silentsam5

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Chapter 3 - 1084 to 1091: Bad Heir Day

The East Anglicans in the dining hall of Ipswich Castle roar in approval and gusto as Duke Ralf II finishes speaking. Ralf takes his seat at the head of the tables. To his right is the defeated Count Harold of Suffolk, now his vassal, with a dejected countenance and slumped back. The war had lasted barely a war and had been an embarrassing defeat. At the moment, the conquering duke is holding his celebratory feast in the defeated castle itself, and he is forced to sit by the victor's side, his new liege. Ralf, however, does not intend to have Harold keep the title, for Harold lacks a legitimate heir, and, upon his death, the county of Suffolk would go to his mother, queen on the Irish kingdom of Connachta.

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For now, though, Ralf lacks a just claim to revoke the county and must sit by and pray for Harold's health. And anyway, he has other prey on his mind. The last 'free' county that is a de jure part of East Anglia is Essex, just south of Suffolk, and it is the next target of Ralf's conquests.

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Unfortunately, The Count of Essex, Earl Skuli, is allied with not one, but two dukes, making an attack on him eligible for retaliation from both. However, it is possible that neither would come to Essex's aid, thinking that the county does indeed belong in East Anglia. After all, Harold of Suffolk had several allies, none of which came to his aid. Ralf decides that the best course of action is to wait and rebuild the caches of gold after the war for Suffolk.

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Another problem arises after his victory. Rumors spread across the realm that the Duchess of East Anglia, Agathe, is barren. Despite being with Ralf for 5 years, she has failed to deliver any heirs.

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In October 1085, news reaches Ralf that Earl Harold of Suffolk has finally produced an heir, a daughter named Gytha. This secures Suffolk in East Anglia, and it appears that Ralf will allow Harold to keep hold of his county.

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The next month, Ralf's heir and half brother Catguethen reaches manhood. He is considered a very ambitious young man, and a suitable heir to the Duchy of East Anglia, at least until Ralf has a son.

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In April of 1086, King Harold of England dies while in a coma. Unfortunately, a few weeks before his death, when it became apparent that he had not long for this world, the dukes of Kent and Mercia switched their votes around, in order to keep England out of the hands of Duke Morcar and York, and put the Duke of Essex as the next king of England. Immediately upon taking the crown, King Leofheah announces his plans to extend crown authority, asking for all his vassals to show their support. Ralf promptly ignores him.

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In July, to officially forge an alliance between East Anglia and York, Ralf suggests the betrothal of his half sister Cecilia, aged 13, and Duke Morcar's son and heir, age 18. Morcar accepts enthusiastically.

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In February of 1087, King Leofheah passes the extension of crown authority. vassals are no longer allowed the right to wage war among themselves.

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In July, Cecilia comes of age and is married to the son of Duke Morcar. The alliance is officially forged. However, it is fairly useless while the crown authority is so high.

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As the year turned to 1089 King Leofheah declares war on Scotland, citing that the county of Teviotdale rightfully belongs in the Kingdom of England. unnoticed by King Leofheah, there has been a growing faction of resistance to the high crown authority. Ralf is one of them, as is Duke Morcar and the Duchesses of Mercia and Hwicce.

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Within a few months, the county of Teviotdale is in English hands.

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In February of 1090, Duke Morcar dies a natural death. His Duchy of York goes to his son, husband of Cecilia, Ælfgar. His other title, Duchy of Northumbria, goes to his youngest living son, Æthelberht. With a severely weakened faction, lower crown authority slips a little further away.

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Ralf, meanwhile, is leading troops in Scotland, where the war carries on. Then, in April, a messenger of the King arrives carrying a letter offering Ralf the position of Marshal of England. Ralf accepts.

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In July, terrible news reaches the quarters of Ralf. A plot has been discovered by his Spymaster Ceolwulf. A plot for Ralf's life, led by none other than Catguethen. Ralf orders his capture and imprisonment. In a week's time, it is done, Catguethen is safely locked in the dungeon of Thetford Castle, awaiting the judgement of the Duke.

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In 1091, a messenger reaches the front lines of the war. It is a letter to Ralf from his imprisoned half brother. An apology? Nay. It is a letter complaining about the dark and inhospitable dungeon which is his new home. Ralf throws the letter into the camp fire, not bothering to reply.

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In July, Chancellor Rumon finally passes away, after nearly 30 years of service. His skill is irreplaceable, but Ralf's half brother Guoletec is made Chancellor in his place. Guoletec is a skilled diplomat, although he does suffer from occasional shyness.

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Next month, the leader of the faction against crown authority sends a message to the King, demanding, on behalf of all involved, decreased crown authority. The King refuses, starting the First English Civil War.

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TheAnguishedOne

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Crown Authority is really hurting your efforts to gain more power. Hopefully this rebellion ends in your favor so you can Essex.
 

loup99

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Hopfully you will win this revolt and manage to weaken the king sufficiently for him and his sucessors not be able to restore Medium Crown Authority.
 
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blitzthedragon

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Think I'll follow this.
 

silentsam5

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Chapter 4 - 1091 to 1097: The First English Civil War

The messenger reaches Duke Ralf II in the camps in occupied Scotland a few days before August, 1091. It brings news of Duchess Ealdgyth of Hwicce's intent to go to war against the King. Ralf, as a member of the faction led by Ealdgyth, is expected to support her in the endeavor. Ralf gathers the East Anglican troops in the camp and immediately leaves for Norfolk. Sending a messenger ahead of him on horse, telling East Anglia to raise troops and prepare to march. By the time war breaks out on August 2nd, he and his troops are in York. Here, another messenger from Ealdgyth reaches him, requesting he become a commander under her and marshal of the revolt. He accepts both titles.

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Within a week, he arrives back in Norfolk, where an army of 1700 awaits him. Harold of Suffolk, a commander of East Anglia, is given charge of the troops. He and his troops leave immediately, heading to meet and combine with the other troops of the revolt. He meets them in Northampton where they begin besieging the English Castle. To the north, an English army of 7 thousand begins besieging the Castle of York.

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In February of 1092, the East Anglican spymaster has uncovered another plot against Ralf's life. This time, by his father's widowed wife. Since Ralf I's death, Gunhild left East Anglia and married one of the Welsh kings.

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In July, the siege of Northampton ends, and the city of Cambridge, Northampton, is next. Further north, the Castle of York falls as well.

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The next month, Ralf announces that his wife is finally pregnant. Despite the Kingdom's current state, East Anglia is overjoyed.

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In September, the 8 thousand man army moves down from York and engages the rebel army. It is a close defeat, with the victors barely emerging any better off than the defeated. The entirety of the East Anglican army is scattered, the survivors fleeing in all directions.

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Luckily, the gold stores of Norfolk and Suffolk are untouched, and a band of nearly 3 thousand mercenaries are hired to put the war back in the revolt's favor. They are sent to regroup with the routing revolt troops in Lincoln. Once they have, the armies move to liberate York.

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In March of 1093, yet another plot is uncovered by the spymaster, this time for the life of Catguethen, traitor of East Anglia. The plot is led by Catguethen's brother, Chancellor of East Anglia, Guoletec. Ralf sends a letter demanding he ends the plot. Guoletec grudgingly accepts.

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That same month, Agathe gives birth to Ralf's first son and new heir. He is named Ralf, after his father and grandfather. Ralf III, future Duke of East Anglia.

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In April, Scotland surrenders, ceding the county of Teviotdale to England.

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Far away in the Holy Lands, word spreads across Christian Europe of abuse against holy pilgrims. Pope Eugenius immediately calls for a crusade to reconquer the Holy Land of Jerusalem for the Catholics. Rulers from all over Europe answer the call, sending their men to war.

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In August, York and Northampton are both liberated from enemy occupation. The Rebel army moves to retake Northampton. A few weeks after, Agathe is again pregnant.

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Northampton falls a second time in February of 1094, and in April, Agathe gives birth a daughter. She is named Margaret.

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In May, the rebel army engages England in the county of Oxford. Despite advantage of numbers, it is another defeat. The rebels retreat to Wiltshire to recover.

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In December, Oxford's castle falls. Meanwhile, every rebel troops that can be found is massing for one final attack on the English Army, and on New Years day of 1095, they assault the enemy on two sides. It is the first victory for the revolt, with three quarters of the English army dead or scattered. The rest flee to Bedford where they are eventually encircled and destroyed.

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The war continues with the occasional skirmish between rebel and English armies, although the rebels always come out on top. The main army moves to besiege the capital, Middlesex.

In August of 1095, Agathe gives birth to yet another child, a boy they name Cenguethen.

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In June of 1096, Westminster, the primary castle of the capital, falls to rebel troops.
The rest of the year the war is uneventful. A few loyal English castles are besieged and taken by the revolt, and a few skirmishes end in rebel victory.
1097 brings ill news, as the Duchess of Hwicce and leader of the revolt dies. The new Duke of hwicce is her son, 13 year old Cadoc. However, a few months later, King Leofheah of England also dies, for he lost both a hand and a foot in the war, one from sword and one from infection, which had left him a sickly cripple.

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Finally on June 20th, 1097, the new King Eadwig II of England, who was sympathetic to the revolt prior to kingship, offers peace with lowered crown authority. The war that started nearly 6 years before, ends.

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silentsam5

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NOTE, my internet has been on the fritz lately, so I didn't read this through all that well. I'm sorry if there are any typos or grammatical errors.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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The rebellion is successful! With the lowered crown authority, you can finally start gathering more power. Hopefully the crown of England will soon be yours...

About time to get the heir. You might be stuck in regency for awhile. Already on Ralf III though. How high will it be by the end? :p
 

DensleyBlair

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The Anarchy that was England in the Middle Ages has got off to a highly promising start, I see. We'll have Norfolks on the throne in no time! And Thetford will be the beating heart of the kingdom! :p
 

silentsam5

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About time to get the heir. You might be stuck in regency for awhile. Already on Ralf III though. How high will it be by the end? :p

I thought of a fun little way to both make the AAR feel a bit more inclusive and have some fun. I could name all my children after people who comment :)

The Anarchy that was England in the Middle Ages has got off to a highly promising start, I see. We'll have Norfolks on the throne in no time! And Thetford will be the beating heart of the kingdom! :p

De Gaels will rule this kingdom!
 

DensleyBlair

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I thought of a fun little way to both make the AAR feel a bit more inclusive and have some fun. I could name all my children after people who comment :)

Having Densley of Norfolk running about some day certainly sounds like an excellent plan.
 

loup99

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Finally some direct heirs, Ralf II was getting old! And you won the war as well, but as many battles were close, you must have lost a big part of the armies of East Anglia, so before building up more of a powerbase you will have to regenerate your levies and assemble more funds. Essex seems to have participated in the civil war too, though, so they and their allies might be weaker now.
 

DKM

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Good job on the revolt success as well as the successful build-up of your powerbase. Are you upgrading your holdings?
I thought of a fun little way to both make the AAR feel a bit more inclusive and have some fun. I could name all my children after people who comment
So you're going to name a child Donkey Kong Master? :p
 

Saxon125

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Your'll really name a child Saxon? I'm touched. :)
 

loup99

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Loup would totally fit in for a child (for real, it is an actual name, albeit not mine), but I think Ralf XX sounds better! :p
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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Naming after people who comment is nice idea, to add variety to the rulers.
 

silentsam5

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Thanks for the comment's guys. I won't be able to update tonight (it is near midnight where I live), I was busy all day. Next update will be tomorrow.

Would you guys rather I only name direct heirs after commenters? That way they most likely stick around a lot longer. Or just any children the current ruler has?
 

TheAnguishedOne

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I agree with Attalus. Naming any child after a viewer would mean there's a chance for some interesting claimant wars.

"Loup has begun gathering an army, intent on declaring war for my crown!"
 

DensleyBlair

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Would you guys rather I only name direct heirs after commenters? That way they most likely stick around a lot longer. Or just any children the current ruler has?

As long as Densley of Norfolk is titled when he eventually appears, I don't mind. :p
 

silentsam5

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Great. I'll probably start doing that from now on! I always enjoyed giving the children funny names.