• 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

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
Chapter VI: Civil war in catholic France and the Treaty of Limousin

Great commotion was the feeling in Quimper on February 12th 1573. For days now armed men had been gathering in- and outside of the city as Gaston de Bourbon had been gathering his forces. Now they were marching to the fields outside of the city as they prepared to leave. Gaston de Bourbon’s Catholic League had gathered 12,000 armed soldiers, paid for by sympathizing nobles, and started marching for Paris. Charles X had been informed of this by spies in the Catholic League, who were recruited through cardinal Galard’s contacts within the Breton clergy. Not only was the fact that it was no ill-discplined gathering of militia’s but a trained army disturbing, but also the reports of spies that told that Scottish and English mercenaries had been arriving. Charles X had send ambassadors to England and Scotland to demand an explanation for this and the reply was that the kings would try to stop Gaston’s men from recruiting in their lands, but could not guarantee that they could stop that completely.

On the 3rd of March 1573 the army of the Catholic League Le Mans where the Armée du Nord had been waiting for them. 12,000 Leaguers now prepared themselves under the leadership of general Henri de Guise to face off against the Armée du Nord, led by Pascal de Vibien. The Armée du Nord numbered around 20,000 soldiers, a third of them cavalry. de Vibien started hostilities by letting most of his cavalry charge into the League lines, expecting most of them to break formation and run. The formation held however and drove back the cavalry after killing more than half of them. While de Vibien was contemplating his next move as his cavalry was regrouping behind the lines the Scottish mercenaries charged across the field while the English pelted the French lines with arrow fire. As the French rose back from behind their shields, having suffered massive casualties, they had no time to brace themselves for the Scottish charge. In minutes the lines were breaking at several points. League arquebusiers had run next to the Scottish charge and were setting up their guns on the left flank of the Armée du Nord. de Vibien was giving orders from there when he noticed them too late. He is known to have shouted “Retreat! Retreat to Paris!” after which the arquebusiers opened fire, killing the general in the barrage.

That night there was great rejoicing the camp of the Catholic League. Now the road to Paris lay open, only the Armée Royale was standing in their way. But that army had a reputation for defeat and their morale was known to be at an all-time low. For Charles X this defeat was a total disaster. He send messengers to the Occitans, which resulted in the Treaty of Limousin a few days later. There royal and republican representatives signed a truce for five years. France did not recognise the Divine Republic but refrained from conducting military campaigns against them. Furthermore, the Divine Republic had to stop funding protestant preachers which had been noticed in former Burgundy. This treaty gave France the possibility to focus on the Catholic League, while the Divine Republic used it to aid their protestant brethren in northern Spain. Three months after the truce the northern of Spain was in revolt once again.


Having secured their supply lines the Catholic League approached Paris on March the 18th 1573. That night they made their camp outside of Paris while Charles X refused to leave the capital. The Armée Royale had marched into the city but only numbered around 6,000 soldiers. Morale in the Catholic League was soaring high, inside of Paris it was extremely low. That evening a large mass was held in Paris with more than half of the city praying for God to defend the city. Cardinal Galard then rose to preach to the gathered soldiers and people of Paris.

My fellow Christians. Times are grim and God asks all of us to make sacrifices. Outside of our gates stand the armies of Gaston de Bourbon who dares to call himself the leader of the Catholic League. There is nothing Catholic about it for they dare to defy the God given right to rule. The only thing they are in league with is Satan! Before I you all, I now tell that there should be no doubt that this is not a fight among kings. This is a fight between God and Satan, between righteous and all that is evil. It are not soldiers outside our walls, it are demons. And Gaston dares to call himself king of France while he must rely of foreigners, on Bretons, on Flemish, on Normans as the core of his forces. Is that the behaviour of a king of France? NO! This is a test of God, but also a chance. For the Armée Royale this will be the moment where they redeem themselves or suffer the burning fires of hell. For you, people of Paris, this will be your greatest moment or your ultimate demise!

Soldiers of the Armée Royale when the enemy attacks tomorrow, shout out Not a third defeat! People of Paris, use any power you can muster to aid the soldiers and hinder the enemy forces of Satan in their attack on Paris. Paris shall not fall! Let the streets run red with their blood, let the streets become a maze of death for them. Do not let the League of Satan take Paris! Deus Vult!


The gathered masses erupted in loud cheers and when Charles X stood to present himself to the people shouts were raised praising the king. By refusing to leave Paris he made this a last stand and himself a symbol of resistance. Even in the camp of the Catholic League they could hear the shouting inside of Paris but they thought that sympathisers had taken up arms. That idea was reinforced as they noticed that the entire night people were active in the city, carrying torches. On March 19th 1573, at 08:00h the drummers called for the attack on Paris. Through concentrated fire they managed to shoot open one of the city gates and after an hour the Catholic League managed to fight themselves into Paris.


But after they had grouped inside of the streets, they were pelted by everything the people of Paris could gather. They also found many streets blocked by barricades behind which soldiers held the line. When the Catholic League tried to attack the barricades, they were countered by a charge of units of the Armée Royale shouting “Not a third!”, cheered by the people of Paris. At noon the Catholic League had only taken a small part of the city but, despite their superior numbers and equipment, wasn’t’ able to advance. When Gaston de Bourbon himself arrived on the battle, hoping to break the enemy morale by his presence, he reached the opposite of his goal. The Catholic League had to put up a great effort as the Armée Royale charged towards him and a soldier even managed to reach him but was cut down only a meter away. When Charles X appeared in full battle regalia on the barricades the soldiers and people of Paris cheered him on. Night fell and the Battle of the Barricades paused. In the morning scouts came to Gaston telling him than another army was approaching, the Armée de Flandres and they guessed they would arrive in the late noon. This news also spread in Paris where Charles X was ready to play his trump card. He climbed the barricades and spoke so that the Catholic League could also hear them.

Frenchmen, catholics. Why all this bloodshed? Why are devout catholics fighting one another when Satan himself has descended upon southern France? Why are fathers and son taken away from their families and why are women crying in the streets over the losses? I will tell you why. Because of the selfish goals of one man, Gaston de Bourbon! But you there, soldiers of the Catholic League. You believe that you follow the true king of France. Well, let me show you something that he cannot present!

Charles X was brought a chest from which he took a red standard. Silence fell over the barricades and gasps of surprise could be heard as Charles X hoisted a standard that had been made in the greatest secret while the Catholic League had approached.

Do you not recognise it? Do you not recognise the banner of Saint-Denis, patron saint of France? Frenchmen, the Oriflamme calls you to stand up and fight Satan’s armies!

Loud cheers erupted among the royal barricades as morale in Catholic League broke down. Several unites of the League began retreating from Paris, seeing this as a sign of God. Charles X then led a charge of the Armée Royale on the enemy lines, leading on foot and in front of the army. While the Catholic League tried their best to stop the charge and their own men from retreating, the people of Paris joined in the onslaught. From outside of the city Gaston de Bourbon could see his men fleeing and when he stopped some and demanded to know what was going on, they only shouted “It is the oriflamme of death!” after which they continued their rout. Gaston de Bourbon regrouped his forces as best as he could outside of the city and managed to retreat with his remaining 7,000 men in an orderly fashion, just in time as the Armée de Flandres arrived an hour later. In Paris the Armée Royale and the soldiers were cheering Charles X. The army had regained their honour and the king had shown that he was the embodiment of French courage.



The Oriflamme of which Charles X had a replica made in secret

Charles X however had been wounded during the battle and while speaking to the people of Paris he collapsed. Before he could be carried to his bed he died, his body carried by noblemen through the streets of Paris. To make sure Gaston de Bourbon wouldn’t profit from this, cardinal Galard send for his son, Philippe, and had him raised on the shoulders of soldiers and the people, proclaiming him king Philippe III and strengthening his legitimacy by this show of popular consent. Charles X was buried two days later, the oriflamme clutched in his hands, he would be the last king to lead the oriflamme into battle, but had also brought back honour to the old standard. Nobles from all of France quickly came to Paris, upon hearing of the battle and the death of Charles X and, through an initiative of cardinal Galard, formed the Loyalist League. This would be a league of noblemen and also commoners who would gather money and supplies in order to aid the royal army in their fight against the Catholic League. Gaston de Bourbon’s bet had had the opposite effect. Instead of taking over the throne he had now given the royal power legitimacy and had split France in two leagues.

The rest of the year saw a complete anarchy in France in the areas outside of the reach of Paris. Nobles fought eachother, divided between the Catholic League and the Loyalist League. Philippe III announced that he would show his forgiveness and said he would negotiate with Gaston de Bourbon. These negotiations went very slow and booked no result, but de Bourbon could not just refuse as the news had spread of the popular consent when Philippe III was proclaimed king. The death of Charles X, carrying the oriflamme in to battle, had also greatly discredited him as many Frenchmen considered him a king killer. Spain, that had paid for a large part of Gaston de Bourbon’s army, also began backing down from supporting the Catholic League. This deprived the Catholic League of Spanish diplomatic backing and of important funding and slowly they began disintegrating.
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.877
599
Gaston is doomed. He was so close to victory that his fall is even sadder.

Bad luck, mate!
 

merrick

Lt. General
38 Badges
Jul 1, 2003
1.533
0
Visit site
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • 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: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Just got caught up with this - great stuff! Revolution, revolt, foreign intervention, France in near-anarchy but still simultaneously managing to take over Burgundy, scheming cardinals vs Protestant republicans - real 16th-century flavour. But what happens to the Republic once Gaston falls and the Catholics are once againunited under the Crown?
 

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
Chapter VII: Protestant consolidation and catholic confrontation

What many had expected came late February 1574. Having consolidated their gains in the north Brabant now descended upon Flanders. The religious zeal of the well-disciplined and –supplied Brabantian soldiers made short work of the Flemish defences. On the 20th of March 1574 the Flemish army consisting of 8,000 soldiers was crushed by the much larger and better Brabantian army of 21,000. By the 2nd of April 1574 the entire Low Lands were in the hands of Brabant. Instead of uniting the Low Lands on the base of anti-catholicism Brabantian rulers chose to enforce the reformed faith on their subjects. Catholics were given the choice to convert or be expelled. A harsh measure with little domestic consequences since hardly any people in the Low Lands were still catholic. In Flanders protestant churches were seized and reformed preachers flooded the Flemish lands in the wake of the Brabantian soldiers.

Then in May 1574 the Estates General of all conquered areas and Brabant were summoned to Mechelen. There they discussed the forming of the new state, defining righs and duties of its subjects and how the army should be raised. Brabant was by far the dominating power in these discussions and at a time when representatives from Flanders threatened to walk out, the Brabantian representatives had soldiers block the doorways. These kind of things showed that the Brabantian proposals were the only that mattered and that it was Brabant who decided on which proposal was considered interesting or not. June 5th saw the United Proclamation of the Netherlands. With Brabant as its core the Netherlands would be a strongly centralised reformed republic which relied on an efficiently run administration. Needless to say that the administration would be dominated by Brabantians. Other than excepted the republic did not leave the Holy Roman Empire. This would greatly strengthen the anti-emperor coalition that was being formed by the protestant and reformed states in the Empire. A few days after this meeting the Treaty of Breda was signed wherein the Netherlands and the Divine Republic signed a defensive alliance and allowed each others troops passage through their lands. They also both guaranteed the independence of Switzerland and signed trade agreements. Out of fear to lose their trade privileges the kingdom of Naples then recognised the independence of the Divine Republic. King Philippe III of France now seemed surrounded. In the south lay the Divine Republic which was clearly building up its power, their fleet was being constructed by expert Dutch seamen. In the north now lay a zealous state with a highly trained and experienced army. Reports also came in showing contacts between Flemish nobles in Calais and the Netherlands.



The United Netherlands, a zealous reformed state north of France

As if God himself was turning on the catholics, pope Pius V died a week after the Treaty of Breda. Cardinals went into the famous conclave of 1574. Two factions were clearly trying to impose their candidate on the conclave; the French and the Spanish faction. During the conclave four cardinals died from poisoning and when neutral cardinals threatened to end the conclave the intrigue spilled into the streets. At a certain moment the Spanish decided to send 1,500 troops by ships to Rome to threaten the cardinals into submission. When the French heard this, they send out their fleet to block the Spanish ships and managed to do so only hours before the Spanish soldiers would have disembarked. A French representative, that had been send with the ships, carried a message to Rome explaining what had happened and that the French king, despite the internal problems, still had the power and men to strike his enemies wherever they went. At the same time the 1,000 French soldiers who arrived shortly after the warships disembarked and began seizing the coastal towns. The cardinals caved in and cardinal Galard was elected pope Benedictus XIV on 12 August 1574. This greatly strengthened French royal power and less than a week after the election a papal bull was written wherein the Catholic League was severely condemned and ordered to disband and pledge allegiance to Philippe III.



Cardinal Galard, elected pope Benedictus XIV with cardinal de Vaudrey,
who would soon after succeed him as Chief Prime Minister of the King of France

On the 25th August 1574 the French Armée du Nord and the Catholic League met at Caux. General de Vibien, leader of the Armée du Nord, crushed the Catholic League, whose numbers were already thinned out and now mostly composed of nobles seeking decentralisation. An hour after the battle a messenger arrived carrying a copy of a new papal bull in which members of the Catholic League who refused to pledge loyalty to the king were considered to be excommunicated. de Vibien had the bull read out the Leaguers taken prisoners who en masse pledged loyalty to the king, after which they were send back home. The 24 captured nobles were told they would be send to Paris so they could personally kneel before the king. During the march to Paris, while making camp for the night, drunk soldiers were the subject of agitation by zealous catholic priests. Hundred soldiers grabbed their arms, stormed into the tents where the rebellious nobles were held and killed them all. Their bodies were mutilated and thrown naked into nearby ditches. de Vibien, when he learned of the killing that was going on, didn’t intervene. To Philippe III he said he could not find out which soldiers had committed the murders and the king didn’t order an investigation. During the battle Gaston de Bourbon only barely managed to escape and the combination of having high ranking nobles killed and the papal bull ment the destruction of the Catholic League. With French troops on his heels Gaston de Bourbon fled through Bretagne and eventually boarded a Spanish ship and set sail for Galicia. Former rebellious nobles such as de Guise came to Paris in October 1574 where they submitted before the king by prostrating themselves before the king. They also agreed on calling the Estates General in March 1575 to discuss the policy that now would have to be followed. Catholic France had been reunited but there still remained the matter of the Catholic League armies which still numbered 10,000 in total. And outside of France the protestants and reformed were planning to strike.
 

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
Chapter VIII: Catholic unification

Philippe III appointed cardinal de Vaudrey to Chief Minister of the king of France in January 1575. He had been a close associate to cardinal Galard, now pope Benedict XIV. Through negotiations with cardinal de Vaudrey with the remaining leaders of the Catholic League the Armée Catholoque was founded. It would be led by de Guise but would be an army of the French king and no longer of the Catholic League. On the 14th of March 1575 the Catholic League was disbanded, followed shortly by the Loyalist League. The new pope used his powers to influence Spain into finally stopping with their support to any uprising against the French king. Benedictus XIV and Philippe III demanded that Spain would get rid of Gaston de Bourbon. Spanish king Felipé II first wanted him to place him in a monastery but thought he might be murdered there by French agents. In the end of March 1575 he was put on a Spanish ship containing an expedition to the New World where Spain had gained a foothold. Gaston de Bourbon would eventually conquer large parts of Mexico for the Spanish crown and rule it as Viceroy of New Spain. Negotiations between France and Spain resulted in the alliance of Rome of 20 March 1575 wherein was stipulated that Spain and France would cooperate in their actions against protestants and reformists.



Cardinal de Vaudrey, the new Chief Minister of the King of France

Realising the danger of a united France and Spain the Netherlands decided to act. On the 27th March 1575 northern France was invaded by their army and Calais fell in a day as the city gates were opened. 9,000 German mercenaries had strengthened the 40,000 strong Statenleger as they began spreading through Picardie and Caux and splitting up in several armies. Philipe III didn’t panic. The Armée Royale, now numbering 20,000 soldiers was in the Paris garrisons, the Armée du Nord was on its way to meet up with them and the Armée Catholique was being equipped and trained. On the 30th of April 1575 the French counterattacked. The Leger van Calvijn, numbering 10,000 soldiers, was crushed and completely destroyed by the Armée Royale in Picardie. Fearing for their rear guard, the Eerste Leger retreated from Caux but were intercepted by the Armée Royale and they too were routed. Captured soldiers were clad In chains and paraded through Paris, only wearing rags. Most of them would die in French captivity as they were used as free manpower for extending fortifications in Burgundy. Despite the treaty of Rome Spain was reluctant to send aid to France. They had only recently defeated the rebels in the north and held no great love for France. This changed when pope Benedict XIV threatened with placing Spain under interdict. When the Armée du Nord closed in on Calais the Spanish Armada had destroyed the fleet of the Netherlands in the Channel and began a blockade of Calais.

The Netherland send their German mercenaries and the regrouped Statenleger to break the siege but they were met by the Armée Catholoque. On the 21th April 1575 the zealots from the Armée Catholique and the Statenleger met and the battle ended undecided on the first day, with both sides returning to their camp. During the night an argument broke out among the Statenleger with the German mercenaries, resulting in the departure of the Germans. When the armies reformed on the battlefield the next day the Statenleger had lost 7,000 German men because of the German departure. During the morning Scottish and English mercenaries, now fighting for the king of France, arrived and took positions behind the Statenleger. Despite a heroic resistance the Statenleger was crushed and Calais was stormed and retaken by France on the 7th of June 1575. The French armies now marched into the southern Netherlands while Spain landed troops in the north. Spanish ships ruled the seas around the Netherlands and were strangling the economy. While France laid siege to the main cities of the southern Netherlands they let loose their English and Scottish mercenaries who pillaged the lands. The Estates General of the Netherlands gathered in Utrecht and, despite the Brantian will to continue the war, decided to sue for peace. Negotiations began and on the 14th of December 1575 the Peace of Calais was signed. Calais came back into French hands and Artois too was annexed. The damage inflicted on the Netherlands was huge as mercenaries had been let loose on a deliberate campaign of terror and pillaging.


France has secured its nothern border. But shall the unity last?

The Divine Republic stayed out of this war to the surprise of many. On the one side they respected the Treaty of Limousin, but more importantly, their relations with the Netherlands had quickly deteriorated. The reformed Netherlands had prosecuted the protestant with a religious vigor, with many of them finding refuge in the Divine Republic.
 

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
Chapter IX: The Estates General of 1575

Normally the Estates General had to meet in March 1575, but this was called off since tensions among the border with the Netherlands had already been building up. The date was reset to 20 February 1565 where Philippe III would have a very strong position. Two weeks before the meeting pope Benedictus XIV wrote a papal bull wherein he called for a Second Albigensian Crusade. When the Estates General met, the clergy immediately demanded the destruction of the Treaty of Limousin. The king profited from a huge prestige boost after the destruction of the reformed armies in the north and the disbanding of the Catholic League. Nobles who tried to talk of a more peaceful approach to the Divine Republic where asked if they sought a “third defeat” (referring to the Armée Royale) or if they had forgotten the sacrifice of Charles X to unify France. Philippe III told the gathered Estates that he too wanted to defend the catholic faith but that the French state lacked the money. When he asked for an extra tax levied to finance a campaign many nobles refused. The king did not back down and added to the extra tax the passing of a so called "Militia Act" wherein the king would have full command of all men raised for war, no matter by which noble they were raised. In return he would allow the church to levy extra church taxes, broadening his religious support. Emotions ran high as the nobility called the gathered clergy the bootlikkers of the king, which prompted a reaction from a bishop calling the nobility Huguenots in disguise. The 23rd of February even saw two bishops and a cardinal actually fighting with two rebellious nobles in the hallways of the building where the Estates were held. Philippe III, being a man skilled in the art of intrigue as his father was and realising the potential of his popularity among the commoners, let the situation deteriorate on purpose. When the nobles who refused an extra tax gained a majority the Estates were halted for three days. During that time Philippe III send his agents into Parisian bars to stir up the population.



The gathered Estates General saw emotions running very high at times

When on the 27th of February 1576 d’Orléans and d’Artois, together with their escort, went back to the Estates General they experienced a hostile attitude from the Parisians. From all streets they were called at, being called traitors and Huguenots in disguise. After they had arrived and talked with other nobles, they found out that many of them had experienced the same. During the gathering of the Estates a great rumour began outside of the building. When nobles went to see, the king remained on his throne, visibly not surprised, they saw a great crowd gathering. Soldiers that rushed to the entrance of the building didn’t managed to keep them all out and soon the courtyard was filled by people shouting at the nobles who had gathered at the windows. Some even threw stones. When a noble opened a window and shouted to ask what the people wanted he was replied by “We wish to speak to the king!”. The Estates didn’t know how to react and the soldiers, who were now coming from the garrison of Paris, only barely managed to drive the people slowly from the courtyard and outside. The noise didn’t die down however and a larger crowd grew outside the building. Philippe III then spoke:

Gentlemen, it seems we have a crisis on our hands. I do not know who, but my agents have informed me that some of here gathered seem to have talked in the bars about what we have been speaking about. Of course the people are furious for they now know how you refuse to give our nation only a small piece of your worldly possessions so we can fight for the true faith. I must go speak to the people for the king of France shall talk to his loyal and concerned subjects as a father to his children. But tell me what I shall tell them. Shall I have to tell them that you refuse to pay for the second Albigensian crusade, even through the pope himself has demanded this of us? Shall I have to tell them that the nobles value gold over God? Gentlemen, what shall I tell the people?



Crowds, agitated by royal agents, gather outside the building

Silence fell at the Estates General. Then the noble de Guise, former general of the Catholic League, rose and shouted “CRUSADE! For God!”, other nobles shouted back at him “Leagueist! Traitor” to which he replied “No, catholic!”. The nobility split in two sides who began shouting at each other until cardinal de Vaudrey entered. He talked to the king on a whispering tone after which the king rose and demanded silence. Slowly the nobles sat down and shut up, but not before snapping a few more insults at each other. At a moment a noble even had to intervene after de Guise punched threatened to punch another noble to the ground. When all was silent de Vaudrey unrolled a letter.

Gentlemen of the gathered Estates General. I am afraid that I will have to ask the clergy to leave this room and come with me to another one. There are urgent matters that need to be discussed. I have received permission of the king, we shall return in less than two hours.

While the clergy had left the room, the nobility continued their arguments. Outside the mob still grew and was only stopped from storming the building when a messenger told them that the king would speak to them in a few hours. Most people of the mob sat themselves down on the ground, showing that they had no intention of leaving before the king had appeared. A hour and a half later the clergy returned in the room. Instead of sitting down in their places, they all stood upright behind the speaker’s pulpit on which cardinal de Vaudrey now took the word.

Gentlemen. Unfortunately I could not be present at the start of this meeting today as a messenger from the pope himself needed to speak me. But let it be said, had I seen the unwillingness of the nobility gathered here, I would have wept many tears from seeing this division. The division that is also tearing this nation apart. To me came this morning a message from the pope. It is only a few lines long but as all members of the clergy can attest to, it is the pope’s will. Gentlemen, the pope has decreed that we do not have the luxury of internal conflict. The pope wills that all French noblemen who refuse to support the king in the Second Albigensian Crusade shall be excommunicated, their souls condemned to the burning pits of hell. Their vassals and subjects shall not receive mass as an interdict will be proclaimed on the lands of all nobles who refuse to support the king. Furthermore…

Great agitation arose from the nobility, some even going so far as to accuse the clergy of twisting the pope’s words. de Vaubrey continued however and soon the nobles were silent again to listen to his words.

Furthermore, considering the urgency of this letter and the far reaching consequences and the will of the Church to save every soul it can, we have at this very moment send priests outside to the people gathered here, who are very concerned for the well-being of their souls, to explain what the pope has commanded us.

Complete silence fell among the nobles, some of them even going completely pale. If they would now refuse to vote for the extra taxes, they would surely be lynched by the people outside. And even if they managed to get back safely on their own lands, their subjects there would rise in revolt. That is if they wouldn’t already have revolted before they arrived back home. But if they would give in to the king now, they would surely strengthen his position greatly, at their own expense. Should they cave in now or stand firm and become martyrs if needed for the preservation of feudal liberties? By doing so they would risk dividing France once again. And everyone present knew that the Divine Republic was preparing for war. Philippe III rose and spoke, the clergy standing firmly behind him.

Gentlemen, what shall I tell the people?!
 
Last edited:

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
And with this cliffhanger I shall now stop updates until somewhere next week, giving you all ample time to think about what will happen and recommend this AAR to everyone you know :D :p
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.877
599
And the French noblemen answered: "We give up, you sucker...." :D
 

Kamelot

Uitmuntend heerschap
88 Badges
Dec 12, 2007
120
67
  • Sengoku
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Cities in Motion
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • For The Glory
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
Chapter X: The Fall of Occitania

On the 1st of March 1576 the Treaty of Limousin was torn apart and nobles dutifully paid the extra taxes to the king. Many people also freely donated their belongings for the crusade and thousands of them, also from the surrounding countries, bolstered the ranks of the French armies. By the end of March 1576, the French Armée Royale, Armée du Nord, Armée de Flandres and Armée Catholique numbered in total 86,000 soldiers. The Divine Republic gathered their armies, numbering 35,000 soldiers and, seeing as how war was inevitable, invaded France. 12,000 soldiers of the Republic marched into Rousillion on April 1st 1576, but were surprised to find a Spanish army there. Secret French negotiations had already laid out the entire war strategy, months in advance. Facing the 12,000 Occitans stood an army of 10,000 Spaniards with 8,000 Italian mercenaries. Although the Republic had by far the best equipment, the Spanish zeal won the day. The Occitans were the first to try and use artillery in a battle but despite suffering losses, the Italian mercenaries charged forward and created a gap in the Occitan lines and even drove off the artillery crews. Through this gap the Spanish Tercio’s marched and after less than two hours, the Occitans were forced to retreat, the Spanish army coming after them. Barely recuperating from this defeat, the French armies marched into eight columns into Occitania.

The French Army had been reformed drastically and the quality had reached the same levels as the Republic. Occitan diplomats that were send to negotiate were strung up. The French soon laid siege to the main cities in northern and western Occitania, but were very careful not to destroy too much. They were still retaking their own lands. In the south the Spanish and Italian armies did not share that concern and their pillaging can only be described as destruction. Years of cruel fighting in northern Spain, with atrocities on both sides, had fuelled the flame of revenge in the hearts of the Spanish and Italian catholics. Now they were burning southern Occitania. It seemed Occitania was about to fall when a delegation of French diplomats arrived in Avignon, saying they had a proposal from the king of France.

The messengers of the king and the highest nobles of the Divine Republic met in the old papal palace of Avignon. The offer that was on the table could at the least be called very interesting.

Gentlemen. I think you will soon, if you have not already, recognise that you are about to be defeated. Our soldiers outnumber you by far, the Spanish fury is moving in from the south and as you have surely heard, German and Italian mercenaries in French service are amassing on your eastern border. The Divine Republic of Occitania is lost… but you can save it.

The Occitan nobles were shocked. Philippe III’s armies were destroying any opposition before them and now they seemed to be making an offer to let it survive. de Rohan, head of the Divine Republic, nodded as a sign that the representative could proceed.

The French king is a good catholic, a good Christian, but also concerned with France. Our war has depleted the coffers and despite that our nobles have gathered as much gold as they could, we have to take out several loans. Now we offer you a choice. Either we take the gold to repay those loans from the homes of your subjects and nobles. Or… the Divine Republic can keep existing. You keep the Provence and Avignon, the provinces that once belonged to Naples. You will of course pay tribute and become a vassal to the French king, but you can keep your little republic and in exchange you give us certain… trade privileges. The rising tension in the Holy Roman Empire could explode any minute and through you, France can trade with the protestants and reformed. Then again, we can also destroy Occitania.

de Rohan and the other nobles discussed this offer in a nearby room. After an hour, they returned to the room where the French diplomats were sitting.

Occitania will live. Tell Philippe III he has a deal…

To their great surprise the diplomats not only smiled, but took a pre-written document from their sacks in which everything had already been written down.


The palace where the negotiations took place

On the 7th of September 1576 the Treaty of Avignon was officially declared. Avignon and the Provence were all that remained of the Divine Republic, that became a French vassal. Spain gave up all area it took from the Occitans and handed it back, although severely pillaged, to France. France got far reaching trade privileges through Occitania, which would now serve as a trade gateway to the protestants and reformed of the Holy Roman Empire. Furthermore, in order to keep the south peaceful, the most rebellious nobles were stripped of their lands and titles and send in exile to the Divine Republic. To keep the remaining protestants quiet, the Edict of Nantes was signed whereby in certain cities they could hold their own religious services, although those cities also had to house a French garrison and refund any incurred damage on catholic property. This also caused an exodus of the rich Occitan burghers to the Divine Republic, who would play an important role in the economic recovery.

Soon protestant literature was printed in France and shipped, together with weapons, ammunition and armor to the protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire, for a price of course. The Divine Republic made good profit and some friends with this and France would continue to use the Divine Republic as the gateway to trade in the Empire. The result of this policy was quickly noticed as on the 5th of January 1577 the protestants states formed the “League of Hessen” against the Emperor in which they refused religious unity and promised to defend their rights to religious freedom. Thus beginning The Forty Years War wherein the Holy Roman Empire was plunged into civil war, with France making profit of both sides.



The League of Hessen is formed

Peace seemed to have returned to France and both France as the Divine Republic profited from the deal. But what Philippe III, who was being cheered by the Estates General in early 1578 as nobles would from now on call him Philippe III Augustus, didn’t realise was that he hadn’t crushed the Occitans. They had been defeated, but not subdued. A new conflict would soon arise.

End of Book I
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.877
599
That's a false peace, methinks. That's just the beginning of something bigger and worse.
 

merrick

Lt. General
38 Badges
Jul 1, 2003
1.533
0
Visit site
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • BATTLETECH
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • BATTLETECH: Flashpoint
  • BATTLETECH: Season pass
  • BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • 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: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
So the Empire did strike back, and France was able to crush the heretics and recover their French lands. France has come out of this very strong, but the continued existance of the Divine Republic will be a thorn in the side of more than the HRE. Your Edict of Nantes is even more of an awkward compromise than the historical one - is there a Louis XIV to come in Book 2?