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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

IamWhoa

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DrogoHistorian.jpg


Part V: Rising Power

Two weeks after the crowning of Alasdir as Duke of Galicia, war broke out between the Duchies of Brittany and Breton March. Brandon de Porhoët had inherited Penthievre from his father Konwion, just before Crimthann set out on his second voyage to Spain. The province would play a crucial role in starting the conflict. The roots of the short war are obscured by exaggerations and other tales. At face value, it would seem as though Breton March was the aggressor. Yet there was no real motive for this, Crimthann was far more powerful. I believe that the Bishop Geoffroy of Leon was behind it, working by proxy of Crimthann himself. Early in April of 1269, troops from Leon began pillaging border towns in Penthievre, a county under the control of Brandon. When demands to cease were ignored, Brandon invaded in a fury on July 2, 1269. Regardless of his role, Crimthann was bound to aide his vassal.

The Duke of Brittany certainly seemed prepared for the war. He was quickly able to draw up 8,000 men and immediatly set out towards Vannes – the center of Porhoët power for the last two centuries. Outside the town of Ploeren, the two Dukes met. As were most Porhoëts, Brandon was a brilliant commander. Despite this, he was terribly outnumbered and was outmaneuvered as a result. Having shoved his rival aside, the Duke of Brittany settled down for a siege of Vannes.

...I ask you, Duke Crimthann, to agree to a days long cease-fire so that my wife, children, and their kin may flee Vannes. In the namesake of Saint Hoel, the liege of my forebearers, please accept this agreement.

- Brandon de Porhoët August 15, 1269​

Crimthann ignored all pleas for a cease-fire by Brandon and his broken armies. His stern attitude towards the entire affair payed off and by the end of September, Brandon had ceded Penthievre to Crimthann.


Penthievrestatue.jpg

Many statues of the Duke arose after his victory.


All records for the following years drop in content dramatically. It was only in late 1274 that the writers of the time began to take note of events once more. In August, Crimthann began to suffer from a terrible illness. One of his physicians noted:

The Duke weeps uncontrollably and he tells of piercing headaches. As he speaks to me, he coughs up blood in small droplets. As he turns to relive one bedsore ridden side, he is struck by a terrible agony within his abdomen. Before I could complete my examination, the Duke was overcome with such a fit of tremors that I nearly fainted.


Crimthann was in this state until January of the next year. During that time, doctors proclaimed him poisoned, news which shook the upper echelons of Ducal power. Instead of heading out any sort of formal investigation, the Duke blamed all of his neighbors – from Brandon to the French elites in other provinces. After shaking all traces of the illness, he began his campaign of retaliation. In February of 1276, he declared himself the legitimate ruler of Vannes. Brandon need not of worried however, Crimthann wasn’t concerned with him yet. In the south, Nantes remained in the control of French nobles from the time of Amédée Capet. Placing the blame squarly on the French rulers of Nantes, Crimthann organized an invasion. Unsure of his enemy’s strength, the Duke had his chief marshal and relative, Folcaud, march into the province with 13,500 men. The army was so overwhelming that the petty Barons were immediatly tripping over themselves in surrender. On July 19, 1276, Nantes was once more a dominion of the Kernes.


1276Maps.jpg
 

Enewald

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yay, france is loosing!

But for how long... abuse them quickly!
 

stnylan

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Oh granted, Crimthann is an excellent ruler. Does his dynasty proud.

My concern is more for his sons and grandsons :)
 

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phargle: I do write some things too :p I'm glad you like it.

stnylan:
His sons are rather incompetent by comparison but we will see what happens.

robou: I'm not worried. Because they are pretty much always at war and have so much manpower that they simply cannot collapse, I took over for a moment to fix things. It comes in the 1280's or so, so we'll see what happens there. :D

Enewald: They are shedding vassals like crazy, but my reputation has been so poor I haven't been able to do a whole lot.
 

IamWhoa

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Kerne Theory
Part VI: The Rule of Plateau


CrimthannPortrait.jpg

Duke Crimthann Kerne


It is said that Crimthann was shocked to see the disrepair of Fergant Castle. Within a month a expelling the French elite, Crimthann began a new building project, aimed at restoring the resting place of Alan IV.

The following years went by as they would an obscure Count. Crimthann’s second son, Duinechaid, was given rulership of Penthievre – only for the young man to die two months later of the pox. Perhaps it was his sons death that prompted Crimthann to take a more gentle approach to his adversaries. Instead of immediatly executing all suspects of crime, Crimthann became known as a more compassionate man. Nothing could shake the rumors of atrocities in Spain and elsewhere, however. Going further to repair his image, Crimthann considered a wife. Having been widowed for years, the Duke finally decided to marry once more – to Adela van Holland of Loon. It seemed as if the Duke might live out the rest of his days in peace and stability. Only those close to him knew that his ambition was never at rest.

Two days after the crowning stone in the renewed Fergant Castle was placed, Nov. 3, 1280, Crimthann’s armies were once again marching against Brandon de Porhoët. Using his largely fabricated claim to Vannes and the Duchy to justify the invasion, the Duke sent a 6,300 man force under Folcaud Kerne By March of the next year, having put up the obliged token resistance, Brandon solemnly surrendered his Ducal title. Bound by tradition, Crimthann allowed Brandon to continue his rule in Vannes as Count. Nonetheless, Crimthann was now Duke of Breton March.

In the years following, as if a warning from God, Crimthann began to suffer in various ways. He fell ill once more, bringing back many of the pains of his recent poisoning. The chief stewardess of the dimense, Yolanda, died of age as the Duke weathered fever ridden nights. The Rennesguilde suffered immediatly from poor leadership in her wake. The economic block quickly dissolved as other cities rose in prominence, disrupting the hegemony of Rennes. Even Nantes to the south, which had traditionally been a poorer province, boomed as a result of the reconstruction of Fergant Castle. Before the Rennesguilde was officially dissolved in 1286, the city of Nantes had already become the regions most wealthy – assuming the prestigious Rennesguilde ascribed title of “King City.” Despite the success of other French and Breton cities, the dissolution of Rennesguilde was a tremendous setback for Brittany.

YolandaSteward.jpg

Yolanda de Hauteville became something of an icon for future merchants.


After finally arising from his sickness and perhaps in a token of thanks to the beyond, Crimthann founded the Bishopric of Penthievre in May of 1285. The timing of the Pope’s call to a Fifth Crusade the same year couldn’t have come at a better time.

In March of 1286, Crimthann studied the waters of the small port town of Brest, his 19,000 man army organized behind him. He likely pondered what he knew of the mistakes of Alan IV and Brandon the Dotty. The Kernes would Crusade once more – for Egypt.
 

Estonianzulu

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phargle said:
I want to grip that map between my thighs.

While also in love with your maps, I do not.
 

stnylan

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So once more the Kerne's depart for overseas. Knowing them, whatever they do, it will be a bit messy.
 

robou

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As long as they come back from Egypt, it isn't to much of a worry. However, they have an uncanny ability to be kicked out of Brittany. And i'm not even going to go into what Phargle said....*shudder*
 

Enewald

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Kernes become king of Egypt, yayz!

Yolandas hair looks funny. :p
 

unmerged(106914)

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Another crusade, hopefully not as costly as some of the previous ones for Brittany.
 

IamWhoa

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Peleus: Crimthann is a pretty good leader, but even he has trouble sometimes.

phargle:
Just something pretentious I thought up. There are "theories" of history based on different variables, like whether individuals are the driving force or something else. Since I've kind of lost track of where I was going with that, I've decided to stick with history book style things for now.

Enewald:
Not quite ;)

robou:
Thanks to the booming Breton economy, I was at least able to leave a large army behind as well.

stnylan:
Perhaps, perhaps not.

Estonianzulu: That's too bad :(
 

IamWhoa

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Kerne Theory
Part VII: The Alexandrian Crusade



CrusadeforALexadnria.jpg

The post-Seljuk, eastern Mediterranean.


It would take a year to reach the coasts of Egypt and on March 7, 1286, the Bretons finally bumbled out of their ships and onto the shores west of Alexandria. With the Duke was his marshal Folcaud, the Bishop Eanric and Dirk von Franken of Leon. With 19,000 men between them and 1964 Knights, Crimthann was ready to conqueror on the behalf of the Pope.

Expecting their arrival, Sultan Kiliç Fatamid awaited outside the walls of Alexandria with 10,000 men. A dust storm had kicked up in the early hours, obscuring Kiliç’s sight of the Crusaders and giving Crimthann time to disembark his army. As the sun waned in sky, so did the storm. By the time it completely lifted, the full Breton army was arrayed before the Sultan.

KilicPortrait.jpg

Sultan Kiliç Fatamid

Hoping that they were at least weary, the Sultan took what he knew was his only chance in defeating the much larger army. The full Egyptian force steadily advanced, gradually contacting the Breton lines. In attempt to split the Crusaders, Kiliç focused all of his manpower on the center. Though they managed to drive the Bretons back somewhat, Crimthann had already anticipated the move, deploying more flexible troops in the middle.

The battle dragged on for hours – a terrible slugging match. The Egyptians wreaked havoc upon the Breton cavalry as they attempted to charge, whilst Crimthann’s skirmisher corps – ingrained with Irish tactics, infuriated the helpless Saracen infantry. Just as the night began to fall, Kiliç withdrew like the wind. Rather than pursue the Sultan, Crimthann wheeled the army around in order to face the walls of Alexandria. Though 2,500 Egyptians had fallen, 3,000 Breton and French Crusaders had also perished. The Duke would wait out the siege until July, when the city finally surrendered.

As Kiliç stayed within bowshot, Crimthann attempted to subdue the eastern Sheiks of Egypt. In the province of Gabijaha, the wells were found poisoned and food was almost non-existent outside the major towns. Nearly 10,000 additional Crusaders would succumb to disease and starvation in the godforsaken land. Though in the end, he did manage to place the local Sheiks under his heel. With their aid and empty promises of the Egyptian crown, Crimthann was able to replenish some of his numbers. In September, at 9,000 strong, a third of the thin Crusader army was made up of local Muslim conscripts.

For the following year, the two leaders would play chess with their armies. As Crimthann’s army lumbered about Egypt, Kiliç’s smaller army never left his shadow. As the Duke would take a town, Kiliç would soon arrive to retake it. Despite the exhaustion of the Crusaders, Crimthann still bested the Sultan in all their engagements, no matter the scope or location. The final battle between the two would come outside the village of Bawiti in Buhairya, on May 11, 1288. The Egyptians proved just as weary as the Bretons as were finally scattered for good. Kiliç knew it was over.

By means of letter, the two organized a peace. On September 22, the Duchy of Damietta was founded and given to an Italian noble, Alessia von Steutzlingen. This was based on reasons of merit rather than blood, as the man was a brilliant one – perfect for the already shaky Duchy. Whether he could actually nurse the infant Crusader state to strength was another story. Crimthann soon returned home – a famed conqueror.

CrusaderDuchyMap1.jpg
 

unmerged(106914)

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That's a nice big chunk you've taken out of Egypt.
 

Enewald

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  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
You are giving inpdence for some dukes?` :wacko:

Not good. :(