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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

tnick0225

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di LuccAAR - The Joyous Life in the Vineyards of Tuscany

di LuccAAR: The Di Lucca Dynasty
The Joyous Life in the Vineyards of Tuscany






First a tidbit of the first di Lucca Anselmo:

Anselmo di Lucca starts the game on September 15, 1066, as the Count of Lucca, a vassal to the wonderful Duchess Matilda of Tuscany and many other Duchies to be named. But real life was a bit different apparently, I'm referencing a Wikipedia link if you want to look at him yourself (had to have google translate it as it is in Italian and not English unfortunately): Anselmo di Lucca.

Come to find out Anselmo was no feudal lord, but in fact a member of the clergy. As he was named Cardinal in 1062, and eleven years later elected to become the Bishop of Lucca, at the time of Pope Alexander da Baggio's death, for he at that time was technically the Bishop of Lucca and the Pope of the Catholic Church. In fact, I should go double check things as their is a vague chance that the Anselmo di Lucca the game has is actually the Pope Alexander the II for he was also named Anselmo before ascending to St. Peter's Throne.

However, with that out of the way, there is the odd coincidence that Anselmo is also Pope Alexander II's nephew, and worked as a very close and steadfast adviser to Matilda of Tuscany. Later in life Bishop Anselmo would be designated by two Pope's as the Papal Legate in Lombardy, but this is of no consequence since our game begins in 1066 well before these things occur.

Anselmo would also go on to become a Saint, in fact he is the Patron Saint of Mantua, where he resided during his years as Papal Legate.

So with these things in mind, I will try to play my game focused on Rome, and helping Matilda as much as possible. But when they die, old bonds of friendship are usually severed. But we will keep in mind the descendants are descended from a Saint, and they are Italian, so the Pope is much more important then some man who claims to be Emperor.



A brief Note:
I have not quite yet figured out how I will write this, I'm leaning towards a more first person with narrative peppered in for flavor. So until I begin to write feel free to offer up suggestions, sorry to readers of my previous material, the de Forez's had to die, Steam reset my settings and downloaded 1.06 without my knowledge. And besides they had basically achieved everything desired by that time anyway, so a new story to tell grabbed my interest.
 
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tnick0225

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Rulers Descended from Saint Anselmo di Lucca​



Counts of Lucca
Anselmo di Lucca (September 15, 1066 - October 8, 1079)
*Regent Theodorich von Cascina (October 9, 1079 - November 17, 1085)
Martin di Lucca (November 17, 1085 - April 11, 1095)
*Regent Judita Premyslid (April 12, 1095 - August 23, 1100)
*Regent Comita Torchitorio (August 25, 1100 - December 18, 1101)




Dukes of Tuscany
*Regent Comita Torchitorio (December 18, 1101 - December 19, 1102)
*Regent Judita Premyslid [second term] (December 20, 1102 - January 15, 1106)

Bernardo di Lucca
 
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tnick0225

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tnick0225

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Chapter One: Lucca, 1066


So up above is me, Count (or Cardinal) Anselmo di Lucca (aka di Baggio) technically the Pope's son but the lords in this alternate universe have deemed me unworthy of the cloth, and unworthy of the Pope's love. But all the same we're the Count of quaint Lucca in Tuscany, and well we love our Tuscan wines. In fact, I'm known as gluttonous due to my love of said wines. And outside my old decrepit castle are vast acres of vineyards, yes that's right the serfs must work the grapes to feed me their gluttonous overlord.

But unfortunately all such little people as me in this big world all have a boss. Even the pope has a boss, some say his boss in the Kaiser in far off Germany, but that's a contentious subject open for debate. Lord knows we've had one too many debates over investiture rights in the past decade or so. And I wish to avoid all the politics in this memoir of sorts.

Now, I'm 46 years old and single, no children!!! How can I create a dynasty if I am the one and only member of this said dynasty. If you ask me that's one said dynasty that goes only one generation. So I look to my list of eligible single ladies. I'm really not looking for anything special, preferably someone that is young, vibrant, and willing to get pregnant several times. My search finds a lusty young 18 year old in Hungary by the name of Anna Jak, and word is hastily sent to her father requesting her hand in marriage, and that her lustful self must hurry with all haste to the sleepy village of Lucca.


While I await for a yea or a nay from my lusty desire I call in my Council members, and in all honesty I am a bit surprised their average in ability, but for a Count of a lowly Italian province in the Holy Roman Empire, I sincerely expected a much worse council. The meeting is fairly straightforward, as it's still a bit too early for these grand men of note to be filling the influences of their daily intakes of local reds.

To Chancellor Rudger von Pistoia I order to go to Duchess Matilda's court to improve relations with her. Because well my liege doesn't seem to like the patriarch of this one-man family.

Marshal Alcide di Capannori is ordered to train troops in Lucca.

Steward Markward von Cascina is sent to collect taxes in Lucca.

Spymaster/Mayor Angelo of Pistoia I order to build some of those fancy spy-nets I've heard so much about in my dreams in Parma. Yes, Parma, is technically the first province that has caught my eye as a delicious morsel.

Chaplain Bishop Castore of Cascina I send to research cultural tech in Lucca as well, because we're Italian and love our cultural things. Paintings of religious saints and demigods are always awe-inspiring to us, and lord knows I personally want Dante's Inferno in this alternate world to forever be referred to as Anselmo's Inferno.


Bam!!! Wouldn't you know it, the Hungarian decided to let me get married to his daughter. She's arrived all prettied up, I can't wait to get her fat with a baby Anselmo. So as wedding bells ring and the marital bed beckons I must go, for its hard to write and make babies at the same time. Till next time my dear piece of paper till next time.
 

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Chapter Two: The Hunt

Life could be better here in Lucca, my wife, young little Anna Jak still says she hasn't seen signs of being with child yet. Which is by far one of the worst things that could happen. I've lost weight because of all our late night exercises and have been all too tired to take part in my usual wine drinking and stuffing my face with delicious morsels of lamb and beef. And to make matters worse my Marshal Alcide di Capannori has brought word that the Kaiser is requesting his levies for his Holy War in far off Pomerania. Damn the pagans!!! Their existence is really an affront to me, but nevertheless I will relent and allow the Kaiser to borrow a whole 65 men that I owe him. I was truly only worried at first for fear that he may want me to lead that motley crew, but alas he's happy with some local grape picker to be their captain.

Time floats by through the winter months and into the spring, still no child, and seriously beginning to think that my wife is a closet lesbian or is truly just infertile. Wouldn't that be nice! Maybe the damned Hungarian lied when he claimed his daughter was lustful just to get her out of his hair. In fact Anna not being pregnant yet has led me to becoming shy, fearing that everyone in my quaint court was talking behind my back wondering if I even knew how to get a woman pregnant.


There is only one way to combat the shyness, so I invite several strangers from the countryside over and just try my level best to talk and talk and talk, but perhaps they now think I'm rather annoying. Maybe being shy isn't so bad? Alas I end up becoming known as gregarious, so for now on no one will speak of me as the shy introvert but rather the annoying extrovert that you don't dare invite to dinner, for fear of never being able to shut me up. Which as I think about it isn't quite such a bad thing, at least Matilda won't invite me to a feast anytime soon.


It seems the good Lord, and all the fates smile upon annoying talkative bastards though, for finally all that talking has gotten my wife pregnant finally! After a year of extreme sport in the bedroom. Maybe that sport has nothing to do with pregnancy, perhaps my newfound skill with words managed to get her impregnated. Either way the good lord works in mysterious ways doesn't he?


While I'm sitting in my chamber on a chilly autumn evening my page walks into the room uninvited, but we're pretty casual here at Castle Lucca, the usual feudal protocols are usually ignored in favor of wine and drunkenness, unfortunately neither of us are drunk at this moment in time which should be remedied as soon as possible. "Anselmo, my lord, Mariano Torchitorio, from Pistoia has traveled here to seek an audience with you," the page says after noticing my annoyed yet slightly amused grin.

"Aww, Mariano, any idea what that beggar wants?" I ask my young page.

"No, idea, he's sitting outside. Shall I let him see you?" I wave my hand surrendering to the fact that if I don't see this beggar chances are he will continually hound me and my court until I grant him the audience. And besides the wife is pregnant and going through those hormonal swings, she's not healthy to be around at the moment, so this brief audience should by some time.

"My lord, Count of Lucca, Holy nephew of His eminence the Pope of Rome," Mariano bows while saying this. Way too formal, he obviously is wanting something very badly.

"Yeah, yeah, get on with it guy. Don't you know I have a vineyard to run and wine's to sample?"

"Yes, my lord is very busy and righteous," Mariano is laying it on thicker then the cake I had at my 45th birthday. "I come to you because I feel I am much better with money and numbers than your current steward, sir. I think you should instead make me steward and sack that German von Cascina in favor of me a fellow Italian."

I drum my fingers against my desk, thinking, thinking, thinking. He brings up a good point, how can I trust a German Steward? Hmmm, interesting dilemma. But then again German's are known for being meticulous, and a meticulous Steward is a great steward. This Mariano probably only wants access to my purse so he can buy better Tuscan vintages from Matilda's merchants, instead of relying solely upon his local vineyards.

"Well Mariano, as I'm sure your a trustworthy and savvy fellow, I'm sure you would understand my misgivings about firing a German at this current date. The Emperor is always looking for reasons to breath fire upon us rather unloyal Italians you see. So should I fire Markward what chance is there of him seeking a minor post in the Imperial Court and whispering in his greatness's ear about the injustice I caused him?"

Mariano looks thoroughly confused or flabbergasted, really not sure which but needless to say he is clueless about what to do or say at this point he ends up stammering and taking a step back, seemingly embarrassed that he just got denied. "So Mariano do me a favor and give Markward a chance. Patience is key to success, I'm sure our German friend will screw up eventually giving me just cause to show him the door. Until then go back to Pistoia and make your own damn money kid."


The morning after that episode I gather my most trusted members of my court and we ride off into my forest, in search of some good game. Some deer meat would be good, and I hear it helps turn a baby into a boy in the mother's stomach, or so the midwife told me. It also gives me a good excuse to stay away from Anna, because good lord is she getting hard to deal with. Happy one minute, pissed off at the world the next. I tell her to drink more wine, because it would make her happier and keep her moods level.

Sadly my hunt is horrific, beyond terrible really every blasted time I attempted to make a Kill I would miss by a damn mile. I think its because one of my companions keeps farting at the wrong minute scaring the damn deer off. A count such as me surely could not miss every time!!!


To add insult to injury my horse stumbles, breaks his leg and throws me off. I hear a roar of laughter erupt from the peanut gallery of supposed trusted companions, which really hacks me off, so without really even thinking about it I brandish my lovely blade of steel and lop my horse's head off in one fell stroke. At least we will have horse meat to eat for a while, for after that incident and the horse having been gutted we return to Lucca, not to a feast of delicious dear but to he well other than delicious feast of old stead haunches.


I deal with Anna's mood swings better now, especially since she's finally taken to the wine drinking. She's a goofy ass drunk by the way, even tried belly dancing with her baby bump, it was disgusting but so hilarious too watch I couldn't stop the poor girl. Honestly more embarrassed for the son that is in her belly. Lord knows when he reads this and learns about his mother he's going to want to chop her head off and feed her to the rats.

Months into the future, and many casks of delicious Luccan wines having been drunk, my wife goes into labor. Good thing she's a young little thing, for the labor goes well, only a few screams here and there, which is better then some birthings where there are screams all day and night and all day and night that slowly lead into eternal silence for mother and baby. Unfortunately for me though, I soon find out all that work I put in breaking my back in various positions (I am old, impregnating some one is no easy task) was for nothing.

I just heard that the son I thought surely was in Anna Jak's belly turns out to be missing a cock, for it seems I have a daughter instead.

 
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tnick0225

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Chapter Three: The Scholarly Life

Do I need to state how amazingly disappointed I was to find out that my wife failed me miserably? How on earth could that woman give me a daughter when I so obviously need a boy! Does she not know I'm closing in on 50? Anyway enough ranting, I need to put my mind to ease, by giving that German Steward Markward von Cascina a job to do. Well technically he's already collecting taxes around the countryside, but he hasn't shown up with anything as of yet so I think he's really eating the grapes from local vineyards. I could be wrong but Germans they're rather barbaric still.

To get to the point instead of rambling any further about this trivial matter, I send a courier to him letting him know he is ordered to release the necessary funds to build a wooden palisade around our small castle. This is a much needed improvement. We have a daughter now, as much as I am displeased by that fact, but a poor little count must keep the family safe. And with the Emperor slowly wrapping up his Northern war, its only a mere matter of time before he turns his hungry eye upon us winos in Italy.

With that little bit of business done for the day I decided to get up and stretch my legs. These old bones don't sit too well anymore unfortunately, so I elect to wander around outside and take in my beautiful country. Unfortunately as is always the case I get sidetracked, for some old monkish type of guy of who has no name shoves a book in my hand saying something in some barbaric dialect, and scurrying off as if he had just given me some ill fated tome. I return to my study with this book. I love books by the way, and sit down and begin an intense study of all it contains.


Now it should be noted that this book was by far one of the most worthless collections of drivel I had ever had the sad fate of reading. Now that I think about it I wonder if anyone in the distant future will ever be so unfortunate to read my disgusting drivel of a memoir. As I retire from my study and make my way back to my bedchamber praying I have enough energy tonight to perform the satanic dance of impregnation I hear sweet innocent Anna humming merrily away. I wonder why such a light-hearted melody. I was not left to wonder very much further either, for she bounced right in my lap the moment I sat upon the bed whispering in my ear one welcoming phrase: "I'm pregnant again my lord," followed by a kiss and then, "I'm sure this time I will have a strong Italian bull of a son."

I sure do hope so, I'm getting too old for this nonsense, and its really making me look bad, my uncle is supposedly the Pope you know, although there is this nasty rumor going around that I may be his son, they say prince's of the church like to call bastards nephews.

I digress yet again. So back on point. The next morning after this hopefully joyous news two of my counselors decide to tag team me in my study. The first is always wonderfully blunt Marshal Alcide di Capannori, who informs me our troops in the Kaiser's army have already been sent home. Well that's good, until I find out there are only 5 men of the 60 remaining. Guess their will be a lot of sad women in Pistoia tonight.

Then, wouldn't you know it that elusive Chaplain of mine Bishop Castore of Cascna walks on into my study almost as soon as the Marshal left. Timing was surely impeccable. "My, lord, it seems we have a Saint in Pistoia, and we the clergy feel it would be most venerable if you were to help us organize a play of his grand miracles to help educate the masses," Castore stated.

I nod, damned saints anyway, always wanting to get into my purse. And besides in some other alternate universe aren't I the saint these miracle plays should be about? Shouldn't this Chaplain of mine be giving me the cash? Oh well, screw it, lets get down to business. "Well, Chaplain, how much would this 'play' cost us?"

"Three gold, if you would so please," the Bishop answers. I chuckle a bit, almost expected him to say 300 in all honesty. This man is obviously an honest bishop after my heart of hearts. He'll be a trusted confidant for a long time if he continues to perform this way. So I agree to the terms, and write him a quick scribbly message to give to the German Steward so that he'll fetch the three gold pieces from my hidden purse.


Nothing of note really occurs from there on out, I wander about watching the workers build the wooden palisade, its strenuous work, definitely not the sort some poor gluttonous Count of Lucca would ever be seen conducting. But nevertheless it is mesmerizing to behold. As I'm out walking about one day as the workers were putting the finishing touches on the Eastern Gate, my page comes running all read faced and sweaty. He literally looks as if he just got raped by the brute of a cook that lurks somewhere in the kitchen. But, no, he was bearing the news that the wifey is in labor.

I immediately begin walking towards the castle, and yes this time I hear screams, a whole bunch of screams. I would have thought that silly woman knew what to expect when pooping out another Luccan demon-spawn. Apparently she wasn't aware of horns and pointy tail. I joke, I joke, we're good Catholics truthfully, although the Kaiser would debate that to no end. Later that evening the best news I've had in three years, for a little bundle of Italian Bull was placed in my arms. And for the first time actually loving my wife for doing this for me, I proclaim the babe to be Martin di Lucca, named after her father since no one knows who my daddy was.


While Anna is busy hovering over little Martin like a bee over a vineyard, I take to having the local monks in Cascina send me copied manuscripts by the cartload. Its seriously becoming an expensive and space consuming addiction. In fact its even eating away at my drinking time, which is sad, but at least its replaced that weird impregnation ritual Anna had me doing every night for almost three years. Sadly she's a woman, and she's none too happy about my time being consumed by inanimate objects, for she starts getting angry with me over the books. In fact she's a bit more angry about the fact I've started using the bedchamber as an extension to my library, and have even started reading books in bed by candlelight. But she did accomplish one thing during her most recent tantrum, and that was to get me to admit that I am a bibliophile. Straight addicted to books as if they were the best most potent Tuscany Vintage ever made. I'm love drunk for useless knowledge spewed by old men.


Months later the world explodes in my face and my Marshal Alcide is none too happy with the state of Luccan preparedness. He fears our eventual demise. For the Holy Roman Empire is in flames. Or in his words using proper exclamation and inflection, "THE EMPIRE IS GOING UP IN FLAMES!!!"

When I see that on paper it just doesn't breathe the correct feel that was in his voice, but I'm sure the sad reader of this drivel gets the point. Civil War has come to Italy, and the Kaiser that awkward Salian has decided to begin his march, as a matter of fact word has it that Matilda herself has sent envoys to all her vassals, which is funny since no one has shown up in Lucca. Probably screwing around in my vineyards eating my grapes.

Not knowing what the best way to react is and hearing that the Count of Bologna has a small force marching into Tuscan Lands I mobilize my expeditionary forces and order my appointed captain to find the scoundrels and make the Kaiser proud. Only to keep him off my aging and rather skinny arse. Weeks later a courier comes in armor bloodied but rather pleased with himself, "My lord! Your Captain has defeated Lord Mateo of Bologna on the fields of Bentivoglio just two days ago!"

Awesome such a sweet victory, the first of my small little fiefdom's, surely the battle of Bentivoglio will make the history books somewhere.


I had a fete prepared in celebration for word has it my army is marching home now no longer wanting to play war and as all things should have it the good Lord would decide to have a great old shit upon my party.

Matilda's envoy finally appeared that day, all dirty looking too, definitely not well dressed for a feast. But I must admit it was quite the entrance, dirty, nasty smelling bastard, sure did shut the entire room up.

"Duchess Matilda of Tuscany, Modena, Ferrara, and Spoletto, has sent me here to Count Anselmo di Lucca to inform you that your men and forces are required, in defense of the state. For from his day forward the Duchy of Toscana will be independent, and swear no fealty but to GOD!"

That damned bitch!!!

 

tnick0225

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Chapter Four: Matilda's Rebellion

As I made rather blatantly apparent when last I wrote, I was very very unhappy about Matilda's random, unannounced and most-ill-advised try for independence if I had ever seen. But a Count must do what a Count must do. I raise my men as per my grace's request, and watch as my Luccans assemble beyond my palisades wearing whatever sad excuse for armor they could find.

I guess us men who make wines don't really know how to keep beautiful sets of armor at the ready. Oh well, its all for the best I fear.

We march off on a long march in fact clear out to Treviso you know that chunk of Italy that is always forgotten because of its close proximity to the mighty Lagoon. It is there that my men mixed in with Matilda's fierce cohorts, fight against the HRE's men for the first time.


Yes that's right I was recognized for bravery and heroism. What heroic feat did I do that day? Well I rescued Matilda's page from drowning in a stream. I know not exactly a great and brave thing, but no one knows the truth, the official story is I slayed a good 20 German Infantry men as I charged into their flank. Personally that sounds better, but I missed about 90% of the Battle.

For this death defying feat of heroism Matilda orders her generals to send me home on leave. And I go rather happily in all honesty, leaving Theodorich such and such, forget his name, in charge of the Luccan Hordes.

Anna Jak is overcome with joy to see my elderly skeletal body appear back in our beautiful little castle. And little Martin well he's becoming quite the boy, I've been told he's a Proud lad. Anna doesn't give me any time to play with my little son, she pulls me, no actually more like dragged me to the bedroom and I would honestly say raped me. I was not very willing nor coherent, so yes the wifey raped me, and now she is pregnant, or so she says.


After little Martino is born, I receive a sealed message from my faithful Spymaster Mayor Angelo of Pistoia. He states he has discovered a corrupt official in Parma and wanted to know what he should do. It took me a while to figure this out but decided perhaps there was the chance a bribe and therefore some money in this decision if Angelo had placed his spybots in the right places.

Well unfortunately I learn several weeks later that Mayor Angelo was far from the gifted Spymaster I had once thought him to be. In fact he was so pitiful he got assassinated upon orders from a puny mayor!!!


As I receive word of Angelo's death and learn that his body will be buried at the church in Cascina, my Marshal Alcide comes in bearing some more news from Matilda's rebellion.

"Anselmo, Captain Theodorich, has won a victory against a small specialized force of German Raiders that came to try to interrupt his siege of Ravenna," Marshal Alcide's smug look makes that hardened old granite face look just a tad too hilarious, in fact it makes me laugh a bit.

"How is that siege going anyway? Has Theodorich sent word? I would surely like to write a scathing letter to Matilda asking her why it seems Lucca is the only leadership in her war. I mean seriously she's a Duchess, Alcide! Shouldn't she have more men then us!"

My marshal lets out a booming laugh, he's obviously more than pleased with himself. "Perhaps you should be Duke of Toscana my lord. For Theodorich also rights that beautiful Ravenna has been claimed by Lucca, in Matilda's name."


Things seriously could not be going any better, here I though for sure, Matilda's rebellion would be a lost cause, but seems to be that it could be over by this time next year.

"Alcide, send word to Captain Theodorich, for his great deeds in the battlefield he shall receive..." I trail off pondering about what I could give him. I have no land to award him. No extra wine, hmmm, I know, "He shall take a seat within my cabinet, Alcide, he will work beside you, as Lucca's official new Spymaster!"
 

Shaytana

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"Anna Jak is overcome with joy to see my elderly skeletal body appear back in our beautiful little castle."

Aheeeem, must be the wine!
 

tnick0225

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Chapter 4.2 - Matilda's Rebellion

A week after Marshal Alcide di Capannori dispatched word to Captain Theodorich of his new elevated station in life, the wonderfully smug Marshal returned to my study this time not looking as proud as he had the week before. I don't know if any of you have ever had to deal with a Marshal or leading a small county full of winemakers but when your Marshal comes into your castle sweating and not drunk you know something most definitely is not right.

My mind is racing at the moment as well over this. And in all honesty immediately assume my new Spymaster died already before being able to thank me for being such a gracious and just Count.

"Anselmo, my lord," he starts rather meekly, obviously seeing a look on my face that stated the obvious misgivings on what was about to be said. "It appears the Kaiser has reappeared south of the Alps and has sacked Brescia!"

My mouth drops. "Well, well, well," I have no idea what to do now. Its obvious if the Kaiser finds Matilda and captures her my head will be on the chopping block for following my all to brave Duchess off the proverbial cliff. "Perhaps we should start burning all of our documents that prove our support of Matilda's rebellion?"

"Documents? I thought we only supported it because we really had no choice," Alcide states matter-of-factly.

"You are right of course. Perhaps you should be our Chancellor Alcide it seems you have a very level head," crap my Chancellor is still in Parma screwing around. This is when I would need him, to send him to the Emperor and beg for mercy!

Oh well such is the life of us Luccans, merely pawns in some one else's game. Apparently Alcide disappeared on me, perhaps scared he'd actually be given the Chancellorship and be sent to some place with far worse wines like Parma. Since he disappeared I decide to retire for a nap back in my bedchambers, but much to my dissatisfaction Anna is laying their butt naked playing with her hair. I swear this girl will kill me one day with all these rituals of impregnation. I mean come one we have two sons one daughter that is by far enough!!! I'm poor and can not afford any more kids, if she has anymore I may have to beg Matilda for a salary position on her council and that's sad because she's obviously a mad mad mad woman.


I don't really understand what happened here, Mariano is always screwing up though ever since I refused him that council seat years ago. Honestly I think the guy hate's me and would love to take over Lucca, I hear he's been saving every piece of gold he makes off Wine sales and distribution.

Anyways back to the real story at hand, after this incident I send word to my Steward that it would be a swell idea to begin building a village outside Castle Lucca, I mean it would increase our tax base and since Anna Jak seems hellbent on having a litter of puppies sometime in the next nine months I'm definitely going to need all the good tax paying serfs I can get.

Like I said in 9 months she would have a litter of puppies well thank god only one puppy by the name of Aldobrandino di Lucca, a name that will serve him right because I think he's going to be either a dwarf or a hunchback. Personally I vote for throwing him in a river, but Anna loves her babies and tells me to go read some more books and stay away from her demon spawn.

She doesn't waste any time after that to get pregnant again maybe four months tops before she's back to milking the one eyed snake. And wouldn't you know it the lusty young Hungarian gets fat with child again.


Bishop Castore comes to my castle after all these harrowing experiences in my chambers. Originally I summoned him telling him I needed an exorcism performed on the devil that possesses Anna in the bedroom. But that chaste old Bishop merely giggles like a school girl and turns red about these things. I remember when I used to be that sensitive about hearing these complaints from other men.

It would seem Bishop Castore has come once more to ask for more gold.

"Anselmo, my lord, this man, he is a great philosopher! He seeks refuge in Lucca from Germany where the Kaiser was cracking down on men of knowledge."

"I see, so in other words we're adopting another damned German, Castore?"

He scratches his head a moment thinking hard. "But the things we will learn from him. All he asks is less then 8 gold to send his family back in Hesse."

"Fine, fine, your worse than a street beggar Castore but I still like your preaching on Sunday mornings when I make it." So I once more write a note to my steward to open my purse strings to hand over 8 gold to this "philosopher" of his and send him on his merry way to investigate further Cultural things of note.

Things would remain rather peaceful around Lucca for a while after that. Just some small rumors of wars, and what not. It would seem Theodorich had managed to help liberate Brescia, and the war was once more swinging in Duchess Matilda's direction.

It was then that all rumors had died down and there was a perfect calm when an unexpected visitor was announced in Lucca.
 

tnick0225

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Why thank you theConqueror, I decided to try a new style with this AAR. So I'm glad you've been enjoying it thus far :)
 
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tnick0225

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Chapter 4.3 - Matilda's Rebellion

As I've said rumors from the front have all but dried up over the last few weeks, and to top it all off there is the rumor that a visitor was seen on the road from Pistoia to Lucca travelling that road less-traveled that snakes its way through Lucca's expansive vineyards. So far its only a mere rumor though, official announcement of who it is and what ill news they bear has yet to reach our ear. Although I will admit it has got my mind racing. Perhaps the Emperor come to claim Lucca and lop me and my little children's heads off for supporting the evil and disloyal duchess.

Then my Steward appears, that creepy German Markward von Cascina, of course he would be the only council member of mine out and about in the countryside trying to steal whatever pennies he can milk from our impoverished peasantry. But he brings with him the intelligence I so dearly desired at that time so that I could hopefully prepare a bit in preparation for whoever this "visitor" would be.

"Lord Lucca, I saw the Duchess Matilda with a small contingent of men on the road, she should be here before dusk!" Markward exclaimed, obviously as stricken with anxiety as I was over this. But at least I don't think I'll have to worry about being cropped at the neck. But this is still odd news, I wonder why she would dare visit Lucca, especially after I wrote her that letter that basically told her how worthless her army was. I mean hell, its been my worthless band of 300 wine loving peasants under the ruthless command of Theodorich that has turned the tide of this silly rebellion at every step!

So, I happily tell Markward to quit with taxing the citizens for the time being and prepare the castle for the visit from our liege.

Dusk is drawing nigh and my dismal court is dressed in the best clothes wine selling could buy, and I sit upon my "throne" chair really with the banner of Lucca unfurled behind it, dressed in my best formal attire. I must admit its a very rare occasion I don my noble silks and family signet ring, as I like to keep things a bit less formal in these parts, and besides half the time I am either reading or drinking so my court is all to aware of the importance of this meeting.

Then in steps my Herald banging his wonderful stick against the floor adhering to noble customs once again and proclaiming the following, "My Lord Anselmo di Lucca, Count of Lucca, I present Her Grace, Matilda di Canossa, Duchess of Tuscany, Duchess of Modena, Duchess of Ferrara, and Duchess of Spoletto!"

With that said everyone's head turn towards the door as the Grand Duchess of many of Italy's finest lands strides into my Court with her entourage of men of note, and wouldn't you know it right behind her is my Captain/Spymaster Theoderich von Cascina.

I stand an bow gracefully to Matilda and say, "I welcome you to humble Lucca, my Grace, I hope good tidings of cheer bring you here, and that we my have drink by the cask full and be merry together."

She looks around the room obviously not impressed, and whispers something in Markward's ear, and he steps forward, "My lord, our Grace, desires us to speak in private before we feast. If you consent that is."

"Yes yes of course," I say hurriedly stepping down from the dais, "The food and drink won't be ready for a while yet anyways, so follow me your Grace, and let us hold this meeting."

I'm trying my level best to sound sincere even though I'm duly wary of what may be happening. Perhaps Matilda intends to replace me with the more Martial Theodorich, I mean it would be luck for such a thing to happen as he has been much more useful in Matilda's rebellion than I. But hopefully she will take into consideration that without me Theodorich would never have led those army in the first place.

Once inside my study we take our seats and I lean over my desk resting my head upon my hand as my page pours us all some wine and scurries out of the room. "So Matilda, tell me true, what brings you here? Don't you have a war to win? Or do you come to me to tell me you finally surrendered?"

She chuckles at this and Theodorich grimaces, "My lord Anselmo-"

"No, No, Captain, its quite alright," Matilda cuts him off. "Anselmo, if it wasn't for you I'd probably be in the Kaiser's prison as we speak." Aww this is obviously going to be a good meeting then. "Your men saved Tuscany, even I must admit that, and this Captain Theodorich of yours is quite the commander, I think his success is purely a result of his cunning and trickery then fierce martial abilities though. He'd honestly be better suited running spies then a military campaign. But nevertheless he has been good for us Tuscans."

I nod, no shit Matilda, and you wonder why I honored him as my new spymaster. I let it slide though. "So, I'm still wondering why your here, can we just get on with it please. I am in the mood to drink this day into oblivion and the sooner the better!" I chug down the rest of the wine in my cup and pour myself some more.

"The Kaiser surrendered, Anselmo," Theodorich says, "He sent his chancellor to my camp a week after we liberated Brescia and said he had decided to give Matilda what she desired, and severed all bonds of vassalage with Tuscany."


"Yes, it seems he no longer wanted to hunt down your Captain," Matilda giggled. "Seems a rag-tag band of 300 was too much for the might of the Holy Roman Empire."

Even I had to laugh at that. "So Tuscany is independent now?" I muse, it is a funny thought. No more paying taxes to the Germans, wonder if that means our wine makers in Lucca will get a bit richer? Or if this will cause a local recession, as I'm sure their will trade sanctions on Luccan wines, but then again could offer us black market wine smuggling into the HRE...that would be priceless!!!

"Yes, Anselmo, I'm now your one and only liege lord, your only allegiance is too me and me alone," Matilda says happily, and obviously a bit more pleased with herself than I expected her to be. "Which means since you've proven to be so useful, I would like your advice on how to make Tuscany grand. I have ambitions you know, Anselmo, and we need to focus on uniting a large portion of Italy."

Awww, she wants to resurrect the Kingdom, I get it. It all makes sense now. But to do that a war with the HRE would have to take place again, and honestly there is no way in hell that would ever work in our favor ever again. Besides we really only won this one because the French decided to try and seize some rebellious Burgundian provinces during the Civil War which the Emperor had to attend to much more than Tuscany. So in all honesty it was mere luck of the draw that brought us to this odd fate, which is a good thing truth be told, as I really did not want to end up a head shorter.

"Well, Matilda, I must say this is quite the achievement," I try to sound impressed, but I'm about to go into pessimistic mode, "But you do know that all the blood spilled and time and money consumed could end up for nothing do to your Bohemian husband right? Your son is more than likely going to be in line to the Kingdom of Bohemia due to their barbaric Seniority succession and if he lives long enough to ascend all of us drunken Italians are going to end up in the arms of the HRE and my own children will probably be hunted down by the Salians. Not too mention you've gone on a crazy ride of appointing your husband's Bohemian pets to a County in Italy, not exactly a wise move if I do say so myself."

Matilda nods, "We will see about that, Anselmo, fate has an odd way of working. Hopefully if my son is lucky enough to live long enough to wear the Bohemian Crown he will honor his mother and sever ties with the German Empire as well."

"One can only hope," I say sarcastically.

"Which brings me to my other piece of business before we go feast. I would like to betroth my oldest daughter Judita Premyslid. That way, should anything unfortunate happen after we are dead and in the ground Lucca can can try and save Tuscany from the Bohemians and Germans, since it seems you Luccans are very good at this war thing."

Oh the joy, my son Martin married to the Duchess's oldest daughter! Hmmm they're both very young but this is an offer too grand to refuse. In fact its better than that, it offers us a way into even higher places. "I suppose I have no other choice than to accept!" I stand and bow, "I guess one day our houses will be joined in bed my dearest Grace."

 

tnick0225

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Chapter Five: The Need for Precise Cartography

Shortly after Matilda departed my humble abode in Lucca, my lusty wine drunken wife goes into labor once more. This time I pray she either dies on the birthing bed or gives me a girl. I'm growing far too tired of all these boys running around the castle, beating my servants with their wooden swords, plus I have nothing to give these sons when I pass away, so some more daughters I think would be rather lucrative. Maybe they'll be able to open some new trading lanes to export our Tuscan vintages to far away lands since our in roads into Germany are all but dried up.

And as luck would have it my prayers are answered, and little Aloisia di Lucca is born.


In response to her birth and Theodorich's amazing ability to create Italy's own clandestine 300 that will go into the history books rivaling that of ancient Sparta's, I decide to send word to Markward that a feast should be thrown in his cousin's honor, and also in Aloisia's honor. I fear having this feast though, Anna will surely get drunk and rape me a few more times by the end of that night. But with luck Bishop Castore will save me, priests tend to scare away loose women.

Unfortunately I receive word from Theodorich that he's too tied up in Firenze spying on Matilda to come to his own feast. Oh well, I'm sure that German is busy undermining the both of us in favor of the HRE. He is German, and well could very easily be a double agent, perhaps that is the true reason his campaigns were so damn successful.

In fact the only person of note besides Anna that shows up to my feast is my Chaplain Bishop Castore, so perhaps this once things will go according to plan.


As we talked that night the Bishop mentioned something most disturbing. As it turns out Matilda has declared war against Capua. I immediately inquire about which Capua we are at war with, as there are two Capuas at this time in history. If you don't believe me, look at the map of middle and upper Italy I provided in the last chapter, it could be some trick of my under educated cartographers but something very strange is amiss down there. And how can you win a war or send men off to their death if you have no idea which territory you are supposed to assault?

Castore is even dumbfounded by this logic, so much so he requests more wine, and we both start drinking and drinking and drinking some more. By the end of the night we have no idea what the hell Capua is, or where the hell Italy is. Hell we don't even know where Lucca Castle is. But that sad and very worrisome fact of two Capua's has sent Bishop Castore off the deep end in his drunkenness.


This episode people say he insulted me by not drinking anymore wine, this is the truth of what happened, and I am Count Anselmo di Lucca, my word is truth in these parts.

"No, NO! Castore, listen to me there are two Capua's we just looked at the map see, right there and there!!! How can you not see this," I'm exasperated.

"Your playing an evil trick on me Anselmo!" he whines.

"Yeah yeah, trying to take advantage of my own Bishop, next you'll accuse Anna of trying to rape you like she rapes me."

"Oh that whore of your wife, she probably even knows there's not two Lucca's!"

I receive a slap at the back of my head at that and turn and see three Anna's, definitely my worst nightmare, and neither of them looked at all happy with me and Castore's argument. "He's probably better in bed anyway then you Anse," she sneers drunkenly.

"One Capua just like one Lucca!"

"Gods be damned priest! Shut up about the Lucca's your cut off, go back to Cascina and pray to the Virgin!"

He stands up toppling over his chair and proceeds to throw his wine on me and storms out of the dining hall in either anger or just stupid drunkenness depends on who's story you believe. Unfortunately for me Anna loves wine these days and is immediately happy and no longer mad. And decides right then and there to perform that disgusting impregnation dance on me again. Lord, I pray to you if she gets pregnant again I'm converting to Islam!!!


Next thing I know I'm marching with my Luccans to a destination unknown to help Matilda against one of the two Capuas. Unfortunately for me she never explained which one we were fighting for either. In fact, apparently she had no idea that there were two Capuas, and this deepens my feeling that perhaps Theodorich is truly a double agent. I mean surely if anyone would know for sure it would be him and he's pretending to be close friends with her so he may at some point in time drive a knife in her son's belly.

After we arrive in one of the Capuas and find no resistance, no military force of any kind, and in fact the local Duke comes out and asks what we are doing here a confusion ensues among Matilda's officers. Such a great confusion that her Captain Mayor Candido throws his map in a fire. I walk into his tent as I was technically a commanding officer in this little misadventure and quite calmly proclaim Candido as the biggest buffoon of this army of buffoons, and give the order that my Luccans should return home before any more unfortunate embarrassments befall us.


Needless to say since no one ever knew which Capua we were at war with Matilda's War for Capua ends inconclusively. Something the history books will be sure to debate about for eternity. I mean, if I do say so myself the enemies strategy was utterly brilliant. Have two lands called Capua and no one will ever figure out which is which. And if you hear of an army marching towards one, switch rulers and pretend nothing is going on. Eventually the enemy will be so damned perplexed that they will give up and go home. Which is precisely what we did.
 
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tnick0225

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Chapter Six: The Return to Lucca

I return to Lucca quite frustrated with the lack of proper maps and orders in Matilda's first war after Independence. If this is how she is going to run a newly minted nation then us Italians are in for a rough road ahead of us. I immediately take refuge in my study, taking solace with a wonderful cup of wine and begin writing yet another scathing letter to my Duchess. This one, while full of my current frustrations does request Matilda build a university to train proper Cartographers so that we may avoid any other major inconveniences should she partake in another war.

Meanwhile I send Theodorich to Parma to join my Chancellor so that he could help me plot to kill the Count in those parts. I'm already wanting more territory and definitely in need of it as it seems that more land will come in handy for my successors as its a very high possibility that we will need to overthrow Matilda or her Bohemian son at some point in the not so distant future.

Once all that is taken care of one of Anna's ladies in waiting announces that my dearest wife has been pregnant, seemingly impregnated the night of our grand feast in which me and Bishop Castore had a wonderful argument about the Capua dilemma. It makes me wonder how the old Bishop is doing anyway. I haven't heard anything from him since that night, perhaps he is still hungover.


With all that taken care of time passes and really nothing gets done around Lucca. A new barracks is being built however, which will let us house a more professional army, and keep a larger and much wider assortment of armor and weaponry for our brave Luccan Hordes to one day be unleashed upon the world. Or perhaps the barracks will only be used to house more wine, it is yet to be seen how history will twist that knife so until then we will leave it be.

Then, for the first time ever since I held my initial council meeting twelve years ago my Chancellor Rudger von Pistoia shows up in Lucca. Don't let his name fool you either, he is an Italian even though he uses von instead of di in his surname. No idea how this came about and he refuses to change it, perhaps he wanted to appear German back when we were ruled by the Kaiser.

"My dear Count," he says as he sits down and sips his cup of wine. "I have the documents claiming that you are and should be the true Count of Parma. The County according to Theodorich is ripe for the taking as well, he says he is sure that no one would even lift a finger to you should you raise your hosts and lay siege to the castle."

I nod, perhaps this is finally the good news that was needed after such a misadventure of Matilda's making. Perhaps I should straightaway declare war and show Matilda how a real war is waged? "Have you spoken with Alcide about this? What are his suggestions?" I inquire.

"He says he would counsel you to wait a year as he spoke with Markward, and has decided that due to your recent expansions on Castle di Lucca that you may wish to wait so that we can hire some mercenaries should we need reinforcements."

I nod yet again. Alcide always the wise adviser. And by all means I had no lust to don my armor once again, I'm old and war never really did please me, it was just one of those sad things I was expected to do since I am Count. "I will wait then and enjoy my wine," I muse, "Any other news? You have been gone quite a while Rudger."

"No more news sir, just that you can press Anna's claim against a small province in Hungary, but I imagine the Hungarian king would devour us in defense of his vassal."

I laugh at this, damn near topple out of my chair from laughing so hard. "No kidding, Anna has a claim to a county? If she were a countess needless to say she'd have all the village boys lined up to rape each and every one of them on a nightly basis!"

Rudger has been gone for such a long time he obviously does not remember my demeanor nor sense of humor. I truly love Anna, but I also enjoy talking nasty about her too. But anyways Rudger takes that as his time to leave and turns tail to scurry out of my study only to be followed in by none other but Bishop Castore.

Now I must back up a little bit, lately I've been having some trouble with local friars always coming and begging for alms and what not. Its gotten rather annoying as I'm not some rich monarch by any means. So I decided this would be a good issue to speak with Castore about and see what advice he would give me as Chaplain. I must admit it sounds like good advice and I pray that it works so I won't be pestered by these beggar priests anymore.


After the days business is conducted and taken care of I retire to my bedchamber, way more tired than usual. I guess these old bones are getting much too old. I can barely stay upright much past dusk these days. I strip down and sprawl out on the bed when my now 30 year old lustful wife walks into the room and jumps on the bed wearing that mischievous wanton smile of hers, I groan in agony knowing what is about to happen and with that the sun sets bringing forth the night.
 

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Chapter Seven: A Hero Rules in Lucca

I was sitting in a quaint little country side inn in Parma, when some scruffy Italian who I swear I had seen around the castle in Lucca found me, and pulled me away from my breakfast. He took me outside and whispered some grave tidings in my ear, in which I immediately started off for the stables to find my horse. I saddled the trusty steed and spurred him on south, making all do haste towards Lucca, for the Italians needed my hand, and guidance in these dark trying days ahead.

The road was long, and my mind was filled with despair, wondering ever so wondering what ugly fate may wait for me when I reached Lucca. Would someone have gotten to there before me? Had Matilda already called forth her levies in a desperate power play to consolidate her power in Tuscany? Or would I be strung up by the neck when I reached Lucca? I had no idea at that time what destiny held for me in her cold hard stare, nor did I want to. I was simply reacting as a soldier does, letting my muscles do the work and my mind wander in an aimless circle.

The midday sun passed into late afternoon and finally on the horizon I could see the wooden palisades of Lucca, and the rooftops of the ancient buildings that had stood their test of time since the days of ancient Rome. As my horse sprinted ever further along the road I could see no sign of disturbance. Could see no smoke rising from the rooftops. In an odd freakish way it seemed as if no one for miles around knew what I knew that day.


My heart began to feel uplifted, perhaps the grave news was a sick twisted trick. A mere disgusting ill-rumor spread by our enemies. Or maybe it was but a test.

I reach the main gate and rein in my steed the guards pear out from the tower and shout something in Italian and the gate swings open allowing me to enter.

I jump from my saddle as the guards grab the reins and the Captain hails me and beckons me onward in all due haste towards the Castle of Lucca. We enter those stone walls and at that moment I knew all my fears were true. It was a solemn affair within. Cries of sadness and despair could be heard coming from the Count's apartments up above. Even the innocent little children were sitting sullenly without their wooden swords. I see Martin through the wall of armored guards eyes all watery and full of curiosity. The nine year old boy does not know what sad fortune has landed upon his young slender shoulders.

I stroll up the stairs and the guards at the top open the door, revealing to me Lady Anna Jak sitting on the end of the bed disheveled and crying. And beside her lay the nude body of Count Anselmo di Lucca, beside the bed knelt the Chaplain Bishop Castore praying fervently for our late Count's soul. It was that moment that it hit me that life in Lucca had changed, and my fortunes as well. Obviously there was a reason the Bishop was here other than the Sacrament of Last Rights. It seems I was the first man they thought of when they discovered the Count's passing.

I kneel as well beside the bed crossing myself and say the Lord's prayer, hoping the Virgin Mary welcomes our lord into the warm embrace of heavenly paradise. Then I stand as does the good Bishop.

"Captain Theodorich, it is good to see you," Castore begins. "When I heard of the Count's sad fate, I decided it must be you. So I sent my most trusted messenger to seek you out."

"When did he pass?" I ask not truly sure of my future, but thought that my fears should be laid aside soon.

"Late last night while he and the lady..." he trailed off blushing and Anna let out a wail of grief. "It would seem he was too old to partake in the festivities of married life Captain."

I scratch my head a little uneasy at such a story. I suppose the old gluttonous wine drinker of a lord had to go out somehow and his Lusty wife sent him off well enough. "So von Cascina...you were raised outside my parish, you may be German but I trust you are Italian in your soul. Your unwavering sword and victories in Matilda's Rebellion made me decide you were the logical choice as Lord Protector of Lucca. Anna consents as well by the way, so from this day forth you shall be Regent of Lucca."


My heart skips a beat. Regent? I suppose I can guide Lucca until little Martin is old enough. It should not be that difficult to do, and at least I've always had a decent working relationship with the Duchess.


Castore and I proceed out of the bedroom and begin giving orders to the members of the court, and eventually Count Anselmo's body is moved to lay in state at the Duomo di San Martino (Cathedral Lucca).


And so my tenure as Regent began.
 

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Shaytana

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Going to another plane while partaking in that sort of festivities is the best way to go. :) I have to remember to add that sort of passing to my list of officialy approved deaths. :)
 

tnick0225

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@Shaytana....haha I thought it was a good way to let the first Count of Lucca go out...lusty wife plus he died naturally in bed...seems to add up to going out while partaking in that sort of business :p
 

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7.2

People may wonder why I was so worried as I rode south to Lucca. The simplest explanation is that I was much afraid that young Martin would be Marian Torchitorio's estates working upon his education. I'm sure you can remember him from the first or second Chapter of Anselmo's journals. The guy who aspired to be elevated to the council but instead was turned down? Well he's an ambition prick and I'm sure had Martin been in his clutches Mariano would be the one writing this journal and not myself. And well, from there one can only imagine his son Comita being declared Count of Lucca, and that my friends would have been quite the ugly affair.

But we have Anna and Castore to thank for the quick and easy succession. But to the point as I hate rambling on, and please forgive me if I do, but Anselmo's funeral was a beautiful affair. Matilda was there, along with several other Lords of Tuscany, surprisingly even Oberto di Parma showed to pay his respects. And the gratitude they all showed me was overwhelming. The Duchess seems to think I'm the angel Michael's vicar on earth guarding over beautiful Middle Italy with a flaming sword. Truth be told I'm neither just a man from humble beginnings that has gained all things in life via proving my mettle in various ways.

As Matilda left the funeral we met within the Castle where she said she planned to wage another war, this one slightly more thought out then that Two Capuas Incident. And with that the first war of my Regency would commence:


Lucca really doesn't involve ourselves in this war so much other than sending Matilda the required levies. My life as Regent is a bit too crazy, keeping up with the most recent wine market data, and also keeping a close eye on Mariano Torchitorio. One day while I was over at the estates of Mariano this is what occurred really don't need to write anything regarding it as it seems fairly self explanatory.


When I return from the countryside Anna confronts. Finally seeming to look alive, and not as depressed/suicidal as she had after Anselmo's passing. I'm sure the poor Lady thought she killed him while trying out a new dance move on him. But anyway it seems being a widow is no longer fulfilling to her lustful desires, and requests that I look for a suitable husband for her. This I would need my Chancellor, as he knows the list of eligible suitors by heart, and we settle upon Guillame d'Ivrea the heir to the County of ... I completely forgot what he is the heir, but he's a great at martial, and should he come to Lucca, he could easily become our Martial, or better yet the next Captain of Lucca's 300.


Mariano shows up at Lucca with little Martin in tow and lets us now he has trained the little dude to be patient. That's good it'll go right along with be Craven...so now when he's Count he'll have an excuse. When someone says he's Craven he can just give them that blank stare and proclaim: "NO! I'm being Patient!!!"

Mariano's abilities as a tutor are definitely not living up to what Anselmo probably wished him to be. He's literally the most worthless trainer of a Count I had ever seen! And in some ways I wish he would just fall over dead so that I could take the teenage boy under my wing. But, alas such things could not happen as this is no perfect world.

Matilda's Holy War isn't exactly going very well and she's been pleading with me to take the leadership of the Tuscan Armies as General, but I have to refuse, as Martin is my sole duty at this time. I must ensure that he is not led any further astray from Mariano, in fact, I need to keep a watchful eye over him to ensure that Mariano's son Comita does not harm the poor boy. And as a side note, I would pay very close attention to Comita, he seems destined to bear forth all his father's ambitions, and seems like he could very well grow into quite the man later in life.

It is then that the most saddening news comes from Cascina, apparently our dearest Bishop and Chaplain, the man that had entrusted Lucca's government to me at the death of our loving Count had past away. So long for the days of wise prudent council from the likes of Bishop Castore, his trusting hand in all spiritual matters will greatly be missed. And he will be succeeded by Bishop Alberico, a man of low birth but a man who seems to hold our dearest lord and savior near and dear to his heart, so here is to hoping Alberico will be as trustworthy and honest as his predecessor.


After the funeral I make my way to Mariano's estate outside Pistoia once more, to see how our Count's training is going. Once there I see the young man with a small dagger cutting the legs off of rats and dancing around maniacally singing "Rolly polly little rats!!! Where's Comita's pussy cat I want to make him a rolly polly as well!!!"

Lord's save Lucca from this monster Mariano has created!


Several more years pass away into nothingness, and it is discovered that Martin has made yet another rival this time the son of our trusted martial Alcide. It seems Aleramo di Capannori may not attain his father's high station after all due to this, but who knows fate has an odd way of leading full circle.

Word reaches Lucca, that Duchess Matilda has died, which is by far the saddest news that could have ever been imagined. How on earth could Tuscany survive without that woman's iron fist, and even worse now a man with the Premyslid name would rule, and to make life even more fearful he would be in line should he live long enough to attain the crown of Bohemia, much as Anselmo had feared.

It should now be my utmost and most holy duty to undermine the son of Matilda's reign, and hopefully, with all due hope, I can talk some fellow Italian's into helping me with this cause. And so my couriers spread out in all directions, making way to every noble court in Italy, and our newest Bishop Alberico makes haste to Rome, to speak to the Pope on our behalf. We must keep Italy Italian, and resist this disgusting rape of our lovely country from the Bohemians.

But then again I would be laughed at for this train of thought for I'm German, not Italian, perhaps it would do me well not to forget that solemn fact.

Unfortunately to us, Lucca's biggest benefactor, and as it was rumored the closely related Pope Alexander II di Baggio to some, supposedly the Uncle, or Father, or Grandfather to Anselmo di Lucca, had sadly past away and a new Italian Pope Adrian IV was elected to the Holy See. A new Vicar of Christ upon St. Peter's Throne, a new Duke in Toscana, and a new Count in Lucca, it seems Italy's face was changing as a new generation of leaders ascended to the throne's of power here.

My time as Regent and trusting hand guiding Lucca's matters softly, quietly, and diligently has come to an end. For Martin's sixteenth birthday is today, and I will officially place the diadem of Lucca upon his young brow.


 

tnick0225

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Chapter Eight: Lucca, 1085

After Regent Theodorich von Cascina placed the Luccan Diadem upon my head we retired to the council chamber to discuss business with the Councilors of Lucca. It was a quiet affair, not much in the way of argument or debate. We merely wished to set matters straight so that I could better guide the affairs of our tiny state, and with hope we could garner favor of the new Premyslid Duke of Tuscany.

But before I go any further in my first entry into the Book di Lucca, I must properly introduce myself, Martin di Lucca, Count of Lucca.


I am sure the Hero of Lucca is not at all pleased by my tutor and guardian Mariano, for it seems I will forever lack the tactical prowess that my Regent had shown with Lucca's 300 during Matilda's Rebellion.


That is me and my stats as it would be. I'm obviously bound to a rule of infamy, as per my cruelty too little rolly-polly rats at Mariano's estate, and no one ever said this but I did find Comita's pussy-cat, and chopped the feline's nimble legs off to watch him be a rolly-polly as well. I think Comita deserved such a disgusting site after pestering and abusing me for so many long arduous years at his father's estate near Pistoia.


This above is a picture of our lovely family tree. We're growing as you can note. One wonders how many Luccan's will be placed throughout Europe and what it could mean to the future of our beloved continent. Honestly though I have a strange feeling we will end up no where, merely being stuck in the loving embrace of Matilda's barbaric Bohemian descendants for eternity. But if that is the case at least history cannot say we failed, for we've already done our part under the guise of Theodorich's special forces.

Our council meeting, though it was about issues of governance such as the Mayor of Pistoia's grievances, and the Bishop Alberido feeling we needed to buy some more silks for his priestly wardrobe, was more or less about the family, my brother's and sisters that is. For Adelia needed to be married and brother Martino was also nearing the ripe old age of 16 and would need a wife as well. And after that there would soon be suitors for the teenage hunchback Aldobrandino, and the bachelor's of Europe may eventually come calling one day for my sisters Aloisia and Katalina.

Being 16 and not even knowing what happened in a marital bedchamber I could care less of these things and basically zoned it out. Theodorich who's only post now was that of Spymaster seemed to guide these discussions as if he was still Regent. I don't mind much but I wish he'd at least let the Chancellor speak, for these marriages were more of an issue for the Chancellor than a Regent/Spymaster/Hero.

Speaking of marriages...


It would seem I'm about to find out what occurs in a bedchamber after all, for Matilda's daughter Judita Premyslid has come of age and send word that her brother the Duke of Tuscany was escorting her to Lucca to fulfill the betrothal contract.

After the ceremony we go to the bedchamber but fail to consummate the marriage that night. There were a great many factors involved in this, first and foremost my complete lack of knowledge on how one impregnates a woman. I had studied father's journals prior to the wedding to see if he offered some hints, but it would seem its some strange dance ritual of which I just have no idea how to perform. The second issue that could also be the problem is that it seems Judita has a thing for her fellow ladies at court. Its rumored that while in Tuscany she was always being caught kissing other girls and beating the boys with their very own toy wooden swords, in fact it seems the Lady Judita is more a man than most men, so much so that I wonder if she pees standing up.

Such are mysteries for another day to be discovered though. For it would seem the good lord had a joker up his sleeve for us great men of Toscana.


It would seem the infidels have decided to take advantage of Tuscany's independence at last.