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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Capibara

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Lord Valentine said:
A nice update! The war seems far from over anyway! I am quite keen to see what Savoy hopes to gain from this conflict.

~Lord Valentine~

Right, war still has some surprises left. As for Savoy, just wait until next chapter ;)
 

Enewald

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Right... a officers bodyguard?

Protecting the pretty body? :p

Rainer is a king? :rofl:
 

Capibara

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Enewald said:
Right... a officers bodyguard?

Protecting the pretty body? :p

Rainer is a king? :rofl:

Haha, that's right, he's not that experienced in war (Petrucci) and Giovanni could give him a hand. And yes, Ranieri is a king, you'll learn more about him soon.

Expect and update later this week. I've been busy with my mod and work, but I'll try to write something today.
 

Capibara

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Chapter VI
The Bird

The trip to Torino had almost lasted a week, even though Visconti wished to arrive to his meeting with Savoy’s king, Ernesto “Uccello” Ranieri VII. The war with Siena needed to end soon, in a favorable way for the duchy, although the conquest of Siena would give him a border another border with the Pope, and more troubles, but Berni had promised he would take care of the Pope as soon as the war ended. He was more worried about the Germans, the Emperor was only waiting the slightest provocation to attack Milan, specially after the conquest of Switzerland by the ducal troops. But for now, he had to deal with one enemy at the time. And now, that enemy was Siena and he would need the help of Ranieri to deal with them. That was the whole reason of this trip.

After entering the city, the Duke and his guard headed towards the Palazzo Madama, house of Ranieri. The king was already waiting for them outside of the palace, with a broad smile and open arms. Ernesto Ranieri, the seventh, had not been king of Savoy for long, around two years, but he quickly became famous across all Italy for his singular personality and appearance. He always wore a hat, no matter where he would go, and had a private collection of these, brought from all the corners of the world. He bore a strange moustache as well, with pointy ends, nothing seen in other courts or nations. He wore an elegant patch instead of an eye, lost during a fight against a jealous nobleman, whose wife had been seeing the king. And finally, he had gained the name of Uccello – bird – because he liked to sing all the time, and he was pretty good at it. It was rumored that when he was young he had sung for the Pope himself and had earned the Papal tiara, the most precious piece of his hat collection.

“Visconti, my dear friend” Ranieri, with a broad smile in his face, greeted the Milanese duke as he dismounted. “It’s been a while since the last time we saw each other, I’m really glad seeing you here again.”

“Ernesto, a pleasure” responded Visconti kissing him on both cheeks.

“Shall we go inside?”

“Sure.”

Visconti’s guard remained outside while Ranieri took Visconti too one of the palace’s room, a very well decorated one, with tapestries and books in the walls, where they sat down to discuss the reason of Visconti’s visit while some servants gave them some wine.

“Well tell me the reason of your visit, dear duke” started Ranieri.

“I think we both know why I’m here, Ranieri” responded Visconti seriously.

“Come on! Tell me, it’s always nice to hear a little story” said Ranieri smiling.

“Let’s not loose time, you know I left a war I’m loosing unattended just for talking with you.”

“Make it quick then” Ranieri smiled even more.

Seeing how he would not convince Ranieri of anything else, Visconti decided to brief him about a situation he knew already in fastest way he could do it.

“Fine, as you may know, I’m in a war with Siena, which was supposed to be an easy task, after taking Switzerland, Mantua, Pisa, among others, what I didn’t count on was that the Pope would take the situation in his hands, and would lend some soldiers to the Sienese, soldiers that made me loose a battle a week ago.”

“Interesting tale, but what do you want exactly from me?”

“Again…” thought Visconti. Making his best effort not to loose his calm, Visconti answered slowly. “I want military support against Siena and the Pope until I take the city.”

“You are asking too much Visconti, but you are a friend and I will help you. However, I’ll want you to help me back whenever it’s necessary, and that may be soon enough.”

“Soon enough when?”

“You know, I’ve been spending the last months raising an army, and my intention is to attack Genoa, however those sailors are stronger than they appear to be, mustering armies from Corsica to Crimea, since they have strengthened their position back there. So, just as you need help against Siena, I ask for help against Genoa, as well as an alliance, so we can help each other in any further wars we might face.”

“I don’t know Ranieri, you aren’t exactly famous for your relations with France and Burgundy; your plan could backfire.”

“And you aren’t exactly famous for your relations with the Pope and the Emperor. And you know that by helping you I’m risking excommunication. But don’t worry, as long as we succeed in our wars, we will get enough strength, and rumor has it you won’t stop with Siena, are you? The say you are looking south, all the way to Sicily.”

“It may be true…”

“I know it’s true! I just hope I can get some benefit from those wars.”

“You are an ambitious and intelligent man, Ranieri, just like me; let’s just hope that doesn’t cause our downfall.”

“Again Visconti, don’t worry, as long as we stay together and succeed, we have nothing to be afraid about.”

“Exactly: if we succeed. What if we don’t?”

“You are pessimistic, aren’t you? For the third time I tell you: don’t worry, with me by your side, you’ll be safe.” Ranieri had been smiling all the time.

Once again, Visconti realized there was nothing to do against Ranieri so he decided to agree with his terms.

“Fine, as long as you help me against Siena I’ll help you in your war against Genoa and will make an alliance so we can help each other in further wars. Now we must pass this treaty to a written form.”

“I think that can wait; its dinner time and I have prepared a special one to honor your visit. So, if you would kindly follow me to the dinner room, you’ll taste some of the best dishes of the region.”

They proceeded to the dinner room, where Ranieri kept his word. Dinner was spectacular, starting with the antipasti, composed by chopped raw beef, with olive oil and lemon, and a vegetable flan, mainly pea and asparagus, finishing with agnolotti, stuffed pasta and specialty of the region. The main dish was a very elegant one, brasato al Barolo, beef braised in Barolo wine. The dessert was delicious as well, a hazelnut cake. All of this was accompanied by an excellent red wine.

“Well Ranieri, I must say this was excellent, I expected something good, but nothing of this quality, my congratulations.”

“Please congratulate my cooks, they’re the ones that make the hard job” responded Ranieri sipping a little wine from his glass. “So, will you stay here for the night or will you return immediately south?”

“After all this food I think I have to stay, my army can hold a couple of days more. I would be delighted so hear you sing as well.”

“It will be a pleasure. Just let me rest a little a bit and I’ll more than ready to sing for you, dear duke Visconti.”

However, singing would have to wait, since that moment, one of the guards of Visconti entered, followed by a man, apparently a messenger.

“Sir, this man wants to speak with you, he claims he has urgent notices from the war” said the guard.

“Speak.”

“Sir, captain Fiorelli sent me to tell you they can’t hold much longer, the combined Siense-Bolognese army will break through Pisa’s defenses soon; he is requesting reinforcements as soon as possible.”
“Well, it seems we have a mission” said Ranieri laughing “Save Pisa. I’ll assemble my army as soon as possible. I’ll sing on another occasion, for now, war awaits us.”

Visconti was surprised again by Ranieri’s vitality and optimism, hoping he could get some while he was with him, because a feeling told him all this would not end well.
 

robou

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A good character, i like him. I don't know if his optimism is well placed though. The Visconti's have very many problems...
 

Enewald

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Rainier is a odd duke with more personal oddities! :p

Can we see some hats? :D

Not a good ending?

You got annexed? :rofl:
 

Griffin.Gen

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Aww man, that dinner looked sooo good, I wish i was there :(
Anyway nice job, Ranieri is really optimistic.
 

unmerged(83622)

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Oh god, the hats! Wonderful portrayal, a truly colourful character, this. And somehow I get the feeling that now matter how optimistic one's personality might be, no-one would have this much faith in themselves without a cause for it.
 

Lord Valentine

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Indeed Ranieri seems to be quite a jolly chap. However I ask myself how he managed to get himself elevated to the rank of king while his historic counterparts where only counts at the time. ;)

Anyway with the stakes high for both sides the next battle promises to be an interesting one. :cool:

~Lord Valentine~
 

canonized

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Man I was really hungry after reading that XD . Great chapter and yes , I agree , Visconti seems both like a good guy and someone who's studied Machiavelli too . We'll have to see how he plays into all this .
 

unmerged(83622)

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Lord Valentine said:
Indeed Ranieri seems to be quite a jolly chap. However I ask myself how he managed to get himself elevated to the rank of king while his historic counterparts where only counts at the time. ;)

Anyway with the stakes high for both sides the next battle promises to be an interesting one. :cool:

~Lord Valentine~
With hats like that, being count just isn't enough. :cool:
 

Qorten

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Ranieri acts like he's on dope all the time. Or Prozac. Unnaturally optimistic, that man. I look forward to seeing more of the war, now that the Savoyards have joined.
 

EUROO7

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Capibara said:

He always wore a hat, no matter where he would go, and had a private collection of these, brought from all the corners of the world. He bore a strange moustache as well, with pointy ends, nothing seen in other courts or nations. He wore an elegant patch instead of an eye, lost during a fight against a jealous nobleman, whose wife had been seeing the king.

Now I wonder where you got the eyepatch from! :rolleyes: :D

Capibara said:
The dessert was delicious as well, a hazelnut cake.

AH!

I love Haizelnut cake! How did you know?! :D

Capibara said:
“Well, it seems we have a mission” said Ranieri laughing “Save Pisa. I’ll assemble my army as soon as possible."

:rofl:

That mission might be harder than you expect! ;)


Now, Rainieri will go with Visconti to defeat those insolent Sienese! :cool:
 

Capibara

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robou- Exactly! Visconti is the one with problems, not him :p

Enewald- I meant a bad ending for Milan, not for Siena, as for the hats, maybe I should ask EURO. (It's Ranieri btw ;))

Griffin.Gen- Haha, that was the expected reaction from my readers :D

Snugglie- I couldn't leave the hats out :D I really enjoyed creating this character, I must thank EURO for the inspiration.

Lord Valentine- Let's just say the Pope granted him the title after he heard him sing another time years later :p :D

canonized- One day I'll invite you all to have dinner and I'll serve something like that :D, it's just a matter if you can make it to Tijuana ;) Visconti will have an important role in the events that will play later.

Qorten- :rofl: Maybe, although I wonder where could he get them in the XV century. More war coming in the next chapter!

comagoosie- Haha, maybe, but remember you are Goma Gusci :D

EUROO7- I'm wondering the same... :p As for the Hazelnut cake, you know, I have my spies and contacts :D And yes, it's a mission! Let's see if he can perform just as good as you ;)
 

Enewald

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Btw, Capibara, why this new avatar? :wacko:

You have changed your avatar some times today, makes me crazy. :D
 

EUROO7

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I have a strange feeling I am going to die in this war. :(
 

Griffin.Gen

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Capibara said:
Griffin.Gen- Haha, that was the expected reaction from my readers :D

It worked, didn't it?
I still wish i was one of Ranieri's Noble eating with them during that dinner :p
 

Slinky

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You incorporated EUROO7 well in your story. All the little references are pretty funny. However I'm getting a bit concerned that the forum is slowly being infested with hats :D