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Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
Not Fade Away
A Breton AAR for Magna Mundi Gold 2

Chapter I -- 1453: Out of the Muck
Chapter II – 1459: The Artist Unearthed
Chapter III -- 1460: Going Dutch
Chapter IV – 1473: Night Ride Through Zeeland
Chapter V – 1482: Francois to Francois
Chapter VI – 1487: Up the Loire
Chapter VII – 1492: Passing the Mantle
Chapter VIII – 1500: Lady in Waiting
Chapter IX – 1500: Empire Ascendant
(Interlude: the world Circa 1504)
Chapter X – 1504: Authority and Affirmation
Chapter XI – 1510: Rebellions
Chapter XII – 1512: Help from Holland
Chapter XIII – 1514: Enter Jean
Chapter XIV – 1516: Truths from Abroad
Chapter XV – 1516: In the Hall of Kings
Chapter XVI – 1520: Will and Estates
Chapter XVII – 1521: Strike the Nail
Chapter XVIII – 1523: Eyes on the Horizon
Chapter XIX – 1525: The Edict of Nantes
Chapter XX – 1527: Upon this Dock
Chapter XXI – 1529: Lessons Learned
Chapter XXII – 1531: Writing of Rights

Introduction:
Welcome to my first AAR! I can say it’s been a thrill to write and some painstaking work has gone into it. It’s not really a ‘gameplay blog’… mostly in character, but I’ve tried to keep the dialogue as naturalistic as possible.
I think I should give a bit of background for the reader on two things: one, the nature of the Magna Mundi mod (which many of you do know) and two, that little blip of purplish country which is so often absorbed into France by 1500…

Magna Mundi Gold 2 is the extraordinary mod that, in my view, tries to leave the game with a genuine ‘sandbox’ feel, but at the same time, takes away many of the lurid, ahistoric options that vanilla EU3 gives the powergamer. The pace of change in this game is much more in line with real history; the HRE is not gobbled up piecemeal, but a viable entity, etc. etc. There are far more changes than I can sufficiently cover, but suffice it to say, I will not play ‘vanilla EU3’ again until In Nomine comes out, and likely even then I will stick to MM. Check It Out! I’ve tried to highlight some of the nifty things MM ‘does right’ at times in the Gameplay Notes. Nevertheless, if you want to read an AAR where a tiny country bends the whole bloody world to her will, this is not the AAR for you.

As for Brittany: In this era, the Breton people are NOT FRENCH. Their language was closer to Irish than French, their traditions were wholly different as well. The country’s English name was Brittany, the French name Bretagne, the Breton name, Breizh. (Any time you see a word in the AAR with odd Zs, Ks and Hs, you can bet it’s ‘real’ Breton.) The Dukes of Brittany had a colorful role in history leading up to 1450; there were often close ties with the Scots royals and England as well, but the Bretons were also NOT the Normans, who conquered England, and who by 1453 were pretty well-assimilated into “French” culture.

The westerly Breton provinces, Finistere and Morbihan, are the most “non-French”… however, the Breton dukes also controlled Armor, which had many French influences, and Rennes, the nation’s ‘second city.’ Furthermore, the Vendee, to the south, at the mouth of the mighty Loire, is actually culturally more “Cosmopolitaine” French than Breton, and it’s also home to the Dukes; Nantes is not only the seat of power but the richest city as well.
France was certainly well on her way to ‘great power’ status in 1453, but Bretagne had real ambitions of remaining an independent power. The French aggressively pursued an annexation-by-marriage policy; In reality, the French invaded with Swiss mercenaries by 1517 or so to annul Anne II’s marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor, and force her to marry into the French crown. The independent-minded country was no more.
 
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unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
chapter I: Up From the Muck

Nantes, Bretagne. June 1453.
Grand Duke Pierre II, ruler of Bretagne, allowed himself the pleasure of letting his boots sink down into the mucky silt of the tidal flats at the estuary of the Loire. He and his cohort had ridden out of the imperial residence in Nantes that morning to get a better look at the latest project that taxed his treasury so: three state-of-the-art Carracks in the final stages of completion at the sheltered drydocks a mile distant.

The portly ruler’s thoughts turned to the war with England, the Hundred Years’ War. It was in the air, as clear as the salt on this fine morning in Vendee: the end of the war was at hand. The English claims on France were as good as gone. The French crown – Charles the Victorious or his successors – would recover, then consolidate their control over her many smaller vassal states. And then, inevitably, her gaze would turn to Bretagne. And Bretagne would not emerge victorious.

At the moment, Pierre mused, matters were not so terrible for his people. National sentiment was high, the English had not landed troops in his domain in decades, and the French were content to have an ally on their flank. But Pierre knew his family’s days as sovereigns were numbered once English relented. France would see to that. He posed this problem to his small retinue, but the military men offered only the usual bluster – “Glory is months away! March our men south to Saintogne and drive the English to the sea!” said his senior general.

“Bah! The French do a fine enough job of that without my help, now,” muttered Pierre.

The ensuing silence was broken by the youngest man present, an elder son of the Comte de Tonquedoc, visiting court from Finistere. “If it is a matter of making yourself valuable to the French Crown, I would say that it will take a truly radical strike to make a difference at this late stage of the War.”

“I won’t send men to die in England, if that’s what you’re thinking, son… those days are long past. You’ve been staring at too many tapestries,” replied the Duke.

“But the British have another overseas holding, not counting Calais and Gascogne… their interests in Eire. If we laid siege there, it might hasten the breaking of the English spirit, for which the French would certainly be grateful. We would be … valuable,” de Tonquedoc offered.

“We cannot muster another army, nor can we leave our homes defenseless,” the general said.

“But you can, my Duke!” de Tonquedoc insisted. The English, by all accounts cannot mount an offensive here. Their ships will come to harass us, but there will be no invasion force on board. I’ve been to London, I heard how the men around the Crown talk…”

Later, the two continued their talk in the Duke’s study. The young man’s ideas were nothing if not audacious. “One further point, sir. It is important that you personally lead the troops in pacifying Meath. Henri will look upon us all the more favorably if he sees it as a personal matter.”

Pierre had a brief vision of endless days of chafing inside his armor, and winced. But Pier was right. Sending an underling would not do. “You’re going to have to find me a Gaelic tutor, then,” he said, and laughed.

DucBrissac-1.jpg

Pierre Monforzh, Duc de Bretagne


The Breton flotilla was, in truth, no match for the full body of the English fleet. But surprise was on their side. The diplomat sent to the Count of Connaught had returned: Breton troops could cross into Meath through his province. The ships would dart back to Finistere for a second wave of men before the English had any idea what was afoot. Pier was to travel with London with his father the Marquis, who was to make audaciously costly demands for peace. “Just so Charles knows who to thank when he negotiates terms with the English later,” laughed the Duke. The treasury would be taxed to the limit, but the Exchequer that no loans would be needed.

Six months later, Pierre could hardly believe his fortune. The English garrisons had withdrawn to strongholds in and around Dublin almost immediately, and the Duke was proving to be an able hand at siege warfare. Most locals welcomed the Bretons as liberators; if nothing else, Breton was more pleasing to the ear than the accursed English. The navy, emboldened by a few minor successes, engaged a good chunk of the demoralized English main fleet, and had scored a shocking victory, sending many an Englishmen to a watery grave in the St. George’s Channel. Some English mercenaries were causing trouble in the Vendee countryside, but nothing organized enough to cause worry.

Word reached London that the last resistance in Meath had run up the white flag. Comte de Tonquedoc secured an audience with Henry VI, who was clearly in a funereal mood. When the Lancastrian asked under what terms the Breton ruler would withdraw from the war, Pier answered before his uncle could speak, and could hardly believe his own impudence: “We have taken Meath, and will take no more. But it will remain ours.”

The English King cut off his aghast advisors and leaned forward, to demand of the young Breton man: “And what does your Duke say to the matter of the English Crown’s eternal claim upon Gascogne and Calais?”

Glibly, Pier replied: “As ever, they are your hereditary right, and no ruler could ever say otherwise.”

And the King bought the lie. “Then he may have lordship over his miserable kinsmen in Meath!” He spun to leave, and the young Breton could not help but smirk at the English advisors, huddled and wondering how they could undo the blunder their impetuous king had just made.

meathfix.jpg


Pier de Tonquedoc sat in the palace in Nantes and spent a early summer afternoon sipping on a lovely vintage of Vouvray. He had been elevated to Exchequer, but in truth ran a great deal more than that. Pierre II spent as much time in Meath, where he was being feted a hero, as he did in the Vendee. Pier had carefully managed a series of diplomatic overtures to Paris which ended in the marriage of the Duke’s first daughter to a wastrel brother of Henri II. The French elite were, in fact, impressed by the Breton daring at the close of the War.

A visit that morning to Nantes from Cardinal Chinon, widely held as the most powerful man in France not named Charles the Victorious, confirmed to Piet what he had intuited on that morning in the tidal flats… France saw an independent, spiky, aggressive Bretagne as an asset, a thorn in the side of England. The Breton fleet’s victory over the British was one of the defining moments of the end of the Hundred Years’ War – songs were even being sung in Paris to praise the rustic know-how of the salty Breton sailing men. The Cardinal promised to support Breton privateering against the English, should the need arise. France had won Calais and Gascogne, and all Gaul was, for once, at peace.

Pier rode out to the tidal flats to look at the docks from afar. More ships there than in 1453, even, so complete was their victory over the British; they’d captured more than they'd suffered sunk. But Pier knew that, up close, the ships told a different story. Every last one was badly damaged, a year after the war’s end. He had not released any coin to pay for the repairs, for the excellent reason that there was no money to do so. Let alone hire more sailors to man them. The sailors and shipwrights had returned to the business of supplying France with cod.

Pier sighed. Better to scuttle the captured English ships than let the French Crown know that the Breton ‘naval might’ was a phantom threat, rotting in port, he supposed. “How am I going to fix this economic mess I’ve created?” he asked aloud. Alois, his advisor from the mint, was trying to explain the concept of “Inflation” the other day. Unpleasant stuff! But he had noticed more signs of wealth around the capital, (and even in Finistere, for the love of Christ!) The prestige Bretagne had won at England’s expense was clearly helping her merchants abroad. Pier pondered ways to harness the merchant class as the sun set over the Atlantic.



lighthouse1.jpg
 
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Capibara

Werewolf Huēyi Tlahtoāni
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It'll certainly be a difficult task, specially, as you said, using MM, but I'm sure you'll find a way to progress. I liked the start. Good luck!
 

Enewald

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A celtic empire!
Unite the britons! And return to your homes in the Greater Britannica.
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
Chapter II: The Artist Unearthed

Paris, France. September 1459.
Pier de Tonquedoc and his wife walked down a noisy Parisian street on an Autumn day in 1459. His diplomatic assignment was finished days ago, but it was a lovely, and rare chance to linger and enjoy himself before returning to the Vendee. They had accepted an invitation to dine with a half-Breton merchant well-established here in the Ile-de-France, one of many.

In the merchant’s compound, Pier answered many questions from the family about the country’s fortunes. Duke Pierre still preferred Dublin to Nantes,
save for the hateful winters; he was consumed by the spectacle of the frequent slights, real and imagined, traded by the feuding county Barons on that Emerald Isle. But Meath seemed quite content with Breton rule, which was wholly welcome. Given a free hand at home, Pier and the financial minister, Alois, had shrewdly organized the Breton merchant class into a rather efficient machine. His ultimate goal was to see a full-fledged civil service developed, but for now, paying down war debts had to suffice.

Bretagne had unexpected been offered, and accepted, an alliance with Austria. Pier suspected that the Holy Roman Emperor was desperate to prevent France’s consolidation. Nevertheless, Pier confirmed the alliance only after secretly receiving approval from the new French king, Henri II. “If they move to the West, it will be to mettle in Burgundian affairs, not ours,” one French diplomat volunteered.

After a fine meal, Pier toured the merchant’s offices, and paused at a painting the likes of which he had never seen. It showed a distant ship consumed by haze, reminded him powerfully of home, but was done in a wholly unique style. He asked the merchant of its provenance and was surprised to learn that it was the work of his son. “He’s completely mad, he can’t sell works like these. I keep telling him to work on his portraiture, but it’s useless,” the merchant said.

Slave-ship.jpg

“If the boy can paint fog like that, he’ll have many friends in Bretagne, I swear it. I would be happy to provide him with quarters in Nantes should you desire,” said Pier. And it was arranged.

Their return to Nantes was enlivened by Maurice de la Motte d’Airan, to say the least. The young man had only rarely seen Bretagne, but spoke the language well enough, thanks to his mother, and was greatly inspired by tales (many exaggerated) of naval victories over the English. His ideas about founding a school of painting were interesting, and not a little bit presumptuous, but Pier was secretly thrilled to meet someone as ambitious as he. But upon their arrival in the Vendee, news came that Pier was less thrilled with – the Duke had avenged some inscrutable diplomatic insult by declaring war upon two of the four Irish states.

“Ma reor d'al laboused! This will not do!” de Tonquedoc exploded. The excitable artist required explanation. Of course they cannot best us on the field of battle. But Pierre likely means to annex them into the Duchy, and it will only alarm the French and the English alike. Worse still, I will have to go there myself to explain these subtleties to him."

irishvassals.jpg

After three long years, the nobles of Leinster and Munster had finally sworn fealty to Pierre II. It hadn’t exactly been bloody, but it certainly was expensive, just as de Tonquedoc had tried to make clear to the Duke. The Austrians, to his utter shock, had even sent troops! At least Pierre had promised to not demand annexation into Bretagne. His contacts in Paris said that the French were disinterested, and the English had enough internal problems of their own.

All Nantes, meanwhile, was captivated by the artist, d’Airan. Naval paintings in his style hung in every home worth visiting, seemingly. The people were most content, and the King had returned to Nantes to a hero’s welcome.

Pier, meanwhile, received news from his sources in the French court on a weekly basis, and paid handsomely for it. He still feared there would be a day of reckoning with the Valois rulers, but was beginning to suspect that he may not live to see it. The French King was consumed by a claim of inheritance he had made upon Burgundian territory, and plotted war. Pier made plans to send a trusted aide to Vlaandern to investigate the land’s stability, and more importantly, its’ defenses. “You can never plan too far ahead,” he said aloud to no one in particular.

stabadvisfix.jpg

 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
gameplay notes, ch. 2 (thru 1465)

not much to add here... war with the Irish minors, I'm embarassed to say, was as much a result of my high stability than anything else. I can't stand sitting on a +3 stability for too long, with a great advisor hanging around to boot... but i also was not ready for the uber-painful process of changing NIs. I think I may be able to weather it later in the game, with major cash reserves built up, but not now.

Most of the major powers are at peace, not a lot is going on in the rest of Europe. Austria still the HRE. The usual early-game Ottoman shenanigans. Burgundy is staring into the abyss. Papal States look strong, for once. Will provide a full update on the global outlook in a few decades, when things have really started to drift.

The art is JMW Turner of course, and more than 300 years ahead of its time, but I like him and it fits the Bretagne motif, i think. The curse is authentic Breton, and means "My Arse to the Birds!" -- (p)arse that as you like, i found it in a phrasebook and loved it to pieces.
 

Enewald

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I knew that the painting didn't exists at that time! :D
Yay, I'm good! :p

Sad that you can't ask anyone to come your vassal, unless being allied and etc.
Ck is much better in that. :)
 

Lord Durham

The Father of AARland
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Good AAR. Nice, clean narrative. Good luck with it.
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
chapter III: Going Dutch

January 1470, Nantes.
January 1470 would be the twentieth anniversary of Duke Pierre’s reign and Bretagne was abuzz with plans to celebrate the event. Pier had little time for it, though, as he was consumed with different plans: after years of deliberation, he had determined that the Bretons could profit handsomely in the brewing Franco-Burgundian conflict.

The intelligence gathered by his aide, Charles de Pontbriand had been invaluable. Nationalist sentiment in the Dutch Burgundian holdings was at a fever pitch, and many different rebellions already roiled the inner provinces of Brabant, Breda, Hainaut and the like. Pier’s plan was this: if the French invade to claim the southerly and westerly provinces, the French would likely be pleased by a Breton incursion in the north, in Zeeland, to divide Burgundian troops further. The Duke had quietly ordered the generals to muster further regiments, and Pier travelled once again to Paris to confirm that Breton ‘assistance’ was welcome.

France had, over the past decade, forced all her vassals to sign acts making them permanent French possessions. There was, to be sure, some nationalist sentiment left in places like Provence and Bourbonnais, but to the rest of Europe, France was beginning to look quite threatening indeed. An alliance with the Holy See added the Pope’s forces to France’s old hereditary allies Scotland and Norway – but also, Pier thought, promised a long entanglement for the French in Italia, if all went well. In Paris, Henri II seemed pleased to hear of Breton plans in the Dutch provinces. Privately, Pier expected this was because the French ministers told him it would mean it less likely that the English would interfere.

And so, in February 1470, as Henri II’s ultimatum to the Burgundian king, claiming Artois and other provinces as French, was ignored, and the French Army invaded Flanders, the Breton ships were ready to sail for Holland, where a Dutch rebellion was already underway.

Duke Pierre II was, of course, at the head of the Army. The old lion was not about to let his people forget the halcyon days when Meath was won for the crown; this promised to be equally thrilling. The Breton ships sailed into Amsterdam unopposed, and Breton troops almost immediately controlled the province. Both the organized Dutch resistance and Burgundian troops were engaged further to the south, in Vlaandern, and the French were chewing up Burgundian opposition further to the south.


FranceBurgDoW.jpg

Amsterdam was one of the great cities of the Low Countries; many said that it would someday be the greatest. The town fathers were cautiously accepting of the Breton incursion; above all else, it seemed they feared an invasion from Gelre or Utrecht, provinces of the Holy Roman Empire, and the town fathers were relieved by word that the Austrian King had refused to honor Bretagne’s declaration of war. A few Dutch patriots provided advice and intelligence as Pierre moved the bulk of his troops to Brabant, bypassing the fighting between Burgundian loyalists and Papal mercenaries in Zeeland.

Within months, the Burgundian garrison of Brabant had capitulated as well, and Pierre was overcome with optimism. Even news that the armies of Lorraine, Burgundy’s only remaining ally, had arrived in the Vendee, failed to dent his enthusiasm – though it was alarming that the French crown had allowed their passage -- and the regiments Pierre had ordered mustered in Armor, Finistere and Morihban were able to rout the larger force led by the King of Lorraine.

With the homeland secured, Piet sailed to Holland, with de Pontbriand, who spoke Dutch, in tow. In Amsterdam, they quietly began assessing the competing claims and desires of the local powers-that-be, hoping to find one willing and strong enough to install as a puppet under Breton rule. And in Heyn Mouscorijn, they had their man: A jovial, staggeringly wealthy merchant with dreams of nobility, and no small measure of local support. He was recently widowed, too, which was handy. He also despised the Dutchmen of Breda, who had only just declared themselves the sovereign “Republic of The Netherlands.”

“I think you’ll find the Duke’s unwed daughter Winoc to be quite fetching,” de Pontbriand told Mouscorijn, who was busily preening in front of a gilded mirror in his apartments in Amsterdam.

“And she’s …”

“The Kontez de Armor,” de Pontbriand said, and it in fact been hastily arranged thusly.

“Beautiful!” Mouscorijn exclaimed, and neither Breton man knew for certain whether he was referring to the Kontez or his own visage in the mirror. It mattered little, Pier thought… the only thing that matters is time. We must make our demands of the Burgundian crown before they lose all hope of repulsing the French invasion. He resolved to leave for Dijon the next day.

En route, he visited Pierre II, who was industriously dispersing the last Burgundian loyalist resistance in Zeeland, the Papal mercenaries having melted away into the night as usual. “My Lord, I think we are in position to secure Holland for the Crown. Unlike this place, the Holy Roman Emperor does not consider it part of the Realm. But must take great care, the Dutch will not be as welcoming as the men of Meath.” Pierre heartily agreed.

And a month later, with Zeeland also under Breton control, Philippe, the Burgundian King, relented. Six months later, with the army of Lorraine also broken, Artois, Picardie and Nevers were ceded to the French crown. Henri II had his land bridge to Calais … but the Breton crown had Amsterdam.


amstrrmd.jpg

Two years later, Pierre II sailed into Amsterdam to visit the regiments stationed there. de Tonquedoc had been right, the Dutch were no sheep. Few had taken up arms as yet, but the newly-minted Count of Armor and Holland, Heyn Mouscorijn, was openly despised in some circles. With de Pontbriand along as faithful translator, Pierre interviewed as many of his new subjects as he could. The only thing the Dutch seemed to respect about the Bretons was the acumen of their merchantry… and that their presence was destabilizing all the other competing Dutch and Flemish states, and the provinces still loyal to the Burgundian throne.

In December 1472, the dissent coalesced with frightening speed, and the 8,000 Breton soldiers in Holland (ALL the Breton soldiers, if truth be told) found themselves fighting a countryside rebellion that twice outnumbered them. Beaten on the fields outside Amsterdam, Pierre withdrew his men to the neighboring Bishopric of Utrecht, whose Dutch ruler claimed friendship with the pious Bretons.

Pierre was determined to rally his men with reinforcements from Bretagne and relieve the garrison of Amsterdam. “Best to wait for this miserable Winter to break, my Duke,” his advisors urged. So Pierre took up residence in an estate of the Bishop’s, and began making martial plans.

In the Vendee, Pier de Tonquedoc had only just begun raising the few regiments the Duke requested, feeling great apprehension about the situation. All his efforts to bind the Dutch to Bretagne seemed for naught – the merchants guild exchange, the marriage of the Duke’s 24-year-old heir-apparent, Francois, to a Dutch beauty of great renown – perhaps Amsterdam was a prize too great for the grasping. Pier was meeting with the young Lord, a long talk on the importance of keeping the merchants happy, when an ashen-faced Breton captain was hurriedly ushered into chambers. Pier instantly understood, though Francis did not.

“Grave news from Utrecht, my Lords – Our beloved Duke is dead, shot dead by a vile Dutchman!”

Pier shut his eyes, then opened them to look at Francois, who, characteristically, took the news quietly, his head hung in contemplation. Pier crossed the glowing study to put his hand on Francis’ head. “The time for lessons is past, my friend. The news will soon be all over Nantes. The people must see their new Duke, their future King.”

WelcomeFrancois-1.jpg

 
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coz1

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Great so far! I really like how you are wrapping the game events into narrative. Excellent. :cool:

You've certainly set a tough task for yourself, but you seem to be doing fairly well. Shame about the Dutch resistance, but perhaps it will spill over into other's lands weakening Burgundy and France.

Keep it up. I'll be following this. :)
 

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some replies, since that seems to be the format....
Ubik: How am I going to deal with France? pray they don't DoW me until I get relations up sufficiently high, stay married, stay lucky. thats step one. there are a couple step twos: one option: wait until they are horribly war exhausted, then DOW them, force them to release vassals to bisect the country, hope the HRE / Burgundy / Spain / England / somebody keeps them occupied. second option: establish enough far-flung colonies that France can't ever annex the Vendee. third (most likely) option: vassal up to France and see what happens.
coz1: yes, the Dutch, i believe, NEVER give up. we'll see if things change once i have cores.
zimfan: glad someone else out there likes em. beautiful country, high on my list of future vacations. i am sorta obsessed with these obscure places in Europe that are trying to revive 'dead' languages, like Cornwall, Breton, etc.
enewald: more anachronistic art coming soon! doubt i'm going for a Brit unification game, always felt like such horribly hard work for dirt-poor provinces. we'll see where the narrative takes me... i could certainly intervene if there's a major civil war brewing.
all: thanks for the encouragement! i've got at least 3 more chapters written, and the gameplay savefile is up through 1503, with further successes to report!
 

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I would take a big gamble and DoW them once they are very involved with other stuff. Would conquer them 2 or 3 provinces as quick as I could and then settle for their removal of cores on your country.

After this things will be far easier.
 

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chapter IV: Night Ride through Zeeland

Nantes, Bretagne, January 1473
Francois Moñforzh the Second, le Duc de Bretagne, was five years old when those English ships were routed in St. George’s Channel. With an older brother, Reynaug, in line to the throne, Francois’ studies were split between diplomacy, under the tutelage of the great diplomat and translator de Montbriand, and the church, under the tutelage of the Bishop of Morihban, held to be one of the few truly pious men in a country galled by rampant simony and absentee bishops. During the campaigning in Holland, however, Reynaug died in a riding accident, and Francois, then 20, soon found himself in the constant company of Pier de Tonquedoc.

Francois was no fool; the entire court knew that Pier ran Bretagne, and he paid attention. What he learned to do, above all else, was to delegate. When appropriate. “You give trust, you earn loyalty,” Pier was fond of saying. At Francois II’s coronation, the greying advisor was at his side. Pier would continue to run Bretagne.

Francois was not interested in delegating his rightful place in the field of battle, however, especially in light of his father’s exploits. In the spring, he sailed for Utrecht, where the Breton regiments were still encamped after the wintertime death of Pierre II. The revolt in Holland was at a full boil, but the regiments were able, this time, to disperse the Dutch partisans. In truth, Francis was not ‘calling the shots’ – for what did the lad know of war? – but again, delegating, to his father’s best military advisor, Visant de Penguem. And with Holland quieted, Francis, in the footsteps of his father before him, took up residence in a conquered city, in this case, Amsterdam.


dp_ngl_0707_01m.jpg

It was not hard to see how this happened. The new duchess, Carice, was on the first boat from Nantes after the revolt was spent. She was Dutch, albeit from Zeeland, and was not keen on returning to Nantes. The Bretons were not wholly keen on how subservient Francois was to her wishes, but few could blame him; she was a radiant beauty, and a sharp wit to boot. The couple passed most of 1474 in Amsterdam, and the year after, and the next, with a minor uprising in Meath stirring Francois to action in late 1477.

The brooding Burgundian monarch surely had excellent spies, unfortunately, as he chose this moment to declare war in an attempt to regain Holland. The fragile independence of Flanders and ‘the Netherlands’ had held, but le Roi de Bourgogne apparently resented most of all the Breton meddling in the war of 1471. It was a grievous error.

Abandoned by his ally, Lorraine, the King was unable to field a force that ever challenged the returning Breton troops. Francois II was more than happy to ride south and pursue the enemy out of Zeeland, then Brabant as well. By early 1479, the Breton army had consolidated its hold on Brabant, and Francis eyed a renewed push southward. The diplomats from Dijon offered only a return to the status quo, hardly acceptable given that they had struck first.

Then, from Holland, word came that the last remaining Burgundian loyalists had somehow joined forces with their old Dutch foes and risen up, once again, and already endangered Amsterdam. In the regimental camp pitched near the University of Brabant, a shocked Francois heard the news from Carice herself.
“Wife, you should have fled Amsterdam by boat!” Francois thundered, shaking with anger.

“And you forget that I was raised by a cavalry officer, a good one at that! Ask your couriers, they did not dally on my account, I promise,” the duchess replied, and cut short the bickering by storming off to find a meal. Francis called an emergency meeting of his officers.

EU3_23-1.png

The great Breton tactician, Visant de Penguem, was certain that the Burgundian forces in Hainaut were tired and in no condition to press north after the poor winter, but then again, the Breton troops were similarly tired. Most felt Francois should accept the Burgundian offer of a white peace, so they could focus on putting down the rebellion in Holland once and for all. And as the officers argued on, Francois tuned them out, lost in thoughts of his Dutch wife, riding through her native Zeeland to be at his side.

“Enough! We’re splitting the army. Visant, what is the bare number of men you expect will keep the Burgundians from returning here to Brabant?”

“Two, or three thousand, I suppose, could do the job of masquerading as a force twice that number,” the general replied. “…but if le Roi de Bourgogne has managed to muster more men in his southern holdings, then Brabant will be lost, and lost quickly.”

“Excellent, then I shall take the remaining 7000 north, and we will make them understand that their Breton lords are made of sterner stuff than they suppose!” And as Francois rode north through occupied Zeeland with his cohort, the regiments marching some miles to the rear, he paused to assess the fine land, and turned to speak to his aide-de-camp. “White Peace? Hell, I’ll have this too, my brave wife’s home, and to hell with the Emperor if he sits in Wien and thinks he can stop me.”

It took another year of campaigning, and Breton manpower was stretched to the limit – the Duke even engaged the services of a company of Frieslander mercenaries – but the rebellious Dutchmen were again routed, and the Burgundian armies proved to be spent. After the Breton men moved into position to siege Hainaut, the enemy relented, and Zeeland was ruled by Bretagne.

EU3_1.png

 
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gameplay notes thru 1480:

i should really write these before i've already played the game-state up through 1503! I was quite pleased to get the DoW from Burgungy, as my stability has been climbing towards +3 quite nicely, and inflation's creeping up, sure, but with nice results. I used the constant war tax boost to mint heavily while at war to get the last two workshops i needed in my 4 core provinces. Burgundy REALLY shouldn't have DoWed, they were cake.

Zeeland, unlike Holland, is HRE, so expect Magna Mundi Madness soon forthcoming.
France took a province off Savoy, but there's very little movement that i can track in Europe besides that. ALL her vassals are Devoured! Can Brittany be Next??? Our relationship is up to +40 or so, all off marriages.
 

coz1

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Nice work once again with Burgundy. I suggest a rinse and repeat method after you deal with the inevitable HRE blowback and give yourself some time to throw off some BB.

Who's that in Vlaanderen, by the way? Is that Provence or did they rise on their own out of revolt?