• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

drSandworm

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How do you like them Naples?
A Neapolitan AAR


First of all, I would like to apologize for that sad excuse for a pun in the title. Sadly, they won’t be getting much better from now on. Anyway…

Good morning, how are you? I’m drSandworm and welcome to my first ever AAR. I’ve been itching to do it for quite some time, but due to lack of time and other circumstances I’ve never had an opportunity to try it. Not until now, at least.
The reason why I chose Naples is, well…. aside from a chance to make a horrible pun, not many. I guess it’s because I haven't played much games in this area of the world (and I’m too traumatized to try playing in Russia again).

Naples starts off as a Catholic Italian nation ruled by a French monarch, with one decent province (out of four), an army of 1000 and a personal union with Provence which is ought to bring me more harm than good, regardless of who wins the French game of musical thrones. It has the potential to reunite Italy, conquer areas around the Mediterranean Sea, and maybe even restore glory that was once Rome. More realistically though, it will fail and become a pawn in the hands of Castile/Aragon/Austria/Flavor of the Week Blob in their struggle to control Italy. What destiny has in store for us?

…I don’t know, I’ve just started the game.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “comedy” AAR, as I doubt I could make somebody laugh, so let’s just call it a less serious AAR.

RULES:

- no cheating
- no save file editing (like I would know how to do it)
- no rage reloading
EUIII DW v. 5.2, with MiscMod v.0,799. Normal difficulty; inflation on; historical lucky nations (that surely won’t come back to bite me later)

GOALS:
- Survive until the end of the game
- Retake Sicily
- Maybe possibly unite Italy
- Seize as much of the Mediterranean as I can
- Stay in union with Provence for as long as I can Well, I was cured of the hopes of completing this objective in a mere 20 years! Thanks, France!

I like to consider myself a moderately competent EUIII player, but don’t expect something crazy like world conquest from me. Besides, I’d rather mess around and have fun with the game.

DISCLAIMER: This AAR may contain: mediocre game play performance, bad decisions, sad attempts at humor, overused jokes, double entendres, national stereotypes, references to other, better AARs and peanuts (but only after 1500). Viewer discretion is advised.

I am not a native English speaker, so feel free to correct me if you see some kind of grammatical error or a typo. As always, any kind of feedback is welcome.


Enough of my ramblings, sit back and enjoy!

TABLE OF CONTENTS
~Louis "Lois" II de Valois
Episode 1- Abbandon all Pope
Episode 2- Going Norman
Episode 3- Knocking on Emperor's Door
Episode 4- The Valois of Peace
Episode 5- A Devil Put Aside
Episode 6- The Family's Back Together.
Episode 7- The Milestone
Episode 8- In which Aragon wins the war, Louis gets bored and Crowley comes up with something sinister
Episode 9- War was Beginning
Episode 10- Louis the puppet master
Episode 11- Naples Stronk
Episode 12- A Beginning and an End
~Alfonso I de Valois

Episode 13- Repercussions of War
Episode 14- An Offer You Can't Refuse
Episode 15- Three Travelers from the North
Episode 16- A Man and His Hamster
50- Year Update: 1450
Episode 17- The Depressing Episode
Episode 18- Sweet Polly Oliver!
Episode 19- Sweet Polly Oliver! Part Two
Episode 20- Told Ya!
~Alberto de Valois

Episode 21- Passing the Torch
Episode 22- Are you Pondering what I'm Pondering?
Episode 23- Goodbye, Sweet Prince
Episode 24- Everobody Hates Austria
Episode 25- On Board
Episode 26- The Not- Yet New World
Episode 27- Everyone Loses Their Ship
Episode 28- Purple vs. Purple
Episode 29- Somewhere Beyond The Sea
Bonus Episode- Expedition of Filippo Savaranola
Episode 30- End of An Era
~Carlo de Valois

Episode 31- The Beginning Years of King Carlo
50- Year Update- 1500
Episode 32- The Ending Years of King Carlo
~Filippo de Valois

Episode 33- Conquest at Last
Episode 34- Bit too Early for Piracy
~Gabriele de Valois

Episode 35- Aziraphale's Secret Diary
Episode 36- Egyptwhackers
~Cezare de Borghese- Valois

Episode 37- Sweden is not OP
Episode 38- Coronation Day
Episode 39- The End of Naples? Part One
Episode 40- The End of Naples? Part Two
Episode 41- All is Fair in Love and Naples
Episode 42- The Madness in Naples
 
Last edited:

drSandworm

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Episode 1- Abandon all Pope​
Even since the earliest days of his life, Lois de Valois has always been aiming high. His second biggest dream, like of all the kids growing up at the time, has always been to become king (sadly, his parents disapproved of his greatest dream- becoming a bear trainer). Unlike most of the kids, however, Lois was born to one of the most prestigious royal houses in Europe, which made those dreams a tad easier. He didn’t think twice when he had the opportunity to press the claim on one of his father’s titles, which rightfully belonged to him. So, with a little help from his friend, the Antipope, Lois II de Valois could finally fulfill his wish of reigning the greatest kingdom on the entire Italian Peninsula.

Unfortunately, he got Naples instead.



Well, you have to start somewhere…

------------------------------
Lois II was alone in his chamber studying maps when he heard knocking on the door.

“Who’s there? “

“It’s me, sir. I brought a diplomatic report”

“Ah, Adriano. Please, come in”

Adriano del Rosso stepped into the royal chamber and bowed to the king. He treated his service on the Neapolitan court the same way Lois saw his role as the king of Naples- a ramp to something bigger and more exciting. He graduated in Bologna with the help of a noble elevated to power after Lois took the throne, leaving the campus with the goal of serving as the right hand of a great and powerful European monarch.
Well, Lois II was a monarch, and certainly hailed from Europe. Two out of three ain’t bad, as they say…

“What news do you bring, then?”

“I went to the meeting with the local nobles yesterday. It seems that they all but accepted your rule as their king. However, they still won’t accept your son as a heir to the throne.”



“Well, I guess you can’t win them all. What about finances?”

“We’re making some profit. Most of it is going towards repairing the town square after the last summer fair.”



“Ah, I remember that. Good times! I’ll always wonder how Ludovico ended up on top of the cathedral, and where did he misplace his clothes.”

“I think the bishop still forbids him from attending the mass. Anyway, one more thing, my liege.”

“Go on”

“It would be a good idea to strengthen your dynasty by marrying one of your relatives to one of the Italian ruling houses. I suggest Urbino, as it’s close by. We should maintain good relations with our neighbors ”



“Very well. Make arrangements with the king of Urbino.”

“Aye, sir. I’ll be on my way.”
--------------------------
“My king, I bring good news”

“Give’ em to me, son”



“Herald from Antonio de Montefeltro of Urbino just arrived, the king accepted our marriage offer. I-is something wrong, my liege?”

“I’m bored to death, Adriano! All I do is sit and fill in the paperwork. I want war and conquest! Glory on the battlefield! To crush my enemies, see the driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women! You know the drill.”

“Well, sir, I’m pretty sure you can’t conquer without an army. Speaking of, our generals demand that we increase our number of soldiers to 7000 men”

“Great. Let’s do that right away”

“There’s a slight problem, though. With our current manpower reserves, we can only outfit 2 regiments a year at best.”



“We need allies, then. Have we got any proposals yet?”

“Actually, we have just received two alliance requests”

“Excellent! What powerful nations are they?”

“Urbino and Ferrara, sir.”

“Well, at least that’s a start. Let’s sign an alliance with Urbino. Ferrara is too far away and to close to Venice to do us much good”

“As you wish, sir.”

The proceeding years of 1400 and 1401 saw little in terms of exciting events. Lois II continued to expand Neapolitan army- by the end of 1400, 1 new regiment of cavalry and 1 regiment of infantry were ready.



Merchant expedition were sent to Venice in hopes of increasing the kingdom’s pitiful income; though they had some initial success, they were quickly drove back by the merchants from more competent countries (read: everybody except Scotland).

In April of 1400, 3 wise men (they lacked many teeth, which is clearly a sign of age and wisdom) approached the court of King of Naples to offer their services in ‘solving problems’. Lois II somehow knew it was an offer he couldn’t refuse.



New diplomatic deals were seized, as Naples secured royal marriages with Ferrara and Tuscany, as well as a military alliance with the former. After a long period of discord, Lois II finally mended the relations with the Pope, who had finally wrestled away the power in the Holy See away from quarreling cardinals.



With a new alliance with Papal States, a new era of peace and prosperity emerged in Italy. Surely, nothing could possibly break this state, right?

Naples, 17 July, 1402

Lois II de Valois was studying a map in the War Room when Del Rosso stormed through the door.

“*pant pant* Oh, it’s a good thing I found you here, Sir. May I have a moment?”

“Of course, I was just studying a map of Europe”

Adriano looked upon the map. It was painted purple all over, with a word “NALES” written across

“Beautiful, isn’t it? I called it ‘Neapolitan rise to power’”

“Sir, with all respect, we seem not to be even on the first step of your grand plan. Also, I’m pretty sure that’s not how you spell Naples, my lord.”


“Bah! A king should not concern himself with such trivial matters as orthography! Now tell me, what are the news in the world?”

“Well, the repairs of the town square are completed. Don Ludovico’s pants were also recovered. His dignity, though, is forever lost”



“A local noble has recently contacted us. He was very happy to donate whole 50 ducats to the national treasury. So happy, in fact, that he almost cried! I think our good Sicilian friends might’ve been involved”

“We will put them to good use. Anything else?”

„We have scouted out our potential war targets. Epirus is weak, but they are allied to Wallachia and Byzantium.”



“That’s not a threat at all! Byzantium haven’t been a significant player for at least 200 years.”

“Yes, but their fleet matches ours in strength and they can bring aboard as many troops as we can. We shouldn’t take them lightly.”

“What about Sicily?”

“They are allied to Aragon and thus are far beyond our reach. Speaking of Aragon…”



“They have just declared war on Sardinia.”

“Bastards!”

“It seems like the Pope is putting together a coalition to deal against Aragonese incursion, an he’s requesting your help. How should we answer to that?”

“No.”

“Come again?”

“I said we’re not participating. Need I repeat myself?”

“Of course not, sir. I was just confused by your sudden rejection.”

“It hurts me deeply, but Aragon simply is too strong. We have nothing to gain in this war.”

“Of course, sire. I’ll make a diplomatic note, but I think I don’t want to deliver it myself.”
-----------------------------
Naples, 29 January, 1403

Lois II de Valois, king of Naples woke up at noon and realized 3 things: first: he has lying on the floor, second: he was almost sure the rug he bought for the royal bedchamber was red, not sickly yellow like it is now, and third: his head was aching so bad he thought he was hit with a hammer

*Knock knock*

“Can you knock a bit quieter, please? I’m trying to sleep!”

“My lord, it’s already way past noon”

“ahhhh… ow, my, tell me, what did I do last night”

“You were celebrating a new nephew in a family with King Antonio of Urbino.”

“Ah, I remember that a shipment of wine recently came from Venice”



“Well, you don’t have to worry about that, as it’s already gone. I’d never guess you have Russian ancestors, my liege.”

“Say, I didn’t accidentally blurt out any of the matters of the state, did I?”

“No, you were mostly discussing how Aragon beat up Sardinia in little less than two months.”

“Amateurs. A real commander knows how to make a campaign last long.”

“Well ,you certainly showed your prowess yesterday, sir.”

“So, how’s the war going?”

“The Pope is still in the fight but he’s losing badly.”

“I see. Say, what else did I do yesterday?”

“Well, you discussed how that now that the Pope is on the run, the City is practically defenseless. That it would be a shame if someone took the opportunity and declared war.”

“Wait, how do you know all of that?”

“Frankly, it would be harder NOT to know, given how loud you two were. Anyway, king of Urbino suggested surprise attacking papal realm, and asked for your help.”

Lois’s face turned even paler than before.

“Please tell me I declined”

*head shake*

“Sacrebleu! We have to stop him!”

“ I’m afraid he had already left before the sunrise.”



“…”

“Should I send an envoy with an explanation to the Pope?”

“No, hold on for now. If we’re at war, we can get at least something out of it”




So in this turn of events, Lois II seems to be aiming to surpass Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV in terms of pissing off the Papacy.
Meanwhile, joined forces of Aragon and Sicily ransack Rome, forcing the Pope to cede Romagna to the Spanish invaders.



That means Aragon gained not only the island of Sardinia, but also a foothold on the peninsula for itself. Only time will tell what that means for Italy.
However, the Papal war with Urbino raged on, and in June of 1403 Tuscany joined the war on papal side.



Naples was now at war with their formal ally, which led to much confusion on the court. Knowing there’s not much more to gain, Lois II accepted white peace in January of 1404.



It seems that the Bishop of Rome was quick to forgive. The man upstairs, however, was harder to placate.



Naples, 22 April, 1404

“Sir, I’m happy to announce that our armament program is finally complete.”

“Fantastic! The world will tremble before my magnificence!”

“Yes sir, but may I suggest a smaller target for starters? Epirus seems reap for conquest, and with our recent naval program we can fear not enemy incursion!”

“Excellent! Fill in the papers and ready the troops, for today shall be the day of glory!”

 

aniuby

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I like this very much! Humorous narrative, ridiculous puns, and excellent writing in terms of sufficient length as well as spelling and grammar. I can tell from the very first update that it fits my preferences exactly, so I'll definitely be cheering you on and I hope you'll keep up the good work.

You don't have to worry about not being a native English speaker - in any case, as I've said your writing is certainly better than many others on this forum. If you're concerned about it, we could help point out any mistakes but I'm certain you have very little about which to be worried.
 

drSandworm

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Just wanted to thank you for all the feedback. I've never imagined i'd get such positive responces, heck, I'm even surprised anyone wrote at all!

I for one am appalled!!! You say no to a Ferranese ALLIANCE?? Are You Mad?? Naw, Just messin. I've never seen a Naples AAR. I look forward to your progress!!
Don't worry, I have plans for Ferrara, though it's a plan on a much larger scale than a mere alliance. I happen to have a royal marriage with them though, so I'll keep an eye on them...
Thanks for the kind words! Actually, looking at the LibrAARy, there aren't as of now any completed Naples AARs. Will mine be the first? Who knows!
Sounds like a hoot!
Glad to have you on board!

This looks like it'll be fun - good luck to you!
Thank you :) If the situation in Italy will stay like that, I'll definitely need at least a bit of luck.

I like this very much! Humorous narrative, ridiculous puns, and excellent writing in terms of sufficient length as well as spelling and grammar. I can tell from the very first update that it fits my preferences exactly, so I'll definitely be cheering you on and I hope you'll keep up the good work.

You don't have to worry about not being a native English speaker - in any case, as I've said your writing is certainly better than many others on this forum. If you're concerned about it, we could help point out any mistakes but I'm certain you have very little about which to be worried.
Thank you very much! I was actually considering splitting this update into two because I thought it was too long, but I decided against it in the end.
Actually, I've been learning English since I was 6, but I'm still a little concern about it, especially about my grammar, since I didn't have any significant grammar lessons for about 5 years. As for the spelling, well, I have the Internet and MS Word to help me with that :)


Next update is in the works. I'll do my best to update weekly. Can't promise anything though, college can drain more time than I'd like.
 

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I think this will be fun. Count me in.
 

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drSandworm

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Episode 2- Going Norman
Lois gets more than he bargained for.

Naples, 29 December, 1404

The meeting of the War Council went by pretty quickly, mostly because no one came. The nobles of Naples were obliged by law to partake in all foreign affairs, wars included. Most of them were not interested in council meetings at all. They preferred to spend their time drinking wine, gambling and conceiving increasingly more deranged offspring. That left Adriano alone in an empty council chamber and a mountain of paperwork.

“Well, at least they can’t screw anything up.” He thought to himself.

It took 2 months to get all the soldiers to sober up so that they’ll be fit for battle. Meanwhile, news about a new King in Sicily arrived. Unfortunately, that king was also a King of Aragon.



Said news really shook Lois, as it made the long overdue conquest of Sicily even more unlikely.

On 28 of May Anno Domini 1404 Naples sent a formal declaration of war towards Epirus. Both Wallachia and Byzantium honored their alliances, with the former assigned as the leader.



3000 men were packed on ships and sent their way through the Adriatic Sea. As Naples couldn’t afford a proper military commander, King Lois took command of the invasion force.

“My lord, are you sure it’s wise to lead the troops by yourself? There are many people who would benefit from your passing.”

“Nonsense, Adriano! The morale of the troops will certainly go up with me leading the charge! Besides, I’m leaving the country in good hands.”

“Yes, the War Council will meet every week to evaluate the situation. Other news: Wallachia, no doubt scared by the magnificence of our kingdom, has called for more allies to aid them.”

“What?! Who?”

“The big and mighty Montenegro, my lord.”



“Bah! Don’t scare me like that! Well, it means more plunder for us! Well, we must be on our way. Take care, Adriano! I will write to you regularly.”

“I am very much looking forward to that, my lord.” He said, while trying desperately to keep a straight face.

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

The beginning of the war was uneventful. King Lois II with his regiment landed in Janina and after defeating the Epirean “Army” began to siege the city.



Closer to home, Antonio’s war with the Pope had ended, with the total defeat of Urbinese army at the hand of the kingdom of Tuscany.




Tuscany, uplifted after their victory, decided to press their old claim on the city of Pisa.



Feeling threatened by Tuscanian aggressiveness, the always peace- loving Aragonese sent forth a diplomatic request to cease any new hostilities.



Meanwhile, additional 3000 men were sent to Greece to strengthen the Neapolitan presence.



It was already late when Adriano finished his domestic report.

“Well, job well done. I’ll send it forward to the King tomorrow.”

Suddenly, he heard someone running in the corridor.

“*pant**pant* So- sorry to interrupt, sir. A aaa- a letter *pant* from the King”

“Thank you kind sir.”

He received a single mangled sheet of paper. The writing said:

‘I couquested Jenina for the glory of Nelples’



Adriano sighed loudly. “Well, looks like I’m not getting to sleep today.”

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

The beginning of the war was a major success, as Naples conquered and annexed Epirus before the end of the year.



It wasn’t all over, though, as both Wallachia and Byzantium were still in the game, ready to punish the upstart Italian tyrant. They have found a perfect solution. The support of an empire both victorious and glorious, that would surely tip the balance in their favor.
The empire of Trebizond



The tip of the Boot was peaceful, even though people were slowly starting to feel the toll of the war. To the north, war was brewing between Milan, Venice and Savoy. Thing were starting to look grim for Milan, as they were forced to sign peace with Savoy, and Venice occupied a good chunk of their country.



Meanwhile, back at Greece, Naples held an iron grip on the seas, as the Neapolitan fleet and its flagship Francesco Petrarca showed that pen is indeed mightier than a sword (unless it’s Lois II who’s wielding it).



Even with that advantage, though, Neapolitan domination on the seas wasn’t complete, and the Byzantines managed to land an army 3000 men strong in Morea, led by Manuel II himself. Lois II hastily marched with his troops to aid the Morean regiment.

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

Neapolitan encampment, Morea, 26 June, 1405

Lois II woke up in his battle tent, greeted by the bright morning sun. ‘Ah, today is a great day.’ He thought to himself. ‘I will lead my troops to a glorious victory against the pitiful Greeks. Everyone will know the power of Naples!’

He looked on the small table next to his bed (Lois have never left home without his personal mobile furniture. He even hired a hauling crew to carry it around). A small note was lying on top. It contained all the tactical information needed to achieve victory.
BATLE PLAN

- Remember- pants come before shoes
.....


Lois was very confident of victory.

“Sir, are you ready?”

“Yes, Ricardo, I’m going.”

Ricardo de Ipla, Captain of the Royal Guard and Hauler of the Royal Hindside on the worse days, stepped into the tent. As a courageous and brave young man, as well as educated (as in, he could actually write), he was one of the King’s favorites.

“Ah, it’s so good to be in the saddle at last! I feel like Robert Guiscard going on a conquest of Byzantium!”

“Indeed, sir, we’re recreating history, although on a slightly smaller scale.”

“Is everyone ready to march?”

“Yes, sir. We’ll be leaving in about an hour. We’re about a half a day away from the rest of our army.”

“Any news from home?”

“Situation in Naples seems to be stable. Other news: the Kingdom of Milan had collapsed, ceding almost all of their territory to Venice.”



“Serves them right! I shall be the only rightful king of Italy! Oh! Someone’s coming!”

“A message for me? Really?”

…..

“What do you mean, the battle is already over?!!”



------------
“Ricardo, gather up the troops!”

“We’re already leaving? The siege isn’t over yet!”

“We’ll leave 3000 men to attend the siege. The rest will board the ships and come with us! Our victory had left the Byzantine army in peril. It is time for a decisive victory!”

”Where are we going?”

“We’re taking the fight to them.”





…To be continued in part 2
 
Last edited:

InvisibleSandwi

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Somehow, I expect Byzantium to get dogpiled given your recent military successes and the ever friendly Ottoman Empire next door.
 

DensleyBlair

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A good start to the Greek campaign, it would seem - here's hoping that Naples will defeat everyone and take all their land! ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing how this campaign will end - really entertaining stuff.
 

drSandworm

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Somehow, I expect Byzantium to get dogpiled given your recent military successes and the ever friendly Ottoman Empire next door.
Actually, the Ottomans were surprisingly docile thus far- i haven't seen them going to any wars at all. I expect that to change, though
A good start to the Greek campaign, it would seem - here's hoping that Naples will defeat everyone and take all their land! ;)

I'm looking forward to seeing how this campaign will end - really entertaining stuff.
Thanks, I hope it was worth the wait!

Sorry for the delay, I was seriously bogged down with college stuff recently.
 

drSandworm

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Episode 3- Knocking on Emperor’s Door​
‘If we built this large, wooden badger…’


Outside Constantinople, 8 April, 1406

Epirus had fallen, yet the war was far from over. Byzantium, Wallachia, Montenegro and Trebizond were both in the fight and continued to harass Naples by launching amphibious assaults on the scarcely defended heartland of the country. Determined to end the war on his terms, Lois II decided to launch a daring strike on the City of Constantine himself.
The initial landing went smoothly, as Byzantine forces fell before the might of Neapolitan regiments. Seems that being awake during at least one seminar at the officer school, the one called “How to win a battle by losing slightly less men than the enemy” paid off for Lois.



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


“Ah, the Great Constantinople itself! Isn’t it a magnificent sight? And it’s all going to be ours!”

“Um, should we tell him that every city looks exactly the same in this…”

“Shush! You wanna get us in trouble?!”

“You two! Make yourself useful somewhere! My royal hound’s kennel isn’t finished yet! Go, double time!”

The two walked away. You could hear one of them mutter “….what good is a poodle on a battlefield anyway?..”

“Sir, a message from Naples to you.”

“Thank you, Ricardo! I’ll read it right away.”

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

To: Lois de Valois, King of Naples
My liege,
I congratulate you on your last victory over Byzantium. I hope the war proceeds smoothly. Sadly, news from home aren’t as good.
The war of Tuscany and Pisa has ended and in a way no one expected. The Pisans managed to turn the situation around and conquered their would-be overlords. I secured an alliance with them in hopes of stabilizing the situation in Italy.



Morea has fallen to our troops. This news may have reached you sooner, but I wrote about it just to be sure. I’ve heard what these soldiers do with paper. Barbaric!



As we finally have soldiers to spare, we can send them to deal with this pesky Montenegrins that landed on our shores a while ago.
Your wife is getting worried about you. More precisely- worried about your promise to buy new furniture for the living quarters. As your wife basically keeps the whole furniture trade in business, this has made the merchants pretty unhappy. I can cover for you, but please be back as soon as you can.



Speaking of family business, King of Urbino seems to be in trouble, as a group of rebels had taken control of the countryside. Said rebels are rumored to be sponsored by the Pope himself, most likely as a revenge for Antonio’s audacity. Sadly, we have no troops to spare.



Lastly, we sent an envoy to Castile, looking for allies in the inevitable struggle with Aragon. A marriage was secured between one of your nieces and a Castilian prince.



And that would cover all of the pressing matters. I would write more, but sadly the courier won’t accept a letter if there are too many illustrations attached.
With best regards
Adriano del Rosso, Chancellor of Naples

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

“Sir, there appear to be slight problems. We don’t have enough men to assault the walls, and according to my calculations, with the amount of ground coverage we have and the city’s reserves, the siege would last approximately until 12 of march 1837.”

“We don’t have that much time to spare!”

“Yes, sir. We must be done with this siege before Vicky..”

“Who’s that Vicky you’re speaking of?”

“Ah, well…. She’s a queen. You don’t have to be concerned with that.”

“So, if siege and assault are out of the question, then how do we get in? We’ll just knock at the gates and plea until they open?”

“Actually, I have an idea. Have you ever read Iliad, my lord?”

“Can’t say that I did, Ricardo”

“You see, when the Trojan War approached a stalemate, the Greeks have built a giant horse, placed it before the gates and sailed away. The thing is, the horse was filled with soldiers, who got out under the cover of the night and opened the city gates. This allowed the Greeks to capture the city and end the war.”

“So, you suggest trickery, then?”

“Precisely, sir”

“Very well. Gather up the troops and find out who has the most experience in carpentry. Then, we’ll start the operation.”

“What animal shall we build, sir?”

“What kind of question is that? Of course, it will be the most magnificent of animals!”

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

“A badger, sir?”

“Yes, Ricardo. Only the badger has the guts to put a hand into a bee hive. It’s a perfect analogy, don’t you think?”

“Actually, it looks kind of wonky. Are you sure you want to put the troops inside?”

“You said that you’ve found the best carpenter around.”

“Well, really was the best, that is to say he was the only one with any kind of experience. It’s impressive, really, doing so much work with only six fingers to spare.”

“All right, we’re running on limited resources here. Let’s just prepare the thing and take a convenient hiding spot.”

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

“OK, is everyone in place?”

“Affirmative, sir. All 3000 men are ready and waiting for an order.”

“….”

“Something’s wrong, sir?”

“Did you say 3000 men?”

“Yes, sir, that’s all the troops we …. Oh…”

Ricardo turns to his adjutant

“Didn’t I tell you to man the badger?”

“Sir, we.. ah… there seemed to be a misunderstanding. You see, you told me ‘fill this here contraption with men, ur hearing me?’”

“Yeah, so?”

“I actually filled it with manure.”


(Meanwhile at the gates of Constantinople)

“Hey, Andreas! You have to see this.”

“What the hell is that thing?”

“Looks like a weasel.”

“No, I think it resembles a squirrel, actually.”

“Definitely a weasel to me.”

“Okay, it doesn’t matter. Look, there’s an inscription.”

“What does it say?”

“I don’t know. I can’t read Latin! Matter of fact, I can’t read at all!”

“Jeez, you’re useless! Okay… ‘A-n geeft to dah Emprah Manololos from King Lois of Arples’”

“They seriously thought they could trick us with that? Do they think we’re stupid?”

“Well, we hauled it inside…”

“Shut up. I can’t hear anybody inside. You think they’re sleeping?”

“What should we do with it?”

“Just burn it.”

“Aye, sir!”

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

KABLOOIE!


“What was that?!”

“I don’t know. It seemed to be coming from the gate.”

All they could see was a giant flaming hole in the wall.

“What on Earth did you do? You blew it up! You maniacs! Damn you all to hell!”

“Oh, just stop whining. There’s a breech. Go forth! For glory!”



It wasn’t the best day for Andreas Nikolapopulos. He was forced to do a night shift, his favorite uniform was destroyed by the fire and smoke, and now 3000 Neapolitan soldiers just ran over his back.

“Always the damn Italians…” he muttered.



Thus, thanks to cunning, trickery, and lots of dumb luck, Naples had taken control of the Second Rome. In the proceeding peace deal, they demanded roughly half of Byzantium’s remaining territory, along with diplomatic concessions.



Victory celebrations were short, as news have reached Lois that the rebellion in Urbino was successful, and the Pope, under the claim of restoring order, took control of the city. Furthermore, the rebels have crossed the Neapolitan border and started to wreck havoc to the countryside.



Back in Naples, a bunch of disillusioned students decided to organize a spectacle called “War is stupid. Wine is better”. They were promptly apprehended by the guards, washed and sent to the army.



Trade in the newly captured provinces flourished, as Ottomans decided to share with their greatest export good: patriot rebels.



With only Trebizond, Montenegro and Walachia left, Naples was only a step away from winning its first major war….


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

Montenegro, 8 December, 1407

“Ricardo, the war is almost over! We’ve defeated Byzantium, and now Montenegro has fallen to our hands! All that’s left is Wallachia and Trebizond!”



“Yes, my liege, that was a stunning victory. Speaking of, we’ve sent an envoy to Trebizond, and he agreed to sign a white peace.”

“I’m a little bit sad about that, though that at least saves our time. Did the king of Montenegro agree to our terms?”

“Well, he’s a duke now, but yes.”



“Excellent! I’ll certainly enjoy my new vassal.”

“And the Pope will appreciate the return of a wayward sheep back to the herd.”

“Any news from Wallachia?”

“They are still refusing to accept any respectable peace deal.”

“They demand that I’ll pay them?! Preposterous! I’m winning the war!”

“Well, the rules of diplomacy are as they are. We can’t do anything about it, but we can knock some reason into them.”

“That’s right! Are the troops ready?”

“Yes, sir. All of our regiments in Greece are in position. Serbia have recently granted us military access through their country, which gives us a direct route to Wallachia.”

“Excellent! We’ll be moving by…”

“Sir, a ship from Naples approaching!”


Indeed, a ship bearing Neapolitan insignia has docked. A number of people had left the ship, including Adriano del Rosso. Well, ‘rolled down’ could be a better way to describe it. He approache the king and opened his mouth, but no words came out of it. Instead, a big yellow barf landed right on Ricardo’s uniform.

“Oh… I’m terribly sorry. Man, I hate ships!”

“Adriano, what brings you here? We’re about to march out for glory!”

“I’m afraid you’ve reach your limit for glory for now, my liege.”

“Why?”

“*Bleeegh!* Oh, sorry…. Anyway, I’m here to take you home. The situation in Greece is dire. The rebels have taken control of Epirus. We can deal with them now, but the implications of us being unable of protecting our lands might haunt us for years to come.”



“But we can leave now! We still have Wallachia to deal with!”

“That has been taken care of. We managed to make a deal with Wallachian embassy. 25 ducats were sent forth as an apology.”

“But that’s my money. You can’t just…”

“Actually I can. You see, the War Council is authorized to make diplomatic deals in the king’s absence. And as you were too busy building wooden contraptions…”

“*sob**sob*But.. but my glory…”

“Come, my liege. The Queen cannot decide which color should the new curtains be. Naples needs you!”



And thus ends the first war of King Lois II. He managed to conquer the land of Pyrrhus, but will this victory be equally pyrrhic? Time will tell…..

 

DensleyBlair

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The campaign went well it would seem - and it's good to see the rebel trade flourishing. Certainly makes for some entertaining reading.

Very enjoyable stuff - I'm liking the rather meta aspect. And your English seems fine to me, so don't worry about that.
 

drSandworm

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Just wanted to say I'm sorry for the delay, I've been quite busy lately.
Unfortunately, this is a very busy time of the year for me, as I have the exams to worry about. There might be a delay in updates until the end of June.
I wish I had more optimistic news. I'll try to finish the next update this week