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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stnylan

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So perhaps it will be possible to "milk" that trade post every so often?
 
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So perhaps it will be possible to "milk" that trade post every so often?
Oh yes it will be, in spite of Phillipe's disdain for command he is perfectly happy using coercion to strengthen himself... Thank you so much for your input!
 
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January 1084

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January 1084



The keep in Melun was crowded, and noisy from the many people in the hall. Though the night was young, some were already drunk, like Phillipe’s mother Anna, who had been brought to her chambers after passing out at her seat. Phillipe himself had drank a decent amount of wine, and he felt flushed with warmth that the drink had gave him. All in all, the wine and the company made him feel jovial, along with the reasons for holding the feast in the first place. Ingrid clapped enthusiastically as she watched a troop of firebreathers perform bellow the dais, and some distance away from the other tables,”They are excellent, perhaps we could make use of them in battle.”
Phillipe shook his head,”No my dear, my cousin Robrecht says they would be too impractical, the materials needed are too expensive, and an arrow can kill a man as easily as fire.”
Ingrid nodded,”That is true.”
She then placed a hand on her belly, chuckling as their unborn child kicked,”He is excited my love.”
“Good, let’s hope that he is not too rowdy once he comes into this world, lest he prove troublesome to his brother.”
Ingrid smirked,”Yes, but I will make sure that he behaves.”
Phillipe chuckled,”Of that I am sure Ingrid. “
Anna of Kiev, January 1084.PNG

King Phillipe January 1084.PNG

Queen Ingrid January 1084.PNG

Duke Robrecht of Flanders, January 1084.PNG

Fireeaters at feast, January 1084.PNG

As Phillipe took a sip of his wine, he heard a deep voice muse to his right,”I hope that your sister and I may be similarly blessed.”
He set the cup down, and looked to the right, where his brother by law Guilhem sat next to his half-sister, Adele, smiling,”I am sure you will be, you are both young, and have plenty of time to give me nephews.”
Guilhem smirked,”Ah. The sooner the better I say.” He then turned to Adele and planted a kiss on her cheek, which caused her to turn scarlet,”Of course husband, though perhaps we should not speak of such things publicly.”
The young man nodded his head reluctantly,”If that is what you wish.”
I hope that her prudishness does not cause him to stray from his vows.
Guilhem de Poitou, January 1084.PNG

Adele de Vexin Amiens, January 1084.PNG

Phillipe tried to banish the unhappy thought from his mind, but was unsuccessful, the thought of Adele, his sister and eldest daughter’s closest companion, being hurt by her husband, even in a way that wasn’t physical, darkened his thoughts. Still he sought to distract himself somehow, and turned to where his stepbrother, Simon de Vexin-Amiens quietly sat,”What do you think of my efforts in Iberia, Simon?”
The man finished chewing some beef,”I heartily approve of them, you have managed to beat back the infidel time and time again. So much so that the others grow nervous for their power.”
Phillipe was intrigued by this, and asked,”Why is that brother?”
Simon rose an eyebrow,“Have you not heard? The Seljuks in Persia have been overthrown by his Emirs, and Persia is no longer united under one Turk.”
Phillipe smiled at this,”That is well, as it will give the Greeks in Constantinople some breathing room.”
The other man nodded,”The infidels also fight amongst themselves, the Abbasid Caliph is troubled by the fact that the Shia Fatimids have taken their holy city of Mecca, and has urged the Sunni to wage what they call Jihad.”
“What is that?”
“Honestly I’m not entirely sure, to me it seems to be a Holy War on a much larger scale.”
“And you think they will focus their efforts on the Shia?”
“Yes I think they will, after all they seem to be their most immediate concern.”
Phillipe nodded,”Good then, perhaps my Kingdom will see a respite from war.”
Simon de Vexin-Amiens, January 1084.PNG

Seljuk collapse January 1084.PNG

Middle East Map, January 1084.PNG

Caliph Muhammad Janaury 1084.PNG

Renewed Jihad, January 1084.PNG

“I hope so Phillipe. Perhaps God rewards you for your efforts. France sees peace and prosperity, while you have your fourth child along the way, I can hardly see it as anything else.”
The king grinned,”Good, it is well that God appreciates this land, the eldest daughter of the holy mother church, that will do whatever it takes to follow his will.”
Simon beamed at this, and raised his cup, exclaiming,”I propose a toast: To France, and our august King Phillipe, who will continue to lead us to glory in the decades to come.”
 
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Queen Ingrid, how did such a sweet girl acquire the nickname "affable"? Can she be allowed to help terrorists (rebels) remember and reveal their plots? Simon (dip 3) explains foreign affairs. Can he find the English Channel?
 
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Queen Ingrid, how did such a sweet girl acquire the nickname "affable"? Can she be allowed to help terrorists (rebels) remember and reveal their plots? Simon (dip 3) explains foreign affairs. Can he find the English Channel?
I must say, that it is one of the most baffling nicknames I've seen in a while... My guess is that(in the story at least) it's meant to either be a sarcastic dig at her formidable nature, or celebrates the loving relationship she has with her husband.. She will continue to have her moments in the future, though thankfully things are calm at the moment. Simon for his part is very similar to his stepbrother in his religious leanings: obessed with the notion that the Muslims, if allowed to take more of Iberia, may threaten France itself.. Thank you so much for your insights!
 

stnylan

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So will the Muslimes manage a counter-stroke to Christianity.
 
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So will the Muslimes manage a counter-stroke to Christianity.
Perhaps, they will certainly try.. Whether they're successful is another matter entirely... Thank you very much!
 
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July 1084



They all stood in the Cathedral of St. Denis, as rain pelted the roof of the great building. Still, while the rain likely could drown those too stupid to seek shelter, it would not drown out the sound of his newborn son’s shrill cries. Said cries only lasted for a moment, as Ingrid hushed the child and pressed little Louis against her chest. The French King smiled as he looked on, a second son, essential not only for my own happiness, but the safety of the succession. Of course, he did not wish for any harm to befall his elder boy, but he knew that it was entirely possible that he could either die young or have only daughters. He looked on as Ingrid passed their son over to Berenguié, the Count of Gévaudan, who he chose to be the boy’s godfather, an inoffensive choice. Indeed, weeks before the ceremony he had faced a very real dilemma, for the other candidates were either his brother Hugues, or Robrecht, the Duke of Flanders. For obvious reasons his wife would have berated him if he had picked Hugues, while Phillipe was reluctant to give his Flemish cousin any more influence than he had already enjoyed. The bald man smiled as he took the infant into his arms, and walked over to where Cardinal Gilles, who held the Bishopric of Fontevraud-l’Abbaye and was known for his virtuous conduct, a good, godly man. Soon enough the Cardinal held the Prince in his arms and brought him to the basin of holy water. After murmuring some Latin hymns, he took a small handful of the water, and washed it over the Prince’s face, who squalled in response.
Prince Louis, birth and baptism choice, July 1084.PNG

Count Berenguiue, made godfather of Prince Louis, July 1084.PNG

The Duke of Normandy, who stood next to Phillipe, motioned towards the scene, and murmured softly,”He has a strong cry.”
Phillipe nodded at this,”Yes, though let’s hope he does not prove too headstrong.”
“Indeed, it would be unbecoming for him to outshine his elder brother.”
“That is why I keep my younger brother at an arm’s length. I love him dearly, but he presumes too much because of our relation. Which brings me to why you are here right now.”
William rose an eyebrow,”And why is that?”
“I think you are a good role model, the foremost man in the realm besides myself, yet, despite your accolades, you are loyal. I wish for Louis to be the same as you when he is of age. So I would like you to educate him, should you be amiable to the idea.”
The Duke stood silent for a moment, intently watching as the Prince was placed back into the Queen’s arms. Finally, he replied,”It would be an honor your majesty.”
Phillipe nodded,”Good.”
Duke William II of Normandy, July 1084.PNG

Duke William II of Normandy is educator of Prince Louis, July 1084.PNG

Baptism of Prince Louis, July 1084.PNG


He soon looked on to where his older children stood, by his half-sister Adele and her own parents. Emma for her part stood close to her aunt, holding a small hat that she had sewed for her youngest brother, as she wished to give it to him once the ceremony concluded. Prince Charles stood quietly by his step grandfather the Duke of Picardie, beaming at the man, he has a high opinion of the man as I do, I hope that this will help him find allies within the realm.
Indeed, Duke Raoul was well connected, not only as stepfather to the King and educator of Prince Charles, but through his daughter’s marriages. His eldest daughter, Alix-Adele was Countess of Vermandois, married to Herbert, the Karling Count who ruled that region. His second eldest Adelaide meanwhile was both Dowager Duchess of Champagne, and, for several years now, has been Countess of Melgueil through her second marriage. The greatest coup of course, was the marriage between Phillip’s half-sister, Adele and Guilhém de Poitou, the heir to the largest inheritance in the realm, other than the crown itself. The Princess Anne was nuzzled up to her grandmother and namesake The Duchess of Picardie, who Phillipe knew would be a comforting presence in such overwhelming jubilation.
Princess Emma July 1084.PNG

Prince Charles, July 1084.PNG

Princess Anne, July 1084.PNG


As the ceremony was all but over, and Ingrid walked towards him with their youngest in her arms Phillipe smirked, Those who thought her incapable of bearing sons should feel very foolish.
 
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Ah, a son. A very important thing.
 
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Ah, a son. A very important thing.
It certainly is in a Kingdom that practices salic law.... In a way a second son also helps secure Phillipe's legitimacy as a ruler, as he's provided stability to the dynasty.... Let's just say that Louis will certainly have an interesting life... Thank you very much!
 
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January 1086


“Sire, the situation is dire.”
Phillipe sighed at the words of Cardinal Raymond, not bothering to hide his disdain for this,”First it was the heretics and now it’s the Occitans. Perhaps I should see both burn.”
The Duke of Flanders chuckled, trying to bring levity to the council meeting,”We would have to defeat them first milord.”
Duke Etienne of Champagne rose an eyebrow,”Which may be easier said than done… The heretics have ambushed and slaughtered several groups of levies, it would seem that they hope to whittle us down to the point of defeat.”
The King’s stepfather then interjected.”And, even if we do defeat the heretics, we will have lost some men in the process, making us weaker in the face of the southerners.”
The Duke of Normandy took a small sip of wine,”Still, things are not hopeless.”
The Duke of Champagne scoffed at this,”Oh yes, you and all of your military accomplishments. Tell me old man, how is England doing? I here the Saxons would prefer even the barbarous Godwins to you.”
William rolled his eyes in response,”I saw that England was a lost cause, because it was. This is not. Might I remind you, boy, that it was I and the heroic lady Jeanne who crushed the Aftasids, not you.”
King Phillipe grunted,”Yes, that is enough Champagne. Now, Raoul, I would like you to draft a missive summoning the King of the Bretons to assist us against both groups of rebels.”
Duke Robrecht then asked,”What of our army? Who would you have lead it?”
Phillipe turned towards the sulking red-haired man,”Duke Etienne shall lead it. I think it a good opportunity for some glory, as will as a way to prove that you are still a good leader of men. What you say you to this?”
The Duke’s demeanor drastically changed at this, anger replaced with gratitude,”I would be honored to do so my King. I vow that the heretics will be utterly crushed, or that I will die trying.”
Phillipe laughed at this from his seat,”Let us hope that it does not come to that, though I am confident that you will succeed.”
The other men sat quietly, some with grave looks of concern, and others looking hopeful, and Phillipe cleared his throat,”This session of the royal council is dismissed, you all can do as you wish now.”
Cardinal Raymond of Reims, January 1086.PNG

Occitan revolt, January 1086.PNG

King of the Bretons called into war against heretics, January 1086.PNG

Ambushed levies at St.Agnitan January 1086.PNG

Ambushed levies at blois, Janaury 1086.PNG


Phillipe Capet was on his knees in the chapel, the sole occupant of the room. The cool metal of the crucifix chilled his hands, while his stomach grumbled. Illuminated by candlelight he had be in prayer for hours now, and had skipped the usual supper with his family. Ingrid was, no doubt angry, but this, the fate of his kingdom was more important,”Lord, give my men the strength to defeat the heretic, and rebel, both of whom wish to topple the natural order that you have created. Give them the zeal of John the Baptist, the courage of Saint Catherine and the wisdom of the Lady Jeanne, of whom I have no doubt is in heaven, urging you to strike down the heretic and rebel alike.” (1) As this final prayer concluded, Phillipe heard a strange noise from outside the windows of the chapel. The flapping of wings, followed by harsh cawing, These crows must be a sign from God... Of death, but of whom? My loyal subjects, or my enemies?


(1) Saint Catherine of Alexandria
 
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First Lieutenant
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Angry Ingrid, Not Good! For whom does the raven call, tis the question.
Yes, Ingrid certainly is formidable, though thankfully she mostly directs her energy towards Phillipe's enemies... As for the crows, we will have to see.... Thank you very much!!!
 
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