coz1

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An educational experience that must have been for Johann, both with Gutenberg and the Jews. Nice way to include the history.
 

J. Passepartout

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Well, Johann is now positioned to publish vitriolic pamphlets denouncing the Bleeding Margrave once Gutenburg gets around to making a printing press. :)

And this method of escape looks interesting. It seems that Johann, even if he is officially Catholic, is perfectly willing to pretend he is not, what with the Hussite incident and this.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Another excellent update.

Johann is having a varied religious education isn't he? First the Hussites, now the Jews and with a man who will print a very famous bible.

Of course, Frederick now has an out in that he can claim he investigated the boy's claim and found it to be true - somebody had indeed planted the psalter on the Archbishop and that he'd very much like to reward the boy.

You may have decided to declare war on Pfalz just to get home. If you turned Mainz loose and managed to vassalise Koln and Trier and managed to keep good relations with all three, you'd have 4 votes (out of 7) for the next Emperor; yourself! Sadly, the voting system in EU2 is different.
 

stnylan

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Educational indeed. Always good to learn different perspectives. Of course, where wilt Johann go?
 

unmerged(28944)

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Young Johann is truly becoming a brave but foolish adventurer in all the classical sense! :D He, truth be told, does however keep coming out of bad spots more or less intact and ready for his next bold adventure.

Which brings up the point, where will he go next, and will it be before our dear writAAR leaves for his three week globe trotting trek? ;)
 

Farquharson

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coz1: Of course, Johann hasn't learned much from Gutenberg yet. At this point he was still decades away from getting round to printing, but he was in Mainz at this point in time and I just couldn't resist it... ;)

J.Passepartout: Yes, who'd've thought you could impersonate followers of so many different religions in the 1420's? Maybe he'll be caught by Russians next :rolleyes: .

Chief Ragusa: Yes, I was wondering about how "vote-collecting" worked historically. I suppose it happened on occasion - for example, the Elector of Brandenburg was at least being considered for the Electorate of Saxony in 1422. Another thing I've been wrestling with is how my annexation of Mainz would translate into real (alternative) history. Could the Archbishop's lands have been taken from him and made part of Meißen, while he still retained the ecclesiastical office? Obviously the Elector couldn't just appoint himself as Archbishop! He could perhaps appoint one of his choosing, but that would seem more like vassalization than annexation. I'm realizing that the complexities of the HRE are very hard to portray accurately in the game system!

stnylan: Johann's plans are to head back to Meißen for the moment. Beyond that, I myself am a little hazy...

Duke of Wellington: I did wonder if I was laying it on a bit thick, but in fact the Jews were forcibly expelled from Mainz no less than four times during this period. Always coming back when things settled down again, amazingly enough!

Draco Rexus: I'm afraid it doesn't look like I'll get another update done before I leave, on Wednesday, for three weeks in the UK. This is rather sad, as I was hoping to bring the story to a more satisfactory break point before then. However, the good news is that I'll have all that time to work on the plot, which should mean that when the story resumes I'll have a much better idea where I'm going! :)

Grundius: A little contrived, I admit, but hey, it makes a good story! :D

jwolf: Good question. I checked Mainz's event file in the AGCEEP and Gutenberg would have earned them a +500 Infra boost in 1455. Alas, just owning the province won't get me a thing I'm sure. :(

Well, as I've said, I'm afraid the story is going on hold for three weeks, but I do have lots of ideas for continuing it. The trouble is they're all a bit of a jumble right now, so I will use the time to figure out something more coherent.
In any case, thanks to all who have kept with it so far - I promise this is not an abandonment!
 

stnylan

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I hope those marbles get properly rattled and so produce some more magnificent ideas! Have a good break.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Farquharson said:
Could the Archbishop's lands have been taken from him and made part of Meißen, while he still retained the ecclesiastical office? Obviously the Elector couldn't just appoint himself as Archbishop! He could perhaps appoint one of his choosing, but that would seem more like vassalization than annexation. I'm realizing that the complexities of the HRE are very hard to portray accurately in the game system!

The lands of the Archbishop are Church lands. He is the Cardinal of the whole Holy Roman Empire. The Pope just would not have countenanced it. Martin V was having enough trouble reclaiming Church lands in central Italy without having open season declared on Church land in Germany and elsewhere. He'd have excommunicated you - given every Catholic power a CB against you. If there were a trial for heresy and the Archbishop lost, the Pope might look upon your candidate favourably given weighty enough persuasion. The effect would be the same as if you could have made Mainz your vassal instead of having to annex in the first place.
 

unmerged(59737)

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I just got on board with this, but I love the narrative. This is a really good AAR.

Edit: I hope you don't mind me stealing your excuse for the annexation of Mainz for my own AAR? Because if you do, I could change it.
 
Last edited:

Farquharson

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Well, here we are back in business! I got back two days ago and, thanks to some holiday cogitation, have managed to put together an update already. Interestingly, I was in South Wales for a week and visited the fascinating Big Pit Mining Museum in Blaenavon, where I actually went down a mine for the first time in my life. I can recommend it, especially as it's free!

stnylan: Rattle, rattle - I think things are a little more sorted now!

Chief Ragusa: Hmmm - as I thought. It seems extremely difficult to represent this kind of anti-social warmongering (Meißen annexing Mainz) in realistic historical terms. Nevertheless, I'll do my best. ;)

Fulcrumvale: Thanks, and welcome aboard. And no, I always feel honoured when people steal my ideas - feel free! :p

Specialist290: That's exactly what I need to get me going again - someone who sounds desperate! :D
 

Farquharson

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Chapter 10

The sun was sinking toward the horizon behind us as our little cavalcade of wagons rumbled down the hill toward the bridge over the Elbe River. After nearly three months of travelling we had finally reached Meißen. For me it was a homecoming of sorts. For the Kaplan family, who had helped me to escape from the clutches of the Elector Friedrich in Mainz, and in whose company I had continued the journey eastwards, it was merely one more stop on the way to Poland. They would not be any more welcome here than they had been in Mainz. I, on the other hand, was eagerly looking forward to seeing Herr Heinrich once more, whom I had not seen or heard from now for nearly a year.

Meißen was a city in mourning, and we were well aware of why. Travellers we had passed on the road had informed us of the death of Amelia of Masovia, the wife of Wilhelm der Reiche, Friedrich's younger brother, who was acting as Margrave during his brother's absence. In eleven years of marriage Wilhelm's Polish wife had failed to give him any children, and rumour had it that this was easily explained by the fact that they had never actually shared the same bed. In any case, Wilhelm's lack of an heir certainly made things neat and tidy for Friedrich, who officially shared the Margraviate with his brother, although in practice he wielded most of the power.

At first I attributed the sight of Herr Heinrich's wife dressed in black mourning dress to this loss which, whether it was really any loss for Wilhelm or not, was certainly being publicly mourned. It was only when I saw the tears come to her eyes that I realized that her grief was altogether more personal. She fell on me then and clutched me, weeping. As the awful truth forced itself upon me a cold hand of fear seemed to clutch at my heart.

"How did it happen?" I asked, though my own voice sounded far away, as if it wasn't my voice at all.

"He… he just fell ill… so sudden… the doctor tried to do all he could… only two weeks ago." Frau von Frauenstein was sobbing violently now.

"My lady," I said urgently, "we must talk. Can we go in?"

There was no-one with her. Her son was in Mainz of course, with the army. She ushered me in.

"Listen," I said, "I'm sorry, but there is something I must ask you. Could it… could it have been poison?"

"Poison?" She stared at me wide-eyed with a look of terror. "You think Heinrich was murdered?" She collapsed into a chair, sobbing even more uncontrollably.

I felt totally helpless. What could I do for this woman? Perhaps I should not have said anything, but I needed to know. Had the Elector actually gone to the lengths of having Herr Heinrich silenced as well as me? As I thought back to how swiftly he had reacted to my challenge it seemed all too reasonable. I sat down beside Frau von Frauenstein.

"Listen my lady, I am sorry to bring you such distress, but I have reason to believe your husband's death may not have been an accident. The Elector tried to kill me in Mainz, and he may have sent orders to kill Herr Heinrich too - for the same reason."

"The Elector?" She stared at me blankly, uncomprehendingly. "No! It's not possible!"

"Your husband and I were the only two people who knew a certain fact. Something that proved that the Elector's charges against the Archbishop were completely false. He thinks I am dead, and now he will rest easy on the assumption that Herr Heinrich is dead too. It cannot be a coincidence. I am sorry."

"What… what is it that you know?" she asked.

"Do you really want to know too?" I replied. "It is a dangerous secret."

She appeared to consider this for a moment.

"Yes," she said finally, "I must know."

So I told her all I knew, and I think she was convinced that this was indeed the cause of her husband's death. Herr Heinrich had fallen ill shortly after he had attended a state dinner at the castle. But of what to do now we neither of us had any clear idea.

"What about Wilhelm?" I said. "Could he have been party to the crime?"

"I cannot imagine it for a moment," she replied at once. "The Elector is a ruthless man, and I can just about bring myself to believe he is my husband's murderer. But not Wilhelm. No - he is a good man."

"Then I will take a risk and speak with him," I said, making up my mind. "Perhaps he will be sympathetic. Anyway, they say there is no love lost between those two brothers."

I stayed that night in Frau von Frauenstein's house, sleeping in my old room. The next morning I presented myself at the castle and said I had an urgent message for the Margrave. I knew this was risky, since the Elector may have mentioned my name if he thought there was any possibility I was still alive. But it seemed he had been satisfied of my fate, and I was admitted civilly enough. An official, who knew me by sight, was eventually convinced by my pleading and got me in to see the Margrave after a wait of several hours.

Wilhelm der Reiche, as he was known, was only a year younger than his brother Friedrich, that is to say, a man also in his mid-fifties. He did indeed have a pleasant face, with piercing eyes that suggested both wit and intelligence. He was dressed in the most opulent furs and velvets with a great gold chain about his neck. I noticed immediately that we seemed to be alone, though I could not tell if this was a good or a bad sign.

"You have come to tell me about a murder," stated the Margrave, as soon as I stood before him. I was astonished - I had said nothing of the content of my message to anyone. In fact I was so astonished that I could not even reply at first.

"Well?" he prompted, seeing my speechless state. "I was hoping that you could tell me why my brother wanted his Chief Mining Officer dead. When the dead man's former apprentice turns up on my doorstep with what he will only describe as an 'urgent message', I put two and two together. So - what was the motive?"

His bright eyes bored into me. I felt as if I hardly needed to say anything - surely the man could see into my very thoughts. Warily, I began my tale. I explained about the German psalter, and what Friedrich had done with it in Mainz. I then described how I had confronted him and immediately afterwards had been attacked and left for dead. I then briefly related how I had been rescued and helped to escape, and how I had made my way back to Meißen in search of Herr Heinrich, only to find him dead. When I had finished, Wilhelm continued to gaze at me, nodding slowly, with what almost looked like a half-smile on his face. Finally he spoke.

"He was always an impetuous fool, my brother," he said. "This time he has gone too far. You may be aware that he has asked the Emperor for an Imperial Diet to be called to settle the matter of Mainz and its wayward Archbishop. Sigismund has promised that he will go to Mainz in person as soon as he is able, though when that will be is anyone's guess. The heretics in Bohemia are giving him no respite, needless to say. In any case, he will certainly pass through Meißen when he does travel to Mainz. I very much hope that you will allow me to introduce you to him, and let you tell him your story. Then we might even see justice done. What do you say?"

"Sire," I replied, "I would be more than happy to speak to the Emperor. But there is one thing, however. It is clear that Friedrich has agents working for him here in the city. I fear for my life if he hears I am here. Must I just wait here until the Emperor eventually comes through?"

"No," said Wilhelm. "You are quite right, your life is not safe here. What of this family of Jews that you came with? Where are they headed?"

"To Poland, Sire," I said. "I believe they have relatives in Küstrin."

"Would they take you with them?"

"I believe so, yes."

"Then I suggest you go with them. As soon as it looks like the Emperor is going to make the journey to Mainz, I will send for you. Come as quickly as you can. Now be off - I wish you Godspeed."

The interview seemed to be over as quickly as it had begun. I bowed, still in something of a daze and took my leave. Having passed out of the castle gates I quickly made my way to the synagogue, where I knew the Kaplan family were staying. It seemed that I too, like them, was now a refugee.
 

unmerged(59737)

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Yay! High level diplomacy and intrigue!

Our protagonist is now a pawn in a coup de etá. I can only hope that it is a successful one.
 

coz1

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I'd like to say it is good that Johann has a friend, and a powerful one, but I wonder if Wilhelm might not be using this for his own ends. Ahh, but to meet the Emperor... :)

Good to see you back at it, Farq.
 

Snake IV

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Let's hope that Wilhelm will be a better ruler than Fredrich. As it looks he will be but Johann might be fooled.
 

stnylan

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Of course that could just be a clever way to get the inconvenient apprentice out of the way, and then perhaps in a day or two have him set upon on the road. Bandits, tragic of course....

Or it may be something approaching the geniune article.