• Hearts of Iron IV Survey

    Help us make HoI IV better by sharing your experiences in this 5 minute survey


  • 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

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
513ed0cf0fab0966647fc8ec21a49b90_zps5985d4b9.jpg

Hi everyone,

I've recently been writing a narrative based on a game I have going with count Herbert of Vermandois, often cited historically as the penultimate Carolingian - his son Eudes being the last. Originally, it was just going to be a private story I would write for my own benefit (and is now being written in conjunction with NaNoWriMo,) but I thought that it might be fun to serialise it and share it here. I'm about 7,000 words in, so we have plenty of meat to start. The story itself will be updated (mostly) daily, so an update here should come every few days - that is, once I have written enough of an advancement that updating is meaningful. At this point, I'm afraid there will be few (if any) pictures, although that may change in the future.

I decided that I would play the family with the intentions of restoring them to their former glories - that is, at the very least king of France, maybe with some excursions into Burgundy, etc. The story will stick as closely to the game as possible, although I may make the occasional adjustment in order to provide more of an entertaining story (in my opinion :).)

So, without further ado, here we go! (Any comments or constructive criticism, by the way, would be appreciated.)



Table of Contents

The Day of Lords

The First Reckoning​
Part One - Prelude​
1.1: Introductions
1.2: The Queen Was in the Parlour
1.3: The Bishop, The Knight and The Boy
1.4: Resolution

Part Two - Daggers in the Night

2.5: The Bishop, The Knight, and The Boy: Redux
2.6: The Intrigue of Laon
2.7, in which daggers in the night are brought into view.​
2.8: A Feeling of Unease
2.9: An End, of Sorts
2.10: A Meeting

Part Two - The Frankish Play: An Interlude​
2.5.1: Introduction
2.5.2: Act I; Scenes I & II
2.5.3: Act I; Scene IV; Act II; Scenes I, II & III
2.5.4: Act II; Scenes IV, V & VI
2.5.5: Act II; Scene VII; Act III, Scenes I, II & III; An Ending


Part Three - The Full Revolution

3.16: A Good Man Goes to War
3.17: the young man and the fool
3.18: Of Bishops, Knights and Kings
3.19: A Changed France
3.20: It Begins
3.21: Continued Preparations
3.22: The Lord of Auxerre
3.23: The Imminent March
3.24: The Turning of the Tables
3.25: The Battle
3.26: A Sordid Man
3.27: A Man's Musings, A Fool's Deceit
3.28: Herbert the Driven
3.29: The Sorry Old Bastard
3.30: Treading the Footsteps
3.31: The Town That Shouldn't Have Been
3.32: A Fitting End
3.33: The Die Is Cast

Part Four - Abide in Me

4.34, The Decline of Saxon Britain
4.35: Where Lives Are Defined
4.36: War and Gentlemen
4.37: When Fate Reveals Its Guile
4.38: The Colour of Death, the Sound of Drums.
4.39: The Firing of a Musket
4.40: The Ransoming of Peace
4.41: Herbert's Fever Dream

A Brief History of France

1.1: The Year of Kings and Eudes' Ascension (1080)
1.2: Eudes' Early Reign (1080-1100)

The Year of Kings

Part Five - Philippe's Demise


5.42: The Death of a Paladin
5.43: Brewing Troubles​



List of Rulers

Counts of Vermandois

Herbert IV
the Driven, the Sincere
1032-c.1066-1071

Kings of France

Eudes II
the Peaceable, the Timid
1060-1080-1142



*ANNOUNCEMENT* - 8/6/2013
I have just embarked upon creating an AltHistory Wikia page for this AAR. What I've done thus far can be found here.

*ANNOUNCEMENT* - 9/4/2013
I'm currently in the process of implementing a standard, more aesthetically pleasing format to the update posts. If you find yourself reading this to find the font changes halfway through, don't be alarmed - it just means I haven't got around to that part of the thread. Why not check back again when everything will look more appealing?

*ANNOUNCEMENT*
This AAR is currently in the process of being beautified with pictures. If you see pictures randomly appearing, don't be alarmed - I will be working from the first post back. Similarly, if you are a new reader, and find that, halfway through your experience, the pictures have run out, don't be alarmed.

Parts Beautified
[1] - [2] - [3]
 
Last edited:

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
O Glorious Day! I have the first reply! Narrative AARs (good ones, that is) are rather lacking in this forum, and it is good to see my favorite AAR genre (and my dream genre in which to write well) get another entry!
May beginner's luck be with you!
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
1.1: Introductions


In the Footsteps

of

Charlemagne

The Second Coming of House Karling


A Collection of Sources on the Second Period of Karling Prominence in France





The First Reckoning

Part One, taken from contemporary sources - mainly diary entries - recorded and compiled by Raymond de Compiègne, a local chronicler, who is thought to have lived from c.1048-c.1112. Raymond is known for his meticulous detailing and clarity of writing, and has subsequently come to hold a reputation as a reliable and accurate author from the period. Originals of his works are kept on display at the library at the University if Paris. The information in the book has been taken from transcripts, kindly provided by the University.

RaymonddeCompiegravegne_zps194d1a74.png

A contemporary portrait of de Compiègne.

"Pro deus, pro iustitia"



On the fifteenth day of September in the year of our Lord God 1066, Herbert IV Karling, comte de Vermandois, baron de Rethel, sat in his castle at Rethel thinking. In front of him on his desk lay parchments. His quill sat on the desk beside him. He picked up a small knife and his quill, and began to sharpen the nib. Herbert dipped the quill in his dark brown ink, content that it was sharp enough for writing, and placed the tip to the parchment stretched out below him. He began to write.

My dearest bishop, I trust you are still willing it so that I provide evidence for my claims? You will find attached a document given to me by my father...

Herbert shaped each letter beautifully and precisely. He had been schooled as a boy by Jacques, bishop of Laon. It was now Jacques' son, Benoît, that he wrote to. Benoît had succeeded his father as bishop when he passed unto the Lord in heaven, and had been repaid by Herbert for his loyalty by being appointed Lord High Chancellor of the Realm. The bishop was a competent diplomat, and was able to speak freely with dignities visiting the court of Vermandois, impressing them with his knowledge of their local geography or speaking with them fluently in their mother tongue.

Herbert stroked the page for the final time, before rolling the document up and sealing it with a circle of red wax. The wax still bore the same insignia as used by Carolus Magnus, Herbert's eight-times great grandfather. He blew the wax cool. HERBERT KAROLINGI, DVCO VERNANDESE, it read, the letters encircling a crudely drawn portrait stamped onto the hot wax by a wooden block, finely carved by a local artisan. He called for a page.

"Faithful lad, fetch me Adalbert and instruct him that he must deliver this to Benoît at once."

The page bowed and exited the room.

The count was a learned man, versed in the texts of the Holy Bible by Jacques as a young boy, and possessed divine penmanship, but lacked the drive to put his learning to use. People did not say it amongst his company, but it was often thought by peasants that Herbert was a slothful man, a fact which cannot be denied. It was also known that Herbert could be, at times, a harsh cynic. You could not question his devotion to God, but in private, some say that he questioned the men of the cloth a bit too vigorously, wanting justification for performing the will of the Lord, or taking Mass in the Holy Name of our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Adalbert de Quentin entered the room, announced only by a young squire. He was wearing a blue woollen tunic under a grey cloak. The tunic was embroidered skilfully. Herbert suspected it was done by the Knight's wife, Agathe. De Quentin was not particularly wealthy, but was a faithful servant of Herbert's, and always dressed smartly, looking to impress any visiting dignitaries or envoys. In this respect, Adalbert was a proud man, who wanted to be looked on as successful.

"My loyal Adalbert, I trust my page reached you safely?"

"Yes, my lord. I understand you require my services?"

"Yes, Adalbert. I need you to deliver this letter to Benoît. You should find him in Laon.

"And if not, my liege?"

"If I recall correctly, he enjoys a visit to Saint-Quentin occasionally. You may find him there."

"Certainly, my liege." Adalbert bowed slightly and exited the room, followed by his young page-boy.

adelbert_zps3655a5e1.jpeg

Adalbert de Quentin, shown here in an illustration printed in a contemporary history book.

Herbert watched his knight leave the castle grounds on horseback, west to Laon, before returning to his desk. While the count did not read the word of the Lord of his own will, he enjoyed filling his time versions himself in the deeds of his ancestors. Herbert was proud of what his family had achieved, and hoped that one day he may perform a deed worthy of their standing. During Mass, unbeknownst to his clergy, Herbert prayed to the Lord God that he may prove worthy of his family name.



To be continued very soon...
 
Last edited:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
I apologise for the length of this update, but I wanted to get something out to set the scene. Don't worry, there's plenty more to come!

O Glorious Day! I have the first reply! Narrative AARs (good ones, that is) are rather lacking in this forum, and it is good to see my favorite AAR genre (and my dream genre in which to write well) get another entry!
May beginner's luck be with you!

Thanks! Your reply was so quick, in fact, it preceded the first chapter :) Hope you enjoy the initial update!
 

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
A good update indeed! It's ok to have a short initial update (or even a short update at all) sometimes it can be a bit annoying to have to read through paragraphs upon paragraphs of insipid writing (not that your writing is insipid)
Let the true line of the Holy Roman Emperors reign once more!

At what point are you in the game?
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
I'm on Herbert's grandson, so quite far ahead. Far enough that I'm not forgetting our humble count's origins, but far enough that I know the general direction in which the story needs to go.

By the way, considering, for now at least, I have the privilege of being able to update without having to write new material, how often should I update? I'm theory, I could have put 7,000 or so words up now, but that would definitely be too long! Should I go daily or more sparsely than that? Any thoughts welcomed.
 

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
I decided that I would play the family with the intentions of restoring them to their former glories - that is, at the very least king of France, maybe with some excursions into Burgundy, etc.
Reclaim the HRE!
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
I just remembered something... Isn't Herbert's dynasty called 'de Vermandois'? (In my Jerusalem game they conquered France, hopefully you'll follow in their footsteps). De Vermandois seems to be a cadet branch of Karling, did you mod Herbert to be Karling?
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
I just remembered something... Isn't Herbert's dynasty called 'de Vermandois'? (In my Jerusalem game they conquered France, hopefully you'll follow in their footsteps). De Vermandois seems to be a cadet branch of Karling, did you mod Herbert to be Karling?

God no! Me, modding? I'm not the most 'technologically-minded' of people out there - although I can do things with good instructions.:)

I have seen that other people have Herbert as de Vermandois, but, for some reason, in my game he is listed as Karling. They would definitely be a cadet branch, as Herbert's ancestor Bernard was a bastard. Not sure why that would be...

Regarding Jerusalem - you may be on to something... (I'll say no more :))
 

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
Regarding Jerusalem - you may be on to something... (I'll say no more :))
There is a legend that Charlemagne disguised himself and visited Jerusalem, so that would be another way for Herbert and his descendants to live up to the Karling name.... God wills it!
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
There is a legend that Charlemagne disguised himself and visited Jerusalem, so that would be another way for Herbert and his descendants to live up to the Karling name

Sorry, that's just given me a fantastic idea... Thanks :) And thanks for your interest in my humble attempts at an AAR, by the way. I've just been reading a bit of your 'A Saga Without Heroes', and what I've read has been very good (as, I'm sure, what I haven't yet read will be :))
 

Dovahkiing

Watcher on the Walls
16 Badges
Jan 22, 2012
1.176
2
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • For The Glory
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
Sorry, that's just given me a fantastic idea... Thanks :) And thanks for your interest in my humble attempts at an AAR, by the way.
My pleasure! I look forward to future Karling awesomeness!
I've just been reading a bit of your 'A Saga Without Heroes', and what I've read has been very good (as, I'm sure, what I haven't yet read will be :))
Thanks! Which chapter are you on?
This was good, and i won't ask for more....Instead i will demand more, give me more Karling or I shall berserk
biggrin.gif
Seconded!
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
This was good, and i won't ask for more....Instead i will demand more, give me more Karling or I shall berserk :D

Thanks! Would you like more now? For it can be done...

Dovahkiing said:
Thanks! Which chapter are you on?

22 as of posting - although that's subject to change :)
 

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
1.2: The Queen Was in the Parlour...

Chapter Two​

The following is taken from diary extracts found in the castle at Rethel. The originals are thought to be contemporary sources, and were probably written by a courtier from the time who witnessed the events mentioned. The originals are currently in display in the library at the Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble. It is with the kind permission of the university faculty that I use them.



rethel_zpsb6c4067d.jpg

A highly exaggerated depiction of Rethel, painted some time during the early twelfth century, when pro-Karling feelings in France were high.

Eudes Karling ran gaily down the stone hallways of the castle. In his hands he clutched a crudely fashioned hobbyhorse. He rode faster as his mother ran after him frantically. Eudes was not in the mood for his studies. He had been with his mother for the morning in her chamber entrenched deep in books of French, Latin and Italian, and was in dire need of a rest from his education. Eudes did not dislike his education, but could be easily distracted, and often snuck often when his mother had her back turned. The young lad is said to have believed himself more intelligent than others his age, and did not feel he needed all of his schooling. His pride was inherited from his father.

"Odo - get back here! Odo my love, we need to return to your studies...Odo!" Alix-Adèle de Valois called after her son in vain. He was ingnoring his mother's pleas, and rode off around the corner, further and further from the restraints of his studies. He continued down the stone-floored corridor towards the kitchen.

Herbert was a temperate man, but his son showed no similarity, happily indulging in fine meats and sweets while his father satisfied himself with a humble meal of bread and water. Herbert was not the most driven man to walk God's Earth, but tried in earnest to satisfy the Lord's will, hoping to live up to his ancestors in His eyes. The count's temperance was often overlooked in favour of his pride, as he could be arrogant and boastful about his heritage in the company of others who he sought desperately to impress.

Eudes arrived at the kitchens door and swung it open carelessly, nearly knocking over a kitchen maid who looked on surprised as the young lad availed himself to sweet meats, creating a mess in the corner of the room. By now, the kitchen staff had learnt to take little notice of Eudes' presence in the pantry, and knew to get on with preparing dinner.

Alix-Adèle arrived breathless at the kitchen door to see her son sat amidst the remains of a small feast.

"Odo, I demand of you: return with me to your studies at once." The young boy took no notice. "Odo, I will not wait much longer. You have until the count of three. One... Two..." She paused to give her son a chance, but still he showed no sign of turning to face his mother, who was growing ever-angrier. "Three." Alix-Adèle strode defiantly over to her son and hauled him up by his tunic collar. The boy squealed in protest as his mother dragged him away, but she did not let up, forcing him back down the corridor to her chamber. There were no eyewitnesses to what happened after, but it is said that the child's screams were heard ringing throughout the castle soon after he was dragged from the cellar.

Alix-Adèle de Valois, daughter of Raoul de Valois, comte d'Amiens et Vexin, baron de Péronne, loved her children dearly - none more than her eldest - but could demonstrate her love in unique ways. She could appear at first harsh, seeming to take pleasure from suffering, and was quick to punish any wrongdoing from her offspring, and could be very protective. Those close to her tell of a certain uneasiness that hung around her. It is claimed that sometimes she saw shadows in the corners of rooms, or refused food because it looked tainted. Some said that she was not sound of mind, but others saw her simply as a competent spymaster. She was also known to enjoy food herself, but often felt guilty after indulging. One can only assume, then, that her hypocritical actions were to encourage her son not to choose her own, sinful path. On that day, her actions seemed to work.



To be continued very soon...​
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
That can be the afterword :)

Alix-Adèle is a seriously messed up woman, so I tried to make her at least a little bit human. Her traits are Amateur Plotter, cynical, gluttonous, paranoid and cruel - a good spymaster, but an interesting mother/wife...
 
Last edited:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
Part One, Chapter Three, the bishop, the knight and the boy.

Chapter Three


Adalbert de Quincy thundered through the trees, down a forest track to Laon. It was early evening, and the late summer sun was beginning to creep below the treetops. A light breeze blew, intensified by the speed at which he was travelling, his horse working tirelessly below him. The beast's impressive muscles were working at full strength, its dark hair glistening in the dying sunlight. Beads of sweat started to appear on its sides, but it kept going. Adalbert was growing weary as well. He had spent little under five hours in the saddle. His last stop was about an hour ago, and he hadn't been able to stay at the inn long. His ale was quickly downed, needing to get back on his horse, Roland - named after Roland, a Paladin for Charlemagne. He still had three leagues to travel at this point. It was now nearing seven , and Adalbert still had two and a half leagues to travel. He guessed that, at best, it would take him an hour to reach Benoît. He just prayed that it would still be light when he arrived at Laon.



Benoît de Laon was walking back to his bishop's palace at around the same time. He had spent the day giving alms to the poor folk of Molinchart, a small village just west of Laon. Accompanying him was a young lad who was being educated at the monastery. Benoît had seen it fit to bring him along during his duties. One day, he hoped, the lad would grow to become a devout servant of the Lord. The bishop enjoyed teaching others - especially in the words and verses of the Lord and His Son, Jesus Christ. The count Herbert had entrusted unto him his own son, and he hoped that he could teach him to be more willing servant of the Lord than his father. The bishop dare not mention this to his liege, of course, bit, secretly, he was saddened when Herbert questioned him as he felt it was not entirely down to his quest to find how to better serve the Holy Father. The lad was bright, but could be rather arrogant. Benoît had tried to install some humility int o the child, but how can you convince a future count that they must be more humble? A how little Odo could be so deceitful he would never know. Benoît made sure to always have someone watching him - as well as the Lord, that is. It seems that the Almighty could not dissuade the boy from wandering off every now and then.

odowithbenoit_zps9a8b6d64.jpg

Benoît shown educating young children. Notice the Vermandoisian colour scheme that has been applied to the image.

The bishop was drawn out of his thoughts when his ward spoke.

"Look!" the young boy pointed excitedly in the direction of a small wooded area. Benoît followed the boy's finger and searched for something of interest amidst the trees. When he saw nothing of note, he returned his thoughts to God, continuing his prayer that they may reach the palace without incident. The young lad was evidently dismayed that his tutor had seen nothing, and continued to try and attract Benoît's attention. But his efforts were to no avail, as the bishop continued definitely towards home.



Adalbert guessed that he was only a fifteen minute ride away from Laon now. The sky had grown much darker, and he was starting to feel the cold. He pulled his woollen cloak tighter against him, feeling its warmth. There was still a small bit of sunlight, but, amidst the trees, Adalbert felt in total darkness. It was as if the Lord had hidden the sun from the view of mortals. No - Adalbert chastised himself for his blasphemy. Who was he to attribute the darkness to the Lord's deceit?

The forest began to thin out and Adalbert could start to make out the faint shapes of peasant huts on the horizon. The shapes grew more definite as he grew steadily closer - Roland still working tirelessly below him. He would need to find suitable reward for his steed's efforts, thought Adalbert with a thin smile. He was now completely out of the forest, and felt thankful for the light now around him. It was a full moon, so the surrounding area was brightly lit. Adalbert thanked the Lord for a safe journey, and for guiding him through the dark forest safely. What a magnificent spectacle he had conjured for the mortals that night! Adalbert slowed Roland to a walk and afforded himself a brief pause to admire the moon. 'What mysteries the Heavens contain!' he thought to himself in wonderment.

Roland sped himself back up to a canter, sensing his rider's thoughts. Adalbert above him prepared himself for the final stretch of his journey. He couldn't have been any more than five minutes away now.



Henri was growing ever more frustrated. He could sense that his tutor was becoming tired of hearing of how he had seen horses in the forest. It was true that it was not an unusual event for pages and envoys to be seen riding through the area - Laon, being as close to the border with the Kaiser's lands as it was, saw a fair number of German riders coming with messages for French lords. But at this time of night? Perhaps he was overtaking it. Again, it was not uncommon for Germanic lords who were especially eager for a message to be received to tell their riders to get to their destination as quickly as they could. But the armour? Henri was sure that through the dark cloud of trees he caught a glimpse of steel.

raoulhunt_zps1cac0ef6.jpg

Germanic riders, painted around the end of the eleventh century.

The lad was dragged sharply out of his thoughts as his tutor stopped outside a local tavern. Often Benoît would stop at these places, if not to preach to those who sought a life of hedonism and sin, to aid those who had fallen ill of the Lord's ways and needed alms to help start anew.

"As the prophet Isaiah said 'Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I wil strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.' Come unto me and I shall help you and give you aid from the Lord, our God. He wishes not that your fester in a life of hedonism..."

Henri was of course a devout Catholic, but was not as zealous as his tutor. The lad's father, baron Henri VI de Meaux, had sent him to be tutored by Benoît in diplomacy, but it seemed that the bishop had other plans for the boy. Henri looked on. Before him, he could see Benoît trying in vain to aid an inebriated peasant who was lying sordidly in the road. The peasant was doing all he could to resist the bishop who was, at this stage, forcing some silver pieces into his hands. Benoît wisely gave up, leaving the money by the drunken sot for him when he awoke. The bishop was naïve in his ideas regarding the local townspeople. It was unlikely that the money would ever find its way into the pocket of the sot, and would probably be taken by a passer by. Even then, the silver would be used to finance ale rather than feeding a family.

benoitwindow_zpsf1f7cac8.jpg

Benoît's efforts have been remembered over the years, and he has survived in folklore both locally, and on a wider scale. Shown above is a portrait of him found at the church in Laon.

The boy and his tutor began on their journey once more. It was a short walk from the town to Benoît's palace. Henri was not taking residence at the palace, but rather at a local monastery. Benoît would visit daily to teach the lad, taking him back to his home for studies, or perhaps to the town - as he had done today. But currently Henri was living with the bishop at his palace while Eudes was back with his parents in Rethel. Henri liked Eudes, and he hoped that one day he could grow up to become his Chancellor. Whenever they happened to be at the Bishop's Palace at the same time, Henri enjoyed playing with him, and the two could be seen on occasion riding together on play-horses through the nearby woods.

Henri looked up at the sky. The moon was bright and full, a wondrous orb in the Heavens, sent by God as a sign of love for his subjects on Earth. It must have been about eight now, and Henri was looking forward to his sleep after a long day with Benoît. He suspected that he would be sent up after dinner - usually a simple affair of bread and water. Early in the morning he would have to walk down the track on the short journey to the monastery, where he would have to partake in morning mass. The boy looked down from the moon and focused once more on his journey. Not long now, he thought. He had forgotten all about the glint of silver by this point.



i - In this period, a different time scale was used, in which each day had twelve hours. This meant that, however long the daylight lasted, twelve hours had to fitted into it. Because of this, an hour could only be defined as a twelfth of the period of daylight. For ease, times in the extracts have been changed to suit our system of timekeeping. The amended times should be quite accurate. I would like to thank Professor Jacques Charrboneau at the University of Bordeaux for his assistance with this.



To be continued very soon...​
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions:

DensleyBlair

Outside Agitator (they/them)
39 Badges
Jul 29, 2012
10.320
1.393
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Sengoku
  • Semper Fi
  • March of the Eagles
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Cities: Skylines
1.4: Resolutions

Chapter Four

Herbert blew out his candle, having just picked up a torch from the wall beside him. He had left his writing equipment on his desk, his letters strewn over the dark oak surface. He was lit by a soft, yellow glow. It was dark in the castle, despite the moon, and he needed the torch for light. Herbert closed the thick study door behind him and locked it so that no-one may take anything. He then proceeded down the corridor towards the stone stairwell. His wife had already gone to bed, and was no doubt waiting for him. The count was tired - too tired for any of his wife's advances. He had spent the day immersing himself in his family's history. His best knight , Adalbert had spent the day delivering a letter to his best diplomat - the Lord High Chancellor Bishop Benoît of Laon - about a claim on neighbouring lands in Amiens that needed investigating. Herbert made it his duty to posess a towering knowledge of his family's history - his history - in case anyone dared challenge him. But who would be fool enough to do such a thing? Herbert Karling was rightful heir to the thrones of the great Charles the Great.

vermandois_zpsde398dde.jpg

A contemporary map of what is modern Picardie.



Adalbert was stood outside the bishop's palace in Laon. He had expected Benoît to have been theirs to meet him, but the bishop was still nowhere to be found. Beside him, Roland was lapping gratefully at a dish of water. Adalbert had promised his steed that he would be sure to ask Benoît if he could afford anything to give as a reward for his efforts. But the bishop was still not here. It must have been nearing half past the hour. Adalbert had played witness to the bishopric retiring for the night. Surely its bishop would retire soon as well?

"Excuse me, good sir, pray, have you seen the bishop?" the knight enquired of a young farming man on his way back from a tavern.

"Not since Thursday last when he dragged me out of this here tavern!" came the jocular reply. Adalbert laughed with the man, before bidding him fare well, but was hiding a feeling of anxiety.

ee6c58d5d333c55d8683c1a3135cbd8f.jpg

Today, all that is left of the Palace are the ruins.



Benoît could sense something in the crisp night air. He felt uncomfortable. What was that Henri has said about a sliver glow? Surely the Almighty would not set anything upon them, he thought - he prayed. The lad was still behind him, ambling tiredly around the track. His ears pricked up. A soft clink came from the nearby wood, followed by a forced whisper of disapproval. They were being followed! Benoît was shocked - why would anyone want to follow him? What intrigue did he find himself entangled in? He sensed that his would-be assailants knew that they had been detected, and knew that he had precious little time to act before they were confronted. Benoît gestured to Henri for quiet, before unsheathing a short sword he kept concealed under his robes. A clatter of silver came pouncing out of the undergrowth. Benoît hurried out his ward out of the way, standing fast in the way of his assailants. He let out a battle cry as three armoured men threw themselves towards him.

"For God, for Justice!"

2c83cf1d62e830736ad650ae53a12328.jpg

This scene was likely painted during a period of strong pro-Karling feelings in the country, as Benoît has been made to look a gallant hero in the exaggerated battle.



To be continued very soon...
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions: