father here to see him..."

The Archduke before the guards could reply again pulled back the fabric awning and gathered his strength to bellow up at them.

"Open this gate at once!" He called attempting to smother the rasping of his voice breaking.

The response was the sound of the wooden bar on the otherside of the gates sliding; and then the door swinging slowly open to admit the cart.

*****

The Assembly of Lords was assembled in the Assembly chambers (funnily enough) in the Palace at Scone; and all of the Dukes and Earls had attended.

Duke Maelmuire of Atholl and his sons Roger and Malcolm, Duke John Loarn of Argyll, Duke Gratnach of Mar, Earl Maldoven of Angus (who had called the Assembly), Duke Gospatrick I of Berwick and his son Gospatrick II, Duke Maeldred of Galloway, Earl Ewan Lamont-Carrick of Carrick, Earl Loigsech of the Isle of Man, Duke Finan of Meath, Duke Cairthenn of Connaught, Duke Enri of Munster, the representative of the Duke of Ulster, the Duke John Stewart of Leinster, and of course representing Strathclyde the Lord Nicolas.

Earl_Loigsech_of_Man.JPG

Earl Loigsech of Man

The Assembly room was a sizeable room with a large circular table centred in the middle of the room; with enough seats to represent each Lord in the country.
At one side of the table (what could be considered the head) was the seat of the Presiding officer which was currently the Earl of Angus as he had called the Assembly.

Currently the Lord Nicolas was speaking.

"My fellow Lords we have been at this for days and still been unable to decide..." He says sounding extremely weary, "And yet this should not even be a question. The court already ruled on previous questions of my cousins legitimacy and therefore mine; it can not now go back on that ruling without new evidence. As such Scottish law is clear; I should be crowned."

"Contrary to what you are trying to convince us Lord Nicolas, the question of your cousins legitimacy is indeed still in dispute..." Duke Maelmuire interjected, "I believe that child is the bastard son of Angus Lamont's; it is not my nieces..."

"Your niece would be most aggrieved to hear you say that..." Nicolas responded, staring across the table at Lord Maelmuire and his sons, "Especially since she swears the boy was hers..."

The_Usurper_Malcolm.JPG

The bastard son of Maelmuire, Malcolm later known as "the Usurper"

Old_Duke_Gospatrick_II_of_Berwick.JPG

Lord Gospatrick II of Berwick

Suddenly a ruckus could be heard from outside interrupting proceedings.

"Guard go and see what that noise is!" The Earl of Angus commands, "See if you cant stop it..."

One of the guards who had been standing by the doors bows and exits through the large oak doors which served as the main entrance to the Assembly hall (there were two smaller "side" entrances into the room); and promptly returns looking quite shocked.

"My Lords!" He calls the attention of the Assembly, "May I present the Archduke of Strathclyde, Lord Kenneth Lamont..."

The Archduke Kenneth enters the room walking, supported slightly by the Knight James Fleming, to a shell shocked Assembly.

"Father!" Nicolas is the first to stand, surprised and pleased at his fathers arrival.

"Lord Lamont!" The Earl of Angus calls out silencing any others who tried to speak, "We were under the impression you were unwell?"

"Im not just unwell you silly dolt, im dying!" The Archduke replies venomously, "And my having to make the journey here probably means ill die all that quicker!"

Nicolas walks over to take over supporting his father Kenneth from James, as the Earl of Angus speaks again.

"Indeed and what prompted you to take such a risk in coming here?"

"This Assembly is a farce and I came here to end it!" The Archduke barks at the Earl as his son aids him in settling down into the seat he had just vacated, "I cannot believe this Assembly is listening and considering groundless accusations!"

"It is not groundless!" The Duke Maelmuire replies defensively, "You are a murderer responsible for the deaths of no less than 3 Kings and several others!"

"An accusation again, and one which the Courts have already ruled groundless!" The Archduke shoots him down, "The evidence points towards you being the murderer here my Lord Duke!"

"The courts are prepared to reconsider their earlier judgements..." Maelmuire attempts to calm himself, "And clearly say once and for all I am no murderer!"

"Only because you have bought or bullied them!" Lord Kenneth barks in response causing him to halt what would have been a lengthy tirade, by suddenly dissolving into a coughing fit.

"You sir are the murderer here!" Lord Kenneth continues when the coughing had abated, "I cannot prove it conclusively but I am certain of it; all this has been to maneover your family onto the throne!"

"Manoever?" Roger, son of Maelmuire interjects, "It is you has been scheming and manovering! It is you who means to place your son on the throne!"

The_Pretender_Roger.JPG

Roger, son of Maelmuire, later called "the Pretender"

"Who stands to gain the most here?" Kenneth rasps out, "I will be dead soon so maneovering as you claim benefits me none; and if what you suppose its true then it would leave my son to deal with a civil war not a legacy most fathers would want to leave..."

"Whereas your family has much to gain Roger..." Nicolas continues for his father, "You get the throne, and your father lives out the rest of his life as the father of a King; your families long time rivals, my family, would be discredited and destroyed and your fathers lesser line of the Dunkeld family finally in control of Scotland..."

"Lies!" Roger hisses at Nicolas, glaring at him in hatred, "My father has never sought the throne and has always been loyal!"

"Roger, you are quite incorrect there..." The calm voice of Duke Maeldred of Galloway interjects to prevent what was sure to be Nicolas' explosive response, "Your father always considered himself the strongest and brightest of the three sons of King Duncan the first, your grandfather, and tried to convince him to make him his heir by enacting Salic Consanguinuity law in Scotland. King Duncan denied him and named Malcolm his heir in accordance with Salic Primogeniniture law..."

The silence following Duke Maeldreds (who had long been a Lamont supporter) shooting down of Lord Roger was palpable. Most of the Lords did not remember this small piece of information; and indeed it was something even the Archduke Kenneth was unaware of.

"So you see..." The Archduke said, recovering from his own surprise, "Your family gains the most in this situation not mine; the evidence points towards your father as being the real murderer. Past acts condemn him!"

The Archduke then looks round the table, struggling to conseal his fatigue, glaring at each of the Lords in turn.

"I demand an end to this foolishness!" He commands the room at large, "I demand this Assembly obey Scots law and agree to declare my son King!"

"Then a vote is called?" Ask the Lord of Munster, Duke Enri for he had never before attended a meeting of the Assembly...

Duke_Enri_of_Munster.JPG
Duke Enri of Munster

"Yes I believe this means a vote is called!" Finan of Meath replies for he had read up extensively on Assembly procedure before attending.

Old_Duke_Finan_of_Meath.JPG
Duke Finan of Meath

"In that case I speak for the Lords of Ireland when I say we declare our support for the Lord Nicolas." John Stewart, Duke of Leinster interjects, of course this was no surprise.

"I of course concur with this position..." Adds Lord Maeldred of Galloway, and Earl Ewan nods in confirmation also, "Semisalic Primogeniture law is clear..."

"I, the Duke of Argyll, must disagree." John Loarn states, "I do not believe the Duke Maelmuire is responsible for recent events. And i believe that the Dunkelds should succeed as their family has been Kings for generations..."

"Hmmm, well this is a difficult position isnt it?" Duke Gospatrick of Berwick muses, "I have often tried to settle the fued between the House Dunkeld and the House Lamont to no avail. I unlike my brother have preferred to remain neutral. However as he says Scots law is clear; I must recommend supporting the Lamont Candidate..."

"Well I as the Presiding Officer here must also vote," Earl Maldoven says, "I place my support behind Duke Maelmuire and his son."

All the Lords had spoken on their votes except for the Duke of Mar who had kept ominously silent; however Duke Maelmuire looked confident as the Duke of Mar was traditionally his supporter and with his support he could keep the Assembly deadlocked until the Courts ruled in his favour.

"All that is left is my vote yes?" Duke Gratnach of Mar asks the room at large, "Well its a difficult one I admit. Most difficult succession in a while I admit..."

Duke_Gratnach_of_Mar.JPG

The Duke of Mar

He sighed and shook his head before continuing.

"Yes difficult, however I have made a decision..." He says, "I have decided to place the support of the Duchy of Mar behind the Archduke Lamont and his son Nicolas. The law is clear on this issue; and the Archduke is right - that is all we should have been considering."

The Duke Maelmuire looked absolutely shocked and the Archdukes son Nicolas wore a look of smug satisfaction.

The Assembly voted in favour of supporting his accession to the throne of Scotland; he would be King!

----------------------------------------

Well part 6 done.

And the AAR finished too. More or less.

Just the epilogue left now.

What you all think?
 
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