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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Jaspume

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Rise of an Empire

Test.jpg

Welcome to my newest AAR - Rise of an Empire. This will be my first attempt at a more 'personal' style of AAR, with a heavier focus on characters and personalities than my other pieces of 'work'. I like to write but I'll be the first to admit I'm shaky with conversations and characters, and I thought that attempting a story such as this would be excellent practice for such a thing.

Fear not, readers of 'A New Dawn Approaches', I shall be updating sometime tonight. (A lot later than I promised, I apologise) If I need to take a break from this AAR, I shall complete my Spanish AAR if I still can.

Hopefully you'll like this, and if there's anything you think is wrong then please point it out. My knowledge of history on a more 'detailed' level is lacking to say the least. I am still trying to write a story though, so not everything will be entirely correct. Basically, I'll be writing a story around what happens in game, so most of the things I'll describe are somewhat connected to the game in most respects, less so in the introduction, however.

I've set 'Lucky Nations' to random, and I have turned inflation off. Largely due to the fact that I'm slightly rubbish at keeping it in check, and I'd rather focus on writing. To counter this somewhat unfair choice, difficulty is set to Very Hard and AI aggressiveness is at High. In addition, I'll be playing with IN.

Thanks, and I hope you'll like this. (Oh, and I'll try to make some sort of picture for the beginning at some point)

 
Last edited:

Jaspume

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Västerbotten - 1399

Gustav, head of the Swedish council, smiled as he rode through the wood. The light was gently fading as the sun fell below the horizon, and stars were silently breaking through the sea of clouds spread out across the sky. He had not expected the council to bend quite so easily. Exude gratuitous amounts of confidence and fire their hearts with roaring ambition, and you could have them believe you were the son of God.

He looked up at the canopy, a delicate light just filtering through the blanket of leaves. The smell of summer hung upon the wind, and a nearby stream quietly flowed through the tranquil wood. There was nothing quite like Sweden in the summertime.

His personal advisor, Nils Torstennson, rode beside him.

"The plan goes well, my lord."

Gustav looked toward the path ahead once more, breathing in the smells of the woodland.

"Indeed. The council seemed quite taken by my ambitions." He chuckled afterwards. The council was comprised of some bright individuals, but the veil of power blinded them, in a way. They couldn't see when a man was telling the truth, and when he was downright lieing.

"You're a fickle man, my lord."

Gustav looked toward his advisor curiously.

"How so?"

"Well, I consider myself to be a somewhat intelligent man, sir." Nils began, somewhat hesitantly. "But I have no idea whether you actually intend to forge this new empire, or whether you merely wish for power. Then again, it could be both. You certainly are a mystery, sir."

Gustav smiled again, then turned back to the road.

"Indeed. Perhaps a bit of both."

A smile flickered upon Nils' stern features. His lord was a bundle of secrets and mysteries, but there was no other man Nils would rather serve. He took a swig of water, and looked across the scenery just visible through the treeline. They had been riding through Västerbotten for a day now, with a small detail of cavalry. Gustav had called together the Swedish council; the rulers of Sweden while the nation was a member of the Kalmar union. They had met in a quiet church deep within the woodland to discuss a proposed plan. Gustav had recieved the full support of his fellow members, and now with most of the nobles under his control, Sweden had taken a step toward centralisation; an important foundation for an empire. Gustav had caused quite a stir among the elderly men, and through clever psychology and a little bit of luck, lord Gustav had entranced his audience and ensured his superiority.

The plan, thanks to Lord Gustav's perfomance, had seemed infallible. A Scandinavian empire, he had called it.

Nils called it the impossible.


"And from the ruins of the union, an empire arose."

Centralisation.jpg
 

Jaspume

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Comagoosie: Cheers, glad you like it. :)

---

14th October 1399

Gustav lived quite comfortably in his large manor, just outside of Stockholm. He much preferred the peace of the countryside to the bustling city.

He made his way into the large dining room, the council sitting around the long oak table, the room alive with conversation. As the doors to the room opened, the mindless conversations ceased, and each head turned expectantly toward Gustav. He made his way speechlessly toward the chair placed at the end of the table before acknowledging his guests.

"Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you for coming today."

He took his seat, then glanced through the documents in front of him. Nils stood behind Gustav, an impassive expression upon his face. He wasn't needed, but he tended to pick up the things Gustav could not. The slight twitches, the changes in tone, and so forth. He saw the details masked behind the noble's smiles; an ability Gustav found particularly useful when keeping the power hungry at bay.

"Thanks to the union," Gustav began, "we are currently 'donating' much of our income to the Danish, correct?"

Lars Andersson; the man currently controlling much of the nation's finances, nodded.

"In order to secure our new future, we must have the funds we require. Take the money we need directly from the treasury, I shall give you the details after this meeting."

"With all due respect, my lord," Lars began, wavering slightly beneath Gustav's stare, "do we really want the inflation that shall come from this?"

Gustav said nothing for a moment. This clearly demolished what little confidence the noble had mustered to question this decision, and once Gustav was sure the man's resistance had evaporated, he spoke.

"Then counter it. I don't care how, just do it. Or would you rather put this nation's future at risk?"

Lars hesitated for a moment, then shook his head hastily, eager to fall away from the spotlight.

"Good. See to it then."

Money.jpg

He placed the documents in a single pile, then looked at the men.

"The main reason I've called you here today is to discuss the integration of Lappland into Swedish society. The Laps have been left for far too long and their lands untapped. We need to send colonists into the province to establish a settlement. We shall stop potential Norse expansion while growing ourselves, and we could find a beneficial resource in the mountainous land. Does anyone think this is the wrong move to make?"

None of the men spoke, each one afraid of Gustav in some shape or form.

"Excellent. We shall also require fortifications in several provinces, thanks to the negligence of your predecessors. I have detailed the appropriate provinces in the instructions I shall give you shortly. I trust each of you are capable of constructing the appropriate defences in your domains. I shall meet each one of you individually for details. Here are your instructions, my lords."

He passed out the pile of papers he had stacked, each noble taking the appropriate piece of paper.

"I trust you are largely capable of carrying these tasks out without my intervention. You are free to go gentlemen, feel free to contact me if necessary."

Lapps.jpg
 

comagoosie

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What is your yearly inflation now? It seems since you are making a lot of ducats a month, it must be high.

And good luck with the mission, it seems pretty easy.
 

Jaspume

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I turned inflation off for two reasons; One, I'm normally rubbish at keeping it under control, and two, I'd prefer to focus on the story than my own ineptitude. :D

I turned the difficulty up to very hard though, and AI aggressiveness to high to counter this. As I expand the amount I take from the treasury will go down.

The mission isn't much of a problem, no. :)
 

Enewald

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I like swedish aars, but I still feel sorry for us poor finns... we are going to be assimilated... :(
But still, any inner lakes coming?
What of Kalmar?
 

unmerged(81390)

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Enewald said:
I like swedish aars, but I still feel sorry for us poor finns... we are going to be assimilated... :(
But still, any inner lakes coming?
What of Kalmar?
"Resistance is futile
You will be assimilated"

:p
 

stnylan

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Good start.

Jaspume said:
I like to write but I'll be the first to admit I'm shaky with conversations and characters, and I thought that attempting a story such as this would be excellent practice for such a thing.
Regarding this you are entirely correct. The best way to learn how to improve dialogue and characterisation is in the art of doing. :)
 

Tjena Med Laxen

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Yay, a swedish aar, good luck!
 

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Wiii a Swedish AAR! Good luck ;D
 

Jaspume

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asd: Thanks. I've just started reading your AAR, and it's definately a pleasure to have you interested. :)

Enewald: The Kalmar Union? Well, it's going to be unified soon enough. :p Good to have you here Enewald.

Ahura: That quickly brought merrick's Burgundy AAR to mind. I'm not sure I'll be quite as successful as that. :p

stnylan: Cheers, hope you'll enjoy the rest. :)

Tjena: Hopefully I'll be able to stay alive. :D Thanks.

camo: Cheers. ;)


More shall come tomorrow. I've got to make sure I'm ahead with my writing so I can keep updating regularly...
 

Jaspume

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I'm not as happy with this update as the others, it doesn't seem quite right to me. Regardless, I promised an update, so here it is:

---

After the private meetings with each noble, both Nils and Gustav walked out onto the estate.

"Anything?"

"Nothing particularly my lord. Kjell seemed suitably impressed. I think he prefers direct and firm action, so I suspect he has more respect for you as a leader. Beneficial, given he shall guide our military through the coming years. Most of the nobles were more scared than anything, to be honest sir. I doubt they shall prove much resistance."

Gustav smiled. They were moving ever closer toward a unified Sweden, and in turn, the empire.

"Lord Frederik may become a problem, though. He seemed particularly loathe toward you, sir."

Gustav laughed.

"Frederik is a spineless coward. I'd be somewhat apprehensve of a blade to my throat if his pudgy fingers could grasp a knife. Still, he has money. If you see any hostility from him over the coming meetings, increase security. I'd rather die of natural means, if I'm able to."

Nils nodded, then looked out over the fields tended by the Swedish workers.

"Do you think I'm handling the situation adequately, Nils?"

"Of course sir, more than adaquetely. Although I still know nothing of your plan, so I wouldn't be the person to ask, I suppose."

Gustav grinned. Nils had been laying bait for him for several days now, and his mock offense at his lack of knowledge had continued to amuse Gustav.

"No, Nils. I guess not."

A flock of birds flew overhead into the clear blue sky, the occasional wisp of cloud slowly drifting across the fresh air. The whispers of an empire travelled through the nearby wood as the wind flitted beneath the canopy.

The foundations had been laid.

---

Eric VII sat upon his throne sullenly. His rise to power had not been as smooth as he had hoped. The corruption within his courts had been endless, and the threats he had recieved had numbered far higher than he wished to count. His anger had slowly built as spineless nobles had come forth to him to 'advise' him on several matters, often coupled with well hidden threats to his power and his person.

And now with Sweden slowly resisting his rule and, as far as he could tell, preparing to break from the Kalmar union, he was beginning to feel a barbaric rage he had never felt before. He felt helpless in the face of open rebellion. His advisors had been insistent on a visit to Stockholm, but he had refused. He felt no need to risk his life entering those barbaric lands, and gifting the rebellious bastards with his presence. He had little care for Sweden nor it's people, and his attention was far better deserved elsewhere. He had increased the border forces though, naturally.

Not that he was scared.

IgnoringSweden.jpg
 

comagoosie

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Ouch, he just offended the swedes and that is not a good thing to do.
 

stnylan

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Not so good, not so good at all.
 

Enewald

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It is funny when nations with one province get that event.

'Where was Luxemburg again'... :rofl:

Still a good update.
Nothing special.
 

Jaspume

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comagoosie: Unfortunately, he is not the man who shall recieve the blow.

spl: Believe me, after countless years in that damned union, that's exactly what I was thinking. :p

stnylan: The Danes will fall, eventually.

Enewald: I find it weirder when the larger nations get it. You'd think they'd notice an entire nation. :p Unfortunately, there shall be no real action in terms of Sweden's independence for a little while. There shall be action soon, however.

Here's another update, I've got quite a lot more prepared than usual.

---

Lappland
5th November 1399​

Kjell Mirjam looked out over the small settlement, breathing in the crisp morning air. He had led the Swedish army, around two thousand men, into the lonely wilds of Lappland to prepare the way for the colonists. Arriving several days before the civilians, Kjell had ordered his men to pitch their tents and begin the construction of the colony, much to their annoyance. Several sharp looks and a clip around the ear had stopped most of the grumbling, but Kjell could understand their attitude. They were soldiers, not builders. They were trained to fight and to kill; to destroy, not construct. They'd learn soon enough, however, that destruction was not all it was cracked up to be. Several bloody campaigns had taught the silver haired Kjell that. Peace far outstripped war.

As the sun slowly rose from beneath the horizon, the final sounds of hammer upon wood rang out across the colony, and the night watch wearily marched back to their tents. In order to finish the settlement on time, and to ward off any hostile natives, Kjell had placed groups of men on night duty, allowing those who had worked all day to rest. These men were quickly awoken as Kjell's officers stalked up and down the rows of tents, barking orders and calling the men to duty. Kjell smiled. Every man hated his superiors for a while, particularly when they knocked you out of bed and forced you into a cold Lappi morning.

Respect soon replaced hatred, however, and most men would wake at the crack of dawn for the rest of their lives, such was the fear of an irate officer bellowing in his ear.

Then again, most didn't make it to retirement.

"Sir!"

Aroused from his thoughts, Kjell turned to face the disruption. A scrawny teenager, barely the age of fifteen, was running up the hill toward the general. He stopped once he had reached the general, then bent double to catch his breath.

"Stand straight, boy! Look like you're actually adressing a general, not some common pleb!"

The boy straightened up, terrified at the general's sudden outburst, and saluted.

"Sorry sir, I'm really sorry!"

Kjell looked the boy up and down, then nodded.

"You can catch your breath now, lad. I hope you won't show such discourtesy to your officers, they won't be so understanding."

"I won't sir, I'm sorry. I bring news from the scouts, sir. The colonists are arriving."

"Excellent." He glanced at the boy again, puzzled. "Why on earth did you run so far just for that?"

The boy stood upright, a wild look in his eyes.

"There's a group of natives sir, they're preparing to attack the convoy."

The general sighed. He should've known.

"Go find Officer Manfred, tell him to prepare the best men he can find for an immediate march. Men that he can trust. I want him at the southeast entrance of the colony in a half hour, got that?"

The boy nodded frantically, then rushed off again.

Kjell turned back toward his viewpoint, stretching his arms a little.

The day just got exciting.

---

Right, I've got a question for everyone; Should I try and write a little battle scene for this? It won't be much, it's only a small skirmish, and it'll take a bit of time before the next update. Or would you rather I just skipped it (it's nothing all that important) and go straight along with the AAR?
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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straight with the aar.
They are samis... they do not fight.
they just live peacefully there in north, which is not Sweden, it is Lappi. :p
Lappi morning is something different than a morning in Sweden...
Kiruna is being founded?