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Farquharson

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There’ll Always be an Angevin
The first Provence AAR



Chapter 1: 1419 - 1422
Peaceful Neighbours

The House of Anjou was a ubiquitous family, with a finger in the pie of just about every royal line in Europe at some point or other. France, Lorraine, Naples, Sicily, Aragon, Hungary, Austria, Poland... Whenever a crisis arose in any royal succession, the cry went up sooner or later, “We could always have an Angevin!”. And sure enough, as likely as not there would be an Angevin, lurking in the shadows of the royal genealogy, ready to leap out and claim yet another throne.

Louis III d’Anjou had become the comte de Provence by more straightforward means - he was the son of Louis II d’Anjou, comte de Provence, and no-one could argue with that. He was also duc d’Anjou, giving him lands in the province of Maine; King of Naples, though not everyone accepted that, least of all Joanna II Queen of Naples; and King of Jerusalem, an unlikely title conferred on his ancestor Charles I of Naples by the Pope in 1296.



Europe in 1419
Louis III controls Provence and Maine, but also has claims on Dauphiné, Piemonte, Naples and Apulia
(though not Jerusalem, unfortunately...)​

In short, Louis III had quite enough on his plate without being involved in a long and complicated war with his spectactularly incompetent ally, Charles VI of France. We join Louis in April 1419. Having marched west from his capital Marseille in January, he had driven the English out of the French province of Guyenne and attempted to invade the English lands of Gascogne. This had ended in failure, and as he retreated north into Poitou he received serious news from Marseille:

Messenger from Marseille: Monsieur le comte, I bring grave tidings!

Louis III d’Anjou, comte de Provence, etc, etc, retreating from the English in Gascogne: Yes, what is it?

Messenger: Sire, our neighbour Amédée VIII le Paisible, duc de Savoy has declared war on us!

Louis III: Don’t be ridiculous, man. You must be mistaken - Amédée VIII le Paisible wouldn’t declare war on a fly. Everyone knows how paisible he is...

Messenger: I can assure you, monsieur le comte, there is no mistake - here is his letter. * hands over a letter decorated with a dove, some flowers and lots of little love-hearts *

Louis III: Hmmm - it certainly looks like one of Amédée’s letters... Let’s see what he says: “ Dear Lou, Listen I’m really, really sorry about this, but I’ve got this huge army and hardly any cash to spare, so I thought I’d better invade the nearest small undefended country I could find and I’m afraid that turned out to be Provence. Please don’t take it personally - I hope we can still be friends again once the war is over and we’ve extracted a large payment from you in indemnities. Your ever-peaceful neighbour, Amédée, kiss, kiss, kiss.” Hmmm - well, gentlemen, the people of Gascogne will just have to wait for someone else to liberate them from the despicable English. Right now we are going to pay Amédée VIII a visit - and we shall see how Paisible he wants to be then...


Amédée VIII le Paisible, duc de Savoy​

So Louis marched his small but courageous army eastwards once more, intent on dealing with Savoy, despite the fact that news reached him a month later that the despicable English had laid siege to his northern city of Le Mans. A second Provencal army, freshly recruited in Marseille, immediately went to the aid of the Bourbonnais army which was already besieging the city of Torino in Piemonte. Of course, when Louis arrived outside Torino in September he immediately took command of the allied armies.

In March 1420 Le Mans fell to the English, and the following month Amédée’s huge army finally got around to besieging Marseille. Things did not look good for Louis, but in October he finally captured Torino, and, when Amédée refused to hand it over, marched north to besiege him in his Alpine capital of Chambéry. With help from French and Bourbonnais troops the city fell in May 1421, and Amédée VIII le Paisible, who was discovered cowering underneath a table in his ducal palace, immediately offered to hand over his entire treasury of 52 ducats and the province of Piemonte. Louis accepted.

Now it was time to march north and recapture Le Mans from the English. Battling his way past a Burgundian army in Bourgogne, Louis reached Maine in August and defeated a small army of Bretons that were pillaging there. He then set about besieging Le Mans which finally fell in July 1422. By this time England had annexed Auvergne, and several nations had left the war, notably Burgundy, two days before the fall of Le Mans. France, Provence and Lorraine were still at war with England and Brittany. The French alliance consisted of France, Provence, Bourbonnais, Orleans and Lorraine. A detachment of cavalry newly raised in Marseille were unable to join Louis since the only route lay through Guyenne, currently under siege by 8,000 English. The comte de Provence considered what his next move should be.



France in 1422
Cevennes is now English. We’ll need to get rid of that red, it’s far too close to Provencal brown...​
 
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richvh

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What scenario are you playing? It doesn't look like the standard grand campaign.
 

Van Engel

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Great!

to be honest i would prefer to plat provance on the vanilla GC rather than the EEP since you get all those cores.
 

Farquharson

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Thanks for the encouragement! richvh, I'm playing the EEP Grand Campaign, but nothing special other than that. Does Provence get even more cores in the vanilla GC, Van Engel? I have cores on my two initial provinces (Provence and Maine), plus two more bordering Provence (Dauphiné and Piemonte) plus the two that make up Naples in 1419 (Naples and Apulia). Actually I tried loading the vanilla version to see how it compared but my game doesn't seem to work with the vanilla version any longer :( so I'm stuck with the EEP!

As for my goals, I'd like to get Naples and move my capital there with an event that allows that some time in the 1480's. That also gives me Italian culture as well as French, so from then on I'll just see what I can pick up in the way of French or Italian Catholic provinces - that should keep me busy for a while at least!

There's quite a tangle of events involving successions in Naples and Lorraine in the first seventy years, so I'll try to negotiate my way through them to maximum advantage. After that, since Provence was historically (and usually in the game if played by AI) swallowed up by France, there are no more historical events, so I'll be left to carve out a history of Provence on my own... :)

One of my goals was also, of course, to find out a bit more about the history of Provence, and hopefully to weave the more interesting aspects of it into my tale as far as possible.
 

unmerged(11018)

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Hurrah, another classic Farquharson in the make! I'll be reading. :)
 

unmerged(10971)

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Farquharson said:
Does Provence get even more cores in the vanilla GC?
IIRC, Provence gets cores on all of France in the GC, just like all other French minors.

But what do you mean, the regular version doesn't work? I have the EEP and vanilla EU2 works just fine!
 

stnylan

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Excellent beginning. I presume from the above that you're not intending to try to turn into France at some point?
 

coz1

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This looks interesting. I'll be following this one.
 

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This could be a fun ride. Will you be staying as Provence or morphing into France if you get the chance?
 

Rhodz

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ooh, an EEP AAR. Is this the last version of EEP or an earlier version? I'm not sure if it has all the events that the AGCEEP has heh. So you still have the Lorraine and Naples succession events?
 

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Province? Which province?

But they're all provinces, aren't they? So which one are you?

Oh, Prov-e-nce.

Struggles heroically. Loses. How perfectly provincial! :D
 

Farquharson

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TheBee, coz1: Thanks - I'll try to make it enjoyable! :)

King Yngvar: Er - sorry about the juice, or more particularly, your nose. I'm afraid I can't cover expenses for being medi-vaced off Svalbard, so if you could try to take it easy in future reading sessions... :p

Judas M: Yes, I see all those cores that Provence gets in the vanilla GC - Humph! Totally unhistorical in my opinion! :D Anyway, yes, my vanilla game worked at first when I installed the EEP but then I fiddled with some files after I'd had some problems with my very first EEP game, so it's probably my fault. Re-installation would no doubt fix it, but I'm happy for the moment. Bah! Cores on all of France indeed... :rolleyes:

Incidentally, I have to admit that this isn't the first Provence AAR - there's at least one been done in the French language forum. Apologies to the écrivain, whose name escapes me for the moment, for this inaccuracy.

stnylan and Stroph1: I thought about trying to become France - a challenge for Provence, but do-able with a bit of luck perhaps - but decided not to bother. For my first game as Provence I'd rather stay as Provence! ;)

Rhodz, Troggle: Oh no! People are asking me complicated questions about which EEP I'm playing. Help! All I know is I downloaded it around mid-December... Does that answer your question? :(

Director: And thankyou for that subtle hint about how to spell Provence. I wasn't going to say, but I would prefer posts in this thread to avoid variant spellings, such as Provance, Province, Provonce, etc. Not mentioning names, mind... :p

Now back to the story...


Chapter 2: 1422 - 1434
Brothers in Arms

At the end of the last chapter we left Louis III d’Anjou, comte de Provence in a war with England and Brittany that he didn’t really want to be in, and feeling somewhat stranded in Le Mans, with a rather larger Breton Army heading his way. In these circumstances, Louis decided that attack was the best form of defence and invaded the deserted English province of Normandie, leaving Le Mans to its fate. For good measure, his 2000 cavalry stationed in Languedoc went on a pillaging spree in the Cévennes.

This strategy worked remarkably well, for although Le Mans was, of course, besieged by the Bretons, in September a new king, Henry VI, rose to the English throne. Being only one year old, he was represented in France by his uncle the Duke of Bedford, who immediately offered to end the war with Provence if Louis would pay him 25 ducats. This seemed like a good deal to Louis, and he promptly agreed, returning at once to Le Mans in time to snub his nose at the large Breton Army as they hurriedly withdrew to their own territory.



Bretons hurriedly leaving Le Mans​

This left Louis’s ally France somewhat in the lurch, of course, still at war with England and Brittany, with no-one to support them but Lorraine. However the new French King, Charles VII, who came to the throne in October 1422 didn’t seem to mind this. In fact he agreed to yet another royal marriage with the House of Anjou the following month and in December he granted Louis’s armies military access through his lands

Louis’s younger brother René was now nearly fourteen, had been married for three years, and was showing remarkable promise as a military leader. In January 1423 he came to Louis with a request :


Louis III d’Anjou: Well, my little brother, how’s it going?

René d’Anjou: Oh, not bad, I suppose...

Louis III: Hmmm - you seem a bit depressed. Marriage on the rocks, is it? I did wonder about you marrying a woman nine years older than you.

René d’Anjou: No, no - Isabelle and I are doing great. I think I’m moving into adolescent ennui, right now, though.

Louis: Aw, don’t let that bother you. It only lasts about five years.

René: Easy for you to say - you became comte de Provence when you were my age!

Louis: Well, it’s true that being ruler of a small nation at war with England does tend to keep adolescent ennui at bay.

René: And you were marching off to war at the head of an army when you were only sixteen. I even heard that Holstein is being ruled by a seven year-old!

Louis: Hmm... Do I get the impression that you want something?

René: Well, let’s put it this way - either you make me commander of the Provençal Army, or who knows what sordid mess I’ll get myself into in my rebellious teenage years - drink, drugs - I may even start listening to Spice Girls CDs...

Louis: Yikes! Say no more! OK, since we’re not actually at war with anyone, I think we could let you have a bash at running the army. Just leave any declarations of war to me for the moment though, eh?

René: Aw, thanks, bro’! I knew I could count on you to see reason. When can I start?

Louis: Well, right now, little brother - the army awaits your command!

So René d’Anjou took command of the Provençal Army at the tender age of thirteen. His first decision was to concentrate the army in the south, leaving Maine undefended. At first Louis questioned the wisdom of this, but René reasoned that if the Bretons or English really wanted to attack Maine the Provençal Army would never be large enough to defend it anyway.

With René looking after the military, Louis could concentrate on some administration and diplomacy. He managed to arrange three more marriages, with Savoy, Milan and Aragon, but Joanna II of Naples rejected his offer to arrange a marriage with her family. Meanwhile ingenious new procedures for extracting more taxes were set up throughout Louis’s domains, and what with the additional revenue from Piemonte, the Provençal treasury began to seem almost healthy. In 1428 Charles, the third brother of the family, was ready (at the age of fourteen) to start doing his bit in the running of Provence. He turned out to be an excellent minister and greatly helped Louis in all his decisions.

All this to say that nothing very exciting happened during these years, but in 1429 a legendary figure, to be remembered for centuries as “the Maid of Orleans” appeared on the scene and incited the French King Charles VII to go to war with England once more. No less than ten nations entered the fray - France, Provence, Bourbonnais, Orleans and Lorraine were opposed by England, Burgundy, Kleves, Brabant and Brittany.



Jeanne demonstrates how women can easily succeed in a military career​

In March a large Breton army besieged Le Mans, too large, as René pointed out, to have bothered trying to fight. In April René and Louis together marched into the Cévennes, drove out the small English army defending the province, and laid siege to Aurillac. In November the Bretons captured Le Mans, while some peasants in Provence chose this moment to present a petition for redress. Unwilling to have an instant revolt on his hands, Louis accepted the petition, which caused consternation and widespread murmuring among his nobility.

In December the Burgundians annexed Orleans, and began searching for Jeanne d’Arc, who was of course being blamed for starting the war in the first place. They finally tracked her down in July 1430, and sold her to the English who found her guilty on various charges, such as being a woman, being French, and being legendary. The punishment for these crimes turned out to be burning at the stake, which of course she faced courageously, knowing that it would do wonders for her legendariness.

Inspired by the bravery of Jeanne d’Arc, France and her allies now redoubled their efforts, and from this point on the war began to go better. Shortly after Jeanne’s death France captured Orleans and forced Burgundy to hand over the province and leave the war. Then René and Louis captured Aurillac and marched on to Gascogne where they defeated another English army and besieged Bordeaux. The city finally fell in October 1431, but Louis and René were so busy raiding the wine caves that they forgot to offer England a peace treaty. The French did so the following day, extracting 72 ducats from them. Aurillac and Bordeaux were returned to English control and the Angevin brothers returned to Marseille looking rather sheepish.

Some months earlier, in January of 1431, an important event had taken place. In 1420 René had married Isabelle of Lorraine, daughter of Charles I duc de Lorraine. Now Charles had died and, in view of René’s obvious talents as a military commander and general all-round heroic leader, the people of Lorraine decided that he should be their next duke. René graciously accepted this honour, though he continued to command the Provençal Army.

The map of France underwent another slight change in 1433 when Charles VII annexed his vassal Bourbonnais. The following year Auvergne reappeared when its people threw off English rule, declaring war on their former oppressors. The English and their Breton allies could do very little about this, Auvergne being entirely surrounded by France by this time.



France in 1434
In 1430 Burgundy had inherited Flanders and moved their capital to Brussels​

In 1434 a stealthy assassin managed to get into the bedchamber of Louis III d’Anjou and stabbed him to death. The intruder managed this feat despite the fact that the ducal palace was heavily guarded, mainly due to being a mosquito, but a mosquito carrying a deadly malaria, of which Louis quickly fell ill and died. Whether the mosquito was part of a plot hatched by some vindictive enemy history does not tell us, but it must be admitted that the circumstances are suspicious.


Louis’s assassin moves in for the kill​

In any case, René now became comte de Provence as well as duc de Lorraine. He was of course also King of Naples, in theory at least, but since Joanna II of Naples was also among his growing fan club she had named him as her officially recognized successor, and it seemed as if he might actually become King of Naples on her death. He began to wonder what sort of fees mosquitoes asked for...
 
Last edited:

unmerged(9046)

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I know, I know! the mosquito assassin came from a Moslem country. (from a Mosque).

Groan.

;)
 

stnylan

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Interesting. Did you ever consider ditching the French entirely early on to prevent their unification?
 

coz1

GunslingAAR
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May 16, 2002
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hearthehurd.typepad.com
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Pesky mosquitos! Who knew? :rofl: