Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Jun 28, 2019.
Another quick query, what would you all recommend I do re Byzantium?
Yes a lot more thought in there leadership would be good!
Avoiding adronikos iii
I think at first, they would take and hold possessions around the largest cities and fortresses, but likely be sticking to the coast at first before exploring any opportunities inland. However, provided the numbers are high enough, that the enemy is disorganized enough, and the shorter distance, it makes it easier for these new kingdoms and states to be reinforced and resupplied, not to mention all the trade they can take advantage of.
Chapter 10: A World Within A World
Alexander looked outside onto the grounds below. Stirling Castle had belonged to the family since the time of Malcolm Canmore, built shortly after his defeat of Macbeth. It was a towering fortress and one that would take a lot of cunning and guile to take. Alexander knew that if his wife was still alive she’d snort and say he was paranoid. But he knew that she knew he was being reasonable. Their childhood together had shown them both just how foolish the nobles of Scotland were. It was the one reason he was trying to ensure his son and grandson never faced the same issues.
He turned from the window and looked at his son. Alexander, Lord of Mann and heir to Scotland, was leaning back, his blonde hair cut short and a beard growing where once there had been none. Alexander felt a jolt of pride for his son and said. “How is everything going with your wife and son?”
His son smiled. “Good. Sancha seems to have recovered from the ailment that affected her after Alexander was born, and the lad is finally sleeping well. We had a full night’s rest last night.”
Alexander smiled in response. “That is good, though you know my thoughts on that. The child is merely paying you back for the nights you kept your mother and I up.”
His son laughed. “I see.” There was a pause and then his son asked. “You said earlier that you were considering giving him a title, did you mean that?”
“Yes,” Alexander responded. “I believe the time has come for us to stamp more of our authority onto the lords and nobles of this kingdom. My own father meant to create me as Earl of Gairoch before he passed away, and I intend to do the same for you.”
There was a brief pause and then his son said. “But Gairoch belongs to the Earl of Mar does it not?”
“It does not, I had the chancellor look at the legality of ownership to Gairoch, it never left the crown’s hands. Mar was merely custodian of the place.” Alexander responded. “So, you shall be created Earl of Gairoch at the next meeting of the council and your son shall hold the title Lord of Mann.”
His son looked surprised and then said. “It is an honour, Sire.”
Alexander waved a hand and said. “Honour, it is common sense. The English gave their heirs a title to ensure that the regions placed under them would be easier to control. It is time we did the same. We cannot afford to be behind the English, not with this trade that comes through Portugal.”
His son nodded and then asked. “What about the feud between Bruce and Comyn?” A pause and then. “That threatens to erupt at any moment, is there going to be any means of sorting that out?”
Alexander rubbed a hand of his face. He needed to shave, his beard was getting out of control. “As of right now, direct action cannot be done. I am not sure that I agree with what the Earl of Lennox suggested, but at the same time I cannot see any other way.”
“What did the Earl of Lennox suggest?” His son asked.
“That to counter the bases that Bruce and Comyn have we raise several other nobles to the peerage. His suggestions were Stewart and Durward.” Alexander said.
“I agree about Stewart, that man leans more towards the crown than to either Comyn or Bruce, I’m not sure I agree about Durward. The man is a bastard, and is worth perhaps a barony nothing more. In fact, I’d actually suggest Hamilton. The man constantly keeps the lower highland clans in order.” His son said.
Alexander considered this. “I shall think on it, Lennox has only a daughter just now, a girl named Margaret, she is slightly younger than you but could make a good match for Stewart. Hamilton is a sensible suggestion.”
His son nodded. “Anything that keeps the Bruce and Comyn feud from erupting I think would be good.”
“Indeed, and when you have more children they can be of use as well.” Alexander said.
His son looked surprised and then nodded. “True, this is very true.”
Also, query with Yolande now not marrying Alexander III, where would it be realistic for her to go? I was thinking perhaps Robert II, Duke of Burgundy after his wife Agnes dies?
Killing off Agnes early, given her robust health OTL, does not strike me as too plausible, and is butterfly release for the sake of butterflies. Her OTL Britanny match on the other hand was rather plausible.
Unless you meant this Robert II https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_II,_Count_of_Artois
Who had a wife Agnes, who died in 1288.
Hmm this is true, so should I keep her Brittany marriage here then?
Either Britanny, or, as I've said, Artois (the Count would become a widower in 1288, and I thought you got confused between two Roberts II with wives named Agnes when I've read your original post).
Well, in OTL, Agnes didn't die until 1327 and actually served as regent for her son Hugh after Robert died. They married in 1279. You could always butterfly her death in if you want, though there are likely some other good marriages she could make by this point, she would be 22 and a very attractive bride for someone.
This is very true
Also very true
Chapter 11: An Indian Storm
Ramachandra looked at the map spread out on the table before him. He looked at it and before him he saw a united Bharat as in the days of old, during the reigns of Guptas, the Kushans and the Mauryas. He was the heir to that legacy and he intended to see it completed before he died. Fifteen years on the throne he had been, ruling where once Lord Krishna had ruled, and he was determined that his son would inherit the world as had been foretold.
He cleared his throat. “We received word that the old Sultan has sent his generals southwards to bother the Vaghelas and the Paramaras. What news has come from there?”
His chief minister Rudra, the son of an old acquaintance spoke. “Sire, the Vaghelas have managed to repulse the raids of the Sultan, but the Paramaras are struggling. Indeed, there is a fear that their King took a serious injury during the fighting and therefore might not be able to continue should there be another invasion.”
Ramachandra nodded, he stroked his moustache and thought aloud. “This Sultan is old, but he is cunning. He will want to ensure that neither dynasty has the chance to regroup and strengthen itself internally.” He paused as something struck him. “Who is this man’s heir?”
“Sire, it is not clear who his heir is. His eldest son Muhammed died fighting the tribesmen from China, and his other son Bughra wishes to remain in Bengal. Following the death of his grandson Khusru, the succession is unclear.” Rudra said.
Ramachandra wanted to laugh with joy at this news, instead he asked. “Our spies in the Sultan’s court are still active are they not?”
“They are, Sire.” Rudra responded.
“Then write to them and tell them to start sowing the seeds of discontent. Tell them to start whispering campaigns for and against the different candidates for successor. And tell them, that they must ensure the Sultan choses the weakest of the claimants out of them all.” Ramachandra said.
“Yes, Sire.” Rudra said making a detailed note of this. “There was one other thing, King Arjuna’s daughter has finally come of age.”
Ramachandra nodded. The Paramaras were a strong dynasty, and their Kingdom of Malwa was strategically important. “Very well, send out a letter to King Arjuna, remind him of the agreement we made. Tell him we shall arrange a betrothal between our son and heir Simhana and his daughter, what was her name?”
“Radha, Sire.” Rudra supplied.
“Yes, Radha. We shall arrange the betrothal. With the usual dowry requests, but also an alliance.” Ramachandra said.
“An alliance, Sire?” Rudra asked.
“Yes, we shall be taking advantage of this chaos in the Sultan’s court to strike a blow and drive them away from our land.” Ramachandra said.
“Very good, Sire.” Rudra said.
“Send a letter to Saranga as well, informing him of our wish for an alliance and his son’s hand for our daughter.” Ramachandra said.
“Yes, Sire.” Rudra said.
Ramachandra smiled then as he looked back at the map. Soon, all of Bharat would bow to the Yadava dynasty as it always should have done.
Chapter 12: Eleanor, Queen of England
Eleanor flicked through the books before her and ensured she knew what she was looking for. When she found, it she stopped and looked up. Her treasurer, John Tresham was sat opposite her and was waiting for her to speak. Eleanor looked through the numbers and then said. “From what this information tells me, the accounts are in good order. We are making a five percent annual gain on investment and on the rents from the dower lands. However, there does seem to be a slight dip in the months of October and November. Why is that?”
Tresham who had replaced her previous treasurer Henri Gascard, when Gascard had died from a wound taken on the road to York some eight months ago. Unlike Gascard who was charming and nice to look at Tresham was curt, to the point and looked a little like a boil. Still he was competent. “Majesty, from having looked through the accounts myself, it would seem that the dip in October and November is due to the beginning of winter. At that time fewer people are moving about and are more likely to stay in one place for longer. Though given that the land is not workable the money coming in is less than in previous months.”
Eleanor thought on this, naturally this was the right answer. But something about this was not sitting right with her. “This is the first time the dip in money has been quite so noticeable. Was there a particularly bad winter this time around, or was there some other reason?”
Here, Gascard would’ve shifted around until he found a polite way to say what needed to be said, Tresham simply said. “The cost of His Majesty’s wars in Wales have ensured that the increase in taxes has seen more people saving for that instead of paying the increased amount on rents in Your Majesty’s lands.”
Eleanor nodded, that made sense, however, she had looked through the legal writings on her lands and knew that they were considered in the taxation for the payment of her husband’s wars. “You do not think though that there might have been something foul at play?”
“Majesty?” Tresham asked, his face contorting in a very unpleasant image.
“The rents from my lands are included in the cost of taxation for King Edward’s lands, His Majesty made sure of that. Therefore, I do not know whether or not some sheriff or the other has been taking from the top.” Eleanor said.
Tresham looked thoughtful. “I shall need to examine the accounts again, but it is possible. There are one or two of the tax collectors who could have done such a thing.”
“Please do.” Eleanor said.
There was a brief pause, and then with a nod of her head, Tresham rose, he bowed and then left the room. As he left, she tidied up the books and placed them back in the appropriate draws. When that was done, the doors opened and her son’s tutor walked in. Father Charles was a portly man, who had fiery red hair. He looked almost like a member of her husband’s family, but for the stomach. She rose and greeted him before they both sat down. “Father, thank you for coming.” She began. “I wished to speak with you about my son, Alphonso, and how he progresses.” Alphonso had always been smart, from the earliest time she could remember, his tutors had always spoken about how quickly he picked things up and how hard working he was. Quite different to her daughters, some of whom rebelled against basic instruction.
“The Prince is doing very well, Majesty. He requested a copy of the honourable gentleman Vegitus’ works, and we have been reading through them.” Father Charles said. “He has digested them quite quickly, I must say.”
“Which books by Vegitus?” Eleanor asked. She had had the book translated for Edward when they had been on crusade many years ago, and he had found it fascinating. But he had been a grown man, her son was still a boy.
“De Re militari, Majesty.” Father Charles said.
Eleanor was surprised, but also not surprised. Alphonso showed a similar interest as his father had done in these matters. “And he understands the text completely?” She asked.
“As completely as one of his age and slightly older can, Majesty, yes.” Father Charles responded. “He has also mastered several Latin and French texts, and has told me he wishes to become more fluent in Your Majesty’s mother tongue.”
Eleanor was highly impressed. And she felt confident of her son’s and the Kingdom’s future. She decided then that she wished to see what her daughter by marriage had learned. “And his wife?”
“Princess Margaret has become fluent in French and Latin, Majesty, she is also taking steps to learn English also.” Father Charles replied.
Eleanor nodded. She could speak to the ladies about Margaret’s other lessons, but for now this was good enough for her. “Thank you, Father.” she rose then and walked with the man to the door, seeing him off. She then walked back to her table and picked up a letter from her daughter Eleanor in Aragon, and smiled as she read all about the little details of her first grandchild and namesake.
Yes, entirely in the feels.
I never considered that she would look out for the education of the wives of her son's, but it actually makes perfect sense. Thank you for this, and keep up the great work!
Glad you like it .
Yeah from what I can tell Eleanor isn't going to want her daughter in law to feel less than, and so would definitely encourage her to have a good education. And Alphonso having grown up with a strong mother likely feels the same. Not feminist per say but definitely advanced.
Also just for my own indulgence, what sort of things would you all like to see going forward long term?
@Ivan Lupo @Jonathan @FriendlyGhost @Valena @John Fredrick Parker @procrastinating2much
I am looking forward to the first interactions between the royal families of England and Scotland, but especially keen on seeing what might happen with Margaret of Norway and whether she might still be offered in marriage to Edward of Caernarvon, now that neither royal youngster are beholden to the throne anymore. I must imagine that any negotiations for Margaret's hand would likely be directly with Norway instead of Scotland. I feel like Eleanor and Sancha may hit it off well.
Also would like to see how Edward's and Eleanor's daughters fare I'm their new marriages, more on Alphonso and Margaret, what the future Philip IV of France will be scheming up, perhaps seeing what's going on in the HRE, and any goings on in Iberia.
Alright quality, I keep thinking the interactions between the families of England and Scotland would be like meeting the liked extended family after a time no? AHa.
And oh aye, Norway's going to be crucial, though would England have any benefit from such a marriage?
I know relatively little about the time period in question aside from Druon books, and my ideas (French match for TTL Edward II and his uncle (OTL Edward II), either Brittany or Artois match for OTL Queen of Scotland) were already given.
Regarding Margaret, Maid of Norway, you're right that TTL her betrothal would be dictated by Norwegian interests and she may end up married to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Magnusson_(duke) like her cousin was in OTL.
Now that would be interesting
Separate names with a comma.