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Tommy4ever

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As the 2 of you have said Burgundy's aim for the next few decades is to make a land connection between Flanders and Burgundy proper. This will lead to a series of 'Lotharingian wars' in which Burgundy attempts to wrestle all the lands West of the Rhine and East of France form the Emperor.

There will also be a power struggle between the incredibly wealthy Flanders and the ancestorial homelands in Dauphine and Provence. Are the D'Albons Franks of Flanders or Occitans of Dauphine?

Then eventually we will of course attempt to be elevated to Holy Roman Emperors ....
 

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Guy, The Fleming
Lived: 1182-1214
Head of House of D’Albon: 1196-1214
Duke of Flanders: 1192-1196
King of Burgundy and Africa: 1196-1214



Guy’s rule, although short was a real turning point for the primary line of the D’Albons. Never again would they consider themselves Occitans and never again would the ancestorial homeland of Dauphine Viennois be the focus for the nation. Indeed leaving his heretical father’s court to take over his mother’s homeland in Flanders at the age of 10 not only helped Guy avoid getting mixed up in heresy but also made him adapt culturally. By the time he succeded to the Burgundian throne in 1196 he no longer considered his homeland to be in Dauphine but in the Frankish lands of Flanders.



Whilst the rest of Burgundy was heavily Feudalised with only a few choice pieces of land (mostly around Dauphine Viennois) in the Royal desmesne the addition of Flanders (almost entirely under Guy’s direct control) doubled Royal incomes and the new lands would help finance Burgundy on its expansionist road. Guy spent less than 6 months in Dauphine during his riegn, instead electing to move the court to Brugge and rule from his old ducal palaces. Out of respect for his favoured holdings he decided to adjust the D’Albon coat of arms, changing the colour of the dolphin’s fins from red to Flemish orange.



One of the first major diplomatic events of his riegn saw a rare terretorial reverse for Guy after the city of Pavia was inherited by the German Emperor’s cousin. Inspite of a threat of force the city was not retunred to Burgundy and the King’s position became slightly perilouse after a number of prominent Genoese merchant families spoke out against his failure to protect Italian Burgundy. However the King’s prestige was restored after the powerful Count of Artios was convinced to switch his alliegance from France to Burgundy in 1199. A period of inaction followed in which Guy continued to empower Frankish institutions and persons in his realm and remove power from the ageing Occitan factions. Burguny was becoming quite disunited but this trend was halted in 1205 when Guy personally organised a expedition against the Muslim Kingdom of Al-Murabits. The once mighty Morrocan nation was now no more than a city state and was completely crushed leaving Burgundy in control of Cebta. Meanwhile another French city was convinced to join Burgundy in 1211.

Guy fealt the only way to keep his nation together would be to unite Flanders and Burgundy proper by land. This ambition is what would lead to the first of several Lotharingian wars where the D’Albons of Burgundy clashed with the Germans over the right to the lands West of the Rhine and East of France.



On January 3rd 1214 Guy march East out of Flanders at the head of a mighty host into the lands of a the powerful Duke of Lower Lorraine. For the next 6 months he led the Flemish amries to crushing victory after crushing victory but in the last major battle of the war (the battle of Cologne) he was greviously wounded by a German knight. Nethertheless he was fit enough accept the Dukes total surrender on July 16th.



Less than a month later Guy’s wounds became gangreenous and he died leaving a newly connected Kingdom to his first born Raol. Raol, later known as Raol, the Bold would take his father’s claims to the Kingdom of Lothar one step further and bring Burgundy into a struggle for total dominion over the Germany.
 

Enewald

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Soon another attempt to create a new Western Empire shall be made I guess. :rolleyes:
Hasn't that been the goal of every monarch from Odoacer to Napoleon?
 

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Raol, The Bold (Part 1)
Lived: 1201-1250
Head of House of D’Albon: 1214-1250
King of Burgundy and Africa: 1214-1250
King of Jerusalem: 1221-1250
King of Sicily: 1230-1250



Raol is one of the great Kings of European history, one still revered in many academic circles today. If during Guy’s reign the D’Albon Kingdom had set up the foundations for Continental supremacy it was during Raol’s reign that these ambitions would be realised. However it must be admitted that despite his many bold moves, claims and expansion Raol never received the recognition of his dominance from amongst Europe’s other states that his successors would gain.



As seemed to be the tradition of the time Raol had succeeded as a boy King. Just like so many young rulers of the time he felt captivated by the stories of the Crusades in the East and much of the early part of his reign was spent holding up the now fading Crusader ideals. Indeed by this point in history most people in the West believed that the Crusader institution had met its end. All 5 Patriarchal seats (Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Carthage) were in Christian hand and the power of the Pope was fading. There was no longer a threat to the Christian Holy Land or a man in Europe powerful enough to send thousands to their deaths in a war for the Levant. Despite the young Raol’s best efforts he failed to convince his holiness to call upon Europe’s Kings once more for an official Crusade. Instead Raol ordered his own, pitiful, Crusade against the powerful Muslim fortress at Kerak. The Castle fell and Raol expanded his lands but it seemed that the once great Crusading ideals of Europe were gone. A few years later the Burgundian Holy Land took advantage of the misguided decision of the city of Ascalon to break free of the Emirate of Medina and quickly moved in to annex the city.



Then in 1221 everything changed. A grand Muslim host, of the Emirate of Medina, captured Constantinople, the city of the world’s desire, and slaughtered its inhabitants. Europe was shocked to its core and suddenly the great conflict between Islam and Christianity was turned on its head as the Christians, so long in the supremacy, lost their greatest of bastions.

Byzantium had withstood the great wars with the Turk in the 11th Century as seemingly the entire Turkish nation descended upon them. However in the early part of the 12th Century, with a civil war taking place within the Roman Empire, the Turks had returned and conquered all Anatolia. Indeed they had sieged Constantinople itself between 1130 and 1132 but been defeated by the Greeks. Through the rest of the 12th Century the Greeks had steadily regained control over parts of Anatolia, mainly around cities like Nicomedia, Sinope, Nicaea and Smyrna. At the same time the Turkish Sultanate of Rum collapsed and was slowly conquered by the Emirs of Medina. This century had been a great period for Medina as a whole as they quickly expanded from their bases around Medina and Mecca through Syria, Anatolia and even Southern Russia. Indeed by 1200 they were the most powerful of all the Islamic states. In 1215 they turned their attention against the Roman Empire, beginning a long and great war for the survival of Byzantium. Despite initial Roman successes that saw much of Anatolia returned to the Byzantines the Greek armies were simply worn down through attrition. The numerical advantage of the Muslims eventually broke through and by 1219 the Greeks had been totally removed from Anatolia. The following year the Emir himself crossed the Bosporus and fought three major battles with the Greeks throughout Thrace. With these victories secure he set in for a long siege outside of the great Christian city. Then in 1221 the 40,000 man Muslim army stormed the city. Outnumbering the defenders almost 10 to 1 the Greeks were simply unable to defend the entirety of the walls and were overrun. The triumphant Islamic army then proceeded to sack and destroy the glorious city, thus bringing an end to its long held position as the centre of Christendom. But the Greeks were not beaten and would continue to fight on for decades to come.



The sacking of Constantinople had a direct result upon Raol. The fall of the city had been the terrifying shock the Papacy needed to spur in back into action. Pope Clement IV decided that it was the duty of the Latin Christians to save their Eastern brothers and so called for a Crusade against the Emirs of Medina, with the aim of reclaiming the city for the Byzantines. However as has previously been discussed the Crusading ideal had effectively run its course by this stage and there was almost no response in the West to his call. The French were far too concerned with the growing power of the Muslims who had recently finished their subjugation of Spain, the Germans were busy fighting amongst themselves whilst the English were far too poor to even consider sending out any sort of expedition. That left only Burgundy and there the Pope saw some promise. Just a few months after Constantinople’s fall Clement IV and Raol, now 20 years old, met in Jerusalem where Raol was crowned King of Jerusalem (effectively giving Papal support for a permanent D’Albon Kingdom in the Levant). This was significant as up to this point the Popes had always hoped to convince the D’Albons to surrender their Eastern holdings and create them into an independent ecclesiastical state. Whilst the Pope realised that a direct war between Burgundy and Medina would be disastrous for the ever expanding Catholic communities in the Holy Land and of course Jerusalem itself he did hope to gain something from Raol. In return for the crown of Jerusalem the Burgundian government would have to promise to provide funding for any native expedition to help the Greeks. These expeditions would provide a steady flow of Latin warriors for Byzantium for the next Century and would be decisive in their war with Medina. Meanwhile, in 1222, Raol granted the Templar Order nominal independence in Beershab in return for their service in the great war in Greece.



The aftermath of the sacking of Constantinople would be the closest Raol ever came to the recognition of his own authority throughout the Christian world. But back in Europe his constant expansions of Burgundy only alienated him from many of his fellow Christians.

In the year 1220 he finally managed to unify the island of Sicily after the city of Messina took advantage of the chaos in Germany to declare its independence from the Emperor. The city soon swore loyalty to Burgundy. In the year 1222 Raol led out Burgundy’s armies for the first of many wars in which he would act as General when he conquered the Archbishopric of Alsace, securing his father’s dream of a united Lotharingia with all the lands West of the Rhine and East of France in Burgundian hands.

The sudden claims by Raol that he was now Lord of Lotharingia had enraged the Emperor, a man who had only recently ended a long a bloody Civil War with the HRE now largely consisting of Württemberg, Baden, Bavaria, Austria and some lands along the Rhine. The Duchy of Holland, totally surrounded by Burgundy and tied closely both culturally and through several marriages with the Flemish King of Burgundy was extremely separatist. When The Duke finally decided to switch his allegiance over to Raol in January 1223 the Emperor went to war.



On March 17th Raol led his armies out into the Battle of Ulm (in Württemberg). The Imperial armies were utterly crushed, ¾ of the entire Imperial army died on that single day. The Holy Roman Empire would never recover. In what was one of the largest battles of the Middle Ages around 80,000 people lost their lives. Through the rest of the year all of the Emperor’s strongholds were taken and on November 18th he was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Lothar. Aside from ceding lands in France and in the Netherlands over to Burgundy the Emperor was forced to surrender his right to the Burgundian throne and to recognise the D’Albons as the true successor to the Kingdom of Lothar.

Within a couple of months Germany was thrown back into Civil War as four major sides emerge as competing powers. In the North the Meissen D’Albons (a branch of Italian D’Albon Dukes) who rule over Saxony, in the centre the Veringen Dukes of Bavaria, In the West the Hohenfels of Swabia and Baden and scattered throughout the Empire the weak von Franken Emperors.



Although he continued to keep a keen eye on Germany Raol was soon distracted by the sudden ascension of his first born, Geruad to the Croatian throne. The Hungarian Guthkeld family had ruled Croatia for many years and the country had been entirely populated by Magyars over the Century. The original Slavonic population was in an extreme minority and many referred to the Kingdom as ‘South Hungary’. The last Guthkeld King, Orban, had had no other children than Idilko who was the first wife of Raol. Raol first born son was thus the rightful claimant to the throne and was sent off, still a babe to his new Kingdom.



The new Kingdom gave the D’Albons both a major presence in the Adriatic and further established Raol as the primary power in Christendom.

As the ruler of Christendom’s mightiest state, as the King of the Christian Holy Land and as the heir of Lothar by 1225 there were deafening calls throughout Germany, Italy and all of the D’Albon Kingdoms for Raol to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The once respected title had become a mockery in the hands of the now comically weak von Frankens (who currently held on in the Swiss Alps as the other dynasties battled for control throughout Germany). There was no one else who could return order to the Empire. No one else who could truly claim to be the Emperor of the Latin Christians. On January 19th 1225 Raol, in the action which lent him the title ‘’the bold’’, demanded that the Pope crown him Emperor. Less than one month later Clement IV refused. Raol then, ignoring his holiness, announced that he was the rightful Emperor and promised to reunite the Empire under a single banner. Clement stripped Raol of his status of Papal Champion (which he had held since being crowned King of Jerusalem in 1221). The rift that would later entirely split the Latin Christians was opened; the wounds sustained by both parties in this exchange would never be fully healed.
 
Nov 15, 2008
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A strong king indeed. So it looks like Raol will be turning west to pick over the bones of the empire. And just as he connects the family's northern lands with Burgnundy proper, his son inherits Croatia. Guess it's time to build another link.

Good job.
 

Enewald

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An Empire needs the both Rome's... :cool:
Conquer Greece!
And Anatolia!
Mediterranean must be put under Pax Burgundica!
 

Tommy4ever

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Raol, The Bold (Part 2)
Lived: 1201-1250
Head of House of D’Albon: 1214-1250
King of Burgundy and Africa: 1214-1250
King of Jerusalem: 1221-1250
King of Sicily: 1230-1250



The immediate period after Raol’s claim to the Empire did not bring about the joyous reunification of the German Princes as the Burgundian King had hoped. Instead they preferred to continue their long and bloody Civil War. Yet around one year after Raol’s declaration Burgundy did begin to find new vassals, extremely eager to join the Kingdom of the would be Emperor. These states were not form the core of the Empire in Central Germany but from the border between the Burgundian Netherlands and Germany (a comparatively peaceful Imperial region) and from Italy (where the German Emperors had not ruled for more than a Century.

Things had got going in 1226 when the free city of Modena agreed to swear allegiance to the Burgundian crown. Over the course of the following year several counts along the Northern portion of Burgundy’s border with the Empire agreed to become the vassals of the Dutch Dukedoms of Gelre and Holland. Then in 1228 Raol secured one of his most amazing achievements. He managed to convince the largest, wealthiest and most powerful landowner in Northern Italy, the Duke of Tuscany, to become his vassal. Even though Tuscany had not been a part of the Empire since the late 11th Century the then Duke had a great desire to see the Holy Roman Empire reunified and respected that only Burgundy could accomplish this. So he gave up his independence and brought his realm into the Burgundian fold. From now on Raol would concentrate all his energies on securing the Italian peninsula. Early in 1229 the overconfident Count of Istria declared war on the Burgundian vassal of Kleves. The Count of Kleves had impregnated the Count of Istria’s only daughter on a visit their a few months previously and Istria wanted vengeance. Unwilling to pass up the opportunity to gain more land in Italy Raol dispatched a small force to subjugate the Count. Whilst the Burgundian army passed through the city of Ravenna (the only territory of the Duchy of Ferrara) they sacked the cities suburbs. This led to a war which saw the Duchy vassalised, meanwhile the Istrian Count soon saw the error of his ways and declared allegiance to Raol after the Burgundians besieged his home. In 1229 another Dutch Count joined Burgundy.



The Grand Duchy of Apulia had been carved out over the course of nearly 200 years by the Italo-Norman dynasties and was now ruled by the scion of William the Conqueror: Roger De Normandie. In the late 11th Century the Italo-Normans had conquered the entire Southern half of the peninsula, defeating Moors, Greeks and Lombards to secure their Kingdom. In the early 1180s the Egyptians invaded Southern Italy and took much of the Western part of the Norman Duchy. In 1184 the Egyptians took Rome itself, however a rejuvenated Italo-Norman army managed to finally crush the Egyptian invasion and even secure Rome for the Duchy. Since then the Duchy had become gradually more Italian and much wealthier, largely due to the conquest of Rome. The Duke had reacted very badly to the Burgundian expansion into Italy in the late 1220s and, fearing that they would soon be forced to fight anyway, decided to declare war on Burgundy in October 1229.



The Burgundian response was incredible. Somewhere in excess of 100 thousand men invaded the Norman Grand Duchy. The Norman armies were utterly destroyed within a month and over the course of 1230 all of Roger De Normandie’s castles were taken by Raol’s horde. On June 19th 1230 Roger signed a devastating peace: Rome was integrated into Raol personal demesne, Roger was forced to cede the Ducal titles of Calabria, Benevento and Apulia (he retained his lands in the Bay of Naples and remained as the Duke of Salerno) finally Roger, and all his vassals swore allegiance to Raol. The Victorious Raol celebrated his great victory by having himself crowned King of Sicily in his new city of Rome.

During the 2nd half of Raol’s reign several very important events occurred in other areas of Europe.



On the Eastern fringes of the Continent the great Mongol horde arrived in 1226. Over the course of the next 5 years the Mongols would fight a desperate struggle with the Volga Bulgars who dominated all the lands East of Moscow and West of the Urals. At the height of their power the Mongols were able to reach Kazan, on the Volga river, but in the end faced a crushing defeat. Throughout the rest of the 13th Century Mongol hordes, of ever decreasing size, would continue to come from the East and invade the Volga Bulgar domain but each time they faced utter defeat. These events carried great significance for the rest of Europe as once the Bulgars finally emerged from their struggles with the Mongols they would turn Westward against the divided Russian Principalities.

This period saw the quite spectacular rise of the House of Leon. During the 11th and early 12th centuries the Leons had fought alongside their Spanish brethren in the great struggle for Iberia. However after the defeat of the Spanish the family split in two. One half travelled to France, eventually coming to rule Champagne and Anjou. The other half went to Wales, eventually becoming Dukes in the English Kingdom. Between 1215 and 1223 a great Civil War waged in France, eventually after years of chaos the French Leons were successful in deposing the Capets and elevating themselves to Kings of France. Meanwhile, only 6 years later, the Welsh Leons became Kings of England through inheritance. An incredible story of rags to riches by the 1230s the two nations had formed a mighty alliance block that could have stood toe to toe with Burgundy. This was one of the main reasons why Raol never looked to expand into France.

In Germany, the seemingly endless Civil war continued at an ever slowing pace as the country began to simply run out of men. In 1229 the Frankens were able to secure, at least temporarily, a moment of peace for themselves as they surrendered the Iron crown of Germany to the Hohenfels. The von Frankens would remain Kings of Italy (ruling from the Swiss Alps) but no new Holy Roman Emperor was crowned and the Imperial Throne went empty. This event also led to the Miessen D’Albons pulling out of the war leaving the Hohenfels and Veringens to fight it out. It took another decade but by 1241 the Veringens had managed to utterly destroy the Hohenfel demesne and seized all their titles, including the German crown. However peace was only temporary and in 1249 the Civil war erupted once more as the Veringens, von Frankens and Meissen D’Albons through themselves into yet another war.

Back in Burgundy, the majority of the rest of Raol’s reign would be spent in peaceful prosperity as the Burgundian King drew untold riches from Flanders and Italy. Burgundy also continued to expand during this period, consolidating the Burgundian dominion over Italy.



In 1237 the Swiss town of Grisons sought Burgundian protection in return for vassalage. In 1240 the Croatian vassal of Ypres chose to switch its allegiance from Raol’s son (the King of Croatia) to Raol himself. In the year 1242 Burgundy conquered the Italian lands of the Pisan Republic (the Republic then relocated itself to Spain as the Republic of Viscay). Then in 1244 Verona joined Burgundy.

As Burgundy enjoyed one of the most prosperous periods in its history Raol’s son in Croatia was in trouble. The Hungarian King Boleslaw Arpad (he was of Polish origin) was eager to unify the two halves of Hungary and had assembled a huge army. The Hungarian host outnumbered Geruad’s Croatian army by 5 to 1. On March 4th 1248 Boleslaw declared war, confident of victory. Geruad then sent a desperate plea for help to his father. Raol promised to aid his son and took personal command of the first wave of Burgundian troops (around 40,000 men in three separate armies) and marched for the Italian Adriatic ports. The Hungarian Civil had begun.

By the time Raol’s army had reached the frontline Geruad had lost 2 provinces of his personal demesne along the border. It would be here where the first major battle of the war took place.



The Battle of Pecs was both the largest and most decisive battle of the entire Hungarian Civil War. It was also the only battle in which all three Kings were on the field. Around 30,000 Burgundians (under Raol) together with 7,000 Croatians (under Geruad) faced around 45,000 Hungarians (under Boleslaw). The Hungarians initially had the advantage after they defeat the D’Albonite infantry using their heavier, better equipped units. However, just as his army was starting to waver Raol led a great cavalry charge with 6,000 knights and 4,000 light horsemen. The Hungarians were thrown back and then at this key moment Geruad charged the Hungarian flank with his 1,000 horsemen. Boleslaw fled the field and soon his army began to rout. The Croatian and Burgundian cavalry then pursued the fleeing Hungarian army, slaughtering hundreds and capturing thousands.

Soon the Hungarians were forced to withdraw from Croatia and the D’Albonites invaded Hungary. Over the following few years the Burgundian army captured city after city in Hungary but suffered extremely steady casualties and had to rely upon the thousands of reinforcements that arrived from every part of the Empire. After sacking the Hungarian capital at Pressburg December 1249 Raol demanded the Hungarian crown for his son. But then the war reached a major turning point. On January 11th Boleslaw met Geruad at Bacs with a 30,000 man strong army.



Geruad’s puny 10,000 man army was utterly annihilated by Boleslaw and Geruad himself was killed after an arrow went through his eye. Geruad’s son, Charles, was then crowned King of Croatia.

However the war was not yet over and Boleslaw, now with just 26,000 men met Raol’s 33,000 man army at Nytria (near Pressburg). In this battle Boleslaw organised a great charge against the Burgundian ranks. Raol, being a warrior at heart, waded into the fray. A Hungarian pike man was able to thrust his spear into the heart of the Burgundian King, killing him instantly. Despite the loss of their liege the Burgundians went on to crush Boleslaw’s army.


Significant events of the Hungarian Civil War.



Even with the Hungarian Civil War still raging the 14 year old Charles, who had only become King of Croatia 2 months before, inherited all the realms of his grandfather as he was catapulted into a magnificent position of power. Sadly for his Kingdom Charles was not half the man his father and indeed grandfather had been. History would remember him as Charles, The Weak.
 

Enewald

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Quite a bloody war.
What is the martial skill of the Hungarian behemoth? :rolleyes:
 

Tommy4ever

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I normally pace each of these updates very slowly but since I'm kinda bored and have had a few days of holiday I've managed to get two really big updates out in quick succession. Would you guys like me to go back to updating every weekor so or to continue to make them very regularily over the next few days?

EDIT: Enewald: I can't remeber the exact martial of all the Kings but all three in this war were in high teens in martial. Geruad also had an incredible intrigue (22 :eek:) which made losing him really annoying.

EDIT 2: Is there anyone actually reading this AAR exept for the 2 or 3 people who have commented?
 
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Charles, The Weak
Lived: 1236-1254
Head of the House of D’Albon: 1250-1254
King of Burgundy, Sicily, Jerusalem, Croatia and Africa: 1250-1254



Charles was the worst King D’Albon Burgundy ever had. Although in the first few months of his reign he brought an end to the conflict on the blood soaked Hungarian plain the rest of his reign would be marked internal strife and a Byzantine like plot to remove him from the throne.



In the first few weeks after proceeding to the throne it seemed to many that Charles was about to usher in a whole new era of Burgundian prosperity. Not only had he brought the valuable Illyrian territory of the Croatian crown into the great D’Albon realm (thus allowing Burgundy to box in the powerful Venetians on both sides) but less than a month after ascending to the throne he ended the Hungarian Civil War. This brutal conflict had already claimed two great D’Albon Monarchs and Charles was not about to let it claim a third. On April 2nd 1250 King Boleslaw of Hungary signed the treaty of Vienna in which he ended his claim to the Croatian throne and ceded a strip of land linking the city of Vienna with Croatia.

Charles would have little time to bask in the glory of his success, barely a year after victory over Hungary he was flung into a direct confrontation with the Turk. In the Burgundian Holy Land a group of pilgrims had crossed over into the first Christian city in the world, Edessa, however Edessa was part of the domain of the Great Turk himself, Malik Seljuk. Not only were the pilgrim refused entry but the city’s Emir rode out and killed every last one of them. Malik Seljuk then arranged for their decapitated heads to be sent to the Christian city of Jerusalem itself as a warning to the Outremer Catholics.



Christendom was outraged; Burgundy’s nobles, the Pope, the Kings of England and France and even the Byzantine Emperor called for a united Christian front against the Turk. But Charles cowered away. He did not want to risk the safety of Jerusalem for the sake of his pride, but this seemingly well thought out decision would cost him his life. The Pope publically called him a coward and major revolts broke out amongst the Normans of Southern Italy and the Occitan old guard of Provence (angry at the long term shift of power from Provence to Flanders). It would take two years for Charles’ Generals to quell the unrest but even after order had been reaffirmed in early 1253 the nobility were firmly against him.

An incredible plot soon emerged that drew support from much of the Burgundian nobility, the King of France and even his holiness the Pope. Their objective was simply to remove the incompetent Charles and to replace him with his younger brother (like Charles still very young). In the Spring of 1253 Charles had chosen to leave the safety of his Flemish strongholds and to travel as a pilgrim to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. It was here where the assassin’s blade would strike. On May 29th 1253, whilst the King was on his way to the Church, a man clad in the white robes of a monk leapt down from the roof of a nearby building and fell atop of the King. The assassin struck Charles twice, first in his leg and then again in his stomach before one of the King’s bodyguards managed to kill the assassin. For the next few weeks Charles was forced to stay in the dangerous Holy Land as fever and sickness looked to take him but by the Autumn he had made a miraculous recovery. He then sailed back to his strongholds in Flanders. From the Winter of 1253 throughout the next year the King become more and more paranoid and ordered great purges of the nobility. Soon even his most loyal guardsmen had turned away from their King and by September it seems that many were deeply implicated in his ultimate demise. Although no one knows precisely what happened on the night of September 5th 1254 legend has it that it was the King’s brother, Alderic, who entered his bed chamber and slit the fool’s throat. Whatever the truth is in the morning Charles’ guards found him dead, with his throat cut open. Alderic was quickly approved to be the next King, with the backing of the nobles, the Pope and the neighbouring King of France.

Without the backing of the Pope and the French King it is unlikely that Alderic would have succeeded in his plot to become King, the fools did not know what they had released upon themselves. Alderic, The Conqueror would be a Monarch to rival Charlemagne and a General equal even to Alexander. But when he succeeded to the throne the magnificent unifier of the Latins was but a 17 year old boy.
 
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Enewald

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Alderic, is he of occitan culture?
A cool germanic name anyway.
 

Tommy4ever

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Alderic, The Conqueror (Part 1)
Lived: 1237-1281
Head of the House of D’Albon: 1254-1281
Holy Roman Emperor: 1257-1281
King of Burgundy, Sicily, Jerusalem, Croatia and Africa: 1254-1281
King of Italy: 1266-1281
King of Germany: 1274-1281
King of France: 1281
Head of the Hospitaller Order: 1268-1281
Head of the Templar Order: 1280-1281



Alderic remains one of the most extraordinarily successful men that the world has ever seen. He conquered a vast expanse of territory, reunited the Empire of Charlemagne and reformed his colossal holdings in a manner that would stand strong for Centuries to come. Having been a second son his success is even more impressive. A magnificent General, an educated statesman, a visionary reformer and braver even than his infamous grandfather, he was the ideal Monarch of the age.

It would not take the audacious youngster long before getting himself involved in the confused field of German politics. In the first couple of years of his reign the civil war had started to go badly for the D’Albons of Meissen. First they were beaten away from the Veringen core lands, then in mid 1255 the Pope declared war. At this time the Pope was one of Christendom’s wealthiest landowners, he controlled: all of Ireland expect Ulster, Iceland, all of Bohemia, Moravia, several Italian cities and Alexandria in Egypt. Alderic decided to send large amounts of supplies to his kin in Meissen, but it was not enough to hold off the powerful Papal armies marching from Bohemia. On February 27th 1256, at the just 19 years of age, Alderic entered the Great War of Meissen as he accepted the D’Albons of Meissen as his vassals and agreed to protect them from Papal aggression.

As soon as war was declared the Burgundian armies were formed up. From Flanders the Dutch holdings a great host, some 60,000 strong, was led by the young Alderic into the Meissen domains. From the Levant the Duke of Jerusalem led 16,000 towards Alexandria. From Italy the Norman Dukes of the South and the Italian Dukes of the North deployed numerous small armies to take the Papal territory. From Provence and Croatia perhaps as many as 50,000 prepared themselves to march North and reinforce Alderic’s army.

In the first few months of the war Alderic easily swept the Papal army from Meissen land and in the Autumn of 1256 he decided to march on Prague. His holiness the Pope, himself, took command of a great army to oppose him. On October 5th Alderic’s 36,000 man army faced the Pope’s 29,000.

The battle began with the Papal heavy infantry (greatly superior to Alderic’s) battering the lines of the Flemish army. This process lasted at least three hours as the ever thinning D’Albonite line seemed slowly buckle under pressure. At this point the Pope decided to send in almost his entire infantry for another attack. This was the point that Alderic had been waiting for.



Alderic’s heavy cavalry were the most important part of his entire army. Made up of an elite core of knights (mostly from the ancestral home in Provence and from Flanders) they were the most feared military force on earth. It was with these heavily armoured, valorous, knights that Alderic charged with at Prague. The 5,000 cavalry force charged directly at more than 15,000 Papal heavy infantry in an arrowhead formation, headed by the King himself. The chroniclers say that just moments before the Knights crashed into the Papist lines the young King could be heard across the battlefield with the single roaring phrase ‘’Deus Vult’’. The Papist army broke. Victory was won.

Frustratingly the lecherous Pope (ironically named) Innocent IV managed to escape into Moravia. For the next 6 months Alderic’s army occupied all of Bohemia and marched into Moravia, Innocent IV would finally be captured after his last Bohemian stronghold (Ostrava) fell.



The Pope was forced to crown Alderic Holy Roman Emperor, allowing him to fill the throne empty for nearly 3 decades. On top of this the Pope was forced to surrender much of the Sudetenland to Alderic, give up all his Italian possessions and accept his dominion over the Meissen D’Albon Grand Duchy. Yet, in a secret agreement, Alderic forced the Pope to agree not to interfere in German politics, this paved the way for his unification of the German states.



The Great Meissen war secured total supremacy for Alderic in Italy and made him the dominant force in Northern Germany. But it had cost an incredible 200,000 military dead on all sides and combined with non-military dead the figures are somewhere in the region of ½ a million. Few Medieval conflicts have such accurate figures but from this data the sheer scale of Alderic’s wars becomes apparent.

Now as the Western Emperor Alderic could claim sovereignty over all of Germany. This obviously caused great concern for the Veringens and von Frankens who were still battling it out in the endless German Civil War. Fear of Alderic caused the two to declare a truce in 1264 as they hoped to prepare for the inevitable invasion of the Conqueror who had made his ambition over Germany painfully clear in the past 7 years. Meanwhile the city of Bremen managed to break from its Danish masters in the same year and quickly moved to join the Empire. Tensions with the two main independent German Houses were slowly building up as Alderic searched desperately for a reason to strike. Eventually his patience simply grew too thin and in the Summer of 1266 he struck at theKing of Italy.

The war itself was hardly spectacular. Alderic simply lead his mighty army from one von Franken enclave to another, crushing their armies and taking their fortress. The war was over by the Christmas of 1266. The peace however was fantastical. Alderic received the Italian throne that he had long claimed the right to and gained a vast array of territories throughout Germany. The final collapse of the House of von Franken seemed to have come as all the lands ruled by the family were confiscated. The von Franken family then fled to the court of the French King, to the Papal centres in Dublin, Prague and Alexandria and many decided to go to the Imperial court in Gent. Having lost all their lands the later return to power of the von Frankens is extremely impressive.



Back at home in 1267 Alderic had his own wife, Agostina D’Albon (of the Meissen D’Albons), executed after it emerged that she had murdered Alderic’s eldest son Yves. Yves was a bastard child that Alderic had had shortly before marrying Agostina, however there were rumours than Alderic was planning to legitimise the young boy which would mean Agostina’s own son (Philippe) would not inherit the Imperial title. Alderic was quick to remarry, taking the hand of Christina of Leon (eldest child of the King of France), this marriage would later be used as a casus belli for the Conqueror’s campaign against France.



Whilst the Emperor visited the Holy land in 1268, undoubtedly egged on by Innocent IV, the Hospitaller Order of knights rebelled from Imperial rule and marched on Jerusalem. Alderic quickly assembled an army and rode out to meet the knights. In the short Battle of Hebron Alderic’s army which consisted primarily of local light infantrymen but also included an assortment of European knights (who had settled in the Holy Land) easily defeated the badly outnumbered Hospitaller knights. The Grandmaster was killed, as was much of their hierarchy. Alderic decided to take personal control of the Order himself as it was reformed and its loyalty secured.



The unification of the German states then began to proceed at great pace. Between 1269 and 1270 all the Counts and Dukes still ruled by Germans swore allegiance to Alderic, recognising him as their true masters. By the time Alderic invaded in 1274 the Veringens were the last Germans rulers left to oppose the Emperor. Much like the war with the von Frankens Alderic swept the horribly outnumbered armies of the Veringens away with ease and in less than 6 months they were beaten. Alderic was given the Iron Crown of Germany and around ½ of the Veringen lands (they were allowed to continue their rule as the Dukes of Franconia). The Unification of Germany was complete.

At this stage the 37 year old Emperor of the West had already won some extraordinary victories and secured some great achievements. Yet his finest hour would not come until the last years of his rule.
 
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Enewald

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Iron Crown is the name for the Lombard crown of Italy. ;)

But furthermore, excellent conquests!

Beating the Mongols or the French?
 

Tommy4ever

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Alderic, The Conqueror (Part 2)
Lived: 1237-1281
Head of the House of D’Albon: 1254-1281
Holy Roman Emperor: 1257-1281
King of Burgundy, Sicily, Jerusalem, Croatia and Africa: 1254-1281
King of Italy: 1266-1281
King of Germany: 1274-1281
King of France: 1281
Head of the Hospitaller Order: 1268-1281
Head of the Templar Order: 1280-1281

To properly understand the situation in the world at the time of Alderic’s rule it is necessary to know of the events ongoing in the Byzantine Empire. Since the sack Constantinople by the Arabs in 1221 the Greeks had been involved in titanic struggle with the powerful Emirate of Medina. The Emirate (ruling lands in Syria, Araby, Ukraine, Crimea and much of Eastern Anatolia) had initially benefited from a great numerical advantage over the Roman armies. However the steady flow of Latin warriors from the D’Albon realm had propped up the Empire and prevented its collapse. For the next 4 decades the Arabs would push slowly deeper into Byzantium despite constant counterattacks. One of the keys to the war was the Danube river which was being used by the Romans to send ships into the Black Sea to contest the vital Arab supply lines there. This led to a large scale Arab offensive to take the river and cut off these supplies. In 1259 the Byzantines under Emperor Demetrios I had suffered heavy defeat at Nikopolis on the river’s south bank. This allowed the Arab army to cross over.



Demetrios then fled with his remaining troops to the small castle at Severin. There he would be besieged by 30,000 Arabs, with barely 7,000 Greeks and another 1,800 Latins defeat seemed certain. For several months the Byzantine army was besieged and Severin’s food stores began to run low. At this point sources claim that the Emperor insisted on a final charge saying ‘’Romanion shall die on her feet, not on her knees before the Arab’’. With a final war cry of ‘’For death and glory!’’ the Emperor rode out into the Arab horde.



It still remains unclear how Demetrios’ charge was a success, his biographer claims that an army of Saints rose up and rode alongside him, all that is clear is that the Arabs fled from the field. The Emperor then pursued them to the Danube, trapped between the river and the Byzantines the Arabs attempted to surrender but Demetrios had ever last one killed. It was said that the river ran red with the blood of the Arab horde.

Things suddenly changed and Demetrios marched southward reclaiming lost lands along the way until he met the Arabs again at Adrianople. Here the Byzantine numbers had swelled to 15,000 whilst the Emir of Medina could muster just 18,000 men. Demetrios won another glorious victory and proceeded to Constantinople, which was brought under siege in 1262. The following year Greeks within the city managed to open the gates and Demetrios triumphantly re-entered the great city. Constantinople was a shadow of its former self, its wealth taken back to Araby, its population slaughtered, the Hagia Sophia defiled by the beginnings of minarets being built around it. The enraged Emperor proceeded to invade Anatolia whilst his Generals entered the Ukraine. Whilst Demetrios took Nicomedia he failed to make any further progress into Anatolia and in 1264 signed a peace with the powerful Emir.



Byzantium was reborn and this had a great impact in the West. This was seen as victory of a united Christendom and both the common folk and nobility of the West started to demand unity amongst the Kings of the West. It was the events in the East rather than in Germany which drove so many nobles to seek Alderic’s protection and it was the success of Demetrios that convinced Alderic that his quest to unify all Christendom was just and would succeed.

Back in the Western Empire following his unification of Germany Alderic began to line himself up against the Franco-Venetian alliance. This was the only real force that could possibly oppose him in the West and both the Doge and French King had been preparing themselves for war. When was finally did break out it came from an unlikely location. The Duke of Holstein, who ruled Hamburg, had broken away from the Danish King and joined the Empire in 1279. King Raymond of France then declared war on the Empire and was shortly followed by the Venetian Republic, meanwhile Denmark stayed out of the war as its King feared getting involved in a conflict with the Imperial behemoth.

The war started with a major offensive from Imperial forces in Southern Germany, Croatia and Italy against Venice. The Venetians could field and impressive army some 32,000 strong but their primarily mercenary force lacked the loyalty of the Imperial forces and after two successive defeats it quickly began to collapse. By 1280 Venice was under siege by both the Imperial army and fleet, it would fall by the end of the year.

The French front was where the real fighting would be done. With Alderic at it head a large Flemish army marched directly towards Paris. Here they met King Raymond at the battle of Vermandois. Here Alderic commanded 30,000 men including around 8,000 knights whilst Raymond had a similar sized army but severely lacked the cavalry of the Emperor.



Again the Conqueror used his favourite tactic, he lured the French infantry to engage his own weaker formations and then unleashed an almighty cavalry charged led by him personally to lead his men unto victory. On this occasion it worked perfectly and within a month Alderic had taken Paris. However the French King refused to surrender, instead gathering a great many men from his Dukes to the West.

Raymond avoided direct contact with Alderic’s army which would chase him all around France for another year and lose many men (although reinforcements continued to arrive from the Empire). Then on the fields of Normandy Raymond turned to meet Alderic near Honfleur. On this day Raymond had more than 40,000 men whilst Alderic commanded just 29,000 (although he maintained around 8,000 knights).

Fearing another great charge from the Imperial knights as had been seen at Vermandois Raymond played a much more conservative defensive position and let Alderic come to him. After several hours exchanging volleys of arrows Alderic decided to march forward. The two armies would clash and an all out melee began. Both Raymond and Alderic were dismounted from their horses at some point in the battle.



After falling to the ground Alderic was attacked by the French Duke Guy of Brittany who stabbed him in the torso. Alderic was, able to carry on, even killing Guy, and continuing to fight. However Raymond was not so lucky; after having the horse taken from under him he was trampled to death by a number of horsemen (said to have been French). Soon the leaderless French retreated from the field and Alderic had won both the battle and France.



Whilst Alderic was far from being the rightful heir to the throne he did have a claim (being married to the King’s eldest daughter). So following Harfleur the French nobility offered Alderic the crown of France which he gratefully accepted.



Alderic now ruled over a titanic Empire stretching from Jerusalem to the Atlantic and from the Sahara to the North Sea. However his final conquest had come at a great price; his wound sustained at Harfleur had rapidly become infectious and he was yet to sort out the succession of his Empire. Late in 1281 the Council of Paris was called.



Alderic chose to divide all his Empire up into 7 Kingdoms and an Archbishopric. All the new states would still remain within a united Holy Roman Empire. The Imperial title would be a possession of the line of his 1st son (Philippe of Jerusalem), all other rulers would be in full control of their own realms but united under his Kingship. Whilst all the Kingdoms were granted to either prominent D’Albon families (such as the Meissen D’Albons) the Archbishopric of Croatia went to the head of the von Franken line. Yet Dietmar was considered the most pious man in the Empire and was in fact Alderic’s Diocese Bishop. Not only this but Alderic hoped that by giving Dietmar this title Alderic could defuse the von Frankens and prevent them from attacking the newly divided Empire.

Alderic died barely a week after the final division was agreed upon, this history shall continue to follow the line of Philippe in Jerusalem as it both retained the Imperial title and was the status of Head of the House of D’Albon.
 

Enewald

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Nooooooooo!
Why do all the big realms have to be torn apart!!! :eek:
 

Tommy4ever

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Nooooooooo!
Why do all the big realms have to be torn apart!!! :eek:
I was having constant rebellions. My conquests had made me dishonourable scum and the vassals were not happy. It just stopped being fun to play. Now however I can go on an expansionist spree again without risk of horrible, tedious and constant rebellions.

ps I always though the Iron Crown was the crown of Germany?
 

Enewald

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I was having constant rebellions. My conquests had made me dishonourable scum and the vassals were not happy. It just stopped being fun to play. Now however I can go on an expansionist spree again without risk of horrible, tedious and constant rebellions.

ps I always though the Iron Crown was the crown of Germany?
Well, German kings ruled Italy quite long and used the Iron Crown of Lombardy for being crowned as King of Italy.
I'm not sure what kind of crown the Germans had.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Crown_of_the_Holy_Roman_Empire