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Athalcor

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Nobody got it yet? Then 1345!
 

Gen. Marshall

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C'mon guys, this one is easy. Since we are talking about fictional characters, they die whenever Avindian lets them die. Which will most likely be in 2013.
 

History_Buff

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is there any way you could weaken the Crown's authority in order to pursue your territorial ambitions? personally, I am surprised that civil war didn't weaken the Kaiser's authority
 

DisgruntledLemming

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1361, in a battle against some random rebelling duke.
 

Funnyman320

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1338. He's got death written all over him
 

Avindian

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I was going to say that he'd already died and the coda was a dream by Max from his ghost as a parting gift.

I'll plump for 1348, wassa ver' goo' yeer, *hic*.

I don't go that weird, or at least I try not to.

C'mon guys, this one is easy. Since we are talking about fictional characters, they die whenever Avindian lets them die. Which will most likely be in 2013.

That's too cheesy, even for me. ;)

is there any way you could weaken the Crown's authority in order to pursue your territorial ambitions? personally, I am surprised that civil war didn't weaken the Kaiser's authority

I can probably join the campaign to lower Crown Authority; I may do that with Max.

The Bavarians are a strange, they deserve to fall to your hammers akimbo.

Indeed they do!

Somebody has gotten the correct answer; that somebody is being PMed as we speak! :) The actual date and manner of his death are reserved for the next update.
 

Avindian

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AARlander 6: It's what Xavier von Hohenzollern would read if the idea of computers didn't scare the bejeezus out of him.

 

Sakura_F

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These advertising ploys are getting on my nerves.

THEY'RE ON EVERY FRIGGIN' AAR I READ.

I want updates, not pointless advertising for Awards and Magazines!

No offense.
 

Avindian

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These advertising ploys are getting on my nerves.

THEY'RE ON EVERY FRIGGIN' AAR I READ.

I want updates, not pointless advertising for Awards and Magazines!

No offense.

I understand, and I'm going to be giving you an update soon. (Maybe tonight!) :) At the same time, though, it's important that people do visit these sites, since it gives you a way to find out about other AARs and AARlander is actually pretty good.

They are requested by the people who do them. We post them in our AARs out of curtesy to the people who spent their time doing them.

Exactly right.
 

unmerged(528932)

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Hello Avindian! I am new to the forums, but I like your AAR a lot! I will follow it, it is also my favorite so far (there are other really good ones though). So I think for the vote, if that is possible for someone with as few posts as me, I will vote for you! It inspires me to a degree that I consider doing my own AAR, and it made me play sooo much (90 hours play time since I got it after Christmas), thanks a lot! I read all your "in game stories" now and I am ready to tackle a question on my own if there will come a new one, naming children seems to be the most fun about reading AARs :)

Keep up the good work.
 
Last edited:

generalolaf

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In my absence, it seems I missed Sigmund's childhood.

He's a good kid, isn't he?
 

Avindian

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Chapter 21: Consolidation

28 February 1338, in transit to Prusa, Anatolia

Xavier von Hohenzollern, Herzog von Bayern, knew the best way to impress his new subjects was to appeal directly to their sense of duty to God. Going on the Crusade to Anatolia was thus a very easy decision. He left a few troops in Nürnberg to prevent any revolts, but took every one else he could. The three leaders were the Herzog himself, his son Marshal Gebhard, and Simon, the Grandmaster of the Knights Templar (who was also providing some troops).

headingofftoanatolia.jpg


Prusa, a Byzantine fortress, would be a good place to regroup before launching their attacks to the east. While Xavier was deep in thought, his son rode up next to him.

"Father."

Xavier turned and looked at Gebhard. His youngest son smiled in return. "Marshal. What brings you up to the head of the column?"

"Are you certain we did the right thing?"

Xavier frowned in confusion. "I don't understand."

"With the Wittelsbachs." Gebhard reminded his father about how it had been the Wittelsbachs' own inability to punish the Hohenzollerns that had enabled Xavier to rise as far as he had.

Xavier halted his horse and thought carefully. "Well, you may rule the Duchy of Bayern one day. What do you think?"

"It is better to punish your enemies before they become a threat, I think. Thietmar is a child now, but he will someday be a man, and may seek revenge."

Xavier nodded. As he considered his response, he unsheathed Gotteszorn and handed it to Gebhard. "You know what this is, yes?"

Gebhard, in hushed, reverent tones, replied, "Yes. The family blade."

"Indeed. Do you know why I still have it?"

"Because you are the Herzog von Bayern, obviously."

Xavier shook his head. "Not entirely. I'm an old man; this may be my last trip outside the Empire, and I may never return. By all rights, it should have gone to your brother Max."

"Don't talk like that, Father!"

"It is foolishness not to consider every possibility, son. My death is a certainty, as is yours, as is every man's. That is not the point. The point is that I have intentionally not given up the sword." Xavier took the blade back from his son, sheathed it, and dismounted. Gebhard did the same. "Gebhard, I ... am not entirely comfortable with your brother as my successor. It is our law that the eldest son inherits everything, and it is a good law. It is better than the ancient practice of partible inheritance. Yet there has never been an heir quite like Max."

Gebhard blinked. He wasn't used to hearing his father talk this way. "Max is clever, Father. He will be a fine Herzog."

Xavier chuckled. "He is certainly clever; I won't disagree with that. He's also one of the most self-indulgent men I've ever had the displeasure of meeting. It may lead to his downfall." The Herzog von Bayern unbuckled his blade. "That is why I am giving it to you."

"No, I couldn't possibly --"

"A moment, son. When we return from this Crusade -- if we return from this Crusade -- the sword is yours to do with as you please. You may give it to Max, or use the authority it implies to challenge him. You may even it keep it for yourself, as I doubt Max would use it even if he had it."

"It is a shame about Sigmund."

Xavier nodded solemnly. "He was a competent scholar, but tuberculosis kills even the strongest man." [1]

Gebhard took the sword, handed his father his sword, and buckled it on. "I shall think on it, Father."
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
19 June 1338, Nürnberg

Max belched audibly. The envoy from the Kaiser did his very best not to notice the horrendous smell, only quivering slightly. Instead, the diplomat coughed and tried to return Max's attention to the task at hand.

"How do the Hohenzollerns vote, my lord?"

Maximillian von Hohenzollern glared suspiciously at the envoy. "For the last time, man. Until my father returns, we will not vote. End of discussion." [2]

stupidvote.jpg


The envoy sighed, nodded, and left. I'm glad to be gone from that fat hog, in any case, he thought as he departed. With the distraction gone, Max returned to his meal. With his free hand, he stamped the letter to Andreas of Österreich with the ducal seal.

Dear Graf Andreas,

A fine suggestion. We wish you godspeed.

Xavier, Herzog von Bayern, Graf von Nürnberg, Passau, Ulm, und Salzburg.

aninterestingopportunit.jpg


Max finished the platter of cheeses and assorted meats and clapped for an attendant to remove it. Although his father had specifically requested that Max not make any major decisions until he returned, Max thought his father wouldn't mind. It wasn't as though the Hohenzollerns would intervene directly. I think Father has lost his ambition in his old age. That will certainly change when I'm in charge!

forthemanwhohaseverythi.jpg


Max wiped his mouth with a small corner of the letter -- nobody would ever notice, he surmised -- and started to review the garrisons in the realm for additional maintenance.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11 September 1339, Schloss von Hohenzollern

Stefan Flemens looked agitated, as a Chancellor might be. Stefan was the third man to hold the position in the last four years, as both Luitpold and Dietpold von Hohenzollern had died within weeks of each other. The new Chancellor was a younger man, and more importantly, one of the finest diplomats in the entirety of Europe. With Maximillian von Hohenzollern in Salzburg to check on some repairs to a few fortresses there, Stefan was the voice of the Hohenzollerns. When Simon the Spymaster brought news of the death of Herzog Xavier's daughter, Adelaide, he didn't know what to do. That it was a man of God that had ordered the assassination made things even worse.

Arresting Adolf, the Bishop of Zweifalten, was an easy decision. But the Bishop's ultimate fate was more difficult. He consulted Simon, the one member of the Hohenzollerns in Nürnberg, and got a very simple response: "If that butcher is still in this Duchy when His Grace returns, I suggest you not be." Stefan tried to banish the Bishop, but nobody wanted him. So, in the end, Stefan made the difficult choice.

traitorousbishop.jpg


The Bishop was beheaded in the village square. Many of the nobles were horrified, but none dared question Stefan in this manner.

bloodforblood.jpg


The Chancellor hoped he wouldn't have any more difficult decisions.
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30 June 1340, Salzburg

Max was sitting down to breakfast when word came in: Thietmar von Wittelsbach had refused Max's proposal. The heir to the Duchy wasn't entirely surprised, but if his father's desire for more lands and titles was gone, Max's wasn't.

revokingthecountyofober.jpg


Max dashed off a letter to his father, sent by ship to Constantinople. In the meantime, he led a small force of cavalry that would capture a small portion of the army in a pincer movement.

animpromptuwar.jpg


Most of the realm's soldiers were fighting in Anatolia, so Max was left with a few household guards and some of the older soldiers from around the realm, at least in Salzburg. As long as the Wittelsbachs moving west to Kempten could not reinforce those in Niederbayern, victory would be easy. Maximillian felt so confident that he decided to finish his breakfast before accompanying his troops to the field.
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15 September 1340, near Wittelsbach

Xavier cursed his son for the fifth time that hour as another company of light skirmishers was repelled by the Wittelsbach defenders. Damn that boy! When Xavier received his son's letter on the first of August, he took Simon and Marshal Gebhard with him as quickly as he could back west. The Crusaders would return later themselves, in case the war expanded too much. Xavier mentally made a note to write a letter of apology to the Pope.

thecrusadersreturn.jpg


It wasn't that Xavier wasn't impressed by his son's record. Max had won every battle and even captured the city of Regensburg. Then the Wittelsbachs emptied their castles to build another force, leaving Max woefully undermanned. Instead of winning glory for God, the Herzog was forced to fix his son's mess. He was able to raise a few more soldiers personally, and marched towards Kempten with those troops. Max, of course, returned to Nürnberg to wait (and eat) at home on Xavier's orders.
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24 August 1341, Nürnberg

While his grandfather and uncle put down Thietmar's rebellion -- already, the enemy armies had been routed and it was a matter of time before their castles would be taken -- Gerhard, son of Christine von Hohenzollern, Xavier's first child flew into yet another rage. His grandfather had turned his request for a fief again!

It didn't take much to make Gerhard angry. Born a hunchback, he spent much of his life in the shadows. He hated other people with a vengeance, plotting their doom and his own advancement. He stole, bribed, even murdered whomever he could, if it made him a thaler or two or simply eliminated one more contender to the ducal crown. Attempts on Max and Gebhard were unsuccessful, unfortunately. It was no wonder he couldn't find a wife.

mygrandson.jpg


After his fury had lessened somewhat, he picked up a quill and began to write a new letter, this time to the Kaiser.

Your Excellency, Kaiser Reinhard of the Holy Roman Empire,

My father has been saying the most horrible things...
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19 January 1343, Kempten

Thietmar von Wittelsbach burned the letter he'd received and threw a priceless family heirloom against the wall. "That usurper wants even more?! I'll see him in Hell!" The former Herzog von Bayern sent out a call to his troops, but inside, he knew he was beaten. After surrendering to Xavier von Hohenzollern his County of Oberbayern, that vengeful bastard demanded another county as "penance for rebellion."

victoryoverwittsagain.jpg


revokeanothercounty.jpg


Thietmar's one plan to overthrow the Hohenzollerns -- paying Gerhard von Hohenzollern a large sum of money to betray his grandfather -- backfired when Niederbayern was given to Gerhard.

thegrandsongetsacounty.jpg


When the hated Herzog sent yet another letter, demanding Kempten too -- the last possession of the Wittelsbachs -- the last Wittelsbach had no choice but to refuse. He would rather be a dead Count than a live nothing.

anotherwarwiththewitts.jpg

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4 June 1345, Schloss von Hohenzollern

Maximillian, Burkhard, Gebhard, and Gerhard all stood around the coffin of Xavier I von Hohenzollern. There was no weeping, only the grim knowledge that the Hohenzollern power base had never been larger -- or more tenuous. There were only adult blood descendants of Xavier left. Max's son, Michael, was still an infant, and could not inherit for years. That meant trouble if something were to happen to Max.

thewittslosetheirlastco.jpg


A number of people -- his sons included -- thought Xavier would die on the battlefield, but after beating the Wittelsbachs one final time, Xavier settled into a period of peace and building. (Of course, nobody knew that it was Max who'd started the latest round of wars against the Wittelsbachs except Max.) Instead, he'd died of depression after his daughter Christine died.

xavierthegreat.jpg


New challenges would face the Hohenzollerns in the coming years, not the least of which was the general Bayern distaste for Max's gluttony. [3] But for now, it was a time of peace and celebration, and reflection. How would history see Xavier, and more important still, his sons?

For the people of Bayern, at least, the answer to the first was clear. They chanted three words over and over again, those who weren't weeping uncontrollably anyway.

Xavier der Grosse. Xavier der Grosse.

Xavier the Great.
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[1] He died in 1333.
[2] Yeah, I goofed on this. I meant to click Approve. Oh well. :rolleyes:
[3] I've taken a look at Max's reign (the first couple of days): pretty much every one hates him.

So, we're all caught up with updates now (and contests)! I'll play again this weekend and start updating next week.
 

Avindian

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Hello Avindian! I am new to the forums, but I like your AAR a lot! I will follow it, it is also my favorite so far (there are other really good ones though). So I think for the vote, if that is possible for someone with as few posts as me, I will vote for you! It inspires me to a degree that I consider doing my own AAR, and it made me play sooo much (90 hours play time since I got it after Christmas), thanks a lot! I read all your "in game stories" now and I am ready to tackle a question on my own if there will come a new one, naming children seems to be the most fun about reading AARs :)

Keep up the good work.

Thanks!

In my absence, it seems I missed Sigmund's childhood.

He's a good kid, isn't he?

He's a dead kid. See the previous update. :)
 

Gen. Marshall

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I've taken a look at Max's reign (the first couple of days): pretty much every one hates him.

:rofl: Well, that's too bad. Why don't you like me, people?

Is there any way for you to declare war on Poland? It might seem like a strange move, but such a war would surely tie up significant Prussian forces on the front... Leaving you with a perfect oppurtunity to slit their throathes from behind.
 

Avindian

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Did I miss something? Is there still a contest going on?

Nope; contest is over.

:rofl: Well, that's too bad. Why don't you like me, people?

Is there any way for you to declare war on Poland? It might seem like a strange move, but such a war would surely tie up significant Prussian forces on the front... Leaving you with a perfect oppurtunity to slit their throathes from behind.

Absolute Crown Authority; I can't declare war on anybody. :(
 

Gen. Marshall

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So install a loyal puppet emperor!
The Hohenzollerns shall rule Prussia no matter the cost!