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AlrightJack

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Hiya everybody. Thought I'd try my hand at this AAR malarkey. Can't be that hard, right? Right?

This is my first AAR, so I don't know how far I'll go, probably until I get slaughtered/bored/writer's block.

So, a quick intro. I started this game with 15 year-old Eudes Capet, Count of Chartres, a notoriously tricky start in the Old Gods bookmark.

I played the first 10 years before I thought that this might be AAR material so the story officially picks up in 877.

There shall be a prologue but I decided that, seeing as my memory of the start is a bit sketchy, I'd try and work this into the narrative. Now, the prologue was supposed to be a short intro, but right now I'm looking at 2000 words, and that's before pictures. I might try and edit it down, or make a couple of posts, or just make a big, bumper post to start with. I don't know, I still have to work out how to upload screenshots first.

P.S. The title is in French (surprise, surprise) and translates to: The Flowers of Gold and the Field of Blue, a reference to the Capetian royal standard.

Coat of Arms.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons - "Arms of the Kingdom of France (Ancien)" by Sodacan This vector image was created with Inkscape. - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...le:Arms_of_the_Kingdom_of_France_(Ancien).svg

EDIT: My first playthrough crashed two years into my AARing (approximately 879ish) and became corrupted. The problem is that I was playing an ironman to try and get the count to king with one character achievement, so there wasn't a backup save. A bit vexing because I was getting onto some good stuff. I've decided that I'm going to try again. You can read the original prologue below, where I recount the first ten years of the game through the eyes of Eudes Capet's son. Since he is writing about his beloved father in the years before his birth, it's naturally a bit sketchy and very, very biased. You're welcome to read the prologue but it will unfortunately have very little to do with the game that I'm about to start. Oh, the vagaries of the RNG. To jump to the start of Game Mk. 2, click here. (Link not yet active)
 
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Prologue

My name is Robert of the House of Capet, son of Eudes Capet, Duke of Anjou. His father was Robert the Strong, my namesake, and likewise Duke of Anjou, yet my father did not gain the duchy upon my grandfather’s death.

I’m getting ahead of myself, I’ll start again.

6iUOPJ.png

My father, Eudes, and his family. On the day of my birth.
His Father; Robert the Strong, and mother; Emma Welf, sister to Hugo Welf.

My name is Robert Capet, son of Eudes Capet, Duke of Anjou. I have seen his name written as Eudes, and Odo, and sometimes Otto, or Otho. The Italians called him variably Ottone and Udo, though he is more commonly known in that peninsula by less savoury titles. No matter, to me he was simply 'father' and occasionally 'Papa', and I write this chronicle to try and remember him to the world as I remember him; a man who loved his family dearly, who would have parted oceans and moved mountains to keep us safe. No man can achieve these things however and maintain a clean conscience. The day he died, I know he had much weighing on his mind. Guilt, shame, even dishonour. There was much he did in this life that he paid for in the next, but were it not for him I would not be here, and so I have much to thank him for. My story does not start with me, here in Chartres. Instead it starts many years prior with a boy standing on the battlements of Tours castle as a procession of knights carried their lord home...

Xnwlms.png

My Grandfather was slain at Brissarthe on the 2nd of July 866 alongside Ramnulf (Ranulf) I, Duke of Aquitaine

Robert the Strong had fallen in battle against the heathen Hæsteinn of Nantes, a warrior of great renown who claimed to be a descendant of Ragnarr Loðbrok. So many pagans claimed descent from this distinguished line however, that the claim was difficult to prove either way.
All of this was irrelevant to my father who, when he saw the procession enter the keep, locked himself in his room a full six days before hunger and thirst overcame his grief. He ate, drank and when he buried my grandfather, said these words: “Upon the tomb of my father, on the self-same blood that runs in my veins and before God, I swear I shall not rest until France has no fear of the pagan northmen. I shall not leave my kin as you left me, father.” These last words he said so quietly that only my aunt Bertha heard them (my father never spoke of my grandfather’s passing, it fell to Bertha to recount to me the whole tale).

Grandfather was buried on the 14th of July in the Cathedral of St Martin in the centre of Tours. After that, events moved quickly. Robert’s Chancellor, Onfroy de Tiron was made regent and wasted no time sending letters of support to Hugo Welf, my father’s uncle on his mother’s side and Comte d’Auxerre et Nevers.
With my father still only fourteen he had little support and fewer still who dared speak out against the coup d'état that was happening right under their noses. Hugo Welf was declared Duke of Anjou and quickly repelled the forces of Hæsteinn and Salomon of Brittany, consolidating his hold on power for the foreseeable future. My father and his household were expelled from Tours and sent to the castle at Chartres, safely out of the way of the Welfs and their entourage of Germans. Through all of this upheaval, two men stood by my father, Count Gauzfrid of Maine and Bouchard of Vendôme. Bouchard unfortunately was not a subtle man and openly opposed Hugo Welf at every opportunity, a trait that would cause much stress and heartache in the future for the young Eudes Capet. I mustn’t ramble however, we shall get to Bouchard and Gauzfrid soon enough.

Going to Paris to Meet the King
Upon his fifteenth birthday, my father was sent to court in Paris to complete his tutelage under none other than King Charles himself. Some called him ‘the Bald’, but my father took an instant liking to the man and never referred to him as such to me. He would often tell me tales of hunting expeditions with the king, in particular the story of how Charles allowed him to deliver the coup de grâce at the culmination of a boar hunt. The king clearly left a great impression on my father so I can only imagine the pain he must have felt when his mentor died only four years after their first meeting. The king was not the only person of note whom my father met during that final year of his youth, for it was during that time that he met the Princess Gisele, my mother.

The way my father told the story it sounded as if he was smitten immediately, however aunt Bertha insisted this wasn’t quite true. My father had for a few months been trying to grab the attention of Princess Hildegard, my mother’s older sister, until it was revealed that she was to marry King Æthelred of Wessex. Oh, poor Hildegard. Had she known the grief that would lie in store she would have begged Charles to find her a different husband, perhaps even my father. Had that been the case, I would perhaps have never been born and this chronicle would not be available for your pleasure. Poor Hildegard, but again, we shall get to her story in good time.
My father learnt much in that last year, not so much of Latin and God, but more of the joys of hunting and the intricacies of war. He took to this latter school like a duck to water and by his sixteenth birthday commanded a knowledge of strategy and logistics to rival a mind twice his age. The greatest gift that my father gained however was from King Charles and took the form of his daughter’s hand in marriage. The king was unaware of my father's crush on Hildegard however and offered Gisele's hand instead, which my father, who could never be called a fool at the worst of times, dutifully accepted.

Father desperately wanted a son to carry on the family line. This, coupled with a fear of his heir being born too late to be fully prepared for the world, led to a rift between my mother and him which only widened when their first daughter was born, Gisele. The following months were difficult for my mother and she might have blamed herself had she not been so resilient in character. Eventually my father came to love his daughter and through her gained an appreciation of his spouse. I will not say that this was the end of their arguments since that would be blatantly false. My mother was no angel, it is true, but neither was my father a demon. They were simply, human.

1bka11.png

My Mother, Gisele Karling, On The Day of My Birth

During this time several things happened that helped remind my father of his duties to his family. The first was the foolhardy attempt by Bouchard, Comte de Vendôme to declare my father Duke of Anjou. Bouchard had made noises in this direction before while my father was at court in Paris, but they had come to nothing. Now that he was married and had a family to care for, my father knew he had to act to prevent Bouchard from dragging the Capets down with him.

He had Onfroy de Tiron fabricate a claim on Bouchard’s holdings in Vendôme and declared war, an action that might have been equally doomed had aunt Bertha not been married to Gauzbert of Maine - Comte Gauzfrid’s son and heir - the previous spring. Gauzfrid was true to his word and rode with all haste to Chartres. Now heavily outnumbered, Bouchard withdrew to his home county in the hope of gaining a small advantage but it was all for nought. The Capetian-Rorgonides army crushed Bouchard and immediately laid siege to the keep at Vendôme. A deal was struck that if no army came to relieve the castle by dawn on New Year’s Day, the castle would surrender. Sure enough no army came and sure enough, the constable surrendered. Bouchard was stripped of his holdings and sent into exile in Italy with the rest of his family.
You might think that I am painting my dear father in a charitable light and if so, you would be right. I don’t pretend to be unbiased, he is the man who raised me and brought me into this world after all. Some would say that his attack upon Bouchard was a brutal betrayal of a loyal servant and in a sense this is true. But I would counter this by saying that Bouchard was an ambitious fellow who, through no fault of his own, felt out of place in Welf’s Germano-centric court and saw in my father a useful vessel to return things to 'the old way'.
I don’t know. All I know for sure is that if you asked me to side with my father or his enemies I would choose my father in an instant.

LXubO3.png

The events of the first 5 years of my father's reign

The King is Dead, Long Live the King
Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Become a Duke

Shortly after the addition of Vendôme to our family’s holdings, news reached Chartres of a dreadful tragedy. The king was dead, and at only forty-eight years of age. A good run for many, but not nearly long enough for my father who was nineteen at the time. He later told me that he had thought of Charles as a second father and that it had been the king who had fired his imagination with thoughts of reclaiming the family titles from the Welfs. This loss seemed to shake my father out of his rut and he proceeded to spend more time with my mother and sister.
Throughout this whole period, the northmen ravaged the coasts and river valleys of France. Chartres was a fair distance from both the Loire and the Seine, and further still from the sea, but Vendôme was not so lucky. It was with this backdrop of winter shortages and summer raids that a rebellion kicked off in Aquitaine. Antso III, Duke of Gascogne declared his independence from Charles’ son Louis the Stammerer, thinking wrongly that the country would not back this new king. Immediately, Hugo Welf gathered his forces, marched south and was promptly defeated by the massed forces of Gascogne before the king could properly marshal his armies.
Taking advantage of this golden opportunity, Gauzfrid demanded that the Welfs surrender the Duchy of Anjou to the true Duke of Anjou: Eudes Capet, without consulting my father. I’m told father prayed all night and all through the next day that his uncle would step down peaceably, and perhaps prayer worked for that evening the letter came that declared that Duke Hugo was Duke no longer. Crushed by the weight of defeat, Hugo lacked the stomach for another war. He surrendered the title on the condition that he be allowed to keep the city of Tours and its surrounding territories. My father was less than pleased at this, but considering his own weakened state (he had been wounded during the siege of Vendôme), he was wait for his moment. In the meantime, my mother birthed twin daughters, Alix and Éléonore, and my father busied himself with fortifying the Seine Estuary so that the heathens might never again concern Paris personally.

In 871, two events occurred which would have wider ramifications for my father and for France. The first was a brutal civil war over succession; Ekkehard Karling, Duke of Upper Burgundy demanded that seniority succession be implemented in West Francia. The second was the death of Renaud Rorgonides, Comte d’Évreux. Without a son, Évreux passed to Gauzfrid of Maine as expected but questions concerning the Comte's passing remained unanswered. Questions which when answered would shake the Capetian dynasty to its core.

AsdMma.png

Gauzfrid of Maine, My Father's Most Loyal Servant. His Son, Gauzbert, Married My Aunt Bertha.

The civil war dragged on and Ekkehard Karling, never the healthiest of that dynasty, died in the first week of the new year, leaving the entire crisis in the hands of his six year-old daughter Perinne. This might have been the end of the matter had King Louis not been so determined to crush this challenge to his authority, and the lords of Burgundy been quite so desperate to hold the gains they had made. It was at this point that my father waded into the fray, with mixed success. The Angevin armies were too few to face the might of the rebels alone but with the arrival of the royal army to the field, the rebels were systematically beaten. Before too long the war was over and peace reigned again, for a while at least.

A new development had occurred with the passing of Charles; the province and city of Orleans had been a dream of my father's during the years when the Duchy of Anjou seemed out of reach. Now that he was duke, he wondered why his dream should not become a reality. What was formerly a royal holding had passed by gavelkind to the king’s second son, Carloman, along with the Duchy of Normandy. Father immediately set Onfroy to fabricating a claim on Orleans, but events were again to overtake him. Carloman was murdered on the orders of a mysterious person called Sança, leaving his two-year-old son Guillaume in command. Before too long, the claim was complete and the drums of war sounded across Anjou and the Loire valley, calling men to their duty.

It was at around this point that I enter the tale. I’m told that during the siege of Orleans, my mother visited my father. The siege being a dull affair, my father decided the army could survive in the capable hands of his marshal, Herluin of Rouen and rode out to a hunting lodge that used to belong to Duke Carloman. My mother and father were never closer than at this time I think, and it was around about this time that my father's feelings for my mother grew from a duty to protect his wife to a deeper affection.

YDKQgH.png

I believe it was during this long weekend, in the midst of war, that I was concieved.
Little did I know how much war was to shape my life as it had my birth.

I never met Herluin as he was killed only a month later in Vexin, fighting an army sent to relieve Orleans. As it was, Orleans fell shortly after and my father marched on Guillaume’s capital of Mortain, so perhaps his death was worth the prize. I doubt that his son Renaud saw it that way however, having never met his father (he was born a month after his father's demise and nearly a year prior to my own birth). It was during this siege of Mortain that Guillaume’s regent accepted defeat and as the black eagle of the Karlings was replaced by the Azure, semé-de-lys Or of the House of Capet, I came into the world.

Although I am still a mewling infant at this point, I shall do my best to record the events of my childhood as recounted to me by those better able to ingest their solids. I hope you shall read on and see the fate of my father, myself and perhaps even my own children one day.

Robert Capet

ogjgUM.png
 
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AlrightJack

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Aaannd, Goddamnit!

Two years in and my game crashes. Save file corrupted.

I'm guessing the moderators would delete my post if I repeated everything I said word for word so let me just say that there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I'll see what I can do to retrieve the data but I'm not feeling confident. I might restart it, I don't know.
 

Saxon125

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Fear, not save corruption has buried two of my AARS. :( its a common and annoying problem.
 

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Ironman. So no.

Really pissed off about this. I had such great plans for the Capets. Eudes was going to seize the county of Blois so that he could become duke of Orleans and Anjou, I was going to take back Tours from the Welfs and then slaughter Haesteinn of Nantes to avenge Robert the Strong. I was even planning to take the throne if the opportunity presented itself, tho that would be tricky with the combined force of the Karlings less than 200 hundred miles away.
Oh well, I'll give it a while and maybe try again in a couple of weeks.
 
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fabiolundiense

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}%£&@%€°°# !

I'm not happy either, I was enjoying your tale, the way you were writing about these lords and ladies. I do hope you will find it in you to start another game and AAR :)
 

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Prologue Part One

Brissarthe, Neustria. 2nd of July, the Year of our Lord 866

The vale of the river Sarthe came alive with the sounds of war, the thunder of hooves, the screams of men and the sharp clash of steel on steel. Robert Capet, Duc d'Anjou and Margrave of Neustria cut down the fleeing Breton in front and turned to find another. A small knot of five Danes had kept their discipline, and more importantly their shields, and were fending off the attentions of a dozen Frenchmen. Robert grinned evilly and dug in his heels.
His horse, Jupiter, responded quickly to his instructions and galloped toward the Danes. Robert extended his sword at the last minute and sent the point straight between the leader's helmet and hauberk, slicing open his throat. He collapsed as if his bones had turned to water and left a hole in the group's defence into which the French flooded. In the space of ten breaths, four of the five men were dead and the fifth was beleaguered on all sides. He threw down his sword and dropped to his knees, "Pitié! Pitié!"
One of the Angevins moved to execute him until stayed by Robert's command. "You speak our tongue, heathen?"
The man, still a boy really, nodded.
"Let me hear you say it, speak!"
"Oui, je parle français. Je parle bien, mon seigneur."
Robert nodded to himself. "Keep this one alive, he may prove useful yet. Kill the rest."
One of the soldiers removed the Dane's swordbelt and tied his hands with it as Robert returned to the battle. The combined Danish-Breton force had been attempting to return to their boats when the Angevin and Aquitainian armies fell upon them. They had resisted for a while until Gauzfrid of Maine circled round with his force and struck them from the rear, then the slaughter began.
Robert rode swiftly towards the small hill where the majority of his men were gathered. There he found Ramnulf I, Duc d'Aquitaine, "What's happened? Why aren't we attacking?"
Ramnulf pointed towards the small church that lay a hundred yards ahead, in the doorway of which the Danes had formed their shield-wall. Robert cursed under his breath before snapping orders to his captains, "Surround the church. We'll consolidate our forces before we make our next move."

An hour later the Danes had not moved, content it seemed to let the French throw themselves against the bottle-neck they had formed. Robert had discussed many options with Ramnulf on how to proceed next. Of the many ways into the church, the others were just as well defended as the front. At their best estimates, there were at least 100 sword-Danes and spear-Danes remaining as well as another 50 to 100 Bretons. The suggestion to try and smoke them out had been met with horror from most of the lords, not least from the bishop of Le Mans. Finally, it was decided that 200 men could not comfortably hold the church for long before starvation and thirst set in. There would have to be a siege.
"Damn them! God's curse on them!"
Robert sat on a tussock of grass for a good long while before calling over the sergeant of his bodyguards. "Jean! Have we still got that prisoner?"
"That we have my lord. Shall we bring him to you?"
"My thoughts exactly," Robert said with a smile. He turned to his squire, "Luc, get me a white flag."

Soon, the party stood before the church door staring down a squad of unwashed vikings. Robert turned to his prisoner, "Interpret for me. Ask them if the heathen Hæsteinn is among their company and if he is, tell him Robert the Strong wishes to negotiate terms with him."
The boy spoke rapidly in Danish-Norse to the tallest of the swordsmen. The man responded equally rapidly before disappearing through the throng of men. The boy turned to Robert, "He is alive. Fulk has gone to fetch him."
Robert nodded uneasily, his mind burning with a thousand thoughts. What if this was an elaborate ploy? What if the Danes charged? If they did, how best could Robert and his bodyguard withdraw? "What's your name, boy?" he asked, as much to calm his mind as he was actually interested.
"Hiarni, lord. Hiarni Gunnarsson."
"You have a family, Hiarni?"
Hiarni nodded, "Two brothers, three sisters. Although two of my sisters are by my father's concubine."
There was a sharp intake of breath from Jean at that. Hiarni glared at him before continuing. I'm the youngest of my brothers, hence why I'm here in Brittany."
"You aren't in Brittany boy, this is Francia."
"Lord Saloman disagrees, as does lord Hæsteinn." As he said this, the shields parted and a tall, bearded Dane stepped forward. He was not a broad man, but his movements belied a wiry strength hidden beneath his blood-stained hauberk. His hair was grey with a trace of gold here and there but his despite his age, he was still an imposing figure; a clear leader of men. The light in his eyes suggested a wit not to be trifled with and his silver and gold arm-rings proved his wealth and power.
"Lord Hæsteinn, I presume?" The man nodded and spoke to Hiarni in their native tongue.
"My lord asks what you have come for."
Robert nodded thoughtfully, "Tell him that I have come to discuss terms of surrender."
Hiarni interpreted and Hæsteinn responded. Hiarni smiled as he turned to Robert, "Lord Hæsteinn says that he would be only too happy to accept your surrender but unfortunately he has no space left on his boats what with all the loot he has taken."
Robert smiled to hide his fury, "Inform your lord that if he does not surrender, then he and all his men shall die. It may take a day, it may take a week, but you have no water, no food and no hope of rescue. Use those words exactly."
Again, Hiarni spoke in Danish and Hæsteinn smiled as he answered. "What then, he asks?"
"Then, those who renounce their false gods and convert to the one true God shall be spared. Otherwise..." he left the threat made but unspoken.
Hæsteinn's eyes flared at that once he heard it in his own language. He answered quickly and loudly with much pointing and gesticulating and Hiarni struggled to interpret everything that was said. "My lord Hæsteinn refuses your disgraceful offer. He would rather freeze for an eternity in the darkest Hel, than spend a day in your God's kingdom."
Robert nodded, "So be it. We're finished here."
As he turned to leave, Hæsteinn shouted something after him. Robert looked to Hiarni who looked particularly uncomfortable with the latest exchange. "What did he say?"
"I said, I'm going to kill you Robert. I'm going to gut you like a fish and gouge out your eyes. Then I'm going to hunt down every member of your family, rape your womenfolk and slaughter your sons. I will leave nothing on this earth to suggest you ever lived. I wish you good health, until our next meeting."

qtV7Zi.png

Hæsteinn of Nantes, reputedly a son of Ragnarr Loðbrok, though I find that hard to believe.

Robert returned to his fellow generals in an ill humour. Ramnulf took one look and said, "I assume they said no?"
Robert fumed and fidgeted with the pommel of his sword as he glared at Hiarni. Finally he spoke, "Lord Ramnulf, your men should take the first watch, then Gauzfrid's, then my own. No one gets in or out, is that clear? If they wish to starve, then so be it. Luc! Ah, there you are. Help me with this damned chainmail."
A few hours later, Robert sat beneath a tarpaulin hung between two trees and pondered his options. Though he had shown nothing in response to Hæsteinn's last words, the threats had stuck with him perhaps, he might admit, even shaken him. His thoughts turned to his sons, Eudes and Robert. Eudes was 14 now and Robert wondered where the years had gone. He cast his mind back to his last meeting with his son, in Tours. He wished he had told Eudes how happy he made him, how much he loved the boy. No, he thought, he knows, of course he knows. What father after all, would not love his son. But there was a difference between saying it and it being so.
He got up, ostensibly to stretch his legs but really to occupy his mind with something other than thoughts of home. The night was getting chilly now, the lack of clouds in the summer sky meant that the day's heat dissapated easier, and Robert wished he was wearing his cloak. He was tempted to get Luc to fetch it for him but when he saw him dozing he decided not to disturb him. He would walk around the picquets, that would warm his blood for sure. As he wandered close to the church, he heard the sound of axes chopping wood, most likely desecrating the house of God. The thought of such an action was enough to anger Robert and he didn't mind the cold as much now. Come morning, he decided, they would assault the church and drag the heathens out. Kill them all, he thought.
He was disturbed from his reverie by the creaking of hinges and he turned to see the church doors opened. The interior was wreathed in darkness, the heathens had doused their torches. Fear rose in Robert's heart and he turned to the dumb-founded sentries with a new urgency in his eyes.

"ALARM!" He shouted, as a mighty roar came from the church and the entire heathen force charged. Fulk, the tall, black-bearded giant from earlier was at the head of the column, wielding a 6-foot Dane-axe. A sentry desperately tried to block the blow, but the blade carried on through the linwood regardless, shattering the man's arm beneath. The sentry was swiftly dispatched by one of the other's as Robert ran back to the camp to raise the alarm. Already men were seizing swords and shields but before they could form up, the Danes were upon them and it quickly became a case of every man for himself. Robert parried the blow of a short swordsman with a great red beard and counter-attacked. He forced him to take a step back and might easily have recovered had he not slipped on the guts of a disemboweled Aquitainian. Robert pressed his advantage and thrust straight into the man's heart then twisted as he withdrew.
He turned to see Jean and the rest of his bodyguard cutting their way towards him, heathens and Bretons falling all around. Robert charged headlong at the nearest foe, ducking the man's blade as he dragged his own sword across his calf, hamstringing him. He then brought it down point-first onto his throat, nearly beheading the Dane with the force of the blow. He looked again for Jean and saw him not five yards away, skewering a Breton to the hilt. "Jean! We need to withdraw to the east. They're trying to get south to their boats so if we withdraw and consolidate they will take the opportunity to make for the Loire."
Jean looked at him uncomprehendingly for a moment until his words sank in. Then he nodded and grabbed the war-horn from Luc, giving the signal to retreat. Soon, other horns could be heard repeating the message across the battlefield. As the ranks parted, the majority of the heathen host moved south as expected but a small contingent spotted the banners of the Duke of Aquitaine on the right flank and decided to make for him instead.
"Come on!" Robert shouted. "We have to help them!"
As they raced across the battlefield, Robert saw Ramnulf fend off two Bretons as his bodyguard was whittled down around him. The Bretons decided he was too hard to defeat hand-to-hand so disengaged to allow the archers a clear shot. The first two missed completely, drawn and loosed too quickly to be accurate. The next were true to their mark however. One ricocheted off his shield-boss, a second buried deep in the linwood, the third and fourth struck Ramnulf in the chest. He sank to his knees and would have been finished off but for the timely arrival of Robert and his bodyguard.
"He's still alive, lord!" said Luc.
Robert didn't respond immediately, busy as he was cutting down the archers. "Then get him out of here! Jean, on me!"
Someone shouted something in the pagan tongue and the Danes disengaged. Robert panted for breath, his limbs shaking with exertion as the ranks parted and who should step forward but Hæsteinn of Nantes. "I told you I'd kill you, Robert, and I always keep my word."
"I'm not dead yet, Hæsteinn!"
"I told my men of your offer. They didn't like it." Hæsteinn laughed at Robert's fatigue, "Let's strike a deal, Angevin."
"With you? I don't think so."
Hæsteinn looked hurt, "When have I given you cause to distrust me? I am a man of my word. If you fight me man to man, no one else shall die. A duel of equals."
"You are not my equal."
Hæsteinn put out his left arm and a young man passed him a shield. He drew his sword and smiled, "Prove it."

Without warning, Robert leapt forward and slashed wildly at Hæsteinn. The Dane parried his attack with ease and followed up with a strike of his own. Robert threw his sword up and deflected it away just in time. The two men circled some more before clashing again, this time shield to shield. Robert to strike at Hæsteinn but his shield-rim robbed his blow of enough force to cause harm. He thought desperately about what to do next but before he could do anything, Hæsteinn tilted his shield so that his boss slipped below that of Robert's. Then with a mighty roar, Hæsteinn pushed his shield high in the air, dragging Robert's shield up with it. Before his opponent knew what had happened, Hæsteinn thrust forward, his sword puncturing mail, leather and flesh.
On the edge of his senses, Robert heard Luc cry out. As he slipped to the floor, Robert saw Luc fly at Hæsteinn with an axe. The Dane let go of his sword, instead wielding his shield as a weapon. The wood absorbed the axe then with a jerk, Luc was disarmed. Using both hands, Hæsteinn punched forwards and knocked Luc to the ground. As Robert's eyes closed, he heard the sickening crunch of wood on bone.

np27X7.png

Robert the Strong, Duke of Anjou and Margrave of the Breton Marches.
 
Last edited:

fabiolundiense

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AlrightJack

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Thanks! It's just occurred to me that I left a few threads hanging in my previous prologue that I was going to explain in the course of time. Basically, Hildegard Karling (Gisela's older sister) married the King of Wessex, Aethelred. Bagsecg of Jylland turned up, conquered Wessex and Aethelred was murdered by one of Bagsecg's retainers a few years later. I alluded to it but never got the chance to work it into the story.
The other hint I dropped was concerning the death of Renaud Rorgonides, Comte d'Evreux. He was actually murdered by my uncle Eudes Capet, Comte of Bourges, Blois and Bourbon. Again, I was going to return to this story arc before the game crashed.

P.S. I rather stupidly deleted my mediashack files from my previous AAR, so I'm going to have to re-upload the screenshots then re-embed them in the post. Much hassle, not welcome. It should be sorted by the time you read this hopefully.

EDIT: Finished! Bloody hell that was a close one. Just as well I had the originals on my hard drive, eh?
 
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Asantahene

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Loving this already-don't worry about the save-we are with you.

Loved the battle scene-a departure from the more chronicle style of the 1st part (more exciting if you ask me) but both styles were great

I am also writing of France in this period but from the perspective of the Dukes of Aquitaine so was instantly intrigued particularly as you described excellently how my own starting heroes father died alongside Robert The Strong

Bravo

(one small point of order though-not sure that castles were a thing in late 9th Century..alll the research I did had Charles the Bald banning them as he didn't want his fractious barons getting over strongou might be 50 years out is all but it is a very small point and I stand to be corrected)

Bravo sir-I will be following this one closely :D
 

AlrightJack

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Aye, you're probably right on the castle front. After a quick Wikipedia search it turns out that Tours castle was built during the 11th century, but I've decided to take a hefty dose of artistic licence with this game. :p
On the bright side though, it did have a cathedral!
 

Michaelangelo

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Corrupted saves are one of the most frustrating things you can encounter. I remember having that happen with a Ming save for EUIII where I made it to 1650, but the save file stopped working. At least yours happened early on.

That was certainly one action-packed prologue. A very exciting read to start things off. :)