• Victoria 3 - Sign up now!

    The journey begins, sign up now and get a special in-game item when the game is released.


  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


Chapter 1

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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

The Song of Wessex


"Not but with three matters no man should attend:
Of France, and of Britain, and of Rome the grand."

- Jean Bodel​

* * *

Battle of Cassel – Ypres, Flanders – August 1294

The Duke of Bourbon stood at the crest of the hill and spied down at the soldiers of Leon below as they positioned along the Lys river. Amedee was forty two and a wizened warrior, but for over a year now they had gone toe to toe with these armies of the Holy Roman Emperor and he had never fought in a war so large and across such a wide swath of Europe. From Iberia all the way to Flanders and well into the interior of the Empire, the largest forces ever assembled in Western Europe had fought for supremacy, and though the might of England was strong, this Emperor Werner held vast resources and had surprised them more than once.

He offered a curt nod and a slight grin when he began to mentally calculate the foe setting up across from them. Surely not ten thousand. He was certain of it. He himself held near to six thousand of his own in the center and the vanguard under Duke Thomas of Normandy was almost their number completely. In truth, he could only spy one mere knight upon the field. Many archers and men at arms, and perhaps even more horse than the English, but well over a hundred knights marched under his banner and the standard of the English lion. It was sure to be a rout.

As he gave the call for the longbows to set their weapons firmly, he was taken from his orders by one of these English lions, “Tis a fine morrow, my Lord. I think to spy no mist and thus I shall find a front row seat for this, do you not think?”

The Duke turned and flashed a grin, “It had better be as witness and no thing other, my Prince. Your Lord father I am certain would see no harm come to you this day.”

“Ahh!” the Prince showed his famous smile, “Yet His Grace is well to Hainaut, my Lord Amedee. How might he even know?”

“For I would be sure and tell him, my Prince,” Lord Amedee clasped an arm around the tall young man and led him from the crest of the hill, “You are to be here as witness only at the now. King Ælfstan has naught the time to find worry over you with all else that he considers, and this you well know.”

The Prince crossed his arms with a slight laugh, “I believe him to worry too much, my Lord. He may be known to all as ‘The Wise’ but in this methinks he frets more than he should. We have bested all comers...and many thanks to you, I might add...yet between your army and our mercenary friends, I think to see this one won with little trouble.”

Amedee was by now used to the bravado of this Prince and laughed himself, “You are brave, my fine young Duke of Lancaster, but allow me to remind you that I am twice your age and have seen much and more in my time. I should not like to see you in great peril and I know well the feelings of your Lord Father.”

“Oh, come now...” the Prince teased, “...just a little bit of peril.”

“Not even a jot of it, monsieur,” the Duke grinned as a horn blew, “And there comes our alarm so do not think to sneak past me once it begins. You know that I do see all.”

The Prince grinned, “Eyes to the front and back and all sides...yes, my Lord Amedee. I am well aware. Bon chance to you!”

“And to you, my Prince,” Lord Amedee gave a brief bow before turning to bark orders.

After watching him walk away with purpose, the Prince tipped back to the crest of the hill and watched as the longbows began their work. He got down to his belly and smiled as he watched the enemy begin an advance. It never got old watching this fine force do their work. The English manner of war had changed after so many years fighting in France and against other continental foes. When once a shield wall was the Saxon way, now it was done with the longbow and knights and brave men at arms. How he longed to be a part of it. His father had fought in many a battle and was known as brave as much as he was known as wise. Yet the Prince himself was no slouch in the tilt yard nor in tourneys and yet the King treated him as if he were made of nothing more impenetrable than an eggshell. It would be infuriating if he did not understand why.

As he watched the Battle of Cassel begin, he considered that very reason…


* * *

Blois, France – January 1280

The Lord Bishop Geoffrey of Lincoln shuffled down the halls within the castle at Blois as fast as his robes allowed. He did not look forward to this meet with his nephew, but it had to be said and done. He had taken the fastest ship from England that he could find for the news was too grave and too hurtful to allow time and some other messenger bring it to him. Upon reaching the solar, he was surprised not to find a sentry. Had not England been at war with France these last two years? He was aware that a peace was on the table, but did not know if it had yet been signed. As he entered, he found only young Prince Arthur reading by the firelight. This was passing strange, but he enjoyed the young man and begged him welcome.


“My good uncle...” Arthur stood and showed his already considerable height at almost ten years of age, “...I did not think to see you here.”

“I did not think to be here, Arturus,” Geoffrey answered using a playful nickname gained from their studies together, “Yet I fear to come with poor news for your father and needs must seek him out.”

Arthur moved to pour his great uncle a goblet of wine, “Father is with Lord Ralph and Lord Stephen, uncle. They be deep in conversation about I know not what. I would tell you to seek out Arn, but he has not been well since St. Aignan and keeps to his bed.”

The Bishop allowed a grimace as he considered Prince Arnold for the news concerned him as well, “Is your father here to the castle?”

“He is,” Arthur gestured for a chair and then handed his great uncle the wine, “Did you seek out the great hall?”

Geoffrey seemed hesitant to sit but did so and gave nod for the drink, “It has been a challenging passage, I do not mind saying. Foul winds and all that. Yet I did go to the hall and he was not there.”

“Hmm,” Arthur puzzled only briefly, “Then to his chambers? I hear there is to be a presentation. Mayhap on the morrow.”

“A presentation?” Geoffrey asked.

Arthur smiled, “Have you not heard? My grandfather has made peace and Blois is ours, well and truly. I am certain that your namesake cousin Geoff will be pleased though it will surely sadden him that it will not be his. I understand it will go to the Lord Ralph of Orleans.”

“I am certain that Geoff will understand,” the Bishop offered only a brief smile as he considered his younger brother Henry’s son, “Yet what awesome news. Your Lord father must be well proud of his efforts...and your brother.”

Arthur gave nod, “Pleased enough, uncle. Though I thought him to be with Lord Stephen as I understand that he is not impressed with the match made for my sister Joan.”

“Do you not mean Jeanne?” Geoffrey suggested with a grin.

“You mean her French name?” the young Prince returned the grin, “My mother’s influence. Whatever she wishes to call herself, she has been betrothed to the young Emperor and heads now to Luxembourg to take up her place.”

With a shake of the head, Geoffrey took some of his wine and then looked to the fire with disdain, “This Viktor...too much time have we spent to these French lands. We grow too much influenced by these continental politics and leave England adrift.”

The young Arthur sat back in his seat and smiled, “You forget, uncle...my mother is a Princess of France. There is reason that father does what he does. Let us not forget also that he did take Clydesdale in Scotland and found my brother his bride in that place.”

“You are too smart for your age, young sir,” Geoffrey wished to answer with a grin but he could not, “And to speak of your mother...is she to the castle? I would have need to speak with her as well.”

“Yes...” Arthur gave nod, “...yet I fear that she has already retired. Shall I wake her?”

Bishop Geoffrey stood and bent by the hearth, “Indeed...I think that you should. This would need to be in her hearing as well.”

The young Prince stood and moved to the solar door. He hollered some few words and then returned to his great uncle placing a gentle hand to his shoulder, “You are troubled.”

Without standing or looking up, he answered, “More than I have ever wished to be, Arturus. I have seen much sadness and despair in my day, but few may challenge this.”

“What is it?” Arthur asked with sincerity.

Geoffrey looked up with a kind eye, “I must needs wait for your mother.”

They did not have long to wait as Queen Alearde moved into the solar with grace as she held her robes around her. She had not lost her French customs but spoke English well by this date. Giving the Bishop a kiss on both cheeks as welcome, she looked to him with some worry, “You travel far, my Lord Bishop. We are well met, but what is the cause?”

“Where be your husband, Your Grace?” Geoffrey stood and bowed his head before looking to her with a stern eye, “I must speak with him as well.”

The Queen showed a sadness, “He is where I come from at the now. Our son is not well.”

“Prince Arnold?” Geoffrey asked with even more worry.

Arthur chimed in, “Yes, uncle...I told you. Arn has taken to bed.”

“Arthur!” the Queen chided her son, “Let us speak!”

“Yes, maman,” the young Prince stood back.

The Bishop looked to the Queen with even sadder eyes, “Oh, my Lady...it is then even worse then I thought.”

Queen Alearde was made of sterner stuff than most but the visage before her spoke of great tragedy, “You must tell me at the now, Geoffrey. What brings you here?!”

“The boy, Your Grace...” Geoffrey tried to answer as he held gently to her hand, “...you have all been to Melun during this struggle while the Lady Helen was caused to stay in chamber after the birth. Naught but sixth months did he live...this Fulk...your grandson.”

With all of her strength, the Queen stood a bit taller and kept a sure eye upon her husband’s uncle, “You tell to me that my Arnold’s son has died?”

Geoffrey lowered his head at first but then looked back to her just as surely, “I am sad to say it, my Lady...yes.”

Queen Alearde backed away and moved to a window without saying a word. She was quiet for a time and did not turn back when she finally answered, “He will be...devastated.”

“Lady Helen most assuredly is and begs her husband’s return,” Bishop Geoffrey suggested as politely as he might.

The Queen turned finally and looked upon her husband’s uncle with a steely gaze, “She will have to wait. Arnold will not travel in the state that he is in...we will not allow it.”

“My Lady...” the Bishop took a step towards her with a plea in his eye, “...Your Grace...she is grief stricken and does need her Lord husband at this time.”

Alearde moved towards the solar door, “The King requires him, my Lord Bishop. There will surely be others. We must not jeopardize his health.”

“Yet I needs must speak with my nephew...His Grace!” Geoffrey moved to follow.

The Queen turned back coldly and looked to her son, “Arthur! See your uncle a fine room. He has traveled far. We will speak with your father and he will know the truth of it.”

She was about to leave as Bishop Geoffrey took another step towards her but as she opened the door to the solar, the white face of King Ælfstan stood before them all. He was silent for a time and only held a hand up to brush at his wife’s cheek before he softly said, “My dove...he is gone.”

Losing all of her steely reserves, Alearde crumbled into his arms and began to weep great sobs, “No!! No!!! I told you!!! It was not his time!!!”

“We could not have known,” the King tried to help his wife, “He was strong...brave. A chance arrow...a wound. It...”

Alearde responded by beating at his chest, “You did this to him! You had to have him by your side! Take him from his comfort and place him here beside you while you grasp at your past!”

“He served!” Ælfstan stood strong against his wife’s rage, “He knew what he was getting into and wished it in all ways. A King will serve and he was ready!”

“At what cost?!” she answered him between sobs, “You have told me of your fears...your family...do they not lose all in their moment of great triumph and glory?! My father was right! You will be the curse of France and you will be the curse of me!!!”

The Queen rushed past her husband leaving him to spy his uncle with great question in his eye, “Though I love you uncle...and am glad to see you here at this time...my son is dead. Why do I see you at the now?”


It was young Arthur that went to his father’s side and whispered into his ear. He said his words and then looked up to the King with great worry in his eyes, “Is Arn truly gone?”

King Ælfstan was now forty five years old and had already seen much in his time. He was the second of his name after his father and many had begun calling him ‘The Wise’ due to his so far great rule. Until now, there was never a trouble that he could not solve. Never a threat that he could not soften. A powerful diplomat like his father, he was able to make Lords crumble before him with every deference just by using his words. But this? This was something beyond his ken. He put a hand to his young son’s head and looked to him with a most pitiable face, “I know I need not tell you this...but you shall need to grow up quickly. Your time...is now.”

“Nephew!” Bishop Geoffrey called out, “Come and speak with me. You need the good word.”

King Ælfstan backed away and shifted to leave the room as he answered, “No, uncle. I must be to my son at the now. You should come. Yet not before you talk to this one. He needs it more than I at this time.”

The Bishop was made speechless as his nephew left the solar and while Arthur was a preternaturally intelligent child, he too had few words. It was left for just the two of them to figure out what this meant. Geoffrey slowly turned and saw the confusion on the boy’s face and took a gentle step towards him, “In all of our learning, I dare say that this is one lesson that we have not yet reached.”

“I...” Arthur hesitated in his words for a moment as he watched after the closed door, “...I worry about father...and maman.”

“Yet what of you?” Geoffrey pressed.

Arthur turned to his great uncle with a puzzled look, “Me? What may I say? I am pained about Arn, yet he did know what he was getting into when he joined with father in his campaigns. It is doubly sad to hear of his first born’s early passing at the same time. Yet surely this is the work of the other and not our great God. It is only the cruel one that might take such as these and I cannot imagine that our Lord and Savior could be so terrible as that.”

“Arturus, that is your mother’s religion speaking,” Geoffrey moved closer, “One that she has renounced before God and the King. You should not look to Catharism to find your explanation, for not only is it heretical, it is poorly crafted theology. There is but one God and mysterious are His ways, but there is always a reason for it.”

The Prince moved to the fire, “I do not think that maman has renounced it as fully as you believe, uncle.”

“That’s as may be,” the Bishop answered, “Yet it is no path for you to follow. Your own father was taken with her words when your grandfather died but did declare himself away from it when he became King. Now...more than ever...you must do the same.”

“Because now I am to become King?” Arthur turned and asked quite honestly.

Geoffrey moved to sit and patted the chair next to him, “That is the way of it. Come to here and I will tell you a story that I never get tired of telling for he must be remembered.”

The Prince did as requested but gave a nod of his head, “I know the tale that you are about to tell. You speak of your brother Ralph.”

“Of course you do,” the Bishop offered a smile, “I imagine your father has heard it many times over from his own father by now.”

“I can see why you might find it instructive,” Arthur sat forward, “For if the Prince Ralph does not die at such a young age, then the none of us might be in our positions at the now.”

Geoffrey lowered his head at the slim memory, “I fear that he would have passed at any rate...and I was young...but when it happened, my brother was in no ways prepared. He was the second of we five boys and was not expected to take the throne even after the accident. Yet when Ralph died, my mother and father thrust it upon him and he took to it with alacrity. You must now do the same.”

“Yet I am not even at ten years, uncle,” Arthur sat back and looked into the fire, “I hold no memory of your brother Ælfstan the King for I was but a babe when he passed. In truth, you are the only one of your siblings that I know at all.”

“And why your father had the great intelligence to seek me out for your learning,” Geoffrey replied, “As I did for Arnold.”

Arthur was silent for a time before turning back, “And now he is gone.”

“Yes, Arturus...” Geoffrey crossed himself as he answered plainly, “...he is.”

With consideration, Arthur was silent again for a time before giving his reply, “Then we must double my studies, uncle. I should not like to disappoint father. And you must now go to him. I believe him to need you greatly.”

“Are you sure that you understand?” Bishop Geoffrey looked deep into Arthur’s eyes.

Arthur stood and placed a calm hand to his great uncle’s shoulder, “I am young, uncle. I am not foolish. You have made a proper teacher in our time together and I must now use that. We must. All of us.”

 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
Here is the latest AAR. I was very hesitant to begin this but the world was too rich to leave it be. Yes, it follows directly after The Heavy Crown and the world built is the same from The Rightful King and The Bold Prince, but this is a stand alone story. One need not go back and read the previous works (unless they want to) for this should be its own thing. I wanted to go back to narrative after the history epilogue of Heavy Crown and in this, I believe that I have found a good venture. The game itself began in 1066. Here we pick up many years later and a changed landscape, to be sure. It will be a tale of one man from start to finish, and I hope that it is enjoyed.

Please offer your comments, feel free to pick nits and above all hopefully read with pleasure. It is a fascinating world built here and I hope that when we are done, you too will appreciate what was accomplished. I am fairly certain that when it is finished, this will be the last of these Wessex tales (though I reserve the right to continue) but I wanted to go out with a bang. This tale does that. I hope. :D
 

Nikolai

Basileus Romaion
75 Badges
Jun 17, 2001
20.630
2.822
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
It's back! Just when we had clawed our way out... :p No, I jest. I am immensely happy to see this story continue! :) I note that this ten year old boy sounds like he's twice his age, is he a genious too perchance? ;)
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
It's back! Just when we had clawed our way out... :p No, I jest. I am immensely happy to see this story continue! :) I note that this ten year old boy sounds like he's twice his age, is he a genious too perchance? ;)
You were not going to get away that easily! :p Really pleased to see you follow over and I hope a lot more do the same. New story...new timeline...new everything. :)

And yes...I am struggling a bit with Arthur (and no, he is not a "genius" like his father) but he does have certain qualities that I wanted to highlight this early. It will matter in the long run.:D
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.311
3.904
  • 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
Oho, here we go! Will give this a proper read through later today, but just wanted to doff me hat quickly now to register discovery! :);)
 

vandevere

From the Great State of Denial
11 Badges
Jun 13, 2013
2.979
2.534
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
Glad to see the history is continuing...
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.968
3.627
  • 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
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 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
A young man now discovering his future in a difficult fashion. A family wracked - at least a little - by grief. And an image some years hence of a young Prince full of giddy glee at a battle.

What tapestry shall you weave, my friend, from what threads such as these?
 

JabberJock14

General
31 Badges
Dec 3, 2015
1.788
1.374
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • 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: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
Interesting start. It appears my question at the end of the last story over the king's choice of heresy has been answered - but it won't matter as this story is likely Arthur's! Given the start in 1294, followed by the pullback to 1280, will be curious how much of the upcoming chapters catalog that development in between or if we return to 1293 fairly quickly. Having dealt with a similar situation of my choice heir dying in battle and having been left with a much younger replacement, I'm interested in seeing how it all plays out.

King Arthur with a Roman sounding nickname of Arturus... :D Probably as good a character as any for an England AAR to end on.
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
Fb-fb:

Oho, here we go! Will give this a proper read through later today, but just wanted to doff me hat quickly now to register discovery! :);)
I really look forward to what you think about it, sir. I am trying to do a little something different here even while maintaining the historical milieu.

Glad to see the history is continuing...
And awesome to see you following over from the last thread! Thank you!

A young man now discovering his future in a difficult fashion. A family wracked - at least a little - by grief. And an image some years hence of a young Prince full of giddy glee at a battle.

What tapestry shall you weave, my friend, from what threads such as these?
I am trying to build Arthur somewhat slowly, but he is your protagonist. I am likely to go back and forth a bit, at least at the start here, and it was the worth of Authur's reign that made me want to tell it in the first place. I hope I weave a pretty good one as quite a lot occurs, and I find the figure fascinating. I also hope that I am not too derivative as one can get when looking to Arthurian legends and all that, so I hope that all of you will keep me honest. :)

Interesting start. It appears my question at the end of the last story over the king's choice of heresy has been answered - but it won't matter as this story is likely Arthur's! Given the start in 1294, followed by the pullback to 1280, will be curious how much of the upcoming chapters catalog that development in between or if we return to 1293 fairly quickly. Having dealt with a similar situation of my choice heir dying in battle and having been left with a much younger replacement, I'm interested in seeing how it all plays out.

King Arthur with a Roman sounding nickname of Arturus... :D Probably as good a character as any for an England AAR to end on.
I thought so. :D As stated, we will go back and forth a bit, at least at the start. I will admit that I cheated and changed Ælfstan II to get rid of his heresy. It just did not make sense to me. He is/was a genius after all and if that was the sticking point for the great Lords (which it was) then I needed to alter that. I am sure that I could have found an interesting story with him pushing his ideas on religion, but I had different goals as I played as will be seen. I needed the heresy gone to get the other, which will be seen.

As for Arnold...I will reveal that in time. Let's just say I was not enamored with the idea of a King Arnold. ;)

That is a heck of start. Tragedies all around. I am curious to see what impact the Cathar religion will have on the future.
Catharism sticks around. I am not likely to spend a lot of time discussing it, at least at this early date, but it needed to be touched upon given Queen Alearde's thoughts on it and especially King Ælfstan II. That Arthur, of all of their children, picked it up was disappointing, but also interesting. I think it adds to his character (read as player in this AAR.)


To all - So now we have the first scene of the new story. As has been guessed by many, the main figure will be Arthur. I purposely did not name him in the first part of the above because I wanted the reveal to matter when it showed that he was now heir to England. I left quite a few other things unsaid in that post so you will have to tease it out from the writing. ;) It was not as though King Ælfstan II's reign was uninteresting (because it very much was interesting and quite fun) but that I thought the nugget of Arthur being born just as Ælfstan I died allowed a full story of one man and one I wanted to tell. You will get Ælfstan II's reign, but only as it relates to Arthur. Both are major figures, but as stated...I am going to jump around a bit. I hope it works.

Thank you so much to all that have followed over and perhaps we might even see some new commentators with a short start. I say again, you need not go back and read the others (unless one wants to - and I thank you for that) but this story should stand on its own. I am still enjoying writing, and still experimenting, and I hope that this tale is enjoyed as much if not more than those that came before. It is a rich history that has been built, and I just could not leave it so readily. There was more story to tell. :D
 
Last edited:

Idhrendur

Keeper of the Converters
103 Badges
Feb 27, 2009
10.365
1.631
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • March of the Eagles
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • Commander: Conquest of the Americas
  • Darkest Hour
I'm less behind than I expected. And this was quite the start. Any chance we could get a quick family tree to help place the characters and their relations?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
I'm less behind than I expected. And this was quite the start. Any chance we could get a quick family tree to help place the characters and their relations?
If it helps, and likely does, here is where where we stand:


I cannot go beyond that because it gets complicated with cousins and whatnot, but these connections are what matter.

Great to see you jump on board and again, good luck with the move! :)
 

Arnulf Floyd

Captain
Oct 22, 2018
499
63
A new AAR with our beloved house sounds great. I not open so much these forums yesterday and today because I renew my passion for classic rock, this thing makes me so happy. My username is taken from my character named Arnulf and Pink Floyd
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
A new AAR with our beloved house sounds great. I not open so much these forums yesterday and today because I renew my passion for classic rock, this thing makes me so happy. My username is taken from my character named Arnulf and Pink Floyd
No worries there, mate. One could do worse than listening to classic rock! Only my favorite music. :D

And good choice on your username...top 5 rock guitarists of all time:

Jimi Hendrix
Eric Clapton
Prince
Brian May
David Gilmore

I stand by that all day! :)
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.311
3.904
  • 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
Just read through in full. Interesting start and I think the prospective/retrospective glimpses a good way to tell those aspects and a variation from the trilogy’s style to help distinguish it. I’m buckled in for the ride!:)
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
Just read through in full. Interesting start and I think the prospective/retrospective glimpses a good way to tell those aspects and a variation from the trilogy’s style to help distinguish it. I’m buckled in for the ride!:)
Awesome! I am being purposely vague in these opening moments because they are leading to a confluence of events and we may go back to a more linear style, but I felt it a more interesting way to at least tell King Ælfstan II's reign. I hope it works and please feel free to ask questions when things are unclear.


The next scene arrives in just a moment...
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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

The Song of Wessex

* * *

Auxerre, France – December 1282

The formal ceremonies were over and for that, King Ælfstan was thankful. He held no great love for these French nobles even though he had spent many of his years in and among them when much younger. In truth, that may be well why he despised them. There was really only one reason that he was here in the first place and that was to support his wife, Queen Alearde. Her father King Arnault had finally gone to God at the age of sixty and nine, and he could not deny her passage to pay her respects as a daughter should for her father. Yet when he looked up to the high table, it made him want to retch such was his distaste.


The French customs themselves were an oddity to him. They always had been, even when he was husband to his young first wife Countess Almodis and then regent for his daughter Adela when she took on that role. In England, there would be a somber mood surrounding the death of a revered person, monarch or no. To France, they would never hesitate to put on a grand feast. It was very nearly outrageous to his eyes and he began to wish that he had left his young son Arthur to England on this voyage. Yet Arthur was precocious, as he himself had been at such an age, and his son seemed to take it all in with a calm and settled view.

“Father?” Arthur asked as he stood next to the King of England at the far end of the great hall at Auxerre, “Who is that man that sits next to the young French King and whispers into his ear?”

Ælfstan trained his eyes away from his wife Alearde as she spoke softly with her younger sister Eleonore at the end of the high table to the center where the young King Godefroy sat at naught but nine years old. He grinned when he answered, “That, my son, is the revered Duke Hugues of Burgundy, named the fourth. He holds a proud pedigree as his father was once the very King of France, yet it was lost when my uncle Henry took on the title when the so-called Payen the Fat died.”

“He seems very important,” Arthur quizzed his father, “France does still hold elective, do they not? How did your uncle win out over that one?”

A laugh followed before the King replied, “None like him, even if they are forced to pay homage. I suspect that my father and grandmother had much to do with it, but this Hugues was a young man and untried when his chance came and my uncle Henry was said to be very capable...if short lived in his tenure.”

“Yes...” Arthur considered the scene before him, “...it was naught but a month, was it?”

“Uncle Geoffrey teaches you well,” Ælfstan held a hand to his son’s shoulder and allowed a slight smile as he kept watch of the high table, “If you know that, then you know that your great grandfather Manasses then became King of France and put paid to any chance for the line of de Bourgogne to follow. All this man before you has left is his pride and pedigree and so they now call him regent.”

Prince Arthur looked on the young King Godefroy and wrinkled his brow, “He is young, as am I...but he seems regal enough in his nine years.”


“Phaw!” Ælfstan snorted and then regretted it as some few eyes turned to him. He then leaned down and whispered into his son’s ear, “The boy is craven and all know it. Not like me when I was of that age. Not like you.”

“His mother surely dotes upon him,” the Prince answered as he looked to the now Dowager Queen Beatriz of France who remained Queen of Galicia in her own right.

A voice spoke from behind them with some humor, “She is a pretty young thing, cousin. Would you not wish a doting such as that?”

Both King and Prince turned to spy the Lady Emma of Anjou and the older Lord Ralph of Orleans. The Duke held a firm eye to the King while the Duchess looked to Arthur with a grin, “She might even fancy a spin with all of these celebrations going on. She is now a widow, you know.”

When Arthur grew red in the face, Lord Ralph tried to save him, “It is distasteful, Your Grace. I shall never pay homage for my lands to such as this. Never! To hold such festive cheer as this when a good man has gone to God...not my King...but a good man was Arnault.”

“You speak the truth of it, my Lord,” King Ælfstan agreed, “Arnault was a fine father by law to me when I first wed Alearde and even when he became King, he remained fair. He took his losses in stride and was always honest at the table.”

“Not like the rest of this lot!” Ralph sneered.

Lady Emma batted her eyes and showed her youthful smile, “Come now, my Lord. Be not so hard on them. They know naught other to do. They are French, after all.”

Arthur looked to her and found the same feeling he often did when around his distant cousin. She was twenty four and beautiful. Charming and curved in all of the right places. He was just now twelve and finding many new emotions within himself that had not been there prior. As Lord Ralph went on about the French court, he compared the two women – Lady Emma of Anjou and this Queen Beatriz of Galicia who was only twenty seven and also beautiful. If he saw a difference, it was in their eyes. The Lady at the high table seemed to glow with a harshness whereas Emma was brightness and light itself, humor and fun with a joy about her. One reminded him of his intended, Countess Aveline of Suffolk who was now of age and impatient in her waiting. The other, totally foreign to him even if she was his kin.

“You look very serious, Arthur,” Emma noticed his mood and teased at him, “If we are to play, then let us play. I know that our King Godefroy here has a sister near to your age. I suppose she would be...your aunt, yes? Yet likely good fun and I am certain that your Lady Aveline would not mind.”

“Emma!” King Ælfstan chastised her with a grin, “You are the very devil.”

“Yes, cousin?” Emma answered playfully, “If we must be here to France, then let us enjoy it, Your Grace. I will light a candle for good King Arnault, but I am sad to say that he is now gone and this be what is left to us. It is France, after all, and all we know of it. Poor Arthur should not be left to sit when there is so much to do.”

Arthur smiled and looked to the King, “Mayhap she is right, father. Would you mind?”

Emma did not even allow the King a response before she swept Arthur away to join in the dancing that had begun in the middle of the great hall and Ælfstan looked to Lord Ralph with another grin as he saw his son begin to enjoy himself, “How could I?”

“The want of youth, Your Grace,” Ralph answered as he looked beyond them to the full hall, “Yet...we did not come here solely to honor the late King.”

“You are correct, my Lord,” Ælfstan replied as he too looked and spied one, “Look there...even Lord Sieghard of Champaign shows his face.”

Ralph allowed a sneer, “Surely sniffing around for this latest Emperor, no doubt.”

“Hmm!” the King snorted, “This Werner wouldn’t know an arse to sniff about if you placed his head directly to your backside. Yet likely right.”

“He is barely past your son’s age, Your Grace,” Ralph gave nod and then pointed, “Yet there is a man that you should speak with. The Duc de Bourbon is given pride of place as Lord Marshal of France, but I know him otherwise.”

“Amedee?” the King looked briefly to Ralph before turning back, “Yes...I know him. A younger man, but fit and proud. How well do you know him?”

“Well enough, Your Grace,” Ralph replied, “I needs must have dealings with him at times as his lands join to mind near Auvergne and he is fair in his doings. I think that you and he should speak.”

King Ælfstan grinned as he nudged his Lord, “I do think that we have been spied upon and this Duke now comes to us.”

True enough, Duke Amedee of Bourbon was winding his way through the crowded hall towards the King and his Lord of Orleans. He was almost near upon them when another broke through and joined - the Duc de Berry, Ancel Karling.

“You do not sit at the head of the table...Your Grace,” the Duke suggested to Ælfstan with too much of a grin, “It must trouble you so.”

Duke Amedee was just now coming to them and spied his counterpart, “You do find your moments, monsieur. Is that a way that we speak to Kings in France?”

“It is the way that I speak to this King...monsieur,” Duke Ancel stood proud.

Amedee was not cowed, “Then mayhap you had better find a kinder tongue. We do grieve this day and it is not in keeping with the memory of His Grace King Arnault. The man before you is his son by law, if you do not recall.”

Duke Ancel showed a fierce grin, “I recall it only too much...Your Grace.”

As the Duke of Berry stumbled off, Amedee showed a bow, “He has clearly found too much wine this night, Your Grace. I do apologize.”

“You need not, my Lord,” Ælfstan showed a smile, “I am used to it within the French court...and mayhap mine own.”

Amedee gave a thankful nod, “It is ale that they drink at the English court, is it not?”

Ralph remained irritated but tried to show his diplomacy, “We are all fond of the drink, my Lord...but that was...”

“Uncalled for...yes,” Amedee looked to the King of England, “It should not have been. The Duc de Berry is sometimes...possessed. I think him not in his right mind just as he thinks all others are out of theirs.”

Ælfstan offered a curious eye, “Not a friend, my Lord?”

“I would not invite him to supper, if this is what you ask,” Amedee answered as he looked over the crowded hall.

The English King followed his gaze and asked, “Yet would you invite him to war?”

Amedee smiled but kept his eyes forward, “I thought you diplomatic, good King. But of course I would. If we are to have a grand feast, then we should have French and English alike. Look there...your son does seem to enjoy it.”

“That was low, my Lord!” Ralph suggested but Ælfstan held up a hand.

“Allow us a moment, Lord Ralph,” the King suggested with a fine smile, “It is an introduction and we two should find ourselves well met with just our own voices, if you please.”

The Duke of Orleans was reticent but gave bow to his King as he backed away. Ælfstan looked after him for a time before whispering, “We could start a war ourselves by just our speaking.”

“That would be a shame,” Duke Amedee suggested, “With all else going on within the world at the now, surely there is chance for comity between our realms.”

King Ælfstan eyed the French Duke with a somber face, “You speak of the Holy Land.”

“I do, Your Grace,” Amedee gave nod, “Among other items. Pope Lando II has called for crusade once more and though our King is too young to take the cross, you are hale and hearty. Do you not think to travel forth for Christ?”

“It is considered, yet found wanting at the moment,” Ælfstan replied as he looked out over the crowd once more, “I’ve a family to care for, and a realm.”

Amedee showed a smile, “Ah yes...I did hear of the match made for your daughter Isabel. I understand Lord Erich of Upper Burgundy to be a fine man. You should be proud.”

“Some few years earlier might have been better,” the King suggested, “When times were more troubled within the Empire. Yet we work with what God allows.”

“And God did allow such great change across the border,” Amedee gave nod to a passer by, “From Viktor to Hugo and now to this Werner. Will they ever be satisfied with an Emperor?”

Ælfstan was certain in his response, “Not if I can help it.”

“Considering a different type of holy war, Your Grace?” the Duke asked with a grin.

With another eye to the high table, the King shook his head, “Nay. Not that. My daughter Jeanne would not care for it and I will respect her. It is my other daughter that causes me much grief.”

“The Empire is a tangled web, Your Grace,” Amedee tracked the King’s eye, “And your daughter Jeanne would have made a fine Empress. French in all the right ways. Yet I see the direction of your ire, and I cannot blame you.”

Ælfstan raised a brow, “Truly?”

“But of course,” Amedee smiled, “Lord Hugues is a relic and it is shameful the manner in which he treats your Lady Adela. I dare not speak it to him, but it is wrong that she is kept to his keep as prisoner and ward of the state.”

“Here is where we may have words, my Lord Duc,” the King allowed a stern voice, “Let us call it what it is. My daughter Adela...my first born child...is said to be his lover as well as his prisoner. I could start a war for far less than that.”

Amedee lowered his head, “I do not deny it. You have seen much, Your Grace. I was too young to know your first wife and it is such a shame that Lady Adela never was able to meet her own mother...”

“It is a shame that she is not here to pay respects to King Arnault at his death, Lord Amedee,” Ælfstan corrected him, “I lived within France from the time I was sixteen years until the time when my father died. Never have I seen such perfidy as this. I bring my Lords here to show them what is wrong within the world. I bring my son Arthur to show him what will be.”

The French Duke stood taller and smiled once more, “I hear that you are called the Wise King, Your Grace. You sound as if to have some grand scheme. Yet I must tell you that I shall have to protect this realm in all ways that I am able.”

“I know not that I am wise, my Lord Duc,” Ælfstan remained serious, “Yet I am determined. There will some day be a choosing, and I very much hope that you will indeed choose France before all others. Choose what is best for France.”

Amedee looked once more to the high table, “Your Grace...he is naught but nine. There will surely be many years before such a time as you speak.”

“And look there,” Ælfstan pointed to his son Arthur in the middle of the hall, “He is twelve and sees time ahead of him.”

“A fine pedigree,” the French Duke gave nod, “One grandfather was King of England and the other, the King of France. If I may say, I see in him both.”

King Ælfstan smiled, “I am happy to hear you say so.”

“I speak with honesty, Your Grace,” Amedee allowed, “I am a soldier first and a Lord second. In both roles, I see no use in ignoring the obvious.”

“Then you will not be surprised if we see one another again soon,” the King suggested with a slight grin, “I am back to Melun on the morrow, but I should not think to stay there too long.”

Amedee returned the grin, “I would expect no less.”

“Then I say bon chance to you, monsieur,” King Ælfstan gave nod of his head as he moved to gather his son, “When next we meet, it will likely be to Tours. You may tell your Lord Hugues that, if you wish.”

“He will be most displeased, Your Grace,” Amedee showed a bow.

“Precisely,” the English King smiled, “My very thought.”


* * *

Hainaut, Germany – September 1294

“Hold no thing back!” the King shouted at his soldiers as they continued to load the trebuchets, “I will see this castle reduced to ruins ere I leave it!”

“Your Grace!” his man Matthew counseled with surety, “You must not be so close!”

King Ælfstan did not turn as he looked on the distant keep with his hands upon his hips, “You would do well to heed that advice yourself, good Matthew. I have not come this far to see it a wasted effort! This so-called Kaiser Werner will hear my morning bells from now until his very death!”

“You’ve fine commanders, Your Grace,” Matthew pleaded, “Let us back to your tent for the now. It is not like to fall within the hour.”

“I wish a breach, sir!” the King remained solid in his stance.

Matthew took the chance to step closer to the King, “And Lord Theobald may have your answer, Your Grace. Allow him a moment...and one for your safety.”

“You are a mother hen, sir!” Ælfstan turned finally with a grin, “Very well. Stay to here and keep up this bombardment. If you return to me within the hour and say that we have made no progress, then I shall be right sore indeed.”

As the King took long strides to find his tent, Matthew called out, “I will not fail you, Your Grace!”

Ælfstan wound his way through the siege camp finally to his tent and there found his Lord Theobald of Hereford. Tossing his helm aside with irritation, the King moved quickly for a cup of ale, “You had better tell me of good news, my Lord. I’ve no time for guesses.”

“I think...mayhap...that I have found a way, Your Grace,” Lord Theobald suggested with a grin.

The King found excitement and set aside his cup as he moved to a map spread out before him, “Then praise God and even Werner! This Emperor will rue the day he decided to tangle with us!”

Theobald grinned, “As you say, Your Grace. Look here...”
 
Last edited:

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
123 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.968
3.627
  • 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
  • Stellaris: Necroids
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • 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
So some false bohommie in the French court. I loved the casual remark "They are French." A whole essay work of condescension encapsulated in those simple words.

And in 1294 tussling with the Kaiser .. a first for England I think?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
29 Badges
May 16, 2002
13.787
469
hearthehurd.typepad.com
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • 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
So some false bohommie in the French court. I loved the casual remark "They are French." A whole essay work of condescension encapsulated in those simple words.

And in 1294 tussling with the Kaiser .. a first for England I think?
I don't know that it was all false, but a teasing of diplomacy there. And I really must hope that my French readers do not take offense. @The Number 9 (and though he is not visibly around anymore @Nil_the_Frog) - I mean no disrespect. It is only what I thought these characters might say. :) One of the major bits of the beginning of this work was the English/French struggle and so one may understand a bit of condescension there. Age old, as well. I liked writing that line as it pretty much told the story with little else needed. :D

As for the struggle with the Kaiser...yep. More where that comes from. :rolleyes:
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.311
3.904
  • 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
An English king being taunted by French knights! :D A grand tradition: “I blow my nose at you, son of a silly person. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!”

I like the use of implication, hint and suspense with the cliffhangers and the pace. Also loved the Werner + arse ribaldry! Can’t let the French have the insult all their own way - especially when there are Germans to hand. Best delivered face to face - but it seems that is the direction things are/were headed. ;)