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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Drunk on Burgundy

Chapter 4: The Water In Menorca Don’t Taste How It Oughta (1078-1082)

Late in 1077, Helie de Bourgogne completed her education, becoming a martial cleric. She gained the nickname “The Unwilling Nun”, though no one said it to her face (lest she should get martial). Early in 1078, Helie married the third son of the Duke of Champagne, very much unwillingly.

August 17th 1078: Duke Henri is in council with his advisors:

Henri: To be honest, folks, I’m a bit bored. Being Duke isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Chancellor Robert: Well, how about a marriage? For me, say? Hint, hint?
Henri: Nah!
Robert: Uh, a war?
Henri: Yes, yes, that’s just what I need! A war! Ah, fond memories of my days as the marshal… (cut to daydream. Henri is at the training grounds…)
Robert: My Lord? Hello?
Henri: Oh, sorry yes. Umm, how about the Emirate of Mallorca?
Robert: Sounds good.

So, later that day a declaration of war was sent to the sheikdom of Menorca, which resulted in the Emirate of Mallorca declaring war on the Duchy of Bourgogne. Unfortunately, France also joined the war on the side of Bourgogne…

The war aim was to gain as many provinces as possible before the French king stole the sieges. Troops were first sent to the island of Menorca where the initial battle was a total rout.

bg15.jpg

The first battle

While the armies of Bourgogne besieged Menorca, the Kings forces set to work on the mainland provinces. Within three months, the island was near to falling. However, at this point a Mallorcan force came to relieve the siege, thus commencing the second battle of Menorca.

bg17.jpg

The second battle

The island finally fell in March of 1078. The next stop was the island of Mallorca. The siege was commencing nicely, and for two months it looked as though Mallorca would be added to the Duchy's demesne. However, in May the king turned up:

King: Hey ho, a nice siege you’ve got going here Duke Henri!
Henri: Thank you my liege. However, while your presence is a great honour I can assure you that your great big army is completely unnecessary.
King: (smiles evilly) That’s what you think!

bg19.jpg

Lands taken by French forces in Spain

As it turned out, the Mallorcan War was pretty much the only interesting thing to happen under the rule of Duke Henri, for he died of old age in the summer of 1080, to be succeeded by his second son Eudes, who inherited 750 gold of debt left over from the war (mostly from exorbitant transport costs. Damn beta!). The first problem that faced Eudes (or “Old Glass-Eye” as he became known) was the matter of matrimony. He had grieved heavily after the death of Agnes, but felt now it was time to move on. However, this was not to be easy as he had reluctantly agreed to adopt Leounora, the only daughter of Robert II and Agnes. She was quickly growing up, and was displaying all indications of becoming as great a beauty as her mother.

bg23.jpg


January 17th 1081: Eudes is in conversation with his brother, Chancellor Robert:

Eudes: So, any eligible young maidens who would make a good wife for Old Glass-Eye?
Robert: Well, there is Ide-Raimonde de Forez, eldest daughter of the count of Forez. He has no sons, so it is definitely worth considering…

bg21.jpg

Ide-Raimonde

One week later, Robert had worked his magic and the wedding was held.
October 4th 1081: Local Merchant Houses appear in Menorca. They had to travel miles before.
October 24th: Clergymen unhappy with the new merchant houses develop a battering ram, and use it to good effect.
November 6th: The sudden tech rush continues with the development of stonepit in Charolais.

June 27th 1082: Duke Eudes was out walking in his realm. In history, there have been rulers who went out about there lands dressed as merchants or peasants. Not Eudes, though. He figured that people were generally more impressed if he went out in full ducal regalia. He had just entered a village when there was a sudden noise, causing his horse to bolt and his glass eye to fly out from his resting place:

Eudes: Aargh, my eye. Ye God, I’ll never find it now!
Pretty Wench: Uh, my Lord, this thing just flew at me. Luckily I have quick reflexes and was able to get hold of it.
Eudes: Wow, a pretty wench caught my eye. You know what this means…

And thus, a bastard was born to Duke Eudes named Henri, after his grandfather who Eudes also considered a bastard.

December 1082: Eudes and Ide-Raimonde have a daughter, who is named Sybilla after her grandmother.
 
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stnylan

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Excellent naming of the sprog. Don't you just love kings?
 

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Stnylan: Don't get me started on kings :mad: :D

Farquharson: The whole "Old Glass-Eye" thing was just so I could make that gag. It probably won't be mentioned again.

I'll update at least once more before tuesday. However, I've got 4, yes 4 essays for uni next week so I will be AWOL for a few days (damn real life!)
 

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Drunk on Burgundy

Chapter 5: When Children Attack Bunny Rabbits (1082-1096)

1083 started without too much happening of note. Young Sybille basked in the love of her parents, poor Chancellor Robert gained a mystery illness and Eudes and Ide announced they were expecting another child. On January 5th 1084 Guillame de Nevers agreed to give up the county of Auxerre:

Chancellor Robert: So, how are things you old bastard?
Guillame: Uh, fine. Look, if you’re here to try and persuade me to give up Nevers then…
Robert: Whatever gave you that idea?! No, no, nothing like that! So, Auxerre, bit of a dump isn’t it?
Guillame: No. (Two heavies enter the room)
Robert: Oh yes it is, Guillame. Oh yes it is.

There was good news when Eudes announced that his wife had given birth to a baby boy, who was to be named Etienne. He was heir to the Duchy of Bourgogne and the county of Forez.

bg22.jpg


In July, the old count of Forez died. This of course meant that Etienne, not yet one year old, was a count:

Ide: But he’s my baby! He can’t already be a count!
Eudes: Darling, he’s got important counting to do!
Ide: But he can’t count. He can’t even speak!

bg25.jpg

What Etienne inherited

In September the dysentery in Dijon ended, and in December there was tragic news when Ide gave birth to a stillborn baby. The first event of note in 1086 was the decision by Eudes to make his hunchback brother bishop of Menorca, basically so as to get him out of the way. He was making the court look untidy.

1087 brought about a birth and a marriage. In February it was announced that Ide had given birth to another son, named Louis. On March 24th, Chancellor Robert was generally considered a lucky bastard when he married Leounora, only daughter of Agnes. Early in 1088, Leounora turned out to be Midas-touched and was made Steward to Duke Eudes. However, there was bad news when Louis died of the measles in June. August brought some cheer in the form of Ademar, Eudes’ fourth son, the third to be born to Ide. There was peace and quiet in the Duchy for a year, until Sybilla de Barcelona, Eudes’ mother, died of old age.

Nothing at all happened in 1090. Nothing, nada, zero, zilch. So let’s move on.

On July 1st 1091 they discovered road building in Auxerre which was good, as the build up of knights-errant and other travellers that had gathered in the marshes was beginning to be regarded as an eyesore. On April 29th 1092 young Sybille took a visit to the pet cemetery (cue scary music. Again). While there she trod on a fluffy bunny, and discovered it was fun. Her parents did not know what they were letting themselves in for when they agreed to get her a pet rabbit.

bg26.jpg

Likes bunnies.

On March 29th 1093 they discovered siege ladders in Charolais. This is not in the least bit amusing (like the rest of this AAR). There was drama on 6th April when Sybilla saw her bastard brother Henri commit a petty wrong:

Eudes: So who committed this petty wrong?
Henri: Weren’t me. It was that servant.
Sybille: (smiling evilly) No it wasn’t, it was that child of Satan, it was him, it was Henri.
Eudes: Right. You will be disciplined, young man! (storms out)
Sybille: Mwa ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!! (no, she’s not actually a maniac. Yet).

On November 25th, Leounora suddenly got stressed, mostly because of her lecherous ill husband not giving her a moment’s peace. On April 6th 1094 young Ademar begun a court education.

May 12th 1094: Sawmill completed in Auxerre.

October 20th: Ide gives birth to a daughter, named Berthe. However, to the great sadness of all she dies of cot-death just 10 days into her life.

January 1095: Rather unfortunately for Ademar, he takes Sybille as his role model and thus takes to following her everywhere and copying everything she does. After a visit to the pet cemetery, Ademar suddenly decides he want a bunny rabbit. Poor thing (the rabbit, not Ademar.)

September 15th 1095: There is unexpected news when Enguerrand, only son of Robert and Leounora, inherits the Duchy of Poitou and Bordeaux. This means, all of a sudden, that the de Bourgogne family now rules about half of France!

bg24.jpg

For the glory of the de Bourgognes!

December 22nd 1095: Sybille gleefully informs her father that Henri has been spending the Duchy’s money to buy gifts for his friends, whom consisted of two dogs, an orphan and a piece of cheese. Eudes forbids the spoiled brat to spend anything.

1096 started with good news for travellers in Auxerre as an extensive road network was finished. This allowed people to leave much quicker than they could before, and so was generally regarded as a good thing (it smelled due to all those knights-errant in the marshes). In August a miracle-worker turns up in the Duchy:

Eudes: So, can you turn water into wine?
Miracle-Worker: Uh, no. But I can heal the sick.
Eudes: Hang on, I’ll just get Sybille…
Robert: Hey, I’m sick!

To the amazement of all (including the miracle-worker), Robert made a full recovery.

Any lurkers, please comment! I need my ego massaged. ;)
 
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stnylan

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Sybille definitely knows how to get her own way. Amusing about Enguerrand, I don't suppose were you to top him you or your heir would end up inheriting?
 

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No, his father Robert (brother of Eudes) would inherit, something I don't want to happen as he's my Chancellor with 14 diplomacy. Best just to let him be.
 

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Drunk on Burgundy

Chapter 6: A Splendid Little War

1097 started with an urgent message for Duke Eudes:

Messenger: DEUS VULT!!
Eudes: Look, this is the third time this week. Piss off!

And so, Eudes was not to partake in the crusade to Jerusalem that that the pope requested. As winter turned into spring, young Ademar was out wandering in the woods looking for bunnies when he encountered a traveller by the name of Louis:

Louis: Why hello, young man.
Ademar: Are you a bunny wabbit?
Louis: No, I’m afraid not (as goes the joke about the piece of string in a bar).
Ademar: Lucky for you. Anyway, do you wish to come to my castle?
Louis: Just you try and stop me!
Ademar: All right (runs at Louis and tries to push him over).
Louis: (angrily) It was a figure of speech!

bg28.jpg

The traveller. No one knew where he was from.

The traveller was welcomed by Eudes and became a permanent member of the court.

On September 11th 1097, Ademar accidently pushed a playmate:

Playmate: Oy, you wanna fight?
Ademar: No, I prefer compromise to conflict… wow, I said big grown up words!

March 6th 1098: Leounora gets depressed, as ever since her husband was cured by the miracle-worker she hasn’t been able to get a moments peace. Well, look at Robert, look at her, you’ll see what I mean.

April 18th: A small castle was completed in Auxerre. They bought some pot pourri so it would smell nice. The following day, Eudes told his courtiers that a document had appeared “as if by magic” that showed that Geneve should in fact belong to Bourgogne. Upon this flimsy excuse all the troops in the realm were mobilised, totalling about 5500, and were marched to the province of Chalons. On May 20th, war was declared on the county of Geneve, triggering a wider regional conflict between France and Germany. Bourgonian troops were immediately marched into Geneve, whereupon the enemy was outnumbered, and duly routed, with siege commencing on July 3rd. Seventeen days later, seeing that the city was about to fall, the count of Geneve sent an emissary to Eudes offering 94 gold, which was of course rejected. The next day the city fell, with the soldiers under strict instructions that it was not to be looted. Within a couple of days, the provice was officially part of the Duchy of Bourgogne.

bg30.jpg

The Geneva Accords.

The next move made by Eudes was to march to Nassau, the closest demesne of the German king. On the way they relieved a French force that was being routed, and while they were on their way the Germans started a siege in Auxerre, our only province to have a small castle. The Germans obviously weren’t too smart a foe!

bg31.jpg

The Germans besiege the castle at Auxerre. Isn't France a pretty colour?

In mid-November Eudes’ force reached Nassau, and begun a siege. Upon hearing of this development the German king was only too happy to accept peace in exchange for much gold (about 200 gold). All in all, a splendid little war, with all goals achieved. Of course, the French remain at war with the Germans, but that is none of our concern.

bg36.jpg

The expanded Duchy of Bourgogne. Notice the Germans in Orleans.

February 22nd 1099: It came to Duke Eudes (who had been insufferably smug since the war) that young Ademar was riding horses hard through the woods in search of ickle-wickle bunny wabbits to kill (much like a typical hunt, in fact). Eudes’ response was that he’s a growing lad, it’s good for him to be outdoors, it’s healthy for him.

March 20th: Everone is amazed when hellraiser Sybille completes her education to be Midas-touched, rather than a drunkard, a drug-addict or dead as most people had predicted. She is duly appointed Steward, much to the nervousness of Eudes.

bg35.jpg

Don't ask me!

Not much else happened in the remainder of the century. They got soft leather in Dijon (much more comfortable for users of the famed S&M dungeons located there) and Henri decided that he liked to pettifog in an amateurish manner.


Man, two updates in one day! You can call me Mr Generous. Or Fiftypence. Or whatever, I don’t care.
 
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stnylan

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Good show against the Germans. Hopefully nothing too serious will happen in the wider war. What does Ademar 'look' like know? He must be building up quite a few traits.
 

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At the moment the Germans are besieging Orleans. I can't see it being too much of a problem. Ademar is certainly quite a character:

bg39.jpg

Energetic, forgiving, cruel, reckless, trusting.
 

stnylan

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Looks like a fully-functional CK character, sure enough ;)
 

Fiftypence

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He's only 11, there's plenty of time for him to gain even more traits. :D

General announcement, no more updates til next weekend. I expect a nice backlog of comments to build up when I'm gone.
 
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Fiftypence

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Honestly, any comments are welcome. I get the feeling I'm talking to myself... First sign of madness, they say. Oh crap, I think I'm getting the maniac trait. :eek: Right, I'm off to rebuild the Tower of Babylon! :wacko:
 
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Storey

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Fiftypence said:
They got soft leather in Dijon (much more comfortable for users of the famed S&M dungeons located there) and Henri decided that he liked to pettifog in an amateurish manner.
Have to admit that I thought the same thing when I first saw this message pop up in one of my games. :D Funny story you have here Fiftypence. My advice is have no shame and leave no pun behind and you'll have a funny AAR. :p

Joe
 

coz1

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Just caught back up. Great stuff. I think my favorite was the glass eye bit - don't know why I've never thought of that before. :D

Man, your kingdom has some great stats - is that the de Bourgogne genes or did you marry really well? 14 chancellor and 15 steward? I can barely find someone in double digits half the time.

Keep up the great work and don't worry if the comments are slow in coming - blame the forum being slow in loading, methinks.
 

unmerged(32472)

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Honestly i must admit that: I Like It !
Even more i think that you should skip that thing which you call "real life" and start working on this AAR withouth further excuses :D
 

Farquharson

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I just caught up too - nice stuff! Isn't it fun getting France and Germany into wars with each other then cheekily bowing out yourself? I'd say as Bourgogne the worse mess these two get themselves into the better for you! ;) Keep up the good work.
 

unmerged(36003)

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Hilarious AAR.

I hope you manage to gain your kingdom of Burgundy, at the expense of the ruined kingdoms of Germany and France (you've set them in one war against each other, see how long it takes to make them crumble).
 

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Storey: Thank you for commenting :D Yeah, soft leather is just so much more comfortable!

Coz1: The only problem with making that joke is that I have't discovered glassblowing yet, but I'm not one to let a little detail like that get in the way of a joke. As for the stats, I've just got lucky with the educations, although the de Bourgogne base stats tend to be pretty good (usually around 7s or 8s).

Brzenczyszczyk: It's the easter holidays now, so for four weeks I don't have a real life. Updates may very well be more frequent from now on!

Farquharson: Yes, it is useful, although I must admit it wasn't exactly planned. Anyway, it looks like Germany are going to win so it's not all good.

HoldFast: Well, I'm on my way! When I inherit Forez, I'll have four of the requires ten or eleven I need to be able to usurp the title. So, basically, watch out Provence! :D (that may be a hint about the next update. Then again, it might not be).

Update soon!
 
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Fiftypence

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Drunk on Burgundy

Chapter 7: A Breath of Fresh Heir (1100-1106)

The first news of the new century was that Etienne, son of Eudes and the count of Forez (or Lyon, depending on who you ask) had come of age, and had become a hopeless spender. He had also found himself a wife, who was later revealed to be a mail order bride, all the way from the exotic locale of England. He turned out not be entirely hopeless:

bg40.jpg

Well done, Etienne!

Not long after they had a son:

bg42.jpg

Could be worse.

bg43.jpg

Nice hair!

August 12th 1100 saw the building of a training grounds in Geneve and the discovery of Brickwork Structures in Auxerre. <Enter amusing comment here.> And that was that for 1100, but 1101 was to bring about a little snippet of happiness in the form of a marriage between Hugues, eldest brother of Eudes and Paola de Provence, the only legitimate child of the current Duke of Provence, in July of that year. In August, Paola became depressed. Hugues was left wondering what he had done wrong, the poor sod. Later that month, Chancellor Robert (the snitch!) informed Eudes that Sybille was indulging in wild parties. No one really cared.

bg29.jpg

I want that one! The Duchy of Provence.

In November, Ademar took an interest in religion:

Ademar: Wow, religion seems cool!
Priest: Yes, it is pretty awesome.
Ademar: I don’t suppose the Catholic Church objects to the occasional sacrifice of rabbits and other assorted pets?
Priest: Um…

When the priest reported this to Eudes, he just smiled vaguely. He seemed to be doing that a lot, these days. In March 1102, the Dijon Dungeon expanded its business empire by introducing soft leather to the unenlightened folk of Charolais. They very grateful, rather than grated as before. There was happy news in April when Hugues and Paola announced they were expecting:

Hugues and Paola: Hey everyone, we’re expecting!
Eudes: Expecting what?
Hugues: A baby! What do you think we meant?
Eudes: I don’t know (smiles vaguely)

It was around this time that Eudes received a letter from his good friend, the King of Norway:

Dear Eudes,
Hope everything is well in Bourgogne. I’ve been splashing for joy recently, we just got a new tank installed, with lots of nice fishies to eat. And don’t you worry, if you ever come down with a shark infestation, just give me a call
Yours swimmingly, The King of Norway.

bg37.jpg

Likes fish.

Uh, anyway, on June 5th Constance (remember her?) got ill, and was to die of her illness two months later at the age of 56. In July 1102, Charolais had a severe chicken infestation:

Peasant 1: (country accent) You know, they have them there birds in forn parts, they calls ‘em chick-ins.
Peasant 2: Hey look, its laid something egg-shaped.
Peasant 1: That there would be an “egg”. Though I’d say the chicken came first.
Peasant 2: Would you now? I think you’ll find it was the egg that came first…

Unfortunately, this debate was to go on and on, with no side being able to agree. Despite the fact that the egg obviously came first. While the peasants were thus engaged in debate, the nobles acquired divine rights, with the hope of pissing off the poor folk. To be honest, the peasants were more interested in the chickens. January of 1103 saw the birth of a daughter to Hugues and Paola, and it was to be their only child as Hugues mysteriously died two months later (a tragic accident involving a dagger in the back. It was quite common in this era, you know.) 1104 saw the war between Germany and France continue, and in July of that year Elena, daughter of Robert and Leounora, became a martial cleric. December saw Ademar complete his education, becoming a grey eminence. However, more impressive was his beard (which was actually false, as Flopsy Bunny would testify. If he could. Poor little guy.)

bg44.jpg

People kept pulling his beard.

April 25th 1105: A few nobles are looking at the hill-fort in Charolais:

Noble 1: It’s a bit small, isn’t it?
Noble 2: Yeah, it looks very easy to take. In a war, like.
Noble 1: Yeah. Oh well, I suppose there’s nothing we can do about it.
Noble 2: Oh well.
Noble 3: Um, guys, could we just make it bigger? (nobles 1 and 2 look at 3 in disbelief)
Noble 1: Blimey, the kid’s a genius!

In short, work begun on a small castle. In September, Diocese Bishop Henri, younger brother of Eudes (he seems to have loads of brothers, doesn’t he?) got married to Ursula von Venis, whose surname led to quite a few unfortunate jokes. In October, Elena got married, which is good because it means one less character to keep track of. In November, Geneve became prosperous.

There was sad news on the 30th of December when Chancellor Robert passed on. Luckily, young Ademar was keen (maybe a bit too keen) to take over as Chancellor. Nothing much happened really in 1106. I’m very sorry about this. Well, they begun a small castle in Dijon, and they discovered sculptures in Auxerre, that’s about it. And thus ends this update. (whew!)

(PS sorry about all the pictures, but I think it makes the AAR look nice.) :D
 
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