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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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Folk Tales from Far Away


A long time ago (about the year 1066 in fact) in a land far away (the County of Angus to be precise) a game of Crusader Kings began. The game looked like it was going to be Hard, and the enemies promised to be Aggressive, but not to worry, for the player was none other than the fearless Farq, and he was not called fearless Farq for nothing. In fact, he was not called fearless Farq at all, this was just a name he had invented for himself because he was playing at what was for him such adventurous settings. He had not, however, been adventurous enough to install the latest beta patch and was still bumbling along on 1.04, but no matter. Thus did the game begin...
 
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Farquharson

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1: Maldoven and the Magic Button


Once upon a time there was a poor Count by the name of Maldoven, and he was a loyal vassal of the King of Scotland. All the other vassals of the King were Dukes, and they seemed to have money and lands in abundance, but poor Maldoven had to scrape a living from the meagre resources of his little land. To make matters worse, King Malcolm had a great liking for wars, especially against the Duke of Leinster, and in order to pay for these wars he took almost all the gold that poor Maldoven had to spare.


Yikes!​

Now the County of Buchan was not far away from Maldoven’s lands, and this land was ruled by a wicked ogre whose name was Gratnach. Many Kings and nobles had vowed to rid the land of this wicked ogre, but none were courageous enough to go and fight him. Maldoven realized that if only he could pluck up his courage, of which he did not have much either, and summon his little army, then with help from King Malcolm he might just possibly be able to defeat the wicked Gratnach. Of course, he would very much have liked to take the ogre’s lands for himself, but he feared that King Malcolm would never countenance such a thing.


Gratnach the Ogre​

One day Maldoven was riding in the woods, looking for one of his wayward sons who had been out riding horses hard instead of concentrating on mental endeavours, and he had stopped by a little stream to let his horse drink. Suddenly a little man no more than a foot high stepped out from behind a rock. Maldoven nearly jumped out his skin for he had never in his life before encountered one of the fairy folk. But the little man spoke up:

“Good day, Count Maldoven! You seem a little under the weather if I might say so.”

“In truth,” replied Maldoven, “my heart is heavy, because the wicked ogre Gratnach rules yet in Buchan and none will fight against him and end his cruel oppression.”

“And have you not the courage, Count Maldoven?” asked the fairy visitor.

“I think I have,” said Maldoven, “if only the King would reward me by granting me the ogre’s lands.”

“Here,” said the little man, drawing a small pearl button from inside his jacket and handing it to the Count, “perhaps this will help.”

“What is it?” asked Maldoven, peering closely at it.

“Tis a magic button, Sire”, replied the man. “It is called in the fairy tongue, a pause button. Go and stand in the market place in Arbroath, and give it a little twist and you will see what powers it has.”

And with that the little man disappeared. Without a second thought, and forgetting all about his wayward son, Maldoven went straight away to the town of Arbroath, and there he stood in the middle of the bustling noisy marketplace and he gave the button a little twist.

Immediately there was silence all around him, and not a movement to be seen, not even a breath, for all the peasants and stall-holders and nobles and monks, everyone in sight seemed to have been turned to a statue. As for Maldoven, he could walk about freely and examine what everyone had been in the middle of doing when he twisted the button. Here was a peasant-woman haggling for apples. There was a farmer driving two pigs before him. Here two nobles in deep discussion. There a young lad chasing a rooster. But all were like stone, except that they still looked lifelike and real.

Then he gave the magic button another little twist, and instantly all the people around burst into raucous life once more, and once again Maldoven was standing in the middle of the bustling marketplace of Arbroath. Now Maldoven was not sure exactly how he could use the magic button to his profit, but as he rode home to his castle he began to have the inklings of a plan.

Not long after that, King Malcolm was just finishing one of his interminable wars and Maldoven decided the time had come to deal with Gratnach the ogre. He summoned up all his courage, and he summoned up all his warriors, and he marched north into the grim and barren mountains of Buchan where the wicked ogre had his castle and he marched up to the very gates of Gratnach’s fortress and knocked on the door.



The grim and barren mountains of Buchan​

“Who goes there?” boomed the deep and throaty voice of the ogre.

“I am Maldoven Count of Angus, and I have come to rid the land of you and your wickedness.”

“MWAHAAHAAHAAHAA!” came the booming voice of the ogre in mocking laughter. “YOU? A little NOBODY like YOU thinks he can rid the land of the GREAT GRATNACH?”

Maldoven quailed in his boots at the sound of the ogre’s voice, but he stood his ground and called out again:

“I am not afraid of you, Gratnach you wicked ogre. Come out and fight if you are not afraid of me!”

And straight away the ogre came out at the head of his army, but to Maldoven’s relief he saw at once that the ogre had far fewer men than he did and it was not long before Gratnach and his minions had been chased back into their fortress. And now the Duke of Mar, whom some said had ogre blood in him too, came to the help of Gratnach, but he was not able to defeat Maldoven either. Then finally the King came with his army, and he praised Maldoven for his courage and he set up camp outside Gratnach’s castle and waited for the ogre to surrender.

It took many months before the proud ogre finally gave in, but at last a herald came forth with the white flag of surrender, and the King gathered his retinue and rode to meet Gratnach. Maldoven was of course allowed to ride in the King’s retinue, for he had been one of the chief commanders in the siege, and just as they were approaching Gratnach’s party, he gave the magic button a little twist.

Immediately the world turned as still as stone, and everyone but Maldoven became like a statue. Quickly Maldoven went over and slipped out of the King’s hand the parchment scroll he was taking to Gratnach on which were drawn up the terms of surrender demanded by the King. Scanning down the lines Maldoven was not surprised to see that Gratnach’s lands were to be taken over by the King himself, but he had a parchment of his own which he now pulled out. Hastily he copied out all that was written on the King’s parchment, except that now the lands of the ogre were to be granted to Maldoven. Then he slipped the parchment back into the frozen hand of the King, took up his place once more, then gave the magic button another twist.

At once the world came to life again, and the King’s retinue rode on as if nothing had happened. When Gratnach was presented with the parchment he read through it slowly, for he was not an intellectual giant. Then he gave the King a queer look and he gave Maldoven a scowl, and he signed the parchment in silence. The King also signed it, and both put their seals to the document. Only then did the ogre speak up:

“But why you would want to give these lands to a snivelling little nobody like Maldoven of Angus I cannot imagine!”

“What?” cried the King, snatching back the parchment and reading through it feverishly. But there it was plain as day, and with the King’s signature and seal at the bottom. There was nothing he could do, though later on it is said the royal scribe responsible for drawing up the document paid dearly for Maldoven’s trickery.

And so Maldoven was granted the lands of Buchan, which soon became far less grim and barren now that Gratnach had moved out. But alas, Maldoven was still just a Count. If only he could somehow become prestigious enough to claim the lands of Atholl as well, then he could perhaps become Duke of Atholl and live in great wealth and luxury.

As time went by Maldoven’s wife fell ill and died, and after he had recovered from his grief, Maldoven went to the King and asked for the hand of his young cousin Mary in marriage. The King reluctantly agreed, for though he still held a grudge against Maldoven for having somehow acquired Gratnach’s lands, he knew that he was a loyal vassal and should be rewarded. And so Maldoven and Mary were married, and great was the rejoicing throughout the realm. Now the time had come, and Maldoven declared that the lands of Atholl were rightfully his, married as he was to the royal family. Of course the King did not recognize this claim, but nevertheless it would stand Maldoven’s sons in good stead in the future he was sure.

Maldoven never had cause to use his magic button again, but he had many children and more gold than he had ever owned before. And so he lived happily ever after, to the end of his days.



The Kingdom of Scotland in 1100​
 
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Velasco

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Yay! A Farquharson aar!
 

J. Passepartout

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Excellent, a new one! I like the direction this is taking. Hopefully the heirs of our good Maldoven have much aid from the fairies so that they may become the GREATESTOF THEM ALL!!!
 

Van Engel

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Yay, Farq is back. :) Now let's not get too bored with this AAR now ok? :D
 

unmerged(34682)

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Gasp.






Now that was a thrill. A new Farquharson AAR. I like the style! In fact, I was just planning a Verona AAR in a similar style. Oh well.
 
Last edited:

coz1

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Hot damn - a new Farq AAR! And starting off as great as ever. But make sure you use plenty of your excellent Scots accents, ken?
 

Dead William

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Farq! Farq! Farq! He's our man! If he can't do it, well get Martha Stewart! :D

Nice to see you back. Did you cheat in gaining your first lands, or did I read something in there that isn't there? Not that I blame you, just wondering. ( Cheating seems to be that only way to gain a second county, what with all those kings nicking your sieges. That and conquering pagans) So when are you conquering Mecklenburg? :p

Like I said, good to hear from you again! DW
 

Farquharson

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Velasco: Yup, it seems to be!

J.Passepartout: I think the Angus family are going to need all the fairy help they can lay their hands on. ;)

Van Engel: OK, I'll lay my cards on the table from the outset. I don't for a moment expect to take this game right through to 1453 for the simple reason that I have never once so far played a game of CK anywhere past 1300, so why should this one be different? All I promise is that I will keep going as long as I'm enjoying myself, then I'll stop. And you never know - I may break my previous record and get into the 1300s!

Lord J.Roxton: Interesting. The style was inspired by a book of Scottish Fairy Tales that I was reading to my younger daughter. They all seemed very samey, and curiously reminiscent of games of CK - "Once a upon a time there was a king who had three daughters..." etc, etc. I realized it would make a great style for an AAR. So don't let me stop you - let's have another one! :)

coz1: Jings, man, ye didnae think Ah'd be daein' a Scottish AAR wi'oot the accents, did ye? :D

gosam: Thanks, I'll try my best. Keep the feedback coming, too!

King of Men: Thanks. Updates will be at the rate of one per ruler, which I guess will be once or twice a week - no promises though!

Dead William: No I didn't cheat, I just made judicious use of the pause button. I don't know if it works in all versions, but in 1.04 if you get a peace offer in before anyone else when your (Christian) enemy has just lost his last province he will usually (always?) accept, even if it isn't you who has taken control of the province. I think you have to have been part of the besieging force though. So I sit with my finger over the pause button and bang it down the moment the siege is over. It never fails! Grabbing the title was the easy part, of course, since Wicked Ogres' titles are very cheap! ;)

Fiftypence: Thanks - it's good to be back in business!

Alhazen: Welcome, and thanks.

Well I haven't played to the end of the next ruler's reign yet, but he's pushing fifty so expect an update fairly soon. Thanks for all the encouraging comments!
 

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I seem to be queing to praise your next effort... Good job, keep it up! :)
 

unmerged(33638)

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Excellent work Farq good to see you back.

You better hope it is not an Irish fairy, cause they will curse your wicked Scottishness back to the bogs! or something!
 

Farquharson

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Murmurandus: Thanks! It's taken a while to get the next tale ready, but it will be coming right up.

BBBD: Ach, these Irish fairies don't scare me laddie! In fact, I can foresee that I might become King of Ireland before I'm King of Scotland - then I'll give those fairies what for! :D
 

Farquharson

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2: The Mad Count and his Three Sons


Once upon a time there was a Count who had three sons. Sadly their father the Count went mad while they were all still young, so it was left to the three sons to look after the realm. The only thing they could not agree about was which of them would become the next Count when their poor father died. Finally they decided that the inheritance should go to whichever of them proved to be the best with money, for the realm was poor and the King took most of the gold they had.

Now the first son, whose name was Gilbert, became a crafty merchant. He was very clever at making money and was always in the company of traders, wheeling and dealing, plotting and scheming. His first wife was the daughter of the Duke of Meath, and when she died he married the daughter of the Duke of Orkney, who later became the King of Norway. He was sure that he would be the next Count, for who was better with money than him?

But the second son, James, was determined to outdo his brother. He decided that the best thing to do with money was to spend it on his friends, and he would buy them lavish gifts out of his poor father’s meagre savings. He was often seen in the company of a man who described himself as a renowned merchant, but who was actually just a trickster who wanted to get his hands on the Count’s wealth, such as it was. He proposed taking young James on a journey to see the world, a journey which, of course, would have cost far more than the family could afford. It soon became evident that James was a hopeless spender, and no-one (except himself) imagined for a moment that he would inherit anything.

Now the third son, whose name was Duncan, was out in the woods one day when he came upon a poor peasant woman sitting in a clearing weeping. Young Duncan hurried over to see what was the matter with her.


“Oh, kind sir,” she sobbed, “I am just a poor widow, thrown out of my one-room hovel for not paying the rent. My son has gone off to seek his fortune, but where he has gone or what has become of him I do not know.”

“There, there, my good lady,” said Duncan kindly. “I’m sure we can put things to rights in no time. Tell me who your cruel heartless landlord is and I shall have him thrown in irons and the property given to you.”

And so the astonished woman led the way to the home of her landlord, a greedy miser who cared nothing for the old widow’s plight. Duncan had the scoundrel arrested and all his property confiscated, and the poor widow took possession of her meagre lodgings.

When Duncan went home and told his brothers about the poor widow and how he had helped her they just laughed at him. Whichever of them was chosen to succeed their father as Count, it would certainly not be young Duncan, for how would anyone be able to make money by helping the poor?

Now it happened one day that as the sun was getting low and the guards were preparing to lock the gates of the castle for the night, an old tramp appeared knocking and asking for a bite to eat. Duncan was sent for to attend to the visitor if he wished, and the young man hurried to fetch a bowl of soup and a loaf from the kitchens. It turned out that the visitor was no tramp, but a traveller who had come from far away and was near starvation. Duncan bade him stay a night at the castle before going on his way and the traveller gladly accepted. In return, he said, he would tell Duncan of all the wonderful things he had seen and heard on his long travels.

The man had travelled to many distant lands, journeying on foot and on horseback, by ship and even by camel across burning desert sands. He had wondrous tales to tell of kings of fabulous wealth, and strange creatures, and dreadful dangers on the way that he had had to overcome. Duncan listened with rapt attention and each time the traveller fell silent he begged him to tell more. Finally, the man drew out a little flute, and explained the story of how he had come by it.

A wealthy prince in a distant eastern land had given the flute to him as a gift for saving his daughter from a terrible dragon who was ravaging the land. At first the traveller had thought the flute a rather trifling gift for the danger he had had to face to rescue the maiden, but soon he had discovered that it was in fact a magic flute. With that, he picked up the instrument and began to play a few notes. Instantly, before Duncan’s astonished eyes, silver coins began to drop from the mouth of the flute with each note the traveller played.


In the morning, though Duncan tried to persuade the traveller to stay, he insisted that he must be on his way.

“For I am nearly home,” he explained. “My poor mother is a widow and I fear for what might have become of her while I have been away. But now I have a treasure with me that will end all our problems.” And he patted his jacket where he kept the magic flute.


Astonished, Duncan asked the man where his mother lived, and soon realized that it was none other than the poor widow.

“Have no fear for your mother,” said Duncan, and he quickly told the traveller how he had helped the poor woman. The man was overjoyed, and in token of his gratitude he gave Duncan the magic flute.

“For now,” he said, “I have no need of this, because of your kindness to a poor widow.”

So Duncan took the flute, but he kept its magical powers secret. However from that day on he could often be heard playing it, and his brothers also noticed that he always seemed to have plenty of money, although they could not understand where it came from. Soon people began to call him Duncan Silver-tongue, and of course, when the mad Count finally died, there was no longer any doubt about which of his sons would succeed him. Though no-one knew how, young Duncan was clearly the cleverest with money and it was agreed that he would become Count in his turn.

However, as it turned out, Duncan never did become Count, for their mad father went out one day and slew a wicked ogre who happened to be the Duke of Berwick, and took possession of all his lands, and so he became the Duke of Berwick himself, and when he finally died, young Duncan Silver-tongue became the Duke of Berwick in his turn, and he got married and lived happily ever after.



Duncan Silver-tongue​


The Kingdom of Scotland in 1130​
 
Last edited:

unmerged(33638)

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Aug 27, 2004
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Tis an Irish flute, ye thieving Scotish skin flint, I curse ye bones forever!

Great update
 

Dead William

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Actually I would like to know how the Duchy of Berwick fell, was the Ogre of berwick excommunicated too? I must see if that Pause button thing works in the betas. havent had much need for it lately, being KING OF THE WORLD and all. :D Nice update again. I am waiting for little Red Riding hood to show up now..DW