• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

This thread is more than 5 months old.

It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose. If you feel it is necessary to make a new reply, you can still do so though.

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology

The Last Knights and the Book of St John

fortescueordermottomid.jpg

Welcome to my new AAR. This AAR is the conclusion to the Book of St John series. A historical narrative set in the Napoleonic Wars that follows the adventures of the author of the Book of St John, Lionel Fortescue. This AAR has been in planning for over 1.5 years and during that time I have given it many names. It was at first to be considered the fourth volume of the Book of St John but since it is about the making of the Book of St John it can hardly be included within the book itself without creating a paradox. It is probably best described as an addendum to the Book, added at a later date.

Its other names include:
  • Liber IV: Scribere Libri Sancti Ioannis (Volume 4: The Making of the Book of St John)
  • Fortescue's Tale
  • The Fortescue Knights
but in the end I have chosen the name The Last Knights & the Book of St John.

This is my first attempt at a serious narrative and feedback would be greatly appreciated. This AAR shall be fairly historical and I have performed lengthy research to try to replicate the atmosphere of the situation. The history itself has made such things relatively smooth however this AAR will most likely have historical faults and/or artistic license. Nonetheless I hope you enjoy.
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
Prologue

The legend began in 1066 when the great battle was fought over England. Whilst this battle is famous for its impact on English history, it is a far less known action with which we are interested here. In the height of the battle, the Norman Duke fell from his horse and was charged by a Saxon warrior. Momentarily stunned, the Duke could only watch as his battle-axe swung from aloft. Suddenly a shield appeared in front of the Duke, wielded by a man named Richard from the Cotentin. The axe landed on the shield and together Richard and the Duke were able to fight off their assailant and go on the win the day.

After the battle, the Duke commended Richard and nicknamed him ‘le Fort Escu’ meaning ‘the strong shield’. He was knighted and given a coat of arms and a parcel of land for his personal service towards the Duke, who went on to become the King of England. Richard returned to France but his family later split into two groups, one in Devonshire, England and one in Normandy, France, both of whom would remain loyal servants and important nobles to the Norman Kings and their descendants for the centuries to follow.

Shield.gif

The Fortescue Coat of Arms​

The British branch of the family is far better documented and celebrated than the French. The British Fortescues first became involved with the Knights of St John in 1189 when Sir Nicholas Fortescue followed Richard I on the Third Crusade. Another member of the family, John Fortescue was appointed Lord Chancellor of England during Henry VI’s exile. Later, during the reign of Henry VIII, another Knight of St John, Adrian Fortescue was charged with treason during the Reformation, died a martyr and was later beatified. The Fortescues pop up continually through British history appearing at Bannockburn, Agincourt and traded allegiances during the Civil War. During the 18th century, the British Fortescues were granted a barony in Devonshire which in 1789 was elevated to Earldom, a position they continue to hold to this day.

Little is known of the French branch. It is said that before the invasion of England they were lords over a region between Coutances, St Lo and Carentin. A Knight named Jehan Fortescu helped form an English supply convoy headed for Siege of Orleans in 1429. Other than that little is known. It is assumed that they held their noble position in Normandy, as barons, and by the time of the French Revolution were residing in Valognes, which had become a hub for Norman nobles.

Given the origins of the Fortescue family in Normandy, it is therefore quite appropriate that our tale begins in one of the regions that the Normans conquered; an island captured from the Saracens during their height of the 12th century, Malta.


[Author's tidbit: As a matter of fact, the name Fortescue was chosen for this tale before I knew anything about the family. It was named after the Fortescue Metals Group, an Australian mining company who had, during 2008, seen such great growth that its CEO had become the nation's richest man. It is just coincidence that the name Fortescue was not only linked to such an illustrious family but also one that was involved with the Knights of St John.]
 
Apr 9, 2007
516
0
www.last.fm
Thumbs up :D
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
Chapter 1

June 8 1798 – Valetta, Malta

Whilst Spain’s declaration of war on England in October 1796 led to the activation of Jervis’ fleet and a struggle for supremacy over the Mediterranean that culminated in the Battle of St Vincent, the island which held the strategic position in the middle of the great sea did not care a less. In fact in Malta the biggest news was the opening of the new Bibliotheca building. The library had held archives of the Knights of St John since the 16th Century but it was only now that the institution received the premises that it deserved, a position in the heart of the island, between the palace and the cathedral no less. The great heritage of the Knights would be safe so long as the library stood.

These were the thoughts that dominated the librarian’s mind as he strolled through the aisles of books performing his final round before closing for the night. It had been nearly two years now since the opening of the library but she still showed the gleam of newness about her even if the novelty had worn off on her patrons. The building was now seemingly empty which permitted the librarian to whistle as he returned to last of books to the correct shelves. His last book belonged in the archive section and as the librarian made his way towards it he remembered the knight who had asked for privacy in the archive before noon. He had not seen him leave and assumed he was still working and this assumption was made apparent a moment later when he turned the corner to see the knight indeed still sitting at his desk.

library1.jpg

The librarian neatly returned the final book before approaching the knight to remind him of closing time. He was about to open his mouth when he noticed the knight’s head was rolled back with his eyes shut and mouth gaping. He has dozed off. The librarian decided to take the opportunity to glance at the knight’s work before waking him. It was unusual of a knight to request privacy in the archives. Across the desk were sprawled several books each one opened to a specific page. One book was an account of the foundation of the Knights of St John as a hospital in Jerusalem in 1099. Another book described the fall of Acre and the Knights retreat to Cyprus. Yet another book reported on the 1522 Siege of Rhodes. Whilst the book closest to the knight was open to a description of Turkish siege on Malta in 1565. Without a doubt these were all of the Knights’ most historic events, realised the librarian, but what would a knight be doing attempting to research these well known tales? Finally the librarian took a glance at the piece of paper upon which the knight’s hand with quill had come to a rest. He could not read the hand writing very well nor make out many complete sentences due to the position of the hand but there was one section that he could read clearly.

“The Knights of old were strong and bold
But now we merely wilt
Let’s reassess our progress
And rescue what we’ve built”

A startling four lines indeed that at once both explained everything that the knight endeavoured and nothing. It was a dangerous path to write such critical words of the Knights, if any regular Maltese had said that they wilt they would sure be re-educated. However this here was a knight himself writing harshly of his own fold. Perhaps he was one who had endured punishment for some bad deed and this was his retribution or release. But then why would he advocate a reassessment; clearly this knight was not totally on the outer. The librarian realised he had himself endeavoured too much already into the knight’s affairs, it was clearly neither for his eyes to see nor his mind to comprehend. He decided to wake the knight.

“Sir” he shrugged the knight’s shoulder.

“Hmmph. What? What happened?” responded the dazed knight.

“Sir, it is after 8 o’clock, the library is closing.”

It took a moment longer for the knight to comprehend that sentence but when he did he sprung into activity. He reached for the paper in front of him and began folding it up and placing it in his pocket. The librarian decided to help by gathering up the books to return them.

“No. Please can you keep them aside til the morrow. I am not finished with them yet.” Said the knight.

The librarian nodded and instead took them away and placed them in a drawer. When he returned the knight was already preparing to leave having already lit his lantern and made his way to the door.

“I’ll see you on the morrow then.” Said the librarian as he opened the door.

library2s.jpg

The knight stepped out to the street and the door shut behind him. He took a couple of steps forth to the street before assessing the environment. The diming light gave need for his lantern as it shrouded the street with darkness. The street was unusually dark and quiet for a June evening, it appeared as though many citizens were already in bed with little light emitting from the society that framed the street. The darkness was accentuated by the layer of cloud which coated the sky and blocked out the moon. However with such cloud usually comes the onshore sea breezes but from what he could feel, it was as still as a corpse. Perhaps it was the wall of buildings which was blocking the breeze but nonetheless the knight felt it somewhat eerie. He began walking down the street and was comforted by the fact that at least the temperature was still mild. He had contemplated taking out a coat but as so often is the case in Malta in mid-summer it can remain balmy all night, as was the case here. He reached the end of the block and the corner of a street which opened itself to the northwest. It was not a moment too soon that the knight remembered that the freshest sea breezes come from the northwest at this time of year and he was unable to prepare himself when the first gust hit him. Immediately the wind extinguished his lantern and left the knight standing dejectedly in the dark.

Alas if only that was the only thing coming from the northwest that night...
 
Last edited:

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Looking good.
Shall we receive any info about the society of the Knights?
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
Looking good.
Shall we receive any info about the society of the Knights?

Well what would you like to know? There's about 300 of them living on Malta in this period and they rule over the Maltese. About two thirds of them are French but there are also Germans, Italians, Spanish, Portuguese and a few others. They are ruled by a Grandmaster with support of his Sovereign Council of 6 members who form the Government. Most knights are of noble birth.

That should be sufficient for the story. If you want to know anything else just ask
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
So there a maybe a thousand knights ruling over maybe half million of helots?
Do the knights accept also some of their own citizens into the knighthood.
Say a rich merchant wants to buy himself a better position in the society?
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
So there a maybe a thousand knights ruling over maybe half million of helots?

I'm not sure how there relationship was. I think at times the Maltese leaders were in conflict with the Knights, especially in the later years as the Knights were looking more antiquated. However there was only about 112,000 Maltese at this time.

Do the knights accept also some of their own citizens into the knighthood.
Say a rich merchant wants to buy himself a better position in the society?

There was a complex class system. I think only nobles could obtain the rank of Knight (of which there were several types) but non-nobles could obtain lower roles like Chaplians, Sergeants-at-Arms and Donats. However I'm not sure whether any Maltese actually joined. The Knights were split into 8 'tongues' or regional divisions: Provence, France, Aragon, England, Castile, Italy and Germany and all members would belong to one of them. I would assume Malta would come under the Italian tongue but I've never heard of a knight coming from Malta.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Ups, I forgot that this was not a continuation of your previous Knight AAR. :(
 

comagoosie

Perennial Dreamer
53 Badges
Apr 14, 2007
8.756
23
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Rise of Prussia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
The French are coming, the French are coming!

1 latern by land.
2 laterns by sea.
0 laterns the French are coming :p
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
Now after 3 assignments and a test this week I have time to consider this again (I picked the worst week to begin an AAR). My workload should ease now for a couple of months so I should be able to put more regular effort into this. So let's get it underway...

Ups, I forgot that this was not a continuation of your previous Knight AAR. :(

Lol. I was wondering where those questions were coming from. Yes this is not a continuation, this AAR is set in the real world of 1798.


The French are coming, the French are coming!

1 latern by land.
2 laterns by sea.
0 laterns the French are coming :p


Aww you gave it away :(. I had to look up that reference to the American Revolution, we learn little of such history in this country. However the Americans knew an invasion was imminent, the Knights do not have such luxury.
 

comagoosie

Perennial Dreamer
53 Badges
Apr 14, 2007
8.756
23
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Rise of Prussia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 200k Club
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
Aww you gave it away :(. I had to look up that reference to the American Revolution, we learn little of such history in this country. However the Americans knew an invasion was imminent, the Knights do not have such luxury.
You think you learn very little history? Here, history is a choice and if high schoolers had a choice, do you think they would take history? I have beautiful brunette friends who don't know who won the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, and can't locate Iraq on a map, but they are musically talented :p

I cried when she told me that and cried again once she played the piano. :D

I'm not sure what I am rambling on about. Something or another.
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
valetta.jpg

Chapter 2

June 9, 1798 – Valletta, Malta


It was a splendid June morning in city of Valletta and the Knights of St John were performing their morning prayers seemingly oblivious of the state of Europe and the imposing threat that would soon be realised on their 230 year possession of the island of Malta. Of course the threat was well known, Napoleon had announced his intentions to seize the island some two months previous but the Knights had done little in the form of preparations believing their impenetrability of previous centuries was still existent and that their immunity would endure. However the truth was that the knights were aged and their defences were decrepit, not to mention the completely sheltered view on the world epitomised by the Grandmaster. He had received personal notice of the French plans for invasion but not only had he disregarded any threat but he did not even consider it credible enough to share with the rest of the Knights. As a result, the Knights were as prepared as a medieval relic, in fact in many ways that description summed up the Knights. They were a backwards culture reminiscent of the past, however not all was lost. There was one man who realised their plight and recognised that reforms were necessary to survive, unfortunately though this was not the Grandmaster.

-----

The sunshine of that June morning shone down upon the city like a beam of warmth from the heavens. That city being a most holy place, it was like the Lord himself was warming his minions in Valletta like a hen to its egg. The sunshine, although universal, appeared to be focussed on the cathedral in the centre of town. But where else would the Lord’s rays be focused upon but the place of worship? Then again, it was the most central and highest of places in the city which made it the focal point of a great many things.

The light shone upon the cathedral and struck the painted glass before pouring out upon the ground below. The pretty colours displayed not only man’s ability to manipulate these heavenly lights into a spectacular display but also of the heaven as a place of glory since, even though these heavenly beams were but a fraction of heaven’s glory, the beauty created through the painted glass was both marvellous and well appreciated.

On this particular morning as the sun shone down through one of the highest of the painted windows, the resulting circle of light landed upon a single man. This man was completely unaware of this astronomical alignment, and rightly so for it is not of any significance other than it illuminates and introduces the first character of this chapter unto us.

stjohnscocathedral2smal.jpg

“Amen” concluded Francois de Montebourg as the Father closed the benediction. As he rose from his prayers off his knees he noticed the back of a familiar balding head in a pew a couple of rows in front that he had not noticed throughout the rest of the service. As the congregation spread, the figure, sitting close to the aisle, was quick to rise and head for the door. Francois nearly tripped on the pew-end as he discretely hurried to catch up to the figure.

“Lionel!” he whispered as the figure approached the door. The figure belonged to Lionel Fortescue, who turned around and smiled at Francois. They approached one another and embraced before either of them spoke again.

“Francois my brother! How have you been?” asked Lionel as they continued to the door.

“Well. The Lord has been kind to me of late” replied Francois. “Where have you been Lionel? I have not seen you all week. We were in need of your wisdom yesterday at the hospital; there was a quarrel between two patients...We try to remain neutral in the continental war and offer no bias to whom we admit as patients but I wish the patients would leave their differences on the mainland.”

The Knights’ Hospital was the most prestigious in the Mediterranean and had been a sight of international renown for centuries. In recent times though, the wards had become full of the richer of the wounded men from the Revolutionary Wars. The Knights maintained their neutrality by not discriminating between their admittances however they tended to care more for the Coalition than the French.

“What happened?”

“One of the English patients complained that the French patients receive more of the soup than him. Then one of the Frenchmen responded and before we knew it they were at each others’ throats. We could have really used you.”

“Oh dear. I’ll come down with you now if you like and make sure everything is alright.” Answered Lionel

“Sure” said Francois. The pair headed down the hill towards to hospital. “So where have you been?”

“Francois, my brother, I finally started my treatise. I was down at the library all yesterday and was finally able to put quill to paper.”

“Is this this book you’ve been planning about the history of the Knights? That’s good to hear.”

“Well it is, but reading our history has shown me just how much I long for the old days of the Knights. Back when we were a powerful force full of heroes and bravery, not just theologians and surgeons.” After seeing the expression on Francois’ face upon that final word he added “No offence.”

“Did you know that during the Battle of Lepanto the commander of the Knights’ fleet was shot by five arrows but still lived long enough to be rescued by the Spaniards.”

“You want to be shot five times? Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. What I’m saying is that we need to do something to adapt to the changing world. The time has passed for crusading Knights but I don’t think that the knight itself needs to die off. Hence my book shall be on ways in which we can reform to better suit ourselves to this new world.”

“Sounds contentious. I await your conclusion of this book then so I can see the Grandmaster’s face when he reads it.”
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Adopt democracy and Codex Napoleon?
Or you'll have to wait a few years for the latter one. :p

In my school we have to study some history, so everyone in Finland ought to have some knowledge about history.
Although I can say that I have never learned anything from the history lessons in our school. Unless it's some crazy stuff like the prices of squirrel furs and the number how many witches were burned in Scandinavia in the 17th century or about the random ramblings of the Buntschuh rebellion.
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
the number how many witches were burned in Scandinavia in the 17th century

Now that sounds like exciting history! At school there was this elective subject I was lucky to choose called Warfare through the Ages, it was my favourite subject throughout all of school. The teacher brought in his home-made chain mail and we had our own swordfights etc.

Anyway on with the show...


Chapter 2 cont.

By now the pair was approaching the harbour where they noticed a small crowd of people had gathered. Intrigued by the commotion, Lionel and Francois moved towards the crowd before noticing Balthazar the Almain, a Sergeant-at-Arms, amongst the group. He was so called because he was the only German Knight on Malta aside from the Grandmaster. Most Germans preferred to join the Teutonic Knights instead.

“Good morning Sergeant. What’s all the commotion about?” queried Francois.

“Sir, it seems as though a French fleets is wanting to enter the harbours” said Balthazar pointing to the array of sails on the horizon. Despite the years he had never mastered the Italian Language, being instead complacent enough with being generally comprehensible; in particular he had never learnt the correct use of plurals. The two Knights looked out towards the horizon and in the same way that stars seem to make themselves more abundant the longer you look, so did the French ships.

“We best tell the Grandmaster!” exclaimed Lionel as he motioned Francois to turn around.

“Nevermind sir, I’ve already sent a mans” said Balthazar.

The three men stood there amongst the crowd silently for a moment trying to take in what they were seeing. Why would the French fleet come to Malta, a neutral port? Could it be the prelude to an invasion? It seemed unthinkable but they had all heard stories of Napoleon’s callousness.

“You two are both Frenchs are you not Sirs?” Balthazar broke the silence upon realising the connection.

“Well...” said Francois with a sigh as he looked at Lionel to do the honours.

“We were once” continued Lionel. “But the land in which we were born and bred is no longer. We have not been back there for over ten years and cannot go back now. Malta is our home.”

That was all Balthazar needed to know, he had enough wits about him to fill in the gaps. It was a difficult subject for both Lionel and Francois and they tried hard to block out their sorrowful pasts. They both came from Valognes in Normandy where their families lived as part of an enclave of nobility. The Bourbons had always treated their families well and life was peaceful. By the time the revolution came they had both joined the Knights and moved to Malta. The peasantry rose up and sought out all the nobles in Valognes. What happened to their families, they do not know but were forced to assume the worst.

Lionel thought about his closing words. In light of what his eyes were seeing it begged the question, for how long?

maltaharbour.jpg

Suddenly from behind the three men came rolling the distinctive strut of the big Austrian Stefan von Schwarzenberg. His gait alone was enough to define him as coming from a princely family but beyond that he was also blessed with a physically imposing frame and a face that would require no embellishment if ever somebody was to paint him.

“What be this?” He asked coldly.
“A French fleets sir! A dozens of ships. Are they expected?” asked Balthazar. Stefan was on the Sovereign Council a had a good chance of knowing what was going on.

“Most certainly not. I’ll have to inform the Grandmaster and the rest of the Council.”

“I’ve already sent a mans to the palace. Sir.”

“What do you make of this?” asked Lionel of Stefan, who was standing motionless except for a slight wincing of his eyes.

“I wish I knew. But it doesn’t look good does it. I can see only three reasons why such a fleet would come into a neutral port. One, if they had recently been heavily damaged either through battle or by a storm, which doesn’t seem too likely in this weather. Two, they have run out of food or water, which seems improbably for a fleet of that size and professionalism. Or three, they intend to invade.”

“Well I hope that the British and French fleets have just fought a major battle and that these are the defeated seeking refuge and assistance.” Said Francois barely hiding his joy at the possibility of a Republican defeat. “Not that we condone any such things but for our own sakes it’s better to have to heal a wounded soul than have to fight off an invasion.”

“Indeed. But I somehow don’t think that this fleet looks too damaged.” Responded Lionel.

“Oh well, there’s not a lot we can do at the moment. The council will have to meet and we will hear what the French want and then decide on a course of action.” Stated Stefan. “Until then I suppose we can only go about our business as usual. I had better return to the palace.” With that Stefan strode away as nonchalantly as he had appeared.

“I’ll come too” said Balthazar and he hurried off behind him leaving Lionel and Francois alone to gaze out to sea.

“Come on Lionel, let’s continue to the hospital. If word gets out that a French fleet has arrived another fight could break out.” Said Francois

“How do you propose we go about business as usual with THAT sitting out there and our doom quite possibly within sight?” Lionel was visibly distressed.

“We must be brave Lionel, like our saviour. Remember Jesus saw his fate well in advance but still approached it with dignity and grace. Perhaps this is god’s test for us now, to see how we react.”

“You speak as though our fate is sealed Francois.” Lionel was somewhat offended.

“Far from it. I only say that despite the circumstances we need to keep the faith.”

“Alas your right my brother. I’m sorry, it’s just this has all come as such a shock. Come on then. Whilst the ships appeared on the seas like the stars do in the sky, like the stars, watching them will bring us no closer to seeing our future.”
 
Last edited:

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
58 Badges
Oct 17, 2007
23.941
1.814
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Iron Cross
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • East India Company Collection
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
Rhodes?
You mean Malta´?

There is always hope. And then there is always a superior enemy. :p
 

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology

The Swert

Yours Swertically
17 Badges
Jan 28, 2007
1.605
17
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Cities: Skylines
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
Enewald and comagoosie, my loyal fans. Where art the rest of me lovely commentators? Come forth oh lovelies and thee shalt be rewarded with praise.


Chapter 3

June 10, 1798 – Valletta, Malta

Francois sat impatiently in the courtyard of the Grandmaster’s Palace. Inside, the Sovereign Council was discussing the Knights’ course of action towards the French. General Napoleon had requested being allowed into port to resupply but this guise of cordiality was highly transparent. The Knights could see that as soon as his ships were allowed to enter the troops would pour out like at Ancient Troy. However, although the Knights agreed on that point, that was about the end of their unanimity. It was a long held tradition in the Knights that they would not fight other Christians and in their 800 year history they had held this tradition with little controversy. However for the first time in their existence it was a Christian force which was coming to invade, which left the Knights divided. Adding to that, about two thirds of the Knights on the island were French themselves and if fighting against a Christian was not enough to make them objectionable then fighting against their fellow countrymen would.

Francois was in the courtyard with several other anxious Knights awaiting a decision. Such was the importance of the decision that the Council had called in all the Knights of Justice to hear their opinions, which included Lionel. The Knights had a strict class system. Knights Grand Cross were at the top and were usual Knights of Justices who had obtained the highest offices in the Order; Stefan was a Knight Grand Cross. Knights of Justice were next in the spectrum and were required to make religious vows and had to have a proof of noblity. The lowest knights were the Knights of Grace; they needed no noble proofs and were accepted through the Grandmaster’s grace.

Francois was jealous of Lionel now as he often was. They had grown up together in Normandy, born just a year apart, and yet Lionel qualified for Knight of Justice whereas Francois, who was unable to fulfill the nobility requirements, was only a Knight of Grace. The difference being that Lionel was from a family Barons, held a coat of arms and had blue blood on both sides of the family whereas Francois’ family members were only Seigneurs (lords). This meant that regardless of years of service to the Order, Francois would be limited in his class of knighthood whilst Lionel had the capacity to rise all the way to Grandmaster. It also meant Lionel could attend this important meeting whilst Francois had to wait outside.

palace2t.jpg

Forward came a man of whom Francois was anything but jealous. Balthazar had intended to join the Knights but his whole character was fraught with complacency. He was complacent in his learning of Italian, complacent in his beliefs and in his work. He was refused a knighthood on these grounds and instead was offered a spot as a mere Sergeant-at-Arms. However, having come to acceptance of role as a sergeant, he had done reasonably well for himself and enjoyed his role within the Knights even if he were not the proper knight he had hoped to be. His lack of resentment or regret further reinforced his complacency. He was a carefree kind of guy who was usually quite easy to please. Despite this he was a likeable character and was respected as a sergeant.

Balthazar criss-crossed the courtyard bright-eyed like an overexcited puppy before realizing Francois seated under the gallery.

“Any news yet?” asked Balthazar

“Not yet. You look nervous. Sit down”

“It’s not nerves it’s excitement. I can’t believe we’re going to fight the French.”

“Now we don’t know that yet. And even if we were it’s not something to look forward to.”

“I’ve spent seven years on this island. In that time we’ve trained our mans and modeled ourselves on the best fighters of the continent and now those mans themself are coming to test our skills. It’s like our judgment days”

Francois was about to spurt out how ridiculous that cavalier attitude sounded. The French, if they were to invade would surely greatly outnumber the Knights and it would only be through their defences that they would survive. However before Francois needed to speak, Balthazar did so as if reading his mind.

“Don’t get me wrong, I realise the odds are against us but so they were when Valette fought off the Turks. Nobody has ever succeeded in invading this island and I want to keep it that way. I must keep an air of confidence that our mans be not frightened.”

Francois was more cautious.

“I think things have changed somewhat since the times of Valette. Valette had notice of the impending invasion and was able to prepare, whereas we’ve been caught completely offguard.”

“You wish not to fight then?”

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m for condemning these sinning swine as much as the next guy, but I just fear for the cost. Although I suppose we only need to hold out until the British and Neapolitans come to our aid. I hear there’s a British fleet patrolling these waters with that great admiral Nelson. Surely it will only be a matter of weeks before we’re rescued.”

“Let us not be rescued, let us scare of the French on our own merit and show that the Knights military power is as strong as ever.”

“Perhaps. Even Lionel was saying the other day that we’ve descended into little more than relics. I would be all for showing the world that we’ve still got the prowess to act when we need to. All we need is our grandmaster to lead us to victory and our reputation will be revived.”