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The Day of Reckoning
“Conclusion of Trilogy”
(Transylvania, Samurai and The day of Reckoning)



The Kingdom of France on 7 December 1552

His name was Range. He said he came to France to stop the juggernaut known as Japan. The manner in which he explained how he would accomplish that feat seemed impossible, if not laughable...but, that was then.

In 1552, if you were a logical individual to complete such a task you would have chosen Great Britain, or Castile as a vehicle to stop Japan. Instead, he chose to use the tiny and insignificant kingdom of France to do his bidding. At first glance of a world map you would have to strain to even find France’s borders...until you took note of the mainland British provinces that nearly surrounded France. It was almost picture perfect, as if Great Britain were a warm and loving mother tenderly holding her child "France" in a loving embrace.


As for France, King Henri II immediately welcomed Range’s assistance with open arms. Even though he thought Range’s quests were ludicrous, the monarch was happy to have him on his side.


King Henri II

Already, by this point, both Great Britain and Castile had denied to assist Range in his quest. The way King Edward VI of Britain and Charles I of Castile saw things they liked the way the world was shaping up as their successes were unbelievable.


King Edward VI

“Japan,” said King Edward VI, “is no threat. They are children, and if they get out of line they shall be dealt with harshly; until then let fate dictate their future.”


Even with King Henri of France behind him, Range had a few obstacles in his way that had to be dealt with before he could even think of confronting Japan. The next might not be as impossible as his initial task before his arrival in France, but it would be a very difficult task for him to complete and still have enough time to complete the task of dismantling Japan.

That next obstacle was Great Britain. By 1552, Britain had virtually wiped France from the map. Their forces strung out about France were more than five times the strength of France, and France had very little manpower in reserve. Of course, Britain could very easily increase the odds as large forces were poised on the southern coast of England ready to spring across the channel on a moment’s notice.

So, an important challenge for Range was for him to make France a vestige of remarkable military power...exceeding that of England. Before he could even think of taking on Japan he would have to drive the English completely out of Mainland France; and, make that island nation and every European nation fear the French...so much so that no one would dare take them on.

Upon completion of those tasks Range would set off to convert the Japanese empire back to what they were in 1399...just a nation of islands. If all goes well he would have just eighty years to destroy Japan’s chances of taking over the world.

The year was 1552. It has been said Range has made a pledge that he will be ready to begin dismantling Japan by 1740, or he’d die trying.


Eugene Collache

My name is Eugene Collache. I’ve come to bring the latter to fruition in payment for his sin of snuffing out the existence of someone I shall forever hold in very high esteem.

My quest came into being a few months before Range’s arrival in Paris. He said that the tide had to be turned against Japan, or otherwise Japan would eventually rule the world. Thus, his first act had been to kill Rangemura.

The Killing of Rangemura:

9 Jun 1552

This is my account of the morning Rangemura went out to face his fate alone.

The morning after our great victory against Manchu, I awoke to the sad realization that this was the day that it was foretold Rangemura would meet his end. As I stepped from my tent, fully dressed, I witnessed Rangemura boldly emerging from his tent. He was dressed for battle.

“This is the day, Matuso,” Rangemura said in confidence. “The day... I face my fate.”
Rangemura then climbed up on his gallant steed to address all of us that had gathered. He told us not to follow. Urging Victory, his white mare, he proceeded to follow the path to the stream that was nearby.

While the others respected Rangemura’s request, bowing their heads in honor of the great Samurai, I soon began to follow Rangemura. I did not understand how disrespectful I had been until later. But, for that moment the consequences for my actions did not matter. I had to see what was about to happen. We had all been informed of what had been troubling Rangemura...now, first hand I was to see the one that would end my leader’s life.

I moved through some brush that led to the stream. I knew from the edge of the brush I would be able to clearly see what would take place.

Rangemura rode Victory toward the bank of the stream. On the other side was his enemy. Strange, but if my eyes were not deceiving me, I began to believe that they were one in the same.

“That’s far enough,” said Range the assailant, in a voice that was not alike that of Rangemura. “Stop right there. I think you know why I’m here.”

“I hope I did not keep you waiting,” said Rangemura, “Tell me what wrong have I done.”

“You know why I’ve come.”

Rangemura’s next words were strangely stated. But, I would learn his meaning shortly. He said, “I was warned of your coming. Each day...your presence grew ever stronger within my dreams. But, it is strange that you would come so near to me knowing what would happen if we touched.”

Neither man hedged, it was apparent that somehow they knew each other. Then, it became clear of how well they did know each other with Range’s next chosen words, “A concern of mine has always been one day I’m going meet myself coming in a door...and poof that’s the end of the two of us.”

Rangemura resolve was set. The time had come for action. “Maybe I can bring an
end to that concern Range with the destruction of the both us.” With that
Rangemura urged his white steed to charge into the stream heading straight for

This Range, not fazed in the least by Rangemura’s action, slowly raised his bow carefully taking aim as he would only be able to get off one arrow before my leader would be upon him.

It was over in less than a moment. Of course, the killing of Rangemura would not end Japan’s rise to prominence. Japan still had the provinces that Rangemura had gained and we had a new leader in Mahakala.
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The Day of Reckoning
Entry 2

Moments after Rangemura had fallen, Mahakala had taken command. He gathered all of us before him to see who among us would pledge allegiance to him. One by one we were asked, Viscount Enomato said no, so did Watanabe no Tsuna and Hattaori Hanzo, Yoyotomi Hideyoshi, Sukamota Ryoma, Kuroda Yoshitaka and Matsuo Basho also said they would not pledge allegiance to Mahakala.

However, there were four that did swear allegiance to Mahakala; Shimazu Yoshihoro, Sukura Morimasa, Saigo Takamori and Sakura Nobubara.

I Eugene Collache was not asked for allegiance and for good reason, Mahakala had already counted me among his number. This was a foolish assumption by him. I planned on finding and in time end his days on this earth.

It was about this time, Kumagai no Jiro Naozane was brought in chains to knell before Mahakala. His arms and hands restrained behind him, attached to a pole.

Mahakala voice rose in a anger, “Kumagai” he said, “either you pledge your oath to me this day, or face the consequences."

Kumagai remained silent.

“I will bother to ask you one more time…will you Kumagai kill for me?” Mahakala asked, almost demanding an appropriate reply, one he craved.

Slowly Kumagai raised his eyes to stare into Mahakala's eyes. “If I would not no longer kill for Rangemura,” he said, “why then with you being a lesser man than he would I kill for you?”

“You dogs Get far from my sight,” Mahakala screamed at those that would not join him.

Those that did join turned and began to walk away in single file; and as they walked away they slowly began to disappear until they were gone.

Kumagai had not moved, he was still being held on his knees.

Mahakala pondered what he would do to Kumagai. Then, he knew. Kumagai, he said, you shall from this day forward be as a beggar...no home, no money, no food and no friends.

A mark then appeared on Kumagai’s forehead, causing him to cry out in anguish and pain.

“That mark,” said Mahakala, “will remain upon your forehead until you die. And, all that see you shall know to avoid you as if you have the plaque...with the knowledge if anyone should help you...they will risk the chance that they too will share the curse. Take him away and leave him somewhere outside the city.” He then added more to the curse, “And, Kumagai, you shall not know peace of death...until the end of the world!"
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Interesting stuff. Thus Rangemura is now defeated, Range is attempting to stop the rise to prominence of a strong Japan with the small France who is surrounded on all sides by dangerous foes and Japan herself has a new and worrying leader. Good luck to Range, I think he'll need it!
Interesting stuff. Thus Rangemura is now defeated, Range is attempting to stop the rise to prominence of a strong Japan with the small France who is surrounded on all sides by dangerous foes and Japan herself has a new and worrying leader. Good luck to Range, I think he'll need it!

I hate to say this, but as you can see it may take a lot more than silly luck to iron out the situations in these AARs. The future of the Earth is at stake; some might not be able see it now but there is an evil at foot and he goes by the name of Mahakala, and he is reshaping the world around you. Every day when you wake up...many are completely unaware that the world is changing...growing darker. The world needs a hero; even though he might not think of himself as a hero...Range is that hero the world needs.

I can almost hear the music and the lyrics sung by Bonnie Tyler...oh, what was the title of that song?

"That's just crazy talk!"
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The Day of Reckoning

Entry - 3


Before Range arrived in France in 1552, the direction of the nation was to funnel funds into Government techs. But, that all change when Range arrived.

“WE need, France needs to build a great military,” Range told King Henri II, “one that no one would dare to impose their nation’s doctrine on us. From this point on, France should research and build a great army.”

The French Army as of 7 December 1552

“I agree Range,” Said the King. “But, in the grand scheme of things what do you require of me to fulfill this quest?”

If all goes to plan, by 1749 Range figured he’d be ready to take on Japan.
He asked for:
• By 1740, 100,000 men were needed for the task of dismantling Japan.
• The King countered with 40,000 of the best men France could offer at that time.
• Range requested free reign in readying France militarily...which included both economic and government related decisions.
• The King of course countered. “How would it look for a king, any king to give such power to even a man like you? I’ll tell what I will do...I will make you my Vice-chancellor...my second in charge with the understanding that you will meet with me for approval on any widespread moves.
• Range hemmed and hawed, before saying, “I’ve never been put in such a position when preparing a nation for greatness.”
• “It is strictly for image sake,” assured the King, “...you propose and I sanction.”

Sanction after sanction was authorized by the King. That was until King Henri Died. The next in line, had a different approach as did their regent Catherine de Medici. But, that was in the not so distant future.

As for the early 1550s, after it was sanctioned, France switched its intuitive from Government techs to Land techs. The nation then lowered maintenance costs for their military. Even the great men were switched out from government leaders...to two land reformers and a mint master.

At this point, France was working under 12.7 inflation rate; and it was climbing. Range deemed it was important to bring inflation under control...in time all three great men were replaced by Inflation Reduction advisors to help facilitate that end.

With use of some Magistrates, culture was gained...to assist the process of attracting the best great men possible.

France even extended an Olive branch to England, funds were given to raise the relationship between the two countries...this was done despite the fact England was more concerned with their quest...making Scotland their vassal.

But, appeasements and the making of friends was not afforded to France’s neighbors to the south…Armagnac for one. It seems Range did everything he could to stop a royal marriage between France and Armagnac. Range had expansion on his mind and it was to the south. But, that would have to wait.

France’s growth was painfully slow.

Techs research was even more painful. The nation’s prestige was -79, which didn’t help the growth of the ailing kingdom. The best way Range knew how to bring up a nation’s prestige was winning a war. But, even the thought of France going war in 1554 was completely out of the question.

As for trading, it basically didn’t exist…until Range came on the scene.

As for military growth, the best Range could do early on was to set up Marchs in both Anjou and Orleanais. With each the country moved one step closer to decentralization, as well as doubling each of these province’s local defenses, raised local spy defense by a third, and lowered Local Revolt Risk by three; in exchange Local Taxes and Local manpower dropped.


Each day he awaited for news from Asia hoping for some sort of hint of their direction, and in 1554 the news from Japan peaked Range’s attention.


Mahakala is discarding a major resource and strength of Japan, its vassals.

In 1559, King Henri II died.[/SIZE]


Francis II

The boy king, the oldest son of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, and married to Mary Queen of Scots ascended to the throne of France in 1559. They were married in 1558, Francois II was only fourteen at the time of their marriage, she was eighteen.

He died in 1560.


Charles IX

He was only ten years when he was proclaimed King of France. His mother, Catherine de’ Medici ran the show until he became the ripe old age of fourteen. Until then there was a power struggle for the true reins of the kingdom of France.

“I expect everything that Henri agreed to will be provided to me by this kingship,” Range told Catherine.

My son reigns as King of France,” she explained in no uncertain terms.

“That is so,” Range replied. “And, I don’t mean disrespect…however, if I walk out that door how long do you think France will continue to exist without me?”

“I warn you,” she told Range placing a dagger to his throat, “make a move for my son’s throne and you won’t last an hour.”

“Then, I ask you…do I go, or do I stay?”

She relaxed to reply, “we both need each other.”

Range then lowered to his knees and said, “I pledge my life to France and its rightful King Charles IX.”

“Then, Chief Chancellor, and defender of France you shall have all that you have asked for...that which was bestowed upon you by my son King Henri II.”

No sooner had Range left her, Catherine summoned Antoine of Bourbon to her. Antoine was himself in line for the French throne.

“Antoine,” she asked, “what do you think of Range?”

He paused ever so briefly before answering. “He is an honorable man…one that any of his men from the captains on down would gladly lay down their lives for him.”

“Then, he is a threat?”

“No…the man wants nothing more than to complete his quest. He lives in a very small cottage with meager means…and, ask for nothing...frankly he is someone that does not look for greatness or riches.”

By 1564, France was still a second rate kingdom...but, at least the kingdom was heading in the right direction mainly to the efforts of Range. Prestige had risen to -64. Inflation was under control and was in fact dropping. Trading was expanding.

Then the news from Japan arrived. And, it was just what Range was looking for


“That’s two,” said Range gleefully. “…and, Mahakala won’t expand Japan’s borders until he’s finished annexing his vassals. Having the vassals gone sure will make our job of dismantling Japan a lot easier.”

By 1565, France was quickly moving toward land tech level 21. It was time for war.


Range immediately raised Military Maintenance...and almost doubled France's forces in the field for the war.


In the field, Auvergne didn’t put up much of a fight. But, their ally, Armagnac did. Still smarting from the rejected marriage proposal…Armagnac lunched an old out attack on France.


Eventually, Armagnac settled on a white peace after their entire country had been taken by France…and, their armies wiped out.

King Charles was pleasantly surprised by the victories. But, he was rather taken a back when he learned that Range hadn’t taken any of Armagnac’s provinces in the war.

Range would explain, “We won ourselves a great war, but if we take more than what we are entitled to (through reconquest) now...we risk the possibility of having the world turn against us...by us just taking Poitou we took what was rightfully ours at a cost of zero infamy.”

Here lies an important lesson. For a kingdom, or even a small country for that matter, that is attempting to crawl back from being downtrodden to respectability, the taking of small baby steps must be the rule when going to war. If your cause for war is reconquest, then you better make it that you take nothing more than what you go to war over...otherwise, you risk the possibility of being swarmed over by every other country around you. The rule is “don’t take on any unnecessary infamy...no matter the prize.”

“Are we then to believe that we should be afraid of England,” asked the King.

“Not afraid,” replied Range...but, you must understand England and Burgundy are looking for an excuse to fight us...we don’t need to give them just cause to go to war with us. For if we do, they would act fast to take out what they deem as a threat, any threat...even one as small as France...if only to keep that threat from growing into a bigger threat.”

Besides, Range secretly holds the hope that one day England would be an ally of France...for mutual defense of one another.


We hold the coast...and, we are joined.

As for Spain, they didn't even make an attempt to cause any trouble for France in the war. They begged out of the conflict almost as soon as it had started...
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Definitely like this continuation of your other AAR; I will follow!
France certainly seems to be in a bad position but, as has been the case many times before, I expect Range will be able to rejuvenate the nation. Indeed, he's already taken steps towards this goal. Mahakala will not rest easy for long.
France certainly seems to be in a bad position but, as has been the case many times before, I expect Range will be able to rejuvenate the nation. Indeed, he's already taken steps towards this goal. Mahakala will not rest easy for long.

It'd help if everyone in the world knew what Range was up and help him. Instead, everybody's is getting in the way.

I've set a date of 1740 to begin my moved to cut down Mahakala's Japan.

The Day of Reckoning

Entry - 4

When Range was invited to meet with English Lord Tomkins in London, he did not waste any time in complying. He knew why Tomkins, or the English government wanted to speak to him, as he knew he wasn’t obligated to go. But, he went if only to calm the concerns of Queen Elizabeth I, as well as Burgundy over the recent war with Auvergne (Poitou) and Armagnac.


Queen Elizabeth I

Range met Lord Tomkins alone in a large room. They sat at opposite sides of a long table. Tomkins was pleased that Range accepted the English government’s invitation, but he was very blunt with his words. “…now then, I suppose you know why we’ve asked you to come.”

“Not really,” replied Range frankly. “But, I suppose we’ll get around to that.”

Tomkins inhaled slowly as a show of distain for Range’s choice of words. “Indeed, in fact now is that time. As you should know our queen, Queen Elizabeth I expressed a deep concern for the war of France waged against Auvergne and Armagnac. You do understand the precarious position France finds itself today, with Burgundy just beyond our borders in mainland Europe? And, this might interest you to know that it was the very threat of England and Burgundy that kept Spain from entering the war against you.”


Range thought for a moment to come up with the proper response. All that he could come up with was, “thanks.” It was 1574, but his thoughts reached back to 1565 and the war.

“Now,” continued Lord Tomkins, “that you understand the guarantees both England and Burgundy offer France, what does France offer us in return?”

“Well,” Range began, thinking hard before answering for France, “I suppose seeing what England and Burgundy is willing to offer France it’s only fitting that France does the honorable thing and promises to come to either your country’s aid if the need arises.”

“You’re trying my patience man,” Tomkins spoke coarsely. “I’m of course referring to France’s plans for future wars...will there be a repeat of the last war?”

“I can only answer that honestly with a question,” said Range. “What would England do if she were faced with similar circumstances where a neighboring country began harassing your people. You forget many of the people in Poitou called themselves Frenchmen and the rulers in Auvergne weren’t treating them too well. We had to act and free our people from such rule.”

Lord Tomkins then softened, “Alright,” he said. “But why didn’t you stop there?”


“We wanted to,” replied Range, “but Armagnac wouldn’t listen to reason.”

“We stood on that border for months, but they still wouldn’t sign a peace treaty. So, we took the war to them.”


“But, the battle of Cascogne wasn’t enough.”


“Finally we had our peace.” Range then thought for a moment as the room grew silent. “You must see that France is changing. We just put into action the Anti-Privacy act, now that we have a coast to protect.”

Outside the room where Range and Lord Tomkins were holding their meeting, two English officials were speaking...or, rather one was speaking his mind while the other was learning.


Colonel Reginald Reynolds of his majesty’s secret service.

“Right now,” said Colonel Reynolds, “Range is smoothing the relations between England and France. Lord Tomkins has already conveyed our point of view, and Range is distorting the truth.”

“And, that is?’ Asked the other man.

“Range is telling Tomkins that France is a peaceful nation with peaceful intentions. But, I know better.” The good colonel then paused to stare forcefully into the other man’s eyes. “I know for a fact that France is training the best cavalry in the world. They also built a grain depot in ILe-de-France.


The other man snickered, “What good would that do them...they have a puny army compared to England and Burgundy.”

“And, that might matter if the main body of our army were deployed regionally. But, we’re slowly siphoning our troops to the new world.”

“But, we have a navy and they have none.”

“Maybe that’s true today…but, they now have a port where they are building their first caravel..first of many I expect. And, here is another thing…I know for a fact that a Frenchman named Eugene Collache, formerly of the Japanese Imperial navy has been requested by Range to return to France to head up the newly formed French Admiralty.

“And, this Collache is he?”

“An immortal…yes,”

“Rangemura was a immortal and he died.”

“That’s true, but it took an immortal named Range to accomplish that feat.”

Reynolds went to explain what were Range’s next moves. “Once, he has his cavalry, he’ll worked on advancement for land troops then we’re in for it, England and Burgundy.” He stared at the other man’s confused look. “Range’s quest is to take Japan…in order to accomplish that feat he has to be certain that a much larger France is secure…which means he’ll have to push us out of mainland Europe and either eliminate Burgundy or render them harmless.”

Range, finished with his meeting with Lord Tomkins, stepped from the room. He was all smiles. He stopped, exchanging stares with Reynolds. He saluted, grinning, before he moved on.

“He knows who you are.”

“A certainty,” said Reynolds. “Even in street clothes he recognized me as I recognized when he arrived earlier.”

“But, you’ve never met him.”

“That’s right…you can know a lot about someone by what is written in their stance, gestures and even a stare.”

“What do you think of him?”

“Well, first I can tell you what he’s not…he’s not a soldier of fortune, or a lunatic…no, he’s a common man with a quest…to stop Japan dominating the world. He truly believes in that quest. That makes him very dangerous, and nearly impossible to stop short of killing him…and, I’m fresh out of immortals.”
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The Day of Reckoning

Entry - 5

British Journal Report – French Aggression (yearly final)

Thursday, 6 April 1589

Colonel Reginald Reynolds (Majesty’s Secret Service).
For the past fifteen years it has been this office’s duties to closely follow the progression of France’s hostilities in the world, especially that on mainland Europe.

Our main growing concern still centers around a man named Range, who many consider to be immortal. Frankly if the man is not immortal, I cannot explain the many lives he’s lived; nor can I explain the length of the man’s current state of life. One being, he doesn’t seem to age. For the matter of fact, his closet friends also do not age…one being Eugene Collache, the head of the French Admiralty.

Range has been in France for over thirty-seven years. He should be a man nearing seventy of age, but if reports are correct he hasn’t aged a day since his arrival.

Eugene Collache, formerly of the Japanese Imperial Navy is also being focused on by this office. At this point of time, we are not alarmed over the progress of his building of the French Navy. Currently, the French navy consists of one caravel and six flytes.

As for the relationship between England and France it has risen to a dismal level of -46 and still climbing, but as I’ve said we’re keeping a close eye on the dealings of French military.

The French main military push has been Range’s drive to build a stronger land force. At this moment in time with the war just ending, they have 25,000 men in the field and most likely they will add to that total next spring. To clarify that fact, let me add that France nearly ever drops the size of its army even in peace time…they either add to it or keep it the same size. The only thing they might do during peace time is to drop the maintenance costs.

Of course it is not the size of Range’s army that bothers me, but their training. Their cavalry might be the best in the world, and their infantry is the best…they also have the best artillery in the world for that matter…sadly, all three corps are far superior than that of our forces (alarm). At this time, the French army consists of ten Maurician divisions, thirteen Latin Caracole Cavalry divisions, and two Chambered Demi Artilley divisions.

Yet, our majesty continues to play the friend and protector of France. However, one has to wonder just how long will this game can go on as our majesty Queen Elizabeth I understands that France may soon grow too difficult to handle.

Take for instance, this current French war…which we had a hand in its taking shape. In fact, if the truth be told we could have prevented it from ever happening…instead we lent a hand in making it come about. Of course it could never be said we were thrilled to be a neighbor of Foix. As with all the other little kingdoms hanging about the European mainland they proved quite bothersome when trying to gets things done…their gripe was we had Labourd which they believed naturally belonged to them and they wanted it back...the French silenced that issue once and for all times.

Looking back, the war actually was bored out of a French military backlash.


I know for a fact that Collache was furious. Of course it all came down because France, well Range moved the tech research almost completely to land (-4).


News from Japan was received well by Range. I believe that’s the third vassal Japan has annexed since Range’s arrival in France thirty some years ago.

Then came our folly. Range asked the English government for the right military passage into our provinces. It was of course granted even after hearing my thoughts on the matter. “It’s a bad idea” I told them, “a very bad idea.”

A later day the news arrived…


A few months later, France went to war against Foix. The ambassadors from Trier jumped up and down in protest against France, which we did nothing. Morocco declared war on France, but never showed.


At the start of the war 10,000 French troops were already in Labourd, at the border of Foix. It wasn’t much of a war as wars go…

Any day I expect the results of that peace commission.

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It seems as though Reynolds has got Range figured out, except for his disliking Range's quest to defeat Japan. I cannot otherwise fault his reasoning nor views on France's current strategy. Hopefully by the time anyone begins to believe Reynold's warnings France will be strong enough to defeat England regardless. Gaining provinces such as Foix will certainly aid her in this regard.
It seems as though Reynolds has got Range figured out, except for his disliking Range's quest to defeat Japan. I cannot otherwise fault his reasoning nor views on France's current strategy. Hopefully by the time anyone begins to believe Reynold's warnings France will be strong enough to defeat England regardless. Gaining provinces such as Foix will certainly aid her in this regard.

Reynolds is a smart adversary. He knows that France, like the Phoenix, will rise from the ashes.

The Day of Reckoning

Entry - 6

2 August 1589

The dagger of Jacques Clement cut short the life of Catherine de’ Medici’s son Henri III. Childless, he was the last of the Valois kings.


Henry III

So far, I have omitted King Charles IX’s life from these writings to be used to help tie everything up with the second meeting of Range and Catherine de' Medici which took place months after the war with Foix.

The first meeting took place shortly after the death of Henri II, around 1560, and Charles IX was named king. Catherine became the regent for the next few years until Charles turned the right age to rule.

France in those days as it would be for years to come was embroiled in the worse kind of struggle…a religious struggle…Catholics against every other faith in France. A lot of blood was going to be shed in the upcoming years and frankly, Charles IX and Catherine was behind it.

For example see the drawing of the St, Bartholomew’s day Massacre (directly below).


It is estimated that between 5,000 to 50,000 people lost their lives because they held a different faith than Catholicism.

On 24 December 1888, Catherine sent for Range to come to Chateau de Blois, France, where she was staying for what would be their second and last meeting. A lot had taken place over past six months. Now she feared the line of Valois kings was in danger of being cut off.

As with the initial meeting, Catherine wanted to know where Range stood. Up to this point no one in France knew how Range stood on the matter of religion, and politics for that matter.

Katherine didn’t find out much in that first meeting, except she knew with just staring into Range’s eyes that he wouldn’t try to take her son’s throne, or worse yet try to knock him off. That last point was particularly important, especially now.

The religious strife came to a head on the 12th of May of that year when the “Day of the Barricades” took place…there were riots in the streets of Paris. Henry III had to pack his bags and flee Paris toward Chartres. That’s when mom personally came to the rescue of her son the king with the “Edict of Paris”, which simply meant it upheld Protestants freedom of conscience and permitted them to hold public worship in many parts of the kingdom, most importantly excluding Paris.

Thanks mostly to Catherine, since July 1588 Henry III and the Duke Guise had reconciled their religious differences with what was called the Edict of Union, where as the Holy League forced King Henry III to sign an Edict that maded Henri de Guise commander of all the troops and declared it illegal for a non-Catholic to become ruler of France.

This didn’t sit too well with Range, as he had been commander of all the armies of France for many years with an invasion force poised to attack Foix. Now, he would be pushed aside.

Duke Guise fearing that Range might lead his armies against him, made a deal with Range. He made Range Grand Marshall of all the armies and navies, his second in command, with the promise he would have a necessary sized force to take on Japan when the time came…no force size was ever detailed in the agreement.

In return, Range would have to agree he would not move against the Commander of all the armies. Range agreed. The agreement was privately known as the Arrangement.

The throne and the line of Valois appeared safe until the 23rd of December 1588. That’s when news reached Catherine that Henri III had Guise assassinated.

The following day, Range arrived at the Chateau de Blois, France, to meet with Catherine de' Medici for the second and final time.


Chateau de Blois, France


Catherine de' Medici

Range stepped into the room and bowed to the Queen Mother. “How might I serve you Queen Mother?”

“First, you might serve me better if you came a bit closer so I might look into your eyes, as I had once before.”

Range complied, stopping a foot away from her. “How may I serve you?”

“Your reason for being here…tell me of the society of Japan…”

Range cocked his head, pondering the strange request. He soon went on to say, “they are ruled by an absolute ruler, the emperor. His followers think of him and his royal family as Gods and he can do no wrong.”

“And, their social classes?”

“There are three,” replied Range, “the Emperor and his family are at the top, followed by the Samurai class…the warriors. These Samurai have a code to live and die for...their emperor is top on the list. They do not surrender in battle, for if they did it’s worse than death…they feel that they’d let their emperor down…and, they would then take their own life due to their failure, or disgrace. So, to the Samurai to die in battle is the greatest act of all. They're fanatical in their beliefs, and for the way their follow their code…death before dishonor.”

“And, are they truly a threat to France and the world?”

“They are right now, with military leaders like Malakala.”

“Has any of the Samurai not taken their own life after some dishonorable act?”

“One that I know of, but he’s no coward. His name is Kumagi no Jiro Noazene. Like I said he’s no coward…he’s just being plagued by the spirits of all the men he has personally been responsible one way or another in killing.”

“A plight poor Charles was plagued with toward the end of his life.”

“Yes…quite right. But, poor Noazene has it much worse, being an immortal he has a lot of living ahead of him as a vagrant…that’s the punishment imposed on him by Malakala.”

“Doesn’t he get any support from the other Samurai?”

“No…you see he broke the code in not being able to fight for his emperor due to the spirits plaguing him…he’s now an outcast.”

Among the tales that reach Europe of the great men of Japan, there are also tales of woes of those that have fallen from greatness. Such is the tale of Kumagi no Jiro Noazene. Branded a coward, he lives as a vagrant, an outcast with no shelter, no money and no friends.

Once a great Samurai, Noazene is said to be a coward because he would no longer fight. He said he is being haunted by the spirits he had killed in battle, and thus the reason why he will not kill again. Tormented and scarred by a curse that some say was brought upon him by Mahakala he travels Japan looking for rest and finds none.

He can find no solace or support in former fellow Samurai. It has been told that a Samurai named Sakura Nobubora once chased poor Noazene away from his door striking him several times with a bamboo stick.

“He’s killed many men in battle. You see, Japan has always been plagued by revolts… which pitted one Dynamo, or family leader against another for the purpose of eliminating their rivals…so…”

“These Dynamos…what purpose do they serve?”

“They strived to have just one ruler, the emperor on the throne…for the last two-hundred years or so they have had only one ruler…with their infighting finished they’ve turned their gaze upon world domination.” Range then paused knowingly. “But, your asking about Japan can’t be the real reason why you’ve asked me here?”

“It’s not.” Catherine straightened herself, and after summing up her thoughts she asked, “How will you think of me when I’m gone?”

After a moment of pause Range said, “The history books will…”

“I didn’t ask you what the historians will say about me. How do you think of me…now, tomorrow…whenever?”

“That’s sort of a loaded question Queen Mother,” said Range.

“Whatever do you mean…loaded question…it was poised straight forward?”

“That’s why,” replied Range. “You already know what you’ll hear, but you probably won’t like what I have to say.’

Catherine cracked a slight grin. “Go on…and, please just don’t patronize me. I’m an old woman, who’s about to die and I’m deeply troubled and no one seems to be able to help me. Of course you know that my son Henry has had Guise assassinated.”

“Of course you’ve confronted your astrologers?”

“I have…but, I know there is only one person that can give the time and the place the deed will be repaid.”

“Even if I could supply that information; it cannot be avoided…the curse of the dagger will have its day…this is a mark on time that cannot be changed or the world as you know would be destroyed forever.”

“Then, our meeting is at an end.”

With that Range bowed and left the room, leaving Catherine de' Medici in sorrow knowing that the Valois family line was coming to an end. She would die on 5 January 1589, leaving her son Henry III in a position she knew would soon take his life.


Jacques Clément assassinating Henry III

1 August 1589.

Upon his deathbed, the childless, Henry III designated Henri de Navarre as his successor to the throne.


King Henri IV

2 August 1589
Because it was now impossible for a French king to be of a faith other than Catholic, King Henri converted to Catholicism from Calvinism. He is the first of the French Kings of the House of Bourbon. “Paris is quite worth the change of faith do you not think so Range?”

“If you say so my king.”

“I suppose I should give command of the French armies back to you Range,” said the new king of France. “So be it…it’s done. It’s for the best anyway, seeing you’re trusted by both the Protestants as well as the followers of my new faith.”

“You shall be known as a great king for you have brought an end to the shedding of blood between the French Catholics and the Protestants.”

With his enacting the Edict of Nantes in 1598, which guaranteed religious liberties to the Protestants, the religious civil war had come to an end. As king, his religious tolerance towards his subjects would be unmatched for the time.
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Very interesting stuff. I doubt the religious turmoil will sit well with Range, he always seems to have a relaxed attitude to these matters, let people practice whatever religion in peace. Thus the promotion of one religion over others is not going to please him, nor does it help his quest to tackle Japan. Good then that this trouble seems to have passed, at least at present.

A pity that the Valois line has now ended, the de Navarre are something of an unknown quantity. Hopefully Henry IV is wise enough to trust in Range.
Where's Milites?

Is it missing? What is the conscience after all? Milites Veritatis (Latin for "Soldiers of Truth")

Very interesting stuff. I doubt the religious turmoil will sit well with Range, he always seems to have a relaxed attitude to these matters, let people practice whatever religion in peace. Thus the promotion of one religion over others is not going to please him, nor does it help his quest to tackle Japan. Good then that this trouble seems to have passed, at least at present.

A pity that the Valois line has now ended, the de Navarre are something of an unknown quantity. Hopefully Henry IV is wise enough to trust in Range.

Henry IV will bring peace to France.
Must say that i really like your style and work, keep it up and i will be following! :)

Thank you.
I really appreciate you writing that you enjoyed the post.
He was to have said to have declared that Paris vaut bien une messe ("Paris is well worth a Mass"). Blsteen, how did I forget that?