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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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richvh

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I, Magnus Artorius, Rex Cornoviae and rightful Rex of all Britannia, am reduced to the little better than a comes, confined to the rockbound coast of the extreme southwest. I alone, of all the myriad so-called kings on this island, hold to the true faith, to whit, that Jesus of Nazareth was Mithras incarnate.

Cornovia%201066.png
Cornovia and nearby lands, 1066​

To the east, the Constantinid kings of Dumnonia hold that Jesus was the incarnation of the Sun. To the north across the Bristol Channel, my cousins, the Artorius dukes of Deheubarth, hold that he was the incarnation of the Jewish god, and that men can be saved from sin through their own actions without the intervention of divine grace. North of them the Mathrafal dukes of Gwynedd hold with some Irish perversion of Christianity, and hardly consider themselves Roman anymore. To the east of both, my cousins who have abandoned the good name of Artorius and now call themselves Pendragon play at being steppe warriors, intermarrying with the former foederates descended from Sarmations and Dacians settled in these lands when Rome was more than just another two-bit city in Italy fought over by barbarians and warlords. They hold that Jesus was the incarnation of some steppe war god called Zalmoxis or some such, who must be appeased by blood sacrifice.

Outside of these lands, the island of Britannia is controlled by barbarians, Saxons and worse.

Magnus.jpg

Magnus, Rex Cornoviae

Hunydd.jpg

Hunydd, Regina Cornoviae
Literally, the only woman willing to marry Magnus, but what a catch.
 

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There is little I can do to regain my rightful lands at the moment. Dumnonia alone can easily field double or more what I can, even including the Ala Artorii Invicti cavalry troop and the holy warriors of the Sacred Cross of Mithra... for they have access to their own similar troops, more numerous than my own.

All I can do is bide my time, rebuild my dynasty and my little kingdom's economy, and wait and hope for a moment of weakness I can exploit.

Hunydd does me proud, presenting me with daughter Aeronwen in 1067, son Justin in 1068, son Ynyrus in 1073 and daughter Addiena in 1076.

In 1083, Aeronwen married a Vandal of Carthago Nova, Godigisel, son of the baron of Alcantarilla, a Mithraist who denied the divine Mithraic nature of Jesus, but we were soon able to persuade her of the errors of her former faith.

Justin married Delphina Severan, eldest child of Rex Tiberius of Valentia, which soon involves us in several of his wars: attempted expansions into Calatayud and Albarracin (the first of which was unsuccessful, but only because Celdebra's forces had gotten there firstest with the mostest, and occupied all of Calatayud's holdings before even we were called into the war) and suppression of the revolt of Cuenca.

Meanwhile, Aeronwen presented us with two grandchildren of the Artorius gens (for she had married matrilinearly), Eludus in 1085 and Tangwystyl in 1087, and this seemed to have rekindled Hunydd's nesting instinct, for she also presented me with a new son in 1087. Our joy at the prospect of a new child was tempered by grief when Addiena fell ill and died at the age of 13, never having met her baby brother to be.

In 1089 Hunydd presented me with another daughter, also named Hunydd, and in 1090 both Justin and Ynyrus (married to the daughter of a local baron) presented us with sons. It was about this time that I was alerted to the weakness of Dumnonia - they were involved in a war in Italy, and their lands were virtually unprotected, while I had the funds to both raise the Ala and Sacred Cross, and to keep them in the field for some time.

usurp%201091.jpg

Cornovia%201091.jpg

The Regnum Cornoviae has now double in size
 

Shaytana

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By Mithra's cap! You BEAT DUMNONIA!!! With Cornovia! :laugh: They obliterated me in two wars as you know! Congratulations!!!
 

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I'd seen them beat off near simultaneous attacks from Brythonia and Westseaxna (at which point I would have dogpiled if I'd had any gold, but I'd spent my temple inheritance on the "good" option of too many events and was negative.) It's all about timing.
 

Shaytana

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I'd seen them beat off near simultaneous attacks from Brythonia and Westseaxna (at which point I would have dogpiled if I'd had any gold, but I'd spent my temple inheritance on the "good" option of too many events and was negative.) It's all about timing.

Aye timing is king - especially with 1 province wonders... that and hiring all the additional help you can besides demesne troops.
 

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Justin, whom I'd made count of Dumnonia after he'd asked for a fief, died of the French disease at the tender age of 26, leaving his 5 year old son (and only child) his county. I told that boy to stay out of the brothels, but would he listen?

Seeing as a 5 year old boy isn't really fit to run a county, let alone a kingdom, I tap my second son, Ynyrus, as my new heir. I may reevaluate when young Magnus comes of age.

Hunydd, who not long ago replaced my former spymaster on his death, has been bringing me reports of continued fighting in the rump Regnum Dumnoniae, which has been attacked by both Westsaxna and Brythonia. By 1097 they had split Dumnonia's remaining two provinces between them, so we have new neighbors... unfortunately, not of the pleasant variety.
 

Shaytana

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Justin, whom I'd made count of Dumnonia after he'd asked for a fief, died of the French disease at the tender age of 26, leaving his 5 year old son (and only child) his county. I told that boy to stay out of the brothels, but would he listen?

Seeing as a 5 year old boy isn't really fit to run a county, let alone a kingdom, I tap my second son, Ynyrus, as my new heir. I may reevaluate when young Magnus comes of age.

Hunydd, who not long ago replaced my former spymaster on his death, has been bringing me reports of continued fighting in the rump Regnum Dumnoniae, which has been attacked by both Westsaxna and Brythonia. By 1097 they had split Dumnonia's remaining two provinces between them, so we have new neighbors... unfortunately, not of the pleasant variety.

Time to pounce! Fortune favors the brave. I say build your $ a bit and then evict Brythonia out... those Sarmato-Brythons are a pushover. ;)
 

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In 1101 Aeronwen's boy Eludus came of age, and turned out surprisingly well... a humble, charitable genius, a skilled tactician and inspiring leader, his only real fault is that he does not have the true Artorius bloodline. Despite that blemish, I have designated him as my new heir.

I arranged Eludus to marry Christiana Aetius, aunt of the current Comes Panormi. Of Roman blood, unfortunately she is a schismatic Mithraist like Eludus' father was, but my pontifex is soon able to persuade her to embrace the true Christo-Mithraist faith.

Eludus.jpg

Eludus and Christiana, don't they make a charming couple?
She's Midas Touched with 16 stewardship, too.

Tangwystyl, Aeronwen's daughter, came of age in 1103, and I arranged her marriage to Esperanca Martimes, heir to the duchy of Beja. By good fortune, he was living with the Count of Coimbra, who agreed to have him marry Tangwystyl matrilinearly. If all works out well, an Artorius will someday be ruling in Hispania. (Beja, like Cornovia, allows only males to inherit, and his brother, the current duke, has only daughters.)

Sion, my third son, came of age in 1103, and I arranged his betrothal to the 14 year old daughter of Titus the Lame, Rex Africae.

In 1104, I thought I saw an opportunity to take Aquae Sulis from Brythonia when the Count of Llanlliena attempted to depose Arthur II of Brythonia, but unfortunately I should have done more homework before declaring war... the Sacred Cross already had another contract, and without their aid the 2800 troops Brythonia was using to siege Llanlliena far exceeded my own, and while we were able to take 3 of Aquae Sulis' 4 holdings by assault, while we were sieging the 4th, in 1105 the revolt ended and we were barely able to salvage a white peace from the fiasco before our troops were annihilated. Of 2000 troops sent into Aquae Sulis, fewer than 650 returned. To cap it off, during the war my body failed me, and I became infirm. Also, Titus the Lame had called us into one of his wars at the same time, which he was losing badly, and I fear I can send him no help, given the outcome of our own war, but I will send what I can. However, perhaps the greatest help will be the 3000 Carthaginian troops besieging his attacker's lone province. Hiring a much depleted Sacred Cross I see them and the rest of my troops off from a palanquin on the quay in Axminster harbor. Hopefully 848 troops (plus whatever the Ala and Sacred Cross are able to recruit in ports along the way) will be able to evict the 538 or so troops the Aghlabids of Kairwan have besieging Gabes, and that no surprises happen at home while they are away.

I blame Shaytana for the loss to Brythonia.
 

Shaytana

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Ouch! So Brythonia did a Dumnonia on you? :) I have a new rule myself right now - If I can't muster 3k - I don't go to war. (well unless the opponent is SERIOUSLY mauled. But fear not, since Lux Invicta does not end in 1453, all setbacks are a temporary piffle... well unless your dinasty dies out. :(
 

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While the ships are on their way to Africa, my youngest child, Hunydd, came of age. She had long been promised the hand of the current Praefectus Urbanus of Launceston, but the arrogant young fool refuses to be adopted into the gens Artorius. No matter, his only sibling and heir is already married to my son Ynyrus and has produced a son of her own. Either he agrees to the adoption, or goes unmarried, but one way or another Castle Launceston will pass into the direct control of an Artorius.

No sooner do I receive word that our troops had landed in Dierba and were advancing on the Aghlabid forces in Gabes than Ceredigus, Ynyrus' son and prospective heir to Launceston, came of age. I arrange his betrothal to the 15 year old niece of the comes of Soria.

News from Africa is good, the Aghlabid forces that had been besieging Gabes have been routed, and destroyed in a series of battles that extended into the Carthaginian province of Ruspina. Now to join the African, Carthaginian, Apulian and Panorman troops besieging Kairwan. The Carthaginian flag already flies over 3 of the 5 holdings in the province, so the war should soon be over.
 

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Interesting. It has to be said I have lowered galley maintenace for next update, so transporting your troops will be easier.
 

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Of 848 troops sent to Africa, 697 returned after the successful conclusion of the war... much better than the previous war's toll.

My mind must be wandering... I did not even notice that my granddaughter Tangwystl, Aeronwen's daughter, had died not long after her marriage at the age of 16, at least not until her father's funeral, he dying at age 39, leaving Aeronwen a widow at age 38. And then when I talked to Ynyrus' son Ceredigus and asked if his betrothed was of age yet, he looked at me funny and asked me, "What betrothal?" Indeed, when I got back to the castle I could not find a record of it. Am I going senile? In any case, Ceredigus (17) is now betrothed to the 14 year old daughter of the Count of Castelo Blanco. And this time I shall endeavor to make sure all the paperwork is in order.

By the next year, Aeronwen is over her mourning, and comes asking me to find her a new husband. As I am pondering the choices, Marco Martimes (her daughter's widower, and still heir to Beja) wanders in and before he could utter an objection (for doubtless he would prefer a wife closer to the start than to the end of her child-bearing years, and to have children of his father's dynasty) he is once again adopted into gens Artorius (for he had taken to using his birth gens again after my granddaughter's death) and married to his former mother-in-law.

No sooner do I send notice of the marriage to his brother, the Duke of Beja, than he sends a request for aid in his war against Seville, which was trying to conquer one of his provinces. Mustering all my forces (including the Ala and Sacred Cross), an army 2400+ strong, barely able to fit onto the available ships, is sent to the western coast of Hispania to oust the Sevillan forces (numbering close to 600) from Evora. As I was awaiting word from Hispania, Sion presented me with a new granddaughter during the feast of the winter solstice in December 1107.

Word from Hispania soon arrived that the Sevillan forces, fleeing Evora on news of the arrival of the Cornovian army, were brought to battle in Badajoz, with the remnants annihilated when, fleeing back into Evora, they ran headlong into the 300 troops remaining to the Duke of Beja, and then hammered from the rear by our own pursuing forces. The war was all but won that day, it was just a matter of persuading the Emir of the truth of the matter.
 

Shaytana

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I see you are fond of far off adventures! I'm glad I stayed local in my Brythonia game rather than use my energies in Hispania or North Africa!
 

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Mithras, Mary and Joseph! Where did all those Moors come from?

Dearest Hunydd,

I hope this finds you well. I am as well as can be expected. I know I told you that I would only be visiting a holy shrine in Spain to pray for my health, Cornovian winters being so hard on my old bones, but I couldn't resist inspecting the troops liberating the occupied castles in Ecora while I was here and, well, when the Emir of Seville recruited new troops, one thing led to another, and here I am, a guest, albeit involuntary, of the Emir.

They are treating me well...

Moldy bread and putrid water which I have to share with the rats - I'm hungry enough to eat one, if only I were healthy enough to catch one - and a straw tick and overflowing chamberpot in a cell barely big enough to lie down straight, and that was before I asked for better treatment, and was thrown into the oubliette for my pains.

... though I do not expect to ever see the green hills of Cornovia again.

"Grandmother, this next part is scratched out, and over it is written in a different hand, 'Send much gold now.' From what I can make out, I think he was telling us not to ransom him."

"But Eludus, the letter was sealed with his signet ring! How...?"

"He is their prisoner, Grandmother, do you really think he could keep them from using his ring?"

Tell Eludus that I leave the reins of government in his able hand. I am sure he will do better than me. I have had too many lapses of judgement in recent years, and he has already shown himself to be an able Quaestor Sacri Palatii.

I already know of the evacuation of the levies, and the destruction of the Ala and Sacred Cross. My guards mock me with it daily.

Do not intervene in Hispania again. It is a worse snakepit than Britannia, though before coming here I did not think such a thing were possible. Cornovian lives and treasure are better spent closer to home. For us, this war is over.

"He closes, 'Your loving husband, Magnus I, called the Fanged, Rex atque Comes Cornoviae'"

"We must ransom him!"

"No, Grandmother, we can not. I have already sounded them out, and they will not accept less than 250 gold, while there is no more than 150 gold in the treasury. It would take years to raise the balance and with his frail health... well, as Frumentarius you know better than I do that he is not being treated at all well, despite what he says. As much as it pains me to say this, he is not likely to live long enough to be ransomed, nor would he want to be ransomed at the expense of his beloved Cornovia."

"But..."

"No buts, grandmother. As long as I am the duly serving regent for Grandfather, my word is final. We shall not beggar Cornovia to enrich Seville."

Hunydd stormed out of the council chambers. <Why that young whipper-snapper, I ought to take him over my knee and give him a good paddling. As long as he is regent, eh? Well, we shall see how long that lasts.>
 
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richvh

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As events came to pass, the regency of Eludus for his grandfather lasted little more than a year, for it was during the Feast of the Winter Solstice, Anno Domini 1110, that word arrived in Tintagel that Magnus, Rex Cornoviae, may Mithras the father and Christ his son rest his soul, had passed from this world to the next. Long live Eludus Rex, and may Mithras guide his steps.

And Shaytana has released 0.5C. What say ye, gentle readers, shall I continue this under 0.5B, upgrade to and continue under 0.5C, or let the curtain fall on Cornovia?
 

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As events came to pass, the regency of Eludus for his grandfather lasted little more than a year, for it was during the Feast of the Winter Solstice, Anno Domini 1110, that word arrived in Tintagel that Magnus, Rex Cornoviae, may Mithras the father and Christ his son rest his soul, had passed from this world to the next. Long live Eludus Rex, and may Mithras guide his steps.

And Shaytana has released 0.5C. What say ye, gentle readers, shall I continue this under 0.5B, upgrade to and continue under 0.5C, or let the curtain fall on Cornovia?

I think compatibility is close to 100%... maybe some traits will get a bit reasigned but not much else... in any case your call richvh. It was interesting for me to see you actually got into long distance adventures, I probably would have never gone so far from Cornovia. :) I actually decided to go with less galley maintenance this update partly because of your aar. :)
 

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As most galleys are raised from the cities, I've rarely had a problem with galley maintenance... unless I've had to hire a mercenary navy, which is rare.
 

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artorius%201110.jpg

Gens Artorius Cornoviae at the start of the reign of Eludus Rex, A.D. 1110

Magnus died in the dungeons of Emir Abbad I of Seville at age 62 in 1110.
Aeronwyn's first husband died at the age of 39 of natural causes in 1106. She is now married to the new Duke of Beja, who had previously been (briefly) the husband of her daughter Tangwystl.
Justin died of syphilis at age 27 in 1095.
Ynyrus died of natural causes at age 37 in 1110. His widow is heir to the Praefectus Urbanus of Launceston, her younger brother, who is betrothed to Hunydd, Ynyrus' youngest sister, but whose marriage was blocked by Magnus for political reasons (the Praefectus' refusal to accept a matrilinear marriage to his liege's daughter.)
Addiena died at age 13 after a period of illness in 1089.
Tangwystl died at age 16 after a period of illness in 1103, shortly after her marriage to the then heir to the duchy of Beja, who after Tangwystl's death was married off to her mother, Aeronwyn.
Justin's son Magnus is, at age 20, eager to get married, but as he is not at the royal court his marriage is in his own hands.
Sion is Eludus' designated heir.

And with that, we move to the brave new world of Lux Invicta 0.5C.
 

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1113
The news from Hispania continues to be bad. My brother-in-law-cum-stepfather has lost 3 of the 5 provinces Beja consisted of at the start of our reigns - Evora to the Emir of Seville, Caceres to the Umayyad Caliph, Lisboa to the Sultan of Lusitania - and is currently losing a war against the Suevian King over a claim for the duchy of Portucale, which is comprised of his remaining two provinces, Coimbra and Castelo Blanco. Also, his marriage to my mother has so far proved childless, and she is very nearly at the end of her child bearing years. Unlike his older brother, he has not appealed to us for aid, nor have we offered any.

News at home is better - my wife has just presented me with our second child and first son. My cousin Magnus has found a wife, though his choice is odd - Tangwystl is 14 years his senior - and my other cousin, Ceredigus, is soon to be a father. Ceredigus' wife's brother is the Count of Castelo Blanco (their father having died in battle during the wars) and between Mother (who is Spymistress for her husband) and her contacts, we are kept well apprised of the events in Hispania.

1116
Cousin Ceredigus' child turned out to be a son, and Uncle Sion had a second daughter later that year. Cousin Magnus has had two sons - perhaps his choice of wife was not that bad after all. The news from Hispania has improved, the war with the Suevi has come to an end, with my stepfather retaining his remaining provinces - the Suevi now have bigger problems what with the Umayyads attacking them. However Mother says to no longer address her as Duchess of Beja - the Moors have stolen that title, now they are just the Duke and Duchess of Portucale.

1118
Christiana has presented me with a second son. Cousin Magnus also has another son - that makes 3 for him.

1121
Grandmother died today at age 71. Mother says that my stepfather's heir is the Count of Castello Blanco - that would be cousin Ceredigus' wife Paula's brother. My daughter Cerie is soon coming of age, I must think about finding her a suitable husband. Hm... perhaps the Rex Africae would do...

Hispania%201116.jpg

Hispania in late 1116
 

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1123
I have started to hear voices in my head - they are telling me to go to war - but I want to reign in peace for 10 years - go to war - No! - attack Brythonia - No! - they are weak and war-weary - No!

A letter arrives from my son-in-law - go to war - the Rex Africae - go to war - asking me to - go to war - go to war - go to war - go to war - go to war

"Ceredigus! Draft a reply to Matthias Vespasianus, agreeing to support him in his attack on Annaba, and another to Arturus Pendragon, demanding control of Aquae Sulis. Magnus! Raise the Ala and the levies. Check to see if the Sacred Cross is available. We go to war!

Brythonia soon surrendered Aquae Sulis to us; Africa annexed Annaba unaided.

Cornovia%201124.jpg

Cornovia, AD 1124
 
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