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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Join me now for a tale of historical fact and interesting anecdotes as we regale ourselves with the ever interesting account of the Noble Galimani.

Galimanus of Orleans: Le Fondateur Maison
769-786
At the start of the Early Middle Ages, Galimanus, Count of Orleans, began the line that posthumously, bears his name: the Galimani. The earliest records bearing Galimanus' name surfaces as to the commander leading Middle Francian forces against a rebellion in the Battle of Bourgogne. The battle concluded with a complete rout of Galimanus and his liege's forces.

dc20c71c-8ee6-4c5e-9992-c23aeaaeffe8_zpsytkr9kni.gif


The Francian Revolt, led by a commoner sources name as Hnabi or Hunaby, saw it's only victory in 769 at the Battle of Bourgonge as Galimanus commanded the king's forces to victory after victory in Neuchatel and Aargau in 770 and 771. While no official record exists, it appears that Count Galimanus had wed Latsuinda Aadlberts, daughter of the "black" Prince-Bishop Odacre of Valais and granddaughter to Aadlbert Aadlberts, sometime during 770-771. Baptismal records from the cathedral in Fleury, Orleans, note that a girl listed as "Charlotte of Galimanus" was baptized in 772.

The year 775 saw the first, and only, expansion of Galimanus' realm. Galimanus was able to force two decisive battles and besiege Castel Melun in the County of Paris to wrest control of belle Paris from Beggo Chatenois. Historical court records from Orleans profess the "extreme satisfaction" Galimanus expressed upon the fall of Melun and usurpation of the County of Paris.

Le Sorte de la Galimani (the plight of the Galimani) is evident in writings purportedly by Count Galimanus himself, or a close contemporary of the Count. After his daughter Charlotte was born in 772, Galimanus and his wife had a string of 4 other daughters born to them. The Galimanus Chronicle notes a particular passage in 785, "as midsummer approaches and my body becomes more frail I take fright in my wife's swollen belly. I have affection for my darling daughters, but no son has been blessed from the Lord. It is a plight upon my seed I fear." However, Galimanus' prayers were answered in Winter as his only son, Roland, was born to grateful parents.

The dear patriarch Galimanus died in bed just three months later. Leaving his 3-month old son two Counties located in the heart of Middle Francia. Yet Roland grew to be a man renowned for both his fighting prowess and, sadly, his unhappy marriages.


Roland Galimani: L'Usurpateur
786-805

Much is known about Roland Galimani from sources outside of the province of Orleans as well as from a private history kept by Sarrazina Galimani, Roland's fourth daughter. Roland grew up with no knowledge of his father, only stories told to him by his mother and guardians. However, a profound sense of duty to the family was impressed upon him by all those who came in contact with the young Count. His father had wisely married off most of his daughter's through matrilineal agreements and was surrounded by cousins either in Orleans or in Paris.

Roland's regency came with a hefty load, Galimanus had started another war with Drogo of Chartres for the control of the county before his death, a cause which the Regency Council continued. The Orleanian forces were too much for Chartres and in September 786, Drogo surrendered his holdings to the Orleanian army. The next year the Council took steps to adopt the burgeoning French culture they found throughout Paris and Orleans. Roland's two oldest sisters, Charlotte and Framberta, died of fever when the young count was 10. It was said this early introduction to familial death shaped Roland's view on life in general.

The year 801 saw the wedding between Roland Galimani, Count of Orleans, Count of Paris, Count of Chartres to Simonis Manginos. The union produced an heir almost immediately. Baptismal records list his name as Roland of Roland. Yet his father's "plight" had a wicked humor and young Roland was always not well, dying at the age of two. Shortly thereafter Roland's mother passed away incapable and comatose.

=========
This is long enough for a first post and I will stop it here. I will update this AAR, my first, regularly as I catch up on my playthrough. And then at least once a week. I have played CK2 for about 300 hours and 10 playthroughs. I am using all DLC except Sunset Invasion.

Game mechanics:
1. Ironman
2. Will maintain Catholicism

Goals:
1. Obtain a Kingdom
2. France to take over Europe

Thank you for reading, I'm appreciative of any constructive comments.
 
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Table of Contents
Roland "L'Usurpateur" Galimani - 805-831

Duchy of Orleans / Duchy of Valois
Oliver "Chassuer d'Orleans" Galimani - Part I
Oliver "Chassuer d'Orleans" Galimani - Part II
Roland Galimani II
- 891-892

Oliverian Reign
Oliver Galimani II - 892-899 (The Regency of Oliver)
Oliver Galimani II - 900-911 (The Emergence of a New Duke)
Oliver Galimani II - 911-915 (Marshal of Germany)
Oliver Galimani II - 915-924 (The War for the Fleur-de-Lis)

The Scheming of Jean-Marc Galimani and his Successors 928-1000

Independence 1000-1040

The Kingdom of Orleans
King Valeran Galimani, King Foulques Galimani, King Thibault Galimani - The Early Kings of Orleans 1040-1085
Queen Alix Galimani - The Witch Queen of Orleans 1085-1118
King Valeran II, King Sigismond, King Alphonse I, King Ogier I - The Royal Galimani Vault 1118-1162
***Atlas of the World in 1162***
King Alphonse II, King Othon - First Writings of d'Arny 1162-1196
King Ogier II, King Alphonse III - The Beginning of Greatness 1196-1221
King Valeran III, The Dragon of Orleans - Forging Greatness 1222-1255
***Distribution of Andalusian Titles 1255***
King Valeran III, The Dragon of Orleans - The Dragon Roars 1255-1280 *Valeran later became known as King Valeran I of Andalusia

The Kingdom of Andalusia
***Atlas of the World circa late 13th Century***
King Roland - Before the End 1280-1285
King Roland - Crusade for the Kingdom of Jerusalem 1285-1295
King Roland - The Death of Roland 1295-1311
King Valeran II - The Sword of Iberia 1310 - 1335

The Holy Roman Empire
Emperor Roland Galimani 'The Holy' (HRE Roland II) - The End 1335-1351

***Atlas of the World - 1351***
 
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Roland Galimani: L'Usurpateur / Le Grand Patriarche
805-831
The death of both his firstborn son and his mother weighed heavily upon young Roland. To assuage his personal sorrow, Roland rebelled against his recently fatherless 8-year old Duke of Orleans, Antonino Engelger. Court records in Blois are fragmentary for the time period between 795-805 but from what can be pieced together it seems that Duke Engelger II, a Catharite, died under circumstances most peculiar. Records mention "bad wine" which was "wholly unagreeable" to the Duke's stomach. Sarrazina writes a short missive that her father found the heretic to be a cowardly fool and "needed to make sure changes were made."
EngelgerII%20Bio_zpsp5t30qpz.gif

Contemporary sources to Duke Engelger II and the Galimani show possible personal motives for young Roland seeking the Duke's demise, two of his three older sisters were married to the Duke but quickly became mortally ill while in Blois and died.
AdaluildisGalimani_zpsns0l94qn.png
FrambertaGalimani_zps4xqom7op.png

Whatever the motives, one is primarily apparent: Roland held three counties in the Duchy of Orleans, while Engelger II held only the Ducal title and the County of Blois. With Engelger II out of the way, Roland launched his levies at Blois and the young duke Antonino (son of Adaluildis and Roland's cousin). Young Antonino's forces were quickly overwhelmed and Roland took control of Blois within a year and bestowed upon himself the title of Duke of Orleans.[1] It was in this year, in the chronicles of Gualter, King of West Francia, King of East Francia, in which Roland is referred to as L'Usurpateur - The Usurper. The honorific was a name Roland used freely and merrily according to Sarrazina. While the Karling's fumed that one of their own subjects would dare disagree in their choice of Ducal Lord, and a nobleman calling himself a Frenchman as well, Roland knew what was best for the Galimani's.

However, it was during Roland's brief campaign against Blois that he learned from his spymaster that all was not well at home. Simonis Manginos, after giving birth to Adelinde, Roland's eldest daughter, was quickly seduced, bedded, and became pregnant with the child purportedly of Duke Otbert of Berry. Roland knew the sting of Le Sorte de la Galimani from his mother's tales and quickly beseeched the Pope to annul his wedding with Simonis. Pope Urban II readily agreed and soon thereafter Simonis was thrown out of Orleans, but not out of the duchy. She spent the remaining years of her life living in the court of her former husband. Something of a spectacle according to Sarrazina.

Duke Roland chose to find a new wife among the courtiers, not relying on noble blood to bring him a happy marriage. The duke and Frotlina Hildradson were married in 808. Frotlina was the eldest daughter of Baron Childerad of Cholet. The marriage night proved immensely productive as the new duchess gave birth to Roland's second daughter, Denise, by November of 808. The happy marriage Roland craved was not to be had with Frotlina though, as Sarrazina remarks her second step-mother was seduced the following Spring by Miquel de St. Jean-d'Angely, Count of Lusignan and Anjou. Duke Roland was furious when the affair was uncovered and sent emissaries to ask Pope Pascal for an annulment. His Holiness extended his mercy upon House Galimani and granted this second annulment. For their short time together the official chronicler of Orleans struck Frotlina's name from their tome. Only external sources now bear the poor woman's name. Once again Roland married, too quickly it seems, as his third wife was quickly seduced by another neighboring count, Guelph 'the Lecher' Welf, Count of Lorraine. Roland's third marriage also ended in an annulment by Pope Pascal, this time with a stern warning from Rome to "be more diligent and beseech the Lord God above for a suitable Duchess."
Four years passed until Roland made arrangements to marry Sarrazine from the esteemed House of Nibelunging. During the interim Roland watched over his daughters and led many armies against rebels in Middle Francia.
SarrazineBio_zpsxzqzhr14.png

Sarrazine proved to be the anchor that Roland needed. By most accounts, and especially that of Sarrazina, her mother was a woman with an incredible mind. She penned many an early French sonnet for her husband's courtiers. When she arrived at court, according to Sarrazina, she knew "basic Frankish conversation until realizing she had stepped into a French world. She picked up the language in a fortnight." Still, Le Sorte continued for Roland. Four more daughters were born to his marriage with Sarrazine: Isabella (Duchess of Champagne), Sophie (Dowager Duchess of Aquitaine), Sarrazina (Dowager Duchess of Alsace and formerly Countess of Bar), and Amelie (who married into the Karling's based in Metz). During their early marriage Roland easily bested Count Jean of Vendome during a Holstein Insurrection [2]. Then, in 828, Oliver, firstborn son of Duke Roland, was born. The Duke celebrated with every member of his council until the next evening.

Sadly, just as his father before him, Duke Roland never saw his sons (Galimanus was born in 830) grow up. After another foray to protect the Prince-Bishopric of Reims from raiding Vikings, Roland L'Usurpateur passed away in his bed on the first of July 831.
========
[1] Do not worry about poor Antonino. Things turn out quite well for the young boy.
[2] Early on Vendome was inherited by the Duke of Saxony ruling from Holstein, Roland's war brought this province back into French control.
 
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Amidst dusty old shelves, in the "Restricted" section of the University of Orleans, young Jerrome d'Arny found himself searching. Searching for something to pique his interest and to write his thesis on. Such things happen when you piss away your schooling chasing women and watching football. Yet he had to focus, and find some damnable old book to write about. His fingers gently slide down the book case shelves. It was lucky his Professor granted him access to this session, possibly it was because of his familial ties to the University that faculty sometimes jumped when he asked. Whatever the reason, here Jerrome was, searching. Une Histoire du Commerce sur la Seine? While written during the late 1400s, it didn't catch his eye. Some histories on Parisian nobility were also only glanced at. Jerrome arrived at the end of the stack. Left or Right? Left seemed right in this instance. He turned to the right. Thirteen more shelves led to a short bookshelf full of re-bound but clearly old manuscripts. He picked up an interesting faded green tome but something fell from the book shelf. The manuscript was old, loosely bound in something akin to leather, and about the size of a small notepad.

Les derniers écrits de Duke Oliver Galimani, Chasseur d'Orléans transcrits dans Fleury de sa propre main
{The Final Writings of Duke Oliver Galimani, Hunter of Orleans: transcribed in Fleury from his own hand}

d'Arny took a deep breathe, sat down on the floor, and gently opened the book. The French was old, very old, and he quickly took out his netbook and began writing as he read in an attempt to understand the Old French. He had found his masterpiece.

My name is Oliver Galimani, son of Roland Galimani, first Duke of Orleans, the Righteous Liberator.
OliverBio_zpsyq7cihdb.png


I have warred long and hard to bring my father's holdings back into my family's control. My sons deserve something when I depart this world, lands that no boy king will take on his own whims. No lands shall be taken from Galimani for long, an oath I have held myself to for many a long year.
DuchiesofOrleansValois_zps4bvllymr.png


I have enclosed a map of my ducal holdings that my young wife Ermensindis had created for my use. The barbarically drawn line I scrawled on it shows the delineation between my titles, Valois to the north and Orleans to the south. Dear Orleans. How my family has strove to keep you whole and free.

My family's latest troubles are over. The troubles started in 870 when I consulted with my council on the best course of action to take regarding the loss of Grand Paris from my Duchy.
CouncilofOliver_zpswv5y5yyc.png


Ebbon, my close personal friend and married to my witch of a niece, suggested an offer to Count Hamelin of accepting me as his liege lord. This was quickly agreed to by all except the Prince-Bishop who advised caution. Paris commanded a lot of attention in the kingdom due to their large city and many barons. We sent off the letter with a messenger forthwith. Hamelin replied by cutting off the messengers lips for suggesting such an action. I immediately penned another letter immediately putting forth my claim on his province and mustering all forces within the duchy. I daresay the letter reached Hamelin within a rather large contingent of "emmissaries" but the fool was able to escape my men.
ParisianRevolt_zpstpd15bjw.png


The war was swift and Hamelin's forcefully accepted me as his liege. I began to lay in plans for a complete revocation of his title when messengers from King Gedalbert reached me.

VermandoisRevoked_zpsbgjbsmlt.png


I reluctantly parted with Vermandois. It was a backwards province which I felt was not worth fighting or objecting to the young king about. Yet soon after my treacherous swine of a niece Sera had my beautiful Pilitrud murdered. No motive was given by those who were caught carrying out the assassination. I was wounded, my own niece, wife to the man I considered a brother. Yet I look back now and realize she only was a part in la sorte de Galimani. Still, my guards failed in their jobs to secure her and she fled to the borders of Francia to Dax. Possibly to be closer to the animal heathen Moslems in Iberia, she would fit in well there.

During my time of grief another messenger from the King arrived. Two sent so close together meant that my war with Paris did not go unnoticed. This time however, there was only one answer to give to the nobleman who came with the messenger.
OrleansRevocation_zpsvvfsoa6n.png


NO.

It shows the measure of a truly ignorant man to attack a bear while it still has cubs to protect. Also, a bear with plenty of gold in his coffers. My levies were mustered quickly and my "revolt" began. I quickly dispatched two chests of gold to bring Irishmen and Saxons to my cause. Soldiers paid to kill. I had no qualms, Francia needed a culling.
We met first on the fields of Vexine where the Duke of Thuringia was overwhelmed. We quickly chased after the king's forces and reunited with them for a lovely dance in Evereux.
2ndBattlevsKingArmy_zpstngexba6.png


From there I moved the mercenaries and levies to Gelre where we besieged the royal holdings. Gedalbert surrendered and, surprisingly, abdicated his throne. It was apparent that my war had a great effect upon the realm. The nobleman named the son of my niece Faregildis, Duchess, in her own right, of Alsace, King of Middle Francia. This jubilation at my fortunes quickly turned sour as Godalbert, father to my young wife Ermensindis, overwhelmed the lad's forces and took the kingdom from him.

All was not right, however. I sent my levies out again to reclaim my lost holdings of Vermandois. After fighting for seven months, I regained my holding.
VermandoisReunited_zpsgqmqxfxg.png

-----------------------------------------------------------

Jerrome wiped his hands on his jeans. He quickly wet his lips with his tongue, looked around, saved his work on his netbook, and walked back to the table near the front of the Restricted section. There was still no one here. He didn't care. Eyes darting, he pulled on his Parisian-made sport coat and hid the book. He wasn't going to stay here reading this. This was his discovery.
 
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Bravo ! Vexing marriages, the angst of waiting for a son, arrogant overlords who want to revoke your titles -- exciting chronicles ! I like this role-playing style. Vive la Maison Galimani !
 

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Bravo ! Vexing marriages, the angst of waiting for a son, arrogant overlords who want to revoke your titles -- exciting chronicles ! I like this role-playing style. Vive la Maison Galimani !

Thank you! I'm glad to know someone is reading this chronicle and enjoying it. Being my first AAR, I started it simply to keep a history since the in-game chronicle is lacking in many respects.
 
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Jerrome d'Arny raced up to his apartment, almost tripping over his landlady's cat. "Stupid thing!" He spat out as the cat scurried down the stairs. Jerrome fumbled in his pocket for the keys, opened the door and closed it behind him. He didn't know why his heart was still racing. He was already long gone from the library. Still, the thrill, possibly. He really wanted to know the rest of the story though. He picked up some snacks from the kitchen then thought better of it and left the cheese on the counter. He flung off his jacket and turned on his PC. As the machine hummed to life he gently placed the Duke's book on his desk. He inspected it carefully this time. The covering was made of some type of leather, there was no doubt about that. He looked up as the Startup screen faded and his desktop appeared. He quickly opened his internet browser and searched for "Bishop of Fleury 860" Wikipedia, of course, held some answers. A two sentence stub about the office being held by Hugues during the reign of Oliver I and Roland II. Jerrome brought the files up on his netbook and quickly transferred them to his computer for ease of typing.

Sure, everyone at the University knew Jerrome was a partier. Most people didn't know that he was also very devoted to the history of Orleans. Imagine that, a lover and a scholar. He cracked his fingers and took a breath. Opening the fragile pages once again Jerrome focused to pick up where he left off. The Old French was intimidating but not impossible to read. Good thing he wrote his undergraduate thesis on it.[1]

____
The wars took their toll on my lands and people. Coffers emptying, peasants not fit enough to work the fields, mayor's clamoring for more help in the villages. They all cry for their liege to do something.. The white stag, my great foe, was spotted once again so I gathered men and went afield looking for the animal. I had seen it once, across a gorge, when I was younger. The stag was magnificent. I remember the scene, my bow at hand ready to notch the arrow in the other. The beast stopped feeding and looked at me. Such grace! While not a religious man, I could see the beauty of God's favor in the beast. I had not the heart to slay the hart.

Out in the forest and fields, a man can find himself. When I looked into my own heart I found the vast expanse of my realm awe-inspiring. It was mine, it was my family's.

The peace in my lands lasted for seven years. Seven years for my levies to recuperate. In the Spring of 884 I once again pressed my ducal claim upon those Northern Parisian lands. Now Count Adalgari de Auch ruled, the man had the gall to spurn my kind offer of being his liege lord. My levies quickly gathered around Castel Melun. While de Auch was able to call up a stout defense, we took the day and laid siege to his holding. I had to, again, call upon the warriors from Ireland to help in my claim. The coffers were less, but they would hold. I was losing money each month for their employ, but I needed them. Word came during the Siege of Melun that Limousin had rallied to de Auch's cause and were marching towards Orleans. I sent word to my various vassals and asked them to rush towards Melun to supplement my own forces. All but the levies residing in Vendome came. Word came that a Limousin force of 3500 men approached.

We set about assaulting Melun. The Council of War with the Irishmen was interesting, while their captains argued some restraint, they also had no reservations. The primary captain told me, I think, "We go where our payer points us. Gold can be found in castle's." With the siege ended we made haste to the bishopric of St. Denis where we found the reports of 3500 men laughable and greatly enhanced.
FirstParisianBattle-Ducalclaim_zpseknxbbro.png

The Limousin levies were thoroughly routed. It took some time but we caught up with Adalgari's allies near Fleury and soundly dispersed or killed the men. An envoy came to my camp to accept our terms. I rode out to meet Adalgari in the field as he bent the knee.

While only a year at war, my hold on my realm felt uneasy. Ausfrid, my own spider, consulted with me after an evening's meal to tell me some most troubling news.

ParisianIntrigue-ValoisFabrication_zpsydrttsht.png

After consulting with my son, Roland, the three of us decided to imprison our newest vassal. Yet, probably due to my help in the plan, the little fool escaped my guards. With a war in Paris again, I had to call upon my levies as well as Castillian men of arms. Limousin came to Adalgari's aid once more and after some dancing through the duchy my forces showed Limousin what cowards they were again.
EndofParisianRevolt_zpsvokugsuu.png


We had to siege Melun, Paris, and St. Denis but Adalgari was captured, his title revoked, and his family thrown out of my lands.

I again, with much effort, rebuilt my emptying coffers. The joy of my life, looking back, was being able to raise my grandson, heir to my heir, Oliver.
889GrandsonGuardianship_zpsoqbrn0vo.png


Le Petit Duc, the child reminded me of Roland, though his intellect was clearly not the same as his father. Still, I found the boy deep into the scriptures one evening. "Where did you learn Latin?" I asked him. "Should not a duke know?" was his reply. I still laugh. The philosophy behind it was clearly from his father.

[A ledger of levies follows for 7 months, along with counts of grain and taxes from the Duke's holdings]

My hands are frail and my energy ebbs. My mind is constantly on my lands and my family. Where is le cerf blanc? I.. [unintelligible scribbles]
I have entrusted the Bishop...
[unintelligible scribbles]
DeathofOliver_zpsj2ryt3zu.png

----------
Jerrome closed the back cover and looked at his notes on his computer. "I need to write this paper. Then, a trip to Fleury."

----------
[1]An easy plot device, but really, have you tried to read Chaucer before?
 
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Congrats for this great story so far. I decided to nominate you for the WritAAR of the Week award! Keep up the good work!

wow.jpg


Holy Crap! Thanks and thanks for reading as well.

Subbed.

I'm enjoying your narrative style, with the first person account wrapped in Jerrome's piqued intellectual curiosity. Keep up the good work!
Thank you kind sir, I will try to keep the good vibes flowing.

Subbed! I love the style.

The king trying to revoke Orleans was just outrageous!

Thank you, and yes, the king's a Grade A arse.


Things have taken an odd turn in the Duchy of Orleans and I'll have to split up the next storylines. And yes, we'll find out what happened to little Antonino from Roland I reign.
 

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The Short Life and Reign of Duke Roland II of Orleans
as published in Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes by Jerrome d’Arny, PhD​

There is little published works documenting the time between Duke Oliver I and Duke Oliver II during the late 890-892 in the history of our nation. The nature of this article was to shed historical facts upon the brief reign of Roland Galimani II, Duke of Orleans. Adequate primary sources were very hard to come by, but were able to be located and show a unique individual. This article is not intended to be an all-inclusive historical expose on Roland II. I will also attempt to put in as much “character” as can be gleaned from the primary sources that were at my disposal.

Roland Galimani II was coronated Duke of Orleans in late February 891 after the death of his father Oliver I. One of the first official acts as duke was to revoke the county of Vendome, held by his younger brother, Jerrome.

VendomeRevocation_zpsyrezk0se.png


Jerrome had not yet come of age and surviving accounts from Cloyes Cathedral showed the inhabitants of his province had little regard for the youngest son of Duke Oliver I. At this time Roland Galimani II held the Duchy of Orleans as well as the county titles of Orleans, Chartres, and Vendome. He was also liege to his sister-in-law Ida Galimani (also a distant cousin) and her holdings in the County of Blois and was the liege of the Prince-Bishopric of Reims, such was the extent of the Duchy of Orleans. His father’s lands north of the Seine and the Prince-Bishopric of Reims belonged to his brother Gualtari as the Duchy of Valois.

Roland II was, by accounts found in Fleury written by Bishop Hugues, a man of towering intellect.
BishopHuguesofFleury_zpsdhdbxx5n.png


Bishop Hugues, who appeared to be a close confidant of Roland II, noted his liege was not only a master swordsman but that he was well acclaimed for his oratory and diplomatic skills throughout the kingdom. In fact, much of Roland’s upbringing under his father’s lordship was as the Chancellor of the Duchies of Orleans and Valois. He was a master at hereditary claims and some of the lesser writings found in Sens and Bourges claim he was a master forger of hereditary claims, as well. It was no surprise then in March 891 that the records of King Godalbert of Germany, France, Middle Francia, Aquitaine, and Burgundy list Roland Galimani, Second of his Name, serving as the King’s Chancellor from 891-892. [1]

Chancellorship_zpsxphqljzg.png


Late in 891, Roland issued a decree to all of his vassals, to begin to establish the centralization of ducal powers at Orleans. The Prince-Bishop of Reims, Cardinal Guy d’Reims, wrote in his works, which is preserved at the Archives Nationales, documented this scheme as “wholly supported” by the Galimani family, but waning in support among the clergy and burghers of his realm. The effort of centralization proved to be Roland’s legacy to his descendents, as the Galimani family rallied around any effort to bring Le Sorte de Galimani to an end.

CentralizationSuccess_zpsbki5d85z.png


This administrative success was the duke’s last official act in Orleans.

Incapacitated_zpsotujqvca.png


The injury came against a Viking incursion somewhere in Northern Europe. King Godalbert’s chronicles give little details but note the blow was thunderous upon Roland’s helmet and skull. Roland was quickly relieved of his duties as Chancellor to the King upon his return. Later, in Orleans, Bishop Hugues wrote, “the intellectual light” had gone from Roland. While not considered a simpleton, the duke’s slurred speech and inability for normal physical performance left for the installation of a Regent. Surprisingly the Bishop of Fleury, Hugues, was not chosen. Instead Hugues reflects the council agreed “for the betterment of Orleans and le Petit Duc (Oliver Galimani II) to allow Chanc-- Eudes the regency.”

Before the end of the Winter, Roland Galimani II died comatose in bed at the age of 44.
DeathofRolandII_zpsp6wgx1s7.png


The Duchy of Orleans and the counties of Orleans and Vendome were passed on to Oliver II, while the County of Chartres was inherited by his youngest son, Yves Galimani. Oliver II was nine years old at the time of assuming the title of duke.

This author firmly believes that Roland II’s brief reign brought about a period of instability within the Galimani family. The Galimani War was directly precipitated by the actions of centralizing the powers of the Duchy of Orleans with a young heir. This administrative step, usually taken at the level of a King’s Council, brought the young duke into the sphere of influence of the Ragenard II. However, one cannot exclude the own disruptions within the Terre des Cinq Royaumes after the murder of the child king, Ragenard I shortly after the passing of Roland in Orleans.[2]


----------
[1]Seriously, this glut of power has kept almost the entirety of Europe together for over a century. The typical breakup of the three Francia’s never occurred in my playthrough.
[2]Terre des Cinq Royaumes roughly translates to the Land of the Five Kingdoms. I don’t want to keep writing all five kingdoms out. Plus, historical authors love using French terms to convey meanings.
 
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A Brief History on the upbringing of Oliver “L’Usurpateur” Galimani II

The brief reign of Duke Roland II of Orleans left his young son, Oliver, without a father. This was a common situation for the House of Galimani, the early nobles of Orleans and Valois. The phrase most commonly used, coined by Galimanus Galimani himself, is “le sorte de Galimani” - “the plight of the Galimani.” Oliver I, the young duke’s grandfather, lost his father when he was quite young, just as Duke Roland I, the first Galimani Duke of Orleans lost his father when he was an infant.. Duke Roland I (the father of Oliver I) also experienced “le sorte” through a recorded four marriages with unfaithful women and an assassinated wife until a male heir was born. Galimanus used the phrase to describe his own trouble conceiving a male heir for his holdings.

It was with this weight of the family that an 8-year old child took over the Duchy of Orleans. From the diary and writings of Eudes d’Orleans, Chancellor and Regent of Orleans (892-898), we find that Eudes had to severely reprimand the young duke due to his envious nature in dealing with other children’s playthings. Eudes wrote, shortly after Roland II’s passing, “I heard le jeune duc arguing with the servant’s child over a wooden soldier he wanted.” Eudes went on to explain how he interrupted the conversation and gave the young boy a lecture on his nobility and what it meant when dealing with adversity.

EnviousLoss_zpstqgxwxw2.png


Writings of Hugues, Bishop of Fleury, state Eudes came to him in 892 in order to garner his opinion on extending an offer of betrothal to Basileus Theodoulos of the Byzantine Empire regarding Hypatia Isauros, the sister of the Strategos of Moesia. Bishop Hugues recorded that Eudes had to persuade him to allow the betrothal since the girl was of different creeds than Oliver. Her renowned intellect, evident at this age, reminded the bishop of Oliver's ancestors.

Bethrothal_zpsnunh4yjk.png


Chancellor Eudes did not stay in Orleans with the duke but the two traveled extensively together throughout the Duchy of Orleans. Eudes recorded various meetings with Duchess Ida Galimani and Yves Galimani as well as the Duke of Valois, Gualtari Galimani, the uncle of Oliver II. It was during one of these trips that Eudes recorded troubling news from the duke’s Spymaster stating verified claims that Belleassez, Oliver’s half-sister, was plotting with other courtiers to kill the child. Eudes acted swiftly and was able to throw Belleassez into the dungeons of Orleans.

894HalfSisterarrestedforplottingassassination_zpskdenhfds.png


With Ragenard II upon the throne of the Germany, France, and Aquitaine the new king made a campaign to consolidate his power. The child duke was a prime target and Ragenard II did what one of his predecessors failed to do, revoke the Galimani’s hold on the Duchy of Orleans.

894DuchyRevocationAnswer_zps1qklzfqz.png


Initially, Chancellor Eudes persuaded the Council to flatly refuse the king’s revocation. He wrote how Oliver II attended the Council Meeting to decide the fate of his duchy. The levies of Oliver were raised and Irish mercenaries, a favorite of the Galimani’s, were called upon to help in the defense of the duchy. The king’s forces met the men of Orleans outside of Château Melun and emerged with a complete victory over Oliver’s forces.

894BattleofMelun-Loss_zpswccw4gbs.png


Eudes and Hugues impressed upon the young duke the sad but inevitable decision to capitulate to the king.

894OrleansLost_zpsyxjsuuju.png


King Ragenard II brought the 11-year old Oliver to Gelre where he was put into the dungeons and locked away. Eudes visited the boy often. He writes in 895 that Oliver was holding up pretty well to his situation but he seemed resigned to his fate and accepted it willingly.

895imprisonedContentTraitGained_zpsjnrclgad.png


Eudes recorded the speech he gave to Oliver to stir him from his repose.

Here, we find, my young duke, that your fortunes do not look so bright. You are a Galimani. You think the king cares that you rot here? You are a Galimani, and not a sniveling peasant or an Aadlbert. You have lands of great fields and plenty that await your footsteps once you leave this place. If you think of returning to your lands in this addled manner than you are quite mistaken. No man finds peace while imprisoned, a true man, a Galimani, finds peace in the courts of Dukes and Kings or on the battlefield.

895ContentLost_zpsmxkp6oa2.png



Late in 895 King Ragenard II released Oliver from his imprisonment. Curiously, the king let Oliver keep his ducal title. Some of my contemporaries wonder if Ragenard was testing his powers to see what his vassals would let him accomplish. I will not expand upon such theories but merely state, if such capriciousness caught up Oliver II, it only made him a better man. The Regency Council recorded how Oliver returned to find his sister still imprisoned and, sympathizing with her, released her. While she tried to be curt and disrespectful, the young duke offered her a seat at his table to dine with him for the night.

The Spring of 896 brought renewed violence to the plains of Orleans as Duke Antoine of Valois declared war upon his nephew for the Duchy of Orleans. The coffers and levies of Orleans were not enough to sustain a war and Chancellor Eudes once again advised caution to Oliver. After his levies were routed at St. Denis, Oliver offered up his title to his uncle.

896Orleanslost_zps4gdxt6f1.png


He was left with his château’s in Orleans and Vendôme but also claims on the counties of Poitiers and Sens, a gift, of sorts, from his father. The chancellor recorded a most interesting object lesson for the young duke at this time.

Eudes brought his charge to the library at Orleans and asked him to read records of Roland I’s conquest of Blois. “Oliver began to read annoyingly and ended in naught but a whisper. I gave him a stern strike across his backside with my switch and asked him to speak so the entire room may hear him when the time requires it. He nodded and read the entire passage again.” The Regent then began to question Oliver on the reasons behind Roland’s conquest of Blois and the county’s impact on the duchy. “I then asked the Count to model his life on Antonino Engelger. Antonino? my charge responded, whysoever should I remember an insignificant child?” Eudes describes, with delight it seems, how he scolded the Count for dismissing those who had been wronged in life. “My Count, you should know what happens to those of our blood, even if they don’t carry our name. Antonino’s name was lost to history upon his emergence onto the world’s stage.” The diary entry related how Eudes, as a showman of sorts, took out documents relating to College of Cardinals.

896HistoryLessonAmbitiousPopeAlexandercousin_zpsojsma2w5.png



Eudes object lesson centered around the rise of Pope Alexander II through the Church’s ranks. The lesson was well received by Oliver. Eudes noted a short while later how Oliver seemed to talk of nothing less than reclaiming his duchy and avenging the disrespect shown to him by his uncle.

896AmbitiousGained_zpsidqk79hq.png



Eudes and Oliver began to work more closely together and soon the two reached out to the young King of Burgundy to enter into a betrothal contract with Oliver’s older sister. While Mathilde was six years older than Landulf, the Burgundian Regency Council agreed to the arrangements.

898SisterBetroathedtoKing_zpsatmjcons.png


This was the first of many remarkable strategic administrative initiatives taken by Oliver that laid the groundwork of his reign. The next strategic move, something more akin to luck, was that of the appointment of Gedalbert de Gramont as Marshal of the Counties of Orleans and Vendôme.

898BestMarshal_zpsjhag5gs4.png


Eudes wrote at length about de Gramont. The man was a heretic who followed the Lollard doctrines and claimed to all near him, at any time, that “Christ alone guided his mind on the battlefield.” Many courtiers claimed de Gramont to be possessed by a demon or Satan, not to mention his blasphemy about hearing the Lord’s messages; yet Eudes wrote how Oliver could not be turned aside in maintaining de Gramont as his Marshal. Oliver was insistent that the man would work wonders for a realm his size. The effect was immediate, de Gramont’s first report to the Regency Council, which Eudes transcribed, quoted the recruitment of 50% more men in the first month. The levy size kept growing in both Orleans and Vendôme. The young count, growing into a man every year, was setting up his chess pieces.

The disagreements about ruling the realm caused a divide between Eudes and Oliver. Shortly after de Gramont becoming Marshal, Eudes recorded less and less about his interactions with Oliver on a day to day basis. Finally Eudes wrote how the Count’s mother relieved him of his duties one morning.

898Motherknowsbest-newRegent_zps1bj7vraw.png


By this time, a year before Oliver came of age, he began to keep his own journal which, undoubtedly instructed by his mother, starts the day of Eudes dismissal. Oliver wrote how it was a “shame to see the old man dismissed,” but “mother knows what is best for Orleans.” Oliver wrote sporadically in his journal. We find mention of speaking with the mayor of Giens or traveling to Cloyes to speak with the bishop on monetary matters.

The ceremony of Oliver taking over direct control of his counties was attended by all of his vassals and Council in the middle of the harvest. Oliver himself wrote how the harvest foodstuffs were plentiful and the wine freely flowing. He saw the jovial nature of this ceremony as “proof that when my life is celebrated, it will be jubilant. No more crying sons and wives. No more empty coffers. I am a Galimani. France has not feared my house enough.”

899ComingofAgeFortuneBuilder_zpsgchxrxd0.png
 
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The Diary of Oliver Galimani II as transcribed by Dr. Charles Rote and Dr. Richard Saywer / Oxford College

900 has arrived! What wonders this new century will bring. I celebrated the New Year in true French style, I stumbled upon a thatcher’s daughter and gave her a good tumble! Ha! To hear her squeal. Ahh, to be a nobleman, such fun.

My new bride has arrived. I suppose all of my extra work with various young trollop’s shall be put to the test tonight. A duke’s son and a strategos’ daughter, who learned the arts better?

900Marriage_zpsrylgegqg.png


Grandfather liked to use the phrase “only a truly ignorant man…” He would start off long speeches about how a merchant, nobleman, or vassal had wronged our family with those words. “Only a truly ignorant man would dare think that I am not a lenient liege.” “Only a truly ignorant man dares to think that he can wrong one of my children and fly away as free as a bird.” And so on. I daresay I must say the same thing about my cousin Antoine. Only a truly ignorant man appoints the man whom he stole a duchy from to be his Marshal. Yet, here I sit in Paris while my wonderfully exotic Greek wife stays in Orleans without me. Beguiling her body may be her wit is something less inspiring. “But she’s a genius,” my dear Bishop Hugues tells me. In terms of academia, yes. Yet in the ways of love? Hardly. I have purchased some poems and sonnets for Hypatia to read. Latin and French. I know she understands Latin, as the priests do, and the sonnets can help her learn French even more. In the meantime I tried one of those poems on a very buxom daughter of the Parisian mayor. I daresay she loved it, also the roll in the hay afterwards.

HA! A literal roll in the hay!



902
Time has worn on these past two years serving as Marshal to my moron of a cousin. He’s off fighting for Ragenard somewhere. So that leaves me plenty of time to study up on matters of warfare. I have recently completed a detailed review on Alexander’s conquests of Greece and Hindustan. Fascinating. I have already begun to see how such information can be used here closer to home.

902StrategyTraitGainedinParis_zpsfaululdg.png


I still laugh at times. duke Antoine away while I have free reign to study this Parisian county as well as dictate levy placements. Right under his nose! The man is a fool.


903
I have found that my cousin’s lack of intelligence has filtered down to the men I’m attempting to train as his levies. These are fools, baseless, lazy good-only-for-killing fools. Probably to trample under hooves. I am the only one who works in this damn château.

903LazyAssPeople_zpslkuwxzym.png



904
Exciting news has reached me from my trusted kinsman Hugues. Gedalbert has everything ready, or, I believe that’s what my marshal's message says. Too much talk about Jesus’ prophecies on our upcoming plans. I like the man’s military prowess but I wouldn’t let him around a group of children. He’d be liable to put them to the knife to learn any blasphemies.

Yet the message from Gedalbert is encouraging. My levies have broken off their foray’s into Poitiers. While I was able to press my claim with a war against the old king, Ragenar took my victories in Poitiers as proof that the rebellion was crushed. Hugues tells me the men, along with all of the vassal levies, have just came to the Orleans countryside. By all means, I think I shall review them!

It is good to be out on the field of battle again! To see the look on Bishop Jerrome’s face when I spat on the ground in front of him, mounted my charger and rode out to meet my army. My claim for Valois was being pressed and my Uncle could only stammer and curse my name! I hate that man and I’ll kill him someday.

News has reached me here in St. Denis that a peasant army has risen up in Orleans to join my rebellion. I also know from my sources in Vendome that an army of 150 men are marching through Blois. I sent word to my lieutenants to use these faithful peasants as a stumbling block to the Lusignite allies of my cousin.

904RegimentsRallytomycause_zpswpcfspec.png



906
It has been a long war against Antoine. I have called upon the Irishmen my father and grandfather have always used. Yet last night I had a most informative dream, a dream that speaks to who I should be and how I will hold myself accountable.

906BraveDream_zpsbsgtpnzx.png


I have found these dreams come easier to me now that I am with Hypatia again. It seems our time apart while I was in Paris has brought her to a better...sensual...place in life. I also stopped practicing my romantic arts on the lower classes of Paris. While fun it was...tiresome. Time with my wife though, I strangely do not find that tiresome. Clearly, some nights, she does not tire out at all.

Before I rode out again Hypatia came to me with a token of love and a gleam in her eye. The words were exactly what I needed to hear before I left for what I believed was the decisive battle in this long conflict with Antoine.

906WifePregnant_zps5qty22xs.png



907

907DukeofValois_zpscm4ke9yx.png


I have finally brought Antoine to heel and to bend the knee to my right as his Duke. While it may not be Orleans, my lost title, I am a duke once more and hold the title Oliver I himself held. I must remember to enact policies to insure that holdings are not separated among children. Look what messy conflicts it has brought us Galimani’s.


The happiest of my days so far! My son is born! My heir is born! Jean-Marc Galimani.

907HeirJean-Marcborn_zpsxwybragt.png




909
My wife labored for 15 hours yet my household has grown again. Eudomo has come into this world. Two sons. I love them both but I see much trouble ahead if I do not change these damnable laws.

909EudomoBorn_zpsqz1jaghb.png



I have finally sent Mathilde to Luxembourg to King Landulf’s court as per our betrothal contract signed almost a decade ago. My old Regent used to talk about how our lives are like a chessboard. Well, my pieces are beginning to be placed upon the board.

909PowerfulAlly_zpsuw2nx7oa.png




910
Gedalbert had a map of the realm created and presented it to me this morning. A splendid piece of work from our scholars.

910MapofEurope_zpszugowehd.png


I am planning a great many things. The Five Kingdoms have been reduced to three held by Ragenard in my lifetime. Still, Frenchmen do not rule themselves. I have let my sentiments of friendship be known to my neighboring dukes of Normandy, Berry, and Anjou but have met with little success of my words falling on willing ears. Yet Ragenard grows old and heirless. Another foreigner is in line to inherit the Kingdom of France. Another German/Frank bastard no doubt. My brother-in-law King Landulf has just declared war against Germany for the Duchy of Tyrol. I say, let the battle rage on. I may be called to lead armies and I will lead those men well, but Ragenard only brings upon his own demise by draining his levies.

909BurgundianWarforTyrol-strategicalliances_zpsaysnidje.png



I answer the call to lead my liege’s armies. It is sorrowful to part with my young boys looking on, trying not to tear up as their father leaves. A man came to me before I closed my court asking to write a definitive history of my family. I thought his sum reasonable and gave him his patronage. And why not? The chess pieces are still falling into place and the man shall be witness to great things in central France.

910FamilyHistoryPatronage_zps3gyrhzq2.png



I now write from some forsaken place where the women look like cows but the beer flows freely. I am a happy man though. Not for any military reasons. Ragenard is a doting old fool. We have been soundly defeated by the massive might of Burgundy time after time. Ragenard knows he is finished, yet he won’t capitulate. However, my happiness comes from a brief note from Hypatia. It seems that our last night together was well worth the sweat.

910HypatiaPregnant3rdChild_zpscuxeclnd.png




911
I have not seen my chateau, my fields, my sons, for almost 6 months. This is worse than serving in Paris. Yet I find my attitude on the battlefield changing. The men, not just the lower nobles, but the common levies, have begun to listen to my orders and seem to fight harder when I make myself known on the field of battle. It is something I need to use. I have begun to insist that I lead the center of our forces from now on in order to hold the men. It is a shame though, Burgundian forces have continually overrun us.

911InspirationalLeader_zpsckyoyocq.png



This Summer I was greeted with the arrival of a missive from home proclaiming that my wife’s prayers for a daughter have been answered two-fold. Twin daughters!

911GuillaumetteBorn_zpsjz3nelif.png
911BeatriceBorntwin_zpszns3mofm.png



Ragenar has finally let me come back home from the battlefield. While Landulf’s war continues I am overjoyed to come home. My wife is as bewitching as ever. She is happy when I tell her such things but I hear from my men-at-arms that, while faithful, she doesn’t seem to miss me as much as I do her. This is somewhat depressing yet Hypatia understands her role as Duchess and as my wife. She has yet to say she has been unsatisfied in the bedchamber.

Cardinal Guy came to me today in private to give me the great news, he has reliable assurances that, should Pope Urban II pass on to be with the Lord, he will be installed as Pope. I congratulate the new Preferatus with the best wine my men could find.

911GuybecomePreferatus-strategicalliances_zpsusrocik7.png


We spent the night talking about the situation of the realm and of Valois. He continued to urge me to revoke Vermandois from Galimanus before my Aunt dies and Valois loses another county. I told him that I would remember his words but a war with Vermandois was not what I wanted. The coffers could not handle it. I still had my penury to the Jewry outstanding from my childhood. He confessed he understood this very well but would only suggest that Galimanus might acquiesce since he would inherit Blois in due time.


Only a truly ignorant man appoints a man who hates him to be his Marshal. Yet it seems the Father has a sense of humour. I readily accepted Ragenar’s offer to become the Grand Marshal of his kingdoms.

911MarshalofGermany_zps0hnycren.png



To be continued...
 
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The Diary of Oliver Galimani II as transcribed by Dr. Charles Rote and Dr. Richard Saywer / Oxford College
907

I have finally brought Antoine to heel and to bend the knee to my right as his Duke. While it may not be Orleans, my lost title, I am a duke once more and hold the title Oliver I himself held. I must remember to enact policies to insure that holdings are not separated among children. Look what messy conflicts it has brought us Galimani’s.

Congratulations on becoming Duke once more. May Orléans return to you with godspeed !
 

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Congratulations on becoming Duke once more. May Orléans return to you with godspeed !

Thank you! It was a relief to regain a duchy yet I'm constantly frustrated by the antipathy the duke's around me feel towards making France free. The rebellion's you see in the map above were for the old disposed king (whom one of my character's disposed) fighting to return him to the crown. Not to make France free. It always was a goal from the start of this AAR but I'm starting to sympathize with the French, if only the AI would share my sympathies.
 

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The Diary of Oliver Galimani II as transcribed by Dr. Charles Rote and Dr. Richard Saywer / Oxford College

912
Gelre is...far from home. I was able to bring Hypatia with me as I take over the duties of Marshal for King Ragenard II. I have to watch my language now around this court. A most untrustworthy, lazy folk these Franks. I’m also frustrated that the old man had some seed left in him and has produced not one but two sons. Sisgrimand is set to inherit the Kingdoms of Germany and France, the Chanc-- tells me. While it’s not the heirless or foreign-king-upon-the-throne scenario I have been building up to, it is still advantageous to the Valoisaine cause.[1]

Hypatia is much sought after by the ladies of the nobility here at court. She seems happier here than in Orleans but I cannot understand why. The salt air that wafts in from the wide bay is odious to my nose. Give me the strong Seine and the fresh Vallée de la Loire. Plus, the winter is cold. Salt, cold, fools. That should be the name of a bawdy tavern song.

Hypatia and I were walking in the arcade one afternoon when she discreetly told me she was pregnant again with our fifth child. I smiled and expressed my immense pleasure of this turn of events. In her own way, as I’ve come to learn, she returned my pleasure with a quick smile and dip of her head.
912HypatiaPregnant5thchild_zpsek70vgg4.png

While I feel I may love Hypatia deeply, her Greek mores are quite frustrating at times. She does love to read love sonnets as we recline in our chambers at times. Yet I still find her distant from me as well. I tried to bring her mother to our court once but both Hypatia and the dowager duchess demurred at such a notion.[2]
At least Hypatia agrees with me that the Le sorte de Galimani may finally be coming to an end. Two sons and two daughters should carry on Galimanus’ line for future generations. I am already thinking ahead as to which daughter should marry matrilineally, but, being twins, one is surely to be disappointed. It is hard to separate the two. With two sons, I do pray, at times, for a girl. Another son would be happy, but most disastrous. I have begun to lay plans to let Eudomo be tutored by one of my vassal bishops or even Cardinal Guy himself. Such would be the way if I just then happen to mention a church career when Eudi comes of age. I mean, it worked for Antonino. Imagine, a Galimani Pope!


913
I finally received word back from the Duke of Normandy. A betrothal between Jean-Marc and his youngest daughter Allison was found to be most agreeable to him. With this potential future ally my game of chess shall begin in due time.
913HeirBetrothal-strategicalliances_zpskavelz1k.png

I have been called out into the field for another failed campaign in this long war with Burgundy over Tyrol. I wish the old fool would give up the war once and for all. I leave with some trepidation as my wife has come under some illness. The physician and midwives tell me the baby will be fine.
But they never tell me if Hypatia will recover.

I took Jean-Marc with me along to battle the Burgundians. While I still lead the Center, he has been safely ensconced with my trusted advisors towards the rear. He is an amazing child and I am finally able to give him time to learn from his father, unlike myself, or my father, or my grandfather.

I have arrived just in time to see my third son’s first hours of life.
913RobinBorn_zps7q92ottk.png

Robin is my little bird and a very calm baby. Well, he was calm for the time the midwives showed him to me. I didn’t want to handle such a little life so I asked for him to go to the wet nurses as soon as possible.

[some torn pages]
913HypatiaDies-illness_zpsce5hpzqd.png

I believe I’m finally able to write words of dignified grace. These past days have been hard on me and my young family. I am glad Eudomo is away. Jean-Marc is visibly upset and the twins cry to their handmaidens throughout the day. While she may not have truly loved me, Hypatia was my love. She brought my House stability where women before her brought only contempt. The midwives tell me that the p--- and the birth of mon petit oiseau were too much for her body to take.[3]
What is my legacy? I have five wonderful children. I have gold in great store. I have plans set to shake the foundations of this world, yet… my wife precedes me to death. I weep at times, alone. I weep at times inside. I have not become despondent but my grief should be mine alone. I have taken solace with no one.

Jean-Marc came to me today to express his thoughts to me. He likes the books he is reading but he feels as if to cry when he reads of someone’s death or sees a dirty peasant child on the roadside begging. I comforted the boy, his mother’s death is still fresh with me as well. I reassured him though that we Galimani are strong of both mind and body. While he finds little sympathy in the court he was always welcome to share his thoughts with me in private. We spoke at length about his betrothal. He’s clearly frustrated at the prospect of marrying someone he’s never met, I reassured him that I never met his mother until our wedding took place. After an hour or so I was called away on an important matter and my son gave me a quick grin of thanks.

The old fool has died, quietly it seems. Young Sisgrimand's Regent has kept me on his council for some reason. I am sad to see what befalls him when my pieces start the game.


914
Troubling news has reached me, but inevitable news in the end.
914PreferatusGuyDies-strategicalliances_zpss2f1r8tf.png


So a new Preferatus must be chosen. I would think that the whole point the College chose a young Cardinal to take over the papal throne was to keep Guy OUT of the golden miter. So i have lost my bishop. The game shall move on without him. Thankfully, Urban still thinks highly of me from having Guy as a close confidant. If I could just get him to see the righteousness of my cause perhaps some of Christendom’s gold might fall my way? Intriguing possibility, I will tell my spider about it.

On the road back to Orleans Jean-Marc ran up to me with a solitary tear and was holding his hand with a stout stick stuck in his belt. “Papa!” he yelled at me with excitement. “Regardez un serpent m'a mordu!” A snake bite? I replied. My God lad, I hoped you killed it afterwards. He cackled with glee and then ran off again wielding the stick as broadsword, just as I had taught him.
914JeanMarcBraveryTrait_zpsfteoi1am.png


I have settled back into life at my chateau and have begun to wonder if now would be the time to strike? Germany’s forces have been ravaged by Landulf. I think now would be the time to make my intentions known for a bold move. Yet what should I press? On the one hand I could press for lower centralization from Gelre. I’d be able to press my claims on surrounding counties and duchies and expand my realm. Yet on the other, and more intriguing to me, is the possibility of pressing Landulf’s claim for France.
I concede I had to convince my council of pressing Landulf’s claim. Yet a King with two kingdom’s already, who is married to my beloved sister, might find himself with a third kingdom to have too much. Might I not then petition him to help administer his new lands? Might I suggest that perhaps the French should be ruled by a Frenchman?


915
After thinking all Winter about my prospects I have decided to press Landulf’s claim.
915LandulfforFrance-strategicalliances_zps9ssncdkg.png

I hope that Galimanus is watching over me. But why should I fail? I have reliable reports from men in my employ that are still in Gelre the levies of le petit roy are very slow to fill and most nobles are reluctantly bending the knee. His gold is still an issue. But I have the upper hand.

Today I received word back from Sisgrimund that he found my suggestion of abdicating the French crown to Landulf very amusing and declared me a rebel to the realm. Funny, I myself laughed when I received his reply.
915WarforLandulf-strategic_zpsssyw5bdu.png

915GrandArmyofValois_zpsgf6dfkyv.png


Note for the future: ask money from the Pope before being declared a rebel. While Urban says he holds me in high regard, it simply cannot be seen to have the Holy See send money in support of a known rebel. He did send me God’s grace in my endeavour.
Second Note for the future: Perhaps I may have been too hasty in my actions as none of these spineless dukes around me will lift a finger to join my righteous cause. So they look at my cause as putting another foreigner on the throne, which is somewhat justifiable. But to be ruled by a child king? It isn’t like I can divulge my true aim. Yet, the longer I waited the more Sisgrimand could bring more men to his banner.

I march with Le Grand Armee of Valois on the morrow for Gelre. It will be odd mounting my charger without Hypatia to offer me a token of love and remembrance. I will bring her favorite kerchief along tucked into my jerkin. Jean-Marc wants to come with me. I have not decided if he should yet. There could be very bloody battles and sieges ahead. My thoughts to turn to my own father’s plight against the Viking raiders though. My men will look to me to lead, so I must lead. House Galimani shall lead.
----
[1] I must say, “Valoisaine” as the descriptive form of Valois looks like Vaseline and I always refer to it as such in my head. Such a ridiculous word form.
[2] I really did try, but I guess the old bag was happy in her son’s duchy in Abzhakia.
[3] If you have begun to wonder why I shorten some words (pneumonia being the case here) it was a normal practice when writing hundred’s of years ago. Whether to simply shorten words or to obfuscate the subject people would do this.
 
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The Diary of Oliver Galimani II as transcribed by Dr. Charles Rote and Dr. Richard Saywer / Oxford College


916
Eight long months we have besieged Nijmegen so far. The boy’s castle is, as I expected, hard to overcome. While the levies have grown a spine since I last saw them. On the morrow I am leaving a token force here around Nijmegen as I have reports that Finnish mercenaries have appeared in Utrecht to the west. I know something of mercenary companies though. While they are quick to appear, they take a long time to organize themselves. A great lack of discipline.

916BattleofUtrecht1st_zpsm2tyxbyg.png


The Battle of Utrecht was ours the moment our archers loosed their arrows in the first volley. My lieutenants counted 40 men dead on the field from our ranks. Forty. I daresay, it was a magnificent battle. I write this on the march as we pursue these Finns.

916BattleofDietz2ndSampo-MercLT_zpsoybanu6a.png

Another almost bloodless victory on the battlefield. A Finn named Sampo also conceded his sword to me. The Finnish company has disbanded near enough as we can tell. Reports are now coming in from Aachen that the Duke of Koln has raised his levy in support of the child king. I separate my army once more dispatching a small force to go further east and see that the Finns have been taken care of, either by dispersing or by dying. The majority of my levies I now march with westward.

916BattleofAachen3rd_zpssnfshk4c.png

I daresay that if this is the sort of resistance Germany throws at me I’m sure to win. Reports from Nijmegen are frustrating though as there has been almost no progress since I left early in the year. Yet these armies need to be taken care of.

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As we came near Kleve I was surprised to see the Duke of Koln’s ragged men on the opposite side of the town. I quickly ordered my men to form and we swiftly overcame the Duke’s army and sent it flying in all directions. I had my Jean-Marc, who rides now as my squire, take notes as we went over our actions after the battle. I feel that I can use these same tactics at home in the Central Plains.


This Duke of Koln is a persistent fool. He rallied about 300 men to confront my army again near Brauwiler.
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916RadulfkilledatBrauwiler_zpsby0mh07w.png


A mayor from Koln was killed today, my men told me. He was shouting some Frankish gibberish as he swung his axe hewing anyone near him. My men actually waited a bit as the fool struck down some of his own men before they rushed in to finish him off. There is too much Saxon blood over here. Too much influence from those barbarians.

News reached me shortly after the battle that my second force stumbled upon a 4000 man army of Saxons and immediately saved themselves (and my levies) and were headed back to Nijmegen. It appears our young king has many enemies at the moment.

I have returned for the Winter to Nijmegen. There are reports of Kolnian men roaming the other Low Countries but they are but flies to be swatted and I have not the time. I must besiege this damnable castle. I have become convinced, however, that to press Landulf’s claim, I must take France. [1] Instead of Irishmen as are the de facto mercenaries for us Galimani, I have sent out envoys to the land of the Bretons. I’m sure they’d love some killing of my fellow Frenchmen. I must remember to keep them in their place after this is all over though. Can’t have those odd Bretons roaming around. I also sent word that my vassal levies should be raised to take the fight to the duchies of France.


917

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My first target is Saintonge. The Duke of Berry has been a thorn in my side my whole life but Poitou supports the boy king more than any other French duke. I need to act quickly, while I have the gold now, these Bretons and my levy upkeep are quickly draining my coffers.

I received quite the offer from King Landulf today.

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He wants me to join his war for Aquitaine. While I would be his ally, I cannot be assured that he will actually want to fight this war for me. Most likely, he wants to use my forces as a nuisance to Aquitaine. Yet I know how I would treat nuisances, you kill them first. I have already sent my humblest apologies to my brother-in-law.

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We are now waiting to cross the Rhine after both Nijmegen fell and my Bretons fought a decisive battle against some vassal levies near Saintes. The news of Saintes reached me just as we were cleaning up the Germans still inside Nijmegen. Some of my lieutenants were wondering why we did not prosecute the war against the towns and bishoprics in Gelder. “Our prospects lie in France. Sigismund has lost his capital chateau. He is being pressured from another revolt in the Low Countries and Saxons and Moravians rape and pillage his people. He will not break the token garrison we left behind.”


A herald was heard today as we stopped at a village for provisions.

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Landulf must be doing well to claim the Lombard throne for himself and rename it the Kingdom of Italy. This news troubles me and surprises me. My brother-in-law now has multiple crowns, why do I persist in adding another? Will he return the favor by granting me France? I cannot dwell on these thoughts, we are on our way to Rouen to bid my son’s future father-in-law a visit.


918

The Bretons have finished in Saintonge and have engaged the levies of Anjou near Evron.
918BattleofEvron-AnjouLeviesdepleted_zpsrndorp4y.png


News has reached me that the count of Maine has risen up in an Agevenian Revolt against the Duchess of Anjou, how - fortunate - for us.

My dwindling levies have been victorious once again.
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Rouen took little time to fall to my army, for which I’m glad. I am still fighting various German forces but nothing to rival any sort of army. I am planning on returning to Peronne to disband my current levies and bring in those who have reassembled at my keeps.


Jean-Marc called on me after a peasant was brought before me for poaching deer.
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He asked me why I let the man go. While I wanted to tell him that I needed the fool to help bolster my army levies I don’t think he would have found the humour in that. I gave him a story of how we have so much and the man needed just one deer to feed his family and maybe a few other peasants. Jean-Marc understood this to mean that he should be a kindhearted man to those around him. I really wanted him to understand that I was giving justice to the man to die on the field of battle instead of under my sword blade.



919
The only news of note within the past 6 months of this year has been that the Bretons have finally laid siege to Angers in Anjou.
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It is their last great deed for me. Their services have put too much strain on my coffers and too little resistance in the surrounding counties makes their employ too great to bear financially. My Steward works tirelessly extracting the correct tax from my various provinces and I am sure my ledgers are correct that I will now have a surplus each month, the first time in four years since this war began.

...
920
The Normans have been most agitated after Rouen fell. I have been extensively riding north and south across my duchy putting down rebels and ducal levies.[2] I returned to the chateau of Rouen to bring defeat to another army loyal to Sigismund.
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German and Orleans forces (damn my cousin) came to lift my occupation of Vermandois. Yet they were once again soundly defeated.
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I am so tired my hand can barely write in this journal. Yet I must tell how my army withstood a month of constant war. It started so simply, defeat the Orleanian army of my cousin and then besiege the town of St.Quentin. Then, German forces fleeing the Chartresian revolt gave a slightly organized assault on my own army once they saw my banners. I defeated them soundly. Three days after the victory outside St. Quentin, a force of godforsaken Vikings decided to make a foray into Vermandois. My force was barely able to push them back to their infernal ships. To make matters worse, news reached our camp that the Duke of Koln was riding at the head of his levies with a mercenary group in tow. We were outnumbered two to one as the reports came in on the size of the army. My vassal levies were busy besieging my cousin’s holdings in Blois but I called as many as could rally to Laon, where I had repositioned my forces to better shield them from the duke’s forces. Laon. My spymaster tells me this is where Charlemagne’s mother was born. It is a beautiful bishopric.

I knew, as I sent off my messengers, that I had no time. My son caught my eye as I watched the messengers leave. “Father. My liege. We cannot lose. Our cause, all we have gained, would be for nothing.” I knew our prospects. I only nodded. Then I shouted for a war council.

battlefield_zpsfvv7tppw.jpg

A Renaissance depiction of the Battle of Laon

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For once, the reports of enemy numbers were correct. We were outnumbered two to one. But I had used my knowledge of the ground and the art of concealing our main force within the tree line to smash into the enemy flanks to perfection. Laon is also surrounded by numerous streams, which gave the enemy a fitful start.[3] I suspect we will see very little effort put forth from Germany to mount an effective fighting force against me.
The Kolnese army mounted an impressive charge against my center, as it seemed they were confident this was my whole contingent. The cries of their cavalry striking my center still rings in my ears. It was horrifying, yet grand. A noble death to many a knight.

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Blois has fallen. My men dragged my cousin’s son Antoine from the keep and laid him before me. “Will my cousin prove merciful?” he asked me. I tossed him in the dungeon. Was his uncle merciful when he revoked my beloved duchy from me when I was a child? I don’t believe so. Antoine is a bargaining chip now with Galimanus.

What a vile father my uncle was to name his weak son after our great patriarch.


921
Six long years and this war still rages on. But my duchy is prosperous, still turning a profit even with my levies raised. My garrison in Nijmegen tell me that Sigismund has yet to bring a major force to retake his castle. Fool boy. Winter is upon us and we travel to Everaux where the only German force of consequence has encamped.

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A Cardinal in jail. I do hope His Holiness understands Onfroy put himself in harm’s way by leading his personal levies against me in battle. But, the coffers aren’t as full as I would like. Maybe this would be a chance to ransom this man of God for some money? In fact, I’ll have my Marshal review all prisoners taken in battle and after our sieges to see who is worth ransoming.

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Amazing news is being heralded out of Gelre and Luxembourg from both kingly courts. After six years of war I have finally been recognized as an independent realm! Very interesting indeed. I should write His Holiness in Rome to see if he would now deign to let some of Christendom’s wealth fall my way. [4]

Jean-Marc has gained quite the reputation around camp lately spending time with the men carousing and whoring.
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When I spoke to him about his Bacchanalian ways he downplayed the gross debauchery somewhat. He told me how he helped keep the parties going to get to know the lieutenants and commanders better. So he played with a few tavern waitresses, he saw no harm in it.

I have such a charitable young man to call a son.


922/923
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Evreux has fallen. A perfect opportunity, as it was time for my son to be recognized as a man. We had a great jubilant feast on outside the wrecked gates of the castle.
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I provided Jean-Marc with a fine tunic, an expertly made suit of armor, and appointed one of the young boys from some noble family to be his squire. Ah yes, the horse, I gave him the pick of Evreaux’s stable. He chose a fine brown charger.


924
The war still rages but I can sense it coming to an end. Each small force of arms Sigismund raises up in France I intercept and dispatch. I have time to review our laws and find time to implement a novel idea. Elections. Yes, let the nobles, meaning me, decide who should rule the duchy and stop this unbearable loss of title due to Gavelkind inheritance. My sons may hate the idea, but I rule in Valois.
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The envoy came this morning under pretenses of peace. And it was a peace justly deserved. Sigismund has given the crown of France to Landulf.
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Throughout all of this, with many years to dwell on it, I should have fought for my independence from any of these kings as Gascogne did during my grandfather’s reign. Though the chess game is almost finished I have placed my enemies in Check.


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THIS OUTRAGE! I win my bastard of a brother-in-law the French crown singlehandedly and the bastard announces that he will take upon the French crown as his primary title? No offer of a duchy, no gold to help see me through the Winter (though I have enough). No accolades! No tournament in my honor! What a baseless, spineless rat. What have I planned for these past 10 years? My ruin? I sent him a letter before my armies left Valois nine years ago. “We shall win the French crown for the French.” I wrote. My God, I feel forgotten and debased. A man rejected by the Lord for the noble pursuit to bring his house to permanence and prominence.

-------

[1] I noticed my war score was hardly going up and I also noticed that Sigismund was being given a 7% positive war score for holding France. Whoops, a year of fighting without actually achieving anything.
[2] My war sparked no fewer than three revolts at a time between counts and their dukes in France.
[3] Oliver II is a beast. In my many many hours of CK2 gameplay I don’t remember ever defeating an army who outnumbered me two to one when I had half morale. Yep, I wasn’t at full morale either. Amazing.
[4] This happened all of sudden and I’m still perplexed as to why.
 
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