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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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A few days later, while Antonio sat at the court enjoying the presence of a fellow italian, the doors opened and in came to rather plain dressed guards entered with a girl following them in. She didn't seem to know anyone, and although she wasn't a usually shy young women, she didn't look very comfortable. She was tall for her age, and had a nice tan and long chocalate brown hair. Her face looked rather innocent, like she never knew meaning of the world "terrible". While her guards talked with the palace guards, she noticed Antonio and went in his direction. She had seen Antonio in her fathers court several times, but didn't really know him. But she knew no one else, so she figured he was the safest to walk to.
- "Ca va" she said to him. Antonio answered her back and gave her a hug.
- "How was the journey?" he asked, as if he knew her like a father.
- "Cold" was all she said.
- "You know what Giovanna? There is someone I would like you to meet..."
 

Lord E

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Windsor

Edmund looked up as a group of people entered, obviously guards, and then a little girl. pretty tall, and actually a beautiful site for the eyes. He looked down on little Edward and smiled.

”Now Edward, if I am not mistaken that is the bride to be… A pretty little girl don’t you think?”

Edward looked first horrified up on his father, and then his eyes turned to the girl. And yes he could see that she looked good

“She looked nice, father!”

Haha nice… well I guess that is good as well… haha…

Well come on Edward we should go and introduce our self…


The Earl gets up and drags his son with him over to Antonio

”Now sir Antonio of Naples might I presume this is the young lady in question?”
 
Feb 23, 2002
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"Yes" Antonio answered. "Joanna, this is young Edward, the reason you are here." Joanna just looked at him, and then on Edmund, and then back on Antonio. Antonio looked back at her, and she knew what she had to do.

"It is a pleasure to meet you Edward." She said. She had practised these introdutional lines since she departured from Naples.
 

Lord E

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Windsor

Edward looks at the young girl. She looked kind of nice, but he also found ti very scary, so he still tried to hide a little behind his father, but he was pushed forward.
Edmund smiled at the young girl and his son


”A pleasure to meet such a beautiful young lady, this is my son Edward…

When she talked to him Edward felt like his head was coming to start boiling, and he knew he blushed

“eeeh… Nice to meet you too… you look nice…eeeh”

After staggering forward those words he tried to make himself invincible, but his father always pushed him forward so he decide to be a strong boy and stand strong, and not go hide as he wanted to

”Now do you two young people want to go out look around a little.. We have some more details to discuss, you know boring grown up things… so maybe you want to go out look around or what do you think Antonio?”
 

unmerged(5630)

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Standing outside the courtroom is a non-descript man in non-descript clothes, shaking off the evening rain. Speaking curtly in a Yorkshire accent, his face deliberately blank and inscrutable, the figure rumbles "I wish to speak to Sir Hugh Segrave. Could you tell him I come in memory of the past Richemont earls?"
 

Lord E

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With the Breton

Sir Hugh was sitting in his quarters, looking over the King’s finances when he is turned away from his work by a knock on the door. The servant muttered something about a foreigner requesting to speak to him, so Sir Hugh allow the man to enter.

“Now my good sir, I am afraid I didn’t get your name. I am Sir Hugh Segrave Lord high treasurer of England, what can I be of assistance with?
I hear that you talk of Earls of Richmond from the past, this sure makes my curious about what you mean...”

Sir Hugh looked at the man while he waited to get an answer.
 

unmerged(5630)

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The stranger frowns, glances around the room, and then back at the High Treasurer.

"Suffice to say for now that I am a loyal Englishman come on behalf of another son of England, who believes that hatred has too long clouded the benefit of trade and friendship across the Channel. There are still friends of the lion in Brittany, friends who remember how much you did to aid her against the French usurpers, friends who swore allegiance to the Earl of Richmond those decades ago rather than the Duc de Bretagne. One or two still remain high in the court at Suscino. They seek a way to quietly reopen friendly and mutually beneficial contact with London, most especially in the matter of... say... ports and dues. What say you to this?"
 

Lord E

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Windsor, Lord High Treasurer’s chambers


When the man named the Earl of Richmond, the chancellor hurried to make sure the door was closed, everyone with a little knowledge about the English nobility knew that the Earl of Richmond was John of Gaunt, and therefore this matter needed to be taken really seriously and secret. So while closing the door he nodded to the guards outside. The secret signal that no one was to enter the room, or even get close to the room, the entire hallway was to be closed down. Then he turned to the man and smiled

“I am always interested in meeting loyal Englishmen, although the evil devil of Avignon and mad Charles now has much influence in Brittany I am glad to hear that there are still people around still loyal to His Majesty.
I can also promise that the Earl of Richmond will be very honoured and glad for your words sir, and that I am sure His Grace would also be interested in hearing your words…
England is also very much interested in opening such connections, and we think much can be gained from relations between Brittany and England…
So tell me what have these friends of England in mind?
You speak of ports and dues, and I am interesting, very interested….

I presume that you can give me some more details, but yes, I am very, very interested….”
 

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The man smiles at Sir Segrave's sentiment and looks somewhat relieved at his increased interest in security.

"Many good Englishmen did take up swords on behalf of their Duke and King, setting sail across the channel to fight for his crown on the shores of Bretagne. They have not forgotten their home, though the tides of favor have changed. Some of them yet remain in high office with, you might say, lands to defend... lands with ports. High offices that, you might consider, could allow the quiet landing of ships in cities that still salute the lion over the lily. Though many of those same men remain loyal to his excellency, the duc de Montfort, they believe future prosperity and goodness lies in the ships that rule the channel waves. In a... quiet union of the land of the ermine and the lands of St. George..."

Leaning forward, the man continues in urgent tones.

"What we propose is simple. A list of ports friendly to England will be provided to his highness the Regent through your good offices. Whilst on the Channel, banners may be changed to the ermine. Paperwork, receipts of arrival, so forth... all will be in order to make your traders look like honest Bretons upon arrival. Customs and dues will be waived. All we ask is the same consideration on your part for those traders of good loyalist stock who find themselves under the French yoke for now..."

Smiling slightly more, the stranger continues with a deadly look in his eye, "... and consideration when the time comes for those matters to change."
 

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Marco Zeno had been a busy man since word of the treaties ratification reached him at Windsor. Since then he had been at Portsmouth he worked with the local magistrate and after much haggling and the use of some well placed coins a choice location for the colony was arranged. It was a ways from the center of the town itself but sat on an advantageous area of water, and comprised an area to hold more than what the Venetians would need here. Contracts were out for lumber, and the small bit of stone that would be needed for the construction, and already hired hands were filing in. The convoy from Venice was expected anyday and on board would be the architects, masons, clerks, and other servants of the Republic. The operation at Portsmouth was different from any other Venetian colony because here the trade was a monopoly solely of the state and all would be in direct employ of the Republic.

It was a tired, bleary eyed Zeno that made his way down to the shore one sunday afternoon and spotted cresting over the horizon the gently blowing flag of La Serenissima. Ecstatic, Zeno ran down to the cities harbor to wait, and it filled hiim with great price as the fleet of galleys rowed ever closer in gallant array towards the shore. Finally the flag ship was nearby and taking the duty of the dockhands upon himself he began to help in tying the ship up. It was quite a spectacle to watch the other ships of the fleet begin to maneuver their way into harbor, but Marco was soon distracted as the plank fell from the flagship and men began to make their way overboard a few passengers first, from where Zeno could not tell, but they were soon followed by the shipshands bearing crates. They gave Marco a knowing glance and he answered by pointing towards a group of horse carts at the docks end that would be their destination. As more and more goods came off the ships the Venetian ambassador heard the loud rumblings of the Captain aboard the ship which was quickly followed by his gruff bearded face looming over the side of the galley.

He spat into the water and eyed Marco judgmentally, "You Zeno?" he barked in the general direction of the docks.

"That is I," Marco responded dryly, feeling rather less respected than he deserved to be. The captain said no more and turned away to be replaced by an older man, who now looked down at Marco with experienced eyes.


The old man, who wore merchants clothes, spoke to Zeno in his rough fatherly voice, "Marco Zeno, I am Pietro Morosini, you should know me from my letters." With a nimbleness unexpected form a man Pietro's age he hopped over and dashed down the plank onto the dock and quickly grabbed Marco's hand. "I trust all that I requested has been seen to?" He vigorously squezzed Zeno's hand and jerked it up and down rapidly.

"Indeed I have sir, all that we lack is the expertise of yourself and the men you bring, should you like to see the site now?" Marco spoke deferentially to this man whose reputation was well known in Venice. Some said he was the kindest soul, while others claimed he was in communion with the Devil. From what Marco had seen so far he was only reminded of his stern father who had died miserably in the last plague. Morosini had let loose of Marco's hand now and in answer to his question had begun to make his way down the dock towards the city.

"Come now Zeno," he called out cheerfully, "There is much to be done and we are only in the way here on the docks. Sanuto and Vendilini," he added referring to the architect and mason respectively, "are on the second ship, and shall be along shortly."

Marco hurried after the man that would be governing the colony at Portsmouth with an expectant aire. Morosini did not seem a bad soul yet, and that was as much as Zeno could ask for. They were headed into town and the ambassador finally coming to Pietro's side pointed off towards the east and stated happily,

"Oh this way Sir, the sites about a five minutes walk."
 

Lord E

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Lord High Treasurer’s chamber

Sir Hugh was getting more and more interested the more he heard form this conversation, and now he was really starting to understand where the man was heading, and it made him smile.

“Yes, many there are good men in Brittany, and I believe you when you talk about that many of them till follow England. England is glad to know!
Because I understand this Duke of yours is an evil Frenchman that likes the devil of Avignon and the madman of Paris all such actions would have to be concluded in silence… but the coastline in Brittany is long and there are many places for ships to land in silence without the wrong persons knowing about it, isn’t it?

So what you propose is that friendly ports under control from loyal friendly men are used for trade across the Channel where the ships are allowed to change their colours while in the Channel and then land in these ports like they were native ships of the realm… a very cunning plan, indeed…

England would be very much interested in such an arrangement, and you can inform your masters that we will agree to such an agreement…

So should I start looking up English ports that the trade will be carried through? And I guess you will be able to supply us with a list from the other side of the Channel as well?

There is of course also a possibility to use the Channel Islands active in such an agreement, I am sure His Majesty’s governor at Jersey would be more than willing to assist the ships and make everything on the Islands in order and usable for this arrangement should it be necessary…

I am sure this will work for the best of both our realms… and with such an arrangement there isn’t necessarily just… goods… that can be transported I presume… as you say times my change and then maybe we can have supplied and transported other goods that aren’t so friendly, but at their use very much usable and will do their work to the best for England and Brittany…”
 

unmerged(24868)

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Sir Raphaël-Lucien de Fayolle in Aquitane



A castle in Aquitane

Sir Raphaël-Lucien de Fayolle meet with John de Ros, 6th Barond de Ros, who was the King's governor in Aquitane. Upon meeting him, Raphaël-Lucien was a bit distgusted of the English manners. He had always known of their vulgar behaviour, but this was a bit too much for him. He was completly thrown off. It was to sit on his mind the entire time he talked. Yet, the Baron de Ros seemed to sober up as the conversation progressed, much to the delight of Raphaël-Lucien.

"Aquitane is pleasent. I see it has still managed to maintain many of its strong French traditions. That is pleasing to me. But, I am not here to discuss with you the matter of Aquitane. I wish to speak of opening trading rights and privellages between our two fair lands. May we move to such discussion?"
 

Lord E

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Aquitaine


John felt that he was slowly regaining his senses, and that he was starting to sober up a little, after all this Frenchman didn’t seem like the worst Frenchman he had ever encountered, so therefore he was listening closely to what the man said.

”I am glad you have enjoyed Aquitaine, but of course I understand that there are more important matters to be taken care off, of course there is…



Very well good Sir Raphaël-Lucien please move on to the more important matters, I am listening, and I am actually a little excited to hear what you and His Grace have to suggest!
 

Lord E

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Jersey, Channel Islands




Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent and the King’s Lord Chancellor in France was standing on the wall of Gorey Castle looking out over the Channel towards France. It was a bright day, and the sky was very clear and therefore Thomas had no problems with seeing across the 14 miles to the Norman coast on the other side of the Channel.
Turning his eyes the other way he could see the small fleet of ships he had arrived with, in the bay beneath the castle.

The Channel Islands were important to the Crown, and he felt that as Lord Chancellor of France it was a part of his responsibility to make sure the English presence was noted, after all it was only ten years ago, in 1373, that the bastard Bertrand du Guesclin, invaded, burned and pillaged the islands, and the only area that had not surrendered or be captured by the bastard had been Gorey Castle, although the French had managed to breach the walls, the keep had been able to hold them back until English forces came to the aid. And before that the French had invaded the island several times in the last 50 years.

Looking around the walls of the mighty castle Thomas smiled, yes these walls had seen much combat, and many French invasions had stood outside these walls without being able to take the castle.

One could say a lot about King John, but one thing was sure when he had begun the construction of Gorey Castle just after he had lost Normandy in 1204, no one could have known that the King had done the islands a great service by building a castle that would be able to stand the French invasions, and there had been a lot of invasions since the reign of King John. Still the events of 1204 when King Philippe Auguste of France conquered the duchy from King John of England were still a sad point. However, the Islanders remained loyal to the King of England and Jersey was recognised as the personal possession of the king.

Thomas once again shifted his eyes towards the coast of Normandy across the Channel, so close, but still so far away. And it seemed more likely that a French force would invaded the island, than an English force would re-conquer the Duchy, still who knows, and as Lord Chancellor of France it was his duty to work with the Lord Chancellor of the Channel Islands to make sure the islands were not lost and the they should do their best to retake land for England.

Having spend some weeks on the castle already Thomas was glad to see that the work of strengthening the defences and the walls was coming along just fine, and that the castle seemed even stronger and would prove even more difficult for the French to take the next time they decided to invade the island. Hearing the sergeant shout orders Thomas looked down into the lower grounds to see that a company of pikemen was being ordered around by a sergeant, Thomas smiled. It was good to see that the soldiers seemed to be trained well and ready to stand the ground in the event of an invasion.


”Now Earl Thomas, do you like what you see?”

Sir William Asthorpe, Warden of the Channel Islands, approached Thomas while smiling

“Yes, very much Sir William. The work on the walls will certainly strengthen them, and will make sure we will not see any Frenchmen inside the castle ever I hope… And the men seemed like they are ready to fight.
I must say you have done some good work here!”

”I thank you Earl Thomas, let us just pray that no Frenchmen will ever enter the walls of Gorey Castle again… The last couple of years have been hard, but now that the Channel Islands are fully returned to their King, we shall do our best to make sure it stays like that.”

“Very well…

I also presume you have some plans for raids against France ready?”

”Yes, Earl.
Although the soldiers here at Gorey will probably be needed to garrison the castle, and it is no invasion force, we have the plans ready for raids on French coastal villages and cities in Normandy, and if possible also in Brittany. There are many villages in Normandy that we should be able to sail to in a short time, then raid the villages, burn and pillage before we return to the islands.
I also have plans for great campaigns, but with the limited manpower, and more importantly the limited sea power I have ready in the Islands it is very hard to see how we should be able to take any more action than raids on villages and French shipping. One thing is certain, in the event of a war the ships of the Channel Islands will do much hard to French shipping, and French coastal villages, but larger cities that are defended will be harder, but no shipping will be allowed to sail past the Islands without islanders pillaging the ships!”


“Yes, I understand your problems Sir William. But on the moment I am afraid I can’t issue you with anymore ships to transport your forces, or any more men. You will just have to do with what you have got, and of course in the event of a war you could also call upon the locals in their militia”

”Yes, Earl Thomas, that is true. In that way we should be able to get more manpower, but then again, they are not true soldiers, but for raids on shipping and villages it shouldn’t be a problem…”

“Now I see that everything is going along just fine… Now let us get inside, I am getting thirsty.”

”A most excellent idea Earl Thomas. I have some fine Bordeaux wine that I am sure we will both fine pleasant!”

“Very well, then we go. Oh and Sir William brings your maps, I want to take a look on the coast of Normandy and Brittany, and also bring the books on manpower, supplies and storages of the castle. We need to make sure Gorey will be able to stand an even longer siege than last time…

Now let us go”

While Sir William hurried ahead to get his books and the maps, Thomas took one last look on the coast of France. He couldn’t really think of war now, but knowing that the dark skies were not far away it was always necessary to be prepared.

-We might need those plans sooner than we think, but for now life is silent and peaceful in the Channel Islands-

Thomas turned to look at the sun, and feeling the sun warm his face he smiled while walking down to the Great Hall.
 

HJ Tulp

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A young, tall man arrives at the court. He claims to be a representative from Duke Albrech von Wittelsbach, Count of Bavria-Staubing, Holland, Zeeland and the Hainault and he requests an audience with either the King or one of his representatives.
 

Mettermrck

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Though not meant for a permanent stay at the English court, von Osterna found himself quite taken with the ways of the English and found several pretexts for staying further at court. Then came a letter from Marienburg, and Gottfried sighed with relief that he had an official reason to remain in Westminster. He informed a royal steward that he desire an audience with His Majesty.
 

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Windsor with the representative of Albrech von Wittelsbach

The man claiming to representative of Duke Albrech von Wittelsbach is showed into the chambers of Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, Marquess of Dublin, the Lord Chamberlain.

”Welcome to Windsor sir. Now I understand that you would like to address the King?
I am the Lord Chamberlain and all such actions needs to go through me, so if you would state your business I shall see to that you will be allowed to present it to His Majesty”




Windsor with Gottfried

Gottfried is showed into the court room, and after being presented once again, the King smiles.

“Now Sir Gottfried We are honoured to see you again, We understand you have matters to address to Our Royal person? Please state your business; We are very interested in what We can aid your Holy Order in!”
 

unmerged(22430)

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A letter arrives from Edinburgh, Scotland

Unto his Majesty King Richard the second of England


I too feel that an agreement must be reached I would like to let be known my claims on the follwoing provinces currently held by your realm, North-Umberland and Cumberland, but Im willing to dismiss any claims on your lands if a military alliance can somehow be arranged between your majesty King Richard the second of England and his majesty King Robert the second of Scotland.

I send my best regards to you majesty King Richard the second of England.


In the year of our lord 1383 A.D
 

HJ Tulp

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Lord E said:
Windsor with the representative of Albrech von Wittelsbach

The man claiming to representative of Duke Albrech von Wittelsbach is showed into the chambers of Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, Marquess of Dublin, the Lord Chamberlain.

”Welcome to Windsor sir. Now I understand that you would like to address the King?
I am the Lord Chamberlain and all such actions needs to go through me, so if you would state your business I shall see to that you will be allowed to present it to His Majesty”




Windsor with Gottfried

Gottfried is showed into the court room, and after being presented once again, the King smiles.

“Now Sir Gottfried We are honoured to see you again, We understand you have matters to address to Our Royal person? Please state your business; We are very interested in what We can aid your Holy Order in!”
"Milord, I am Jan de Leeuw. I was send by my Liege the Duke of Holland, Zeeland, Henegouwen and Bavaria and by the mayors of Dordtrecht. We know his Royal Highness the King of England has some considerable influence in the flow of whool to the continent. Till now the flow has gone through the Flemish cities. We would like to know what is neccesary to let the flow go through the city of Dordtrect. That is if taxes 10% lower then those in Flanders and the fact that my liege isn't a French vassal isn't enough."
 

Lord E

Non sufficit orbis
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Windsor with the representative of Albrech von Wittelsbach

Robert de Vere looked at the man, wondering for some moments if what he had heard was true, then look hard into the eyes of the man. But seeing nothing in the eyes of the man to show that he didn’t tell the truth Robert smiled.


”Well this sounds very good sir Jan de Leeuw. Now this way please I will take you to see His Majesty!”



…………​

Entering the court room where the King was sitting on his throne, Robert spoke loud informing the King about who the man enter was and what he had proposed.

“So good sir, welcome to Windsor, We hope you find England to your liking?

We are very interested in the offer of His Grace maybe you could inform Us more about how His Grace intends to get this to work? For if we can make this work it would be great, England is always willing to do as much as possible to hurt the French and make sure we are not depended of the devil worshipper Charles and his allies and friends!”