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Fyregecko

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The Eagle's Bastards
The Black Dobczyńskis of Silesia





Foreword to Huiver Bagge's Historical Panoramas, Volume IX: The House of Dobczyński by The Hon Rev Diogenes Aenaeas Huiver-Bagge, MA (Ox) PhD (Tver) KG, KB


London, September 1830

Yes. I arrive.

We live, sturdy peoples of the world, in a dark and dangerous age. The barbarians encircle the last fortresses of civilisation. The Imperial Commonwealth of Tver, the largest and mighties realm upon God's earth (save the globe-spanning righteous might of His Most Britannic Majesty's Empire, of course!) bears down upon the surviving nations of Europe much as the Duchess of Norfolk bears down upon a cream cake.






In spite of this ravenous blue-grey spectre, and its clear intention to crush all opposition on its path to global domination, many have expressed admiration for this so-called Commonwealth! Many in Old England's green and pleasant land have a disturbing interest in the culture, customs and people of Tver. And it has fallen to I, Diogenes Aenaeas Huiver-Bagge, historian, explorer and wordsmith, to write a series of best-selling tomes on the subject of the Empire of Snow.

Not for me, though, the well-worn paths of the warfare and politicking that has permitted the rise of the Imperial Commonwealth. Instead, I, the most renowned Huiver-Bagge, shall, as always, venture with buxom valour into uncharted territory, and tell tales not of their leaders, the Czars, Czarinas and Lords Protector. Instead, I shall weave a spellbinding saga of their most faithful servants, the power behind the Imperial Throne: the House of Dobczyński.

The Dobczyńskis are reputed throughout the Imperial Commonwealth and beyond as soldiers and counsellors beyond compare (all exaggerated of course). They are widely believed to have been just as responsible for the rise of Tver as their famous monarchs – and it is thus that I have screaven this mighty tome. Nothing has been left out, no fact or secret escaping my hawk-like sight.

In pre-summary, sturdy peoples, it is a drier topic than many imagined. The story of the House of Dobczyński is low on interest or intrigue, and a tale purely of foolhardy, reckless gambles that somehow paid off to that House's favour. All rumours of darker chapter in their story, of factions, dishonour and kinslaying ahev proven nought but speculation.

But this matters not, because it is my bountiful prose for which you purchased this thunderous tome, and that stand ye ready, is what ye shall receive.

Signed (pertinently)

DAHB



Portraits!

Chapters!​

Prologue: The Most Miserable of Men I
Prologue: The Most Miserable of Men II


Trojden Dobczyński, Duke of Silesia



Chapter I: Warta, Son and Holy Spirit
Chapter II: Sins of the Warta
Chapter III: Warta In And Warta Out
Chapter IV: Warta Of Us All
 
Last edited:

Avindian

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A prequel? Sometimes those turn out well, sometimes they don't, but in your case I am willing to bet on the latter. :)
 

Deus Eversor

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sub :)
 

drSandworm

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When I saw this one in the ARR's list, I came. I came to this thread, of course, to say that I will definitely follow this.
Also, one question- is the word 'Black' in the title referring to some kind of sinister plot or do Dobczyńskis really get around?
 

Fyregecko

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Heavens. Nae pressure then :D


This AAR will follow the usual rules: no save-reloading etc. I have played a couple of practice games, since I am far worse at CK2 than I am at EU3 (and, as many of you know, I'm pretty terrible at that game). So I am very open to tips and ideas, since I'm worried that my natural timidity might mean that the gameplay isn't terribly exciting...

Of my practice games...

one was going well...then I lost it when I changed computers :(
one was going ok but I then abandoned it when something happened that was so weird that I really had no idea how to explain it (in this final version I will stick with such events, however – this was very much in my 'learning how this game works' phase)
and one went too well! I was in line to inherit a whole country within two generations, which would have been fine but it had very little to do with me and I wasn't really sure what was going on. It wouldn't have felt right to use this one.


This... shall be glorious.
Thanks guys :)

A prequel? Sometimes those turn out well, sometimes they don't, but in your case I am willing to bet on the latter. :)
...that's either an unusually withering put-down or an error, I was rather hoping you would bet on the former :D

I really enjoyed your EU3 AAR, so I will surely follow this one too. I like both your writing style and the excellent art that you provide.
Aww, thank you :) I hope it lived up to your expectations. I hope the writing and art are at least better than the gameplay...

SUBBED!! From one of the greatest EU3 AAR's Ive ever read, I look forward to this!
High praise indeed, thanks :) I don't know what the update schedule will be like, but the first few chapters are screenshotted. Still some prologue drawings to do though.

Oh can't wait for this!
I'll try not to make you wait too long :D Great to have both of you along again!

ok, I'm sold (like many a rogue in a nation)
Bought and sold for Silesian gold? I wonder if there is some dynastic arrangement by which our fine country can simply inherit a certain larger one that it is a 'vassal' of...

When I saw this one in the ARR's list, I came. I came to this thread, of course, to say that I will definitely follow this.
Also, one question- is the word 'Black' in the title referring to some kind of sinister plot or do Dobczyńskis really get around?
Thank you, Doctor :)

Heh, it's more the first! Not sure how dark skin and ginger hair would combine...maybe very well? But I got the idea from the 'Black Douglas' of medieval Scotland: to me, that sounded like a good name for a part of a noble family that nobody talks about.
 

Fyregecko

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Prologue: The Most Miserable of Men Part I

City of Tver, Principality of Tver. 1465

Tver is aflame.
Fires rage through the great buildings of this mighty city. Her armies crushed again and again by the remorseless advance of the Golden Horde, but a few soldiers remain within the city's walls, sworn to defend her, and her prince, to the death. Outwith the battered walls of the city, the raucous shouts of the heathen legions strike fear into the hearts of the defenders.

But for one man of Tver, looking out across the blazing towers and collapsing spires...there is only despair.





Aleksandr II Rurikovich, Prince of Tver, stood upon the balcony of the royal palace, reflecting on his efforts. His labours. His failures. A mighty soldier, and a popular Prince, his skills have come to naught against the sheer ferocity of the Tartar. It is not the first time they have battered upon the gates of Tver. But now, he fears, it will be the last.





'A bleak night, my prince.'

Aleksandr felt a strong hand upon his shoulder. Bronisław Dobczyński, Captain of the Guard, stood by the prince of Tver, as he always had, through times glorious and terrible.

'Less bleak, Dobczyński, when you are here.'

'I'm always behind you, sir.'

'So I feel.'

'Well, you will wander around naked.'





'Was there ever, Dobczyński, a Prince more miserable than I?'

'Nonsense, Leksi. You did not bring this upon yourself.'

'To see all that I have built and worked for sundered by these...savages. My heart weeps. I feel the shame of my mighty ancestors.'

'You have shamed no-one, my Prince, least of all your House.'

'You are not a Prince, Dobczyński. You do not understand. Your family's record of service is outstanding, while I must watch as my city burns.'

'There are worse fates than this, my Prince. Whatever happens tomorrow, you will be remembered as a great warrior and defender of your country. Your tale, at least, will have some honour to it.'

'We would be nothing without the Dobczyńskis, Bron. At least your House's record is unblemished.'

'I...would not say so.'

'What do you mean?'

'There are...events in my family's past that are not often discussed. Stories that would horrify you.'

'Tell me.'





'You don't want to know, sir.'

'Oh, but I do.'

'We never talk about it, Leksi. It is our shame, a deep and bloody scar across the face of our so-called honour.'

'Bron, I stand upon the precipice of destruction. I will soon be dead, a heathen scimitar lodged in my chest. What harm would it do to tell me a story. To pass the time until annihilation.'

'I will not let that happen.'

'Perhaps not. But until then, humour me, Dobczyński. Tell me your tale.'

'If you are sure, sir. Nobody must know. Nobody outwith our House has ever heard that tale of...'





'...the Black Dobczyńskis of Silesia!'









Płock, Duchy of Mazovia, Kingdom of Poland. 1066.


'Four hundred years ago, in the Duchy of Mazovia, there stood a fine wooden mansion – a small castle, really - in the great forests around the city of Płock. This was the ancient residence of a noble family, one sworn to the service of Christendom's princes, to guide and counsel them in times of need.'

'Sounds promising.'

'On a cold winter's night, in the great hall of the castle, assembled the great and good of the House of Dobczyński. In the centre, before the assembled ranks of the Dobczyński Clan and their allies, is a simple throne, under the white eagle on black shield of the Dobczyńskis. Upon this throne, sits Wojciech Dobczyński, Patriarch of the Clan.'






'Enter a young man...'

'Gladly.'

'...tall, handsome, and eager to make his way in the world. Quick-minded, silver-tongued, he is as fine a scion of the House as could be asked for. And as he kneels before his grandfather, so begins our tale of woe...'


'Children, friends, family. Welcome to our home, the stronghold of our clan. We are gathered here for a very special occasion, when one of our number goes on to greater things in the world. You are welcome, Trojden, my daughter's son.'





'I serve, grandfather.'

'It is time for you, to take up the mantle of service, Trojden, as do all men and women of this house.'

'Yes, grandfather. Though not, I might add, in the normal way.'

'...yes. Trojden, I know what it is that you want. And that your...particular circumstances complicate matters a bit...'

'It is my birthright, grandfather.'

'...but you are one of us, Trojden. Born and raised a man of House Dobczyński.'

'I can still serve, grandfather. I know out role. But it is possible to serve...'

'Trojden. I am sorry. But the answer is no.'





'...no?'

'I have offered your services to the Duke of Florence, and he has accepted.'

'I don't want to go to Florence!'

'Trojden, what you ask is imposs...'

'My father is Wlost, Duke of Silesia, and he has no heir to his title. None, save for me!'

'That man abandoned your mother! A despicable man and a terrible ruler.'

'Which is why I must go to Wrotizla and confront him!'

'Confront?'

'I mean, to advise him! To improve the rulership of the Duchy!'

'You think he will recognise you? As either advisor or as heir?'

'I will make him recognise me! And recognise what he did to my mother.'

'That is not our way, Trojden!'

'Our way? Or yours?'





'You are not ready for leadership.'

'And you are?'

'That is enough, Trojden! If you cannot let your grudge against your father go, you are of no use to us.'

'I do not need to be of use to anyone!'

'No, I...I didn't mean...'

'I don't care what you meant! You know what I am, who I am! And you knew that I would not be satisfied with some petty servitude in Tuscany.'

'I hoped you would see sense! You were brought up to be an advisor, Trojden, a diplomat, an ambassador...'

'I won't be restricted by your ancient codes and rituals! I am going to go to Silesia, and take what was meant to be mine!'





'Stop, Trojden! We can talk about...'

'I am finished talking with you, old man! I have given you my respect all this time, and this is how I am rewarded? To be shipped off to southern Europe, out of the way, while my so-called father still rules in Wrotizla? No. I thought that you, that all of you, were my family, but if you will not support me, then I do not need any of you!'


And with that, Trojden Dobczyński turned, and stormed out of the hall.

He walked quickly, with great purpose, heading south-west towards the capital, Kraków. In his anger, he did not think to take a horse. He did not notice the cold as he marched towards his destiny, anger at his family – and at his unknown father – boiling in his veins.





The weather gods, though, did not look kindly on the young man. As the red mist slowly gave way to a lingering, black desire for vengeance, the winds began to howl. The snow grew heavier, turning into a thick blizzard that turned his world into an unrelenting sea of white. Miles from the nearest town, he soldiered on, shielding his face from winter's bitter artillery.





Ultimately, though, while the news would shock a thousand women (and a great many men) across three continents, even a Dobczyński has his limits. The snow climbed higher up his legs, water seeping into his boots. The red cloak of his House offered little protection against the storm, his steps slowing, his ungloved hands cut and blistered by the biting winds. Trojden Dobczyński slipped, falling to his knees as the snow began to climb on top of him.





'So this is how it ends...damn you! Damn you, grandfather, and all of you, for doing this to me! And you as well, Trojden. A fool's death in the middle of nowhere. A fitting end for a bastard! Why, God? Why have you, too, forsaken me? Always have I been your servant, but you drive me to despair, drive me to my own destruction! Oh, for a chance...before I die, that I might see them, see but one of my tormentors, and wreak my vengeance! O furies and devils, what I would give you for that chance!'





'...ahem.'


 

Mr. Sometimes

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Oh la la, now that's the sort of intriguing cliffhanger we came to know and love from the Tverian AAR. It also strikes me that the Tartar could have been defeated if they kept shouting "The black Dobzcynskis of Silesia" within hearrange of their horses!
 

Concrete

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I MIGHT hazard a guess that this will play out as more whacky origins of a certain dynasty rather than they specifically setting up European borders to pave the way for events of their future adviser descendents.
 

Damerell

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Subscribed - and I'm sure plenty of other people will subscribe to "the Eagle's Bastards" without you having to hawk it all over the forums; I don't know yet, of course, whether we shall be rapt-or not, but I have high hopes - I'd set my pager to alert me to new posts, but I'm afraid it would buzz 'ard while I'm asleep, leaving me blinking owlishly at the display. Will we repeat the fascinating updates where all about the Czarina decided to harry 'er, but she did not meet with a fall, con-tra to our expectations?
 

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This should be a lot of fun. I almost think you should let this game run into EU4, how the world might go were the Rurikovich's guided earlier on by the Dobczyńskis.
 

Fyregecko

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Sorry for the huge delay, all. I'm committed to this, but it took a hell of a sight longer to do this bit than I expected. I have shamed myself and my family, and the whisky and revolver are only staying in the desk drawer because using them would make the next instalment even later.


Oh la la, now that's the sort of intriguing cliffhanger we came to know and love from the Tverian AAR. It also strikes me that the Tartar could have been defeated if they kept shouting "The black Dobzcynskis of Silesia" within hearrange of their horses!

Hope the cliffhanger survived over two weeks...:(

Aah, dramatic devices. And yes, in hindsight it could have saved me a lot of bother, though the Black Dobczyńskis are not spoken of lightly.



How are you going to explain the inevitable differences between the ck2 final map and the eu3 starting map?


Very poorly I expect :D



I MIGHT hazard a guess that this will play out as more whacky origins of a certain dynasty rather than they specifically setting up European borders to pave the way for events of their future adviser descendents.


That's what I'm going for, though my incompetence with the game means that it's not as exciting as I had hoped...I'll do my best, however.



Subscribed - and I'm sure plenty of other people will subscribe to "the Eagle's Bastards" without you having to hawk it all over the forums; I don't know yet, of course, whether we shall be rapt-or not, but I have high hopes - I'd set my pager to alert me to new posts, but I'm afraid it would buzz 'ard while I'm asleep, leaving me blinking owlishly at the display. Will we repeat the fascinating updates where all about the Czarina decided to harry 'er, but she did not meet with a fall, con-tra to our expectations?


...I can't compete. Someone give this man an AAR :D A fine tribute, and not in the slightest condorscending.

Anyway, enough falcon around...


This should be a lot of fun. I almost think you should let this game run into EU4, how the world might go were the Rurikovich's guided earlier on by the Dobczyńskis.

I'm vaguely planning to, depending on how it goes.
 

Fyregecko

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Prologue: The Most Miserable of Men Part II


Płock, Duchy of Mazovia, Kingdom of Poland. 1066.





'What?'

'That's...not the question I was expecting.'

'You expected me to ask “who are you” or something like that?'

'It is traditional, under the circumstances.'

'I'm not... [cough] a man for traditions.'

'So I hear. A scion of the Dobczyńskis, rebelling against his people and striking out to...'

'How do you know me?'





'Apart from the red hair, rugged good looks and frankly outrageous musculature?'

'Stop playing with me.'

'Sorry, I'll keep my hands to myself.'

'Whoever you are, have you come to gloat?'

'Gloat?'

'To watch me die, alone and forgotten in the middle of nowhere?'

'In the middle of Dobrzyn forest, not far from Włocławek, actually...but no. What would I have to gain?'

'I don't know. I don't know who you are.'

'My name is Eliza. And I have come, Trojden Dobczyński, to help you.'





'How can you help me? Do you have shelter?'

'That, and more, if you would have it.'

'And what...in return?'

'You don't think I'd protect you out of the goodness of my heart?'

'Your clothing doesn't scream “virtuous guardian of the sick”.'

'Looks can be deceptive.'

'They're not, though, are they?'

'No. I want something, Trojden Dobczyński...actually, a few things, but some of them can wait. I believe that we can help each other.'





'And why should I help you?'

'Well, if you would prefer I could just leave you here...'

'Damn you.'

'Heh. Face it, Trojden. I rather have you by the balls.'

'I told you about that.'

'Sorry. But do you really want to die? Only a moment ago, you expressed your desires very clearly.'

'I want to destroy my father, my family, and all that they stand for.'

'And so do I, Trojden Dobczyński.'

'Why?'

'I have my reasons. We have a common goal, and a common enemy. Come. Take my hand, and I will put you on the road towards your desires. I can grant you more than you can possibly imagine. Termsandconditionsapplyestimatesbasedonaverageimaginationlimitsnotincludingwealthpowerinfluenceappetitesorsexualdeviationsoutwiththe...'

'Yes, I understand.'

'So you will come?'





'What do I have to lose? But you had better deliver.'

'Oh, I will deliver, Trojden Dobczyński. I look forward to seeing you at work.'






'When do we go?'

'When? Now, of course.'

'We are a week's ride from Wrotizla!'

'No need to do any riding, Trojden...well, actually, when I...'

'How can we...'

'I have my ways.'

'What ways?'

'If I can give you what you want...does it matter?'

'I suppose not.'

'And now, Trojden Dobczyński...it's time for you to meet your destiny.'

'That usually means “die”.'

'You are ruining the drama of this moment.'

'Fine. To destiny. So how are we getting to...'

'...oh.'


Wrocław (Wrotizla), Silesia, 1066


On the western frontiers of the Kingdom of Poland, the Duchy of Silesia sits between that young and vibrant nation and the Holy Roman Empire. And in its ancient capital, the Island City of Wrotizla (or Wrocław), Duke Wlost sits upon a simple throne, contemplating another cup of wine.






When suddenly, there is a thunderous crash like a crash of thunder.





'Mornin'.'






'Who the hell are...'

'Don't mind me. I saw the door was open so I thought I'd...'

'It was locked.'

'Really?'

'And bolted.'

'Well, should get better locks and bolts.'

'Guards! Seize this man!'

'Now, your Dukeliness, is that any way to treat family?'






'Family? I don't know you.'

'No. You don't. And, you see, that's why I'm here.'

'Then who the hell – again – are you?'

'My name is Trojden.'

'Neevr heard of you.'

'Trojden Dobczyńśki.'

'...ah.'

'Ah, indeed. Father.'

'I have nothing to say to you.'

'But I have plenty to say to you, father.'





'Heh. Right. Well. What are you here for then?'

'Oh, just to meet you. To see what you wre like.'

'Well...how is your mother?'

'Dead for ten years, nice of you to ask.'

'Oh, that's a...'

'It is rather, isn't it? But I was well looked-after. Most of the time.'

'Well. That's something, eh? Heh. So. What are you doing now?'

'Oh, just seeking gainful employment.'

'Maybe I can find you something here!'

'I was hoping you would say that, father.'

'Heh. Well. Dobra! Heh.'






'I am sure there is something you could do...'

'I hear the employment market is difficult at the moment.'

'Well, yes, it might be difficult...'

'But you know what they say – when there is no position available, you should make one for yourself.'

'Heh. Excellent advice!. Heh. So. What sort of...'






'...oh.'