An Unexpected Prince

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Sep 2, 2019.

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  1. Brita A wanderer in the Lands of Uchronia

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    True, but would Mary of Modena really seek refuge to Versailles if it means Louis's likely to declare war on England to put a Catholic regent for James III? It may be dangerous and could even lead to James III losing the throne and one of his half-sisters taking his place. If Mary of Modena wants her son to be king, maybe she shouldn't go to France at all.
     
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  2. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Also true
     
  3. isabella Well-Known Member

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    This is true, but Mary surely will not stop at Versailles... Going in France or not will depend from the kind of journey she want do for returning in Modena
     
  4. Brita A wanderer in the Lands of Uchronia

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    Oh yes, I meant she'd likely not stay in France instead of Modena. But I guess it won't be a problem if she merely crosses the country on her way back;).
     
  5. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    It all depends on how pissed Louis is re the death of his Catholic cousin and ally James II.

    Kind of screws up his war plans a bit. Which is why a Louis vignette might be nice.
     
  6. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Indeed this is true
     
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 11: Belgrade

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 11: Belgrade



    September, 1688


    This siege had been going on for months now. Maximilian knew his troops were tired and that they wanted to return home. He’d had to give a speech, the best he’d ever given a few days ago, to keep morale high, and it seemed to have worked so far. He knew that they just needed one last push and Belgrade would be theirs. They’d worked their way through the defences. The garrison within the town did not have food, they were living off of borrowed time. The Emperor had crushed the Ottoman relief force sent earlier also. Their time was coming.

    A rider came and stopped next to him. He turned and found himself looking at his second in command, Prince Eugene of Savoy. “Well?” He asked.

    “They’ve got two thousand men within the inner walls of the city, and a further two hundred manning the entire outer walls. They’re one step away from revolt. I think the moment the canon shots are fired they will surrender.” Eugene said.

    “You are confident of this?” Maximilian asked. He didn’t want any surprises coming his way.

    “Yes. I think those on the outer walls will surrender and then we can move from there.” Eugene said.

    Maximilian thought on this. He knew that if he delivered Belgrade to the Emperor before the man got here, the man would be indebted to him. That could get him some concessions for Bavaria and when his wife inevitably delivered their son in six months time, then perhaps things might progress from there. He looked forward at the city of Belgrade and reached his decision. “We won’t use the proper cannons just yet.”

    “Sir?” Eugene asked sounding surprised.

    “We need to draw them out. Let them think they’re under attack, but that we’ve not got the complete might yet. We need them outside the city walls.” Maximilian said.

    “So, that there is something more complete to give to the Emperor.” Eugene said, realisation hitting him.

    “Exactly. He won’t want a broken city.” Maximilian said. “Give the order.” He commanded.

    The Prince Eugene rode away then barking his commands. The cannons, of the lighter sort, made in Vienna for this purpose were wheeled out onto the plains before them. He waited and then nodded, and the shots rang out.

    As expected the Ottoman soldiers on the walls responded with panic, some tried to muster a response, others began disappearing. There was a brief silence and then the gates opened. Clearly someone had decided to take the challenge. Maximilian smiled. He drew his sword from his scabbard, said a prayer and then bellowed a command and charged. The advance through the terrain was fine, but it was when they came clashing with the foe that it got a bit difficult.

    There were bodies everywhere from the engagement of the past. Maximilian swerved, ducked and swung. Eventually connecting with one or two foes, he changed his rhythm slightly, made things fascinating, grew into the way of things, dangling around, changing his mind and then going for it again. The Ottoman soldiers tried to match him, but they were too predictable, they had not learned the new rules of engagement.

    He almost felt sorry for them. Almost. They were still enemies. They managed to cut through the outer defences, they moved into the inner defences and this time, the Ottomans were waiting for them. Shots rang out, some of his men fell to their deaths, but not him. God was on his side, they avoided the enemy fire and continued. Soon the inner wall fell, and they were in the city proper. His men were buoyed by this. They cheered and chanted, but he knew they needed to get to the garrison headquarters for things to truly be settled.

    This time they met stiffer opposition. The enemy were more prepared. It seemed these were the elite. They would not give so easily. Maximilian felt the blows of their weapons hit him, he felt blood trickle down his arm and his face, but still he continued. The guns rang out in the distance, but it was old fashioned weaponry that commanded centre stage. Sword met sword, and faces met fists. The streets were empty of peasants, only soldiers fought. It was bloody, but his blood sang. He knew nothing else for the time.

    They pushed through the streets, he took a few more blows, but eventually the enemy surrendered. He advanced through the city, making his way to headquarters to receive the surrender of the garrison commander, feeling proud of himself for what he had achieved. He felt light headed, but ignored it. It was perhaps just a symptom of the battle that had just been fought, nothing more, or less.

    They got to the main road and suddenly he needed to lie down. He ignored the feeling, getting to the headquarters was far more important. Eventually they got there. He dismounted and nearly fell, but straightened out before anyone else could get to him. He stood before the garrison commander, who knelt down and handed him his sword and said. “We surrender.”

    “In the name of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Leopold, I, Maximilian Elector of Bavaria accept your surrender.” Maximilian said though his voice sounded odd to his own ears. He took the man’s sword and handed it to his servants. He then ordered the man sent away. He took a step forward, and then before he knew it his legs were giving way. The ground rose up to meet him.
     
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  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 12: Beginnings

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 12: Beginnings



    October, 1688


    “Sire, word has reached us from our sources in the Imperial Court.” Lovouis said.

    Louis sat up then intrigued to see what was going to happen. “And? What word do they bring?”

    “Maximilian, Elector of Bavaria died during the storming of Belgrade.” Lovouis said.

    Louis didn’t know whether to clap or sigh. Bavaria’s death was a blow to the Emperor, for the man had been one of his greatest commanders and had been married to his daughter Maria Antonia. “So, now the Elector of Bavaria is either going to be the fool pretending to be Elector Palatine, or Bavaria’s brother Joseph Clemens.” Louis said, his mind whirring.

    “Not necessarily, Sire.” Lovouis replied. “The Electress is pregnant, and should the child be a boy…”

    “Then that child will be Elector with the mother as regent no doubt.” Louis said. “So, we have a frustrating weight.”

    “Joseph Clemens has also applied to leave his post as Archbishop of Cologne, should the Electress give birth to a girl or a stillborn child. It is currently going through the Papal deliberations.” Lovouis said.

    “Then it is within our desire to see that granted.” Louis responded. “We can have Clemens removed, and our own choice installed.” He thought on that once more and then asked. “What word from the Rhine?” He had placed the Dauphin under nominal command of the host that was to invest Phillipsburg and force the Archbishop of Cologne to the table.

    “Philipsburg is close to surrendering, Sire.” Lovouis said. “Vaughban writes that another few days and the city shall fall.”

    “Excellent, then the new Archbishop shall have to consider his options.” Louis responded. He looked down at the map before him, then asked. “And with Maximilian of Bavaria dead, the Emperor will need someone new to lead on the procession against the Ottomans. Do we know who that person is going to be?” He hoped it would be another Prince of the Empire, as they were surprisingly easy to bring to bear.

    “He has named Eugene of Savoy as the new commander, Sire.” Lovouis said.

    “Eugene of Savoy?” Louis repeated. “Where do we know that name from?”

    Lovouis shifted slightly. “His mother Olympia was known to Your Majesty.”

    Louis looked at Lovouis and saw how desperate the man was to move on with the conversation, deciding to pity him, Louis simply said. “Very well.” He looked away from the map, though his mind was racing. Olympia’s son was fighting against him? The boy could very well have been his son had things gone differently all those years ago. “The English have made their decision then on their regency council?” He asked. His cousin’s wife Mary of Modena had come to Versailles very briefly on her way back to Modena, the woman had said very little to him about how her husband had died, though Louis suspected there was more to the story.

    “Yes Sire, the King’s sister is his regent. Princess Anne, not Princess Mary. As of right now they are pursuing a policy of trying unite the disparate factions within the country. As such penalisations of Catholics has increased.” Lovouis said.

    Louis grumbled at that, his cousin had made some progress in such affairs, but it seemed as though England was going backwards. “Very well, and have they reached a decision as regards to the overtures you said William of Orange was making?” William of Orange, that foolish young man who had been a thorn in his side for half his reign.

    Lovouis shook his head. “No, Sire. They are still debating the proposals, as far as our sources can tell.”

    “Tell our sources that they must lean more pressure on the more amenable members of the council.” Louis commanded. If he could prevent England from joining this war he would be very happy.

    “Yes, Sire.” Lovouis replied.
     
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  9. Brita A wanderer in the Lands of Uchronia

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    Now what is Louis going to invent to declare war without having England join his adversaries??
     
  10. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    He could cite the Bavarian situation, or he could claim the dowry issue from Spain
     
  11. Derek Pullem Butterfly Killer

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    If he's attacking Phillipsberg then he is (or will soon be) at war with most of the German states and the Empire.

    he doesn't need to antagonise Spain and Holland right now but I think he will.
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    It's Louis, he can't help but antagonise them aha
     
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 13: Heiress

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 13: Heiress



    November, 1688



    Maria Antonia wanted this child to be born now. She was getting tired of the aches and pains she felt, the constant times where she didn’t know how to control her mood and why she started crying. And the odd food desires she had. Her step mother laughed when she told her about this and said it was normal. Still, Maria wanted it over and done with. And she was terrified of giving birth and the toll it would have. She was not like the Empress, she did not have wide hips and a family history of successful pregnancies. Her mother had died in childbed after all.

    And yet a part of her didn’t want this to end. For as long as she was pregnant her father could not marry her off to someone else. That was the only benefit, but he still considered marriage candidates for her. On that note she said. “The Emperor wants me to meet Jakob Sobieski before the ball in a few days time.” Why her father was having a ball now she did not know. But then she supposed he needed something to keep his allies happy.

    “Ooooh” Marie de Croy crooned. She was a beautiful girl was Marie, with long brown hair and piercing eyes and a small mouth. “He’s handsome.”

    “Is he?” Maria asked. She’d seen a portrait of him once a few years ago, before she’d married Maximilian, and she’d not thought much of him.

    “Oh very much so. The fact he remains unwed is sad.” Marie said.

    Claudia Eggenberg another one of her ladies snorted. “Not truly that sad. His father is a brute, and he’s an idiot.”

    “Just because he doesn’t know the latest poems by the Englishmen doesn’t mean he’s not smart, Claudia!” Marie responded.

    “The way you talk about him Marie, one would think you have a thing for him.” Maria Antonia joked.

    Marie blushed. “I…I simply think he is handsome.”

    Maria laughed. “Well if you want when I meet him I can put in a good word for you.” Marie blushed even more then and Maria laughed some more. “Then there’s the Empress’s brother who the Emperor wishes me to meet also at this ball.”

    “Oh no, which one?” Claudia asked.

    “Francis Louis I think.” Maria said. She made a face then, she’d met the man before, he was not nice, nor was he kind.

    “Oh no. Not his brother?” Marie asked.

    “Which one, he has a few!” Maria joked.

    “Philip William or his brother Freidrich Wilhelm?” Claudia supplied.

    “Oh, no.” Maria Antonia responded. She’d met Philip William a fair few times during the course of her life, she found him endearing if slightly bumbling. His brother Freidrich on the other hand she did not like. There was something about him she found repellent.

    “Who would you rather marry?” Marie asked then.

    Without a moment’s hesitation she replied. “Between my step mother’s brother and Sobieski? Sobieski. His family is wealthy and his father would come to the Emperor’s side instead of France’s. Furthermore, their support might be necessary when it comes to Spain.” She knew her father wanted Spain for his son Karl, but it was hers by rights, and therefore she would use her husband’s family to take it if needs be.

    “And what happens if the child you carry is a boy?” Claudia asked.

    “Then I do not know what my father will do.” Maria responded truthfully. “He can hardly keep the Elector of Bavaria in Hofburg.”

    “And what do you want the child to be?” Claudia asked.

    Maria looked at her friend and pondered that question. “Truthfully I do not know. Either way my fate is out of my hands.” Unless my uncle dies, she added silently. But the chances of that happening right now were minimal.
     
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  14. FalconHonour Well-Known Member

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    I like this. Maria's thoughts on being with child seem like something a first-time mother of the period (and any period, come to that) would think.
     
  15. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Glad you're liking it :). Maria's fate is one that I've always wanted to change.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 14: A Widower

    VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Chapter 14: A Widower



    February, 1689


    “The King remains on death’s door.” Mariana said. “Having spoken to his doctors we can confirm that this time he shall not recover.” The news had not surprised her though it had broken her heart. Her son, her little boy was doomed. She could not help but wonder why it had been him and not Margaret who had suffered from this curse. Whether there had been something done to her when she was pregnant with him that had left him like this. She shook such thoughts from her mind.

    José Rodrigo, the Minister for finance spoke then. “We are very sorry to hear that Your Majesty.”

    Mariana nodded, but decided to focus on something more pressing, something she could actually control. “With the King on death’s door we must focus on the succession. The French do not have any right to the throne, that is correct is it not Felipe?”

    Felipe Gonzalez, the Chief Lawyer of the Court nodded. “Yes, that is true, Your Majesty. When Infanta Maria Theresa married Louis of France she agreed to resign her rights to the throne, thus meaning that her children do not have a claim.”

    “So, then why does Louis of France continue to demand that his son has the right to the throne?” Mariana demanded. She had heard this demand from the man’s ambassador again earlier this week.

    “Because he believes that the renunciation of the rights was dependent on the dowry being paid.” Felipe said. “And as the dowry promised at the time was unusually large, it was never likely that Spain would be able to pay it.”

    “And was the renunciation contingent on the dowry being paid?” Mariana asked. She did not think her usually smart and careful husband would be quite so foolish as to promise something he could not keep.

    “No, Your Majesty. There was no such clause.” Felipe responded.

    “You are certain?” Mariana asked.

    “Yes, Your Majesty. I looked through the treaty which arranged the marriage earlier today.” Felipe said.

    “Very well then.” Mariana responded.

    “With the French excluded from the succession, that means that Your Majesty’s granddaughter Maria Antonia is now in line to the throne.” The Archbishop of Toledo said.

    “Indeed.” Mariana replied. She had never met the girl before, but she knew deep down that she would make a good Queen. “The Emperor has written to say that he is considering two new candidates for her hand in marriage, once she had had her child.”

    “Surely as heiress to Spain, it should be for the King of Spain to choose her bride, not the Emperor?” José suggested.

    “The Emperor is her father and reserves that right.” Felipe said then. “And besides, the candidates being considered would bring benefits to Spain either way.”

    “Who are the candidates?” Toledo asked.

    Mariana got the sense that Toledo leaned one way, toward Versailles, but she had never had anything more than a suspicion and as such knew that Toledo was far too powerful to question that way. “Jaime Sobieski, son of the King of Poland, and Freidrich Wilhelm of Neubeurg, the brother of the Empress.”

    “Both good choices. If his son is married to the future Queen of Spain, it is very likely that Sobieski himself will abandon the French.” Toledo pointed out.

    “Exactly, another blow against that fool, Louis of France.” Mariana said. “Once the child is born to Maria Antonia, perhaps it would be best if she came here to Spain for a time.”

    “That would be wise. It would give her the chance to get to know the court.” Felipe said.

    “We shall write to the Emperor about it.” Mariana said then, thinking about how to make her brother see the sense in that.
     
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  17. unprincipled peter Still Rising?

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    Contrary to the opinions here, I hold a different take on Louis' intentions. The 9YW wasn't supposed to be so big. It was a minor land grab to straighten out France's defense line. The League of Augsburg morphed into The Grand Alliance, decided enough was enough, and opposed the move. Things escalated quickly and almost a decade of war ensued. Louis did not intend to take on the world.
    Louis would NOT have taken the initiative to make war on England to ensure a Catholic sat on the throne. OTL, he only dabbled halfheartedly at helping the Stuarts as a way of keeping England occupied. It was important to Louis that his own kingdom be pure. In this ATL, he would have said bummer for James II, an anglican country is raising the new king anglican, and gone about his business. What was he going to do? Invade, occupy, and force England to raise the infant Catholic?

    Edit: addendum: with the English leadership being so unsettled, entry into the 9YW is no guarantee. The regency may jump in to cement the grip on power, or may be too afraid to upset the balance of power (English, not continental) and sit on the sidelines. One reason William seized power was to tip the balance into the anti-France camp, so there is a very sizable faction which doesn't want to get involved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 6:17 AM
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  18. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    This is very true, so in your view how long realistically could the war go on?
     
  19. Brita A wanderer in the Lands of Uchronia

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    I agree about the religious situation in England and I can't see Louis battling to put a Catholic regent on the throne. But OTL Louis must have known that fighting against William of Orange would likely bring the English against him, no? Here the situation is different of course, Anne's already in the Regency Council. Louis should try to come to terms with England to avoid them siding with William I think.
     
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  20. unprincipled peter Still Rising?

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    If Britain stays on the sidelines, the 9YW is going to be short - a couple years at most.
     
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