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Thread: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

  1. #21
    Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar to rede I me delyte
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    There seem to be many twists and turns and plenty of secrets in this story! It sounds as if the Doge is good at keeping secrets; I can't help wondering if he suspects that not all his nobles are as loyal as he might like them to be...






  2. #22

    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    This is a very interesting way to present an AAR, and I have to say it seems very well done! I wonder what made Doge Martino change his mind about going to war, perhaps Gianetta's advice about family, or a deeper intrigue? Definitely going to stay tuned to this one!

  3. #23
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy
    Act 2 Scene 3


    by NorseThing

    Now in German territory. Princess Martinella arrived with an entourage minus her tag-a-long younger brother at midday. A warm and pleasant midday and perfect for exploration of new places. Emili-Romagna was the province, but her goal was to arrive at the large town of Bologna where a young prince of the Holy Roman Empire was recently placed as the current governor. Bologna was perhaps the only reason for peace between Venice and Genoa. So the princess understood that even a informal visitation had diplomatic overtones.

    Her parents insisted on Prince Simone as her escort, but Simone agreed between the two of them to fall behind the column and to 'catch up in a bit or some vague promise of future compliance with their mother'swishes. What he was going to do with his free time was of no concern. He was her escort, not the reverse. If mother was to be displeased, Simone could explain everything. In any case, Princess Martinella had plenty of company between the young ladies of Genoa and Pisa that were in her company. Of course there were the usual servants, cooks, and the young men handling the baggage and supplies. Yet, she did miss the knights, specially the young knights, in her brother's bodyguard....
    On to Bologna and Prince Heinrich.

    Three days later, Prince Heinrich and his bodyguard were waiting at Bologna's western gate to greet Martinella and her company.“Greetings from Bologna and the Holy Roman Empire my ladies. My city is your city today and for as long as you wish. I shall escort you to my palace near the city center. Tonight we shall dine in the hall of my ancestors who had been crowned by the very Popes who call Rome home.”

    As the procession moved forward, Prince Heinrich moved a bit closer to the ladies. Ever the dashing young knight as he saw himself, he began casual conversation with all the young ladies. He took great pride in pointing out the site where the future ballista maker was being constructed. “My ladies, crossbows are quite important in Italy and here is where I am building the future building to construct the large crossbows that only the largest and tallest of my Nobles are able to hold and shoot. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a bit. Some of my Nobles are a bit shorter and they can still shoot these crossbows. Over here is a sample of one of them (Prince Heinrich stands next to the ballista.) Now where is captain Casper? He can lift and fire this as easily as I can hold this smaller version over here (pointing to a real wall mounted display crossbow).”

    A bit more walking with less of the Price Heinrich guided tour and the party of young people then finally arrived at the palace. The Prince motioned the ladies to follow his servants to their assigned private rooms while cheerfully stating, “Tonight we dine, but perhaps after such a long journey it may best to rest and freshen up this afternoon.”

    That night, after the feast, after the entertainment, after the boastful Prince Heinrich had taken two of the young Genoese ladies to tour the gardens, Princess Matinella retired to her bed chamber to pen a letter to her brother, Simone.

    letter to Simone
    My dear brother,

    Thank you for understanding that I sometimes need space away from family.
    We have arrived at the palace in Bologna as a guest of Prince Heinrich. From some of the gossip, the young prince is about to be wed to a daughter of a high ranking German noble. He was gracious upon our arrival though a bit consumed with the greatness of the Holy Roman Empire. His tall tales were amusing though there was a bit of concern in his bragging. There is a ballista factory under construction. This is only of use to manufacture offensive weapons. The ballistas cannot be of great defensive use against a siege while within the town walls. I found it odd the choice on a limited budget would be for offensive weapons rather than developing a small fishing village into a trading port. Their relationship with Venice and the use of their fine port may be well. Perhaps this is a concern for Genoa. I casually approached the topic of trade and the Prince was quick to agree. No other agreements or promises were made nor offered.
    With my love of family,

    Martinella

  4. #24
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    It sounds like Princess Martinella is thinking more clearly about the new factory and its usefulness than the dashing young knight! Good update.

  5. #25
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    Martinella does indeed have a sharp mind, something that is very valuable. Perhaps Heinrich revealed more than he originally intended, too busy in wooing the ladies to be more careful of his actions. A lovely chapter to be sure!

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  6. #26
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    Thanks for the kind comments. They do help encourage me to keep a sharpened quill. Since it was encouragement and the lost week -- well another update.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy
    Act 2 Scene 4


    by NorseThing



    The Councillor Ansoido was making good time towards Genoa from Pisa when a messenger intercepted his column.

    The Doge's letter to his son, Councillor Ansoido

    My dear son, I am delaying my leave form Genoa and leaving General Spinola to command the Marseille siege. I will follow in two years if needed and I do hope you will be present for the successful end to the siege. In the meantime, I want you to put Pisa in good order and leave the town in the able hands of your own son, Prince Simone. It is time for him to take on the responsibilities of at least a small part of the kingdom. When you next communicate to your children,please do what is best for them. They are still young and need to know the benefits of their station in life as well as the burdens.

    He has read the message from his father (sent previously in Act 2 Scene 2 following the change of plans). So now Councilor Ansoido must act.

    Now he needed to make good time returning to Pisa to meet with his own son, Simone. Simone was supposed to head off on the grand tour of Italy as an escort for his older sister, but Ansoido knew they made a deal to join up later. It is not just young children that can be guilty of eves dropping and keyhole watching. Even the heir to Genoa has been known to listen to staff and friends for his advantage. Martinella wanted to do some of the tour without a younger brother in tow. So Simone should still be in Pisa despite assuring Ansoido he was going to join up with his sister in a few days.

    Ansoido now thought out loud to himself (though even the captain of his bodyguard was in hearing distance, “I wonder what my wonderful daughter is up to today? I wonder if she is meeting the right people and making some connections that may benefit her high station in life? Enough wondering, I need to make hast back to Pisa.”

    The captain responded, “Sire, we can make good time. Better time if we make a later camp than our leisure wandering has permitted us heading towards Genoa.”

    Councilor Ansoido broke from his thoughts. “Excuse me captain, I was mumbling to myself. Yes. Let us make a later camp. Turn the column around. To Pisa! To join with my son!”

  8. #28
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    It's really heartwarming to see Councilor Ansoido is aware of his childern's plans, it seems he knows them very well. I also find it very amusing to imagine that such an important man as the heir to the Genoese Doge-ship is skulking around eavesdropping to know what his children are up to.

    A really good update NorseThing!

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  9. #29
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    I agree, that's an interesting insight into the character of the heir to Genoa, it sounds like he's keen to know what's happening. Perhaps Councillor Ansoido is (or will be) Genoa's master of spies.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy
    Act 2 Scene 5


    by NorseThing


    The Doge had been busy preparing for his departure. The siege of Marseille continued and he knew that this was his responsibility whether it would be a success or a failure. Before leaving for Marseille, the Doge paid a visit to his grandson Simone in Pisa....


    In the family home in Pisa:


    Simone, “Grandfather. How good to see you.”


    Doge Martino, “Yes, it is good to see you as well. You are now a man. You are now of age. I know your father would be proud of you today. However with becoming a gentleman of the Kingdom, comes family responsibilities. I am naming you the Grand Duke of Tuscany. You have been the pupil of the best teachers of the Kingdom and now you are entrusted with the great merchant banking house in Pisa. Back to your family roots as a merchant.”


    Simone or now Granduca di Toscana, “I am honored by your trust. I am now officially a gentleman of Tuscany in title. I hope I can return that trust to you and our family tenfold.”


    Doge Martino, “I must now be off. The admiral was told when to set sail. I have faith this will happen whether or not I have set foot upon the decks of his flagship. Son, if I do not see you again – be strong, gather up the gentlemen for counsel, and then be fearless when you make your decisions.”


    The Doge paused for effect. This was to drive home the importance of this appointment. He then continued, “Your father will arrive in a bit. I sent him a message to join you here in Pisa. Share with him the information we have discussed. Fly your family crest with pride, but also be certain the Duke's flag and banners for Tuscany always fly from your current place as well. Where you go, goes the authority of Tuscany. I may be the Doge, you father may be my heir as councillor, but you are the Granduca di Toscana. Prepare a banquet in your father's honor. I have no doubt you can impress him on what has happened here today, but celebrate this with your father. Celebrate this with family.”

  11. #31
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy
    Act 2 Scene 6


    by NorseThing



    The Doge has left Pisa with the fleet. Today he was walking the decks of the flagship, but now he is walking on the rock filled sandy soil of a fishing village on the outskirts of Marseille. He is joining the siege with reinforcements of militia.


    Gen. Oberto Spinola, “Greetings my Doge. The army is now yours to lead. We now are three regiments strong of cavalry, a few companies of Urban Crossbow militia, but mostly 8 companies of urban spear militia. The men of Marseille have not dared show themselves beyond the safety of their walled and gated town.”
    Doge Martino, “I see before us our forces ready to end this siege... but where is Councillor Ansaldo and his bodyguard regiment? I know he was headed to Pisa before I set sail. But I thought....”


    The Doge then continued, “I had hoped he would be present for the end of the siege.”


    Then another fleet appears on the horizon from the east. It is bringing Councillor Ansaldo to Marseille.


    Gen. Spinola, “The battle may now begin.”


    The men are assembled at the fron gates of Marseille. The banners are unfurled of the Doge's crest and royal flags of the Kingdom of Genoa. Regimental and company banners are unfurled as well. The horns sound. Then there is silence before the Doge speaks to the men of his kingdom.
    The men of Marseille see this and they respond.


    Gen. Spinola, “I see they do not wish to be simply defeated in their beds. A matter of pride perhaps.”


    The gates open and nobles of Marseille now proceeds to send out column after column into the field of their own militia to challenge the Doge directly. The banners of Marseille are also unfurled.


    Then a representative of Marseille offers the Doge the keys to the city. Triumphant, the men now enter their newest town for the Kingdom. Occupied and not looted. Marseille is now a valued part of the kingdom after this long siege.


    The Doge (with the bulk of the army in column marching to the decks of the fleet transports), “ I shall return to once again act as governor of Genoa. Gen. Spinola as Duke of Ajjacio with a company of Urban militia shall return to the island of Corsica. This now has a small town and now longer a castle as the center of population.. Councillor Ansaldo shall remain to be governor of Marselle and their future Count. Provence could not be in better or more capable hands. I now present my son with the Privy Seal.”


    Councillor Anslaldo kneels down before his father, the Doge. The Doge presents the seal, a sign of his faith in the future, “Gentlemen all. All with titles.”
    Before the gentlemen depart, the Doge again speaks, “Men, Gentlemen, our task is only beginning. Soon we will challenge Venice and Bologna for the supremacy of Italian peninsula. Next we must focus on Milan, the independent duchy that the Holy Roman Emperor thinks is simply a wobbly daughter gone astray. She will no longer be ignored. She will certainly not be German controlled. The Holy Roman Empire has ignored Italian interests. Italian men of noble birth must take charge of their own interests!”




    Author's Note
    This completes Act 2 of our little play. The aging Doge Martino has returned home for perhaps a final rest. He has secured a larger Kingdom at peace His grandchildren are still seeking and hoping for marriage, but we now have nobles that are titled gentlemen of Tuscany.


    I will now be taking a short break to organize my thoughts, but be assured there will be more with Act 3 of the Tuscan Gentlemen. I hope the first two Acts have given you a lighter and hopefully a bit of a comedic touch on Medieval II Total War.


  12. #32
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    A great ending of Act 2 NorseThing! Simone and Councilor Ansaldo both being entrusted with great responsibilities, it truly seems the Doge is preparing the realm for his departure to the next. As the Doge said, the first steps have been taken, now the real work can begin. I'm interested to see how far Genoa will go! Enjoy your break and I hope to see more of this AAR soon.

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  13. #33
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    I wished for a bigger end to Act II, but this is a play so.... Now if this is a 3 (or maybe a 4) Act play, the pressure is now cooking for a big finish! I will need more than a narrative of banners unfurled. I will need screenshots that shout out this is the final curtain. So maybe this moves from the stage to the battlemap. I do not know yet.

    I am glad you liked it Turkafinwe.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    Quote Originally Posted by NorseThing View Post
    I wished for a bigger end to Act II, but this is a play so....Now if this is a 3 (or maybe a 4) Act play, the pressure is now cooking for a big finish! I will need more than a narrative of banners unfurled. I will need screenshots that shout out this is the final curtain. So maybe this moves from the stage to the battlemap. I do not know yet.
    I know that feel. I liked it. If you want some minor feedback it'd be this:
    1) General is a bit of an anachronism. Captain, Amiral & "Consul of the army" were the titles for military command at that time (no particular distinction whether the command was naval or on land; it was often both). But no damage here. It doesn't disturb, but even if you want to change it, it'd be quite easy by simply search&replace that word.
    2) The Speaker, "Talk talk talk" format is a bit weird.
    I'm not used to seeing that comma there. It'd also help make it easier to read if you capitalised the speaker. E.g:
    OBERTO: "Talk talk talk."
    Instead of:
    Oberto, "Talk talk talk."
    It's not something usually done in stories, but in screenplays it's the standard, for better readability.
    3) The nondialogue descriptive text would look better cursive.



    But overall it also depends on whether you want it to be a "pure" play or a novel/play hybrid. Which it currently is, and which might be exactly what you're going for. If your aim was to evoke that "play" feel but also wanted to have some advantages of novel style, then it's a good solution.
    .







    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    No one cares what Derc has to say.

  15. #35
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    It sounds like the Doge is sensibly planning for cautious expansion at first, before the coming major conflict with Venice and Bologna. Good updates!

  16. #36
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The Tuscan Gentlemen of Italy

    Cookiegod: I know that captain is perhaps the preferred reference for all in command of a unit in this time period. But the game has titles such as admiral, general and so I use what I am provided in the game as this is both an After Action Report as well as my attempt at somewhat of a play format. It gets repetitive if only captain is used. I suppose one option would be to create more characters so that each command is a noble's company. This would be true for pretty much any era before a 'national' military for both conscription and professional leadership based on merit. Even the 19th century regimental was still based largely on a Noble's name for the unit. This is indeed something to think about. Thanks for the input!

    Oh, and capitalizing the speaker is also something to consider. I never thought about that, but that is common in many plays that I have read. It would eliminate the quote marks and replace the comma (,) with a colon ( : )

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