• 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

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
Les Journals d'Artois - Brittany 1337

Well here goes my second AAR. Like the first (The de Lusignan Dream - read it now) I'll be keeping this one relatively short and, hopefully, focused. In other words - no blobs. I'm continuing my experimentation with writing styles so any feedback and suggestions will be very much welcomed.

I'll be playing as Brittany (still part of France) in the 1337 scenario. An interim goal is taking the French crown but really I've no specific objective as yet. The story will be told through the diary entries of one Jacque d'Artois, the Chancellor of Brittany. I'm taking my time on this one so the first year might well stretch out to a dozen or so updates. Let me know if I'm moving too slowly.

The difficulty settings are at Normal/Aggressive. I'm patched to 1.05 and using Improvement Packs 1 & 2. Jacques d'Artois is my own creation. No mods were used in the making of this production.

List of Entries

Introduction

1337

January * January * February * February * March * Arpril * May * July * August
September * October * November * December


1338

January & February * March * April * May * June & July * August * October-November *
December


1339

Les Journals d'Artois: A Year in Brittany (Trailer)

Note to Readers


January * February * April-May * July-September * October
November * December

Cast of Characters:

An asterisk indicates that the character has died at some point in the story

Brittany:
Jean de Dreux - Duke of Brittany*
Jean de Dreux - Marshal*
Hélie de Pontchâteau - Spy Master
Jeanne de Savoie - Steward/Wife of Duke
Marie de Dreux - Chancellor/Sister of Duke
Hugues de Donges - Bishop of Cornouaille
Jeanne de Dreux - Countess of Penthievre
Marthe De Donges - Madwoman


France:
Philippe de Valois - King of France*
Jean de Valois - King of France
Bouchard de Vendome - Duke of Anjou*
Louis de Dampierre - Duke of Flanders
Louis de Gent - Steward of Flanders


Other:
Edward Plantagenet - King of England
Ralph de Ufford - Spymaster of England
David Bruce - King of Scotland
 
Last edited:

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
Les Journals d'Artois
Selected Excerpts from the Writings of Jacque d'Artois​

It is all too easy to forget that history has a human face. This excellent work goes some distance to establishing that there were no robots during the 14th Century.
- Josef Čapek


Compares poorly to the Da Vinci Code. Not for the casual reader.
- Pro-G Review


A shameful work that wilfully propagates anti-Breton slander and propaganda.
- Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, General Secretary of the Celtic league

Introduction

During the 14th Century the Kingdom of France underwent one of the most tumultuous and violent episodes in its long history. It was a process shaped by powerful social and political forces; a process that would see bloodshed and turmoil on a scale not seen in Western Europe since the fall of Rome. Many of the results and products of these staggering conflicts are still visible in the world today.

Despite the extreme importance and impact of these events, historians today know surprisingly little about many aspects of the wars. Chronicles are unreliable sources at best while few of the scant records and accounts of governance have survived the centuries. As such the recent discovery of the Artois Papers has been hailed as one of the most significant historical developments that this field has ever seen. Consisting of a detailed and honest account of one Jacques d'Artois, Chancellor of Brittany, the papers contain a wealth of information regarding both the larger events that shaped the realm and daily life in medieval times.

Recovered in remarkably good condition, with only minor damage, and translated by Professor Jeanne Aktovy of South Brittany University, they have proven to be of interest to professional scholars and the general public. The following work is aimed primarily at the latter and contains notable extracts from these papers that deal with the significant historical changes that wracked France at the time. As both witness and participant the insights of d'Artois represent an almost unique perspective of warfare and politics for the era.

We know little of d'Artois' life prior to his banishment but he appears to have been a courtier within the royal court at Paris. In 1337 he apparently offended Jean de Valois, Duke of Normandy and heir to the French throne, to the degree that he was exiled to Brittany. We do not know what actions warranted such a punishment. While evidently a capable man, I will leave conclusions as to nature of his character to the reader of his papers.


Jacques d'Artois: He drew this himself

Political Background

Some context is required to fully understand and appreciate the following papers. After all commentary is of little use if the events themselves are hidden. It is beyond the scope of this work to provide a detailed history of France or French politics but a brief introduction shall serve.

Perhaps the most important point to be made regarding 14th Century France is that "France" itself was a relatively new and uncertain concept. While the title of the "King of the Franks" dates back to 410 CE, by the time of Hugh Capet, in 987 CE, it was a nominal title only. In reality the King exercised power only within the limits of Paris (Pays de France) and exerted little to no influence over his supposed vassals. The following centuries would see the French kings slowly attempt to extend their influence and power across their kingdom.

By the time the Capetian dynasty came to an end, with the death of Charles IV in 1328, the influence of the Crown had been much strengthened, largely as the result of land acquisitions to the south. On his coronation Philip de Valois could at least demand the attention, if not actual obedience, of his vassals and was capable of waging war in his own right. Despite this France was still far from a monolithic kingdom and the powerful French dukes enjoyed practical autonomy and independence from Paris.

This lies in sharp contrast to affairs in England where Edward III enjoyed the benefits of the centralised English state. However the Angevin kings of England were not content with their island holdings and were eager to recover lost ancestral lands on the Continent. Tension between the realms was rarely absent and would rise to new heights with the death of Charles IV. As nephew of the dead king, through Isabella of France, Edward laid claim to the French throne and the legitimate King of France.

By the time Jacques d'Artois was exiled to Brittany, in 1337, affairs were reaching a head as tense peace began to give way to open warfare...

-Professor Malarkey


Major Duchies of France (circa 1337)
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
Les Journals d'Artois​

Being an Account of Exile Most Unfortunate in the Land of the Bretons



January 22nd, Year of Our Lord 1337

Ye gods what a miserable day. As I rest here beneath a leaking roof in a ramshackle public house I can only wonder as to where everything went wrong. My disposition is matched only by the grey heavens outside and I fear that the stories of the sunless lands of Brittany may be more than mere idle chatter. In several hours of achingly uncomfortable travel the sun refused to pierce this blanket of desperation that covers these lands. Indeed I am not entirely sure as to whether it is the weather or my low spirits that I describe. But then the Fates have been particularly cruel to me of late.

Just how cruel will no doubt soon be revealed as I reach my destination tomorrow. I already shudder at the thought of meeting these crude provincials. Having already witnessed some of the people that populate this dreary land I can only wait in trepidation and pray that the Lord will be merciful and slay me tonight. Or preferably arrange for a coach back to Paris. At this stage I would gladly welcome an opportunity to escape to Iberia or the German lands, or England… actually I am not so desperate as to wish to travel to England. As it is however the lands of the Bretons may only be marginally more comfortable, and dryer, than that accursed island.

Alas I fear that there is no recourse for I. All that I can do now is brace myself to my destiny and attempt to turn Fate's mechanisms to my own advantage. I shall sleep now and let the new day bring what it may.

January 23rd, Year of Our Lord 1337


Well has not that been a productive day. I say "productive" as no words in all the languages of man can convey just how boring and futile this day has been. As loath as I am to relive but a moment of it I must continue with my duty of reliving every painful day in this journal of mine. This exercise of the mind was considerably more enjoyable while residing within the royal court. But again I digress…

My escort and I arrived in Nantes shortly before the bells for noon prayers could be heard. The castle itself is unimpressive, the small town that clings to its walls is slightly less so. The settlement is dominated by both the keep and a domed church while the surrounding countryside shows signs of a mildly prosperous mining industry. The smell of the port is… unmistakable. While it is not Paris I must admit that it was moderately gratifying to witness the awed looks of the slack jawed peasants as I rode towards the castle entrance, even if I could not understand their cries of admiration. Note: I must find out just what that Breton phrase "pillock" means in a civilised tongue.


The "Town" of Nantes

On entering the fortifications proper, at which point I finally parted ways with my unwanted escort, I was kept waiting for some time before the Duke's steward could be summoned. Needless to say I was not in the best of temperaments when the woman did arrive. Luckily I was informed by a page that the steward was actually the Duke's honoured wife and so was able to restrain my temper when the hopeless woman finally did arrive. Not that I wish to give the illusion that, on her eventual arrival, she was in any way helpful. Introductions were polite and it appears that news of my arrival had only shortly preceded me… not surprising with the speed at which I was forced to leave Pays de France.


Steward Jeanne de Savoie

Regardless, I was not favourably impressed with the plump woman and after some light refreshment to remove the dust, or rather mud, from the road I informed her that I was ready to meet with the Duke himself and asked if she knew of his Lordship's whereabouts. Imagine my surprise when I heard that Duke de Dreux was invalided in his chambers above! It appears that the Duke's health has deteriorated somewhat since I last heard and he has gone and contracted pneumonia. No doubt it is the ceaseless rain that blights this corner of the world. Jeanne de Savoie suggested that I wait to present myself until the duke awakens later and offered to give me a tour of the castle and its inhabitants to pass the time. The woman must have nothing else to do around here.

Perhaps the only thing more depressing than being cast off to this backward land is the knowledge that I must be become accustomed with it. I have informed the steward that I will accompany her on this walk as soon as I have finished unpacking my meagre belongings. Thankfully this day cannot get any worse… bah, I should not have written that. No doubt the Heavenly Father himself is laughing at my misfortune and will seek to prove me wrong.

January 23rd, Year of Our Lord 1337

Too depressed to write. Will detail developments tomorrow. Ye gods I hate this place.
 
Last edited:

canadiancreed

Boredom Incarnate
33 Badges
Sep 3, 2005
476
0
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Cities: Skylines
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
Oh boy are you in between a rock and a hard place. To expand, you either need to take out English or French holdings in your wake. Perhaps an alliance with the English crown could help?
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
I like your choice of perspective, it makes for an interesting narrative within the historic context, but still reads very much like a chronicle, which is fitting given the introduction.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
canadiancreed: Indeed. There are no nearby Muslims to allow rapid expansion. I'm sure that they'll have conquered Ireland within a few decades but for now the focus of Brittany is very much French politics. Exciting, no? ;)

JimboIX: I'm trying to keep the tone correct for the period without lapsing into Ye Old English or making it too formal/difficult to read. Basically What that means in practice is that you're unlikely to see many instances of, "Wasssup? You gonna open a can of whoop ass on that Plantagenet son of a bitch?"

phargle: High praise indeed coming from yourself. Merci beaucoup :cool:

And now the next update. I plan to keep things moving briskly enough until the introductions have been completed.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
-----​

January 24th, Year of Our Lord 1337

This is the third, or fourth if you will, entry into my latest diary. I wonder if it will be my last; reliving each day on these pages only serves to worsen my mood. Of course it is true that this is the most intelligent intercourse that I will enjoy all day but then that itself hardly lightens my humour. Nonetheless I will press forward and recount the details of my agonisingly long tour of the castle, the grounds and its occupants. Note that I have still not met the duke.

The structure itself is unremarkable, despite the efforts of Jeanne de Savoie to extol its virtues. It is true that it appears sturdy itself and is almost entirely constructed of stone. The steward claimed that it follows the style of the mighty citadels of Outremer but she obviously knows nothing of these things. Of course I am no expert myself but I am not stupid enough to believe that there is any threat of Saracen hordes alighting on these distant shores. I was pleased to hear that the castle garrison, some two hundred strong, was almost entirely comprised of Franks. I for one will sleep better knowing that the task of manning the fortifications has not been left to gormless Bretons!

The grounds within the castle walls are largely sparse and used for practical purposes. While I never quite understood the allure that a rose garden held for members of the young gentry in Paris, I have to admit that the splash of colour is lacking. This is a grey land indeed. It was while walking through the grounds that I was introduced to the Marshal of the Duke's lands as he arrived at the stables. I am unsure as to whether the stench was the horses or the man himself but I will give him the benefit of my doubt on this occasion. A tall man of broad build, Marshal Jean de Dreux, the Duke's brother and heir to the duchy, was busy supervising the arrangements for a hunt tomorrow. In a brief moment of conversation I could see no fault with his character though I am mildly irritated that he did not offer an invite to the hunt.


Marshal Jean de Dreux

After escaping from the stables the tour did regretfully continue as I was introduced to such awe inspiring sights as the kitchens, the servant quarters and the small chapel. All the while I was forced to engage in meaningless chatter with this bland and yet somehow irritating woman. The crosses I am forced to bear… Eventually there was a moment of interest as we entered the keep's solarium. There we were met by a couple engaged in some petty conversation. The woman, Marie de Dreux, was pretty enough and was introduced as the duchy's chancellor. I was informed that the Duke's sister would be leaving within the week to take up the position as wife of Richard de Mandeville on the Isle of Man. I doubt that she is pleased to travel to that distant realm. From the brief moments of talk however she seemed genuinely pleasant to converse with and was suitably impressed to hear that I had travelled from the royal court.


Marie de Dreux

The other half of the couple was quite a different story. A runt of a man, the emaciated figure was obviously displeased at being disturbed. His demeanour displayed feigned interest and, perhaps, suspicion when introductions were made. My initial judgements are rarely wrong and I do not look forward to befriending this man, this Hélie de Pontchâteau. From the arrangement of his features I suspect that he may have more than a trace of Breton blood in him. What is all the more disturbing is that this miserable looking youth is in fact the duchy's master of spies! What more could be expected from this godforsaken realm?


Spy Master Hélie de Pontchâteau

After leaving the tower steward Jeanne and I made our way to the Duke's chambers nearby. As I prepared myself to meet my new lord and employer, and to persuade him not to send me back to an angry King, the steward entered the room to ensure he was ready to receive us. Naturally the Duke chose this afternoon for his affliction to worsen and I was sent back to my chambers without having set foot inside his room. Given the terrible sounds of illness from beyond the door I am not ungrateful at this postponement. As much as I hate these lands I do not wish to contract whatever devils plague Jean de Dreux. I do after all value my life somewhat.

The Duke's condition is nonetheless… interesting. It is perhaps the one element of curiosity in this backwater and there may still be room for amusement on my part. As painful as it is there may be gains to be had in continuing to learn about this court and the de Dreux family.
 

Veldmaarschalk

Very old guard
Super Moderator
Moderator
147 Badges
Apr 20, 2003
30.004
1.158
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
This promises to be another excellent AAR !

The 1337 scenario seems to be your favourite one !
 

Drake Rlugia

Roi-Chevalier
24 Badges
Apr 30, 2006
380
0
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • For The Glory
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Very interesting and I enjoy reading it. It is a pity that d'Artois has been exiled to such a miserable place, however one cannot help but wonder what he did to do deserve such a punishment...
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
-----​

January 26th, Year of Our Lord 1337

Was forced to converse with that young Hélie de Pontchâteau today. It cannot be said to have been a stimulating conversation, unless of course the many trials and tribulations of Hélie de Pontchâteau can be considered in any way interesting. The young man was clearly attempting to divine the purpose of mine being here but his natural arrogance, and indeed stupidity, subverted his mission to my ends. There was little information to be gleaned from his simple mind but I did receive the strong impression that Hélie expects to be the next Chancellor of the duchy when Marie de Dreux does leave for the Isle of Man. Why anyone would want the thankless task of managing the simple affairs of this realm is beyond my comprehension.

January 30th, Year of Our Lord 1337

At last I have met the Duke. After a week of idleness it appears that Jean de Druex's health has improved to the degree where he can once again receive guests in his chambers. Naturally I was amongst the first to be granted an audience. On arriving at his chambers this morning I found most of the court already gathered outside the chambers. There were a number of unfamiliar faces present but I was informed that they had accompanied the Bishop of Cornouaille, one of the Duke's two vassals. It appears that the Duke, a pious servant of Christ, is visited by the Bishop on a regular basis in order to pray or somesuch.


The Duke of Brittany: Jean de Dreux

Indeed the Duke's piety is obvious from the state of his chambers. The sparse room is devoid of all ostentatious decorations and only the presence of a half dozen minor relics provides relief. Given the appearance of the Duke, with his pale face and difficulty in concentrating, I can only deduce that the prayer and appeals to the grace of the Lord are all that is keeping him from Hades' door. As the Bishop exited the room I was left with the Duke, weakly propped up in the bed, and his wife Steward Jeanne. The man's voice was soft and difficult to understand but his wits did not appear dulled. He was obviously aware of my background and reasons for leaving the royal court. We conversed on a variety of current matters until his coughing increased and he declared that he must sleep. I can only hope that I have made a favourable impression on the Duke.


Bishop of Cornouaille: Hugues de Donges

February 1st, Year of Our Lord 1337

Excellent news. It appears that I did impress the Duke yesterday… to the degree that he has named me his new Chancellor! The departure of the current Chancellor, his sister Marie de Dreux, to the harsh seas of the Isle of Man ensures that a new figure is required to deal with some of the highest business of the realm. While the Duke was no doubt aware of my training and experience it nonetheless reflects well on him that I, newly arrived at court, should be selected for this duty.

Obviously of course this position will merely serve to alleviate the boredom of this backwater… ha… that little rat Hélie will be furious.

February 5th, Year of Our Lord 1337

I will admit that the activity of the recent days has helped alleviate some of the boredom and dull existence of life in this backwater. On the departure of Marie I have been moved to the marginally larger chambers befitting my new status within the court. The room itself is unimpressive and warrants little description with the only articles of note being the writing desk and view. The former is indeed fine and was, or so I have been informed, manufactured in Italy. Its craftsmanship certainly bears the hallmarks of those civilised southern lands. The view is less impressive being as it is comprised of the surrounding lands. It is a depressing sight. The skies outside are still as dull as the average Breton. Is this not spring?

Alas the minor activity of moving chambers has been the primary focus of my attention. Of course the role of chancellor brings added responsibilities and duties but in such a centralised realm as Brittany these concerns are not legion. Indeed the Duke has just two major vassals with most of the realm belonging to his personal demesne. The Bishop of Cornouaille, Hugues de Donges, I have already met and indeed been favourably impressed by. To the north the county of Penthievre is the possession of the Duke niece, one Jeanne de Dreux. The young Countess appears to be a favourite of the Duke so I have not commented on the ability of a woman to manage the affairs of a county. I have begun to exchange correspondence to inform her as to my role as new chancellor but I have no intention of travelling any further north to introduce myself.


Countess of Penthievre: Jeanne de Dreux

At least the activities within the rest of France can provide me with some activities of interest. Despite being stuck in this corner of Europe my talents have not been entirely squandered and nor have all of my old friends deserted me. My isolation is not total and in my new position I have ample excuse to follow and interfere in the affairs of the kingdom. I doubt that the family Valois will be pleased to hear of my elevation… a most pleasant thought in itself.

I doubt I will have much to worry from the Valois about however. The competition with the Plantagenet in England, in addition to the usual concerns in running such a large realm, will no doubt discourage the King from making troublesome demands. It must not be forgotten that Jean de Dreux, as ill as he is, commands one of the largest duchies in France. That these lands are largely comprised of Bretons is unfortunate but irrelevant.

Oh joy. It has begun to rain. Again
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
I like the sarcasm Jacques injects into his accounts of Brittany. The awe-inspiring kitchens and the myriad joys of rain, for example. He's like a bitter and jaded Froissart.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
JimboIX said:
I like the sarcasm Jacques injects into his accounts of Brittany. The awe-inspiring kitchens and the myriad joys of rain, for example. He's like a bitter and jaded Froissart.
Well Jacques is certainly bitter at his exile and no doubt this is coming through in the writing. I had originally envisioned him as a sort of Blackadder figure, which may be coming through particularly strongly in these first chapters. Thanks for Froissart reference, I'll have to read up on his chronicles.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
-----​

February 13th, Year of Our Lord 1337

My recent elevation to the position of Chancellor has not noticeably improved the amount of time that I am permitted to spend with the Duke. While his condition has improved somewhat since my first arrival in court the illness still grips him. When we do meet, now at least once in a half week, our time is brief and conversation purposeful. Any conversation of length both weakens him and places me in peril of infection from the devils that plague him. As it is these short conversations typically revolve around unimportant matters and idle speculation. Most of my business can be conducted with Steward Jeanne and I believe that the Duke appreciates conversing with an intellect such as mine.

Some topics of conversation come tend to come up more frequently than others however. In particular I have heard much of the Duke's hatred for his brother, also called Jean. It appears that Marshal Jean is only the half brother of the Duke, through their father's second wife, and there is no love lost between the two. It is indicative of the severity of the Duke's illness that his half brother has been able to manoeuvre himself into a position of power within the court and indeed the duchy's succession order. The latter is of particular annoyance to the Duke who favours his niece Jeanne de Dreux, countess of Penthievre, to inherit him. I must think more on this and how I can use it to my advantage.


The Political Landscape of Brittany

February 16th, Year of Our Lord 1337

I must concede that this Hélie de Pontchâteau is beginning to considerably irritate me. The miserable fool has spent the past two weeks sulking around the castle and acting like a child. I can understand that he is upset that Marie de Dreux, whom he apparently lusted after, has left for the Isle of Man but why is he so disappointed that I, and not he, am the new Chancellor? Surely it is clear to all that I am the most qualified and capable for this demanding task? Bah I have no time for that fool. I must speak to the Duke about replacing him with a more capable person… as soon as one presents themselves of course.

I would suggest that the role of spy master be given to the Marshal's wife, Jeanne de Dampierre but then that might upset the balance of the court. I have been invited to attend the Marshal's next hunt. Perhaps I will sound him out on the issue…

February 29th, Year of Our Lord 1337

It was enjoyable to return to the saddle and partake in the hunt. If it were not for the wet skies and unappealing company this would remind me of happier days. Despite my unfortunate circumstances it was nonetheless pleasant to spend a day outside the confines of the castle and town. Of course I had more than one form of prey in sight.

The Marshal himself appears a confident and decisive man, certainly a man of noble birth and worthy of respect. His prowess with the bow, which he appeared happy to demonstrate, is admirable indeed and his manner is relaxed yet dignified. Alas he displayed little inclination when I attempted to engage him on matters of higher intellectual interest. Whether this was through disinterest or deliberate obliqueness I cannot be sure. After an hour I surrendered in my efforts and simply enjoyed the hunt and company.

This leaves the matter of Hélie de Pontchâteau unresolved. As tempted as I am to take matters into my own hands, the fool is simply not worth the trouble. It is common sense to fear a vengeful or hostile spy master but Hélie is no doubt too incompetent to be of any threat to me. He would not risk the ire of the Duke simply because he covets my position. That does not mean of course that I will cease in my attempts to have the cretin removed from the court.

March 11th, Year of Our Lord 1337

Mark my words, I am going to murder that Hélie de Pontchâteau! If I see him tonight I shall strangle him with my own bare hands. Of all the incompetent idiot boys to blight this land… the cretin must be part Breton. What worthless excuse of a spy master does not know that the King of France has been on death's door for over a week?! I only learned of the hunting accident when the messenger arrived at Nantes to inform the Duke that his liege had died of his wounds. Now I must deduce just how to advise Brittany to act while pretending that I have not been caught completely by surprise here. All thanks to that hollow headed gurning halfwit!


The King is Dead
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
1.762
0
Helie is either brighter than he looks and is trying to make our Chancellor look bad, or he is aggressively retarded. Nice update- I think our chacellor will be in a better position yet to wield power once the ailing Duke dies and his successor needs support.
 

Olaus Petrus

Field Marshal
85 Badges
Nov 20, 2004
6.916
796
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Diplomacy
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
Interesting story. Jacques d'Artois seems to be a man whose temperament is defined by black bile. ;)
 

Pirate Z

Captain
19 Badges
Jun 13, 2004
491
2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I'm liking this new style of yours, DCU. 'Course, the man's arrogance and frequent lamentations about the environment are no problem, either :D

What are your objectives in this game? I gotta admit that I usually can't be arsed to continue a game where there's little opportunity to expand for an extended period of time... I like my diplomacy on the edge of a sword.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
JimboIX: Thanks. Court politics will be an important sub-thread running through this AAR (after all Jacques is more interested in his position than the actual wellbeing of Brittany) so a rivalry with de Pontchâteau will probably continue.

Olaus Petrus: I do like Jaques. I feel that he's just as jaded and cynical as myself... although I hope that I'm nowhere near as arrogant.

Kapi: No objectives as of now. The crown of France would be nice though :cool:

The lack of Muslims, or small isolated Christians, means that rapid expansion is not an option for me. France at this time is a pretty volatile place but for now the focus is on the byzantine politics of Brittany and France. No doubt there will be war but I want to explain how any conflict could develop and involve Brittany; not just DoWing France to further my own game ambitions.
 

ComradeOm

Field Marshal
11 Badges
Sep 25, 2004
5.210
3
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
-----​

March 12th, Year of Our Lord 1337

I am calm. As a man of noble birth I am naturally inclined to approach complications and obstacles in a rational and reasonable way. I shall not dwell on the failings of others… even when these failings make me reach for my dagger. The death of Philippe de Valois has changed little for me. On the one hand he was responsible for my exile to this hellhole. In this regard his death is obviously beneficial to my cause. However the ascendance of his son, Jean de Valois Duke of Normandy, to the throne is even worse. After all it was Jean's insistence that my… indiscretions not go unpunished that forced his father to act. The ignorant ass. So unfortunately I doubt there will be any chance for my return to Paris anytime soon.

If I am to remain in this dull backwater then at least the succession troubles will provide me with some measure of amusement. There can be little doubt that Jean de Valois will inherit his father but he has never been popular with the Frankish nobility. The coming weeks will tell whether Jean's reign will be tolerable to the Dukes of France. And what of England I wonder…? This can only strengthen the Plantagenet claim to the throne. Alas that I know few souls on that bleak isle. I would very much enjoy knowing what Edward Plantagenet makes of these affairs.

At least I have a worthy pursuit to occupy my interest. The Good Lord has placed me in a position where I can at least attempt to influence events and engineer the downfall of the de Valois. Only when that is accomplished will I be permitted to leave this God-forsaken land.


The New King of the Franks

March 24th, Year of Our Lord 1337

The mutterings of discontent continues amongst the Dukes as the new King does little to aid his popularity. I am hesitant to make predictions as to the future but I still foresee that certain… precautions need be taken. Just in case events do take a turn for the worse. To this end I have begun to look for support amongst the other Dukes. An old friend of mine, the always entertaining Sybille d'Auvergne, has secured the position of spy mistress in her family holdings of Auvergne. It is indeed well for some. The Duchess of Auvergne is a mere child and easily influenced by those she trusts. Perhaps a mutually beneficial arrangement can be reached.

March 29th, Year of Our Lord 1337

I have received word from Auvergne. Alas that I could not travel south myself but I dare not pass through lands loyal to the King. Regardless of the depressing reality of my exile, the news is good. The Duchess Jeanne d'Auvergne has agreed to support Brittany in the case of any… turmoil within the realm. That is as much as I had hoped. The King is not loved but that is no excuse for treasonous acts. This… arrangement simply means both Brittany and Auvergne will not be isolated in the near future.

Now I must convince the Duke that this alliance is in his interests…

April 6th, Year of Our Lord 1337

I have finally convinced Duke de Dreux to conclude an alliance with the Duchy of Auvergne. The old man can be stubborn when he wishes. However he has no love for the de Valois and can see the sense in my arguments. There is strength in numbers and the rumours of dissatisfaction with the King's rule continue to mount. Of course I, we, would possess increased clarity as to the situation if not for that fool of a spy master.


A New Ally: Duchess of Auvergne