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    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

Capibara

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HC.AFC- Glad to have you onboard, I'm happy you liked the hats ;)

Enewald- Haha :D I'm just trying to find a good one until I get to the 3,000 posts, so maybe you'll see some more changes still. Do you want to suggest one?

EUROO7- Don't worry, Ranieri is a too good character to let him die in the second chapter after his appearance.

Griffin.Gen- Hmm, I haven't included you, right?, maybe I could get you a post in Ranieri's court :D

Slinky- Thanks! But don't worry, hats won't be as important as in EURO's AAR ;)
 

EUROO7

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Capibara said:
EUROO7- Don't worry, Ranieri is a too good character to let him die in the second chapter after his appearance.
*sigh of relief*

:D
 

Griffin.Gen

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Capibara said:
Griffin.Gen- Hmm, I haven't included you, right?, maybe I could get you a post in Ranieri's court :D
Seriously?! Awesome! :D
Hence my name, I should be a General, but hey, I'm not the writter :p
 

Lord Valentine

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Griffin.Gen said:
Seriously?! Awesome! :D
Hence my name, I should be a General, but hey, I'm not the writter :p
And while your at it don't forget good old' Lord Valentino who also desperately awaits a guest appearance on this marvelous AAR. :D

~Lord Valentine~
 

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Lord Valentine said:
And while your at it don't forget good old' Lord Valentino who also desperately awaits a guest appearance on this marvelous AAR. :D

~Lord Valentine~
lol if it keeps up like this, the whole forum will have an appearance!
 

Capibara

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Griffin.Gen said:
lol if it keeps up like this, the whole forum will have an appearance!
Nah, I doubt it, but I could still make some references without directly mentioning them, or a small cameo appearance, even as a dead soldier's body :p. But you two don't worry, I'll try to include you as soon as I get a chance.
 

Lord Valentine

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Griffin.Gen said:
lol if it keeps up like this, the whole forum will have an appearance!
Not the worst idea really! I mean is there a better way to keep your fans reading? I would always be on the watchout for a reference to my character. :p

Capibara has a very sly PR-strategy. :D
 

Capibara

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Chapter VII
The Siege of Pisa​
“Come on boys! You can do it, we must take the city before Visconti returns, wherever he is.” Captain Rossi kept shouting words of encouragement to his soldiers, as the assault at the walls of Pisa continued.

The siege had started only a couple of days after the victory in the fields of Siena. Captain Rossi had almost immediately ordered the advance towards Pisa; he alleged there was no time to loose, so both armies, still tired from the battle, had to move at Rossi’s order, arriving to the outskirts of Pisa just a few days later.

The third week of the siege had just ended and Captain Rossi had received news that enemy reinforcements, both from Milan and Savoy, were on their way, so he had decided to rush the assault, confident that numerical superiority would be enough to break the defenses of the city. But he was wrong, the garrison army that Visconti had left was fighting viciously, not ceding a single centimeter of wall without heavy loses for the combined Sienese-Bolognese army. Despite of the casualties, Rossi was determined of finishing with the siege that day.

Ladders had been put all across the southern and eastern walls of the city, while a battering ram was attempting to open the gates. The climbing soldiers were met with a rain of arrows, rocks and sometimes boiling oil. They also faced the possibility of having their ladder kicked down by one of the defenders. But this wouldn’t wear down the attackers that were just as eager of taking the city as the defenders were of holding it.

Giulio and Giuseppe were among the soldiers about to begin another assault at the western side of the southern wall, one of the sides better defended. They had only seen Giovanni twice during the last weeks; he seemed to be very occupied with Petrucci. But there wasn’t time to worry about him; the lieutenant had given the order to start the assault. They looked at each other, nodded, grabbed their weapons, a sword and a shield, to protect from enemy missiles, and started climbing.

As they kept climbing the sound of whistling arrows passing right next to them combined with the screams of pain and death at the top of the wall. The shields were doing their job, deflecting the boulders that were thrown at them. Giulio was the first one to reach the top of the wall, using his shield he took out the defending soldier, who fell over the wall. However, the wall was still full of defenders and Giulio had to use all of his skills to clear some space for his companions climbing. He quickly got rid of his shield, throwing it at one of his opponents, he preferred fighting just with a sword, alleging a shield made him slower, so after taking out one of his enemies with the shield, he drew out his sword and attacked his nearest enemy. Dodging the first attack my jumping backwards, Giulio approached then stabbed his opponent in the stomach, twisting his sword to make the most damage possible. He took out his sword quickly as his enemy howled in pain and fell to the floor. He avoided by nothing another attack by reacting quickly and cutting the arm of his attacker. However, he tripped with one of the corpses and fell, drawing the attention of one of the Milanese soldiers that headed towards him and was about to kill him when his head suddenly disappeared in a splash of blood. The headless body fell upon Giulio who, rolled so he wouldn’t be trapped. After avoiding the body he saw Giuseppe smiling with his sword full of blood and fighting two enemies at once.

“Thanks” shouted Giulio.

“Not time to thank me, better look behind you” responded his friend.

Giulio only had time to turn and see a giant soldier wielding an axe about to cut him in half, but he was able to bend, avoiding death and then jumping to pierce the giant’s neck, that went down without making a single sound. As Giulio and Giuseppe continued to kill enemies, more Sienese soldiers arrived to the top of the wall, being of great relief to both Giulio and Giuseppe. The fight was equal. Both sides were fighting with all the strength and it seemed the balance wouldn’t break, but the combined effort of the two of them, along with their experience, the balance began to incline in favor of the Sienese assailants.

After almost two hours of fighting, wounds, blood and dead bodies, the western side of the south wall was in Sienese hands, however, the battle still raged in several other points. The battering ram had been taken down thanks to the boiling oil and some incendiary arrows.

While Giulio and Giuseppe had been fighting in the southern wall, Giovanni had been busier fighting in the eastern well, along with Petrucci. The number of Sienese soldiers fighting there was little compared with other sides of the well, so the few soldiers there had to deal with it the best they could. Giovanni’s skill was being demonstrated once again, as he helped his companions with a great amount of kills. Petrucci revealed to have some tricks as well, learned with the years, when he had told Rossi his decision of fighting along with all the soldiers in the front of the battle, the captain thought he had gone mad, alleging that he could get killed and that would be a great blow, specially since he was a member of one of the most prominent families in Siena, but Petrucci didn’t want to hear reasons and Rossi had to resign to the fact that Petrucci would be fighting just like a common soldier, at least he had Giovanni with him, he thought.

Rossi wasn’t wrong, Giovanni had already saved Petrucci’s life twice in the course of the assault and it was clear he would to do it at least another couple of times. Fighting shoulder by shoulder, they had killed many enemies. Blood stained their clothes as the battle continued and corpses accumulated around them, but the enemy didn’t cede, it seemed that for every man they killed, two appeared to replace him, and even as the superb swordsman he was, Giovanni also got tired, and the Sienese forces in the eastern wall thinned every minute, but almost as a miracle, reinforcements arrived, Rossi was sending some soldiers from the captured sides of the wall to help the eastern side, among them were Giuseppe and Giulio. This help proved to be critical, if they hadn’t arrived, the Sienese assault would probably have failed in that side of the wall.

The combined effort of the two forces finally destroyed the enemy resistance and the wall was taken. Rossi was very satisfied, only small points of the wall were still resisting and soon the gates would be open. He started redeploying their forces to completely surround the city and attack from all possible points. Meanwhile, atop the walls, soldiers were celebrating; confident the city would soon be theirs. As the redeployment was being finished and the gates were being opened the sound of thousands of feet marching filled the air. The victorious Sienese and Bolognese soldiers looked around and, to their horror saw how the surroundings of the city filled with soldiers, with the flags from Milan and Savoy flying above. And, in front of them, leading the army, mounted on a white horse, was Ernesto Ranieri VII, King of Savoy.

“I can’t believe it” said Rossi who hadn’t recovered still from the surprise. “The Bird joined Milan; I could have expected it of many, but not him.”

“My captain, we have worse problems than that.” One of the officers that accompanied Rossi started. “With half our army inside the walls of the city and the other half about to enter we are very vulnerable. We could be easily surrounded. Our troops will be pinned to the walls by the enemy cavalry and we cannot take refugee inside the city, since it’s still filled with enemy troops, you must sound the retreat.”

“And then the enemy cavalry will roll over us.”

“At least we’ll get a better chance to defend ourselves.”

“I don’t know, maybe if we are able to defeat the garrison quickly…”

“Whatever you decide, do it quickly!” Mancini, the Bolognese leader had approached. “The enemy won’t give you time to think, their cavalry is already positioning to charge.”

“Damn, we were so close…” Rossi seemed to be talking to himself. “Sound the retreat, an organized retreat; I want a small force that can resist the cavalry charge as well pull out the rest of the army. Do it now!”

The word of the retreat quickly spread among the troops, both inside and outside the city, where the Milanese troops, hearing that reinforcements had arrived, started harassing the Sienese and Bolognese soldiers inside the city.

“Come on, hurry! Let’s get out of here before they kill us” Giulio was hurrying his friends that were among the soldiers inside the city.

“They will soon catch up, there’s not time to loose” Giovanni started running as well, followed by Giuseppe and Petrucci.

“We are almost there, it… Aaargh!” Giuseppe, who had been covering the back, had just received an arrow in the thigh, he fell to the floor as he clutched his leg and screamed in pain.

“Giuseppe!” Giovanni stopped almost automatically and ran back where his friends was.

“Can you walk?” he asked kneeling over him.

“I don’t think so.”

“Come on, I will help you” Giovanni grabbed Giuseppe’s arm and passed over his shoulders, rising after that.

“Those bastards are closing the doors! They’ll lock us here. Come on!” Petrucci yelled at them.

Giulio decided to help with Giuseppe too, but they were advancing too slowly, as they saw how the gates closed little by little and their pursuers were getting closer.

“You won’t be able to make it with me. Leave me here, I’ll deal with them, I’ll buy you some time” said Giuseppe, with his voice full of pain.

“But, we can do that… I won’t leave you here” said Giovanni.

“You must, with me, you won’t be able to get out…”

“But…”

“He’s right boy” Petrucci said “if we bring him we’ll get locked inside the city, and the Milanese will slaughter us. Better loose one than four. This battle is lost and Siena will need you.”

Giovanni seemed to be on the verge of tears, but he restrained and said instead “Well, this is your choice old friend, may God be with you.”

“Just help me stand and get this arrow out.”

With the help of both Giulio and Giovanni, Giuseppe took out the arrow, not without pain and a good amount of blood coming out. He stood up with difficulty, drew out his sword and turned towards the streets where the enemy soldiers were coming from.

“Dear friend, here we say goodbye, I was very honored to be your friend and fellow soldier, I hope we can see again, even if it’s in the other world. Now maybe I’ll get a chance to make a tour through hell, purgatory and heaven and see if Dante was right” said Giuseppe smiling. “Now go. Go!”

Giovanni, using all the strength of his body turned around and joined Giulio and Petrucci that were already running. As the siege of Pisa turned into a disaster and the troops of Bologna and Siena retreated and the cavalry of Savoy and Milan charged, as the gates of Pisa closed and the unlucky soldiers that remained inside were killed. As the sun started to set in the horizon, Giuseppe Santi faced his last battle, he swung his sword for the last time, as the Milanese soldiers surrounded him and arrows pierced his flesh, he saw the sunlight for the last time. As enemies fell dead around him and he felt the cold steel penetrating him, he thought of all his life, his virtues and vices, the happy and sad moments, of his friends, of all he had done. And finally, as he drew his last breath, he thought of his sins, repenting, and hoping God would admit him in his Holy House.
 

Qorten

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A great chapter Capibara. The best so far in my opinion. Well written battle scene. Congrats. Sad Giuseppe had to die though. :(
 
Last edited:

robou

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Qorten said:
A great chapter capibara. The best so far in my opinion. Well written battle scene. Congrats. sad Giovanni had to die though. :(
Giuseppe died... :)
 

Slinky

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Sooner or later someone had to die. I'm just glad it's not Inchi :D and besides now we have a G-man less to confuse us.

A long update and an enjoyable read, it doesn't get any better.
 

unmerged(83622)

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Slinky said:
Sooner or later someone had to die. I'm just glad it's not Inchi :D and besides now we have a G-man less to confuse us.
Someone had to die, but now someone needs to avenge Giuseppe's death! I propose that Giulio and Giovanni go bird-hunting. ;)

Nice scene, and a worthy end to a good soldier.
 

canonized

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A noble sacrifice and a sad one . This might lead to revenge and darker portions that mean darker motives , but we'll have to see how the heroes tackle with virtue and sating revenge .
 

Lord Valentine

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So one of the companions has fallen. I wonder how this will change the attitudes of the others. A little blood feud would be a nice addition to the tale. :D

~Lord Valentine~
 

Capibara

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robou- I didn't know that, but indeed, he died like a true soldier

Qorten- Thanks! I really enjoyed writing the battle, I had been wanting to do it since the start.

Slinky- Don't worry, Inchi won't die ;) at least for now :D

Snugglie- Bird hunting :D, I like it and thanks!

canonized- That's right, this could lead to unthinkable consequences.

Lord Valentine- I'm sure it will be, specially if Lord Valentino is included ;)
 

Capibara

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Ok people, new AARlander is up, with excellent articles for this month, don't forget to go and take a look at it!
 
Last edited:

Castor94

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I've missed some updates, it seems I'll have to do a lot of catch up :D
 

Miscreant

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Capibara, I just read through this whole AAR and I am absolutely riveted.

I like that the prologue is hanging over all of the action as a mega-cliffhanger.

Also, I see you had already done the work-commentators-into-story line thing!
It's funny, I hadn't read that update before including you and the others in my AAR... I guess great minds just think alike. Maybe now that I realize you used the same style I will have to find a way to resurrect Capibara.

Giuseppe's death was very well written... it's like one of those scenes in a movie where each time you watch it you think "no, look out of the arrow!" and you hope the ending will change, even though you know it can't. I promise, if you write me into your story, I will have Ranieri's head for this injustice (actually, I suppose I can't promise that, as you would be the one writing my part).