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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Sakura_F

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Love it!
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Well its been three months or so since I posted the last chapter. I've been meaning to for a while, but work and a lack of playing CKII for the last two months has been stopping me. Learning about the Way of Life DLC coming out soon made me figure that I had better get back to continuing the tale of the Saxon Dogs, especially since I've gone about eighty years into the game. In fact I'm gonna see about making a little challenge for myself to post a chapter once a week just to get me motivated about writing again. Anyway, I'll post chapter three when i get home from work later this evening and we'll see where it goes from there. Thanks for subbing and enjoying the story so far!

P.S: Oh yeah, and i'm sorry for the bit of a ramble on this post, but i'm heading to work as I type this so its a bit haphazard at the moment. Thanks again.
 

Asantahene

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Well its been three months or so since I posted the last chapter. I've been meaning to for a while, but work and a lack of playing CKII for the last two months has been stopping me. Learning about the Way of Life DLC coming out soon made me figure that I had better get back to continuing the tale of the Saxon Dogs, especially since I've gone about eighty years into the game. In fact I'm gonna see about making a little challenge for myself to post a chapter once a week just to get me motivated about writing again. Anyway, I'll post chapter three when i get home from work later this evening and we'll see where it goes from there. Thanks for subbing and enjoying the story so far!

P.S: Oh yeah, and i'm sorry for the bit of a ramble on this post, but i'm heading to work as I type this so its a bit haphazard at the moment. Thanks again.

Fantastic! Looking forward to this Hero! :D
 

DKM

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I as well.
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Chapter III - Conquest

Chapter III - Conquest​


On the eve of the war to conquer Liege, A good omen came to me in the form of Ealhflaed, who announced that she was pregnant with our fourth child.


With our levies fully mustered in Mid-November, I came to the decision to hire the same band of Finnish mercenaries to bolster our numbers. The addition of the mercenaries was a worthwhile move as by the end of the year, the meager forces of Cardinal Francon were crushed and he was ousted from Liege.


The next year and a half past with little to speak of, Ealhflaed gave birth to a daughter that we named Eadhild, Aethelstan and Eadgifu started their tutorage under me and King Lothaire decided in his "great wisdom" to name himself as the Duke of Luxembourg.




Lothaire naming himself Duke is a major cause for concern for me, not only because I hold most of the land that formed the duchy, as well as claims to the counties of Luxembourg and Brabant, but because it breaks the agreement we made when I first landed in Julich. I need to ensure that the King does not attempt to reclaim any Saxon land, and conquest is the way forward.

_______________________________________________________________

10:00 AM
25 November 873
Bouillon, Lotharingia

The late November chill had frozen the previously wet and muddy hills outside of the town of Bouillon into a rock hard, unstable muck. That however did not stop the young scout as he rushed up the hillside towards his lord's personal tent with news of the approaching forces of the young Count Sigebert of Luxembourg. Upon reaching the tent, he found Guthmund entertaining his two eldest children with tales of his youth in Wessex.

"My Lord! I came as quickly as I could manage to report that Luxembourg's forces are approaching the town. They number almost equal to our own and are travelling fast up the north road."

Guthmund looked up from across the tent and nodded. "Good work lad, find my Marshal and Mayor Anselm and send them to me."

"Yes my Lord."

The children watched the scout leave before turning to badger their father with questions

"Will we be fighting too? Can you bring me back a sword? Do we really have to stay with the boring Huscarls?"

Guthmund gave a short chuckle.

"Such inquisitive children I have, always asking questions. And to answer them I shall say this; no, no and yes you do. Now children, listen to what I have to tell you."

Guthmund knelt down to look his children in the eyes before continuing. "There may be a day when I do not return from battle, if that does come to pass then I want you both to be strong for your mother and sisters, especially little Aebba."


Aethelstan gave his father a fearful look "But you will come back today, won't you Father?"

"Of course I will lad, I'm fighting Frankish peasants not bloodthirsty Northmen. I will be back by the end of the day, you have my word."

5 Hours Later...

The Saxon shieldwall had held flawlessly against the archers and the light cavalry attacks, and when the enemy infantry charged, Guthmund had waited until the last second to lead a counter-charge to catch Luxembourg by surprise. What followed was a quick and brutal melee in which young Sigebert was captured and his army quit the field upon learning of this.


With yet another county under his rule, Guthmund had sent a clear message to both King Lothaire and anyone else who might stand in his way.


Refugees they may be, but nobody threatens the new home that the Saxons had made for themselves.
 
Last edited:

Asantahene

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Lovely! No one threatens the Saxons!

Great to see you back Hero!
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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So maybe trying to get a chapter done a week whilst I'm working in retail during the busiest period of the year was not the best idea. Regardless, I've finally got enough free time to write again so i'm going to get right back into it. Chapter 4's coming once I get the screenshots uploaded.
 

Asantahene

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So maybe trying to get a chapter done a week whilst I'm working in retail during the busiest period of the year was not the best idea. Regardless, I've finally got enough free time to write again so i'm going to get right back into it. Chapter 4's coming once I get the screenshots uploaded.

Welcome back Hero! :D
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Chapter IV - Lothaire's End

Chapter IV - Lothaire's End​


12 July 877
Longuyon, Verdun

The closed stone halls of the Frankish castle were a sharp contrast to the wider, airy wooden ones of the estate in Julich that Guthmund was used to, but his fascination with the new and wholy European art of castle building made the switch an easy one for the old warrior. Two months had passed since the King's messenger arrived with summons for Guthmund to take up the position of Chancellor on the Royal Council, and Guthmund's hours were spent learning the languages of the different cultures that inhabited the realm.


Not all of the issues were easily dealt with however, not since the King had taken ill and without his influence on the council, the other councillors were less than accommodating to the "foreign wretch" as they called him. Discussions on how to proceed with the regency constantly turned into bickering and threats of violence between the councillors. Only one among them remained amicable towards Guthmund; Amédée d'Ivrea, the elderly Spymaster and Count of Chalons.


A particularly dreadful meeting had taken place earlier that morning in which the council had discussed both the threat of the usurper King Guifré de Barcelona, who earlier in the year had seized control of Aquitaine from the Karlings, and the Lotharingia's own losses from the usurpation of the southern lands of Burgundy.



The Burgundian lords had banded together upon learning of the King's illness and demanded that the throne be handed to Duke Karl of Alemannia, the youngest son of Louis the German. With the King's condition steadily worsening, the council had no choice but to prevent an all out revolt by handing the kingdom over.




Guthmund had decided to send messages to his contacts that were now stationed in the south to disrupt the new relationships between the Burgundian lords and their new King to sway them back to Lothaire's side, and made his way to the King's bedchamber.

As he reached the door to the King's chambers, it came to Guthmund's attention that the guards were absent. That detail alone immediately set the warrior on edge, as the guard had been doubled just before the council meeting to protect the King from any possible threats. Slowly treading towards the door, Guthmund noticed that it was slightly ajar and judging by the movement of the light behind it, somebody was in there with the King. Keeping a close hand on the dagger at his belt, Guthmund charged into the room with a yell only to stumble to a halt at the sight before him. Amédée was sat on a chair beside Lothaire's bed, both engaged in low conversation.

"Lord Guthmund," Amédée glanced up, locking eyes with his fellow councillor, "I trust that your barging into the room was merely an attempt to catch any assassins unawares."

The old man gave a light smirk at his own comment. Guthmund grunted in a light show of annoyance before sheathing his dagger.

"The guards were gone and the door was ajar, I can hardly be blamed for worrying about my liege's safety."

"That would be my hand at work Guthmund, I sent the guards away so his majesty could give his last words to you freely." Amédée's smirk turned into a forlorn smile before he rose out of the chair. "I will take my leave. Guthmund, we must be ready to stand against any threat to the kingdom. Come and find me once it is done and we will discuss plans."

With that, the spymaster bowed to the king before hastily leaving the room. Guthmund now turned hs attention to Lothaire, the King was clearly close to death, an earlier case of gout had weakened him seriously and the subsequent fever left him close to death. Lothaire gave a violent cough before weakly beckoning for Guthmund to come closer. Gazing up at the chancellor, the King began to speak.

"Hearken to me Saxon. I don't have long, minutes perhaps, so I want to extract a promise from you. My death draws near and my young daughter Soléne will inherit my throne. I fear that those who wish to enhance their standings will manipulate her into doing their bidding, and those that seek to claim the throne for themselves will use every underhanded tactic to their advantage. Promise me that you will ensure that they do not succeed. Keep Soléne safe."

Guthmund kept silent, considering his answer deeply. Lothaire had allowed the Saxons to remain in Julich after they fled, that much was true, but he also attempted to undermine Guthmund personally by naming himself as Duke of Luxembourg. However, what truly mattered was maintaining the sanctuary that the Saxons had constructed for themselves; allowing the Kingdom to fragment would accomplish nothing but more sorrow, and Guthmund had seen enough of that during his fourty nine winters.

"I promise."


"Thank you Guthmund, may God be with you."
 

Asantahene

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Gosh Gothmund will have his work cut out fighting off the various factions that will want to control the Child Queen-this is gonna be fun!
 

TheHeroOfRandom

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Chapter V - Plots and Pilgrims

Chapter V - Plots and Pilgrims


The death of Lothaire had a profound impact on the status of my people in the kingdom. Within a week I had been stripped of my seat on the council and rumors were being spread that the Saxons were plotting to take over the kingdom. All nonsense of course, the kind of wild rumor spread by drunkards and vagrants, but I had my suspicions that the Norse barbarians on the coast were the start of those rumors.

What made matters worse was the news I received from Amedée shortly after I gained a new daughter, Sifflaed, at the end of October.

Rumors were abound in the underworld of a plot against the crown, someone was hiring men and said someone had also manipulated the court to grant the regency to Lothaire's widow Teutberga.


It was understandable, the Queen Mother was renowned for two things: Having a face like a week dead ox and being about as intelligent as said ox, she was easily manipulated into turning a blind eye towards ill deeds. Amedée had also informed me that his contacts in Rome had given him the same account as those in Lotharingia, people were being hired for unknown purposes.

I had always wished to see the Eternal City with my own eyes and so I chose to make a pilgrimage of the journey. With luck, I would be able to uncover the reasons behind the gathering of forces in the kingdom as well.

Februrary of the next year had brought unseasonably warm weather with it, so I elected to depart on my month journey to Rome.

Of my pilgrimage I cannot say much, the journey to Rome was uneventful and indeed my stay in the city was quiet as well. Of the plot back in Lotharingia, I had learned nothing aside from what was already known. As I arrived back in Julich two months after I departed, I came to the conclusion that I would have to simply remain watchful for the next move from these cretins.

My wife was found to be pregnant a month later, a curious discovery since I had been travelling to Rome around that time.

In an effort to place myself as a trustworthy vassal in the Queen's eyes, I petitioned her to be crowned as Duke of Luxembourg. Soléne agreed without consulting either her mother or the council, much to their frustration. Sadly for them however, I had lawfully been granted the title so the fools could do nothing but gnash their teeth.

Soléne's act of callousness did not come without repercussions though, it had prompted Hugues, Count of Lorraine and bastard son of Lothaire to lay his claim as the supposed "true" heir.

Hugues was prepared to risk a war if his claim gained enough backing, and it seemed likely that the lords would rather reign under him instead of an infant girl.

For now however, both the bastard's faction and the plot against the throne were quiet. The uneasy peace lasted for the rest of the year, during which Ealhflaed gave birth to a son, Hrodberht.

I could only hope that the child truly is mine, but more important matters were at hand soon afterwards which placed my Ealhflaed's loyalty to me as the least of my concerns.

The conspirators were led by Hrorekr, Duke of Holland. They had made the first move. Once again I was called to war against the Norse, may God have mercy on us...
 
Last edited:

Asantahene

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To war my lord! Let's see if you can earn your Spurs eh?
 

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Chapter VI - The New Regency

Chapter VI - The New Regency​


As much as I despise the Norse for assaulting my homeland for nearly a century, forcing me to commit treason to save as many as I could before fleeing Anglia and not to mention fooling the good Christian masses of the Karling kingdoms into giving them land by falsely swearing allegiance, I have to admit that if it were not for the rebellion, things may have ended poorly for the those of us Saxons who fled.

Within a week of the declaration of rebellion, Queen Soléne declared me as marshal to replace Hrorekr.


Now having returned to a seat on the Council, I could now see the true extent of the ineptitude of the regency. Teutberga was running the Kingdom into the ground with her useless floundering about, the Council was beginning to grow weary of her and murmurs of various nobles wishing to replace her as regent began to circle. I myself began to gather followers for my own attempt at claiming the regency during the remainder of the year..


One of those who joined my service during that time was a young Saxon noble named Eadraed. Eadraed was formerly a courtier in the old Kingdom of Northumbria before Lodbrok's kin had conquered it. Having no other choice, he was forced to serve the King of the Norse realm Jorvik, but as of late the heathens had been warring amongst themselves and Eadraed had taken the chance and fled to Julich. In his short time here, he had proven to be an able administrator and so to reward him, as well as to ease the burden on myself, I granted him the county of Loon to rule over.


It was well over a year later, at the end of summer, when I finally managed to make my case at court. In the end, the support from almost the entire court was enough to overrule Regent Teutberga and she was forced to stand down.


I was effectively the ruler of the kingdom in all but name, but I stood by my promise to the Queen's father and chose to never attempt to undermine her rule. That being said, if undermining the lords who ruled lands neighbouring mine proved to be beneficial to the Kingdom then I would gladly do so.

Over the last two years, the rebellion had ground to a standstill, Lotharingia's forces had managed to defeat the rebel army in several battles and were now laying siege to the enemy lands. Before they were pushed back to the coast however, the rebels succeeded in seizing control of the county of Breda. Count Anfried, the ruler of Breda, was a conniving ingrate who had been one of Teutberga's more vocal supporters. Of couse with his lands held by the rebels, the fool had fled to Verdun and was now cowering behind the castle walls. He was a disgrace to the kingdom and needed to be dealt with. Luckily taking his holdings for myself would be a defeat for the rebels as well, so with the permission of the Queen I set out with my own forces to seize Breda.


Of the war itself nothing much can be said, the only real event worthy of retelling was the coming of age of my son Aethelstan and the first battle he fought at the Siege of Breda.


The rebels had left a token force of two hundred men to defend the wooden castle which our army outnumbered by two thousand, 1500 of which were my men and another 800 of the Queen's forces. Aethelstan led the force personally and captured the keep with tactics beyond the tactical aptitude assumed of one his age.


After the surrender of Breda, I personally arranged the marriage between Aethelstan and Soléne's elder half-sister Bertha, thus solidifying the bond between the crown and the Saxons.


 

Asantahene

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Going great guns! Nice update