Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Jun 28, 2019.
The plot thickens. Really looking forward to the next few updates, especially the one it looks like you have planned with Charles and Joan.
It's going to be a ride, I can tell you this, when Phil learns what his dad is planning, he's not going to be happy.
Chapter 23: Count of Valois
Charles listened as his father spoke and had to bite back the desire to snap. He was bored and his father was rambling. “So, in order to truly understand the necessary needs of the people one must always hold regular assemblies of the common man. The nobles will always claim to speak for the people, but that is a lie. They are only speaking for their own interest and therefore will never give you an accurate representation of what the common man feels. Therefore, you must find the common man and encourage him to speak.”
“But would that not then give the nobles a chance to find out something about what you are doing and then get them to seek the common man out and intimidate them into complying with their words anyway?” Charles asked. He was not such a great fool; he knew how the nobles operated.
“Indeed, that is a possibility.” His father replied. “That is why you must find the chance to meet with the common man without ever truly alerting the nobility.”
“How?” Charles asked. “It is not as if either you or Philippe could get away with that.” He almost laughed at the thought of his father or brother trying to meet with the common man in secret, with all the guards they had.
His father looked at him then and said. “You do not meet with them in secret, indeed you do not even give them the chance to know that you are a Prince of the realm. You travel around the Kingdom and meet with people and speak to them as if you yourself are nothing more than a common man. They are more likely to be open to you if they believe you are one of them.”
“And how am I supposed to look like one of them, when I look like this?” Charles asked spreading a hand out to gesture to himself.
The King smiled. “You would find a way.” Charles huffed. “Regardless, there is another reason for this conversation, what are your thoughts on the proposed reforms for the road network.”
Charles thought on that and then said. “I think that we need to find some way of convincing the nobility of the viability of the plan. I think that the Count of Dreux knows that it is beneficial, as does the Duke of Brittany, but the other nobles have expressed doubt. I think there is something to be said of the fact that the Count of Flanders has expressed approval.”
“And that is why I think that you should go on a progress around the realm with your wife, to ensure that the nobles know just what we expect from them.” The King said.
“You want me to travel around the realm to promote this?” Charles asked.
“Yes.” The King said.
“Why?” Charles asked surprised. “Surely this is something that Philippe should be doing as the heir?”
The King smiled. “Philippe is busy in Navarre with his wife and children. You however are here, and I know what you are Charles. You are more likely to convince the nobles to see our point of view than your brother. You are my great hope.”
Charles didn’t know what to say in response, he sensed a great opportunity here and so bowed his head and said. “Of course, Sire. When would you wish for me to depart?”
“You and your wife should depart in two weeks’ time.” The King said.
Charles bowed, and then departed after his father dismissed him. As he walked back to his rooms he wondered just what his father was planning here, and what this could mean for him and Joan. As he entered his chambers, Joan greeted him with a kiss. “How was your meeting with your father?” She asked.
Charles looked back at her and said. “We’re to travel across the realm to convince the nobles of the King’s road reform.”
“Oh, how delightful.” Joan said. “When do we depart?”
“In two weeks’ time.” Charles responded.
“Excellent.” Joan replied.
“What do you mean?” Charles asked.
“What better way to convince your father and the nobles of France to support you for the position of Emperor than this tour.” Joan said.
Charles and Joan are really reaching for the stars. Nice...
Wouldn't be surprised if Edward's planted the idea in his daughter's head as well
Chapter 24: Election to The Purple
Regensburg, the seat of the Imperial Diet. The place where dreams were made and broken. Rudolph could feel the ache in his bones. He knew his time was running out. He had reached an agreement with the Pope he would become Holy Roman Emperor, and he would see his son crowned King of the Romans. And then Henry, Duke of Bavaria had died and his son had come to power. Young Otto decided he did not want to support Rudolph as Emperor, and that he instead wanted to contest the election for Rudolph’s heir himself. And so, here they were. The electors, and the candidates, and the Pope himself. All present to do what needed to be done.
Wenceslaus, King of Bohemia as Arch cupbearer spoke first. “My Most Honourable Princes of the Esteemed Empire, we are gathered here today to choose a new Emperor and choose his successor and to end the decades long chaos that has plagued our realm. As it the Prince Electors it is our duty before God, and His Holiness to carry out our sacred duties. We shall hear from both candidates first, and then voting shall commence.”
As he was King of the Romans, Rudolph went first. “My Most Honourable Princes, Your Holiness, I am a man known to you all, I have served as King of the Romans, or King of Germany for many years now. In that time I have strived to bring peace to our realm. I have ended the banditry and raiding that plagued the realm when I ascended the throne. I have introduced measures which reduced the strain on the nobility and brought about fair trade with France and with the Low Countries. I stand before you, aged and experienced with a guaranteed line of succession before me.” He nodded. “My son, Albert knows just what needs to be done to continue peace and prosperity within the realm.” and sat back down.
Otto, Duke of Bavaria, young and fiery, spoke next. “My Most Honourable Princes, Your Holiness. I am young yes, but at my father’s side, I helped crush the revolts that threatened to disrupt Bavaria, already in the short time I have been Duke, I have brought peace and happiness. I do not look to establish a dynasty on the Imperial Throne, I merely look to do what is best for the Empire. I do not believe that King Rudolph or his son, are the right men for this position. They make promises as easily as if they are giving bread to birds. I stand by my promises. Including one to lead a Holy Crusade against the Mamluk should the chance arise.”
Otto sat down. Wenceslaus stood up again. “We have heard the candidates. Now the time has come for voting, if there is anyone here who has anything to say now, let them speak.”
His Holiness Nicholas IV stood up then and in a shaking voice said. “Choose wisely. We must bring an end to this chaos, for there stands before us a great threat to Christendom, such as has not been faced since the rise of the Muhammadeans.” The Pope sat back down.
Rudolph sat and endured the silence, he saw that the Count Palatine was done first, the man nodded to him. Rudolph knew he had the man’s vote, he might be Otto’s uncle, but he hated the man and was besides married to Rudolph’s own daughter. He kept his face expressionless, knowing that to show emotion would be to end everything he had strived for. Duke Otto on the other hand looked like a cornered animal, his eyes flittered from one place to the next, constantly eyeing up people, he had scowled when his uncle had acknowledged Rudolph but not him.
As the moments passed by Rudolph came to one conclusion, whatever the result was today, Bavaria and Habsburg would never be allies. Not as long as it was Otto and his lot who ruled. Something would need to be done about that. Perhaps Rudolph could convince the Count to invade Bavaria and take the whole thing. The count was an ambitious man, perhaps that would work. It would certainly play to his ego. At his side, his son Albert shifted. Albert was everything a man could want in a son, tall, strong, confident, smart and capable. He had sired countless children already, and had more on the way. Albert was going to be confirmed immediately as King of the Romans should they succeed here, which was something Rudolph most definitely hoped for.
The Duke of Saxony was the next one to stand up and place his paper in the cup that was on the table. The man nodded to Rudolph, he was his son by marriage but the two of them had never quite seen eye to eye. The man had been close to Duke Otto before that man’s ascension to the Dukedom. Who knew how he would vote. As the Margrave of Brandenburg rose and put his paper in the cup, Rudolph tensed. Brandenburg had not looked at him and that could mean only one thing. As the spiritual electors got up and did their business, Rudolph felt his nerves grow. The last man to put his paper in the cup was Wenceslaus.
Finally, it was done, His Holiness stood up and walked to the cup. He pulled the first card out of the cup. “Albert, Duke of Austria.”
Rudolph breathed a sigh of relief.
The Pope pulled another card out. “Otto, Duke of Bavaria.”
Rudolph kept his face expressionless.
Another card. “Albert, Duke of Austria.”
Rudolph looked across the room, Otto looked livid. He would make a poor Emperor.
“Otto, Duke of Bavaria.” Otto’s face changed into one of a half-smile. At his side Rudolph felt Albert inhale.
“Albert, Duke of Austria.” And then exhale.
“Otto, Duke of Bavaria.” Tension rose in Rudolph then, was he truly about to lose to such a stripling?
He did not move as the Pope put his hand into the cup and drew out the final card. He took an age to open it. eventually he did and he read out the name written down. “Albert, Duke of Austria.”
Rudolph finally exhaled as he heard His Holiness say. “We have a new Emperor and a new successor.” The Pope came to him and Rudolph bowed his head as he was blessed. Albert did the same.
“Thank you, Your Holiness.” Rudolph whispered. He had a large debt to repay now.
The Habsburgs get an early start here, and they have a strategy here too. So I wonder how Joan intends to get her own husband on the throne? Ironically, she herself is related to a pair of former Imperial claimants, by way of her paternal great uncle Richard of Cornwall and her maternal uncle Alfonso X. Very curious.
Oh indeed she is, and of course Rudolph's old, as is relatively speaking Albert, so we shall see
Do you think there should be another election once Rudolph kicks it?
Who is the threat the Pope is referring to? Is he just puffing up the threat of the Mamluks to boost his own interests or is there another threat to Christendom he's referencing?
It's a bit of both.
There would have to be another election, wouldn't there. In those days, the late emperor's sons and heirs weren't automatically guaranteed the Imperial throne, but due to the large sums of wealth a family had to buy and keep supporters, it was often considered a given that he would get elected. Charles could very well sneak in there and steal the election and he could very well have the backing of both his father and father-in-law. Even if his brother rises to the French throne by then, it would still be in Philip's better interests to have his brother wearing purple, presumably securing his eastern borders. This is intriguing.
This is very true, though of course if Albert is confirmed as King of the Romans, he's almost guaranteed it.
Joan seems like she has a plan though, I imagine Albert could be in her crosshairs.
Oh indeed, there's going to be a lot of fun had soon
I feel like Joan could be as intelligent as her mother, she was definitely very sly and clever in OTL. Let's see how much of her illustrious female ancestors she has in her (Empress Matilda, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of England, Berenguela of Castile, and Eleanor of Castile are as strong and formidable as anyone could have ever hoped to descent from).
Definitely, and this time around Eleanor is still around to give her daughter advice, should she ask
Wait, your election is totally wrong. Rudolph was already elected as King of the Romans (who at that time was the title of a Holy Roman Emperor who had not yet made the journey to be crowned in Rome; later, when papal coronation was abandoned, become the title of the elected heir of the Holy Roman Emperor, who would automatically become HRE after the death of his predecessor) so he need only a Papal coronation for becoming Holy Roman Emperor. The election must be for Rudolph’s heir designated and between Albert and Otto...
I’m aware however because there wasn’t a emperor for so long, I’m going off the
Premise that Otto staked a claim once more
Separate names with a comma.