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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Bagricula

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A messenger liveried in what was once ochre and crimson, but now owing to many weeks of dusty roads, more of muddled shades of brown, bears a reply from the Duke of Lorraine to the King of Naples. It reads:

"Unto His Majesty, John, King of Naples, et cetera, from His Grace, John I, Duke of Lorraine, Bar, et cetera, salutations,

Your correspondence bears with it much excitement in our home, for never before has word from your Mediterranean kingdom reached us in the Frankish heartlands. My own ministers, good men, though only good enough to serve the government of the simple zealous Lothringens, cannot tell me much of your lands or your people.

Please send an emissary of Your Majesty with all possible expedience whom we may entertain as a guest of our home that he might more suitably communicate the finer points of Your Majesties proposition.

Cordially,
J. D. de L."
 

unmerged(8054)

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Henning Podebusk, drost of Denmark, had never been so far south in his entire life. He had, off course, travelled abroad, but such journeys had mainly been to Sweden, Norway, some of the Northern German duchies, and a few times to England.

His journey had mainly been by sea. With gold brought from Denmark, he had purchased passage for himself and his 3 servants aboard merchants travelling in the right direction.
As he had left the coasts of France behind him, he had also abandoned the last nation where his own language abilities were any help. Henning Podebusk was considered quite good with languages, commanding Danish, Swedish, several German dialects, and enough to get by in English. But the further he came, he more he came on rely on the monk he had brought with him to translate.
Arranging passage on the last two ships had proven extremely difficult. Much to his surprise, and to the embarrasment of the monk, Podebusk had discovered that Latin, the language spoken by his translator, was not enough in neither Castille nor Genoa. Brother Rasmus had assured him that the local tongues were so close to latin as Danish to Swedish, but that had turned out to be a lie.

However, despite these difficulties, they had managed to arrive in Naples. On the docks, brother Rasmus had again been forced to find excuses why his latin didn't help him with the local guards, but luckily, Podebusk had brought with him Elizabeth of Slavonias letter, ad the guard had recignised the seal. At court, at last, the monk proved a help. Here, among the learned, they finally found a man why understood latin, and Henning Podebusk, his translator brother Rasmus, and his two additional servants now waited to be recognised, alone in a sea of speech they didn't understand.
 

Velasco

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Court of Spoleto

A nobleman came to Elizabeth of Slavonia, and informed her that several strange looking men had arrived at the court. They could not speak Italian, but one of them spoke Latin. She ordered that they be brought before her.
 

Lord E

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Naples




Sir John Hawkwood had travelled from Siena after seeing the Duke and just as he had returned to Rome and heard of the rumours that the Pope had disappeared, he saw that a letter from England order him to leave for Naples as soon as possible. Finishing his business in Rome, he soon rode out of the city once more with his men.

After some days at horseback the group of men arrives in Naples, Sir John and his group of 20 men flying the colours of England and the White Company are not easy not to spot on the way, and they had seen many Neapolitans with horror in their eyes fearing that this group of men were foreign warriors determined to raid, burn and pillage, but the group had not halted more than at night and now they had arrived outside the palace of the King of Naples.

Riding into the courtyard the guards look upon the group with suspicion, but Sir John dismount and approach them.


”Excuse me sirs. I am Sir John Hawkwood and I have come to see the King on behalf of the King of England and His grace the Duke of Lancaster, His Majesty should be expecting me, so would it be possible for you to take to the King?”
 

Velasco

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Court of Naples

Sir John Hawkwood had indeed been expected by the King, and was brought before him, after first being shown to his accomodations. The King bid the Englishman speak.
 

Lord E

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Naples

As Sir John entered before the King he bowed deep and smiled

”Your Majesty, I am Sir John Hawkwood, ambassador from His Majesty Richard II King of England and France to Italy. I received a letter from His Grace the Duke of Lancaster that I should go to Naples to see Your Majesty.
His Grace told me that Your Majesty and His Grace are negotiating a marriage between one of Your Majesty’s daughters and the young Edward.
From what I understand His Grace would like for me to meet the girl, if our Majesty allows that, as well as negotiate any details and the finale agreement with Your Majesty. Also I have been instructed to stand at Your Majesty’s service on any other matters Your Majesty would like to discuss with England, be it trade agreements or alliances or anything else.”
 

Velasco

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Court of Naples

King John smiled. "Welcome, Sir John. Perhaps you could formulate one treaty, which would cover both trade, a military alliance, and this marriage, and then present it to me?"

The girl Blanche was brought before Sir John. At ten years of age, she was still a child, although she was quite tall for her age. Like her sisters, she had long blonde hair, and piercing blue eyes. She bowed before the Englishman, and shook his hand earnestly. She spoke with him a little in broken English, before reverting to French, in which she was fluent. King John than rose up from his throne, taking the girl's hand, before sitting back down on the throne, with her on her lap. He waited Sir John to continue.
 

Lord E

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Sir John looked at the girl and found her very pretty for her age, smiling at both the King and the girl he walks away to speak with his men for some time before returning with a proposal for a treaty

”Your Majesty this is what we have drafted up, what do you think?”


Treaty of Naples in the year of our lord 1385


I. By this treaty Richard II is recognized as the one and only rightful King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, and all lesser titles, by His Majety John, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Prince of Achaia, Durazzo and Taranto, et cetera.

II. By this treaty John, King of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Prince of Achaia, Durazzo and Taranto, et cetera is recognized as the one and only rightful King of Naples, Jerusalem and all lesser titles, by His Majesty Richard the second, by the Grace of God King of England and France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine, Sovereign of the Order of the Garter

On trade

III. The Kingdoms of Naples and England shall leave open to one another all ports and harbors under their control, for trade and safe harbor.

IV. English merchants operation in the harbour of the Kingdom of Naples shall enjoy a 15% discount on usual tariffs and harbour fees. To improve trade the Kingdom of Naples will promise not to confiscate goods owned by English merchants

V Neapolitan merchants operation in the harbour of the Kingdom of England shall enjoy a 15% discount on usual tariffs and harbour fees. To improve trade the Kingdom of England will promise not to confiscate goods owned by Neapolitan merchants

On warfare

VI. The Kingdoms of Naples and that of England pledges to support each other in matters of war. Be it military or monetary, the two sides promise to support the other part.

VII. In the event of a defensive war the Kingdoms pledges to support in the defence of the attacked part through military action.

On marriage

VIII. To mark the support in this treaty and close the two Kingdoms closer together there shall be a marriage between the daughter of King John and the nephew of Richard II. Namely Blanche of Naples is to marry Edward d'Anjou after the year of our lord 1386 when they are both at a suitable age for the act of marriage.
 

unmerged(8054)

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Court of Spoleto

It was clear which of the visitors from Denmark was the important one. The two servants stayed behind as Henning Podebusk and the accompagnying monk walked forward. Then the monk stopped, and Henning took a few steps alone before he bowed to Elizabeth.
Podebusk then said something in Danish, and the monk translated it into heavily accented, yet understandable, Latin.

"Lady Elsebeth. I bring the greetings of king Oluf and his mother, lady Margrethe. I..." Here the monk paused for a moment, before continuing... "or rather, he," and he pointed to Podebusk, "is Henning Podebusk, drost of Denmark. That means he has the kings full authority, and that he can sign treaties and the like on the kings behalf.
He has come to discuss the matters of Poland, as they are of great importance to the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway."
 

Velasco

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Court of Naples

The king looked over the treaty. "It is acceptable, I will sign it." He took the treaty and signed it, then said "Now if you excuse me, I am very tired. We will speak later." He signaled that the audience was over, and retired to his chambers.

The Court of Spoleto

"Welcome. Yes...you will have heard of my claim on the throne of Poland. I am to marry my cousin William of Bavaria, and hope to rule with him as King and Queen of Poland. However, it is my eldest son Stephen who will succeed me as King in Poland, and as such he needs a wife. I trust your Queen has told her of my request of her hand in marriage to be his wife? What does she say of this?"
 

unmerged(8054)

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The Court of Spoleto

"Welcome. Yes...you will have heard of my claim on the throne of Poland. I am to marry my cousin William of Bavaria, and hope to rule with him as King and Queen of Poland. However, it is my eldest son Stephen who will succeed me as King in Poland, and as such he needs a wife. I trust your Queen has told her of my request of her hand in marriage to be his wife? What does she say of this?"
Podebusk waited impatiently while brother Rasmus translated the queens words. Allthough he trusted the monk to provide as accurate a translation as possible, he still hated not understanding what was being said to him.
After hearing the queens words repeated in Danish, he gave his answer, and brother Rasmus translated:

"Herr Podebusk asks me to thank Your Highness for your kind offer on behalf of Lady Margrethe. However, the Lady Margrethe respectfully declines. She has obligations in Denmark, as advisor to her son, which requires her to remain there. Furthermore, the Lady Margrethe remains faithfull to her late husbond, king Haakon of Norway, even this many years after his death.

However, herr Podebusk also ask me to inform that this is not a decline to close cooperation and friendship between the crowns of Denmark, Norway and Poland, Naples."