"Now Blooms the Tudor Rose."

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Space Oddity, Jun 4, 2011.

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  1. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    "James V continues to flirt with danger, and somebody dies." is too funny to leave in context. I might just sig that. :D

    Yes, I am a horrible person.
     
  2. LacheyS The Second Hand of Fate

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    Just caught up with this really fantastic timeline.

    You have a convert! Keep up the great work.
     
  3. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    Once again, thanks everyone.
     
  4. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    1543

    --Young Princess Mary of Scotland is attracting notice. Henry sends out a suggestion that she be betrothed to Prince Henry, as well as that James meet with his uncle--or more exactly a representative, as these days, Henry's ability to travel tends to waver between 'can be wheeled/carried around the London area if you make sure not to leave him out in bad weather' to 'bedridden, possibly dying'--to discuss this Reformation business, something Henry feels James should try out for himself. James of course, politely holds out. He is, again, a good Catholic, even as Scotland's Protestant population steadily increases. Anne meanwhile is rather unhappy about the idea of betrothing her son to a Scottish princess. Henry argues it's just good sense, if they can do it. Besides, Anne has always wanted Prince Henry married to a French princess, and Mary is half-French, so to Henry's mind she should be behind this wedding.

    --Duke William the Rich spends the early winter months gathering his mercenary army for his next attack on Brabant all so he can make sure that Gelre is HIS. A significant portion of said army are English 'Pilgrims'--most of the English Catholics cast adrift by the uprisings have found themselves with a distinct lack of job opportunities, and have wound up taken one of the few professions which has a fairly steady demand. Thus Lutheran Duke William is leading mercenaries wearing the very Catholic symbols of the Pilgrimages of the Faithful into battle. (Admittedly, William isn't that DEVOUT a Lutheran, and so really doesn't make that big an issue out of it.) It is just one of the many strange twists in lawyer-turned-insurgent-turned-mercenary captain Robert Aske's life. Indeed, he'd probably be surprised to know that much of the coin he's being paid in is being quietly provided by the king he rebelled against in the first place, in the form of very nice loans to Duke William, as part of England's ongoing 'Screw you, Emperor Charles' project. Funny, the turns life takes sometimes.

    --The latest Italian war carries on. In the south, Francois enjoys victory, thanks largely to Ottoman pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa, seizing the city of Nice, and marching onto Lombardy. While the situation in the northern front proves less impressive, due to a series of missteps that border on a comedy of errors even there Charles and the Empire remain largely on the defensive. For the first time in their long rivalry, Francois has the upper hand. [1]

    --Mary Tudor is finally beginning to adjust to life married to John of Denmark--a fact evidenced by her pregnancy. Meanwhile, as the war against the Emperor... well, simmers, Christian plans to give his brothers a share in his lands.

    --James V's talks with the Empire continue, though they remain in the realm of "planning to make plans". James has also started to sound out the still predominately Catholic Northern Marcher lords. Again, he's doing all this as carefully as he can, with everything being in the form of vague hypotheticals. Unfortunately for James, he's not as good as this as he thinks, and his opponents are much better than he realizes--however fortunately for him--at least, for the nonce, they are also savvy enough to avoid starting anything. Well, Anne and Cromwell are. Henry is really kind of disappointed he hasn't been able to declare war on somebody for awhile.

    --William launches his attack on Brabant, confident in his mercenary army. He probably shouldn't be--Charles has a much better mercenary army and they beat his handily. A little too handily--William is severely wounded in the fighting, dying during the retreat, while, according to Robert Aske's account, he screams for a Catholic priest to administer the Last Rites, apparently wanting to err on the side of caution regarding his eternal rest. [2]

    Charles is not happy when he learns of this, as it complicates his state of affairs immensely. You see, William has left no children--indeed his marriage has never even been consumated, as he has never even met his very young French wife. The ins-and-outs of German Salic Law inheritance are--well, complicated--women cannot hold land, but they can give a right to hold land to their husbands and guardians. This would mean that William's lands and titles would likely pass to his oldest sister Sybille and her husband. (Amalia and her husband could make a claim for a share, but Fracois de Bourbon is a) French,and b) leading an army in Italy at the moment, so it's fair to say that he has a limited chance of success.) And this is a problem, because Sybille's husband is John Frederick, Elector of Saxony, one of the most prominent Protestant nobles in the Empire, a leader of the Schmalkaldic League, and a guy you don't want to mess with when you're in the middle of fighting the French. And yet, if Charles allows him to take possession, John Frederick stands a good chance of becoming too powerful.

    Charles, facing a dilemma and distracted by the ongoing war, dithers and debates. It is a costly mistake, for as he does so, Anne of Cleves notifies Sybille of their brother's death. John Frederick quickly takes possession of William's holdings. This is a problem. John Frederick is not, after all, William the Rich, the Schmalkadic League's spotty rich kid who was let into the club because he had money and a neat car, but who nobody could stand. He is, again, a linchpin, one of its leading members. So far, despite the actions of Denmark and William, the League's stayed out of the war. But if Charles presses this issue, that could change. But if he doesn't press the issue soon, the side-effects could be dangerous. And so, Charles continues to dither and debate...

    --As the year ends, Henry's health takes a sudden downturn. It is obvious now his death is coming sooner, rather than later.

    -----------------------
    [1] This is more or less what happened IOTL--however, there Charles had the support of England waiting in the wings, leading to an invasion of France. Here--that's not happening, so Charles' situation is more worrying.

    [2] IOTL, William was defeated in '42, signed a treaty, and lived to marry one of Charles' nieces. (In fact, he's an ancestor of the British Royal family. And Kaiser Wilhelm, and Czar Nicholas.) Here he's had just enough extra power to last longer, then get himself into real, REAL trouble, all thanks to a more Protestant-leaning England.
     
  5. Shawn Endresen Member. Of everything.

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    Four or five monarchs who all want a little war, but preferably not a big one...endless fun.

    Henry really ought to consider trying to marry Prince Edward north rather than Prince Henry. Possibility of a union down the line if one of them dies without issue, but looks less like an annexation. Also gets the son Henry doesn't like out from under him if the do a fostering arrangement. Which is why I think Anne might come up with it and steer Henry towards it...Henry may not be long for the world, but better her middle son be a possibly-Catholic King of Scotland than disinherited or worse (with Henry as your da, "much worse" is always a possibility).
     
  6. SavoyTruffle Rabbit Tank

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    Heh. Worse for William the Rich, better for Saxony. With Saxony getting those lands that Prussia did in OTL(!) it can retain its position as the primary Protestant polity in the HRE.
     
  7. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    Oh, Francois is just fine with a big war, thank you very much.

    Let's just say these ideas are being thrown around. Just not in front of Henry, who's never had much in the way of diplomatic subtlety...
     
  8. stevep Member

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    Space Oddity

    Been away a week, hence the lack of comments but just catching up. Sounds like Charles is really under heavy pressure. Even if the Ottoman war has ended, they would still pose a threat. However he is struggling against France and various northern powers, especially without English support. Hence rather a catch 22 with the Dutch lands. Letting them go to Saxony makes that state too powerful. Trying to stop them makes it and probably the other Protestant powers allied with it, too hostile. Dithering I suspect will mean he gets the best of both. He needs to make some allies or at least unmake some enemies. However, even if Henry wasn't in such a foul mood, being busy dying unpleasantly, news of Charles 'talks' with James will likely alienate the powers that be in England.

    For England things are looking good. Just about everybody on the continent are busy cutting each other's throats which eases problems about security, as long as one side doesn't start losing too heavily. Also Henry does seem to be dying which means a regency and probably markedly better and more stable government. With Howard currently out of the scene, although he might come back now, it also probably removes an element that is seen as extreme and unpopular with a number of potential allies. Also if Henry dies now and Henry junior is formally enthroned while things are pretty stable for England it will make it a little more difficult for opponents to challenge his status later. Although is Anne still that friendly towards French interests? True Charles is probably still the greater threat, especially with his links with James but he's weaker than OTL and Francis more hostile towards Protestantism.

    Given the mess things are in I wonder if Charles might consider retiring and splitting the Hapsburg inheritance earlier than OTL?

    Steve
     
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  9. Historico Member

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    I agree with SO, that Edward might be a more suitable match for the Princess of Scots, but the young Prince Henry might attempt to look outside of the Hapsburg and Valois hegemony for a suitable bride. A future Tsarina perhaps lol?
     
  10. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    Oh, yeah. He's in a bad spot.

    There's another thing to remember here--Charles HATES Anne. Anne HATES Charles. This colors all interactions between England and the Empire. Charles, admittedly, is willing to acknowledge that he has to mend some fences here, even if he doesn't like it. But Anne sees the Hapsburgs as a greater existential threat for England. (Or more specifically, her children ruling in England.) Simple version--don't expect to see any great England-Imperial rapprochement soon.

    Anne is miffed at France--but she still views them as a more reliable ally in the long run. Francois' on the other hand, while opposed to Protestants in France is starting to see them as useful in countries that aren't France. Though England is still... rather unsettling.

    He's doubtless considering it--Charles is a pretty moody guy, and he's definitely feeling his years. It's a war between his sense of duty, and his sense of 'screw it, Charles, this shit just ain't worth it.' If the latter is ever in a good position to win--he's abdicating.
     
  11. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    I kind of hope this doesn't wind up with a worse-off-HRE.

    Charles had issues, but he was the sort of man who could deal with them.

    Besides, thwarting Anne would be preferable to her winning.

    I don't know why she bothers me, but she does.
     
  12. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    Anne's a fairly complicated person--as I like to put it, reading about her, it's easy to see where Elizabeth got it from, both the good--the charm, the wit, the will--and the bad--the meanness, the game-playing, the tendency to feel that not only is permissible to kick someone when they're down, but it's one of the best times to do it. And in Anne's case, the bad doesn't get mitigated by being a fairly triumphant Queen regnant.
     
  13. Shawn Endresen Member. Of everything.

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    You know, I understand that was always the point of the thread, but that comment just brought home what we're in for from Henry IX. Mitigated, really, only by the differences between "eldest of five" and "only child with venemous half-sibling".
     
  14. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    That's the problem.

    Flawed isn't quite the word, but Anne seems to have never developed what made Elizabeth's own issues tempered by good judgment. Maybe its Elizabeth seeing how Anne not having that ended badly. Maybe I'm just biased.

    On the other hand of course, its hard not to cheer for charming, witty, determined women. That's a pretty, if I may be so crude and blunt, sexy combination.
     
  15. stevep Member

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    Elfwine

    I don't know. From what Space Oddity has said Anne seems a fairly well rounded person, TTL at least. It might be the security of producing the male heir required then all the problems keeping Henry from doing too many stupid things have helped her develop better judgement but she seems to have done a pretty decent job. Or possibly its just in comparison to her hubby.;)

    Steve
     
  16. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

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    I think Henry VIII should had left Anne Boleyn alone and live a happy life after their marriage ended, I think Anne would be happy if Henry VIII had a son, it would be a better scenario for them both.
     
  17. Elfwine Byzantophilic Brony

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    Well rounded or not, she (OTL more than TTL perhaps) didn't quite add up to be what makes me adore Elizabeth.

    She doesn't have to be all bad to fall short there, or even particularly flawed as flawed people go.

    And by comparison to Henry (OTL or TTL)...let's just say that if I don't really like Anne, I really detest Henry.
     
  18. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

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    1544

    --King Henry surprises everybody by staging a partial recovery. While it's amazing that he's still alive, he is still far, far weaker than he was earlier--which was pretty damn bad. It's clear to everyone that Henry is probably going to die within a year--maybe a bit longer if he's lucky. Anne and the Privy Council are looking for him to make some sort of official instructions on how to handle Prince Henry's minority. But the King continues to drag things out--making half-serious suggestions, then drawing them back. Henry seems to remain in partial denial about what's happening, though another part of him seems to want to let his advisors duke it out after he's gone in almost Alexander-like desire to let the strongest win.

    --Emperor Charles is a man facing too many problems at once. He's got war with France on two fronts, the Elector of Saxony suddenly becoming distressingly powerful, his Burgundian Dutch subjects calling on him to come to a deal to get Denmark to let their ships back in, and his son's marriage to Maria Manuela of Portugal to deal with. With the exception of the last one, these are all significant problems where Charles faces an array of bad choices, and has to puzzle out the least bad one. (For the last, Charles gives Philip the crown of Naples as a wedding present, and thanks God that his son's idea of a love match is with a cousin that strengthens Hapsburg connections with the Portugese throne.)

    In the war with France, it's not all bad news--they've managed to mostly push Francois' forces out of the Seventeen Provinces, but they haven't been able to progress much further and take the fight to him. In the south, on the other hand, it's been unmitigated disaster--Francois continues to make gains. Charles starts making peace proposals, in the hopes that Francois will want to quit while he's ahead for once. His initial proposal runs as follows--Francois gets to keep Nice. The title of Duke of Savoy will be recognized as owing fealty to the King of France, and given to Francois' son Charles of Orleans. (This bit offends Charles of Savoy, the present titular Duke, and his son Emmanuel Philibert, whose been serving with the Emperor, but quite frankly, the Emperor's looking at minimizing his losses at the moment, not keeping random hanger-ons happy.) Orleans will be betrothed to either the Emperor's daughter, with Burgundy as a dowry, or the Emperor's niece, who will be given the Duchy of Milan as a dowry. In many respects, it's a good offer. Suspiciously so, in fact, and Francois notes that. The Emperor has been trying this same trick for years now, and he's not biting. Emperor Charles' plan is simple--set the Dauphine and Orleans against each other, by making Orleans a virtual king in his own right. And Francois has other reasons not to take up this offer--he wants the Duchy of Milan acknowledged as his birthright, not as some Hapsburg wedding present that can be yanked away whenever they decide it's served its purpose. So, for now--no dice. But they're talking. It's a start.

    The matter of John Frederick is even more complicated--as noted earlier, Charles can't risk letting him get more powerful, but attacking right now is extremely risky. Charles debates and debates, and finally comes up with a course of action. It's a gamble, but EVERY course of action in this case is a gamble. He sends a declaration to the Elector that as Duke William died fighting against the Emperor, his lands were technically forfeit, so John Frederick should politely give them up. John Frederick of course, refuses--William may have been rebelling against the Empire, but he and his wife weren't, so they aren't giving up their rightful inheritance. Which is about what Charles expected--he warns them that they're risking an Imperial ban, and then gets back to work with the war on France. He's laid the groundwork for a move against Electoral Saxony not as a matter of religion, but as a matter of keeping a Prince from acquiring lands he really shouldn't, something the always fractious German noblity can get behind. (He's had another matter he could use to put the ban on Electoral Saxony for some time, but it's very much a Protestant-Catholic thing, so it will continue to wait in the wings.) And he gets in contact with a few of John Frederick's rivals, and politely suggests that if they were to attack the Elector, he really wouldn't mind. Wink, wink.

    Finally, as for Denmark, Charles abases himself, and on bended knee, apologises for all his attempts to cause Christian III trouble, and promises never to do it again, because Christian is so clearly the lawful King of Denmark. Christian indicates he should go on. Dutch ships are still being kept from Danish waters, with the English picking up the slack--and making out like bandits, it should be noted--but it looks like things will be back to normal shortly.

    And so matters stand. Charles has taken a bunch of options that he hope happen to be the best of a group of bad choices. He might be wrong, and he knows it. But that's what being a monarch is about. Making choices.

    --In Scotland, James V continues to walk himself to the brink of a bad choice, then back. He has gotten word from several of the Border lords, that if he were to perform certain hypothetical actions, they would give him their hypothetical support. And his wife is pregnant again, with what James is certain is his son and heir. More and more, James hears the whispering in his mind, the temptation to leave his son a greater monarch then his father left him. And yet--he can't be sure it will succeed. It probably won't. Better to wait.

    --With Henry's growing incapicity, Anne's hold on the government--already quite significant--is strengthening monthly, and she is growing increasingly alarmed by the situation on the Scottish border. She's walking back the "Prince Henry weds Mary" proposal, and suggesting "Edward weds Mary" instead, an option that she hopes will prove less... inflammatory. She also sends her brother George up there to try and remind any Border lords who are wavering that even if Henry is on death's door, the government is still quite strong. Unfortunately, this plan gets derailed when George falls from his horse on the road. He dies several days later, leaving his titles to his young nephew Henry Carey, and his wife and sister devastated. Anne is particularly troubled by this--George was always her favorite sibling, as well as her most reliable ally. Now he's gone, which means she needs a new right hand on the Council. Cromwell is out--yes, Anne appreciates his skills, which is why he's just become Lord Chamberlain, but simply put, he tends to work to his own advantage. Anne needs someone who will work towards hers. And so, William Paulet becomes the new Lord Privy Seal. True, Paulet has no loyalty that can't change when necessary, but he likes to stay on the winning team, and he realizes that's almost always the house. By Renaissance court standards, that's a rock.

    Anne has other matters to deal with--her ailing estranged sister Mary has been trying to get in touch of late, largely to see if Anne can't do something for the rest of her children. George's death has made Anne a bit more sentimental--at least for the short term--and so the Straffords come join their half-siblings the Careys at the court.

    --Even as Christian enjoys watching Charles sweat he finds time to deal with affairs by granting his half-siblings their share of the royal lands in a complicated landsharing arrangement that is far too tedious to describe here. John becomes the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev. This joyous news is soon marred by tragedy--his wife Mary Tudor goes into a lengthy, difficult labor, and though the child (a son who will be named John Christian) is delivered successfully, Mary dies shortly thereafter. Duke John is devastated. He will never remarry, and indeed, will carry a pair of Mary's gloves, and a locket with her portrait and a lock of her hair with him for the rest of his days.

    --Francois is enjoying what has, by his admittedly subpar standards, been one successful war. True, he's bleeding money (and his soldiers are bleeding, well, blood), the Ottoman connection has turned out to be embarrassing in all sorts of ways, the war in the North has not exactly been massively successful, and his health has not been the greatest of late, what with being a man with advanced syphillis leading an army over miles of terrain. But he's got Charles on the ropes! Finally! And then suddenly two things happen that make him start feeling mortal. Which tells you what a big deal this is, as Francois and Henry are soul brothers on the whole king as 'narcisstic man-child' thing.

    First, the Count of Enghien, commander of the force in the south, dies heroically during a skirmish with Imperial forces.[1] While the French position in Italy remains strong, Enghien--who leaves behind his German wife, and an infant daughter, Francoise de Bourbon--was an exceptionally talented commander, whose loss is deeply felt both tactically, and as a morale killer. But the second thing is... even worse.

    Charles of Orleans is the apple of his father's eye, a bright, happy and daring Prince who reminds Francois of himself. He's taken an active part in the war, taking Luxembourg early on, even if he did run off to fight somewhere else, leaving it undermanned so that the Empire took it right back. For Orleans, like his father, this is really something of a game. He demonstrates this during his second siege of Luxembourg by attempting to ride around the city walls three times, naked. He makes it around twice before some man with an arquebus decides to take a shot at the nude idiot disrespecting his city. The shot hits, and Charles is thrown from his horse, dying a day later from his extensive injuries. [2] This the sort of thing that makes an aging man feel old, and the birth of his grandson to the Dauphin--named Francois, of course--doesn't help. The King of France is now willing to consider a peace deal. A really, REALLY good peace deal.

    --News of his daughter's death hits the ailing and reliably sentimental after he's screwed you over Henry hard--still weak from his last health crisis, he promptly has another one. Naturally, even as the Privy Council assure everyone that everything's fine and under control, some people are certain that the King is dying or dead and that everything is falling into chaos. One such man is Henry Neville, the 5th Earl of Westmorland--and Neville is just fine with that. A Northerner and a Catholic, Neville is one of the many people on James V's little mailing list, and he's been throwing hissy fits about the English political situation for years. England has already gotten much too Protestant for his liking, and he's pretty certain that when the King dies, it'll get worse. Something MUST be done--and by gum, Westmorland is the man to do it. And so, when he hears that Henry is dead, or as good as it, he rallies his men, sends notice to his fellow border lords that the time to act is NOW, notifies James that he's pretty much lawful king of England, and declares--A NEW PILGRIMAGE OF THE FAITHFUL! Only led by the right sort this time! The real right sort, also, not like that upstart Darcy!

    Historians will debate whether Westmorland's uprising counts as a Pilgrimage at all, as he not only draws no popular support, he doesn't even manage to go anywhere. Unfortunately for Neville, you see--he's been made. He no sooner starts bringing his forces together, then Shrewsbury is knocking on his door with a force that includes a good selection of the Border lords he thought were his allies. As for James, he comes to the border with a force of his most loyal Catholic underlings--he's worried about the unrest, wink, wink--but he doesn't plan on crossing it unless things suggest it will take off, which--this doesn't look like it will. And... it doesn't. Westmorland is crushed and captured before he can even get started. And so his uprising ends.

    And that would be the end of things--except there are now a group of Scottish soldiers, and a group of English soldiers staring at each other from across the border, with the Scots insisting they weren't planning anything untoward, really, and the English saying 'pull the other one, it's got bells on it'. In a situation like that, it's all too easy for something to happen. And it does. What is tough to say, because everybody has their own version. Maybe some English soldiers cross over into Scotland. Maybe some Scot soldiers cross over into England. Maybe they both cross over--maybe nobody crosses over at all, but everyone is convinced they have. All that's certain is that there's some sort of disturbance--maybe a few shots fired--and suddenly, Shrewsbury is leading an army into Scotland. And then James fights him off--Shrewsbury's men still a bit worn out from crushing Westmorland--and then James is leading an army into England. News of this reaches London in time for a somewhat recovering Henry to croak out a declaration of war, and then get sick again. Which is quickly followed by learning that James' army has run into the army they had Norfolk call up just in case Westmorland's effort took off, gotten badly mauled by this and Shrewsbury's reassembled forces, and is now limping his way back to Scotland. While Anne and the Privy Council can't exactly... undeclare war at the moment, they do decide to hold back, and see if James is... willing to be reasonable.


    --James of Scotland is not the only man watching careful plotting being undone by that one idiot who couldn't follow the plan. Emperor Charles is as well, and in his case, it's even worse, because he actually knows what he's doing. His plan to isolate John Frederick is WORKING, with the Schmalkaldic League hesitating to support the Elector on this matter, despite him being its virtual leader. Indeed--almost because of this--John Frederick is an overwhelming personality, who follows his passion--Protestantism--with an almost obsessive interest, as if trying to win some 'Most Protestant Prince in Europe' award. You rededicating the family chapel to the Lutheran rite? John Frederick has built a new one specifically for it, and had Martin Luther over to give the first sermon. You thinking about spreading the good Lutheran word? John Frederick has personally supported the printing of Luther's translations. You got a quarrel with the Emperor? John Frederick has probably killed more of Charles' proposals to settle this whole 'Luther' matter amicably than anyone aside from Luther. He's brave and smart, but also prickly and just a tad fanatical. And so some people are hesitant to help him.

    But you, see John Frederick has a cousin, Maurice, the Duke of Saxony. Maurice is also an overwhelming, obsessive personality, but his obsession isn't Protestantism--even though he is a Lutheran--it's avenging percieved slights against himself. The present leading source of said slights is his cousin John Frederick, starting back when they were growing up together, and continuing with John Frederick's tendency to handle joint family matters unilaterally. Maurice is ready--nay, eager--to unleash some summary justice upon John Frederick's posterior. And so, he takes up the Emperor's furtive call to deal with the Elector. He gets some troops. He goes to Charles' brother Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, and borrows a few more troops. (To Ferdinand's credit, Maurice manages to suggest he's got more people backing him up on this then he really does.) And then--he attacks the Elector.

    It does not go well for Maurice. He's one of the few Protestant German Princes NOT taking advantage of England's 'Loans If You Want To Screw Over The Emperor' program--indeed, he's one of the few who aren't a member of the Schmalkaldic League--while John Frederick is on their favored customers' list, especially as they need him coming out of this okay if they're ever going to get back the loans they made to Duke William. Even with his extra Bohemian troops, Maurice is badly outmatched, and as a result, he is defeated, and captured. After signing an agreement to hand over some of his lands to John Frederick as a consequence of his unwarranted attack, Maurice proceeds to sing like a bird, telling him all about how Charles put him up to it, with just touch of exagerration so that he can set himself up as the victim here. John Frederick has him put it down in writing, and then, after releasing him, goes to his fellow Schmalkaldic League members waving said confession around for all its worth. And that is plenty. Now, they know that Charles is plotting against them, hoping to tear them down one by one, and that the move against the Elector is the start of that. Whatever they may think of John Frederick, they cannot let this aggression stand. And so, even as Charles begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel for the present Italian War, the First Schmalkaldic War is only beginning...

    --In Scotland, James V is dying. His nerves have been shot since his defeat, during which he's took a rather unpleasant wound that is now festering. He has seen the flower of Scotland's Catholic nobility cut down around him, and his dreams of being King of Scotland and England die with them. His only hope lies in his new child, being born miles away. He is doomed to another disappointment--Mary brings forth another girl, his second legitimate daughter, named Antoinette after Mary's mother. "So be it," says the King of Scotland weakly--or so the legend goes. "It began wi' a lass, it'll end wi' a lass." [3] With his death, the ruler of Scotland is a two-year old girl, whose immediate heir is a newborn baby girl. It's tough times ahead for Scotland.

    --In England, young Thomas Tudor takes ill and dies a week later. A sweet-natured young boy, his death is taken hard by his mother and siblings, especially Edward, who will spend the rest of his life writing eulogies for his brother. King Henry is beyond caring. While he has surprised everyone by surviving to the end of the year, it is the barest sort of surviving--he sleeps most of the time, and when awake, is almost always incoherant, raving about 'monks'. He will die soon, with England technically at war with Scotland. And with the Duke of Norfolk having an army in the field. It's tough times ahead in England...

    ----------------
    [1] This is better than his IOTL death, which resulted from him falling off a chest.

    [2] This is only slightly worse than his IOTL death, which was caused by his rushing into a house that had been sealed up with plague, having a pillowfight with his friends there, and by some accounts, lying down in a plague bed. You just can't butterfly away massive stupidity.

    [3] What can I say? I just couldn't throw away last words that good. And James really does seem to have been... if not destined for misfortune, then a highly likely candidate for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  19. stevep Member

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Space Oddity

    I think an overdose of the old Chinese curse.;) Charles seems to be going from disaster to disaster. Francois was doing better on the military front, finally getting the edge over his old enemy only to be crippled by some personal disasters. James has failed to secure a stable succession, blundered into an unsuccessful war with England and managed to kill off a lot of his most loyal supporters in the process.

    Henry in finally dying but the defeat of the Scots incursion and James's own death makes the north more secure and the continued problems of both France and Austria would seem to mean the overseas situation is also good for England although a few other deaths pose problems. However those last two sentences suggest that Howard is going to cause unexpected problems. [Could be he decides to punish Scotland off his own bat or to seek to get back into power in London, which could be bad with that army:(].

    Pity about Mary, having finally found some happiness and stability. Although it does remove the potential complication of the upbringing of her son and what religion he would be brought up in.

    Steve
     
  20. Space Oddity That One Guy. You Know Who I Mean.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    He had a pretty rough time of it IOTL. But don't underestimate the man--he got through there for a lot of good reasons, and the Schmalkaldic League does have the matter of probably being its own worst enemy...