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FrozenWall

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The Caroliniad


The dark ages have descended upon Europe. The light of noble order that was the Empire has faded. In every corner and at every turn unwashed barbarians squat in the squalid remains of civilization built by minds far greater than their own. The order of righteous and God given hierarchy is turned upside down. Lowly usurers style themselves Kings and Emperors. Infidels gather great libraries of books written by others and think themselves learned for it. Powdered Greeks strut around like peacocks behind their walls and think themselves Romans. Peasants refuse to pay dues to their Lords. The words of the Pope go unheeded.



It was not always thus. There were once men who upheld the natural order. Men who held the barbarians and infidels at bay, who held the usurers and peasants in their place, and who heeded the word of God and his representatives. These men were the descendants of Carloman, anointed by the Vicar of Christ to bring order into the chaos. And for many generations they fought to spread the word of God and peace of Christ into the deep distant lands of the North and South. Holding the bastions of civilization against Vikings and Saxons and Andalusians alike. Their rule spread from the Bretons to the Slavs, from the Danes to the Catalans. And for a time Europe saw peace and just rule, the nobles were chivalrous, the priests holy, the peasantry and burghers content and obedient. But it was not to last. Greed and insolence took hold in the hearts of men. And one by one the heirs of Carloman fell to intrigue and poison, until there were none left to stem the tide of chaos. Their land were beset by vultures, with any wealth or virtue striped from them, and on their thrones and in the capitals of the old Frankish kingdoms now sit de Poitous, de Bourgognes, Capets, Bosonids and Salians. And they all rise against each other with fire and sword in the name of profit and prestige. The lands burn and the Angels weep, as darkness yet again engulfs light and pagans gather at the gates of Christendom.












But in a far off frontier holdfast, upon a throne of simple wood, sit Eudes de Vermadois.

Last of the Carolingians.




MP thread <- Non-AAR talk here please, new players welcome.

The Caroliniad, by Frosty, Vermadois
Chapter 1, part 2

The sons of Raghnall, by KoM, Scotland
Ch 1
Ch 2
CH 3

All of Europe shall speak Saintongeais, by JasonOfArgos, Poitou
Ch 1

Hell Wants Its Master - AAR of the Hentzaus, by Kuipy, Tyrolen
Ch 1
Ch 2

Ynglinga Saga, by Fasquardon, Morocco
Ch 1

Hold the line, loyal Turóc! Turóc? Where did you go? by Lordling, Transylvania
Ch 1

The Therin Chronicles - A tale of Abyssinia. by Cyrileom, Abyssinia
Ch 1

Byzzy Updates by Khan XLT, Georgia
Ch 1
Ch 2
Ch 3

Brandenburg Mupdates by Wraith, Brandenburg
Ch 1

de Canal by Mark, Venice
Ch 1
 
Last edited:

Emperor Ike

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I'll be expecting those monthly checks Frosty.
 

King of Men

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I take it the misspelling 'Dodge' is intentional? :D Also, Poitou did not take all the coastal provinces of Ireland; proud Ulster still holds out against the invader!

Your family CoA is black in the screenshot. I saw somewhere that this can be fixed by deleting the flags folder and letting it be regenerated. I suggest you take a backup if you try it.
 

Arilou

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Sweet, MP CK2 AAR's!
 

Hannibal X

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What is KoM playing- he always has the best AARs (although your approximation of Ulm-style is also well appreciated, Frosty)
 

FrozenWall

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What is KoM playing- he always has the best AARs (although your approximation of Ulm-style is also well appreciated, Frosty)
He is the Scotts player (note all the progeny, we may have to engage in some preventive assassination to save us from his usual inheritance shenanigans). However we are using all the expansions, so with any luck the Aztecs will eat him and allow me to usurp the mantle of best aar writer. >:]


My thought was to do a kind of dual style AAR, with a story driven text heavy part from the Carolingian perspective, and a more OOC commentary in the form of Svip-style comics.
 
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cyrileom

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Ah dammit. Now I have to friggin take screenshots. Ah well, hopefully a successful Ethiopia might be interesting. Speaking of which, can any participant start writing?
 

FrozenWall

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You guys are using Sunset Invasion? What...
There was a vote. The vote showed we have too many eastern players in the game... >.>
 

Emperor Ike

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Ah dammit. Now I have to friggin take screenshots. Ah well, hopefully a successful Ethiopia might be interesting. Speaking of which, can any participant start writing?
Only on Ederon may the rest of us write for there are reasons why only Frosty is allowed to write here and not the rest of us. Reason that have been discussed on Ederon and discussing more OOC/Spam here risks too much. So we shall give Frosty a chance to write good AARs. Or else he'll see the Russian Dwarf Assassins under his bed.
 

cyrileom

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Got it. Thanks for the heads up.
 

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I love MP AARs, the craziest stuff always happens in them. Good luck guys!
 

Juan_de_Marco

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hooraay! MP goodness with screenshots.
 

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The Caroliniad
Ch. 1, part 2

The castle of Rethel was, in all honesty, no real castle at all. At least, not in the way they are imagined in the stories. With great big walls, mighty keeps, drawbridges, balistae and knights in shining armour. In truth there was only one knight in all the lands of Vermadois, and he was count Eudes himself. His capital in Rethel was for all intents and purposes a guard post overlooking the crossing of the river Aisne, a large two story stone house surrounded by a wooden palisade and earthwork. There was a small stable of two dozen horses for his retainers, and in the area between the castle and the bridge over the river there was an Inn and a few cots housing tradesmen hawking their wares and goods to travellers passing between Paris and Lotharingia. It was no Constantinople, but it provided enough for Eudes to wear the best chainmail you could find in Frankia and allowed for employing enough guardsmen to keep the roads and woods free of bandits.

His father and grandfather had been stewards in Paris, and his lands squarely in the center of the Empire of the Franks, with no need for fortifications or defences. The woods and fields had been excellent hunting grounds and provided the best wine in Europe. But that was all gone, now Vermadois was the frontier between the German Empire and France and any host of war would surely ravage their way through these lands if hostilities flared up. It was however not the Germans Eudes worried over, but his Duke. One Thibault de Blois. Nominally the Duke of Champagne and Orleans he ruled neither. The Capetian child-King held Orleans itself as his personal fief and there was not much Thibault could do there. In Campagne however the fault laid with Eudes, who had centralized most power in Champagne to himself while the Duke held court on the other side of Paris. The barons dined with him in Rethel, the city guards were largely in his employ, and he had sided with the church when Thibault wished to raise a tax upon their lands. But the Duke was no fool, he understood as well as anybody else that Eudes had taken one too many looks upon his family tree and been smitten by the kind ambition that afflicts only madmen and landless sons of kings.

In Eudes hand was a letter. A letter informing of his intent to move his court to Châtillion. At the centre of Champagne. It was nothing less than a revocation of half of the lands answering to Eudes. Granted, the Duke was not stupid enough to arrive without his entire host, and gathering them would not be possible until summer. The Capetian child-King had neither the will nor the power to intercede with less than bringing the entire kingdom into rebellion, and there were rumours the burghers in the south were sending out secret invitations to mercenary captains all over the lands in preparation for cutting themselves loose from feudal power.

Eudes read the letter again. It was hardly even polite enough for him to accept the Dukes command with his honour intact if he had wanted to. What he needed now was time. Time and gold. Enough to bring Vermadois squarely into line behind him. Which was why he sat here now, on a wooden throne in a wooden castle, awaiting the mayors and burgomeisters to arrive. He supposed they would be less than thrilled over his plans to usurp the rights to every bridge, ferry and gate in the lands, but the Carolingian Empire would not conquer itself on the cheap...
 

FrozenWall

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*note; due to our gang having incurred the wrath of the moderators in previous campaigns we are not allowed to spam the aar area, instead this thread will be curated by the GM (yours truly) and player AARs reposted here from an undisclosed location high in the Alps. If we are nice and eat our vegetables normal posting will resume come EU III (or IV, as the case may be)





The Sons of Raghnall​
by King of Men, Scotland​

Well the Dane-Axe Could Wield

From the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Spring 1976 issue:

The 1910 discovery, in a job lot of manuscripts bought for ten pounds at an estate sale in Warwickshire, of what appeared to be an early draft of Macbeth, naturally excited much skeptical comment among art historians and Shakespeare scholars. Shakespeare's plays were, at the time, undergoing something of a revival, and along with such interest came the usual minor flurry of conspiracy theories, far-out critical commentary, and of course forgeries. The "Raghnall Macbeth", therefore, was a bit of a flash in the pan; after an exquisitely polite controversy in (no less!) the letters section of the Edinburgh Times, the manuscript was, in the main, forgotten, even by the Magdalene College, which presumably came to regret its decision to shell out a full thousand pounds - a huge sum at the time - to acquire it from the lucky buyer.

More recently, however, the manuscript resurfaced in a house-cleaning at Magdalene, and techniques hopefully more effective than the opinionating of Edwardian amateur scholars were brought to bear. It is of course impossible to say with certainty that the Raghnall Macbeth was, in fact, written by the hand of Shakespeare himself, and that the character of Raghnall was excised by later editing or perhaps even censorship. We can, however, say that the manuscript can be carbon dated to the last decade of the sixteenth century; that the handwriting is not incompatible with the few other extant samples of the Bard's writing (although since these are only signatures, the analysis is somewhat doubtful - in fact the Raghnall Macbeth, if genuine, is the baseline sample with which others should be compared); and that word-frequency analysis shows that the style of the writing is fully compatible with the canonical text of Macbeth, and with other Shakespeare plays of the same period. If it is a forgery, then, it is one of extreme sophistication.

Taking the manuscript at face value for the sake of argument, then, we can begin to tease out a few theories of its significance. Although it is sometimes called an "early" draft, this is not really accurate; much of the text is identical (apart of course from idiosyncracies of spelling) to the First Folio version. The major difference is in the character of Raghnall, presumably to be identified with the founder of the eponymous clan, even though he is called "Randall" in Shakespeare's eccentric Anglicised spelling. Unusually, he is not introduced until Act V of the play, in Scene IV* - the star indicating that the scene is not to be found in the canonical text; Scene V' of the Raghnall thus corresponds to Scene IV of canon. The unusual step of introducing a character with many speaking lines so late in the play may, perhaps, indicate that Shakespeare was struggling to shoehorn in an idea that did not really fit. Like many writers of historical fiction, he may have done "too much research", and found that not everything he learned about his era could be put to good use. If so, he had at least the good sense to cut the superfluous characters from the final draft - a sensibility we might wish on any number of modern writers.

-----------------------------------


The Raghnall Macbeth
Act V
Scene IV*

Malcolm: But hold; who's this that comes before us in arms?

Randall: Sea-drifted men, badly starred.

Malcolm: An ill star may be turned to good fortune; for I see you are well armed. Need have I of fighting men, to unseat the usurper Macbeth.

Randall: Cause have we to be unfriends with usurpers. From Stamford are we come, where fell the true King of England, ambushed by the caitiff Harold.

Malcolm: Then how come you here?

Randall: By storm and shipwreck. Three hundred ships left Norway, to take in England by arms what we should have received in justice. Many's the man fought on that day, well the Dane-axe could wield! Yet, when night came, too many lay, stricken on Stamford's field. Twenty-five ships we were, when again we set sail for Norway. Nor was the tale of our woes therewith done; for on the third night came a storm, and the fleet was scattered. Three days and three nights we fought the winds, and at last were driven ashore on this craggy coast, unknowing where we had been blown.

Malcolm: This is Scotland, and this my host intends to take by arms what I should have received in justice.

Randall (kneels and offers his sword): Then, Sire King, gladly I'll serve your cause. Let good luck make amends for ill; if once we have failed to seat a true king on his rightful throne, let us be nowise downhearted, but trust that second try will give first success.

Malcolm (takes the sword): That is well spoken; take you then arms of me, and be later lawfully seised of estates we shall seize from the usurper.

-----------------------------------


It is clear that Shakespeare is trying to connect the famous MacRaghnalls to his obscure bit of Scottish history, perhaps in an attempt to flatter the dynasty or to please the crowd; in Scene V', he gives Raghnall the idea of bearing branches from Birnam Wood, which in the canonical Scene IV comes from Malcolm. This is not unreasonable as history, Raghnall being presumably an experienced soldier who had served long with Harald Hardråde, a man notorious - at least in saga - for clever schemes; while Malcolm is an inexperienced man recently come into adulthood. Shakespeare uses this to explain how Raghnall, a completely obscure figure before the settlement in 1066, could acquire so much land in Scotland - obviously, Malcolm wished to lavishly reward good service! Again this is not completely implausible, it being an age in which adventurers could both rise and fall very rapidly, except for the anachronism. Raghnall claims to be fleeing Stamford Bridge when he meets Malcolm; but the historical Macbeth died in 1057. That said, chronology of the eleventh century is notoriously inaccurate, and Shakespeare may certainly be forgiven this minor detail of nine years; more seriously, the explanation does not work as theatre. It dilutes the attention among several enemies of Macbeth, without gaining any real dramatic interest from Raghnall; the canonical version with a single powerful antagonist is much more satisfying.

Theatre aside, Shakespeare does raise an interesting question: How did this apparent adventurer, unmentioned in any primary source until so late a date as 1255 (when a literate clan head decided, apparently for purposes of supporting his claims at law to certain estates in Galloway, to write down the oral account of his forefathers), rise to hold such wide lands? It was, of course, an age of axe and sword, wolf and raven. A good man of his hands could hurtle from owning his weapons and boots and nothing else, to great wealth, in a year - and lose it again just as fast, as demonstrated by, for example, Tostig Godwinsson. Shakespeare's depiction is, if not necessarily accurate, at least in accord with other accounts of the same era: A few laconic lines, and a ragged band of shipwrecked, down-on-their-luck refugees of defeat have a new paymaster and the promise of land - if they win. In just such terms, presumably, did William recruit the landless knights who broke the thanes at Hastings.

We will probably never know the truth of how Raghnall - Ragnvald, if we take seriously Shakespeare's conjecture that he was a Norwegian - came to hold what are now the ancestral clan lands in Fife; for all we know, he may simply have turned up with a fighting tail one day and thrown the previous owners out. And where Clio is silent, we may as well turn to Melpomene's account. If Shakespeare has not hit the historical truth of the matter, he has at any rate found a dramatic truth of the era, namely the suddenness with which fortunes could change, and the stoicism with which men met their fates. Although the canonical version of Macbeth is clearly superior as theatre, still the Raghnall shines another light on the hearts of men; it is no shame for a play to say that Shakespeare did better! (Indeed, not every poet can afford to throw away insights of this calibre, merely because that will make their work more dramatically unified.) This reviewer, at any rate, is satisfied that if the Raghnall is not authentic, it ought to be; and if the history it portrays is not true, it ought to be. And as it is unlikely it will ever be contradicted, we may as well accept it as the thing that really happened.
 

FrozenWall

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All of Europe shall speak Saintongeais
by JasonOfArgos, Republic of Poitou​


Goals of this AAR:
- Make some ships bring gold back to Saintonge, to build the city into a Metropolis
- Put up lots of pictures. Words hurt the eyes
- Make the world speak Saintongeais!




Map of who speaks Saintongeais in our world:




There was a time when merchants sailed past Poitou without a second glance. A time when Vikings would raid its shores, knowing it would offer little resistance. One could grow up without even knowing such a place existed. How quickly this would change surprised many prominent noblemen. Noblemen who, if they were not too busy squabbling over lines in the sand, could have easily crushed the fledgling Republic. Our story begins like many others do, on a battlefield....

Prelude

In a battle between Geoffrey II of Anjou and William of VI Aquitaine, William was captured and imprisoned. For his release, the cities of Saintonge and Bordeaux had been ceded to Geoffrey in 1036. Not satisfied with losing the cities, he immediately declared war upon release. The ruling council of the two cities offered to side with Geoffrey, in exchange for the right to govern over the surrounding areas. Geoffrey agreed, and a small force was raised by the two cities. Armed with a few fishing boats, the small army was sent up north to rendezvous with Geoffrey's forces in an assault on Châtelaillon. Upon arriving near Châtelaillon, Geoffrey's force was nowhere to be seen. The garrison of the local lord, it seems, had marched further inland, completely unexpecting troops to land from the sea. The remaining garrison, to their surprise, joined their cause instead of fighting. The ruling council of the three cities, Saintonge, Bordeaux and Châtelaillon created the Council of Three, the first governing body of the future Republic. In 1037, the combined forces of the Council and Geoffrey of Anjou cornered William of Aquitaine. In the treaty, the coast of Aquitaine was ceded to the three cities to govern, under the vassalage of Geoffrey of Anjou. William IV died shortly after in 1038.

The Council of Three, given lenient taxation for their services during the war, began to expand its influence both locally and abroad. By 1050, each city had set up trade zones within their respective locations. Bordeaux had been established as the capital of the council. Notable families had setup trade agreements with local merchants within Brittany and Normandy. The increase in trade brought many foreigners to the courts, whose knowledge was used to expand trade further. The equal membership of the three cities ensured a balanced government, as one city did not have power over the others. Unfortunately, in 1057, the new Duke of Aquitaine declared war for his lost land. A large number of his forces had gathered in Poiters, launching a surprise attack against the city of Châtelaillon. On his orders, the entire city was razed to the ground, with its council hanged in the streets. From there, he marched towards Anjou, expecting his southern forces to finish off Saintonge and Bordeaux. Late into the year, his Southern Army did meet the Council's forces in Saintonge, but the resulting battle was unexpected. On hearing of the sacking, Breton and Norman mercenaries had been hired, which now overwhelmed the Duke's Southern Army.

Geoffrey of Anjou was cornered in Saumur, with little to no supplies. He was forced to surrender to the siege in 1058, renounce his claims in the region. The victory was a shallow victory for Duke William VII of Aquitaine, who died of dysentery shortly thereafter. The army of Aquitaine had dispersed after this victory, thinking the war over. The Council of Three, however, angered by the sacking of Châtelaillon, continued to advance on the late Duke's territory. By 1059, the areas surrounding Thouars, Poitiers and Lusignan had been occupied before the new Duke managed to reform his army. After a few minor skirmishes, the war was at a standstill until 1060, both sides unwilling to risk a battle without having a clear advantage. The only major battle was fought near Charroux Abbey early in 1061, with a slight victory for the Council and its mercenaries. The city of Saintonge, who led the mercenaries, claimed the surrounding region and the region of Thouars to be under their control after the victory.


At its present pace, the war was predicted to drag on for many years, with no side gaining much ground. The politics in Paris began to take notice, however, and would change the course of the war. Anne of Kiev, the recently appointed regent for the infant King Phillip, intervened after receiving a request from the council at Bordeaux. The Queen-Regent demanded a truce be signed, under the condition that the rebelling cities become a direct vassal to the King of France. In the following treaty, the province of Poiters was returned to the Duke, in exchange for renouncing his claims to the rest of Poitou and reparations for the sacking of Châtelaillon. In August of 1061, the Republic of Poitou was formed, with the capital located in Bordeaux. Saintonge claimed Thouars and Lusignan as part of their administration. As for the formed city of Châtelaillon, the councillors of Saintonge began rebuildings the city in La Rochelle, as the area was more loyal to their administration.

The Republic was born, but it was not as stable as the old Council of Three. Balance between three cities was no longer possible, with just two remaining. Bourdeax controlled the majority of trade, and was a direct vassal to the King. Saintonge, on the other hand, controlled vast territories, but had little almost no representation within the Republic. Even the languages were different, Saintonge adopted the Occitan language as the official language of the Republic, while the citizens of Saintonge spoke Saintongeais, a dialect of French. Such tensions would play an integral role within the Republic in the upcoming years...