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Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
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chapter X: Authority and Affirmation

Nantes, Bretagne, June 1504
As the last male heir of the House of Monforzh died in a rainy Amsterdam alley, Bretagne underwent a momentous change. Charles de Pontbriand sent messengers to the eight provincial seats, summoning the Estates to Nantes to discuss the crisis of succession. Remarkably, no province was yet in outright revolt, and even the vassal-state of Munster had cleaned up its own internal dissent and seemed to be waiting to see what result would come out of Nantes.

The newly-minted Breton middle class had discovered they had as much or more in kin with the wealthy burghers of Amsterdam or Antwerp, and young people had flocked to the cities to take part in the Renaissance. The rocky isle of Ensh Ouza, the very tip of continental Europe, was home to a fine arts academy founded by old Maurice d’Airan, and it produced works to rival the Italian masters; Dutch artists in particular flocked there by the dozens.


EU3_21-1.png

So, as the leading families of Bretagne made their way to Nantes, the word on the lips of every commoner was “As you were.” The sky had not fallen in; the state was not torn asunder. Merchants made money, Bishops exhorted, sailors caught fish, soldiers drilled – the whole country seemed eerily at peace, even the Dutch provinces.

de Pontbriand watched the families maneuvering with a detached, bemused eye. The aristocratic Coizochs, the leading family in Morihban, pushed for a fast resolution, with their scion as the new Duke; the Dutch provinces, and even many in Nantes, wanted to install Carice as duchess… but all eyes were on the Armorian families, and the question at hand was “Where is Claudine?” de Pontbriand knew the answer.

It was a dramatic entrance, indeed; as cosmopolitan as Nantes had become in the last twenty years, no one could say they remembered such an occasion as a Queen of France coming to town. Fifty carriages, thousands of brightly liveried soldiers, courtly ladies by the cart-load. As the various Breton nobles scurried throughout the palace to plot what to do next, de Pontbriand made his way down from his tower, Pier du Tonquedoc’s old tower, to greet the most spectacular carriage of them all. The diplomat marshaled what nobles he could, but it served his purposes that they look chaotic and disjointed. It was just the impression he wanted to give the King of France as he exited the carriage after his wife.

The much-anticipated hostility from the Breton nobles simply melted away in the face of the force majeure of the French monarch. Charles IX spoke with a quiet eloquence in front of the Breton Estate the next day, of the great friendship between their two peoples, of the need for stability in both countries. He was getting close to, but not quite at, fluency with Breton. And there was the trump card: Claudine’s claim to the throne was more convincing than any other noble could make.

Charles IX immediately let it be known that he would not consider the title ‘Duke de Bretagne’ to be hereditary through his male heirs, but rather vowed that his first daughter would inherit the title ‘Duchess de Bretagne’ from Claudine and that she would take a Breton noble as her husband when she came of age. The Dutch provinces and Meath were promised a greater degree of autonomy, securing their compliance. In the end, 17 of the 22 members of the Estate voluntarily swore to the new Acts of Succession, and Charles IX was ceremoniously re-installed by the Bishop of Nantes as King of France and Bretagne.


EU3_27-1.png

The night before Charles IX and Claudine were to return to Paris, de Pontbriand received a visit from Gilles Dansvier, le Duc d’Anjou, who had come the short distance for the investiture of Charles IX. The wiry, restless young Duke was not one for pleasantries, and cut right to the point: “There is unrest in the provinces, many provinces. Not all France would be upset if Bretagne were to buck the King’s rule.”

de Pontbriand was as always alert to the possibility that his loyalty was being tested… except that he knew Dansvier spoke the plain truth. “Is the new tax code so severe as that?” he asked.

“It’s worse than severe, unless you have the good fortune to live in the Ile-de-France… or Bretagne,” Dansvier said, not without a hint of malice.

“Yes, Charles has chosen to keep our taxing administration in place, he admires our efficiency,” de Pontbriand said.

“Just as other provinces will resent your independence,” the Duke shot back. “Just consider it friendly advice… there may come a time when your people will have to choose sides. Someone here had best be ready to make that choice.”

EU3_30-1.png

 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Let us hope that Charles rules kewly.
And Bretagne gets more land during his reign.

Give Normandy to Claudine as birthday present? ;)
Or more... she should inherit some land from France as well. :)
 

stnylan

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Well that's a bit of a bugger, I always hate being on the junior side of Union.
 

unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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Mmmmmm…Dynastic politics…
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
gameplay notes, ch 9 (thru 1505) + responses

enewald: who ever heard of adding territory as the junior member of a personal union?... that's unpossible! *wicked grin*
f'vale: there's more where that came from. i did a lot of research on other royal succession crises to help me write this baby...
disturbman: welcome and thanks! i'm striving for cliffhangers every other chapter at least. i was a journalist by trade so I like to think I know a thing or two about writing, but I rarely do any. It's been fun, but my thesis does beckon...
stnylan: well there is the added benefit of "being allied to France" which, god knows, I've been desperate to accomplish. They've always had their full compliment of non-vassal allies, however (lately it's been Papal / Savoy / someone. Scotland and Norway have, as the song goes, gone their own way.)

gameplay notes: as mentioned, I really don't mind the personal union for the time being. I'm still a LONG way off from having core on the Dutch provinces and what I really need is a nice quiet period of consolidation. Speaking of which, what a nice reward for my diligent work at getting more innovative! I sort of wish it hadn't been chosen for Finistere, since that's my ideal spot for a naval observatory, but i couldn't say no. Wish i could recall what the other two options were, but i've spaced on it. with the personal union providing a bit of military security, and production/trade up near 10, I'll be pushing Government tech as hard as possible for a while.
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
Chapter XI: Rebellions

Nantes, Bretagne, June 1510
Six years after the Duc d’Anjou delivered his ‘friendly warning’, the “Vassals’ Rebellion” was in full swing. It hadn’t happened quite as anyone expected, however.

Things first went awry for Charles IX in the Ile-de-France itself, as the House of Archaeon used their massive wealth and military prominence to stage a direct challenge to the House Valois. In the middle of winter, with so many regiments quartered in the worrisome provinces around the rest of France, the family struck. The Duc d’Archaeon was in charge of organizing regiments and had arranged for those regiments whose loyalty he’d bought to be stationed around Paris, while those he had no sway over were shuffled off to Franche-Comte, Roussillon or worse.


EU3_14-1.png

Charles IX and Claudine were lucky to escape intact, but escape they did, at one point fleeing down the Seine in a loggers’ barge. When the royals, who had sailed from Le Havre to Armor in a Breton pinnace, appeared in public in Rennes, it caused a sensation, and news spread through France quickly. Working from a base in Bourbon, Charles IX rallied the forces loyal to the crown, and moved toward Paris. The Archaeons would enjoy a full six months installed in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, but their hopes mainly rested upon the belief that the bulk of the army would accept their authority as permanent.

While the Ile-de-France and the surrounding provinces seethed with a chaotic series of engagements, many of the provinces, first Auvergne, then Anjou, Normandie and Orleans, declared their to the House of Valois broken. By March 1512, it seemed possible that they might succeed, and France teetered on the brink of total anarchy.


EU3_33-1.png


EU3_35-1.png

The Breton nobles, particularly from Armor, had contributed money and men to Charles IX in the fight against the Archaeons, but in Nantes, de Pontbriand had tried to steer Bretagne toward as neutral a stance as possible. After all, the main body of the Breton armed forces was still obliged to be in the Dutch provinces, although those had been quiet for some time. It was Saturday, March 1, 1512.

de Pontbriand awoke to a start, to the sound of a tussle outside. The old administrator’s late Saturdays were his one reward for a punishing schedule of meetings, inspections and correspondence with the French crown.

“Unforgiveable,” he muttered, and made his way to the window. Before he got there, he heard a strangled cry from the door, his manservant Armand. Charles suddenly felt violently ill. The door opened. He could hardly believe his eyes.

Reynaug Coizoch, the Count of Morbihan, strode into the private chambers with four goons, sailors from Finistere by the looks of it, behind him taking in the sights. “Charles de Pontbriand, you are under arrest for the treason of collaboration with the unlawful occupying power of France!” announced the Count, rather theatrically.


EU3_32-1.png

"Gast a gurun! You goddamned fool, what good do you think can come of this,” de Pontbriand thundered. “This will be the ruin of Bretagne!”

Coizoch gestured to one of the toughs and the lad grabbed Charles roughly. “I grant you the opportunity to confess the crimes of you and your mentor Pier du Tonquedoc before the people. Drag him to the common yard!” de Pontbriand, still in his nightclothes, protested, but was hauled down before a crowd of curious commoners, courtiers and a sizeable number of Hessian mercenaries.

‘Where the hell is the Palace Guard?’ Charles thought, before being prodded by the leering count to speak. “Citizens of Nantes, I implore you to do all –“Charles saw a look of panic pass over the face of the Morhibian noble… “– all in your power to stop these wicked men from seizing power most unlawful –“ and at that, the great silver-tongued translator, talker and diplomat of his generation was silenced by the Count’s short sword.

“And the same to all France if she tries to interfere in Breton matters again!” the Count shouted to the masses. “Morbihan and Finistere stand together against Charles IX, the Vendee must as well!” A thousand thoughts raced through his head as the remaining crowd, bloodthirsty to a man, cheered the Count and cursed France. Yet far too many had fled as de Pontbriand’s bled; the old man had perhaps been more popular than he supposed.

No matter, Reynaug thought. He expected the Dutch to now rise up and imperil the regiments stationed in Zeeland – they would return home and form the core of his new army to keep the French out of Bretagne forever.

deP-1.png

 
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unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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Wow. :eek:
 

Steckie

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It certainly seems like you have opportunities here. Two new and smaller nations have appeared right in your backyard. And since you are allied to France, you will probably get a call to arms.
Or did the alliance end by the palace revolt. Or did you end it yourself for story purposes?
 

Disturbman

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I wonder to what extent the second and the fourth screenshot are linked one to another.

Poor Pontbriand, I wonder if this Coizoch fellow is going to be the new main character of this AAR.
 

dharper

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Ouch! Best deal with those rebels quickly or you may find yourself a noble republic. :(
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
gameplay notes, ch 10 (thru 1512) + responses

fulcrumvale: Wow is right. de Pontbriand died in-game less than a week after I'd unpaused and cleared my head after reading the 'Palace Coup' screen and figuring out what to do...
Disturbman: ... you're right, I have taken liberties with the chronology. Coizoch seems like a nasty fellow, I wouldn't want to peer too closely into his world...
steckie: in-game, yes, I am still in the personal union, so i am at war with Normandie / Auvergne / Orleans right now. But with France dictating peace terms, it seems unlikely that I'll acquire territory.
Ubik: why do i think you're responsible for my coup, somehow? *growl*
dharper: i HATE noble republics!

notes: a most eventful personal union. of course, I sat back and watched France's first rebellion with some pleasure... the palace coup in the Vendee was a nasty bit of work, insta-control and, i think, 15k rebels spawned in three provinces; Finistere, Morbihan and the Vendee. The latter two moved into France immediately, with some success. The first one walked into Armor and my returning troops in fact were assisted there by some Frenchmen (yet again!) ... then I had to re-siege the three counties. luckily my general is 0/0/1/2, a siege specialist and good for little else. Thank God Austria was occupied with the Ottomans during all this mess.
 

r6mile

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This is the best AAR I've ever read; excellent narrative and impressive turn of events. After all stabilizes, will you try to diplo-annex your Irish vassals?
 

Nikolai

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dharper said:
Ouch! Best deal with those rebels quickly or you may find yourself a noble republic. :(
What makes that so bad? Haven't played as anything but monarchies so far(impressive after such a long time owning the game, I know:p).
 

unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
Chapter XII: Help from Holland

Amsterdam, Bretagne, April 1512
Duchess Carice Monforzh sat alone in her Amsterdam parlor, dressed in mourner’s black, and watched the fire spit into the night. She had requested for tomorrow an audience with the Breton administrator of Holland and Benabic Roazhon, the general in charge of the Army here.

'A fool’s errand, old widow, to think you still have a voice these men will hear,' she thought. If only Visant de Penguem was still alive! Her old friend had died not long after word of the insurrection reached Holland. Died with a broken heart, she feared; Visant wept at the disastrous news, doubly so because it sprang from his ancestral home of Morbihan.


EU3_20-1.png

Carice had gotten wind that the Breton administrator’s plans – the general was to leave more than half his men in Zeeland to prevent any chance of insurrection, and return to Armor, still loyal to Charles IX, to fight the rebellion. Carice marshaled her thoughts. She intended to convince them to send the entire army to Bretagne, to convince them of what she knew in her heart: that the Dutch were content under Breton rule, and would not rise up, even if given the opportunity.

She knew it in her heart, but marveled that it had come to pass at all. “How?” she asked herself. She thought of the humble courthouses the Breton governors had ordered constructed a few decades ago throughout their Dutch holdings; what a fine example they set for all people to respect the fair rule of law. Carice blessed the memory of the old bureaucrat Pier du Tonquedoc, for the civil service he created had served his nation better than he could have imagined.

Yes, that’s the heart of the matter… Why, the only Breton your average Dutchman knows is the local advisor to the burgher, or the tax collector, or maybe a garrison commander … all fair men, speaking Dutch as well as could be expected (i.e., not very well) – such a stark contrast to the scandalous negligence which the Burgundian princes had ran their affairs in Holland.

There hadn’t been a Dutch rebellion in over a decade, at least not in the Breton-owned provinces. The Dutchmen of Breda and Brabant viewed their new Austrian lords as little better than dogs, but those under Breton rule really respected the fair administration. The fact that the ‘Renaissance Ideals’ had spread to Holland via Bretagne had a hand in it as well.

And Carice made her case well, for two weeks later, the entire Breton army set sail for Armor. Joining local regiments raised there, including more than a few French-speaking soldiers admitted into service for the first time, the seasoned Breton regiments had little trouble breaking the rebels in Finistere, then Morbihan, and finally made their way toward Nantes.

The Count's German mercenaries, in the end, fled the field of battle, and many of his most loyal backers had been broken in a far-fetched plan to prise Poitou from the French crown. Most of Nantes, in truth, saw the Coizochs as little better than country rubes made good, and were pleased when the man was brought to scaffold in July 1513. Bretagne was at peace.


montrose.gif

Meanwhile, in the Ile-de-France, Charles IX had finally broken the insurrection of the Archaeons and their allies, and carried out the usual reprisals, but was having a harder time breaking the insurrection of vassal states which had risen up in their place. His armies were weary of fighting, and took to the field again in only the most lethargic manner. In separate humiliations, Charles acknowledged the independence of Normandie and Orleans, and to the Holy See he conceded control over Auvergne. In most other counties, however, the rule of France was well re-established.

EU3_39-1.png

In truth, Charles IX was a spent man. The flight, the fighting, the negotiations all took a toll. He had kept the country intact but was wracked by guilt nonetheless. “How did I not anticipate the perfidy, the betrayal of the Archaeons?” he moaned to his son, the Dauphin, in a private walk through the gardens of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. “Promise me you will not repeat the mistakes I made, Jean.”

“You can take it as a certainty, my father,” the young heir said, confidently navigating the hedge maze by memory. “France will be set aright.”


 
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unmerged(65154)

Second Lieutenant
Jan 25, 2007
146
0
Nikolai said:
What makes that so bad? Haven't played as anything but monarchies so far(impressive after such a long time owning the game, I know:p).

that +25 to relations boost for each royal marriage is like crack rock, especially when you're desperate to get in France's good graces, and can't afford the enormous cost of sending them a gift they may not even notice :)