Elizabeth Stuart: Pawn, Avenger, Queen

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by BigDestiny, Jun 3, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter One

    BigDestiny Well-Known Member

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    Chapter One: 1605

    When Elizabeth returned to London, a dark cloud hung over the metropolis. It suited her grim mood, but it was no mere raincloud. As she entered the city proper, Elizabeth could see dust coming down like a thick dry rain. She realized that it was still debris from the impossibly massive explosion that had shattered the Palace of Westminster.

    No, Westminster wasn't her destination. She was headed to the Tower of London. Given the situation it was judged far safer than any other Royal residences. Like some of her predecessors, she was headed there to be proclaimed monarch and await her Coronation.

    Like others of her predecessors, she was going to be a prisoner.

    The new leader of the government, self proclaimed 'Prime Minister' Robert Catesby was waiting for her, of course. But the man with her was a surprise. "Sir Walter! Are you one of these...gentlemen?" Elizabeth held her tongue, though it was unlikely Raleigh would slap her in public, as the conspirators had done in private.

    Raleigh didn't seem as rough as her captors though. He was grinning to the point that Elizabeth thought it was in poor taste. "Welcome, your Majesty. Yes I am. Though not aware of the downfall of your father, I have been kindly released by our new ministers and welcomed among them."

    Catesby cleared his throat then, as though even this short aside was too long to ignore him. "I assume by your presence here that you've decided to accept our gracious offer of the Crown."

    Elizabeth's eyes filled with tears. At 9, it was hard to keep her feelings secret. "My father and my brothers are dead. I have a duty to take the throne."

    Catesby's jaw tightened at that. "Of course. And you have no doubt determined that you have a duty to obey your ministers in matters of religion and politics."

    Elizabeth hung her head so he couldn't see her anger. "My inexperienced self will be most grateful."

    "Excellent." Catesby waved a man forward. "This is Father Garnet, the leading Jesuit in England, and as soon as you're proclaimed you can make him Archbishop of Canterbury. He will instruct you on the true faith."

    Elizabeth offered her hand. "Archbishop."

    "Weep not, child," Garnet said as he took her hand. "This will be hard for you, but in the end it will save your people's very souls."

    "We have a task before that, sir," a meek Elizabeth reminded him.

    "What is that?" Catesby interjected.

    "I'd like to see my brothers," she replied. "I have to prepare--" She broke off, weeping.

    Raleigh looked to Catesby, sympathetic. But Garnet was already taking the lead. "Of course, my dear child."

    * * *

    She'd almost convinced herself it wasn't true. That there hadn't been time to kill both her brothers. That it was a convenient fiction to disillusion loyalists.

    Until she saw that their bodies had indeed been brought here to the Tower.

    Garnet had had to make most of the decisions at that point. Catholic masses, of course. Elizabeth hated it, but agreed to everything he suggested. And then left her to mourn while he made the arrangements.

    "My God! Bad enough to slaughter those in Westminster. But this. This is truly evil."

    Elizabeth turned to face Raleigh while his horrified words still rang through the chapel. "You seemed satisfied enough outside."

    Raleigh shrugged. "No one listening in here. I checked. No, Majesty. I'm amazed at how quickly they've taken control."

    "Really?" Elizabeth asked, unconvinced.

    "I didn't want your father as king, it's true. But I can't support men who could do this."

    Elizabeth was surprised of course. And this could be a trick to lull her into complacency. But she was mortally tired, too tired to care if she was indiscrete. "I want them all dead. All of them."

    "For the time being, I think we have to play along. But I promise you, the wheel will turn. And I'll get you the revenge you want."
     
  2. MiniaAr Well-Known Member

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    Successful gunpowder plot, interesting.
     
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  3. Kerney defender of low probability atls everywhere

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    Interested, please continue with the treason, though I doubt it will prosper in the long term.
     
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  4. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

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    Great job! I hope it goes on for a while - a very explosive title - "BOOM!" - fizzled out after a while. The POV you've chosen makes it better, I think - easier to get ideas for the future. I'm envisioning her right now as a young Princeess Leia with a British accent, with probably a number of Star Wars and maybe Princess Bride memes to come from others. (I didn't see it myself, but I know the basic gist of the end from a line in this American Pie parody. "Name is Hamlet, Junior, guy. You killed my dad; prepare to die." Yes I stole that from "The Princess Bride" the day King Claudius died.")
     
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  5. AntoniousTheBro Authoritarian socialist monarchist

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    Aug 11, 2018
    ooh call me curious. subbed and subbed again. though i don't know how to feel about this as a catholic. though i am very interested. though her reaction to the plotters is interesting and kinda ruthless. i hope that gets explored it would be very interesting.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter Two

    BigDestiny Well-Known Member

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    Chapter Two: June 1607

    Catesby had wanted the Coronation to take place on the first anniversary of the death of James I, which caused a row in Cabinet as the Queen declared that she would be spending that day in quiet reflection and would not be able to attend.

    The Prime Minister had been furious but though the coup's forces were in control of the country, if they wanted to stay that way they still needed the Queen. And in the end it was a moot point as Raleigh noted that repairs to Westminster Abbey would not be complete by then.

    So Elizabeth II got her way and the Coronation was moved to the following summer. Catesby wasn't happy, but the weather that November was miserable and even he at one point commented that the Coronation could wait for a warmer day.

    And the day did dawn bright, a hopeful sign for the Queen's reign. But in her chambers, Elizabeth faced a more personal issue. Archbishop Garnet was training her how to be a good Catholic monarch. Something she was not finding at all to her liking.

    Admittedly he was being patient answering all her questions about 'why' things were the way they were. Even when she was asking about the worst excesses she'd read about in her histories. He'd even reassured her when she'd suggested she might be damned for profiting from her father's death.

    By showing her a letter from the Pope forgiving the sins of all those involved in blowing up Parliament.

    Elizabeth hadn't met the Pope; apparently he sent envoys to England rather than come himself. As described by Garnet though, he sounded like some kind of Genie, granting wishes and forgiving sins. There didn't seem much point in being good under that system, but the archbishop had an explanation for that too.

    So the Coronation went ahead. One thing that helped was there was nothing in the Catholic mass that required her to swear loyalty. Yes, there was an implication when asked did she 'believe' in the Catholic Church but believe meant many things and whatever else, the existence of the Catholic church and her government was a proven fact so that was her way of believing.

    Still, it was a grim little crowning. The normally exuberant London crowds were still shell shocked after yet another religious change over. And while the coup was accepted as fait accompli, the Scottish were watching for any sign of threat.

    Nothing the English government did could affect Scottish churches so the pulpits were filled with tales of Esther, the loyal Queen surrounded by an unholy court. And though the Scots in London removed their hats as she returned from the Abbey, all was silent except for the occasional hiss as Catesby rode by.

    She'd almost forgotten about Raleigh's secret surprise for her Coronation until the carriage stopped short of the tower and she heard frightened whispers from the guards.

    "Blimey."

    "Ods Bodkins."

    "Heard no one saw anything."

    Elizabeth leaned forward to see what was going on. And had to hide a delighted smile at the bloody letters scrawled across the fortress wall. "Who could have done this?" she demanded.

    The people hadn't realized how much they'd been preoccupied by the Coronation and the consensus was "Ghosts."

    The guards were supposed to look to the Prime Minister for orders. But in the uneasy moment they turned to her. "What should we do, ma'am?"

    She didn't know if Sir Walter would approve but she had the opportunity to act and she was going to. "Take us to St. James. Send riders ahead to have them prepared for our arrival. I won't stay another night in this accursed place." St. James might be shuttered at the moment but she'd have far more freedom there. Especially since there was no dungeon there to tempt Catesby.

    The procession turned as ordered and the Queen was delighted to hear Catesby curse as they got underway. Elizabeth took one last look at the castle and allowed herself relief that there was more than one supporters out there. And smiled a little at the message behind her.

    GOD'S ANOINTED WILL BE AVENGED
     
  7. Unknown Member

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    Fear Elizabeth, conspirators. Fear her like Arya Stark was feared...
     
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  8. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Interesting timeline, hope you continue.
     
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  9. AntoniousTheBro Authoritarian socialist monarchist

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    it would be interesting if she ends up catholic but murders all of the conspirators, they got what they wanted but she was still going to have her revenge
     
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  10. Kerney defender of low probability atls everywhere

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    She's nine, so this is realistic. On the other hand I don't think BigDestiny is going that way. It would be cool to have her at some point depend on Catholics who don't approve of the Coup.

    The best outcome ,from a dramatic standpoint, is for her to succeed and be "Protestant" but, like those kids kidnapped by Indians and then "redeemed", not be completely comfortable under the skin with the world she has to live in (and helped create).
     
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  11. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Blowing up the King and Parliament was the realistic part. Taking over the kingdom was impossible. The Plot had no real plan for the future Governance of England once the Plot had succeeded. Even more so since most of the Catholic population was mostly loyal to King James and uniformly horrified by the idea of the plot IOTL. (And there not that many of them to be honest at this point.) And it seem to be the case here and be pretty hostile to this coup. (Which is pretty ironic.) Trying to make England Catholic would truly make things boil over.

    More then half of the English population would be up in arms, Protestant and Catholic.

    Either way, England likely had to an much more powerful British monarchy starting with our girl here give Parliament went boom.
     
  12. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    Well thats not exactly true, the had a plan. Not a very realistic one given the size of the catholic population and how satisfied most were with the regime, as you said, but the was a plan.

    And honestly i think the kingdom(s) are mainly just shocked that overnight nearly every major figure of the government were vaporized. That, added to the fact that the plotters have the most logical successor in their custody, means that it will take time to plan their course.

    But most assuredly, the plotters power peaked early. I'd be surprised if they make it to the second anniversary of the plot without getting the hangman's necktie
     
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  13. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    True. The 'high' so to speak would be ending soon, and even the plotters themselves are started to realized how hostile the nation is to them, even 'follow' Catholics. (And Scotland is to the north would surely help to avenge the fallen king, his daughter, and to kick out an Catholic Government.)
     
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  14. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    I know its gowing to be unlikely given the anti-catholic turn the country is going to be going through, but it would be interesting if the next dynasty is anglo-irish.

    I mean the crown has gone from the sorta-french-but-now-definetly-English Plantagenets to the originally Welsh Tudors to the Scottish Stuarts, it'd be cool if they did a full circuit and Liz 2 married an irishman. He'd have to be sufficiently protestant tho
     
  15. Threadmarks: Chapter Three

    BigDestiny Well-Known Member

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    Chapter Three: July 1607

    Catesby was getting tired of these constant disruptions.

    Raleigh insisted it was only the Queen's support of the government that was keeping a revolt from breaking out. But keeping her sweet was getting more and more problematic.

    She refused to go back to the Tower. When he threatened to kill Protestants in response to the little stunt with the blood writing, she burst into tears and begged to hear no more.

    But it hadn't stopped there.

    "We've found marks all over the city now," Fawkes, head of the guards, now reported. "They're all the same. A triangle with lines from the corners that converge in the center."

    "Well that is certainly odd," Raleigh admitted. "But I'm not sure how it qualifies as a crisis."

    But Catesby had already heard about what the crisis was. "Some of the marks are appearing next to the word 'Avenger'."

    The cabinet exchanged concerned looks. Despite the Prime Minister's confidence, they all knew how vulnerable they were should disgruntled factions start to form. Right now, the only thing that kept the factions leaderless was the fact that what would have been the Queen's great subjects had been blown up.

    There was Scotland though. Catesby was loathe to let the Queen out of his sight, but an opportunity had arisen he wasn't sure he could ignore now. "We've received a missive from the Scottish parliament. Addressed to the Queen. They want her to fulfill her father's vow to visit every three years, and to go North to be crowned Queen of Scots."

    Fawkes shook his head. "Too dangerous. She'd be free to make any number of alliances against us."

    Raleigh chuckled dismissively. "She's just a girl."

    "You're both wrong," Catesby insisted. "Fawkes, as head of the guard you'll go with her. They might not want the English cabinet there, but the Scots won't refuse you."

    Fawkes frowned. "Is there anything I should do while I'm there?"

    "See if you can meet with the Catholics up there," Catesby suggested. "We need to export the revolution there if we're to solidify our position."

    * * *

    Heidelberg, Germany

    War was coming.

    The Elector Palatinate lived a fun life. Some might say he was a drunk, but he was an experienced ruler. He saw the Lutherans and Catholics clawing at each other, with Calvinists like himself sitting on the sidelines. It was only a matter of time before it boiled over.

    He didn't know how to best take advantage of the situation at first. Until he received word of a possible alliance with England. England was Catholic again supposedly. But the Elector had been told the Queen was still Protestant in her heart.

    Now he met with one of her conspirators, in the guise of a monk. He kept his hood raised, the scars on his face confirming the Elector's intelligence that this monk had survived the destruction of the English parliament. "We need your help Elector."

    "I'd imagine so. I'd assume you'd be grateful enough to return the favor should we need help defending against the Catholics."

    "Of course."

    The Elector waved forward his boy. "I want my own agent there, to make certain that I'm kept up to date."

    The monk frowned. "That makes sense. But this boy is literally just a child. And England is not that safe right now. Especially for a Calvinist."

    "All the better to send a child."

    The monk looked unconvinced but he shook his head resigned. "My associates will do what we can to help him. But I make no promises."

    "It will be fine."
     
  16. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

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    Future husband for Elizabeth II? Seems he's a Calvinist thought his dad is willing to,make deals with anyone?
     
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  17. piratedude Pirate Lord of the Great Lakes

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    Well they boy certainly was her husband OTL.

    Though tbh it does seem a bit much to send a 13 yo boy, and his heir no less, off to be an agent in a hostile environment. But perhaps he's hoping to get the two closer together so as to make a match amenable to her. Thats a dangerous gamble
     
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  18. BigDestiny Well-Known Member

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    My nephew is only a little older and I wouldn't send him alone to London now, let alone under these circumstances. But yes, the rewards could certainly be big.
     
  19. DTF955Baseballfan 12-time All-Star in some TL

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    So, I came back here after reading a friend's Facebook post about old comics - he's one of those in thier 50s/60s who has used the Internet to just go crazy with finding old radio, TV, etc, even from before he was born.

    THe reason I bring that up is his post was about Popeye. And I suddenly have this image of the ruler's son eating a bunch of spinach and protecting Elizabeth like Popeye would Olive.

    I wasn't even sure of the kid's age. Of course, this Elizabeth, for what she's been through, may turn out to be the really forceful one.
     
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  20. BigDestiny Well-Known Member

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    piratedude is quite correct that he's Elizabeth's OTL husband Frederick, who according to Wikipedia is a week younger than her which is interesting. And you're quite right that she's going to be tough by the time this is all over. Maybe not quite Arya Stark but not far from it.
     
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