• 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

Byzntinebriated

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Like all of mankind's greatest stories, this one was released in theaters everywhere on Christmas Day.

It was a brisk November day; part of what would be known as Indian Summer after the discovery of Indians and their homeland. A man in a magnificent scarlet cape on a fearsome black stallion was riding at the head of a heavily armed column of ill-tempered, hungover men who hated each others' guts.

The Flemish were speaking their native tongue and pretending to not understand French; the Walloons were returning the favor. The Burgundians were grousing about the local wine and the Dutch were carping about the beer. The handful of Frenchmen from Artois and Picardie were trading stories about the painted ladies of Paris. The contingents from Limburg and Gouda were sporting bruises and black eyes from last night's drunken brawl about cheese. The men of 's-Hertogenbosch were ready to murder the next person who cracked wise about their apostrophe. Some anonymous clown in the middle of the column had just yelled "Are we there yet?" in heavily accented French.

Heavily Accented French being the lingua franca of this particular three-ring, five-ethnicity circus, the Duke had no idea who was responsible.

Turning around and telling the army that they would turn around and go home if they didn't shut up and behave RIGHT NOW, and then nobody would get to invade ANYONE, was a tempting idea.

But he was Duke Phillippe the Good, the only Duke who could ever get these people to line up and march behind him in the first place. He knew what made these men tick; what drove them; their passion and their reason to get out of their tents each morning. He just had to remind them that working together was better than the alternative. He was also louder than any of them, which helped a great deal:

I don't know what I've been told!

We don't know what we've been told!

Being French was getting old!

Being French was getting old!

I don't care what the Valois say!

We don't care what the Valois say!

Blue looks stupid anyway!

Blue looks stupid anyway!

The men broke into a rousing chorus of "All In All, You're Just Another Brick in the Blob." Duke Phillippe smiled. Ahead, there was a sign in the road:

PARIS - 43,000 rods? 81,713 cubits? 201 leagues?

For God's sake won't someone Formalize Weights and Measures around here?
 
Last edited:

Byzntinebriated

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THE ORIGINAL DUKES OF COMEDY

Another Quality Byzantinebriated AAR!
Accept no substitutes.


The story of Burgundy against carefully selected portions of the world.

Said story will played out against a backdrop of Wealth of Nations, Res Publica, and Conquest of Paradise, with the Random New World option enabled, because having a colonizing fleet led by a glory-seeking consul from the Senātus Populusque Iroquoii land in the Zuider Zee is a comedy goldmine.

This story will play out in Iron Man mode; it will be deeply unlikeable and ultimately successful, and the governments of one or more republics will be publicly embarrassed in the process.

There are many kinds of AARs these days: chains of maps posted on Imgur or some such, YouTube videos, Twitch plays EU4, and AARs piped directly into your frontal lobe via Google Hivemind or Apple's iBrain. This will be none of those things. It will feature maps and text, just like in Grandpa's day.

Your questions, comments, and advice are welcome. They may even be answered.

Table of Contents:


Duke Phillipe "the Good" de Bourgogne (1419 - 1447)

Chapitre 0 - Teaser
Chapitre 1 - It's So Easy To Find Good Help These Days
Chapitre 2 - Trust Me, I'm a Doctor

Duke Louis "the Manchild" de Trastamara (1447 - 1458)

Chapitre 3 - Livin' With Louie Duke is the Only Way to Stay Freehttp://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?826131-The-Original-Dukes-of-Comedy&p=18697588#post18697588
Chapitre 4 - Oh Yeah, We're Still at War With France
Chapitre 5 - The Great Ducal Pissing Contest of 1451
Chapitre 6 - A Farewell To Arms

Duke Phillippe de Trastamara (1458 - )

Chapitre 7 - Suffer the Little Children
Chapitre 8 - Years of Incompetence
Chapitre 9 - Teenage Angst; or, March of the Black and Red Paradehttp://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?826131-The-Original-Dukes-of-Comedy&p=18952983#post18952983
Chapitre 10 - How to Benefit From the Poor Life Decisions of Others
 
Last edited:

InvisibleSandwi

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Well, that's a good way to start your account. Welcome to AARland! Your work looks promising and I hope to see more of it in the coming days.
 

volksmarschall

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Welcome to the forum, and welcome to the business of AAR-writing! I hope your first AAR will be fun and memorable.

Looking forward to what you have in store. Cheers!
 

Byzntinebriated

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OOC: Thank you all for your warm welcomes! I look forward to living up to your expectations.

One year prior, in the ducal palace...

Duke Phillippe, seated at the ducal desk, shares the ducal internal monologue with Nestor, the ducal butler.

"Well, it's been over a hundred years, Nestor."

"Oui, mon duc."

"Which means that the Hundred Years war should be ending any day now."

"Bien sur, mon duc."

“Also, the French are no longer wetting themselves at the sight of longbows, so they’ll probably be able to overwhelm the English with numbers."

“Ca fait du bon sens, mon duc.”

"And then they’ll probably want to get even for the time that I quit my job as a vassal and invaded their country to deliver my resignation letter."

"Absolument, mon duc."

"I need to find a way to make the Valois respect my authoritah, or it will be back to listening to the Duke of Foix ramble on about his stupid azaleas at the Annual Vassal's Conference again."

"A fate worse than le mort, mon duc. Speaking of, I was forced to dismiss the gardener this morning for an indiscretion with two of the milkmaids atop the davenport in your third-best sitting room."

"...I should probably hire some professional advisors."

"Bonne idee, mon duc."

****************************************************************​

Duke Phillippe pulled out his conveniently located dossier of every male aged 30 and up who had been seen dispensing wisdom somewhere in his domain and sent forth pages to invite them in for interviews. Benoit de Semur had such a commanding presence that Duke Phillippe had to restrain himself from jumping up and saluting; he was hired on the spot. Phillippe Le Corgne, a partner at a white-clog law firm in Antwerpen, got the diplomat’s job over a bespectacled fellow who was way too excited about something called “trade steering.” Duke Phillippe felt he had some strong momentum going into the interviews for his chancellor’s position.



“So…M. Dufay…what do you think is the most important trade good produced in my Grand Duchy, and how do you propose to improve production?”

“It’s definitely motets, and I think we need to emphasize keeping each of the vocal parts a quarter-octave separate to ensure the best results.”




“M. Binchois, how to do you plan to crack down on tax evasion?”

“I will write a Mass, simple and easy to perform, and yet so deep and soulful that tax evaders will weep for their sins, confess them freely in the streets, and pay what they owe fourfold.”



“M. Ockghem…is that a zither?”

“Oui.”

“WHAT MADE YOU THINK IT WAS APPROPRIATE TO BRING A ZITHER TO A JOB INTERVIEW?”

****************************************************************​

Duke Phillippe ultimately decided to leave his Chancellor’s position vacant for the moment, at least until the pool of candidates was something other than a bunch of layabout starving artists who all looked the same. He summoned Le Corgne and de Semur for his first-ever cabinet meeting.



Phillipe Le Corgne has joined the party!
Benoit de Semur has joined the party!

“Alors, monsieurs, here is our problem. France is big and we’re little. They’re right and we’re wrong, at least within the context of feudal law. I can only hope that we’re smart and they're dumb. How can we preserve ourselves?”

de Semur didn’t miss a beat. “We should invade France.”

Duke Phillippe blinked.

De Semur contined. “They’re still distracted by the English, at least a little. We should profit from this.”

Le Corgne spoke up. “The Aragonese and Castillans won’t be too happy to have a strong and united France on their border. I think we might be able to talk them into helping us help them help themselves.”

Duke Phillippe blinked again. “Well,” he finally managed to say, “That sounds much better than anything I’ve come up with so far. I think I just got more done in three minutes than I have in the last four years of me bouncing my ideas off of nobody but the butler.”

“Tres correcte, mon duc.”

“Nestor, what are you doing in here?”

“This bookshelf has some very persistent dust, mon duc.”

****************************************************************​

Duke Phillippe leaned back in his chair. Le Corgne had suggested forging a claim to Champagne – easy enough. In any pile of old parchments there would be something that suggested that someone had a claim on whoever owned that particular stack of parchments. The nuts and bolts of making good on that claim, however, would require some thought to figure out.

He stared at his map. If he was going to claim Champagne, he was honor-bound to seize Champagne. But since he was fighting the French, he would be just as honor-bound to seize Paris. Splitting the army in two would be an unfortunate necessity – and if one half were attacked, they would have to hold out for a week or so. Which meant that they would both need a general leading them.

“Nestor! Go get the messengers. It looks like I will be doing more interviews today.”

****************************************************************​

Eugene de Damas was a member of the average nobility. He was lord and master of two villages and a minor market town in the Charolais. He had serfs, provosts, bailiffs, and a reeve who was drunk more often than not. He had a water mill, but thanks to some poorly written loan contracts signed with a nearby monastery by a distant ancestor who wanted to atone for his chronic fornication by shipping off to Egypt on the 7th Crusade, he was only allowed to use it every other Tuesday. On the feast day of St. Thomas he sat at the head of a table in the market square and ate bullock and drank ale until his belly groaned.

He was bored out of his friggin’ mind and had come to understand both his ancestor’s penchant for rounds of extramarital hide-the-andouille and his subsequent decision to go on a Crusade that led to him dying of heatstroke in an Egyptian prison.

So when a messenger came riding out of the woods and up to Eugene’s manor, he shoved one of his footmen out of the way and answered the door himself.

“Sieur Damas? The Duke of Burgundy would like to extend to you the opportunity to become –“

“Yes.”

“Sir, I haven’t even told you what he wants you to do.”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Such loyalty.”

“Loyalty. Yes! Of course! Nobody more loyal than me.”

“Anyway, as you will see on this letter, you have been offered the opportunity to become a general in his grace’s armies.”

“Wonderful! When do I begin?”

“Sieur Damas, there are over three dozen people to whom invitations have been extended, and I will handing out the rest of these invitations over the coming days…”

“Nonsense!”

“Sir?”

“I’m the only man qualified for the job. Can’t you tell?”

“Sir, I do not get paid if I’m not utterly polite to you, but I want you to understand that is truly ridiculous, and I would deeply appreciate it if you shut your oversized pie-hole and let me get back to work.”

“No, really. Regardez!” Damas showed the messenger what he kept in his trousers.

“Mon dieu! What the hell is that?!” The messenger’s face turned white, he wet himself, then spun around and passed out just like a dying sixteen-bit Link from A Link to the Past.

Damas drug the messenger into his manor, relieved him of the stack of invitations, tossed them into the mill stream and rode off to Dijon with indecent haste.

****************************************************************​

Later that day, Damas arrived outside the Ducal Palace in Dijon, having ridden nonstop from his manor. His horse keeled over and passed out. The sentries at the gate stared incredulously.

Damas barked at the sentries: “Quit yer lollygagging and salute! Can’t you see I’m your new general? Now take me to the Duke!” He waved the invitation at them. “Or you will find yourself standing guard outside the outhouse five minutes after my interview!”

****************************************************************​

Upstairs, Duke Phillippe, Le Corgne and de Semur reviewed the fruits of their first two months of working together.

“The Aragonese and Castillians have both agreed to work with us,” said Le Corgne. “Have you chosen brides for the royal weddings?”

“Done and done,” said the Duke. “The youngest of the Trastamara sons in Aragon will be marrying my youngest daughter, and I’ve found a cousin for the Castillans. Now I just need to find a big enough lace collar for the special day.”

“Everyone looks good in huge lace collars,” agreed Le Corgne.

“Now we just need a general,” said Benoit de Semur, who, bored by diplomacy, was gazing out of the window. “I think the first candidate just arrived.”

de Damas was led into the room. “Bonjour, mon Duc, messieurs,” he addressed them. “I’m your new general.”

“We shall see,” said the Duke. “How do you plan to lead the army, if you’re given the chance to do so?”

“Firepower is the future, and the future is now,” said Demas. “Want to see what I keep in my trousers?”

Before anyone else could pick their jaws up off the floor, Demas had reached into his trousers and pulled out his weapon of choice, beaming at the room the entire time.

De Semur was the first to recover. “Did you…did you nail six pistols together with a long iron spike?”

Demas nodded, still beaming. “I call it the ‘six-shooter.’ I love it, because every minute I spend reloading is a minute I’m not shooting things. I plan to make these standard issue for the infantry.”

“We can, um, talk about that later. What are your thoughts on the French army?”

“Mon duc, when I was a young man, I was at Agincourt, and I suggested to one of the great marquises that our army was too tightly packed together to be effective against the English. And he laughed at me and told me to shut my damnfool vassal mouth. So to hell with them, sir.”

“Alright. You’ll begin your work tomorrow.”

Eugene de Damas has joined the party!



And thus was everything put in place for the war on France. Twelve months later, it was revealed that Duke Phillippe’s grandfather’s second cousin’s wife’s brother was second in line for the county of Champagne back in the early 1300s. With an ironclad claim in hand, everything was ready for Burgundy to extend the Hundred Years war…
 
Last edited:

stapper

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I'm in for this one.
 

eliaspays

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Hilarious man, keep up the great work!
 

Byzntinebriated

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And so, after a brief conference between Duke Phillippe, General Eugenie de Damas, and Military Adviser Benoit de Semur – while diplomat Phillippe le Corgne sat there pretending he understood everything that was being discussed – the strategy for the War of Pre-emptive Blob Dismantling was quickly drawn out. Duke Phillippe, having a firm grasp of the principles of siege warfare, would march into Champagne. Eugenie de Damas, who had spent the time his tutor discussed trebuchet placement, sapping, trench digging and the like doodling pictures of heavily armored wagons with cannons mounted on them that would render castles irrelevant forever, would encircle and cut off Paris in the hopes of starving them out. Seven regiments of the Holy Roman Empire’s finest depraved, schnapps-chugging heavily armed drifters would wander into Vermandois and break stuff. Benoit de Semur would punch soldiers in the face if they asked for a raise, and Phillippe Le Corgne would explain to any concerned foreigners that Burgundy was invading their former liege for freedom, justice, peace, liberty, motherhood, apple pie, sunshine and puppies and that France, along with Austria and the Ottomans, was part of an Axis of Blobbing that would conquer the entire known world until Burgundy took swift and decisive action.

Duke Phillippe clapped his hands and yelled “BREAK!” Everyone sprinted out of the huddle, and the opening scene of this AAR happened.

Duke Phillippe turned his column off the road to Paris and arrived in Champagne in good order, while General de Damas brought his army down from Picardie according to plan. The mercenaries had just begun drinking their way through Vermandois when a French army converged on Champagne. Although Duke Phillippe had found a strong defensive position, a moment of confusion arose on the field when the Duke forgot the difference between the Bourbonnais and Orleanais flags, creating a hole in the line and ceding the day to the French.



Above: LOL NOOB FORGOT TO TAKE A SCREENSHOT OF THE BATTLE SUMMARY

“Eh bien.”

A couple of weeks later, a reinforcing column of 15,000 Aragonese arrived in Champagne, took one look at the odds against them, shrugged a magnificent Iberian shrug, and charged directly into the history books.



1.92 has given the AI a pair of big clanking brass ones

The actual fighting moved south at this point, with Castille and France chasing each other around the Pyrenees and the Pays d’Oc while the Aragonese began sieging Champagne and Duke Phillippe began rebuilding his army in the Low Countries.

Shortly thereafter a herald arrived with some glorious news:



Above: Kept his kingdom, got the horse anyway

“Mon Duc?”

“Yes, Nestor?”

“That herald insisted that his news was glorious, but I couldn’t help but notice a glint of fear in his eyes.”

“I noticed that myself. It seems that we may have a Dick of historical proportions wielding power to our Northwest.”

****************************************************************​

“Well, Benoit, I have some bad news.”

“Oui, mon duc?”

“We’re broke. Busted. Skint. I only have two florins to rub together, and the troops are going to be expecting four times that as their wages next months. We’re going to have to take out…”

“Hello, Mr. de Bourgogne! Please sign here, and just ignore all that fine print, most of it doesn’t apply to the nobility anyway…”



The fine print totally applies to the nobility.

“Benoit, how can bankers always tell when a ruler is about to go broke, then turn up at his doorstep with a loan? It seems almost automatic.”

“Mon Duc, when I was younger, our family’s personal chaplain explained it to my father one day. He said that when a man gives himself over to the sin of usury, Satan appears to him and grants him a fiendish boon. The usurer becomes able to smell the peculiar odor of a rich man suddenly running out of money from over 200 leagues away, and is able to propel himself towards that man faster than all the angels in Heaven and the demons in Hell.”

“Such a wise man.”

“Indeed. He also explained to me how sheep's bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes…”


****************************************************************​

“Mon duc!”

“Yes, Nestor?”

“Your heir, Charles, breathes heavily. He has been lying in bed for three days now, and reflected in the beads of sweat on his forehead is the fear in your eyes for his life. He might not make it through the night unless you do something.”

“Send for a trained Medicus!”

“Right away, mon Duc! Fortunately, there is one standing outside the palace door. He matriculated at the University of Bologna.”

“The oldest university in Europe! That means it’s clearly the best. Send him in right away!”



Above: Death Cab for Charlie

“Nestor! How could this be? He was a trained Medicus! WHERE IS HE?!?”

“Mon Duc, I believe he was last seen riding out of the stables on a stolen chestnut mare, waving around a burlap bag with a florin sign on the side, twirling his mustache and laughing maniacally.”

“How? Why? Even an amateur Medicus would never stoop to those depths.”

“Mon Duc, in his haste to depart your manor he left behind this diploma, which I believe explains much.”

To all those in whose hands these presents come, sucks to be you. Be it known that

Some Guy

Has graduated Summa Cum No Laude Whatsoever from the

University of Baloney

We confer upon him a scorching case of the clap from a tavern wench.

Under no circumstances should he be allowed near a seriously ill member of a royal family.

“That…this…this…the hell is going on when you can’t even trust someone to apply leeches properly? I bet he thinks there’s only three humours in the body! THAT IS IT! I AM GOING TO SOCIALIZE MEDICUSES IN THIS DUCHY! WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME GOD-DAMNED STANDARDS AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THEM FROM THIS DAY FORTH!”

This concerned Le Corgne. “Mon Duc, are you sure that is wise? The Medicus lobby is very powerful – to say nothing of the Brotherhood of Quacks, Charlatans and Snake-Oil Salesmen.”

“It may not be wise,” Duke Phillippe pounded the table. “But it’s the right thing to do.”

A brick came crashing through the Ducal bay windows. The note attached to it simply said “We heard that.”

****************************************************************​



“Another loan? Already?”

“You spent all that money on the untrained Medicus, mon Duc.”

“Ah, right, Phillippe – another reason to bring those quacks under our boots. Have you reviewed my proposal to create a Medicus General as an advisor-level position?”

“It will have to wait, sir. There is worse news yet – the Burgundian Medical Association has met in Amsterdam. Supposedly they’ve given some cover to agents of Richard III who have their eyes on our lands.”

“What a Dick! I should send the Medicuses packing to York and see how they like it there.”

****************************************************************​

Benoit de Semur and Phillippe le Corgne are in de Semur’s sitting room.

“Benoit, old friend, have you noticed something odd about the new chef?”

“The roast beef is always dry?”

“Aside from the obvious.”

“Well…no.”

“He’s always talking about the healing powers of herbs and powders…”

“Yes.”

“…none of which are referenced in any book I can find. Yesterday he was treating the kitchen boy’s case of the measles with what I swear were lawn clippings.”

“Huh.”

“Yesterday, when the Duke was going over his list of candidates for Medicus General, I swear I could hear the new chef’s teeth grinding.”

“Well, the Duke hasn’t shut up about that since poor Charles passed away.”

“Also, he has a really twirlable mustache that I swear I’ve seen somewhere before…”

Benoit’s eyes widened. “Twirlable mustache!”

Phillippe figured it out. “Sacrebleu!”

But it was too late. As the two men leaped from their chairs, a maid’s shriek pierced the manor, followed by sobbing. Another servant screamed “MON DIEU! The Duke is covered in leeches!”



The medical profession had completed its triumph over the house of Bourgogne.
 
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InvisibleSandwi

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Here's where I'd say the house of Burgundy came full circle, except the Trastamaras were apparently descended from a different house of Burgundy than the one that ruled your Burgundy in the time period of your AAR. Maybe, if you get rich and strong enough, you can force a personal union on Castile...
 

Galren

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First the heir, then the Duke himself? The world is unfair! At least we were saved from the French and the Austrians splitting up Burgundy among themselves. Having a Spaniard in Burgundy is worth it.

Wait ...

That twirly mustache guy must be a spy from France! :eek:hmy:

Also, just wanted to say, keep up the good work.
 
Last edited:

eliaspays

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Moustache? Must be a French bastard.
 

Byzntinebriated

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Here's where I'd say the house of Burgundy came full circle, except the Trastamaras were apparently descended from a different house of Burgundy than the one that ruled your Burgundy in the time period of your AAR. Maybe, if you get rich and strong enough, you can force a personal union on Castile...
Possibly – I think this particular king was plucked from the Aragonese branch, their prestige was through the roof at that moment from winning a string of battles against larger French armies. This is definitely something I’m interested in regardless. Even forcing a union with Navarra would be A-OK with me.

First the heir, then the Duke himself? The world is unfair! At least we were saved from the French and the Austrians splitting up Burgundy among themselves. Having a Spaniard in Burgundy is worth it.

Wait ...

That twirly mustache guy must be a spy from France! :eek:hmy:

Also, just wanted to say, keep up the good work.
A free Burgundy is a good Burgundy in wine and geopolitics alike.

And thank you! I will certainly try, although these posts are coming along way slower than I thought they would & I’ve only covered 5 years or so thus far.

Moustache? Must be a French bastard.
Possible, although Austrians, Italians and Russians all have highly twirlable mustaches as well. Heck, it could have been an Aragonese or Castillian who hadn’t gotten the message that CKII rules ended 5 years ago…
 

Byzntinebriated

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OOC: I've spent the past weekend/end of last week entertaining relatives on their way back to grad school & haven't had time to whip together a real post. Please accept this haphazardly slapped together introduction to the newly minted Grand Duke Luis de Trastamara with my apologies...

Medieval political theory is straightforward on the subject of political succession planning: you need an heir and a spare. Hence Luis de Trastamara.

When your duty to the state is to exist, but not in a way that detracts from your older brother, you find yourself bored more often than not. For Luis, this led to a great deal of resentment in his youth – resentment at being made to clap politely while crowds of nobles enthusiastically acclaimed his brother, resentment at always having to share his toys with his brother but never getting to play with the toy scepter and orb kit Joan had gotten for Christmas one year, resentment at the constant sermons on humility and the dangers of pride from the royal chaplain targeted directly at him.

But then he got old enough to discover women and alcohol, and the royal chaplain died in flagrante delicto with two deacons and a “nun” whose birth name was Juan Ignacio. Suddenly the deal offered to him by the universe – a bottomless wine cask, banquets every night, an endless parade of mistresses and floozies, Naked Thursdays, and an opulent Party Palace on a beautiful hillside outside of Barcelona, all his in return for not rallying disaffected nobles and plunging his homeland into a bloody, fratricidal Civil War – seemed much more reasonable than it did at age 7.

And so he bounced from party to party, interspersed only with occasionally and increasingly infrequent visits to the courts of his royal brother in Barcelona and equally royal cousin in Madrid:

“So, Juan, are you still a living symbol of the might, power and hopes of your entire nation?”

“Same as it ever was, Luis. And are you still doing body shots of brandy off of tavern wenches?”

After one of these meetings, his brother King Joan of Aragon informed him that he would be marrying the daughter of Duke Phillippe of Burgundy, and that he should “please try not to throw up all over the altar” during the service.

Marriage didn’t slow Luis down in the slightest. His new wife, young and away from home for the first time, scandalized the court by helping her new husband plan and host increasingly elaborate parties, ignoring her mother-in-law’s insistence that “women should not enjoy life” and “a wife’s job is to make sure her husband is as miserable as she is.”

Luis’s happy life came to a crashing halt on the morning after his 21st birthday, when he came to mounted on a horse with two manservants keeping him from falling off, wearing a dress uniform, and crossing the border into Foix at the head of a regiment. It took him a week of faking it until he understood that Aragon had followed Burgundy into a war of pre-emption intended to keep the House of Valois from ever getting it’s **** together.

After accidentally marching his regiment directly into the French left flank and beginning the final phase of the glorious Aragonese victory at the battle of Champagne, Luis realized that he enjoyed being a colonel. He cut down on his drinking to three or four nights a week at most, began reading books on tactics and logistics, and earned the respect of his men by

Mary de Bourgogne, meanwhile, was not enjoying living alone in a foreign land. After creating another court scandal by bribing a maid to light a settee on fire to avoid being trapped in another endless round of embroidering and overly detailed discussions of the Queen’s white people problems, Mary was sent back to Burgundy to await her husband’s return from the field.

Luis used his royal blood to secure two weeks of leave from the siege of Champagne to go down to Dijon to see his wife. It was during a passionate reunion involving six wineskins, a bearskin rug, a roaring fireplace, and some shackles and a cat-o’-nine-tails borrowed from the dungeons that Fate, in the form of Benoit de Semur and Phillippe Le Corgne, knocked on Luis’s door.

“Luis de Trastamara OH GOD WHAT IS THIS ABHOMINATION?”

“…join in or get out.”

“Duke Phillippe suffered an unfortunate medical accident –“

“He was killed by a crazy man with leeches.”

“…and you are now the Grand Duke of Burgundy. Put on some pants, your Hattening ceremony is in fifteen minutes.”

“But I’ve been a very bad boy, and bad boys aren’t allowed to wear pants.”

“…”

“…”

“…OH GOD YOU MEAN MY FATHER IS DEAD?” Mary burst into tears.

“Umm,” said Luis. “I’ll be downstairs in fifteen minutes.”
 

Galren

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Don't worry. I'm pleased to hear that you still are devoting time and attention to this AAR. Also, don't feel pressured to spit out an update.

With that said, Duke Luis was caught with his pants down (actually without them) and thrust into the title of Duke. He may not be the ruler we want at the moment, but will he be the ruler Burgundy needs?
 

Byzntinebriated

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Don't worry. I'm pleased to hear that you still are devoting time and attention to this AAR. Also, don't feel pressured to spit out an update.

With that said, Duke Luis was caught with his pants down (actually without them) and thrust into the title of Duke. He may not be the ruler we want at the moment, but will he be the ruler Burgundy needs?
As long as people keep reading, I'm happy to keep writing.

And since Luis's last name isn't "Valois" or "Hapsburg," he's exactly what Burgundy needs.
 

Byzntinebriated

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The newly crowned Grand Duke Louis (formerly Luis) de Trastamara meets with his two councilors, the diplomat Phillippe le Corgne and the Grand Captain Benoit de Semur, immediately after his coronation.

“Benoit, shouldn’t there also be a Chancellor?”

“Don’t ask.”

“Let’s not talk about that. Louis, allow me to be the first to congratulate you on becoming Grand Duke”

“King.”

“Grand Duke.”

“King!”

“Mon Duc, here in Burgundy we have Grand Dukes, not kings.”

“Listen, Benoit and Phillippe, my older brother is King of Aragon. My oldest cousin is King of Castille. They used to tease me about when I was a kid, and since then, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a king.”

“Your predecessor broke away from France because he was done taking crap from kings as well. Surely you can appreciate that?”

“They had the servants build them a treehouse – a tree manor, really – and they painted ‘Future Kings Only’ on the door. They would never let me in to play with them. Sometimes, they threw acorns at me.”

“…you’re still a Grand Duke.”

“We could build you a tree manor, though, if that would make you feel better!”

“Actually…it kinda would.”

*************************************************************************************​

Eustache de Damas, meanwhile, was leading a column towards a small French and Armagnac field army twenty leagues, or perhaps ten thousand rods, north-northeast of Paris.

“General de Damas! General de Damas!”

“What is it, Lieutenant?!”

“The French army is just ahead of us. This will be an easy victory…”

“FORWARD!”

“General, half the army hasn’t even cleared the village yet, if we but wait an hour…”

“FORWARD!”

“You are giving the enemy a chance to defeat us in detail…”

“FORWARD!”

“Have you lost your senses?”

“Have you seen what I keep in my pants?”

The Lieutenant blinked incredulously while de Damas delved into his trousers, eventually pulling out his unholy conglomeration of six pistols attached together. “HAHA!”

The Lieutenant teetered on his feet. General Damas leapt on his horse and galloped towards the heart of the enemy, yelling “NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, HERE COME THE SEX PISTOLS!”



*************************************************************************************​





ABOVE: Aim for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Mon Duc…”

“You mean mon Roi. Roi! See! I even learned how to say it in French. What more do you people want?”

“Good news! Paris has surrendered. Our general has staged a triumphal banquet, seated at the head of King Charles' grand banquet hall, followed the next morning with a meal of croissants and bacon at King Charles' personal breakfast nook."

“Ah! So that’s why I saw all those peasants celebrating outside our walls.”

“Celebrating?”

“Why yes! They were waving around pitchforks and torches. That’s a traditional Burgundian peasant celebration, right?”

“…sure.”

“And they were chanting ‘Va donc te faire enculer, maudit Christi putain de roi !’ with impeccable rhythm. "

Phillippe blinked incredulously, but Benoit de Semur stepped forward.

“I know how to solve this.”



“Grow your beard to the perfect length, and suddenly soldiers won’t mind taking a halberd to the face as much as they would otherwise.” - Benoit de Semur

*************************************************************************************​



“Mon Duc!”

“Yes, M. Le Corgne?”

“Province and Lorraine have taken advantage of France’s complete lack of an army to press their claims on the Valois!”

“Province and Lorraine…aren’t they sort of like Western Europe’s couple who have been married for so long that it’s impossible to imagine them being young and in love together?”

“…sure. Whatever you say, mon Duc.”

“And now they’ve decided that carving off a hunk of France only way they’re going to get the extra square footage they need in their backyard to finally build the deck they’ve been talking about for fifteen years, while complying with the Holy Roman Empire’s extremely strict zoning laws.”

“I think I hear Benoit de Semur calling for my assistance in the other room, mon Duc.”

*************************************************************************************​



“Mon Duc, there’s a fast-talking Englishman from Calais in a sharply pressed checked suit outside your manor.”

“And what does he want?”

“He says he can get us a fantastic deal on some staples. And all the wool we can spin.”

“Send him on his way.”

Ten minutes later...

"Mon Duc, it seems that the English were not happy to take no for an answer."

"Well, salesmen say most customers say no five to six times on average before finally agreeing to buy something."

"However, mon Duc, unlike your average salesman who has no option but to go home and cry himself to sleep over his wasted life, this Englishman has more…forceful…ways of expressing himself.”



*************************************************************************************​

“Mon Duc, have this goblet of wine.”

“Why thank you, Benoit! Usually you get mad when I drink before lunch.”

“Drink up, drink up…here, have another one. It will take the edge off.”

“Take the edge off of what, Benoit?”

“The English have surrendered, mon Duc.”

“WHY THOSE YORKSHIRE PUDDING-EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS…”



*************************************************************************************​

“Well, mon Duc, the time has come to negotiate a peace with France. The Castillians and your kinsmen from Aragon have mopped up the French for you, and there is nothing left to gain from remaining in the field.”

“Peace with honor! Peace with glory! And more importantly, peace with LAND!”

“Well, yes, mon Duc, about that…Duke Phillippe was very insistent that Burgundy not gain any territory directly from this war. He felt that it was important to bring freedom to the French nobility, and that nothing good would come of turning into another Valois king like the one he abandoned.”

“Such nobility, M. Le Corgne! Very well, let us have Charlie Valois remove his impeccably polished boot from the necks of Berri and the Dauphine. Once the rest of the French dukes see the peace, quiet and good order that comes from ridding themselves of the central government, they will no doubt clamor for the same freedoms themselves.”

Fourteen months later…



“Mon Duc…”

“It’s only tyranny when France does it, Phillippe. Always remember that.”
 
Last edited:

alscon

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Nice work! People are reading, and I have nominated you for the Weekly AAR Showcase.

Make sure to pick a successor for next week, and enjoy your week in the spotlight.

The Cypriot peasants in Rethel should learn how to properly adress their duc though :laugh: