Chapter 43: A forbode to war
8 June 1260
By the end of May I returned from a long trip through Calradia, starting business ventures in every city. Even though the trip was long and the investments high, it was well worth the effort. But could I improve my current profit even more? As soon as I entered the great hall, I called my loyal chamberlain Aubrey de Vere, my financial expert. Together we did some calculations
, and came to the following conclusions:
- I should give away all my villages except three to new lords, to reduce the tax inefficiency. Apparently the workmasters are effected by the tax collectors, and are loosing much of my business profit.
- In Curaw, Dhirim and Veluca I should stockpile the end products instead of locally selling them: it would be better to sell them myself in some more profitable places.
- It would be better to replace the tannery in Jelkala by a dyeworks, stockpile the velvet and sell it elsewhere.
With these changes my business would reach its optimum. I was glad that both Deglan and Klargus were here too. Both have come to their senses, and left their services to the former Khergit khanate. I rewarded Klargus with the village of Dashbighar and Deglan with Bulugur. Hopefully more would follow soon. Before I could continue any of my other businesses, a messenger came bursting in the room. There was a small dispute between citizens of the Nord village of Ryibelet and the Hollandic village of Ruluns about some stream or something like that - nothing too important. But the discussion got out of hand, and the Nords killed some of my farmers, the messenger told me. Now the people of Holland are angry, and shout for repercussions. War must come.A small incident gets out of hand. War is inevitable.
Immediately after hearing this news, I walked to constable Miles de Gloucester, to get the latest updates on my army. In total there were now 4363 soldiers garrisoned in 7 towns and 14 castles, and my lords had 2758 soldiers in the field. That's a total of 7121 soldiers. Only a year ago my total army had 2975 men: the country had surely grown in might. But the Nords shouldn't be underestimated. Together we made up a strategy for the coming campaign.
First I would send one of my companions to the Sarranids, and then to the Rhodoks: I would try to get a nonaggression pact with both. That way they wouldn't attack me in the back. After we had decided this, I send Lezalit immediately to the desert, to talk to sultan Hakim. He was the best persuader I had in my company. After he left, we looked further at our initial attack plan. I would gather all the lords as quickly as I could, and would start my conquest in Wercheg, their top north city. I would work my way south from there. That way they couldn't attack me in the back. If necessary, I would sacrifice my Swadian holdings in order to defeat them.
After we had discussed this, I ordered him to find more recruits and train them - I would need them. Then I set out into the open field, to search for my vassals and order them to come along with me, to create once again a huge marching army. Just after I rode out, Lezalit returned with good news: sultan Hakim agreed to have a nonaggression pact.Lezalit was my loyal messenger who managed to convince sultan Hakim to conclude a nonaggression pact.
On my search for lords, I came across the city of Curaw, where I ordered the master smith to hold on to all the tools. Once I'd visit them again, I'll take them with me and sell for a better price than he can get. After I had arranged this, I rode back to Khudan, and send Lezalit once again out on a mission: this time to conclude a nonaggression pact with the Rhodoks. Unfortunately king Graveth apparently had other plans, and didn't want to bind himself to me with such a treaty. Well, then he also shouldn't complain if there are Rhodoks casualties to be seen in the upcoming war.
I rode through the Former Vaegir and Khergit lands, and spoke to all the lords I came across. In the end I had an army with 14 lords following me. I could ride to my Swadian holdings and search for every last of them, but that would take up too much of my time: already a week had passed. My preparations we ready. Before I was justified for war, I had to do one more thing: I send Lezalit to the Nords, and let him demand reprimands for the killing they had done in the village of Ruluns. As expected, they refused to acknowledge any of the demands.Lezalit did his best, but the Nords just didn't listen.
There was no other option left. My army was ready, I had an agreement with the Sarranids and the Nords refused to listen to reason. So on the 8th of June I declared war on the kingdom of Nords, a move all of my lords appreciated. Those scumbacks would get what they deserve. Pah, killing innocent villagers... It is time I'd take over the scepter.War!
Here is a picture of Floris' current stats, even though they haven't changed a bit:
Here is the map of the current situation. As you can see, the only thing that has changed, is that I gave a few fiefs away. For the rest nothing has changed. But soon that will be different, for there will be brawl.