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 Post subject: My work
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:15 am 
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Hey guys!
I just wrote a small story about Philippe IV. and Saint Louis. If you will like it, I can continue with my work (Next will be probably factographic article about Brugse Metten and Battle of Courtrai/Kortrijk). I will be glad if someone could check my grammar ;)

The crack in the stone


February 1309, the Château de Vincennes

He slammed the door behind him and for a few beats of heart he just stand there. Treason of his brother was hard, but he was always headstrong and he desired for power and kingship. What Philippe discovered this morning hurted him much more. Although he doesn´t show any emotions. His son, his own son has rebelled against him in this most dark hour. Such an insolence! Such a disgrace! He glanced at the wall. No, not today! But yes, he must go there, he must seek help… But isn´t he still the king? He can handle it himself! He stared at the wall. He couldn´t resist. Mechanism that opens the secret door was in motion. To HIM! His head was full of bad thoughts that poisoned his mind when he climbed the stairs. Only he has the key to unlock the doors at the end. He was welcomed by stink and darkness. Jailor sat here on a chair. He didn´t hear that the king came. Of course not, he was deaf. Deaf and dumb. Who else can manage such a delicate task?

King Philippe knocked at the cell door. „May I enter, my lord?
„Of course, your Majesty“ said a rough voice behind the doors. Voice of warrior, voice of the king! The key clattered in the lock. And king Philippe entered the cell. He looked to the eyes of a man that he admired, man he loved, and man he feared. To the eyes of his grandfather, Louis IX the Saint. He died in battle of Wienna but he returned from the death shortly after his canonization in 1296. Philippe had found him, Philippe had imprisoned him, Philippe had talked to him and went to him for advice. Though it seemed very unlikely, the two men had became friends and they appreciated themselfs. They had one thing in common. Important thing. They were interested in the welfare of France above everything else in the world.

“The situation is not developing favorably. Breizh, Artois, Bourgogne, Champagne. Every one is against me.” sighed Philippe and he moved closer the tripod that was standing in the corner.
“Small cowardly lords that don´t deserve their titles, when they rebelled against lawful liege.”
“It isn´t everything. Don´t forget my brother... And my youngest son...” said Philippe and his head dropped to his chest. His grandfather stand there and silently watched the king. He recognized, that this shaked with his grandson. The betrayal of son is something else than revolt of barons.
“Why? Why did he do that? Was I bad father for him? Was I bad king for France? Why people hate me so much? Why my family despise with me?”
“You are the best king that France could have. You only rule in difficult times. Without you, the France would have been nothing! Only a puppet in the hands of prelates and clergy that hunger for power.” said Saint Louis in paternal tone.

Philippe laid his head into his hands. “But the kingdom is shattered, the treasury is empty and my army is in decimated!” his fingers palpated the royal crown. “So heavy...” he whispered and took the crown to his hands. He viewed the golden band and gems that was inset in it, even the lilies of his house that decorated the jewel. In a sudden fit of anger, he threw the royal crown to the ground where it bounced off into darkness. “WHY!?” he covered his face into his palm. But Louis noticed something strange. Philippe IV, the king of France and Navarre, called Le Bel, Iron king and Stony-faced king, shed a tear. Only one, but still a tear. For the first time in his whole life, the tear was flowing down his cheek. For the first time in his whole life, king Philippe was broken.

Saint Louis walked to him. Suddenly, he bent over for something. Philippe couldn´t see what it was. “Courage king Philippe! My descendant! Not all is lost!” rumbled Louis and reached his arm to him. He held the crown of France. Philippe stared to his ancestor´s eyes and he raised from the chair with hand grasping the crown.
“You will have your revenge!” Louis assured him with his hand still on the crown. “France will rise again!”

When he dropped the golden jewel, king Philippe took it to both hands and he slowly put it on his head. He doesn´t stand there like a defeated being again. The Iron king was back.
“WE will have OUR revenge...” Philippe expressed its determination. Louis patted him on the back. “Yes. Very soon...”


Brugse Metten/ Matinée de Bruges

Was an incident that happened on 18 May 1302 in the merchant city of Bruges in the County of Flanders.

As a reaction on the rebellion of count Gwijde van Dampierre (Guy de Dammartin in French) which was crushed at the battle of Furnes, king Philippe send his loyal vassal, Jacques de Châtillon, as a governor to the county.
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At the very beginning, everything went good. But misunderstanding between the city councils and the French administration about the amount of taxes (the main rival of Bruges, city of Ghent, paid much less money) led to riots in Bruges. Leader of these riots was charismatic weaver Pieter de Coninck (Pierre Le Roy in French). Jacques de Châtillon gathered a small army and entered the city. Although he promised the safety for the rebels, the city as a whole was harshly punished with cancellation of all its privileges. When he left the city, the riots continued, stired up by Coninck and Willem van Gulik, grandson of the deposed count.
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Jacques de Châtillon entered the city for second time and he settled in the city castle. But he made two main mistakes: Firstly, the walls of the castle were razed as a remnant of his last actions against the city. And secondly, guarding of the city was entrusted to the local serjants. Dissatisfied citizens assembled in the streets and on the matins (second part of the night), encouraged by Coninck and his battle cry „Schild en Vriend“, burst into the castle and to the houses of patricians that were loyal to French crown. Every frenchmen - soldiers, men, women, children - were killed. Even Louis, the bastard son of Charles de Valois, who was there as a squire of Jacques de Châtillon. Only the Governor and the Chancelier de France, Pierre Flote de Ravel, with small contigent of knights escaped the city.
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As a result of this bloodbath, king Philippe called for the Arrière-ban (summoning of the French feudal army), and his majestic army marched towards Flanders, but were defeated at the Battle of Kortrijk (Courtrai in French).


Battle of Kortrijk (Courtrai) – The Battle of Golden Spurs

Human and fleaudian militia won a decisive victory over a traditional feudal levy

Who:
French Crown (Robert II d´Artois) vs. Flemish militia (Willem van Gulik)

Where:
Outside the walls of Flemish town of Kortrijk.

When:
13 of July 1302

Why:
King Philippe IV Le Bel must answer the events of Brugse Metten and try to put the flemish revolt to the definitive end.

Forces in presence:

French
2500 knights
1000 mercenary crossbowmen of Genoa
4000 light infantry
1000 men of Holland

Flemish
3000 men of Bruges
2000 men West-Vlaanderen
1000 men of Oost-Vlaanderen
700 men of Ghent
700 men of Ypres
600 fleudians
Huge number of mercenaries (Gesselschaft d.E.)




Outcome:
Impetuous french knights failed to follow established battle plan and was crushed by well prepared defensive formations of flemish militia. Decisive Flemish victory.

Consequences:
The cities of Flandre proclaim their independence. The power of French crown is shaken.

The conflict
See „Brugse Metten“

The campaign
After the Brugse Metten, Pieter de Coninck gathered an army and captured the town of Kortrijk with small French garrison, which withdrawed to Kortrijk´s castle. Flemish army then took defensive position between the river of Leie and its channels, that line the town. French king already called for Arrière-ban (summoning of vassals and feudal levy). Robert II d´Artois was chosen as a leader due to his origin (grandson of Louis VIII and nephew of Louis IX the Saint) and knowledge of landscape (he lived in Flanders for many years and he crushed the first Flemish revolt in August of 1297 at the battle of Furnes). French army reached Kortrijk at 8 of July, encamped here and started plundering and skirmishes. Count of Artois didn´t hurry with battle, and he even purchased flemish battle plan from Flemish deserter (for a big price of 13 livres, 10 sous and 10 denniers). Then he called the Council of War.

Forces and deployment
Flemish army was well situated between the town walls and channels. Field was very sodden and plowed, which even multiply the defense capabilities. In addition, Flemish dug a number of „wolf pits“ around their positions. The forces made up a lines in some distance from channels, in order to prevent crossbowmen from dealing any damage. Archers were in the first row, spearmens in the second and men with Goedendag (combination of spear and iron club) in the third.

Connétable de France, Raoul de Clermont and Maître des Arbalétriers, Jean de Burlast advised that the knight charge in a difficult terrain will be scattered and without sufficient space. They wisely suggested that the first blow must be made by infantry and crossbowmen, which will push the Flemish army back and will make the necessary space for the charge.
Duke of Brabant proposed another good plan. Delaying of battle will give some rest to the French army, and if they will keep the Flemish army restless (with skirmishes and crossbow fire), they morale will be notably shaken.
Most of the knight were shocked by these plans. Tactic was considered for futility, delay for act of cowardice.They thought that the battle will be easy and swift, that the enemy is only badly armed band of rednecks.
The final plan was compromise. Nine battailes of knights were created and deployed behind infantry, which should started the attack.

The battle
The battle started at 9 a.m. with French crossbow fire, followed by massive atack of infantry. The eager knight, when they saw that the Flemish are slowly falling back, can´t be kept calm for any longer. Count Robert ordered the infantry to withdraw and shouted „Mouvez!“ on the battle-awaiting knights. And they finally attacked with the battlecry of „Montjoie! Saint-Denis!“.
But charging knights were naturally slowed down by their own infantry and bad terrain. Not everyone managed to jump over the channel and many knights found themselfs on a muddy ground or even in the deep water. And some were even killed by suffocation,
when they fell by face to the mudd and were pressed to the ground by their own horses. Small groups of knights that come closer to the Flemish lines couldn´t break through. And when they tried to, they were pulled down from their horses and killed by goedendags, like the Connétable Raoul de Clermont.
Duke of Brabant and his knights, on the other hand, managed to get necessary power and speed and broke the Flemish lines. Duke himself even knocked down the Willem va Gulik and captured his banner, but was soon slain by pikes. And Willem van Gulik was still alive.
At this time, French garrison at Kortrijk set fire to several buildings and attracted attention, but was soon forced back to castle. Flemish army then started to slowly advance forward.
Robert II d´Artois coldn´t bear the shame of being defeated by „peasant“ army (he knew that the battle is lost) and attacked with his reserves. His charge was more effective, because the Flemish infantry already crossed the channels. But his knights were outnumbered and killed one by one. And Count himself was thrown down from his horse. He wanted to surrender, but the Flemish shouted: „We do not know you!“. Robert proudly standed and knowing, that this will be his end shouted in French: „I am Robert II, the count d´Artois and commander of the French army! Montjoie! Sain-Denis!“ but his words disappeared in the noise of beating, slashing and stabbing. He died with thirty wounds on his body.
The army was defeated and slaughtered, only few of the knights escaped. The garrison of castle surrendered.


Casualities
On the French side, approximately about 1000 of knights, and over 60 members of great houses: Robert II d´Artois, Connétable Raoul de Clermont-Nesle, Jacques de Chatillon (who started the events of Brugse Metten), Chancelier Pierre Flot de Ravel, Maréchal Simon de Melun, Maréchal Guillaume de Clermont, Maître des Arbalétriers Jean de Burlast, Sénéchal Jean de Ponthieu count d´Aumale, Jean de Brienne count d´Eu, Robert de Tancarville of Normandie, and his brothers Renaud and Mathieu, Godefroy duke de Brabant, Jean de Hainaut, Brabantian Maréchal Arnold Wesemael, Raoul de Flament, Thomas de Coucy and others. Counts of Soissons and Boulogne, king´s relatives, lost their sons.
Flemish casualities was only some hundreds.

The aftermath
The golden spurs of French knights were collected and exposed in the church of Kortrijk, as a memento of unbelievable battle. Flemish cities declared independence and created a union similar to Lega Lombarda.
French army was in ruins and this situation was used by many disobedient vassals as a excuse for their revolts against crown. King Philippe lost his power, his army, his wealth and the Kingdom of France was soon pulled into the vortex of civil war…


Of Demons and Men

1309, Venice – Tiepolo palace
„Enough! Don´t waste your words in this useless quarrel. We have the same enemy.“ Said a man sitting in a carved chair. Everyone in the room went silent. „We must unite and get us rid of that man, who call himself a doge, but he is only a vicious despot. The same as Carolus Magnus, Friedrich Barbarossa, pope Bonifacus. You know… We must do the same as did Brutus for the safety of Roman Republic. We must kill this tyrant for the safety of Venice.“ Men nodded appreciatively. „Gradenigo crossed the acceptable level when he locked the Great Council (Serrata del Maggior Consiglio) and appointed there only his people and puppets.“
„And how do you think we should kill him? With so many guards as he have… We may just as well try to kill the Sicilian king.“
„Let me explain it to you…“

The Tiepolo palace was lit for the whole night. But none of presented noblemen of Venice had a suspicion that they are going to be betrayed…

Venice – Doge´s palace
A fire was cracking in the fireplace with Pietro Gradenigo, the Doge of Venice, staring into it. Someone knocked at the door. „Come in!“
The room was entered by the stranger, that offered help to Gradenigo some days ago. „My lord, I have a very delicate news for you. A group of aristocrats under the lead of Bajamonte Tiepolo is plotting against you.“
„Well, in Venice, everyone is constantly in the wheel of conspiration“ said Doge sceptically.
„Oh, that´s true, but if you want to keep your power, listen to me.“ The Doge looked at stranger´s eyes. He had a feeling, that he saw a flash of fire in them. The stranger was odd in some sense. Clothed in black satin from head to heels, with a golden wolf embroidered on his mantle. It seemed that he never drink, never eat. And he was coming and going without anyone ever noticing. And his gaze… It was so… STRANGE. Doge knew, that he cannot be a man. He must be a Fleaudian. But he always advised him well, without any need for reward… In the end, even the Serrata was his idea, at first. Gradenigo gave up and listened to him…

Venice – Piazza San Marco
„It will be raining… That isn´t good…“ Said one of the men in capes. They were standing in the crowd, waiting for the Doge´s arrival. Tiepolo sought for the last member of their company. The stranger in black satin, who persuaded him for this risky business…
The rain come and many people went for their homes. Conspirators moved closer to the planned route. Tiepolo heard a music. And there he was, at the head of procession, sitting on his white horse. With only four guardsmen around him, waving to the crowd.
„Now or never, we may change the destiny of our beloved city…“ whispered Tiepolo to his comrades. That was the signal for attack. But they barely made their way for doge and he knew, that something went terribly wrong. When the first guardsmen was killed with their blades, the cathedral bell started to ringing and the Piazza was soon full of guards. His companions was dying, one after the other. In the last desperate act, he grabbed the bridle of Doge´s horse and swung his blade. Gradenigo parried the hit, but was cut to face and he started to bleed. Tiepolo felt the first blow to his knee, then another to chest, and he was soon lying on the ground, in the pool of blood…

And somewhere else in the Venice, the Mammon, Herald of Greed, dressed only in black satin, rubbed his hands…

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Last edited by speedy on Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:25 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Interesting. Is there more backstory on the Wiki that you are building off of?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:41 pm 
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The story is entire based on the EX wiki.
Informations important for this short story are here: http://ex-illis.com/wikien/Philippe_IV (especially in the section named "Canonization of Louis IX"). When you will read this, you will have all the background (maybe with expection of some minor events, which are in http://ex-illis.com/wikien/Timeline_1291-1309) ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:36 pm 
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Good stuff, that will help me make better sense of it all.... looks like I have some reading to do.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:40 pm 
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EX Wiki is full of beautiful articles that can be easily developed into bigger stories...
So just read and tell me, if I accomplished this task well ;)

As I said - Next time, to cover blank spaces in history of France, I will write article about Kortrijk, similar to this: http://ex-illis.com/wikien/Battle_of_Cedewain and small entry about Brugse Metten (event that led to battle).
Both are very unhappy days for whole France :cry: (with the exception of these dogs and traitors, who used this disaster as a tool for gaining independence. But France will have its revenge. :evil: I´ll take care of it, personally! Montjoie! Saint-Denis! :) )

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:58 am 
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First post edited - Added the Brugse Metten. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:36 am 
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Finally, I completed the HUGE article about Battle of Kortrijk...
So read and tell me, If it is OK and if I should continue with writing these entries ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:55 pm 

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Great stories Speedy! ;) Please keep up the good work!

Did you use sources outside the wiki?

I love the part about the Battle of Golden Spurs. Great to see the similarities between this battle and the ones between the English and Scots. Both were a victory for mostly lowborn armies over armies composed of highly trained knights.

The information known about these battles gives a good idea of the anatomy of the armies in 1309. As wel as information about the equipment and armour of the fighting men of that time. Sadly I think a couple of Ex Illis miniatures seem to advanced for that period.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:49 am 
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Thanks ;-)

For Brugse Metten and Courtrai, I used mostly my books and real informations, "spiced" with EX universum. :)

Please, feel free to write a list of Events/Battles/People about which you want some info/articles/stories, and I will try to write something of it. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:24 am 

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speedy wrote:
Please, feel free to write a list of Events/Battles/People about which you want some info/articles/stories, and I will try to write something of it. ;)

If you could write something about Pietro Gradenigo, the Doge of Venice. Or something about the Lombard League. That would be amazing! :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:01 pm 
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I will try to write something during the week ;-)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:39 am 
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Oh man, this will be hard :D
I am trying to create some consistent story, but there aren´t many informations about Gradenigo or Lega Lombarda... They aren´t fully integrated into EX world yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:53 am 

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Haha. Don't worry, I know there is some info in the storyline and timelines. It is not much and very scattered.

I hope their will be more info in the new rulebook on the Italian Peninsula. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Since fans made a lot of story in the wiki, im wondering if they'll put some in the rulebook :D

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:51 pm 
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I got some problems with internet connection, so stories and photos will be tomorrow ;-)

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:27 pm 
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Added the story about Gradenigo and Mammon (http://ex-illis.com/wikien/Mammon)

I know, he is associated with Lega Lombarda and Hanze... But why he can´t stand even behind the Doge of Venice?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:17 am 

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speedy wrote:
Added the story about Gradenigo and Mammon (http://ex-illis.com/wikien/Mammon)

I know, he is associated with Lega Lombarda and Hanze... But why he can´t stand even behind the Doge of Venice?
Wonderful work, you've made a very interesting story! :o
Great use of references to Brutes, I just read about his rise to power in an osprey book.

I think Mammon would spread as much greed as possible, but he would surely work on his own position.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:21 am 
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Thanks ;-)

Brutus: After watching the Rome TV series I studied his life and today I must say that for me, Brutus was a hero. He take the heavy burden (and his duty - he was from an old house known for expulsion of last Etruscan king, after all) and murdered his friend. Because he knew, that it was the only option to save the Republic.
"I love Caesar, but I love Rome (or Republic, in czech version) more"

What about the next story? England? Bohemia? Lega Lombarda? Article about some battle or so?

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