• 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

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The Red Crown: a sAARdinian Tale



Greetings and salutations, one and all! Welcome to my first attempt at an AAR (insert applause here)! I’m a longtime lurker, first-time poster, and I’ve found myself inspired by both this game and by the many fine AARs I’ve read on this forum. I’m still something of a novice at the game (at just under 400 hours in at this point), but I’ve gotten a few campaigns under my belt and feel like I’m ready to tackle an AAR of my own.

Originally I wanted to play as that one Jewish count in Alania in the 867 start (which I may still do one day), but instead I decided to play as a Sardinian count in the 1220 AD start. Sardinia and Corsica is its own de jure kingdom as of 2.8, so my goal for the playthrough is to eventually form the kingdom and see where things go from there. I’m very excited to be finally throwing my hat into the AAR ring. Constructive criticism is appreciated!

-Prologue
-Chapter One: Planting the Seeds (February 1st, 1220-January 1st, 1223)
-Chapter Two: A Tree Grows in Sardinia (January 1st, 1223-March 10th, 1229)
-Chapter Three: Roots and Branches (March 10th, 1229-June 18th, 1232)
-Chapter Four: The Forest for the Trees (June 18th, 1232-July 15th, 1237)
-Chapter Five: The Tree Stands Taller Than the Tower (July 15th, 1237-July 6th, 1240)
-Chapter Six: Bitter Fruit (July 6th, 1240-August 7th, 1245)
-Chapter Seven: Autumn Leaves (August 7th, 1245-August 22nd, 1249) [Part One of Two]
-Chapter Seven: Autumn Leaves (August 7th, 1245-August 22nd, 1249) [Part Two of Two]
-Chapter Eight: Out on a Limb (August 22nd, 1249-April 16th, 1255)
-Chapter Nine: A Tree Falls in the Forest (April 16th, 1255-September 13th, 1259)
-Chapter Ten: Advocatus Sancti Sepulchri (September 13th, 1259-December 10th, 1262)
-Chapter Eleven: In Excelsis Deo (December 10th, 1262-March 14th, 1266)
-Special Chapter: Cavete Idus Martii (March 15th, 1266)
-Chapter Twelve: Sanguis, Sudor, Lacrimae (March 15th, 1266-July 25th, 1269)
-State of the World, 1270 AD
-Chapter Thirteen: Fiat, Fiat, Fiat (July 25th, 1269-October 13th, 1277)
-Chapter Fourteen: Miserere Mei, Deus (October 13th, 1277-August 31st, 1281)
-Chapter Fifteen: Vexilla Regis Prodeunt (August 31st, 1281-April 8th, 1287)
-Chapter Sixteen: Sola Fides Sufficit (April 8th, 1287-August 5th, 1292)
-Chapter Seventeen: Te Lucis Ante Terminum (August 5th, 1292-February 12th, 1297)
-Chapter Eighteen: The Spider of Sardinia (February 12th, 1297-March 8th, 1302)
-Chapter Nineteen: The Spider of Sardinia, Continued (March 8th, 1302-August 20th, 1306)
-Chapter Twenty: Atzàra (August 20th, 1306-June 25th, 1307)
-Chapter Twenty-One: Harvest (June 25th, 1307-November 4th, 1313)
-Chapter Twenty-Two: Judgment (November 4th, 1313-April 30th, 1319)
-State of the World, 1320 AD
-Chapter Twenty-Three:Obligation (April 30th, 1319-July 24th, 1322)
-Chapter Twenty-Four: Enemies (July 24th, 1322-July 31st, 1327)
-Chapter Twenty-Five: Andalusia (July 31st, 1327-December 26th, 1331)
-Chapter Twenty-Six: Union (December 26th, 1331-August 13th, 1335)
-Chapter Twenty-Seven: Home (August 13th, 1335-October 19th, 1340)
-Chapter Twenty-Eight: santayana_record1 (October 19th, 1340-February 8th, 1345)
-Chapter Twenty-Nine: santayana_record2 (February 8th, 1345-August 2nd, 1348)
-Chapter Thirty: santayana_record3 (August 2nd, 1348-July 1st, 1351)
-Chapter Thirty-One: santayana_record4 (July 1st, 1351-January 22nd, 1357)

-1220 start
-Patch 2.8.1
-All DLCs activated
-IRONMAN ON
-Major Epidemics: Historical
-Minor Epidemics: Default
-Mongol Invasion: Historical
-Sunset Invasion: Off
-Chinese Invasion: All
-Chinese Interactions: Within Range
-Border Dispute Wars: On
-New Casus Belli: On
-Devil Worshippers: None
-Secret Religious Cults: None
-Turkic Conquerors: Historical
-Non-Epidemic Diseases: Default
-Shattered Retreat: On
-Siege Assaults: On
-Siege Events: On
-Defensive Pacts: On
-Gender Equality: Historical
-Supernatural Events: Off
-Dynamic De Jure Drift: Restricted
-De Jure Assimilation Duration: Long
-De Jure Requirement: Required
-Nomad Stability: Unstable
-Culture Conversion: Combination
-Religious Conversion Speed: Slower
-Raiding: Historical
-Adventurers: Normal
-Interfaith Marriages: Restricted
-Matrilineal Marriage: On
-Custom Realms: On
-Story Events: On
-Vassal Republics: Restricted
-Vassal Theocracies: Restricted
-Invitation to Court: Default
-Diplomatic Range: Restricted
-Provincial Revolts: Normal
-Provincial Revolt Strength: Normal
-Defensive Attrition: On
-Pagan Reformation: Allowed
-Regencies: On
-Assassination: Plots Only
-AI Seduction: On
-AI Intrigue: On
-Dueling: On
-Release Prisoners After Punishment: On
-Titles Named After Dynasties: On
-Cultural Title Names: On
-Multiplayer Stuff: N/A
-Demense Size: Half
-Vassal Limit: Half
-Grant Independence: Restricted
-Childhood Focus Alerts: All
 
Last edited:
Prologue

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Prologue:



February 1st, 1220 AD

I see him standing between the two columns at the ruins of Tharros, swinging around them as his hair blows in the wind. The Bay of Oristano reflects the intense midday sun back at us; it is as if he runs on a sea of light. He hefts a stick and thrusts it out, beating back a whole formation of imagined soldiers effortlessly. He doesn’t play as much as he used to, but when he does it brings a smile to my lips. I hope he understands how precious it is to cling to the remnants of youth. Time has a way of making everything fade away before we realize it, just as this now-dead city once buzzed with life, resplendent with the glory of ancient Rome. Standing there, with his ersatz sword held high above his head, I hope against hope for the kind of glories he might achieve in his lifetime, what fate he carries with him for our people, for all the people of this island.

He is Perdu of Bas-Serra, the Giudice of Arboréa. And he is all I have left in this world.


I am Preziosa Massa, regent of Arboréa. It has been nine years since his father, my dear husband Ugu, was lost to us, and time has not eased the memory of his passing in the slightest.


I doubt Perdu even remembers him, he was so small when he was taken from us. I too was young then, but not so young that I could not fend off the carrion crows encircling us. They encircle us still, and I must be ever watchful for the sake of my boy, my only child.


My own family’s line is in its death-throes. My eldest sister, the Benedetta, reigns as Giudice of Cagliari and Ogliastra, and is wed to the Giudice of Gallura, thus claiming influence over half the island.


When she passes (which can’t happen soon enough, the vile harlot), her lands will fall to Giuglielmu of Lacon-Serra, a cousin to my son’s line. My other sister Agnesia is wed to my late husband’s brother Marianu, the Giudice of Logudoro. He has a skill and cunning which exceeds even my own, and from his tower he has set his eyes upon Arboréa itself.


When I and my sisters die, our line ends forevermore. I have accepted this. Therefore my son must survive. He too is the last of his line.


Soon he will be old enough to assume his rightful place as Guidice, and will want not for my guidance. I have resolved to stop at nothing to ensure his safety, but many forces conspire against us.

For while we prance about and make believe that our struggles have some value, the great powers of the Mediterranean pull our strings and make merry at our plights. The despicable merchants that spread their tendrils across the Mediterranean, the Genoese and the Pisans, they amuse themselves by taking our shores for their own use, by loading our good men onto their ships as instruments for their wars half a world away. Our isle has always been the plaything of self-styled greater powers, who would use and discard our people at will like beasts of burden: the Vandals, the Romans, the Genovese. But there was a brief time when it was not so.


Sixty years ago the common ancestor of these squabbling houses, the great King Barisone, once united Sardinia and our northern neighbor Corsica in a glorious kingdom free from foreign influence. For one brief, fleeting moment, this place belonged to us, truly and without question. The other Giudici have forgotten the dream of a free Sardinian kingdom. They are content to act as toadies for petty moneychangers and peddlers, but not I. Not my son. I have told him, instructed him since the loss of his father:

“This land, our home, is the place that spurs the waters of the ocean onward, that stands apart from west or east, north or south. The world will one day know that it revolves around us.”

As my son runs back from the pillars, his knees scuffed and hair unkempt, this silent hope dares to stir my heart once more. The dream of my son’s sigil, the red crown, perched atop of Sardinia...

 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
119 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.545
2.458
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Darkest Hour
  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • 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
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Welcome to AAR writing! I hope you find it fun.

This is a very good introductory post. A very nice perspective from the mother-regent that fills us in on lots of detail. Also one rarely sees start dates after 1066 so looking forward to see what happens.
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.496
1.221
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Good luck with this. Will tune in to see how you go. Welcome to AARland as a writAAR :)
 

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Welcome to AAR writing! I hope you find it fun.

This is a very good introductory post. A very nice perspective from the mother-regent that fills us in on lots of detail. Also one rarely sees start dates after 1066 so looking forward to see what happens.
Good luck with this. Will tune in to see how you go. Welcome to AARland as a writAAR :)
Thank you, everyone. Glad to be aboard!
 
Chapter One: Planting the Seeds (February 1st, 1220-January 1st, 1223)

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter One: Planting the Seeds (February 1st, 1220-January 1st, 1223)

August 31st, 1220 AD

I rub my temples and sigh once again as the slack-jawed jackasses nominally called a “council” continue their prattle, droning on and on about reports, documents, land grants, zoning ordinances...they’re worse than children, the lot of them.


The only one who isn’t a blithering idiot is Bartolomeo. A curious and contradictory one, he is, of common birth but boasting an education rivaling that of the richest patrician families. He is a man of letters, and is learned enough to see beyond superstition and hearsay. He is slow to believe and quick to suspect; he understands as I do that “politics” is a fancy word for survival. He is no friend of mine, understand; I’ve no patience for false smiles and honeyed words. He and I...we are survivors.


He taps my shoulder. “My lady,” he says, his expression betraying no hint of emotion. “The meeting is adjourned.”

I snap out of my reverie and notice that the rest of the councillors seem to have left without us. No doubt off to further their own petty schemes. “Ah, so it is. Bart,” I call him by his pejorative, hoping one day to get something of a rise out of him, “would you be so kind as to-”

“The summary, as usual.” Bartolomeo always gives me the salient portions of the quarterly meetings in a more digestible form, as per our tacit agreement. I cannot help but notice his stack of notes, written in neat, precise characters.

“A number of matters, mostly in the realm of continuing business. There was much discussion of the ongoing situation in Jerusalem.”


I nod. It was announced some time around April the 5th that the Caliph of the Sunnis had declared a great holy war to take back Jerusalem from the child queen. I knew of the matter but paid it little mind. I say the “Holy Land” can be holy for whoever wants it to be.

“And? Any developments?”

“Several, now that Anastasius V has called-”

“I’m sorry? Anastasius V?”

“He is the pope, my lady.”

“I thought Honorius III was the pope?”

“Er...no, my lady. He died. About two months ago.”

“Oh.”

Bartolomeo stares at me for a moment. His inscrutable gaze could be analyzing my posture and demeanor for weaknesses...of course, it is entirely possible he simply thinks I’m an idiot.

He clears his throat and continues. “Pope Anastasius V assumed office just after Honorius III passed away on the first of July. Less than three weeks later, on the nineteenth, the Papal legate officialized a counter-offensive for the region, calling upon all good Christians to take up the mantle of Crusader once again.”

“Enough of these distant matters. Tell me of our native lands. What bedevils us this month, hm?”

“Well, the loss of the Pisan trading post last month continues to impact our business with-”

“And good riddance! We don’t need more money-grubbers stuffing themselves at our expense!”

Bartolomeo remains silent for a moment. “Perhaps. Still, it opens up an opportunity for the Genoese to reassert their influence in our-”

“‘Reassert their influence?’ You mean ply their wares in Oristano again, right? You mean exploit our people yet again? They can all rot in hell, especially Doge Oberto and his whole Grimaldi clan.”

I do nothing to check my rage this time; there are times when I feel that the Genoese deserve even more lambasting than I can give them.

“Be that as it may, my lady, the importance of their trade ventures in the east cannot be overstated, what with the new trade routes opening around the Black Sea and-”

“Yes Bart, you can give me all the figures and evidence you want. It changes nothing about those greedy bastards. Especially that Doge of theirs, Oberto the glutton, Oberto the drooling cow.”

“I would not speak so harshly of our liege lord, my lady, so as not to-”

“So as not to what? So as not to interrupt his daily ritual of stuffing his fat face? To hell with Oberto and all his ilk! From this day forward, he shall be known as ‘Oberto the Fat’! I hope he chokes on his own fat rolls, the cretin.”

“My lady, this is most unbecoming behavior. Besides, I do not think that the rest of the realm quite agrees with your assertions about our Serene Doge.”

One Week Later


“Tell me Bart, how do you say ‘I told you so’ in Latin?”

Bart sighs. “Sic ego dixi vobis.” He goes back to reading his book.

I let myself get a bit carried away again. “Now the whole republic points and laughs at our ‘glorious’ liege! I hope he chokes on all our resounding ‘praise!’ Now he’ll never hear the end of it!”

Eight Months Later


“Huh. It says here in the letter that Oberto died of ‘severe stress.’ Well then. Er…Bart, how do you say ‘I didn’t really mean it’ in Latin?”

“Paenitet me quod,” he answers immediately, without meeting my gaze. His face is buried in another of his books. For a moment I think I see something resembling a smirk on his lips.

June 22nd, 1221 AD


I receive word that our new liege, Niccolò of House Doria, has set his sights on some backwater village out in Crimea somewhere. And here I thought that he’d be more sensible than our last Doge. Yet again I watch as good Sardinian men are mobilized to go fight in some faraway patch of dirt I’ve never heard of. Things change so little over the years.

I see my Perdu watching the pikemen assemble into their column, readying themselves for war. He is over fourteen now, practically a man already. This time he does not cheer on the soldiers as he usually would. This time, he seems...pensive? Afraid? Determined? I know not what anymore.

August 8th, 1221 AD


The warmth of the summer sun wends its way across the bright sandstone walls of the Basilica de Santa Giusta. The last of the congregants shuffle down the steps of the church and a calm sets in, punctuated only by the occasional screeching of a flight of gulls. The orange-hued sky makes the town below glimmer, as if King Midas himself had waltzed through the place and turned it all to gold. It is another Sunday in Arboréa, very much like all the rest before it and all the rest yet to come.

Perdu sits on the steps, his hands resting upon his chin and elbows on his knees. Again he has been quiet today, as he has these past few months. I walk close behind him with Bishop Corradino, and try to compliment him on his sermon, although in truth it could have used a bit more elaboration.


“...so in regards to this notion, my lady,” he says in his usual monotone, “the church’s understanding of suffering is not that it is to be merely endured, but to be celebrated, for the nature of our lives are one as such that Christ our Lord suffered in divine tandem with our own human suffering, the cause of which-”

I try to interrupt him to bid him good day, but he continues without pause, like some sort of very boring parrot. I regret making him our chancellor...

“...and it ties in to the question of purpose, since Christ died for all of us, as it is said in Peter, you know, when the book says ‘let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.’”

“Does He, though?”

It is Perdu’s voice. Corradino and I stop in our tracks. Perdu stands.

“Does He want us to do what’s right? Or does He want us to suffer?”

Perdu turns and gives Corradino an icy stare. I look at one, then back to the other. The gulls stop their screeching. Suddenly the silence is broken:

“Well?! Which one is it, Father?!”

Perdu glares at Corradino, his hands balled up into fists. A wind blows over us, and Corradino backs up slightly, clutching his staff. Suddenly Perdu looks over at me, as if just remembering that I am there. I give him a look. The look. The one that always works; it works this time too. He turns back around and makes his way down the steps, his head hanging down low. I glance back at Corradino, his eyes downcast, before striding down to catch up with my son. I only realize in hindsight that a door has been opened within my dear boy, one that will never again be shut.


October 26th, 1221 AD


Meet the new Doge, same as the old Doge. He hasn’t abandoned the Crimean venture, although this one is at least man enough to go trudge over there himself. I hear he’s some kind of military genius, too.


Genoan politics give me a headache.

July 22nd, 1222 AD

Nine months pass in the blink of an eye. Perdu stands tall and proud; he so resembles his father now. You’d never know he was mine except for the eyes, blue and shimmering like the clear waters of the Bay of Oristano. His gaze is as fierce and unwavering as his disposition, just as I taught him to be. I only wish I had better news for him.


Lamberto, the vile Benedetta’s feckless husband, has made inroads with the patricians of Pisa. It is as I feared. Soon the Giudici will eye each other hungrily for control of the isle. My boy is strong, but not yet strong enough to fend them off, not all at once. I think long and hard about the state of things in the darkness of my study. The first solution is obvious: to enter into a mutual defensive treaty with my eldest sister and reinforce the southern half of the isle. Bah! I’d rather throw myself into the sea than break bread with that loathsome witch! No, my course of action is clear.


July 27th, 1222 AD

“My lady, I am...not sure that I understand.”

For once in all our years together, Bartolomeo’s feelings are transparent. His confused expression is perhaps what pains me the most; I am unused to seeing him as anything but opaque. Perdu makes an effort to look away, doing his best to hide his face from mine. The rest of the council mills about, lost in their own idle prattle. I speak only with those who matter.

I look out on the sea again as sailors load the last of their cargo onto the ship; my passage across the sea. I pretend to inspect them for a moment before turning back to them.

“I’m afraid it is a simple matter of arithmetic, Bart. Marianu has one and one-half thousand troops to his name. Benedetta (cursed be her name) has nearly twice that number, and her husband’s new friendship with House Alliata potentially doubles that number. Soon the web of alliances will be fully spun. We need to be spiders, Bart. Not flies.”

“This I understand, my lady. But why this man, Sanç of Rosello? Why not the doge himself? He remains unmarried.”

“Internal politicking will not serve us this time. An outside player, someone outside of the republic, outside of the Doge or the Patricians, who isn’t on their payroll...that gives us an advantage. Besides, the family has ancestral ties to the Catalans. I may be able to leverage this into support from the Aragonese. And besides that...well, the man is quite old. I’m hoping my stay there will be a short one in the long run.”

I manage a chuckle, but Bart is, as usual, unmoved. Perdu’s face occasionally twists and wrinkles, but he keeps himself from crying. I look up at the sky, a beautiful blue tableau stretching for eternity in every direction. It’s a typically beautiful Sardinian summer: warm and dry, with a pleasantly cool sea breeze coming from the northwest. I wish it were cloudy, storming even. I wish I was drenched in cold, stinging rain.

“Bart, I...Bartolomeo. You have always been...um, what I mean to say is, I…my son, he...”

The words keep slipping out of my mind before they get to my tongue. I talk in a low voice, so Perdu won’t hear.

“He is to reach the age of majority in a few months. Until that time, I have decided that you will act as regent in my stead. And afterwards...I can’t make any guarantees. All I know is that he will need you, and I hope he recognizes that.”

“And if something should befall him in your absence? If Bened- ...er, your sister should marshal her troops, or if the Logudorans should...should…my lady?”

I find myself staring past Bartolomeo, staring past my son even. I see a procession of flags off in the distance. It’s funny, I don’t remember seeing them there before. The first is the emblem of Bas Serra, the emblem of my son, the red crown which looms over us all. The second is the flag of Arboréa, bearing the image of a single tree. Then there is disgusting Benedetta’s flag, the black steed of Cagliari. The rooster of Gallura. And the last is the tower, the ever-watchful tower of Logudoro, and I can almost imagine Marianu standing atop it with the sweeping gaze of a hawk. They wave in the summer breeze, suspended in midair seemingly by no flagstaff or banner, unmoored to anything of this earth. I blink and they disappear, and I have what I think they call an “epiphany.”

“Don’t be afraid, Bartolomeo. The tree stands taller than the tower. You will survive. He will survive. He must.”

Bartolomeo looks behind him, glances at Perdu, and looks back to me. He arches his eyebrow at me and thinks for a moment. He gives me a wordless nod. I try to put my hand on Perdu’s shoulder, but suddenly he turns about and runs off, disappearing into the streets of town. My every instinct tells me to rush after him, to hold him as I did when he was small. But no. The tree must stand taller than the tower. A broken heart...that is a small price to pay.

In what seems like only a moment more, the ship sets sail, and I take one last look behind me at Bart standing on the docks. It’s funny...after my son, I think I will miss Bart most of all. I’ve known him now longer than I knew my own husband. As the coast of Sardinia fades into the horizon, I allow some measure of hope to make its way across my heart.

Five Months Later




END OF CHAPTER ONE
 
Last edited:

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
119 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.545
2.458
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Darkest Hour
  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • 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
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Hope for future generations, mayhap. :)

I think there are some "interesting" times ahead.
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.496
1.221
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Looks like Bart would make a better Court Chaplain with his learning. Perhaps Perdu will do a council clean out on his ascension? With those traits, he’s going to need good advice - dull and cruel and it looks like cynical too - oh dear! :eek: Perhaps some heresy as well, later? Better get an heir quickly :oops:

I do like Preziosa’s catty asides about the loathed sister - perhaps one day we will discover the back story? ;)
 

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Hope for future generations, mayhap. :)

I think there are some "interesting" times ahead.
It might not be that bad. It might be worse. :D

Looks like Bart would make a better Court Chaplain with his learning. Perhaps Perdu will do a council clean out on his ascension? With those traits, he’s going to need good advice - dull and cruel and it looks like cynical too - oh dear! :eek: Perhaps some heresy as well, later? Better get an heir quickly :oops:

I do like Preziosa’s catty asides about the loathed sister - perhaps one day we will discover the back story? ;)
Yeah, Perdu's a real piece of work. I had mixed feelings when he came of age: on the one hand, his stats and traits are laughably bad, but on the other hand, I thought "Ooh! He'll be more fun to write about this way!"

Barisone may be a shining example but it could be some time before his achievement is equalled.

Good luck with the AAR, and subscribed!
Thank you! And I'll give it my best shot to create the kingdom. You gotta aim for the stars before you hit the ground, I suppose.
 
Chapter Two: A Tree Grows in Sardinia (January 1st, 1223-March 10th, 1229)

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter Two: A Tree Grows in Sardinia (January 1st, 1223-March 10th, 1229)

January 17th, 1223 AD

So here I am, eh? Me, Perdu Bas Serra, the Guidice of Arboréa, livin’ large at last. Oh, don’ mind all the mess everywhere, like my aunts ‘n uncles sittin’ around playin’ backgammon and sippin’ some nice su bìnu makin’ arrangements to confiscate all my shit. Thanks for that, mother! I feel so safe right now! ‘Specially since you weren’t able to get my new stepdad to come around to helpin’ us out in case uncle Marianu decides to shove one of the famous Italian pike regiments straight up my ass!

So thanks for that, mother. Thanks a lot. See, it’s because o’ shit like this that you don’t get invited to the wedding.


Oh yeah, I forgot to mention: I’m gettin’ married today, I guess. Council arranged it all hurried-like after my birthday, politics ‘n crap like that, you know. Her name’s Maria and she’s some broad from some place in north Iberia. They say she’s one o’ them Basques, like that means somethin’ to me. She’s got about a decade on me; I guess the council thought I’d like older women or somethin’. But for Christ’s sake, she’s almost as old as mother! It’s creepy is what it is.

February 1st, 1223 AD


Well well well, looks like somebody around here appreciates my talents! Got myself a commission in the Genoese army as an honest-to-goodness general. Gives me an excuse to get outta Sardinia and see the world: I’ll take in the sights, sample the local grub, meet foreign peoples an’ disembowel ‘em a little bit. You know, like a vacation!

Yeah, but it’s still eatin’ at me that I can’t make sure things don’ go pear-shaped once I leave. I mean, these people, my “subjects,” they’re basically morons, right? I gotta hold their hand every time they wanna take a piss in the river, ya know what I mean? And what with my relatives all whisperin’ in the corner ‘bout which one gets to cut off my head after they storm my castle an’ everythin’...well, I gotta make things even somehow. Everythin’s gotta even out eventually. So I got an idea I been formulatin’. A good idea. Well...it is a good idea an’ all, but it’s also the worst idea I ever had

May 1st, 1223 AD

“You know, you must tell me where you hired your cook. This veal is just divine. Very tender, mm.”

I’m over at the other side o’ the table, an’ I can’t think of much to say. I just sorta glare and drink my wine real slow-like, might look more intimidatin’ that way...though I don’ think it’s workin’. I look over at Bart for some kinda hint, but he’s just sittin’ there munchin’ his greens like it’s no big thing. I swear I just can’t figure that guy out. The other council guys sorta mill around and do their thing. I ain’t payin’ much attention to them.

I look back over at our “guest” and she dabs her mouth with her napkin all lady-like. Yeah, like she’s foolin’ anybody....

“Young man, I know we’ve never really seen eye-to-eye before. I mean, we haven’t really talked much, have we? No doubt in the past there have been some people...who will remain nameless...ahem, who conspired to keep us from reaching a consensus, an accord, if you will. Now, I think it’s very mature of you to be the one to make overtures towards an understanding between our two realms. A mutually beneficial arrangement would suit both of us quite nicely, wouldn’t it?”

She’s usin’ a lotta big words, but I think I get the thrust of it. I mainline the rest o’ my wine an’ try to sound all nice-like.

“Look, I’m new to all this, so I just want somethin’ that’s fair for you an’ me. I want everythin’ to even out eventually, you know what I mean?”

“Very well said, young man,” she says back, and she’s got this sorta look on her face. Just for a second she looks like a snake or somethin’.

“So I say we just make it like an informal kind of a...well you know, like a...like that thing that you said. An...uh…”

“A mutually beneficial arrangement?”

“Yeah. One o’ those.”

She stands up all nice and slow and picks up her dress a bit so she can sorta saunter over to my spot. She’s dolled herself up like she always does, but she ain’t foolin’ me. I know what she’s like behind all those frills n’ silk. She holds out her hand like she’s askin’ me out to a dance or somethin’. I think she wants to shake.

“Well? Do we have a deal, young man?”

I get up all slow and all of a sudden I feel kinda heavy, like I’m underwater. There’s this voice in my head tellin’ me to back off. There’s another voice sayin’ I should get the table knife an’ cut off that hand real quick-like. Somehow it takes a lot for me to reach over to her hand and give it a polite shake. Somehow I manage to keep my dinner in my stomach.

“Yeah...yeah, we got a deal.”


Mother...forgive me…



After dinner everyone leaves ‘cept me an’ ol’ Bart. Both of us are quiet for a long stretch. Eventually I sorta scoot over to ‘im and I say somethin’ like: “hey Bart...you think we did the right thing?”

He don’t turn to look at me or nothin’. He just says “That is immaterial. It has been done.” He says it all dramatic-like, as if he’s the Grim Reaper himself. Then he gets up and moves like to walk away, but then he stops and turns around all fast. He looks right at me and says:

“And you will forgive me, my lord, but my name is ‘Bartolomeo.’ You are not permitted to call me ‘Bart.’”

Then he walks off all casual-like. I’m so surprised that he showed some guts for once that I even forget to rough ‘im up for backtalkin’ me.

June 6th, 1223 AD



Well, I guess it was bound to happen. That lady’s been all over me since she got here. I mean, I don’t mind it so much, but she just wouldn’t let up! Didn’t even give a shit about the age difference or nothin’. I think she’s got somethin’ screwy up in her head-region, ‘cause whenever I’d get hurt from the scratching or bitin’ or bumpin’ my head or somethin’ she seemed to kinda get off on it.

Anyway, maybe now she’ll cool it a bit now that we got a little one on the way. I mean, I think I’m a little young to be a dad, but mother was pretty young when she had me, an’ look how I turned out! I’ll make the little tyke the spittin’ image of his dear ol’ pop, and he’ll be a real man’s man, a total package! My very own little boy!

January 6th, 1224 AD


Eh...boy, girl, same thing. At least she got my eyes.

Oh yeah, and I got a letter here sayin’ that those Crusader guys pushed the Islams back outta the Holy Land. Good for them.


February 28th, 1224 AD


So I’m sittin’ in that outhouse that passes for a throne room when Bart comes in all unannounced-like. The nerve o’ that guy! He must think he owns the place or somethin’, the way he’s always comin’ and goin’ and writin’ stuff down (I gotta start doin’ that more, I’m startin’ to forget how). I’m glad he’s here, though...I’m real pissed off, and I need a good trainin’ dummy to hit a couple times.

“Can you believe it Bartolomeo? Those stupid Trapezondians-”

“Trebizondians.”

“Those Treblezandians-”

Trebizondians.”

“Whatever! The goddamned Trapezoid people surrendered to the Doge, and now I don’t get to go out on campaign! That means I’m stuck in this shithole rockpile you so generously call a castle! Now I gotta spend every day starin’ at your stupid-ass face along with the rest o’ those goat-molesters on the council, not to mention my wife, who’s tryin’ to tie me down an’ blindfold me on the bed, again, an’ the stupid kid’s cryin’ at all hours of the night, raisin’ all kindsa hell, and not to mention-”

“My lord!”

“What? What is it, shit-for-brains?!”

“My lord, I have just come from a meeting with Napoleone, and-”

“Who?”

“Napoleone, sir. Your spymaster.”


“Eh? I don’t remember seein’ that guy so much.”

“He does not usually attend the council meetings; he generally keeps to himself. But he approached me concerning a most urgent matter.”

“Oh really now?”



“Oh...ohhhh. That’s, er...that’s pretty bad, isn’t it?”

“I would say so, yes, my lord. Marianu has recruited one of your own vassals into his scheme: Nazareno, the mayor of Fordongianus.”

“That name...sounds kinda familiar…”

“It should, my lord. He was once your marshal.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right. Whatever happened to that guy?”

“My lord, you fired him from the council. For abusing the privileges of his position, I believe.”

“Oh yeah! He was torturin’ the soldiers or somethin’ like that. The nerve of that guy (bastard stole my idea)! Well, er...any suggestions?”

“I have taken the liberty of arranging a meeting about the matter, my lord.”

“Oh really? For when?”

Suddenly a pair of guards burst in and they got a guy strugglin’ and carryin’ on, and they throw ‘im to the floor. Wouldn’t ya know, it’s Mayor Nazareno himself.

“Right now.”

“Y’know what, Bartolomeo? I like your style.” I turn to Nazareno; he’s all crumpled on the floor, an’ he’s lookin’ all scared and sweatin’. I can’t help myself, I’m grinnin’ like a schoolboy who just saw his first pair o’ tits. I go over to my weapons rack and unhitch the blade from a polearm so that I got nothin’ but a big ol’ stick, an’ I hold it over the mayor’s head.

“So Nazareno...Naz, my friend. I hear you been doin’ some dirty business behind my back. Ain’t that a shame...say Naz, you remember when you was beatin’ up on those young recruits what who couldn’t fight back or nothin’?”

I hoist the stick up high.

“Whadya say we...even that out a little, shall we?”

Two Hours Later


“Ah...that felt good. Bartolomeo, get ‘im outta here. And get me some more sticks.”

December 9th, 1224 AD


Ah, here we go! Looks like the Doge just declared another war. Finally, some action! It says here it’s out in Bulgaria somewhere; all right, I can pretend like I know where that is. Uncle Marianu’s still tryin’ to take me down, so it’ll be good to get out o’ Sardinia for a while. And anyways I been feelin’ so cooped-up in this castle lately. I can’t wait! My blood’s boilin’, man! Before ya know it, I’ll be right in the thick o’ battle, drenched in the blood o’ my enemies!”

February 17th, 1226 AD (Over One Year Later)


This...is not quite what I imagined.


Up and down, he tells us. Up and down, north and south, over and over. Doin’ nothin’ but patrollin’ the western Bulgarian border while the Doge parks his ass on the capital and just waits and waits. Not even anywhere near the city he’s supposedly after. Nobody told me war was gonna be so...well, so boring. At least I learned a thing or two about troop formations from these old Genoese geezers.


I kept in touch with the folks back home, too. A couple o’ developments there. Most of it’s not too much to bother with. One o’ Aunt Benedetta’s treaties fell through with those Pisans (or “Pissans,” as I call ‘em). Maria did not cheat on me, which surprised the hell outta me; thought she’d need to get her fix. I guess once you’ve had the best, the rest just don’ cut it no more.

Oh, but speaking of which: you who is a cheater?


Yep, shock of the century. Turns out my dear Aunt Benedetta couldn’t keep it in her pants and had a kid outta wedlock with one of her generals, Giberto Somethin’-or-Other. Now everybody’s pissed off at her somethin’ fierce. Mother would piss herself laughin’, she’d be so happy.

Oh, I also decided that Mayor Naz is gonna die. That bitch is too much trouble, an’ I don’ want him snoopin’ around with Uncle Marianu again tryin’ to put a knife in my back. So I’ll put a knife in his first. See? It all evens out. Bart even said he’d help me out! He’s not such a bad guy after all, isn’t he?


Only it ain’t so easy, ‘cause Naz is a real slippery bastard. Me ‘n Bart invite some shady characters in from the mainland to try to help us out, but they’re all like “ugh, we have morals and shit like that,” so I have ‘em booted out back to where they came from.


Well, hopefully this war’ll be over soon an’ I can get back to court an’ do things proper-like.

October 16th, 1226 AD

Well, the bad news is that the war’s still goin’. The good news is that there’s finally somethin’ interestin’ happenin’ in it.


Yeah, check out the balls on our “Serene” Doge. This crazy mother’s fightin’ the enemy with a just a pittance o’ troops so’s he can hold ‘em off while me ‘n the rest o’ the main force comes up from behind, n’ then...shabam! We rush in an’ nail those bastards! That there must be some o’ that “strategy” stuff I been hearin’ so much about.

Worked like a charm, too, I gotta hand it to ‘im. An’ even better, I got to be in my first real battle! Well, it was pretty short ‘n we kinda outnumbered the Bulgarians ten-to-one, n’ plus I didn’t really get to do much, but goddamnit I was still in a battle! And victorious! Put that on a coin n’ mint it!

January 6th, 1227 AD

So here I am, deep in some dark, dank pit, surrounded by turmoil and chaos. The stench of death is pungent all around me as I survey the wasted scenery.

No, I’m not out on the Bulgarian front. I’m visitin’ home. Visitin’ the wife. Now I understand why guys drop everythin’ ‘n march off to war all the time.

I’m real surprised when I get to the bedroom n’ Maria comes up to me n’ just says “hello.” Seriously? No bitin’ this time? Not even a punch? Somethin’ must be up, so’s I ask her what’s wrong.

“Well,” she says with her arms all crossed-like, “I think it’s high time that those children go back where they came from.”

“Come again? I thought we just had the one ‘children.’ Now, if you’re lookin’ into givin’ it up f’r adoption…”

“No! Ugh, you’re such a brute (and not always in bed, where it counts). No, I mean those little French rascals, the de Genève boys.”

“Uh… the what now?”

“Rodolphe and Ogier? No? *sigh* Right, let’s see if I still remember how to speak in ‘idiot.’ Do you remember those fellows you invited over here for your little murder-themed get-together with Bartolomeo? To take care of that mayor?”

“Er...you wasn’t supposed to know ‘bout that…”

“Next time, make sure your secrets are actually ‘secret,’ okay Pedro?”

“Perdu! Perdu! You’re always gettin’ that wrong!”

“I don’t get it wrong, I say it specifically to get on your nerves, we’ve established this. Now listen! Last February you invited him to your little assassin party, and then you sent him back to France. Only he didn’t take his boys with him. They’re still here.”


“Wait wait wait: are you tellin’ me that this asshole just left his own kids alone and unprotected in a foreign country and never came back for ‘em? For a whole year?! What a slimy pathetic excuse for a human bein’! I mean really! Who does somethin’ like that? It’s immoral! It’s inhuman! It’s barbaric!”

“So what are we going to do with them? Do we send them back?”

“Eh...nah, we can keep ‘em around. I kinda always wanted pets.”

April 16th, 1227 AD

Still out fightin’ the Bulgarians. Honestly, I’m surprised there are any Bulgarians left. Not ‘cause they’re dead, but ‘cause they got as bored as I am and went home. If I had a ducat for every day we spent sittin’ on our asses outside o’ some wall doin’ nothin’ but waitin’, I could buy Venice.

But I still been keepin’ busy. See, Bart an’ me’ve been exchangin’ letters, and we figured the operation to rub out Mayor Naz wasn’t goin’ nowheres. See, we had to use our brains n’ outsmart ‘im instead. Make it so he couldn’t cause no more trouble. So we came up with a plan. Well, er...Bart did most of the legwork. I supervised.


Genius, right? Bart got Bishop Corradino to back him up and they swung their council votes so’s I can take land ‘n stuff back without nobody sayin’ nothin’ ‘bout it. Nice bonus! So right away I take the deed to Fordongianus ‘n snatch it right outta Naz’s hand. Hah! What a dunce.


I owe Bart big-time for this, too. He was real quick about remindin’ me that I owe ‘im, too. Fair’s fair, after all: everythin’ evens out eventually. Good thing for him I got the perfect gift in mind for all his hard work!

April 30th, 1227 AD


Ta-da! I’ll even throw in the funny hat for free, too.

April 29th, 1228 AD

Three and a half years. Three! And a half! Goddamn! Years! And the war’s still not over. No. It’ll never be over. What’re we fightin’ for again? A city? A single goddamn city I can’t even remember the name of? And we still haven’t taken it yet?!

I’m callin’ it right now: Bulgaria is officially the worst place in the entire world.

So while I’ve been watchin’ myself melt from sheer boredom, things’ve been pickin’ up back home. Turns out there are still people willin’ to ally with Aunt Benedetta. Without blackmail, even! This time it’s some ritzy Genoese moneychangers, the Embriaco family. These people mean business is more ways than one.


So now I figure the best thing to do is to make it so’s everybody knows ‘bout what a whore-bitch she is so’s they won’t be her friend no more. But it ain’t easy...I’m havin’ trouble comin’ up with rumors ‘bout her that ain’t true already.


I been experimentin’ with it. By the way, did you know she had another bastard kid? This time we don’t even know who the dad is.


I swear, it’s like she stole my best material.

Oh, ‘n last September we had another battle, at least. If you can call trudgin’ through the muddiest stretch o’ the Danube duckin’ Bulgarian arrows ‘n gettin’ the boots sucked right off your feet a “battle.” More like an obstacle course through Satan’s asshole. We won anyway, so can’t complain too much.


Oh, and Uncle Marianu’s been busy too. Signed a deal with the Count of Cinarca in Corsica.


Not gonna lie: makin’ me a little nervous. I mean, Aunt Benedetta an’ her whoring around is one thing, but Marianu’s supposed to be some kinda brilliant military type guy. If he’s got more troops to work with...there’s not tellin’ what he might do. Everybody’s been buildin’ up manpower ‘n alliances ‘n weapons ‘n all kindsa shit for years and years now. I mean, somethin’s gotta give eventually, right? It’s all gotta even out, don’t it? Somebody’s gotta step up ‘n make the first move, right?

March 10th, 1229 AD



Like Lamberto Visconti, f’r instance. The Giudice of Gallura. Aunt Benedetta’s husband. Who’s now attackin’ Marianu’s main fortress to seize it for the Doge o’ Pisa. Maybe weakenin’ both their armies in the process...

Hmmmmmmm…

END OF CHAPTER TWO
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
119 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.545
2.458
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Darkest Hour
  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • 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
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
Seems like the lad needs some seasoning yet, but also that he does seem to be getting it.
 

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.496
1.221
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
You do a good job here of making Perdu the unlikable, immature twerp his characteristics surely demand! I admire your dedication in keeping up the rebellious teen/youth lingo for the whole chapter! :D:rolleyes: Will be interesting to see if he ever develops past it as he grows older - there are a few signs there he might. Though I suspect he will always be a prat :p
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.799
861
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • 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
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Well I do like the look of the new Sardinia paradox have laid out. A bit more to it now. I think this should be a fairly good quest since so many countries all want your island and can all get to you.

So...

Good luck with that.
 

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
You do a good job here of making Perdu the unlikable, immature twerp his characteristics surely demand! I admire your dedication in keeping up the rebellious teen/youth lingo for the whole chapter! :D:rolleyes: Will be interesting to see if he ever develops past it as he grows older - there are a few signs there he might. Though I suspect he will always be a prat :p
Why thank you! I have a feeling Perdu's never going to fully come out of his "meathead" phase, but he's gradually getting himself to a non-neanderthal state.

Well I do like the look of the new Sardinia paradox have laid out. A bit more to it now. I think this should be a fairly good quest since so many countries all want your island and can all get to you.

So...

Good luck with that.
Yes, Sardinia's political divisions are closer to how they were in real life now, although the game doesn't quite capture the complexities inherent in the giudicati system that governed the island. Still, it presented what I thought was a compelling backdrop for the AAR. And I'm glad you're reading it too! May I say that I'm a big fan of your Empire of Albion AAR; your worldbuilding skills and attention to detail are just superb.
 
Chapter Three: Roots and Branches (March 10th, 1229-June 18th, 1232)

Prominences

First Lieutenant
17 Badges
Dec 9, 2017
277
0
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter Three: Roots and Branches (March 10th, 1229-June 18th, 1232)

October 4th, 1229 AD


FINALLY.

Five years. After five long, godforsaken years trudgin’ through wilderness n’ dealin’ with disease, boredom, filth, n’ occasionally an enemy soldier or two, the Doge finally took a single small, unimportant city on the coast of the Black Sea.

Suddenly I feel real tired. Like I wanna take a nap for maybe the rest of the year.

But there ain’t no time f’r that, ‘cause next thing I know I get myself called in to a meetin’ with all the other generals. We’re all hold up in some camp out in Tyrnovo somewheres, lots o’ big ol’ thick trees ‘n such. I can see them mountains out in the distance; I got real familiar with ‘em over the years. Whole place is too cold for me, I say. Oh, the Doge’s here, too. Funny, he looks just about as sick ‘n tired o’ this place as I do. He gets us all around a big ol’ table and everybody starts layin’ out a map or somethin’. Only I recognize the map this time: it’s good ol’ Sardinia n’ Corsica. Couple o’ those other mooks turns to me. The Doge gets up and starts speechifyin’. Talkin’ ‘bout how we fought for such a “noble cause” and the “power of our sacrifice.”

It was for one city, asshole. One. Single. City. I hope it was worth it. I REALLY do.

No, I don’t say that out loud; I’m a gentleman-type-person. Plus he looks like he’s gonna drop off any moment now; don’t wanna tip ‘im over or nothin’. Typical Genoese bigwig; most he’s ever gotta worry ‘bout is if he’ll trip over all his bags o’ money. Thinks he can boss all us guidici around ‘cause he’s got a pile o’ coins he inherited from his daddy.

So then he gets to askin’ ‘bout what the boys should expect once we make a landin’ on the island. Oh, I see. Doge’s fully commitin’ to repellin’ the Gallurans from Logudoro. I mean...on the one hand, I do hate my uncle Marianu and want to see him get his shit pushed in. On the other hand...er, is there another hand? Oh yeah, givin’ up territory to the pissant Pisans and pissin’ off the Doge somethin’ fierce.

Yeah, ‘n he’s lookin’ right at me now, n’ he don’t look happy. Guess he wants me to talk or somethin’. “Look,” I tells ‘im, “I been livin’ on this island f’r basically my whole life, and I’ll tell you one thing I picked up about it: this place is a bitch to walk through. I mean, look at this!”


“Y’see this here? Mountain, mountain, mountain...er, yep, another mountain. Mountains everywhere! You wonder why my great-grandad settled in Arboréa? It’s the only halfway flat patch o’ land on the goddamn island!”

“Do you have any recommendations?”

“Yeah, I got a recommendation for ya: steer clear o’ the mountains. Can’t hardly march nobody through ‘em worth a damn. Stick to the coastline. Or, if you really gotta go through a mountain, at least make sure you’re higher up than the other guys.”

The rest o’ them guys don’ look to happy. Maybe they was expectin’ somethin’ more?

“Oh! And don’t be tryin’ to get yer galleys anywhere nears the Strait o’ Bonifacio! It’s narrow, it’s shallow, it’s full o’ rocks, it’s just a bad time all around. Smaller kind of fishin’ boat or somethin’, maybe. On a good day. All your nice big warships’ll get torn apart, though.”

The Doge sorta cuts me off. “Thank you, but my strategists have already advised me about the Strait. If there is anything else? Anything useful?”

Boy, talk about a tough room. “Er...I don’t...well, that is-”

“Very well then. Everyone ready your divisions and prepare to march to the port at Varna. I am told we’ve already sent word to the Crimean territories and they will ready our fleet here in the Black Sea for transport to Sardinia. We’ll rendezvous with the fleet and set a course through the Aegean and shoot around to take in supplies from the secondary fleet meeting us at the merchant port in Siracusa. From there we reorganize the troops, replenish ammunition, and set sail across the Tyrrhenian and up the eastern Sardinian coast. We make landfall here in the north, near Olbia. From there, we hold off until we can ascertain the Pisan position and their precise troop strength. Is everyone clear?”

Everybody else sort of nods, I guess I better nod too.

“Good. We’ll clear up the Sardinian matter and go home.”

F’r some reason I don’t like the way he said “Sardinian matter.” Made it sound like the whole island’s got a rat problem or somethin’. Everybody sorta starts shufflin’ off, but then he points at me ‘n says:

“Stay a moment, count. I’d like a word with you.”

Oh, that tears it! Count? Count?! I ain’t no “count,” buddy! I’m a Giudice! That means “judge” in Sardinian (which is like Italian, only better). As in I’m gonna "judge" how much you can "count" after I break all your fingers!

I mean, really. Count. Yeah, I think he’s a “count” too. Only without the “o,” if ya know what I mean.

So’s it’s just him an’ me now, plus a couple guards here ‘n there. He’s sittin’ down kinda slumped in his chair like he just got deflated or somethin’. I keep waitin’ f’r him to say somethin’, but he’s gone all quiet-like now. He ain’t even really lookin’ at me, the jerk. Keeps lookin’ off in the distance, at the mountains I think. I mean, they do look kinda nice, what with the snow reflectin’ all the sunlight ‘n everything.

After what seems like an hour Mr. Doge-man decides to speak:

“Ah yes, Count Perdu. I wanted to be the first to tell you about your assignment.”

“My, er...my what?”

“Once we make landfall in Sardinia, I’m passing active command of the army to you with respect to the Galluran conflict. I wanted you to be the first to know.”

“Er...oh. Well that’s...that’s good news, I guess…”

“I know how I came across before, but you really are the only commander with a thorough knowledge of the terrain. And besides that I thought you did reasonably well at the Battle of Drista last year, out on the banks of the Danube. To be frank, Count Perdu, despite the fact that you’re impertinent, headstrong, and disorganized, you have the makings of a decent commander. You could be of great service to the Republic, if you have the temerity to seize opportunities when they arise.”

I nod and pretend like I know what “temerity” means.

“Eight years...eight years since I was elected to the rank of Serene Doge. That title carries with it unimaginable responsibility. Finally I have the opportunity to bring to Genoa stability, profit, and peace. Domination of the Mediterranean itself, a chance to influence the great players on the stage of the world, the Romans, the French, the Aragonese, the Italians, all of them. These wars for expansion, they secure the future interests of all our people. Our people, do you understand? It must be finished, it cannot be done soon enough.”

I ain’t sure but I think he’s gettin’ a bit teary. I ain’t sure where he’s goin’ with this, and it’s kinda awkward. I think about boltin’ and callin’ it a day, but my feet ain’t listenin’ to me right now. He makes like he’s gonna get up, but then he sorta plops back into his chair.

“I don’t know...I don’t know who knows yet. It’s supposed to be a secret, so I would imagine everyone in Genoa has heard by now. You see Count Perdu...I’m dying.”

“Oh...ohhhh, that’s rough. Yeesh. Er...do they...is it from, er…”

“My physicians have told me it’s being caused by an excess of black bile, which has created a very specific kind of imbalance in my humours.”

“...”

“Cancer. I have cancer.”

“Oh.”

“I’m undergoing various treatments to stave it off, but we all know it’s only a matter of time. I’ve...spent so much time being afraid of death that I think I’ve forgotten how. So I’ve been reflecting on my life as of late. And I thought of you...not because you remind me of myself, oh no. I was far more intelligent when I was your age.”

Can I still yell at ‘im? Even though he’s dyin’? No?

“No, you remind me of what I could have become, if things were only slightly different. You have fire, yes, but nothing to set aflame. You are undirected, subject to the whims of fate, and of your betters. I only want to impart this one piece of advice, young man: always have a dream, have something to grasp at, to strive for. It is in wanting, in unfulfillment, in hunger that we find out who we truly are. The world does not make sense, young man, and the priests and philosophers and learned men of this world cannot put it into something right for you. You must make it make sense. You must force it to have meaning, or you will find no meaning in your own existence. Do you...understand this? At all?”

And just for a second I think ‘bout somethin’ mother used to say to me when I was little. Funny, I didn’t remember it ‘til just now. Used to say it when I got all teary ‘bout...well, ‘bout how things used to be, or if I was feelin’ lonesome. She said:

The world will one day know that it revolves around us.

“Yeah. Yeah, I think I understand.”

“Yes...yes, I see. Well...I think I’ve made my point. So, if there is nothing else to discuss?”

“Nah...I don’t think so. I’ll just be...y’know, now that I think of it, as long as I got your attention ‘n all: have I ever told you ‘bout my Aunt Benedetta? I’m glad yer sittin’ down already…”


March 1st, 1230 AD


After five long, empty months at sea, this here sure is a sight f’r sore eyes:



See that there? That’s Tavolara, an’ it’s the first glimpse o’ home I’ve had for almost a year and a half now. Island just outside the Gulf of Olbia, can see those big ol’ cliffs for miles around. When I was a kid I went climbin’ up there one time, an’ I thought I could see the whole world from the top. I wanted to march out and plant my flag on every foreign shore and yell out “it’s mine, bitches! All mine!” Now that I been away so long though, I think I maybe should start with just makin’ do with my own home, you know? It’s not so bad a place at that...


Yeah, but enough o’ me gettin’ all misty-eyed. The Genoese galleys round up ‘n make landfall at a beach near Olbia, n’ I can see the men carryin’ their rows o’ pikes straight up, like it was a movin’ forest or somethin’. So here we are. I’m in command now. Real command, even. Feels kinda nice havin’ these old farts needin’ to listen to what I gotta say f’r a change!

I take in a nice, deep breath. I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout science or natural philosophy or any o’ that shit, but I swear the air in Sardinia just feels cleaner or somethin’.

So I get my field report, n’ I ain’t so sure why everybody’s got their petticoats stuffed down their pants. “C’mon,” I tells ‘em, “we got the pants-pissin’ Pisans outnumbered two-to-one! I say we’re good to go, we’ll march ‘em through the lowlands here, cross the Coginhas here, then we come up to ‘em and kick their asses right off the island! Men! We’re leavin’ immediately!”

One o’ these little schoolboy aides o’ mine pipes up: “Uh, sir? Isn’t it unwise to march the troops out immediately, before we’ve fully recovered from the sea voyage? And the Pisans are already pretty firmly entrenched in the siege of Logudoro, no doubt they will have established a defensive position on the surrounding mountains from which to-”

“Hey! Who’s the commander here, you or me? Now I don’t care if the boys are tired, either they march out or I push ‘em out myself! Let’s go, people!”

That’ll learn ‘em. No respect, the lot of ‘em, I tell ya.

April 9th, 1230 AD


So...I learned somethin’ today. Three things, actually.

Number one: faster ain’t always better.

Number two: havin’ more troops than the other guy don’t amount to much if the other guy’s waitin’ behind a narrow mountain pass. Like even if you just had maybe a few hundred guys you could hold off thousands o’ other guys if they can’t get all their guys to engage all o’ your guys all at once. I wonder why nobody ever thought o’ that before?


We might be able to break through in a few more days, but it’s real slow going, and the boys might just up n’ break off before we get the job done. Maybe I shoulda listened to that guy what was tryin’ to tell me to hold off, instead o’ stealin’ his rations n’ pissin’ in his wineskin.

Now the third thing I learned, though, is a real pick-me-up.

So we’s sittin’ in camp after another day tryin’ to break the Pisan defense, when up walks a few ragged-lookin’ guys who says they’s been runnin’ around all day on account o’ they escaped one o’ the Pisan siege forces at Logudoro, n’ they wanna join up with us to take ‘em down. I say they can, no big thing, but then one o’ them starts tellin’ me these wild stories about Uncle Marianu. See, this guy (I forget his name, or maybe he didn’t tell me) was in his confidence or whatever, and he’s sayin’ that Marianu’s been gettin’ up to some wild business while I been gone.

See, this guy first he started gettin’ worried that someone was gonna off ‘im so’s they could move in on Logudoro (wasn’t me, I looked into it but it was gonna be too tough to get in his tower). So he gets all antsy n’ he starts drinkin’ to relax, but then he starts drinkin’ too much n’ turns into like a big party guy or somethin’. But he’s still lookin’ over his shoulder all the time, so he’s both piss-drunk all the time and thinks he can’t trust nobody. Or at least, nobody human, ‘cause then he starts talkin’ to the birds roostin’ on top his tower, and this guy says that Marianu was so into doin’ this that he kinda stopped talkin’ to people altogether most o’ the time.

But that ain’t even the end of it, ‘cause then Marianu took things a step further n’ started collectin’ bird feathers to make some kinda suit outa them. Then he starts wearin’ it n’ chirpin’ n’ squawkin’ like he’s a bird or somethin’. Ain’t that nuts? But wait! That’s not even the end! I couldn’t even believe this last part: this guy says that Marianu got so crazy about his birds that while he’s all dressed up in the suit he tries to...ulgh, this part makes me hurl...he tries to, like, be with them. As in be with the birds. In a way that’s illegal, immoral, and...just plain disgustin’, really.

Now even I’m a little suspicious o’ this. I mean, really? The guy wears a bird suit n’ tries to Sodom n’ Gomorrah a flock o’ geese? That sounds pretty over-the-top, if you ask me. “Listen,” I says to ‘im, “this all sounds seriously out there. I mean, is this really all true?”

“That depends,” he says to me. “How true do you want it to be?”

It takes me ‘til the middle o’ the night to realize what this guy meant by that. I sleep pretty good, ‘cause I know that next time I sees the Doge, I got a hell of a story to tell ‘im…


May 8th, 1230 AD


So after a month o’ just hammerin’ the Pisans, we finally got ‘em to retreat. The “Battle o’ Valledoria” they’re callin’ it, though I don’t think we was anywhere near there at the time. Oh, an’ it only cost about 400 of our guys! I ain’t sure why they so shook up ‘bout it; dead bodies build character. Honest!


So while we’re all pickin’ up the pieces an’ tryin’ to regroup ‘n all, one o’ the sergeants gets up in my face and he’s all: “Commander, you have a visitor. I believe it’s of a somewhat urgent nature.”

“The hell does that mean?”

From outside I hear a bit of a ruckus, and suddenly the tent flap opens up ‘n in walks Maria. She got this look on her face, I don’t even understand it. Looks like a mix between anger, surprise, and slight constipation. She’s got Constanza in tow, sorta pullin’ her alongside ‘er. But in ‘er other hand’s a bundle, and...wait…

“Seventeen months! Seventeen months I wait for you to come back, and then nothing! No messengers, no correspondence! I find out you’re fighting in Logudoro, nobody tells me! Constanza here asks where her daddy is, and I don’t have a good answer for her, now do I? Well? What have you got to say for yourself?!”

“Maria...what’s that in your hand?”

“If you must know...he’s yours. I thought perhaps you might want to say hello to him.”

“To ‘him?’ You mean I...I have a...a…”

“Yes, yes you do. He’s yours. Yours and mine.”

“...”

“Well? What have you got to say for yourself?”

“I’m just...I’m so shocked…”

“You shouldn’t be: he was born in August, and your last visit home was the December before that, so-”

“No...I mean I’m shocked that you didn’t cheat on me or nothin’…”

“What? Really? Why would I do that? Nobody else is as easy to tie down as you are, you know.”

Then she smiles. That’s what does it f’r me. I have a son, and I saw my wife smile for the first time in years. I’ll never doubt it again: Sardinia’s the greatest place on earth. She passes off the little bundle to me, n’ despite all the yellin’ he’s sleepin’; little guy’s quiet as a dormouse. I pull back the cover n’ take a look at his face. Boy, is it a beaut. Such a tiny little guy, like one o’ those little dogs or somethin’. He sorta glances up for just a moment before goin’ back to sleep; wouldn’t ya know it, the little guy’s got my eyes too, just like Constanza. Don’t he look precious asleep like that; you just wanna hold ‘im n’ never let ‘im go. My very own son.

But suddenly there’s somethin’ botherin’ me: “I...I wasn’t even around to name ‘im...oh my God, did you name him ‘Pedro?’ If you named him ‘Pedro’ I swear to God I’ll rip out your eyes n’ jam the sockets full of-”

“Relax, my ‘liege’...”



“...I spelled it right this time.”

I wish I could marry ‘er all over again right then n’ there.

July 6th, 1230 AD


So now that we’s done regroupin’, we’re about to chase those Pisan bastards all the way to Corsica to press the attack. I been so thankful for Maria comin’ round with the kids; it’s just what I needed after all that time away. The broad’s really grown on me, I’ll tell ya. I don’t know, maybe it’s ‘cause we’re both older now n’ we got more o’ our shit sorted out. Or maybe it’s that she’s still constantly gettin’ all randy with me (I’m still debatin’ over whether this is a good thing or not). So’s I go’s to tell ‘er that the soldiers is movin’ out again.

“...’n so it might get kinda hairy for ya out here. Might wanna think about-”

“Heading home? Great idea. It’ll give me a chance to prepare.”

“Prepare? Prepare for what?”

“Ah, well...let’s just say that I hope this next one has my eyes for a change.”

“Wait...you don’t mean…”


“Tell me Perdu, how do you say ‘third time’s the charm’ in Latin?”

“Um…”

“Right. I forgot who I was talking to for a moment.”

July 24th, 1230 AD


Today we catch up with the Pisans; this time they’ve got themselves camped out on the hills outside of Ajaccio. The whole place is crawlin’ with hills n’ cliffs n’ junk, just like every other place in Sardinia n’ Corsica. I see all them mooks formin’ up on the hill, but I been thinkin’ ‘bout somethin’ the whole way up. Usually I just sorta charge in an’ hope more o’ my guys take out more o’ the other guys. But after the incident at Valledoria, I got to thinkin’ that maybe I can do to them what I did to myself when I fought ‘em the last time. Yeah, I figure if I just park my ass on the hill across the way n’ wait ‘em out, they’ll get all steamed up n’ make the first move, n’ then we can use our position on the hill to beat ‘em back the way they almost did to us.


Well would ya look at that, it worked! Honestly, I was just shootin’ in the dark on that one. I oughta do this tactical-type shit more often. I guess in a fight, it don’t take much waitin’ around before the other guys screw themselves over so’s you don’t have to.

February 6th, 1231 AD

Well, the war’s been sorta slowin’ down lately. We got those Pisan bastards on the run pretty good now; just a few more skirmishes here n’ there and we should have ‘em licked for good. ‘Course what I’d really like is to haul my troops over to Logudoro and have ‘em beat on Marianu the Pigeon-Molester ‘til he gives me all his shit, but he’s reinforced his territory pretty good now, and plus he’s still technically allied with Aunt Benedetta. I could maybe beat one of ‘em, but I definitely can’t take both of ‘em on at once. Gotta wait for it, I guess.

Eh, not really a problem with me, I got all the time in the world. Plus, I got more important things to pay attention to right now.


And unlike last time, I’m around when this one pops out. Little Benilde, she’s a real treasure (and she’s got my eyes again! Three for three, baby!). Y’know, I think this is the first time I’ve really thought about what it means f’r me to be a dad. I ain’t never really...known what it’s like to have one, y’know? I just...I feel like I gotta do somethin’ more for the kids. Gotta teach ‘em to be tough n’ hard so no one tries to take advantage of ‘em (‘cept me, of course).

March 15th, 1231 AD


And there it is. Peace for the first time in a long-ass time. Six, no...is it seven? Seven years. Practically since I got rulership of the guidicato.

I sit around in my castle now, and I...what, exactly? What do I do now? I start thinkin’, and what I’m thinkin’ is that all I really knows how to do is fight guys and get other people to fight guys. I been with the troops f’r so long I...I don’t really know how to have somethin’ like a normal-ass conversation. Not even with little Constanza...God, she ain’t so little anymore, she’s seven.

When did that happen? When did Constanza turn seven, f’r God’s sake? Keeps askin’ me questions, too, never stops. Worse than I was when I was that age. N’ little Perdu Junior keeps blowin’ spit bubbles n’ laughin’ about ‘em. I mean, it is pretty funny, if gross. Me, I can’t get enough o’ baby Benilde. I feel like a giant with her in my arms.

“Funny, you almost look paternal.” Maria sits under a tree in the courtyard to get outta the sun. The winter’s on its way out n’ we’re in f’r another warm spring. Been a while since I got a chance to just to enjoy the weather, really. She kinda sits with little Perdu Jr. while Constanza’s over runnin’ ‘round in the field n’ gettin’ her dress all mucked up with grass stains. I sorta shrug n’ go back to lookin’ at little Benilde sleepin’ in my arms.

“Yeah, well don’t get too used to it. Soon as all the kids can walk n’ talk, we’re gonna come down hard on ‘em. I don’t want nothin’ to be too easy for ‘em.”

“Yes, yes, there’ll be plenty of time for that. For now, just let them...let them think the world’s on their side. Just for a short time.”

“Well...whatever you say. But if I catch ‘em doin’ anythin’ bad, the official story’s that you had ‘em with some other guy while I was out on campaign, got it? See my kids ain’t allowed to disappoint me.”

Maria lets out a laugh. I think she’s been doin’ that more since I got back. Some of it’s her makin’ fun of me as usual. But maybe a little of it could be real, who knows? Is this what bein’ married is supposed to be like? Just bein’...I dunno, relaxed once in a while?

We’re sorta quiet for a while. Just listenin’ to the birds. Eventually Maria pipes up:

“Perdu, these aren’t the only children who need us around here. There’s still the matter of the de Genève boys. The older one, Rodolphe, he’s just about full-grown by now.”

“Yeah? So?”

“So he’s been causing trouble around the court. He keeps pestering the churchmen and skipping out on masses.”

“So how’s this my problem?”

“Because, idiot, he’s been here for a few years now; his behavior reflects on the integrity of the court, and ultimately on your ability to govern the realm. Straighten him out and you remind everyone of your authority. And apart from all that, I’ve gotten to know him a bit while you were away, and he really is a sweet boy, even though he doesn’t like to show it. I just think he needs persuasion in...er, your particular vein.”

“You want I should tie ‘im up to the prow of a ship n’ see how long it takes ‘im to-”

“No! Not that kind. Just something a bit forceful, more ‘direct’ than what I’d be capable of.”

“Direct. I can do direct.”

April 13th, 1231 AD


Takes me a bit, but I eventually find the kid, this “Rodolphe” guy. Spends most o’ his days hangin’ ‘round the parish at Santa Giusta causin’ trouble n’ flippin’ off priests. Funny as that is, Maria’s right: it makes me look bad. I find ‘im leanin’ against an old wall, maybe one o’ them old Roman-type deals. He’s lookin’ out across the ocean, but it’s real late in the evenin’, so there ain’t much to see.

“Ain’t no sea monsters out there. I checked.”

“Please go away.” His voice is kinda soft, it ain’t what I was expectin’. “I don’t want any trouble, my lord.”

“Huh. That’s interestin’, ‘cause you keep messin’ around with people n’ mouthin’ off to preachers; sounds like that’s you wantin’ trouble or somethin’ like that.”

He sort of shrugs. The little bastard hasn’t even turned around to look at me. Who does he think he is? I run this place, damnit!

“You listenin’ to me, boy? The hell do you think you see out there, anyway?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothin’, eh?”

I got a hunch ‘bout the kid: I think he’s lookin’ north, and his dad brought him an’ his brother here from France originally. So’s I put two n’ two together.

“Yeah, that’s a lotta starin’ to do just for nothin’. Y’know what I think? I think you’re lookin’ for a dad who ain’t never comin’ back for you or your little brother.”

He turns around and he’s all hurt n’ angry-lookin’. But I ain’t backin’ down; I been wantin’ to try this speech out on someone for a while now, so I’m on a roll with this one.

“Everybody leaves sometime, Rodolphe. Parents, friends, brothers, everybody. Sometimes it’s ‘cause they ain’t alive no more, so they don’t got a choice. Sometimes they do got a choice n’ choose to leave, ‘cause they think they got a better deal on life somewheres else. And you know what? Sometimes they leave for no reason at all. I think that’s the reason why anybody gets close with anybody else, so they can figure out what they’re gonna do with themselves once they leave.”

I can’t tell whether the kid’s gonna cry, yell, throw up, or somethin’ in between.

“So what are you gonna do with yourself? Huh? Somebody told me a while ago that everybody’s gotta have a dream to keep ‘em goin’ when they ain’t got nothin’ else. And boy, you ain’t got nothin’ else right now.”

Then I punch ‘im right in the face. Heh, sucker never saw that comin’. He stumbles around n’ checks f’r blood.

“Ah! What was that for?”

“To see if you’s fast enough, bitch-man. Let me know if I shoulda gone full-strength on that one.”

“I’m not afraid of you!”

Suddenly he’s on me, tryin’ to tackle me down n’ take out my legs. I shake ‘im off n’ pin ‘im up against the wall, but only just barely. Good, the plan’s workin’.

“Y’know, ordinarily I’d just knock ya out n’ fry yer ass on a bed o’ hot coals, but I tell you what I’m gonna do. See, you ain’t got much o’ a dream yet, but you got moxie, kid, n’ I like that. We can work with that. So I’m enlistin’ you in the army.”

“You’re...you’re what?”

“Yeah, I know. It ain’t gonna be easy. F’r one thing, you gotta learn how to take a punch. Sometimes life just happens to you f’r no real reason. Just like your daddy up an’ leavin’. It’s a punch to the face. So you got two choices: you can let yourself get beat up, or you can punch back. I’m startin’ you off as a raw recruit, you ain’t gonna get no special treatment or nothin’. You want to advance up the ranks? Get in there n’ make somethin’ of yourself. Punch back, little man. If you work at it, everythin’ll even out in the end, believe me.”

I don’t know, I thought I put on a good show for the kid. At least he ain’t botherin’ nobody no more.


August 19th, 1231 AD


“Wake up! My lord, you must wake up at once!”

I sorta half-open my eye n’ see Bartolomeo standin’ over me. I say somethin’ (I ain’t sure what it is, exactly) n’ roll outta bed. No really, I literally roll out, n’ now I’m sorta sprawled out on the floor. Well this is embarrasin’. I’d like to throttle Bart f’r gettin’ me up so early, but I won’t on account o’ I ain’t seen ‘im in forever. I try to sorta stumble my way up.

“Bartolom...whuzz...d’ya know what time-”

“My lord, you must come! It’s...I...you must see for yourself!”

“What? What do I- agh!”

Bart just ups n’ grabs me by my robe sleeve n’ up n’ drags me through the corridor! I got half a mind to deck ‘im then n’ there. He takes me all through the castle, n’ eventually we get to the dinin’ room. The windows ‘r all open to let in the sunlight n’ breeze so’s the place can get cooled off. We got a real warm summer this year, warmer than most.

There I see breakfast already set at the table: it’s a real nice spread, some pane carasau, some fried eggs, a nice wheel o’ pecorino sardo. Maria n’ the kids are already there n’ eatin’, but they all seem kinda awkward ‘bout it for some reason. There’s someone else at the table too, but their back is turned n’ I can’t see who it is. And hey, there’s some other kid there too, a little one. A new friend of my son’s, maybe?

Maria sees me n’ Bart come in. “Oh, thank you Bartolomeo, but...perhaps you could’ve let him change first.”

“My apologies,” Bart says, all outta breath, “but I thought...I thought it a most urgent matter.”

The person sittin’ at the table what I can’t sees speaks: “Me? Urgent? You flatter me, Bart.”

That voice...suddenly she turns around and it’s…it’s...

It’s mother.


And I ain’t got nothin’. I try to figure out somethin’, anythin’ to say...it’s like there’s nothin’ and too much all at once. She don’t look any different from when she left, either. Everythin’ just freezes. Somehow I fish a single word outta my stomach, so quiet I can barely hear myself:

“W-why…”

“My second husband met with his end recently. A heart attack, I believe. Not surprising, given his age. Honestly, I was hoping it would’ve come sooner...”


“Having no more reason to attend court in Rosello, I thus arranged for passage back to Arboréa, and I’ve only just arrived. And I’m famished, hence breakfast.”

I look over at Maria and she gives me a big ol’ shrug, like she’s sayin’ “don’t look at me.” Nine years...nine long years without her. I can’t begin to describe how I…

“And so I’ve been dining with the family. Maria has just been so hospitable, haven’t you dear? And you’ve gone and made me a grandmother three times over! I can think of no better welcome for a woman of my...oh where are my manners? I have someone I’d like you to meet.”

She takes the hand o’ that kid I don’t recognize, n’ they stand up together. The little one sorta looks at her own feet for a bit.

“Perdu, I’d like you to meet Estefania. She’s your sister.”


I don’t remember the next part. Apparently I blacked out then n’ there. It was too much to take is all.

May 13th, 1232 AD


The next few months are weird.

I mean, I’m happy to see mother again. I really am. But every time I see ‘er with that...that child I get this horrible feelin’ in my gut. How could she do this to me? To us? I thought she was...I mean, I thought mother was better than that. I mean, I was angry when she left. I thought she wasn’t never comin’ back, n’ I made my peace with that. But now that she is back? I mean...what do you do when the woman who taught you how to be strong seems so...weak?

And especially every time I look at that…child, that thing she calls my sister. No, I can’t, I can’t talk about it. It makes me sick.

I try to do my usual Giudice schtick, signin’ a document here, listenin’ to grievances there. It’s sorta automatic at this point. Last November I get word that the Genoese are tryin’ to seize Crimean territory from the Treppizondians...the Trupilzindians...er, those guys from Trebizond. Not much else ‘til one mornin’ I’m gettin’ up to meet with my council, and there’s mother standin’ in the doorway. She got that look on her face like when she got somethin’ important to say.

Oh boy.

“Mother?”

“My son. There’s a report your council has waiting for you. The Serene Doge of Pisa has made a bold move, a grab for power more overt than in the past few years. They have declared a holy war for the realm of Tunis in northern Africa. Our scouting vessels just returned from a little expedition Bart organized: the bulk of the Pisan forces are already in the Tunisian capital, settling in for a long desert siege.”


“Okay. So?”

“With Pisa committed, it presents us with opportunities we can exploit.”

“What kinda opportunities?”

Her face changes again. This time she’s got this real distant look in her eyes. Last time I seen it was not too long before she got on that boat, and...well, before that.

“My son...did I ever tell you about your grandfather?”

“Yeah, when I was a kid. Used to tell me ‘bout how he was the best guy ever or somethin’.”

“An oversimplification, to be sure. Now that you’re older, you’ll understand better. Here, I shall instruct you in history once again: my father, Guglielmo Massa, comes from a proud lineage, one that you are a part of. The line of Massa was a breakaway house from the d’Este dynasty, descended from Adalberto I, who in centuries past was the King of Italy, if only for a short time. The d’Estes exerted great power over these isles and in the rest of Italy, and my father used it to his advantage. In 1160, after the death of Oberto d’Este, he assumed control of Cagliari and Ogliastra, and when he passed in 1202 those realms went to your aunt Benedetta. She was the oldest, after all. Clearly our father was not concerned with the moral character of his successors, otherwise...but I digress.

At any rate, my father also held territory in Corsica for a time. The area around the town of Corti, comprising the northern segment of the isle, the region known as “Cismonte.” In 1188, authority over Cismonte was ceded back to the d’Este line proper by way of his uncle, also named Guglielmo. Upon his death, it was given to his distant kinsman Andrea, who maintained rule over the region for many years.

Last July, Andrea died and left Cismonte to his young son (also named Guglielmo, by the way), barely four years of age. The realm is among the territories of this isle claimed by the Pisan Doge. But now the question of Cismonte’s ownership is left into question. I’ve discussed the matter with Bart; we think we can present credible evidence that Cismonte was unjustly ceded to the d’Estes, and that it belongs to my family. With my sister Agnesia too cowed by her husband to act, and Benedetta too busy maintaining her own realm (not to mention being the Whore of Babylon), I am in a unique position to present myself as a rightful claimant to the region. The war in Tunis may occupy the Pisans for some time now, giving us the time needed to muster our forces and-”

“I got a question, mother.” I been listenin’ to all this talk, n’ somethin’s buggin’ me. “So...you said this kid inherited Cismonte last July. So that happens, then one month later...here you are.”

“Here I am.”

“An’ you didn’t have to come back, did you? You coulda stayed in Rosello n’ been livin’ the high life there, eh?”

“Do you have a point, my son?”

“My point is...my question is, did you come back just because you knew you was gonna do this? ‘Cause you knew there’d be a chance to use Arboréan troops to get your family’s land back?”

Our family, my son! How small-minded you’ve become in my absence. Don’t you understand what I’m trying to accomplish here?”

“I really don’t, mother. I don’t understand anythin’ anymore. All I know is that you left us. You left me. And now you come back and think that-”

“My son, mothers don’t leave. They don’t. Even from the grave, they watch over their children always.”

“Is that what you told her?”

“Who do you mean?”

“You know who I mean.”

“Yes, I know who you mean. But do you? My son, you’ve grown so much since I last saw you, but you have a lot to learn about the meaning of family and of duty.”

Duty? Are you tellin’ me that it was your duty to go an’ have that...that thing when you were away? Tell me how you make sense out o’ that?”

“We all have duties to perform, my son. Certain motions which are expected of us, like characters in a miracle play. I’ve played my part to the best of my ability, and my feelings on the matter, and your feelings as well, are of little consequence. I had hoped that after all this time you of all people would have understood the heavy price that comes with duty.”

Suddenly mother looks real tired. Like she been runnin’ for a long time n’ just stopped to take a breath. If I wasn’t so mad at her, I think I’d feel bad. I take a moment.

“I need to take some time to think about this.”

“Certainly, take your time. I’m sure the Pisans will be happy to oblige you.”

She walks off, n’ things get real quiet all of a sudden.

June 18th, 1232

“I’ll do it.”

Mother puts down her brush. When I was real little she used to paint all the time, but she started it up again the past few weeks. I don’t want to tell ‘er, but I don’t think she can paint all that good.

“You’ll do it?”

“Cismonte. I’ve decided to muster the troops. Bartolomeo’s with me, couple o’ the other council guys are backin’ us too. Enough to get us stuck in, anyway. They think, n' I think too, that it's time we even things out around here.”


Mother pinches her finger to her thumb; the paint colors kinda mix up together to this brownish color. She rubs her finger back n’ forth.

“You’ve done the right thing, my son.”

“No, I didn’t.”

“I do wish you could see the bigger picture about all this. We’re not just doing this for my own sake, it’s-”

“No, you don’t get it. I know that taking Cismonte is the right thing for you, for us. It’s just...I may have had to call in support.”

“Support? Ah, you’ve petitioned the Doge for Genoese troops? Perhaps a division of those famous crossbowmen he-”

“No, mother. I asked...someone else.”



END OF CHAPTER THREE
 

TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
50 Badges
Mar 4, 2016
4.799
861
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • 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
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Yes, Sardinia's political divisions are closer to how they were in real life now, although the game doesn't quite capture the complexities inherent in the giudicati system that governed the island. Still, it presented what I thought was a compelling backdrop for the AAR. And I'm glad you're reading it too! May I say that I'm a big fan of your Empire of Albion AAR; your worldbuilding skills and attention to detail are just superb.
Yes, coming from someone who's been playing Venice for a while now, you actually have a good chance of beating Genoa with some good allies. Your advantage:
Men. You are feudal and can field bigger armies and hold land much easier (and inheritance is more stable too). Their advantage?
Cash and time. They can war with you forever and not run out if money And, if feeling clever can hire many mercenaries to crush you given time. So you need to start and win wars quickly and efficiently against them.

As I said, keeping that land once you'e won it is going to be harder but one step at a time.

And nice to here about Albion. I'm sure we'll hear some more from them this Christmas.
 

Slayen

Lt. General
79 Badges
Dec 16, 2014
1.619
1.931
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Tyranny: Gold Edition
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Surviving Mars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Tyranny - Tales from the Tiers
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
Liking what I'm seeing so far. The interactions between Perdu and Maria this past chapter in particular were really, quite sweet. Very cute couple. Going to be crushing when one of them dies. Bet its going to be Maria, you know, for maximum heart break.

Also, there is a small part of me that hopes that Perdu somehow gets the nick 'the Fowler'.