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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Farquharson

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is for Passau


Chapter 1 (1066-70)

Real Popes do it Alphabetically

Our story begins late in the year 1066 in Rome, where Pope Alexander II was discussing with his Archdeacon Hildebrand a new and innovative scheme for a more orderly and logical arrangement of the Dioceses of the Church.


Pope Alexander II​

Hildebrand: It's preposterous, Your Holiness, utterly preposterous!

Pope Alexander II: Not at all, Hildebrand. On the contrary, it solves all our problems in one fell swoop. It will promote Christian brotherhood throughout the world the like of which has never been seen before.

Hildebrand: But who on earth will ever agree to a system of alphabetical Dioceses? Do you really think the faithful in, I don't know, Aargau for example, will be happy to be in the same realm as, oh, the good citizens of Abauj, say? Or those in Buchan with those in Bologna, simply because their provinces begin with the same letter of the alphabet?

Pope Alexander II: I don't see why not? They're all Christians aren't they?

Hildebrand: Not according to your proposal - you're suggesting that even non-Christians provinces be included in the plan!

Pope Alexander II: Yes, well that brings us to the evangelistic aspect of the system. Each diocese will be responsible for converting a specific group of provinces to the True Faith. No more of these vague all-encompassing "Crusades" which no-one really believes in anyway.

Hildebrand: Well, I don't believe it will work at all. I don't think you'll ever persuade anyone to participate.

Pope Alexander II: Oh dear. Well what about a pilot project? We could try it out with just one Diocese and see how it goes?

Hildebrand: Just one Diocese? Do you happen to know of any ruler who would be stup- I mean, open-minded enough to participate in such a plan?

Pope Alexander II: As a matter of fact, I can think of someone right away. And as it happens his province is just the place to propose a pilot project.

Hildebrand: Who is that, Your Holiness?

Pope Alexander II: Count Ulric of Passau. A profoundly pious man who'll soon be persuaded to put his all into the plan.

Hildebrand: Well, perhaps we can have a go, but if it all goes to pot don't say I didn't warn you…


Count Ulric of Passau was not in fact particularly pious, but he could fairly be described as "as pious as the next man" on Christmas Day 1066 when the Papal Legate arrived in the town of Passau on the River Danube and presented him with the Pope's request. Count Ulric listened carefully to Pope Alexander's proposal then sat in silent contemplation for some time. Finally he spoke.

Count Ulric: A pilot pwoject, you say? No-one else is being appwoached at pwesent?

Papal Legate: No sire, you have the privilege of being the first person to participate!

Count Ulric: Hmmph. And tell me, exactly how many pwovinces will be part of this new "Diocese of Passau", then?

Papal Legate: Thirty-nine, sire. I have the list right here.

Count Ulric: Well, let's have a look at it then. Best to know what sort of pwoblems might cwop up on the way before we plunge into the pwoject, eh?

The Legate handed over a neatly written parchment with a list of thirty-nine provinces on it. The Count studied it carefully. It had been prepared by an anonymous scribe from the province of Aargau.

Code:
	Padova
	Palermo
	Palmyra
	Paphlagonia
	Parma
	Passau
	Pavia
	Pecs
	Pelusia
	Penthievre
	Peremyshl
	Peresechen
	Pereyaslavl
	Pereyaslavl Zalessky
	Perfeddwlad
	Perigord
	Pest
	Petra
	Pfalz
	Philippopolis
	Piemonte
	Pinsk
	Piombino
	Pksov
	Plasencia
	Plauen
	Plock
	Plzen
	Podlasie
	Poitiers
	Polotsk
	Porto
	Powys
	Poznanskie
	Praha
	Pressburg
	Pronsk
	Provence
	Prusa
After some minutes the Count looked up.


Count Ulric: Good gwief, man, I don't even know where some of these pwovinces are! I mean, where the dickens is Perfeddwladd for cwying out loud?

Papal Legate: Part of the Duchy of Gwynedd, in Wales sire. It's people are Christians, of course.

Count Ulric: Yes, well that was my next question. Just how many of these pwovinces are actually Chwistian and how many do I need to convert?

Papal Legate: Well, His Holiness thought that for the Pilot Project we shouldn't make it too difficult, so you'll find that most of your Diocese is already converted. However, five provinces are Muslim and two are Pagan, and I'm afraid there are ten who currently follow the Orthodox faith. The rest are all populated with good Catholics.

Count Ulric: Yes, well at least that doesn't seem to be too pwoblematic. Is there some time sort of time schedule that I'll be expected to work to?

Papal Legate: His Holiness merely requests that the task be accomplished as quickly as possible. He has set the year 1453 as an absolute last deadline for the pilot project to be completed.

Count Ulric: Gwacious, that sounds like a long time. Well, I think the von Passau dynasty is certainly up to it. Kindly inform His Holiness that Ulwic Count of Passau accepts the challenge!

And so began the great quest for the formation of the Diocese of Passau, to comprise every province in the known world which began with the letter P. Count Ulric von Passau may have been confident that his dynasty was up to the task, but the truth was that in 1066 his dynasty was actually a little thin on the ground. He had a wife, Adelaide von Schweinfurt, and a baby daughter Uta, but that was about it. What he was distinctly lacking in was successors.


This looked like being soon rectified, however, when Adelaide was found to be pregnant in June of 1067. The Count was over the moon - surely this was the son that he needed to ensure the future of the von Passau dynasty. But alas, the happy tale ended in tragedy nine months later when Adelaide died in labour and the child was also lost.

Not as tragic as all that, however. For it so happened that just about that very time, Agnes d'Aquitaine, only daughter of the Duke of Poitou, came of age and started looking for a husband. Count Ulric quickly put himself forward as a candidate, and was accepted right away. This was a very promising start to the pilot project, for not only did the Duchy of Poitou contain the province of Poitou, but also the County of Perigord. All that Count Ulric needed was to get a son by Agnes, who would one day inherit this prestigious patrimony. It took a little while for the Countess to get going, but in April 1070 a portentous pregnancy was made public.



Will Agnes give birth to a future Duke of Poitou or will she succumb to the same fate as Adelaide? Can Ulric and his descendants really unite the proposed Diocese of Passau? Is Pope Alexander off his rocker to even suggest it? Does this AAR count as plagiarism or not? Find out in the next preposterous episode of "P is for Passau".
 
Last edited:

Farquharson

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And hot on the heels of the short-lived Blood and Gold: a Catalan Tale comes my next AAR. Again, I chose a 1066 scenario County completely at random, and up came Passau. Was it because "Passau" begins with the letter P, or that it looks strangely similar to "Aargau"? Whatever the reason, the idea came into my head to do another alphabetical AAR. For those who haven't read my first one, it's called P is for Portugal - as you can see, I haven't been too imaginative in thinking of a title.

Of course, any similarity to anonymous4401's Real Men do it Alphabetically: an AARgau is purely coincidental. It may look similar, but I should point out a few significant differences. For a start I'm skipping the first fifteen letters of the alphabet, not to mention the last ten, so I don't imagine I'll be treading on anonymous's turf province-wise :p . Secondly I'm seriously hoping to accomplish the goal (well maybe anonymous is too, but nobody appears to believe he can pull it off) so there should be a certain element of suspense to see whether I actually succeed or not, much as in Portugal, where nobody (including me) really knew till quite near the end whether I would manage or not. And thirdly, my rules are a lot more lax. I can acquire P provinces in any order, and can also acquire any other provinces I want to on the way. I do however additionally hope to convert all P provinces to Catholic in keeping with the stroryline.

I realize that attempting such a goal-driven CK AAR is going bring me to a make or break moment. I have never yet even played a game of CK past about 1250, never mind continued an AAR past that point, but if this project is going to succeed I will almost certainly have to break through that barrier this time around. So - wish me luck and comment when you can - if anything will keep me going, that's what will!
 

unmerged(59077)

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Wohoo!

Well, you certainly wasted no time. On to Pwdwlyyflywwdlydd! Or whatever it was.
 

unmerged(58610)

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in a moment of jocularity it seemed to me as if I should suggest that the next Farq task should be to conquer all the provinces beginning with P. And lo, it has now appeared.

For Count Ulwic's sake though, don't take any pwovinces beginning with "R".
 

stnylan

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A Farquharson AAR is always something to be looked forward too.
 

Farquharson

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RGB: I hope you noticed that, despite his speech impediment, Count Ulric had no difficulty whatsoever in pronouncing "Perfeddwlyd" :p .

Chief Ragusa: Wow - you must be telepathic or something! I think I need someone like you in my court. Now let's see... ;)

stnylan: Well, let's hope it lives up to expectations, then!

J.Passepartout: Now that's just down wight cwuel! (You're not one of those pet-killers by any chance are you?? :eek: )

Duke of Wellington: Well, "Portugal" was my favourite game ever to play and to AAR, so I figured it was worth doing a CK version as well.

Bad Santa: At least I can claim that Plagiarism begins with P and thus is part of my rightful domain... :wacko:

OK, here's the next chapter, although the pace might slow down a bit after this as the holidays are now over.
 

Farquharson

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Chapter 2 (1071-80)

Preliminary Preparations for the Pilot Project

At the end of the last chapter we left Count Ulric of Passau and his wife Agnes d'Aquitaine awaiting their first child. If the happy couple were blessed with a son, he would be first in line to inherit not only the somewhat modest County of Passau, but also the far more prestigious Duchy of Poitou, currently ruled by Agnes' father Guillaume VIII d'Aquitaine. Count Ulric was particularly anxious for his son to inherit Poitou since he had been charged by Pope Alexander II with creating the first ever Alphabetical Diocese - the Diocese of Passau which would comprise every province in the known world whose name began with P. This included Poitou and Perigord, both provinces that were part of Duke Guillaume's realm. In January 1071 a happy announcement was made:


The birth of little Adolf von Passau, heir to Guillaume VIII d'Aquitaine​

The next thing that Count Ulric needed was gold, for the Passau Project was clearly going to be a costly venture. Here the Count ran up against his next problem, for no-one in his modest court had a clue about managing money. The best that could be found was his wife Agnes, who could count up to five on her fingers, or so she claimed - unfortunately no-one in the court was able to verify this accurately. This would have to do to be going on with. Meanwhile the County of Passau experienced the usual ups and downs of medieval fortune, inadequate soil preparation being followed by the discovery of wood ploughs, and so on. ("No wonder the soil pwepawation was so inadequate," remarked Count Ulric, "What on earth were those stupid peasants using before?"). In 1074 Agnes turned out to be a martial nun, which further hampered her arithmetical skills and brought the Count's income down even further. Neverthless a few improvements were made with the introduction of forestry in 1072 and a tile factory in 1078.

Another thing which Count Ulric was lacking in was prestige. The fact was that he was generally regarded as an insignificant nobody in the general scheme of things, rather than the ruler of the glorious future Diocese of Passau. Perhaps if he had some more prestigious interior decor at the von Passau family residence people might take him more seriously. In 1078, while the Count was out hunting, the perfect opportunity presented itself in the form of a beautiful deer. Count Ulric could already picture the magnificent antlers mounted above his fireplace as he fitted an arrow to his bow and shot the hapless creature dead.



The deer putting up a brave demonstration of non-violent protest against animal cruelty​

Amazingly, this did wonders for the Count's prestige, and he immediately put in a claim to the first of many titles, that of the Count of Penthievre who was currently a vassal of the Duke of Brittany.


Later that year Ulric and Agnes's marriage came under a bit of a strain. Agnes was in fact expecting their second child, when the Count came home one day with another baby, who he presented to her rather apprehensively.


Countess Agnes: What eez zees, you great oaf? A bastard? By 'oom 'ave you 'ad zees child?

Count Ulric: I'm tewwibly sowwy deawest. The twouble was, she was such a vewy pwetty wench…

Countess Agnes: Aghh! I weel geev you "pwetty wench" you lecherous old geet! And what deed you say eez name was?

Count Ulric: Er… Adolf, deawest…

Countess Agnes: Adolf? Adolf? But we already 'ave an Adolf, you fool!

Count Ulric: Oh dear, you know I'm pwetty hopeless when it comes to thinking of names, darling. Adolf was just the first thing that spwang to mind I'm afwaid.

Countess Agnes: I do not know why I ever married you, you know. I should 'ave married zee Keeng of France or someseeng like zat. Eenstead, 'ere I am married to some eediot of a Count who seenks zat because 'e 'as a 'ead of deer on 'eez wall 'e can do whatever 'e likes…

However, Ulric and Agnes somehow managed to patch things up, and when little Manfred was born a few months later, they celebrated the happy event together.


Adolf the Bastard, as he came to be known, tended to be given the cold shoulder after that. In fact the shoulder that he was given was so cold that he ended up with pneumonia, and little hope of surviving. It was rather a blot on the Count's record, but he put it down to the fact that he had no Diocese Bishop to keep him and his court on the straight and narrow.

And then in 1080 the Pope sent an itinerant Bishop to Count Ulric's court, suggesting that perhaps it was time the Diocese of Passau actually had a Diocese Bishop.



Count Ulric: A Diocese Bishop, eh? Well that's jolly thoughtful of His Holiness. We were just saying how nice it would be to have one.

Bishop Gerlach: Errm… I was just wondering, my Lord. Do I need to be Diocese Bishop?

Count Ulric: Well that's what the Pope is pwoposing, isn't it?

Bishop Gerlach: It's just that, well, I've got a bit of a problem with the ladies, you know…

Count Ulric: Ah! A bit of a weakness for pwetty wenches, eh? Say no more! I understand completely.

Bishop Gerlach: So I'd prefer not to actually be a Bishop, you know. It doesn't look good.

Count Ulric: Well, what else can you do? Wait! I know! Can you count up to five?

Bishop Gerlach: Five? Shucks, I can count all the way to ten, Count Ulric!

Count Ulric: Aha! Well that settles that little pwoblem. I'll give you a job as my Steward.

And so the meagre income of the County almost doubled overnight as the lustful Gerlach was put in charge of the Count's finances. With two heirs in the bag, a claim on Penthievre and a monthly income of more than two gold pieces, the Count's fortunes were finally looking up.

Will the Pope kick up a fuss about the re-channelling of Bishop Gerlach's talents? Will Adolf the Bastard recover from pneumonia and finally be integrated into the family? Does anyone actually care about Adolf the Bastard anyway? And finally, when is Count Ulric going start conquering the P provinces that make up his Diocese? Find out all this and more in the next pedestrian episode of "P is for Passau"!
 

Murmurandus

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Real Men Do It Alphabetically... :D ;)
 

Jestor

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Mmm, French girls. :D
 

General_BT

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May this perfidious project continue in perpetuity, until all these lands are peacefully persuaded to properly prostrate themselves before the pugnacious pontiff in Rome!

Good luck! :)
 

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A whole two gold pieces a month! Surely, there is no stopping Passau now! :)
 

Alfred Packer

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Adolf the Bastard, as he came to be known, tended to be given the cold shoulder after that. In fact the shoulder that he was given was so cold that he ended up with pneumonia, and little hope of surviving.
That is hilarious...awesome line!
 

Charle_88

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More alphabetic madness. Awesome.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Jul 2, 2006
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Murmurandus said:
Real Men Do It Alphabetically... :D ;)
Emmm, wrong AAR.

These French girls don't marry for money, though do they? A daughter of a Duke married off to a Count with the princely sum of 2 gold a month. It must have been true love.

The unloved Adolf may yet survive and become the Diocesan Bishop. He can have his own family.
 

Kanil

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Mar 14, 2007
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I still am sad about poor Huggy.

But that's also the wrong AAR. Hopefully Gerlach will discover that his ability to count to ten coincides with the number of fingers he has, thus he can then teach your entire court to count to ten, and if he discovers he has toes, well... oh, my!
 

unmerged(17581)

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Bah, thirty-nine provinces. I'll have thirty-nine provinces in my AAR by tomorrow, and I got them all in order, too! So of course you should be able to accomplish this little task. And I think you picked Passau only because it began with 'P', so you wouldn't have to find another capital letter graphic!

And I do find it strange that the Count can't pronounce the 'r' in his own name, but can pronounce the ones that are in 'were's and 'before's?