A Green And Pleasant Land

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Jun 28, 2019.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 79: Ram Ram

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 79: Ram Ram



    January, 1302



    Age was catching up with him, Ramachandra could feel it in his bones. He knew sooner or later something would happen and that would be it. That would be his time. If he were being honest, he did not mind that too much, Simhana, his son and heir was a good man, and had sons to succeed him as well. The Empire was in good hands. But the issue was the outer areas of the Empire were under fire, or rather those lands not yet under his control were on fire, and they needed to be dealt with.


    “What news from Sindh?” He asked.


    Yuzvendra, his master of secrets who had come from Devagiri spoke then in the Sanskrit which he had made the language of the court. “It is a tumultuous situation, Sire. The governor writes that he is facing trouble from the current Muslim nobles who are trying to test him and the laws that we have instituted. However, my sources tell me that he is the one testing the laws, and is using the Muslims as an escape route.”


    Ramachandra raised an eyebrow. The way Yuzvendra was able to gather information like this was somewhat frightening. “What do you mean?” He asked.


    “He is issuing laws, the laws that Your Imperial Majesty asks him to, but then he is changing the wording slightly after the fact and then provoking the Muslim nobles into acting.” Yuzvendra said. “He is doing all of this deliberately.”


    Simhana spoke then. “Why would he do such a thing? What is trying to achieve?”


    “Chaos, Your Royal Highness.” Yuzvendra said. “He wants to provoke an uprising and act as the man who can protect Sindh from the outrages of the capital.”


    “Is he working with someone?” Simhana demanded.


    “No, Your Royal Highness.” Yuzvendra said. “But I would not be surprised if he started working with someone.”


    Ramachandra was silent then, it was at times like these that he missed Bhima, his former chief advisor. The man had died a few months ago, and his calm and measured tones were things that Ramachandra deeply wished he had now. Instead, he could feel a turmoil inside him, on the one hand he wanted to raise an army and march right for Sindh and take this governor and destroy him. on the other he knew how destructive such a thing would and could be. Instead, he focused on a middle way. “Very well, issue a fake order. Something that seems real but is actually not. Something that will provoke him and get him to reveal his hand.”


    Simhana, whose duty it was to write down the orders nodded. “I will get right to it Your Imperial Majesty.”


    Ramachandra raised a hand. “Not yet, speak with Yuzvendra, learn what you can about this man and then do it.” Simhana reluctantly put down his quill. Ramachandra then focused on Yuzvendra and asked. “And what of Bengal?” Bengal the richest region outside his empire and the one which he desperately wanted.


    “The civil war there has intensified, Sire.” Yuzvendra said. “It seems that neither claimant quite knows what they are fighting for anymore.”


    “Forget that,” Simhana said impatiently. “There are people fleeing Bengal in great numbers and they are coming into the Empire, and trying to find somewhere to stay. The Kings and Princes are writing in almost every day complaining about this.”


    Ramachandra looked at his son, he knew there was sense to the complaint but at the same time… “It is our sacred duty to help those in need. Be they Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist. We cannot turn them away.”


    “Then we must find some way of accommodating them or we must stop the fighting in Bengal.” Simhana said.



    This was where Ramachandra began feeling his age, and uncertainty. Before he would have had the answers ready right from the get go, now however, he did not know. “Who is the better candidate?” He asked.


    “That depends on what you’re defining as better, Sire.” Yuzvendra said.


    “Who will bring stability to the region?” Ramachandra asked.


    “Firoz Shah.” Yuzvendra said. “He has shown a willingness to work with us, and has also shown a tolerance that his predecessor lacks.”


    “Then provide the necessary financial aid to him.” Ramachandra said.
     
  2. Threadmarks: Chapter 80: Line of Secession

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 80: Lines of Secession



    April, 1302


    John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch could feel his age in his bones. He was not so old that he could no longer fight, but he was old enough to know that when he fought, the next morning the aches and pains would be a lot worse. And of course, being a trusted lieutenant for the King had meant that he had been brought to fight for the King against the Islanders on the west coast. They’d made camp some forty miles from Argyll, and John could tell the King was getting frustrated.


    Taking a liberty here, John spoke. “Sire, the war has been raging for some time now, we’ve achieved victories but have continued to lose men. Indeed, my own brother by marriage Lord Balliol died fighting against these islanders. Perhaps the time has come to talk with them.”


    The King looked at him and in his gaze, John could see not just the King, but also the King’s grandfather, he’d met the man once before, when he was a child, and he vaguely remembered being terrified of him. “What would you have me discuss with them, Lord Comyn?”


    John knew he had to phrase his next few words carefully, otherwise he was like to lose his influence. “I would recommend offering them some autonomy, Sire. Allow them to use the Gaelic customs and traditions, in exchange for recognising you as their sovereign.”


    The King snorted. “Those are things they already have. They rebelled a few months after the change in my title from King of Scots to King of Scotland, a change that the Lord of Islay’s own brother agreed to. Why should I sit down with them and discuss something that they already have?”


    John hesitated here, if he were being truthful with himself he did not know what he could say to the King to convince him, after all he barely believed it himself. Indeed, he was somewhat surprised when his own son John spoke then. “Sire, I think that the reasoning must be that the lives that both sides are losing are not worth the cost. After all, if their rebellion is truly about wanting their traditional rights respected, then they will not object to sitting down and discussing things over a strong mug of ale.” There was a laugh there, John was impressed with his son, the boy was beginning to display some social awareness which he had lacked before. “Furthermore, I think they will want to sit down and negotiate. They might hold the isles, but they do not have enough supplies to continue fighting.”


    John saw the King consider this, he stroked his beard and then replied. “What you say is true young John, however, there remains the issue of if I sit down to talk with them, then what will I say to the men and women whose sons, brothers and fathers went and fought and died for me? I will not turn around and tell them that their men died for nothing.”


    John knew his son would not be able to answer that, therefore he himself said. “In that regard, Sire, I think the answer is simple. They have experienced the pain, you have tried your best to defeat them through conventional means, and are now instead resorting to the other method of defeating the enemy.”


    “Is it defeating the enemy, if they are getting what they already have?” the King demanded.


    John could see a bit of the King’s father’s stubbornness in the man, and therefore knew where to approach him from. “The islanders are a confused lot, Sire. They do not know quite what they want, only that the things that they believe they have are not enough. Offer them this and then you can tell the people of Scotland that you have fought a war against turbulent vassals and brought them to see sense. The war knocked the stuffing out of them and you, being the glorious father of the nation, made them see reason.”


    John could tell the King found what he had said appealing by the way he didn’t fiddle with anything, he simply looked at him and then when the decision was reached, the King said. “Very well. Send an emissary out to seek a discussion, but have the men prepared in case these fools decide against it.”


    John nodded. “Of course, Sire.”


    The King then dismissed everyone else, apart from John by letting him to know to stay with a single nod. Once the others were gone, the King looked at him and asked. “How would you feel about a betrothal between your grandson and my daughter Eleanor?”


    John was completely surprised by this, but felt honoured. Bruce hadn’t been given such an honour at all, indeed, John knew that this would likely anger Bruce even more, which was why he said. “I would be honoured, Sire.” The King smiled and led him out of the tent.
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 81: Somerset Falls

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 81: Somerset Falls



    July, 1302




    It had taken months of negotiations after the battle for them to reach this point. Charles, King of the Romans and Count of Valois was sat opposite his wife’s uncle Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, to discuss the final terms of the peace agreement between their two brothers.


    Crouchback spoke first. “His Majesty King Edward’s demands are simple, Your Majesty. He wishes to King Philipp to recognise English sovereignty over the Duchy of Gascony, and he wishes for the rebel lords from the Gascon province who sided with King Philip to be handed over to him for judgement. Finally, he wishes for King Philipp to pay 100,000 marks in reparations for the damage done by the French troops to Gascony and to the Gascon people. In return for his agreement to that, King Edward shall release King Philipp and those prisoners he had taken.”


    Charles said nothing for a moment. He knew that these terms were humiliating for France, but he also knew that they were the best terms that they were likely to get. “As His Majesty’s regent during this time, I agree to the terms on his behalf.”


    “Excellent.” Crouchback said, he extended a hand. Charles took it and they shook. They then let go.


    Charles clapped his hands, and two pages came forward with the documents of the treaty. “We might as well make this official.” Charles said. He took a quill as did Crouchback, and there was silence for a moment as they both signed their names, and fixed their seals to the documents. Then when that was done, Charles said. “Copies will be made for both Kings’ records.”


    “Naturally.” Edmund replied.


    As the documents were taken away for copying, Charles gestured for servants to bring wine. “You are going to be staying for a while are you not, Lord Lancaster?”


    “For a time, certainly. Though not longer than a day, I must return to Gascony to present the treaty to His Majesty.” Edmund Crouchback replied.


    “Very well.” Charles said. The cups of wine were poured and Charles took a sip from his, whilst Crouchback looked around the room, his eyes fixing on a tapestry.


    “That is a tapestry from the Conquest is it not?” Edmund Crouchback asked, pointing to the thing that hung above the window.


    “Yes, His Majesty the King has a strange fascination with the conquest of England.” Charles remarked.


    Crouchback laughed. “It is not strange at all. The Conquest of England was one of the finest moments in history. As such, it is understandable as to why King Philipp would wish to have it on his wall. His Majesty also has something similar on his.”

    Charles said nothing though he noticed how Edmund Crouchback was not touching his wine. He was about to mention that, when Crouchback spoke once more. “So, are you to remain within France indefinitely then?”


    Charles was slightly caught out by that question, he had not thought Crouchback would ask him anything to do with the Empire, but then he supposed he should have expected it. “I will remain here until His Majesty has returned, then I shall venture back home.”


    “And how are Joan and the children doing?” Crouchback asked.


    “They are well, thank you. Joan always speaks fondly of you.” Charles said. It was true, Joan had always commented on how friendly her famous uncle was, and how he acted as a nice change to her overbearing father.


    Crouchback nodded. “That is good to hear. Remember that we are always going to look out for our family.”


    Charles wasn’t sure what to say to that, nor was he quite sure what the other man was implying, so he merely said. “I shall.”


    They sat in silence for a little while longer, drinking their wine, and occasionally commenting on something else such as the weather or the use of horses for jousting, when the servants returned to announce that the copies of the treaty had been completed. The documents were handed back to them both, Crouchback rose and said. “Thank you for your hospitable service. I shall write to the King and let him know of the events that have transpired here and from there let us hope we can maintain a friendly relationship.”


    “Agreed.” Was all Charles could reply with.
     
  4. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    If any of his contemporaries were doubting that Edward was Europe's foremost king, there isn't any doubt now.
     
    VVD0D95 likes this.
  5. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Philip will be fuming
     
    Ivan Lupo likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 82: Irish Woes

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Chapter 82: Irish Woes



    September, 1302



    “My Prince, the towns around the castle are being burned and sacked at liberty, by the King of Tyrconnell and his followers. There are stories coming through that some of the native Irish are joining him simply to escape his punishment.” John Fitzgerald Lord of Offaly said.


    “And what of our commanders and the garrisons?” Alphonso asked. “Have they not been able to do anything to stem the tide?”


    “They’ve killed some of Tyrconnell leading supporters, but the tension remains there, my Prince.” Offaly said.


    Alphonso wanted to scream. He had come to Ireland expecting to be able to finish this matter off within a matter of months. Now it was approaching multiple years, and he wasn’t sure if they were any closer to settling this matter. “And Tyrconnell and his followers continue to refuse to engage in open combat?”


    “Yes, my Prince. They are raiding and pillaging.” Offaly said.


    Alphonso felt something in him break then. “They are raiding and pillaging their own lands and they claim to be fighting for the Irish?” He wanted to break things but he knew that was not how a royal acted. Instead he simply took a deep breath and continued. “And have we managed to portray this to the common folk?”


    “We have, my Prince.” Offaly said. “But some are heading toward Tyrconnell anyway due to the fact that if they do so they avoid getting their homes burned. We do not have enough men to cover every bit of territory.”


    Alphonso nodded he understood that, he understood that very well. That did not mean he agreed with just leaving vast swathes of his father’s land to burn. Deciding to focus on something he might be able to control he asked. “How is the Earl of Ulster doing?” The man had been badly wounded during a fight with some of Tyrconnell’s bands.


    “He getting on well enough, my Prince. He will soon be back into fighting shape.” Offaly said.


    Alphonso then fixed Sir John Wogan with his gaze and said. “I want the men prepared for another bout of fighting before the campaign season ends.”


    “My Prince?” Wogan asked sounding concerned.


    “If Tyrconnell will not come out to fight of his own accord, we will make him come out and fight.” Alphonso replied. “We shall find his allies and we shall burn their lands, we will destroy their homes and their families, and when the pressure gets too much for him, we will fight him and kill him.”


    Wogan looked as if he might be slightly perturbed by this, all he said was. “That might bring more risks than reward, my Prince.”

    “Perhaps, but it is the only viable solution to the problem that we are facing now. If we continue to do nothing, Tyrconnell will find his way to power unblocked. He is a traitor, and it is time we treated his allies as such.” Alphonso said.


    Wogan looked as if he might protest, but then he merely nodded. “Very well, my Prince.”


    “Good, now unless there is anything else you may leave.” Alphonso replied waving his hand dismissively. The two men got up and departed, leaving Alphonso to sit there by himself and wonder where it had all gone wrong, and whether he would ever emerge from this chaotic nightmare.
     
  7. Historymaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Al, you are playing to your opponent's tune.
     
  8. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Oh, what makes you say so?
     
  9. Historymaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    He is reacting not acting, and so, my guts say he is being played.
     
  10. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    True though precious acting measures have failed
     
  11. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    It wasn't always going to go entirely Alphonso's way and Ireland has always been a difficult place to campaign in. How is the rest of the royal family doing? Alphonso's younger brother Edward should be a grown young man by now.
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Indeed not.

    And he is indeed, he’s about to get married as well
     
  13. Historymaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    And I was not criticizing; I'm saying that probably, Alphonso is in for other setbacks; personally, I think that an Indipendent, neutral or allied Ireland would work better towards England's goals, if only because it spare troops.
     
  14. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Oh I know you were t criticising :). And oh? Though that would probably insult Edwards pride
     
  15. Historymaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    Indeed but Longshanks will not live forever.
     
  16. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Indeed not. Things are going to get very interesting.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Chapter 83: Offaly

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK

    Chapter 83: Offaly



    December, 1302


    This was not normal campaign weather. It was bitterly cold and James would not be surprised if it started snowing soon. But, the King of Tyrconnell had ventured out from his hiding place to give battle, after a two-month campaign in which the Prince of Wales had burned the lands of Tyrconnell and his supporters, and so here they were. Out in a field in the middle of winter, where it was already quite dark, despite the early hour. James held his teeth together though inside he was freezing.


    The Prince didn’t seem bothered by the cold, indeed it seemed to have brought him to life. “Ulster’s forces seem to be doing quite well.” The Prince said, nodding to the scene many miles ahead of them where the Earl of Ulster’s vanguard was ripping Tyrconnell’s men to shreds.


    “Indeed, my Prince. Though I would be cautious about thinking that this will continue. The ground is frozen here, but there it seems to be made of mud and slime. See how the infantry continue to slip.” James said, and almost as if on cue a man carrying the banner of some petty Irish lord slipped and his men almost fell about him.


    The Prince of Wales nodded. “This is true. What would you recommend we do then? We cannot go for a full-scale cavalry charge, that would lead to the horses being slipped up on the mud.”


    James paused for a moment and then said. “I think perhaps dismounting from the horses and then leading the way into battle would do it. Unless, my Prince wishes to go for the shock of the charge.”


    Had he asked the Prince this question even four months ago, he knew that the Prince would have made a choice there and then. Now however, the Prince took time to think through his choices. James did not know if that was a sign of growth or a sign of hesitancy. Still, when the Prince replied, it was with a surety that could only be had of someone born to rule. “We shall dismount and fight the enemy.”


    “Of course, my Prince.” James replied, he barked the order out and soon scores of knights were dismounting and following the Prince as he walked to the point where they were supposed to be, to wait for the signal.


    “Ulster’s got them pinned to the back end, my Prince.” One knight said. James noticed how the Prince didn’t even bother replying, he simply took his helm from his squire and put it on. James followed suit, knowing as he did so that he would have only a slim opportunity to allow for what he had planned with Tyrconnell.


    A horn sounded in the distance. “It begins.” The Prince said. He drew his sword, barked out a command and then charged. James charged with him, but knew to keep a distance between himself and the Prince to allow for the plan to work. As he encountered the enemy he allowed his blood lust to take over.


    The enemy came before him and it seemed as if they were willingly throwing their lives away on the back of his hammer. He pushed forward, feeling the mud and the grime beneath his feet, knowing that he would either be seen as a hero or a traitor at the end of this battle. His reasoning for doing as he had was simple. Ireland was in chaos, and the Prince didn’t seem to have a handle on it. Tyrconnell should never have been allowed to get as powerful as he had. And yet, here they were. And James knew he needed to do what was necessary to protect his family.


    He took a blow to the chest; the wind began to leave his sails after that. He fought back, knocking the perpetrator back to the ground, twisting around the next man who came after him and bringing the hammer down on a third man. There was a genuine sense within him though that perhaps Tyrconnell was right and Ireland would be better off away from the English yoke. The man had promised that those Norman lords who sided with him would keep their lands and their titles. They’d also be given high positions at his court, if he was chosen as High King of Ireland.


    James knew that the man had a son who was of an age with his daughter, and he intended to arrange their marriage. He wanted his descendants to rule over Ireland. He could almost see it now. A dynasty spanning generations, which would rule over the entire Irish Kingdom and bring about a golden age. Another blow to his chest and he felt as though he might keel over. He was getting too old for this. Truly. He needed to find the Prince and see whether this could be finished now, as he was getting the sense that the Irish forces under Tyrconnell were about to be destroyed.


    As if the Almighty could read his thoughts, James stumbled upon a scene that would have horrified him in any other circumstance. He saw Prince Alphonso fighting Tyrconnell. It was just the two of them with everyone else fighting around them. He watched as the Prince cut Tyrconnell, he watched as the other man did the same back to the Prince. Back and forth it went. It was like some sort of puppet show, neither one of them was gaining any ground until the Prince tripped and fell backwards.


    Tyrconnell loomed over him, his sword coming down. James couldn’t explain why given what he had agreed with the man, but he couldn’t let him kill the Prince. Instead he found himself hurling himself toward Tyrconnell, using his hammer to knock Tyrconnell down to the ground, his hammer raised he kept bringing it down on Tyrconnell until the man stopped struggling. Until there was no sign of movement left. He took a shuddering breath, felt a hand on his shoulder, turned around and saw the Prince looking at him.
     
  18. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, for whatever his original intention was, James is sure to be rewarded now.
     
    VVD0D95 likes this.
  19. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2015
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    For sure, and he's going to be desperate to ensure that nobody who knew of his original intention is left alive.
     
    Ivan Lupo likes this.
  20. Historymaster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2019
    That was a bit of a dumb luck strike for Alphonso; if luck in businness and games (war included) was inversly proportional to luck in love, as they said, I would be worried about who is or who would be Alphonso's children father.:) Poor Tyrconnel hehad won fair and square. Long Live the King of Ireland!
     
Loading...