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Sandwich, June 1460

They could all hear the sound of the sea as the ship rocked against the waves. Young Edward Earl of March stood close to Lord Rivers and smiled. As they moved closer to dock, the Baron had finally had enough, “What is it, sir?!”

“I wonder how does your daughter, my Lord?” Edward asked with a curious eye.

Lord Rivers pulled away, “You would leave all of my children alone. And I know not why Anthony is not here with us.”

“I believe they call it insurance,” Edward replied with humor, “We pay down the debt with you so that Lord Salisbury may see his sons once again, and then we pay off when all are safe.”

Rivers pushed to sit on a barrel, “I did not know that you were so acquainted with money lending.”

“An interesting culture…” the young Earl grinned, “...and one must learn much at our age.”

“You are a babe!” the Baron looked to the deck.

Edward showed a large smile, “And a free babe at that.”

“Cousin!!” Warwick shouted and moved to them both, “We land in but a moment. Are you ready?”

The Earl allowed a laugh and then looked to Rivers, “I’m not sure. Are we ready, my Lord?”

The ship slipped easily to the dock and the first person on board was Sir William Hastings. He rushed to Warwick with arms outstretched, “It has been too long, my Lord!”

“And not a moment too soon!” the elder Earl was ready to leave the ship.

His father Lord Salisbury emerged from below just as he made his way, “Are you forgetting something, my son?”

“Remind me not of one more thing I have not considered,” Warwick turned to his father, “I told you that you were welcome to stay to Calais as we secured the south.”

Salisbury sighed before giving reply, “I merely meant that I would wish to ride out with you. We will need the support of a great many Lords and your tongue is sharper than most. Some require a soft hand.”

“I’m sure it will all be well,” Edward suggested as he assisted Lord Rivers from the ship.

The others followed and Hastings stepped quickly to the Earl, “My Lord, I’ve just come from Wenlock’s side. He keeps a hold to the Guildhall yet daily we find a firmer perimeter and your letters have already been sent.”

“And what of Fauconberg?” Warwick questioned, “Has he made contact with his bastard?”

“Good fortune there, my Lord...” Hastings smiled, “...for he returns just as you land. He awaits you within.”

Warwick ordered Hastings to secure Lord Rivers in the jail while he entered the Guildhall with his cousin and father. He was surprised to see not only Lord Fauconberg but so too the Baron of Bergavenny, his other uncle and also Lord Cobham, that aged old goat. Sir John Wenlock was already pouring celebratory drinks and Salisbury instantly went to his brothers Fauconberg and Bergavenny and hugged them, “I think never to find favor with sea travel, sirs.”

“Well at least you land to good news,” Bergavenny grinned, “Our brother’s son has cooked up a nice good reason to delay Buckingham and so we play with some time.”

“Not too much time, sirs,” Warwick dropped his wet cape to the stone floor and accepted a cup of ale, “I am especially pleased to see you here, Lord Cobham. We shall need as many as we may find to these parts.”

The old Baron showed a poor hip when he bowed, “England has missed much these last many months. You arrive just in time.”

“More to that, my Lord...” Sir John Wenlock retrieved a few letters, “...word already arrives from the mayors of Rye and Winchelsea. Both are prepared to send a contingent. Apparently neither one wishes to be seen as lessor than the other.”

Salisbury found a chair and sat gingerly, “What of Bourchier? Has there been any word from the Archbishop?”

“We sent a man to Canterbury the moment we spied your sails, my Lord,” Wenlock replied.

Warwick waved a hand, “He will come in time. For now, we should send more word to the other Cinque Ports. If Rye and Winchelsea are already coming, we have indeed begun with a large swath of Kent.”

“I will do, my Lord,” Wenlock tended to his papers as the three brothers caught up. Taking the moment, Edward shifted to his cousin.

“It seems almost too easy, sir.”

Warwick took a long pull of his drink and then smiled, “As it was planned. Did you think that I was idle as I made progress across the sea?”

“Of course not,” Edward shared the smile, “Now we may see if my father be idle.”

“Patience, my cousin,” Warwick looked on to his uncles with seeming pleasure, “We are merely begun. I think not that your father will sail until he holds word that we’ve taken London.”

As they spoke, another slipped up behind them, “Welcome home to England, my Lord.”

Warwick turned with a great grin, “Ah! My good man Fulk! Ned...I think it time you met our great benefactor.”

Sir Fulk allowed a bow and Warwick continued, “This man’s letters are legendary...as in I require a legend to read them.”

“My poor penmanship, my Lord,” Fulk laughed.

“Indeed,” the elder Earl dropped his grin, “And I shall require more of your careful language in the days to come. I needs must send word to some few to gauge their sympathy. At the most is the Lord of Norfolk. I shall give you a list of others. We mean to move and swiftly so I must know what is ahead of me.”

Fulk offered another bow, “Of course. And may I say that the move with the Bastard of Fauconberg and Lord Stanley...a master stroke.”

“Nonsense!” Warwick smiled, “It is naught but temporary but it worked. Buckingham will not be quieted so easily as that.”

“Then I shall send your word,” Fulk allowed and then asked, “Shall I also send coded message to the Lord of York?”

Warwick took another drink and then calmly answered, “Not as yet. He will wish to see more security and we are not there...yet. I will tell you when.”

Fulk bowed once more to both Earls, “My Lords.”

Edward was impressed as the sly knight silently walked away, “He seems a good man.”

“They very best,” Warwick shifted to refill his cup, “I tell you this, Ned...always have the best about you. People that you may trust. Coin may get you far, yet not as much as real trust. True loyalty! One may count on little else.”

“I should think Ludford Bridge taught me that,” Edward was pointed.

Warwick grinned, “We know who is loyal now, don’t we? Not a wasted effort. And in our present? We continue what we started.”

“And you don’t find any worry to my father’s reticence?” Edward leaned in close, “His...unwillingness to take that which is truly at question?”

“I tell you, sir...” Warwick smiled to the room, “...the Lord of York has made his decision. And the Queen will know it soon enough! Now...let us drink and be merry for we are about to change the course of our history, me lad. We are back to England. Do you not wish to kiss the ground?”

Edward looked to his toes and then back to his cousin with a grin, “There is much I may kiss in life, Dickon...yet not this.”

“Suit yourself, sir,” the elder Earl laughed and bent to his knees. He kissed the rush strewn floor and then called out to everyone, “My Lords, we have returned! No soil tastes as sweet!!!”

End of Chapter 16
 
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I should also add that today is the last day to vote for the ACAs so please do head over there and offer your vote. Once more, you need not vote for this work (though always appreciated) but please do vote to reward all of those great writAARs that give us all so much entertainment. :)
 
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A few to catch up on as I return from holiday.

The emergence of Edward and the ongoing arguments about caution vs speed. In hindsight it is incredible how often Richard managed to pick the wrong one, being cautious when he should push or making a challenge when he should have bided his time. He really is quite bad at the whole enterprise.

There is a sense of the start of the changing of the guard, Warwick and Edward jostling to take over from the overly cautious York and Salisbury. Perhaps not yet, both will remain loyal to their fathers, but the tensions are clearly visible.


Then Henry and Buckingham. A very emotional scene, it certainly made me empathise with Buckingham, a man trapped by his vows and word into an impossible position. It almost made me feel sympathy for Henry, he once against gets close to the actual issue but fundamentally he misses the point. He was anointed as a ruler, as King, yet he refuses to act as one. If he fails to fulfil his part of the bargain then how can be upset if others do not hold to theirs? Even his flash of action at the end, he is probably one of the men who know Richard best yet offers no advice, all he does is rule out the best solution (internal exile of the Queen) on the basis of an argument that any theologian could pick apart in seconds. He does not send the Queen from court because he lacks the spine for the argument or the decisiveness to order someone else to do it for him, that is the truth yet he lies and dissembles about it, perhaps even to himself.

I must also say I agree with Buckingham that Henry is the King the lords of England deserve, mainly because it is their actions that have encouraged and enabled such poor governance.

The landing in Sandwich, short but effective. I had a bad feeling about Osbert from the moment I read his first name, while I quite like it aesthetically it has been my experience that the name Osbert is rarely a positive omen. Though as he has survived he did better than I expected, certainly better a prisoner than dead.

I must also pause to enthusiastically endorse @Rensslaer erudite comments and compliments to our noble author, I do perhaps not say it enough but @coz1s writing really is incredibly good, particularly the dialogue for all the reasons outlined. All I would add is that it is also consistent in quality and it may come across that it is being taken for granted, I can assure you that is not the case.


The landing scene. That jokes about the poor relations between the King and Queen, and indeed the Queen's lack of marital fidelity, are such common currency does not bode well for their cause. I also wonder how much Buckingham truly believes that he only serves the King or if he deep down knows that in truth it the Queen who runs things. If it ever came down to a clean choice he would certainly chose Henry, I just doubt the Queen will be foolish enough to ever make it a clear and clean choice. I see our author has covered much the same point, but I've written this now so it can stay.


The answer is clearly right thing for wrong reason. But then I'm an engineer so would much rather have a building designed to the wrong principles that stood up, than one where all the guidance had been followed and it collapsed.


The return to Sandwich and the Warwick / Edward double act continues to entertain. The contrast with the band around those two and the Queen's Party is stark, not just in attitude but in competence. I get the impression though that Warwick is playing both Edward and York, not in terms of aim or objective (for now...) but in tactics. For all that he tells Edward that he is sure of his father, I think he also doubts York and so intends to present him with a fait accompli. If London and the South East are secure then even a hesitant York will have to act. Not an unreasonable plan, as long as no-one ever finds out he was doing it.


Finally, if I have the dates rights, congratulations on the new job which I believe you start Monday! May it bring you great wealth and satisfaction, or at least a good paycheck and something interesting to do. ;)
 
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The "require a legend to read them" line was amusing...

It looks like the Yorkist cause is off to a great start, which naturally means that something is about to go terribly wrong. We can't have things be too easy, after all. The only question is: how will things go wrong here?
 
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Save five or one is an easy choice. But the variables can make a difference. What is the child about to begin the voyage of life, while the five are elderly and about to descend the gang plank after completing their voyage? Or if five are convicts? Doing nothing is a choice so one should not hide and say that they did not injure anyone.

Queen Fancy is not solely the Lancaster side (OTL), but without her I can not imagine that the WotR would have lasted as long.

Home tastes sweet upon returning. Thanks for the update.
 
Well, let's see if things begin to speed themselves with Edward and Warwick around.

BTW, 58 pages and two years and we have move 20 years. This reminds me of someone who is not so fast...,
 
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Fb-fb:

A few to catch up on as I return from holiday.

The emergence of Edward and the ongoing arguments about caution vs speed. In hindsight it is incredible how often Richard managed to pick the wrong one, being cautious when he should push or making a challenge when he should have bided his time. He really is quite bad at the whole enterprise.

There is a sense of the start of the changing of the guard, Warwick and Edward jostling to take over from the overly cautious York and Salisbury. Perhaps not yet, both will remain loyal to their fathers, but the tensions are clearly visible.
First of all glad to see you back. And second, you likely read the latest updates more how they were intended to be read. As much as I enjoy comments after each post, a lot of this work is meant to be read as a building from one update to the next and may get lost if a few days go between. I have to be very careful depending on the size of updates to place too many close together but when it is happening almost in real time, it flows better when read that way (I think.) Note I said almost in real time...not slower than. ;)

And yes, I really wanted to push more on Edward this last chapter. It is time for him to take his rightful place alongside the others. As for Richard, you are not wrong. Were he better at it, he might have already achieved his desires and we wouldn't be mucking about anymore.

Then Henry and Buckingham. A very emotional scene, it certainly made me empathise with Buckingham, a man trapped by his vows and word into an impossible position. It almost made me feel sympathy for Henry, he once against gets close to the actual issue but fundamentally he misses the point. He was anointed as a ruler, as King, yet he refuses to act as one. If he fails to fulfil his part of the bargain then how can be upset if others do not hold to theirs? Even his flash of action at the end, he is probably one of the men who know Richard best yet offers no advice, all he does is rule out the best solution (internal exile of the Queen) on the basis of an argument that any theologian could pick apart in seconds. He does not send the Queen from court because he lacks the spine for the argument or the decisiveness to order someone else to do it for him, that is the truth yet he lies and dissembles about it, perhaps even to himself.

I must also say I agree with Buckingham that Henry is the King the lords of England deserve, mainly because it is their actions that have encouraged and enabled such poor governance.
I fear that the way I write for Buckingham that he tends to repeat himself a lot. In many respects, he is forced to because he intends to be honorable and his intended audience is not prepared to listen carefully enough. A lot of people when they consider this period and King just think of Henry as "mad" but outside of the major event early on and some few moments now and then, it really is more his indecision and willful ignorance that leads to such poor governing.

The landing in Sandwich, short but effective. I had a bad feeling about Osbert from the moment I read his first name, while I quite like it aesthetically it has been my experience that the name Osbert is rarely a positive omen. Though as he has survived he did better than I expected, certainly better a prisoner than dead.

I must also pause to enthusiastically endorse @Rensslaer erudite comments and compliments to our noble author, I do perhaps not say it enough but @coz1s writing really is incredibly good, particularly the dialogue for all the reasons outlined. All I would add is that it is also consistent in quality and it may come across that it is being taken for granted, I can assure you that is not the case.
Indeed Osbert got lucky considering what tends to happen to captured Lords and soldiers as this moves forward. Actually, he might not have been so lucky were he a Lord and not just a knight.

And as I said to Renss, thank you so much for the compliment. My writing style is informed by my theatre background (as I'm sure I've mentioned before) and in many ways, I write these stories more as plays or a screenplay rather than a novel. I think in theatrical/film terms so when I am envisioning a scene whether action or a walk and talk (or parlor scene if you will) I am visualizing watching it. I'm not sure it reads that way, but that is how I come up with the action (or lack thereof.) And indeed, the characters are key to that. They are actors in my play and I always want their motivations to show as best as I can without hammering it over the readers head.

As an actor, we would do what is called a "beat analysis" in which we would go through our scripts and make notes within the dialogue (or action direction) and mark every beat shift or change. Why? What was the motivation? Is what he/she is saying really what they mean? Does it match what they do and if not why? What causes the shift and does the next shift follow or not and why? Once you get that out of the way early in studying your character (and finally get off book) the actions during the play appear more natural because that is what we as human beings do. We may not realize it, but everything we do has a motivation. I'm hungry. I'm tired. I want to have sex. I want the crown. I always hope that any of these characters appear very much that way and especially appreciate it when someone points it out. So thank you!

The landing scene. That jokes about the poor relations between the King and Queen, and indeed the Queen's lack of marital fidelity, are such common currency does not bode well for their cause. I also wonder how much Buckingham truly believes that he only serves the King or if he deep down knows that in truth it the Queen who runs things. If it ever came down to a clean choice he would certainly chose Henry, I just doubt the Queen will be foolish enough to ever make it a clear and clean choice. I see our author has covered much the same point, but I've written this now so it can stay.

The answer is clearly right thing for wrong reason. But then I'm an engineer so would much rather have a building designed to the wrong principles that stood up, than one where all the guidance had been followed and it collapsed.
I wouldn't argue with that. As I said, I'm not much for moral philosophy. Not because I find it useless. Rather because there are no easy answers to my mind. I suppose that is the point and I am (or can be) a deep thinker, but it makes my head hurt. ;) Now, when I get high... :p

Kids...coz1 is at no point encouraging drug use. My legal department advises me to make that disclaimer.

The return to Sandwich and the Warwick / Edward double act continues to entertain. The contrast with the band around those two and the Queen's Party is stark, not just in attitude but in competence. I get the impression though that Warwick is playing both Edward and York, not in terms of aim or objective (for now...) but in tactics. For all that he tells Edward that he is sure of his father, I think he also doubts York and so intends to present him with a fait accompli. If London and the South East are secure then even a hesitant York will have to act. Not an unreasonable plan, as long as no-one ever finds out he was doing it.
I obviously cannot say what happens next or how things change from OTL, but one thing that I could not change as I considered the work was the motivations of Warwick. For those in the know, he will not be entirely different from his real life counterpart. One does not get a board game named after him if he was not a fascinating and unique creature of this period. Why change what works? ;)

Finally, if I have the dates rights, congratulations on the new job which I believe you start Monday! May it bring you great wealth and satisfaction, or at least a good paycheck and something interesting to do. ;)

It was indeed my first day today and it was a good one. The commute was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be and so far, the people there seem like great folks. It is yet another field from what I once thought I might pursue in life but I'm always ready for some change. I started in theatre, then began waiting tables in Chicago. Was finally made GM of the restaurant but got sick of it really quick. After a year of that, I moved to temp work and then full time at a law firm and worked in accounting. I did that for about 15 years between Chicago and Atlanta. After an unceremonious termination (basically because they thought they paid me too much and didn't want to pay my healthcare anymore) I shifted into Estate Sales and did that for these last ten years. With that came a lot of managing of the team and dealing with clients. I have sort of merged those two skills as the General Manager of a plumbing company. The plumbing side of that is not my ken (even though I have done a few jobs on my own since buying the house) but between the finance and managerial background, this might be the future. At least for awhile. We'll see. :)

The "require a legend to read them" line was amusing...

It looks like the Yorkist cause is off to a great start, which naturally means that something is about to go terribly wrong. We can't have things be too easy, after all. The only question is: how will things go wrong here?
Thanks. I enjoyed that line myself. I sometimes cannot help it when I find something humorous. If it is too anachronistic, I strike it but if I think it will fit it often stays.

As to how things can go wrong...well, you are not far off the mark.

Save five or one is an easy choice. But the variables can make a difference. What is the child about to begin the voyage of life, while the five are elderly and about to descend the gang plank after completing their voyage? Or if five are convicts? Doing nothing is a choice so one should not hide and say that they did not injure anyone.

Queen Fancy is not solely the Lancaster side (OTL), but without her I can not imagine that the WotR would have lasted as long.

Home tastes sweet upon returning. Thanks for the update.
There are many variables and indeed they do change the equation just as taking Fancy out of it would change the equation as well.

Well, let's see if things begin to speed themselves with Edward and Warwick around.

BTW, 58 pages and two years and we have move 20 years. This reminds me of someone who is not so fast...,
I have noticed that. However, I must plead that every bit of it is required to see the larger piece. But yes, it has taken me two plus years to tell a bit under 20 years of history. Depending how far I take this, I could begin to rival the esteemed @El Pip and to that, I may only express that one only copies the best. :D
 
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Chapter 17: The Northern Road

* * *


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Canterbury, June 1460

Francesco de Coppini was the Bishop of Terni in Umbria but he desperately wished to be a Cardinal. He was a ridiculous man with ridiculous desires, yet he held the ear of Pope Clement VII and was delighted to gain this very special engagement. His task? Find an end to this trouble in England such that another kingdom might join into Crusade against the infidel. So far there had been few takers and when in the past, England, France and the German princes would happily take pilgrimage to gain glory for God and themselves, times in Europe were not the same.

The Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich III was reticent due to circumstances happening to his west and the various so called French Kings, Charles VII especially, had little desire to embark on such. Even the various Trastámaras ruling in Castile, Aragon and Naples were more than curious what would happen to their north rather than what the Holy Father saw as necessary to the East. This Pope so tired of the ongoing trouble between the French, the Burgundians and these English. If they could unite in one goal, true Crusade could be had once more.

Coppini even came armed with a Papal Bull as he landed in England and went immediately to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas Bourchier, himself wishing a Cardinal’s hat some day, greeted him kindly and was more than pleased when the Bishop of Terni presented his note and thoughts from the Holy Father. It appeared that the Pope was instructed greatly by the Yorkist manifestos and if only the great and pious King of England would hear and address such grievances, true peace could be had there and war against the Moslem might commence.

So the Bishop was greatly pleased to be led into the small tomb in the Cathedral at Canterbury and found these English Lords praying at the Shrine of Thomas Becket. The eldest was deep in prayer and the one close to him kept his eyes wide and seemed to notice everything. The youngest of these Earls held fast to the stone floor but his face would not find relief as he spied the relic presented of this great Catholic martyr. A finger bone.

The Archbishop was considerate of their prayer and when the Earl of Salisbury finally raised himself, Bourchier showed a smile, “There is much to be gained by the forgiveness of God and Holy Church.”

Bishop Coppini agreed, “And peace be unto you, my Lords, for His Holiness wishes all faithful subjects of Christ the Savior to find everlasting life in God Almighty.”

With a curious eye, Warwick stood and questioned, “You are a far way from home, sir.”

“He is a papal legate, my Lord,” the Archbishop explained, “Sent by the Holy Father himself.”

Edward looked from his cousin Warwick to the Bishop, “Shall one ask to what end?”

“Nephew...please,” Salisbury admonished, “I think we all great and happy to be well met by such as this, yet the young Lord be true. What has His Holiness to say to England, my Lord Bishop?”

Coppini answered just as he was known for...he flattered, “You are a very strong and mighty man, my Lord Salisbury...legends are called out by all in France. And you, my Lord Warwick...His Holiness holds you in finest regard for all your efforts to bring such peace to that troubled land.”

Nearly laughing, Edward did his best to hold a straight face as he questioned again, “You seem to have come far, sir. By your dress...clearly of the finest degree. We are honored to be received.”

“Indeed, my Lords...” the Archbishop suggested as he smiled, “...our Bishop of Terni holds to one goal, as he has said since he has arrived to our shores. Some little while before you found us, I may assure you.”

The Earl of Warwick looked to the prelate sternly, “And how do we find you?”

“My son!” Salisbury pressed him and then looked to Bourchier with a weary eye, “I am sorry, Thomas. It has been a harrowing journey and we are rather at wits end. We made straight for your seat the moment we landed, yet we must know...for we must. Do you stand with us?”

The Archbishop gestured to the larger Cathedral, “You should know that my brother Henry is here. And his wife...lady sister to Richard of York. They rest comfortably...and truly to your side, my Lord. None may be more loyal. Yet...”

Warwick interrupted, “There is always a yet!”

“Indeed there is, my Lord,” Bourchier looked deeply to the Earl, “I must know why you are here?”

It was Edward that stepped in, “Your Eminence, we as always come in peace. As my father has always said. As he said to you in the fields before Blackheath so many years ago when you were but Bishop of Ely. We wish to be home...and in our home. This is our home...England. We have been stripped aplenty as you know...as all know. Stripped of all that was dear and that which we love...His Grace the King.”

“That to be wonderful news!” Bishop Coppini offered with a great smile and very difficult English, “No thing is better in all of God’s desires.”

Bourchier was touched, “My Lord Earl...I am not a bitter man. Nor do I find sweetness alluring. Yet your words...especially from one so young...do I find bittersweet. I hold favor with my brother and will not deny that your father is a capable man in most respects. I wish not to see such lot in his life. I’ve never done so and I do not now. Yet I hold position and with that comes clear and Holy duty, my son. As the Bishop is here to broker peace, so too would I wish the same.”

“And I believe that we all are pleased with that,” Edward looked to the others and then back to the Archbishop with kind eyes, “Which is why we come. To receive your blessing. For otherwise we should not step to this soil.”

Bourchier smiled and then showed a stern eye to Salisbury, “His father has taught him courtly grace. Yet the question remains.”

“He speaks it true, Thomas,” the elder Earl was plain, “We come with no ill will for you...for these Lords...for His Grace the King. I merely wish my sons back and to safety, sir. If I must beggar before the King, I will do so. Yet...I will NOT bow to her.

“Nor shall any of us,” Warwick was calm behind his father.

Bishop Coppini showed a frown, “This is the...she-wolf...you call it? Oooh!! This one I already know. I come to her first. Make my plea and share word from the Holy Father. She will not listen.”

“And she never will,” Edward smiled to the Archbishop, “Though, of course...you know that.”

Archbishop Bourchier held a tight gaze to Edward for a time before looking to Warwick, “I did not think you to get past the gates.”

“We reasoned with them,” the Earl of Warwick grinned.

Bourchier remained firm, “They are your men in any way. I know this country. Kent is awash with your badge. What is to happen when the Duke of Buckingham rides down?”

“He will not, sir,” Salisbury looked to Bourchier, “He rides to the Midlands. Or...somewhere.”

Warwick held his grin, “He is...detained.”

The Archbishop looked to them all with great skepticism but the Bishop seemed pleased, “This is wonderful! We will...go again to the King...and with these words that I bring from the Holy Father. He will listen if you demand it.”

Before Warwick could protest, Edward smiled and clasped his arm, “I believe a terrific proposition, my Lord Bishop! And all the way from Rome!! You do us all a great honor.”

“Indeed you do,” Warwick tried not to laugh.

Salisbury was thankful, “It is truly an honor, my Lord Bishop. That you come so far and for our purpose...to see the King made whole. None but His Holiness may see us through this torment.”

Edward played along, “And terrible it is to find it so difficult to find our way to our King...our beloved sovereign. My Lord Bishop...it is travesty.”

“Too many that stand between you,” Bishop Coppini showed anger, “In truth, I hold an excommunication from His Holiness against these men...the terrible Lords of Wiltshire, Shrewsbury and Beaumont. They are cut off from Holy Church and our priests will not protect them!”

Archbishop Bourchier sighed, “Not all priests. I am afraid that the Lord Chancellor Bishop Waynflete of Winchester still holds true to the Queen as does Bishop Booth of Durham. This last is her man in every way and his brother is Archbishop of York.”

“Then they must listen to their master in Rome!” Coppini insisted.

Edward bowed, “If only it were so easy.”

“Yet if you both were to preach as we move north,” Salisbury suggested, “Minds may be swayed.”

Warwick gave nod, “I believe a capital idea, and not a moment too soon. We ride from here to Rochester and then Dartford.”

“You mean to head to London,” Bourchier assumed, “I may tell you that His Grace is not to Westminster nor am I assured that the Lord Mayor of London would welcome you.”

Salisbury showed a smile, “With your help, Thomas...the people will demand it. We only wish to declare our innocence to His Grace and make our case for what ills this country. The Bishop’s Papal Bull is precisely the thing that King Henry must hear and we cannot get this to him as long as she controls his ears.”

After a few moments, the Archbishop of Canterbury made the sign of the cross, “Then we shall go with God’s blessing, my Lords. I will do all that I am able to see it done proper and well.”

“Most excellent!” Coppini also made the sign of the cross and beamed, “The power of Christ will compel them, sirs. There is no other way!”
 
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Well, that might be the one thing that gets Henry going. Now he's not just facing a noble rebellion, but one from the Church, Pope and God Himself.

Surely he must set aside his wife now.

Right...?
 
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Well, that might be the one thing that gets Henry going. Now he's not just facing a noble rebellion, but one from the Church, Pope and God Himself.

Surely he must set aside his wife now.

Right...?

It can't be that simple, and things are still going too well. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

That being said, Margaret pissed off the Church? How stupid can she be?

I wonder if we will get to see this potential crusade... perhaps in a sequel?
 
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I do worry about the calibre of clergy in Rome at this point if Bishop Coppini is being sent on such an important mission. The Yorkist trio are leading him by the nose in this scene while making him think it's his idea. It's not a shame to be outwitted by the Kingmaker because so many were, but Warwick is barely having to put any effort in to get what he wants. Then again, I suppose it would only take a single visit with Queen Margaret to realise she is very obviously the root of all the problems, so I am perhaps being a trifle harsh.

If this all works out I do wonder if the Crusade might be a useful dumping ground for those Lancastrians who were 'just following orders'. If the choice is attainder or crusade many will pick the latter, if they come back well God has forgiven them and if they don't, well at least the heirs can't blame the new King for killing them. I have my doubts it will be that simple though, King Henry probably would put great weight on a Papal Envoy but he is not the person in charge of the Lancastrian cause any more.

Small query for our author. Is the change in Pope from OTL a small but relevant change or a typo? It would not do to over-analyse the effect of a Medici pope being behind this if that was not the authorial intent. ;)
 
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I do worry about the calibre of clergy in Rome at this point if Bishop Coppini is being sent on such an important mission. The Yorkist trio are leading him by the nose in this scene while making him think it's his idea. It's not a shame to be outwitted by the Kingmaker because so many were, but Warwick is barely having to put any effort in to get what he wants. Then again, I suppose it would only take a single visit with Queen Margaret to realise she is very obviously the root of all the problems, so I am perhaps being a trifle harsh.

If this all works out I do wonder if the Crusade might be a useful dumping ground for those Lancastrians who were 'just following orders'. If the choice is attainder or crusade many will pick the latter, if they come back well God has forgiven them and if they don't, well at least the heirs can't blame the new King for killing them. I have my doubts it will be that simple though, King Henry probably would put great weight on a Papal Envoy but he is not the person in charge of the Lancastrian cause any more.

Small query for our author. Is the change in Pope from OTL a small but relevant change or a typo? It would not do to over-analyse the effect of a Medici pope being behind this if that was not the authorial intent. ;)

Entirely possible the Papal envoy was told to be led, so long as its by the yorkists. If the continent has already decided England should belong to them, that should help a bunch, and they have some powerful allies there already. Plus whilst France is buggered, the pope needs England to show up to actually make a crusade happen. And as an Italian pope, they probably also want to keep France down, which means boosting England and burgundy up.
 
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Entirely possible the Papal envoy was told to be led, so long as its by the yorkists. If the continent has already decided England should belong to them, that should help a bunch, and they have some powerful allies there already. Plus whilst France is buggered, the pope needs England to show up to actually make a crusade happen. And as an Italian pope, they probably also want to keep France down, which means boosting England and burgundy up.
Yeah, wholeheartedly agree, if we go back to 1454 in the story (or July of last year), Warwick had quite a few dealings with the Papal legate working out how France was to be carved up again that left a positive impression. The Vatican will never take sides against Henry VI himself, but they clearly prefer dealing with the Yorkists over the Lancastrians.
 
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Well, that might be the one thing that gets Henry going. Now he's not just facing a noble rebellion, but one from the Church, Pope and God Himself.

Surely he must set aside his wife now.

Right...?
If only it were that easy. ;) Yet indeed Henry is far more likely to listen to the Pope than others (if he is able.)

It can't be that simple, and things are still going too well. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

That being said, Margaret pissed off the Church? How stupid can she be?

I wonder if we will get to see this potential crusade... perhaps in a sequel?
Has Margaret ever cared for the power of anyone but herself? In fact, slight spoiler...the next scene will see her full response. Wait for it.

As for the potential Crusade, I could not say. Unless the English are involved, I would only cover as background.

I do worry about the calibre of clergy in Rome at this point if Bishop Coppini is being sent on such an important mission. The Yorkist trio are leading him by the nose in this scene while making him think it's his idea. It's not a shame to be outwitted by the Kingmaker because so many were, but Warwick is barely having to put any effort in to get what he wants. Then again, I suppose it would only take a single visit with Queen Margaret to realise she is very obviously the root of all the problems, so I am perhaps being a trifle harsh.

If this all works out I do wonder if the Crusade might be a useful dumping ground for those Lancastrians who were 'just following orders'. If the choice is attainder or crusade many will pick the latter, if they come back well God has forgiven them and if they don't, well at least the heirs can't blame the new King for killing them. I have my doubts it will be that simple though, King Henry probably would put great weight on a Papal Envoy but he is not the person in charge of the Lancastrian cause any more.
A Crusade would be a good dumping ground, yet again - never so simple as that. This part of the post is one that is entirely true to history (including the presentation of the envoy as he was not remembered fondly to history.)

Small query for our author. Is the change in Pope from OTL a small but relevant change or a typo? It would not do to over-analyse the effect of a Medici pope being behind this if that was not the authorial intent. ;)
Small but relevant change. In OTL, the Pope at this time would be Pope Pius II but in EUIV naming goes out the door (more or less) after the first generation of rulers unless I hack the save game and change it (which I am not against doing.) Some stay true to form by either how the game is set up with heirs of the first generation or by event (an example - I was playing a totally different Brandenburg game recently and looked over to England to see that Henry Tudor was ruling as Henry VII. Clearly this was event driven.)

This Pope Clements VII just happened to be the Pope at the time in-game. He could not possibly be that Medici Pope as he was not even born until 1478. However, that would be interesting. ;)

Entirely possible the Papal envoy was told to be led, so long as its by the yorkists. If the continent has already decided England should belong to them, that should help a bunch, and they have some powerful allies there already. Plus whilst France is buggered, the pope needs England to show up to actually make a crusade happen. And as an Italian pope, they probably also want to keep France down, which means boosting England and burgundy up.
A very good point made here. With France so broken, the Pope would need other strong European powers to fill in that breach. Exactly so that Burgundy would be one of those and yes, if he can keep England from breaking out into full on civil war, they would be another.

Yeah, wholeheartedly agree, if we go back to 1454 in the story (or July of last year), Warwick had quite a few dealings with the Papal legate working out how France was to be carved up again that left a positive impression. The Vatican will never take sides against Henry VI himself, but they clearly prefer dealing with the Yorkists over the Lancastrians.
Excellent memory! And quite so. I've tried to weave the changes and the real history quite finely within the work and while that previous scene from 1454 was entirely a fiction of the game and my mind, I did include that papal legate Cardinal Parentucelli who would have been Pope Nicholas V at the time in game if they followed the names of rulers historically.

And quite true that the memory of the Vatican would remember the Yorkist influence on that peace conference and assume they were the ones to deal with. Especially after Margaret turned the envoy away (which did happen in OTL.) As well, the propaganda that the Yorkists have been putting out there goes beyond London and Kent. It is quite spread far within Europe. That's another true fact which is actually quite impressive considering we are still in the early stages of the printing press.
 
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A very good point made here. With France so broken, the Pope would need other strong European powers to fill in that breach. Exactly so that Burgundy would be one of those and yes, if he can keep England from breaking out into full on civil war, they would be another.

The papacy WANTS France broken. They're too big and strong, and too close to Rome. They weren't just the preeminent power in Europe, they were the meddlers in chief against the dominance of Rome. The HRE is balanced out by having a ton of Papal elector seats, plus bishops. The French crown and Church has been trying to tear the holy tiara from Rome for quite some time by this point.

Having England be the dominant miltiary power is great news for Rome. They're too far away to really be involved in Papal politics, and have a history of oversubscribing to crusades considering their size, wealth and power.

Only danger would be them leaving and forming their own church but, eh, what are the chances of that happening?
 
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Somerset and March crusading in Acre alà Lionheart... Lovely.
 
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The papacy WANTS France broken. They're too big and strong, and too close to Rome. They weren't just the preeminent power in Europe, they were the meddlers in chief against the dominance of Rome. The HRE is balanced out by having a ton of Papal elector seats, plus bishops. The French crown and Church has been trying to tear the holy tiara from Rome for quite some time by this point.

Having England be the dominant miltiary power is great news for Rome. They're too far away to really be involved in Papal politics, and have a history of oversubscribing to crusades considering their size, wealth and power.

Only danger would be them leaving and forming their own church but, eh, what are the chances of that happening?
Ha! Yet indeed true. This France has not been so meddlesome to the Papacy but that is historically the case (though perhaps a little later in the timeline than the mid 15th century.)

Somerset and March crusading in Acre alà Lionheart... Lovely.
I cannot promise that we will see such, but it does sound like a great narrative arc.


To all - Writing of late has been slowed by the transition but I still have so much in the can. I've been sort of following an every three days posting schedule unofficially and believe that I will keep at that for the time being. The next scene arrives in just a moment...
 
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Coventry, June 1460

Queen Margaret slammed the letter in her hands to the table as she laughed, “Can he be serious?! This Papal legate?? I have met this man and he is no thing but a pompous fool! A waste of my time already and all he desires is...ce chapeau rouge!”

“Sadly, Your Grace...” Viscount Beaumont answered, “...it arrives just as another letter does. This other from Buckingham to say that York has landed to Wales.”

“What?!!” Margaret stood with fury.

Bishop Booth sat calmly to the side as he scribbled at the Queen’s papers, “It is a ruse, madam. For it is false. All of my knowledge suggests that the Lord of York remains to Ireland. It is Warwick for certain. And it will be the south.”

“Then why does Buckingham ride north?” Beaumont questioned.

Booth looked up from his papers with a smile, “And why are you not to Kenilworth, my Lord? Should you not be there to meet him? And protect the King as is your guide?”

“If the Duke of Buckingham rides anywhere at the now...I know not how he does it!” Margaret looked to them both with fierce eyes, “What I require is not him but you, sirs! You will tell your Queen what happens!”

Beaumont offered a bow, “I may only offer what I have received, Your Grace.”

As she was about to fall into a tirade, Lord Wiltshire arrived to her chambers out of breath, “Your Grace...I must report that the south is taken. Nearly all of Kent. The Earls of Salisbury, Warwick and March have landed to Sandwich and make their way to London!”

“Mon Dieu!!!” Margaret shouted to them all, “Vous êtes tous des enfants!! Tu ne sais pas si tu es éveillé ou endormi! You have let this happen!!”

The Bishop was calm as he stood to assist her, “My Lady Queen...it will all be well. If Warwick has landed and taken up in Kent, them we must meet him. Yes?”

“I would meet him with the biggest sword that I could find, but I do not see it here in this room!” Margaret looked to Beaumont and Wiltshire, “And if it is true that the Earl has landed, we still do not know about York. One of you will find me that information and the other will stay to here and help me plan my destruction of this...diable de Warwick car il est Satan!”

The Lord of Wiltshire was only happy to volunteer and find the truth of York’s position so it was left for Lord Beaumont to assist. He sighed and gestured to the hearth, “Your Grace, I shall ride at once to see the King. If the Lord of Buckingham is there, he will know what to do. He is Constable of the realm, my Lady. And holds both you and the King in great health.”

“She has already said it, my Lord,” Booth answered him, “The aged Duke is no match for these foes and will only beg of the King more time. We have that not. As these letters from the Pope you bring ring true, you are a dead man walking. You are excommunicate, sir. There is no worse thing.”

Beaumont ignored him as he looked to the Queen, “Are we to listen to some fool of Rome, Your Grace? Pious I may be, yet I shall hear only one man...or woman...in this Kingdom and that be you, my Lady!”

Margaret allowed her anger to subside as she eyed them both strongly. After some time she finally spoke in soft words, “We have two maladies, my Lords. One is this imminent threat, to be certain. Yet there is also the spiritual. If my husband hears of this, he will abide. If Holy Church asks...Henry will answer. And he will find out.”

“I know not how...” Beaumont attempted to suggest before she stopped him with her anger rising once more.

“Because you are not there to stop it!! If you are to be the King’s bodyguard then do it and guard his body from harmful things! Putain d'idiot!!”

Bishop Booth attempted to calm, “Your Grace, this Papal Bull carries no weight. As the Viscount suggests, the people of England care far more for yourself and the King’s person than they do about the ignorant words of a Roman caliphate. We know...you know...the entire reason these devils approach. It is not for any sort of so called ‘good governance’ for they would be as ill as any. They mean to apprehend the King and the Prince and in so doing, provide for their own purveyance.”

“And I...” Margaret looked to Lord Beaumont with sad eyes, “...would be destroyed. Détruite!”

Beaumont reassured, “I would not let that happen, Your Grace. Be it York or Warwick, I would fight for you until my death.”

“Let us make sure that this does not happen,” Margaret moved to pour herself wine and then mused. After some time she turned quickly and questioned Booth, “When does Somerset return? If Warwick sails, then surely he must as well.”

“I will inquire, Your Grace,” Booth sat again and wrote, “Yet your task remains the hardship. Shall it be to the west your forces go...mayhap meet with the Lord of Pembroke...or shall we assemble and move south?”

Margaret was irritated, “Who may we have there? London despises me. Le connard du monde! Without Buckingham and Somerset, we are lost there. All to the south. Yet...mayhap...”

“Yes...madam?” Beaumont finally questioned after her silence.

She grinned, “You are step-father to the Duke of Norfolk, are you not? A fine Neville bride you found, but she does hold a son from her previous marriage and one not fully to the side of this King.”

“He listens to me not, Your Grace,” the Viscount was sure, “Mowbray is his own man and always has been.”

“Then you must make him listen...papa,” Margaret teased.

Lord Beaumont remained firm, “He does not take sides because he takes his own side, my Lady. A more selfish man you will not meet. He shows no care for his mother the Dowager Duchess and surely has caused much of this mischief to East Anglia. With his wealth and pedigree, he is frankly no better than York.”

“That’s as may be, my Lord...” Booth began to say and then looked to the Queen.

Margaret held her grin, “Be a good father, for he has lost his own. I hold a son who I would care for as your Lady wife does for her own. A son should listen to their mother. And a mother should listen to their Lord husband. We are between, my Lord. Trapped in the Midlands with you when you should not be to here.”

“I...will do what I am able,” Beaumont offered bow.

As he too scuttled off to do her bidding, Margaret turned to Bishop Booth, “Ce n'est pas bien.”

“That be no doubt, Your Grace,” Booth replied, “Yet you have weathered worse storms.”

Margaret moved to a window and looked out over the town of Coventry. It was a fine city and she had grown to enjoy it. Love it. Victory...and now one more chance. If York would just lay down his life. If Henry…

“It is Warwick,” she suggested over her shoulder, “He is the one that lands. He is the one to attend.”

Booth readily wrote it down, “I shall inform the garrison and send word to His Grace the King.”

“And do you not think this other...will be harmful?” she asked.

“Warwick is your true enemy,” the Bishop answered, “It is not the church, Your Grace.”

Margaret held silent for another time before turning, “Then send word to London. They are not to let these traitors enter. And I must needs reach out to Pembroke. And why...why?!! Why will Somerset not return?!”
 
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Beaumont ignored him as he looked to the Queen, “Are we to listen to some fool of Rome, Your Grace? Pious I may be, yet I shall hear only one man...or woman...in this Kingdom and that be you, my Lady!”

Audible admittance of treason.

the people of England care far more for yourself

...bah.
 
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I love when Maggie is angry and resort to French to swear loudly.
 
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