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Lord Valentine

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Deamon: Well I couldn't find any better picture for the given situation. Although I must admit when one looks at it a bit longer it does seem quite ridiculous.:p Anyway good to have you on board again. :)

Kurt_Steiner: After this war it definitely looks like the Isle will need some time to recover. Whether England will ever recover it's dominant position however seems highly doubtful.

Ranald I "the Conquerer"​
Born 1135 - Died 1183
Ruled 1140-1183

4-3.jpg

The Regency Years
1140-1152​

Part Six: A Monarch assumes Power


The Cast:


Ranald I, King of Scotland, Ireland and Wales
Robert Loarn, Earl of Morray
Edmund MacBrannain, royal councilor
Emma Capet, daugther of Geoffroy I of France
Catherina of Atholl, sister of Ranald I
Louis Capet, duke of Blois, uncle of Geoffroy I

The end of the war with England had come not a second to late for Scotland. Vast stretches of countryside where destroyed and commerce had been disrupted for years leaving many once prosperous trade places deserted and in decay. Furthermore the crown itself was virtually ruined. The grand expenses of the war, most of all the hiring of soldiers and mercenaries and keeping them in the field for so great an amount of time, combined with greatly declining sources of revenue had lead to an accumulation of debts on an unimaginable scale. The royal treasury had resorted to the common way of repaying loans by granting certain taxes and tools away for a certain time to it's debtors. In wartime this however was a policy of dubious quality since it reduced the crowns income even further. Therefore although already having granted away vast taxation rights for several years the crown at the end of the war still had some 200.000 Pounds of debts to repay. Faced with these enormous figures the council quickly came to the conclusion that extraordinary taxation was the only cure for this remedy. For this reason parliament was summoned to Edinburgh for July 1149.

Earls_Procession_to_Parliament.jpg
A 15th century illustration showing several Scottish earls on their procession to parliament. Using 1149 as a precedent the Scottish monarch would increasingly use this institution as means to finance their costly foreign policy.

The session opened on 23 August with the Lord Treasurer Sir Collin Bruce delivering the opening address in the name of the king (this is by the way the first time chronicles mention a member of the Bruce family which would later feature so prominently in Scottish history). He called for parliament to give a subsidy on form of a 8th so that the grave damages of the war might be removed, order restored and thereby peace and prosperity return to the realm. The need for ready cash was especially stressed since there where reports of great insurrections in the Kingdom of Ireland, which would be lost if firm action was not quickly taken (in the end it would turn out that the rumors about an Irish uprising where greatly exaggerated and no serious threat to Scottish rule). It was then the turn of Lord Robert Loarn, earl of Morray, to give a formal reply for the lords assembled. It was one that surly did not please the crown. He began by thanking his "most dreaded sovereign" and his ministers for their glorious and swift conclusion of the war but rejected the crowns request for a subsidy as both "against the ancient customs and laws of this realm" and "indecent". While he expressed sympathy for the financial plight of the monarchy he pointed out that he and his peers where no less effected by the war. He famously concluded that it was against the laws of nature and God that "he who rules should prosper, while his subjects are left destitute". This speech according to legend infuriated the 14 year old Ranald so much that he personally replied to it in a passionate way pointing out that great part of the realm such as the Scottish Highlands or the Welsh Marches had been left completely unaffected by the conflict. Had he so often risked his personal security to face such ingratitude of his own subjects? He would have rather fallen in the struggle of a lost cause rather than to have to witness such a betrayal by his own people as a victor. Whether it was this speech which shamed the Lords into a new position or some backroom deal we do not know, but in the end parliament agreed though not to grant a 8th but at least a 10th as subsidy.

With the financial freedom of the crown thereby more or less restored again the next two years went without any major recored event. The next major event to occur was the death of the kings younger brother Ruadrí, Duke of Connacht in 1151. With his death his lands fell back to the king but since the crown lacked the necessary means to exploit them effectively the question who to grant these lands at once became imminent. On this issue it can also be said for the first time that Ranald, by now 16 years old, although on the paper still under the guidance of his regency, took his own line on the issue and managed to have his will. While most in the council favored carving up the estates between various magnates of the realm Ranald on his own initiative invested Edmund MacBranain, a faithful noble councilor and friend his late father Malcolm IV, with all the lands and honors of a Duke of Connacht. This was a clear signal to everyone that the regency was drawing to it's close.

This became even more apparent when the Queen mother Nualá died in December and the king announced that her place in the council would be left vacant, since "his royal Highness is sufficiently supplied with councilors and due to the ripeness of his years able to decide all matters of the realm". In fact the king had already been working for half a year on what would perhaps be the most fateful step in Scottish foreign policy ever. Having directly experienced the hardships of a war with England Ranald had come to the conclusion that the best way of securing Scotland's position in Europe, especially in view of the Holy Roman Emperors indirect intervention in favor of England in the last war, would be further strengthening the ties to France. By November he had reached a secret agreement for a double wedding alliance with the house of Capet. Ranald would marry Emma Capet, the daugther and only surviving child of king Geffroy, while Ranald's sister Catherine would marry the duke of Blois, Louis Capet, Geffroy's uncle, whose son Charles was the realms present heir presumptive.

maryqosimagesoval1.jpg

Emma Capet, Queen of Scots in an early Renaissance masterpice. It was part of a grand chronicle on the monarchs of Britain dedicated to king Henry II. Emma Capet in her time was renowned both for her beauty and her pleasant ways. King Ranald is to have fallen in love with her almost immediately.

The diplomatic coup was announced to the public in December. In January the princess of France arrived in Edinburgh and the wedding took place on the 2nd of February with the festivities continuing for two weeks. The climax was the three day tournament between the most renowned Scottish knights and the most noble warriors in Emma's retinue, which captivated the imagination of minstrels for years to come. Few people at that time realized that through this wedding Scotland would soon become involved in the deep internal strife of the realm of France...


medieval_knights_jousting_1.jpg

The "Grand Tournament of Edinburgh" of 1151 was in the end won by Gaston de Brezé, champion of Queen Emma. The event is to have made a profound impression on young king Ranald, who for his whole life would be inspired by the ideals of chivalry.

~Lord Valentine~
 
Last edited:

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GLad this is alive and kicking. Erin Go Bragh.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Well, just in case you were bored with the Scots, you have also now the French to keep an eye on. :rofl:
 

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Fascinating picture in front page! Also that picture in your last update was great. Where did you get them?
I will definitely read your AAR at once I find time to it. I have too much AARs to read :wacko:
 

gigau

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Nice update. Looking forward getting news from France :p
 

Lord Valentine

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I see it's clearly time for some feedback again!

Scorpi: Yes I suppose this is quite a turnaround. I don't think England will get a "Hammer of the Scots" in the style of Edward I in this timeline.

JimboIX: And I am glad to have you on board once more! Mind you my linguistic skills when dealing with any other language than German, English or (to a lesser extent) Latin are non existent. So you'll have to explain your second sentence to me. :p

Kurt_Steiner: Yes, who thought that Scotland would one day become the policeman of Europe. :D

Auray: I'm glad you like the pictures! I honestly can't remember where I got them from. I spent hours just searching for material to use on my AAR and by now I think I have got quite a collection.
And also I am all to familiar with the problem of not having enough time to read AARs (or in my case even update them!). I myself have only recently caught up again on both my own AAR and some of my favorites from other writAARs so take your time. :)

gigau I'm glad you liked it. France will feature prominently in the next update, although I am not sure whether I will get it out before I am leave for England on Friday.

~Lord Valentine~
 

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A marriage to France and a chivalric King, only good can come from such events!
 

Lord Valentine

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English Patriot: All I'll say to this is wait and see. :)

Ranald I "the Conquerer"​
Born 1135 - Died 1183
Ruled 1140-1183


4-3.jpg

Part One: Dieu et mon droit


The Cast:


Ranald I, King of Scotland, Ireland and Wales
Emma Capet, Queen of Scotland, Ireland and Wales
Robert II, King of England
Geoffroy I, King of France
Charles Capet, duke of Anjou, pretender to the French crown
Pierre de Valois, duke of Vermandois, general of Charles Capet

The year 1152 was a promising one and probably the happiest one in the first two decades of Ranald's reign. In February, even before the marriage festivities had ceased, the court could announce to the populace of Edinburgh and the gathered dignitaries that Queen Emma was with child. In March the king and queen set out for a tour of their realms. Their first station was Dublin where the Irish nobility payed homage to their monarch before the couple was formally crowned on March 18th.

krunisanje2-y.jpg
A late 18th century depiction of Ranald's coronation in Dublin. This piece can currently be seen in the Exhibition "The Kings of Ireland in art and popular culture", in the Royal Art Museum Dublin.​

In April they continued to Wales where the whole ritual of royal investment was repeated in Garth Celyn. After a leisurely progress through the kings English possessions with great festivities (especially notable was the reception which the York, the greatest city of the realm, laid out for the two monarchs) over the course of the summer the royal couple returned to Edinburgh in September. Everyone in the realm was clearly relived that after the rule of the minority council, which had been plagued by intrigues, power struggles and war, normality had returned. Few would have guessed that the tranquility of the realm would once again come to an end in little over a year.

But first there was yet another reason for rejoicing when queen Emma gave birth to an heir to the throne named Fergus on the 21st of November.
The succession seemed secure, especially when the Queen became pregnant once again in March 1153. But exactly the problem of succession in a foreign realm was about to destroy the peace of Scotland. Ranald's father in-law Geffroy I of France had become increasingly frustrated about his situation. Emma was his only surviving child and his wife past childbearing age, so that the hope of a male heir was close to zero. Yet Geffroy in his rare moments of sanity desperately looked for a way to ensure that his throne passed to one "of his own blood". He had made several overtures to the estates of his realm concerning a possible succession of his daughter Emma but had received only discouraging reactions. The birth of Fergus in the kings troubled mind transformed the whole situation. There finally was the male heir "of his blood". Therefore to the great consternation of his whole realm and in violation of the "Salic Law", which excluded the whole female line of the royal family from succession, the king recognized Fergus as his heir in April 1153. The situation appalled many Frenchmen who saw it as an arbitrary violation of one of the most sacred laws of their kingdom.
To make matters even worse the pope also had great objections. He feared a union between Scotland and the mightiest kingdom of western Europe would greatly upset the balance of power in the region and more importantly the popes own authority in the said realms. To preserve his interests Anastasius IV therefore excommunicated Geffroy and absolved his subjects from their oaths of loyalty. Within two months the kingdom was in uproar, as a great number of magnates rose in rebellion in favor of the disinherited Charles Capet.


civilwarfrance3.png
The situation in France in June 1153, shortly after the beginning of the "First War of French Succession" (1153-1156). The rebells control the most of the countryside while only the crownlands around Paris and the south-west of the realm remain loyal to king Geoffroy.​


Few people doubted that Geoffroy would be crushed within a matter of months. All the more shocked the people of Scotland must have been when Ranald summoned parliament to Edinburgh in June and asked for a generous war subsidy for the military intervention in France he was planning. When asked by the perplexed speaker of the lords what his motives for such a rash and unwise expedition where Ranald replied in French with what would later become the motto of all British monarchs: "Dieu et mon droit" (God and my right). He was going to France to protect the rights of his father Geoffroy, who as Gods anointed monarch could not simply be disposed by his subjects, and the holy rights of succession of young prince Fergus. Many lords lamented that the Scots where not up to the task of conquering a kingdom as mighty and vast as France but Ranald is simply to have answered that their ancestors who obviously had had greater valor had overcome greater odds in their struggle against England, but if his subjects where to terrified to due their duty, the they should grant him an even greater subsidy and then he would fight the oncoming war with the "Black Serpent" and other mercenaries. Once again the lords submitted and made a fairly generous grant of a 8th while the more valiant and adventurous among them (most of them out of the younger generation) volunteered to serve in the war.

Thus began the first major continental expedition in Scottish history. By August Ranald had assembled a host of some 22.000 men in York and set sail for France. He had secured the permission from Robert II of England to disembark his army in Normandy before marching on into France. Robert probably hoped that the foolish young Ranald would wast his kingdoms resources in France and perhaps even get himself killed so that he might reconquer all territories that the English crown had lost in the last 50 years.

The voyage went ahead without any greater problems and by early September the royal host was advancing through Normandy. Ranald had left 4.000 men behind to secure his supply routes when reports reached him that the French insurgents had quickly assembled a host of 24.000 under the Pierre de Valois, duke of Vermandois, to crush the Scottish incursion. The army was assembled at Vexin, awaiting further reinforcements. Knowing that Vermandois was an inexperienced commander Ranald forced marched his army to cover the 130 miles distance separating them from the enemy in 72 hours. In the early morning hours of the 18th of September they fell upon the enemy from several directions inflicting a crushing defeat with Ranald himself fighting at the center of his troops. The French lost some 9.500 men with another 12.000 being taken captive, one of them being the duke of Vermandois. The following day Ranald offered the captured nobles two simple options: Either accepting the succession of his son and entering his service or an honorable execution as traitors. Most including Valois took the first option. Thus Ranald at the mere age of 18 had won his first significant victory. His enemies had underestimated him. It was a mistake they would not repeat...


5937.jpg

An idealized painting showing Ranald leading his troops to victory at the "Battle of Vexin", seen as the birth date of the "First Scottish Empire" by some historians.


~Lord Valentine~
 

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Those pictures are so great!
 

Lord Valentine

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Auray: I'm really glad you like them. I always feel they lighten up updates with a lot of text. :)

phargle: Thanks a lot for the praise! Glad to have you on board!

Anyway as stated often before: I'm off on holiday tomorrow for a week so you'll have to wait a little before the adventures of Ranald I continue...

~Lord Valentine~
 

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Ah darn...
Just as I was catching up, I have to wait for a new update.
Unlucky me...

As much as I would like to see the rise of the Scottish Empire, I would like even more a certain realm duress trait and couple of decades civil war.

I'm not evil, I just think that this rapid growing needs a little slowing or even some set back.

Keep it up!
 

unmerged(106914)

Corporal
Jul 8, 2008
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That's quite a Scotland you've built. Looking forward to more. :)
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
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Scotland has a bright future with kings like that. Erin Go Bragh means Ireland forever. It's a celtic battle cry (The Scots were originally a celtic tribe that came over from Ireland and displaced the native Picts). Your skills are undoubtedly superior to mine.
 

gigau

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Nuce update. Quite a good start for this war. Let's see if England doesn't try to backstab you...

One of the next task is to remove that red from the Normandy of my parents :D
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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Going to war in France with England still alive... good luck!
 

Lord Valentine

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Wow what an amount of feedback! Now that my vacation break is over I hope to complete the next update before the middle of next week, but as usual don't pin me down on it.

Spothisto: Don't worry! I can guarantee you that Scottish history will be full of inner strife. Just when it's going to take place I am not ready to disclose. :p

Peleus: Thank you and welcome onboard!

asd21593: Thank you! I don't really think the "Scottish Empire" will be able to compete with your own "Orthodox Empire" but I think you'll like it nevertheless when it materializes.

JimboIX: Yes strong monarchs are sooo important. But you have to remember that Malcolm IV and Ranald are absolute "larger than life-figures". You can't expect monarchs like this to guide Scotland through all it's history. Anyway thanks for the clarification of that sentence and you should give more credit to your own skills. I very much enjoyed your "Corsican Dawn" AAR.

gigau: Well in England Robert II is busy stumping out resistance to his rule but who knows if Scotland shows weakness he might yet jump at the opportunity to put the Scots in their place.
And if I can manage I will off course be most happy to "liberate" your native homecounty. :D

Kurt_Steiner: I know it's sort of battling against the odds but Ranald is a heroic figure. You have to do something to earn a title like "the Conqueror". :p

~Lord Valentine~
 

unmerged(85988)

Second Lieutenant
Oct 23, 2007
102
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oh it's great. I really really enjoy it.

Just currious, what kind of characters in your casts. I just want to see them as characters. Why don't you put some character's data from the game to your story. It will better that way, because it will make me easier to see how the game doing in this story :)