Part 21: Mind Of A Legendtime to marathon for 1400. i want to play the old gods, damn it
"Back to work, I guess."
"What? You got what? Excommunicated? You were in charge for fifteen goddamn minutes and you got yourself excommunicated?"
"Hey, uh, your holiness? This is kind of awkward, but as I'm the holiest man in Christendom and the sole bulwark between you and everyone who wants to kill you, you think you could see your way around to letting my goddamn son back into the church?
"It's just that I can't really afford a civil war right now, what with the whole single handedly saving Catholicism."
"Aw, gee. Thanks. I really appreciate it. Asshole."
"Fuck... son, I'm back from Rome. What are you - what, a war? Without asking me? Why I should -
"Wait. You're pressing my claim? And you were prepared to take on the Holy Roman Emperor to do it?
"I can't stay mad at you."
"Fucking comets. How do they work?"
"Aren't you glad you got your independence, asshole."
"Oh - oh come on! I didn't even have time to take my fucking boots off!
"Okay, okay. I'm not giving up on you son. Just hold on, I'm getting the men together."
"Aw, they got nothing. This should be a cakewalk. I just need to -"
"Son. Did you get captured?"
"In the five fucking minutes it took me to get my army together and march up here."
"It's not like that, dad! This guy was huge!"
"I don't want to hear it. I really, really don't want to hear it. Let's just... let's just go home."
"Books. I love books. Asta was pretty sweet, keeping all these books for me... I think I'll just take a few days off and read some books."
"It's not like that! There was this African Prince who needed money to raise a mercenary company so he could conquer his homeland and spread Christianity -"
"Shut up. Just shut up. Here, eight hundred ducats, it's all I've got on me."
"You have 800 ducats just lying around?"
"Well, yeah. I make around fifty a month through vassal taxation. What do you make, son?"
"Oh. You know. Around that."
"Don't see that every day."
"Every fucking time, these Poles."
"Fortunately, I think I've figured out this military strategy thing at this point. You just gather your armies in one spot..."
"... and then concentrate your forces."
"Bang. Just as easy as it was thirty years ago."
"Huh, that was unexpected. Oh well, I guess my son will mop up the stragglers. This is his war after all.
"... I'll start talking to my mercenary contacts just in case."
"I need your help. To kill my wife."
"It's not like that! She's a total witch!"
"... son, you can't just kill your wife if you don't like her."
"C'mon, dad, I really need your help. She's way smarter than me and will probably kill me if I don't kill her first."
"Just... just, argh, what do you need?"
"Don't worry about the Poles, I totally got this."
"... good work, son. I'm going to go back to Slevig to relax for a little bit."
"Sir? Sir? Have you heard about the First Church of the Cathars?"
"... lady, I don't think you want me as a convert."
"The Church of Catharism believes that anyone can shuck their fleshy prison and ascend to the Supernal Realms."
"Does someone want to explain to this woman who, exactly, I am?"
"Sir! News from the front! The Mongols are invading! Again!"
"... soldier. You're telling me that I had exactly eight minutes at home in Slevig and at peace, and five of those minutes were occupied by some crazy Cathar lady trying to convert me?"
"I'm not blaming you, soldier, I'm blaming her. Where are my punching gloves?"
"Message from the Pope, sir!"
"I'm kind of busy, courier. I'm fighting off a Mongol invasion and mopping up the Poles."
"It's about a Crusade, sir!"
"... really? A Crusade? Where for? Poland? Russia? Perhaps even Germany? Maybe this is the chance we've been waiting for to put the heathens on the back foot, drive them out of Europe -"
"You want me to put the Mongols on hold, the Poles on hold, and sail across the entire world to reach the most powerful Muslim empire in creation and fight them on their home turf?"
"God wills it, sir!"
"Tell me. Who else has joined this Crusade of yours?"
"The Duke of Iceland, sir!"
"Uh. No one else, sir."
"Well, if the Icelanders can't do it by themselves, I don't know what good I'd be. Tell the Pope he has my full moral support."
"Christ, what a joke. Anyway, back to the real war. I just need to meet up with my son's troops and then we can -"
"Goddamn it, Gotfred. Just... aw, goddamn it."
"Yes, lad? Who are you?"
"I'm K-king Poul. Dad n-named me after you. I'm your g-g-grandson"
"Aw, well that was sweet of him."
"I-I'm sorry but I'm changing us back to S-Sweden. It's the more important t-title, after all."
"Lad, I'm sure you're never going to get on my nerves."
"Well, may as well swing a counter-invasion while I'm all the way out here. Always wanted to reclaim Finland..."
"... goddamn it, not again."
"G-granddad, I need your h-help."
"Shut up, Gotfred, I'm coming."
"Guess I'm just going to have to fight a war on two fronts. Nothing to it..."
"Just take my time. We outnumber these Swedes, just a matter of shaking them down."
"Hmm... but you know what? I'm asking myself who these fucking insurrectionist assholes are because I swear it's the same group as last time.
"Maybe I can go have a conversation with them. Sort it out reasonably. Surely they'll see sense if I just talk to them."
"Oh, uh. I guess I got a little angry there. Oh damn, those were my good drapes.
"Still, this gives me an idea."
"Wow, I invited him over to dinner and he just... showed up. And then I fucking murdered him for being a rebellious traitor. Have I really been able to solve problems this easily all this time and never taken advantage of it before?
"Who else is a rebel at this point?"
"... hmm, nah. That'd probably be morally wrong or something."
"I'll just finish this campaign the traditional way."
"... but I wonder who else I could murder? I mean, I've got a really long shit list, and I always thought the limiting factor on shrinking it was going to be how many soldiers I have..."
"Speaking of lots of soldiers, you, courier? How's the Crusade going? Anyone else joined?"
"All the Holy Orders, sir!"
"Uhuh. Do they have any land and/or troops?"
"They provide the crucial support infrastructure and networks for the campaign."
"So how's old Duke Jorn of Iceland doing against the whole of Arabia?"
"I'm not going to lie, sir. He could use a little backup."
"Ain't that a pity."
"Anyway, back home, time to -"
"Sir! Civil war -"
"Yes, soldier. I know. I know."
"Duchess Asta! Oh, I'm so glad you decided to show up to my feast. I wanted to talk to you about this whole civil war thing you've got going. Could you please just step in here?"
"Certainly. Why does this room smell, well... corpsy?"
"Steward! I need more herbs! They're starting to suspect the murder room!"
*Grumble* "How is this not the Spymaster's job?"
"Duke Sigbjorn! I'm so glad you came! So you're the leader of the rebellion now? Well how about that. Well I'm so glad you decided to put that on hold and come say hello. Could you please just step in here for a moment?"
"Oh, I love what you've done with the drapes in here -"
"Are all civil wars going to be this easy from now on? I hope all civil wars are this easy from now on."
"I have blackmailllllll materiaallllllllll~"
"Uh. Good or bad blackmail material?"
"Good. While I was burying the corpssssessss I found out some juicccccy seeeeecreeetss,"
"Jesus, now I know why they cut your balls off in Hindustan. I can't imagine how much more of a creeper you'd be if sex was an option."
"Troops, just go and end this or something, would you? I think all my vassals hate me for never giving you guys a break."
"Though in my defense, constant battle is working out for you guys. You all look fantastic."
"Speaking of looking fantastic, I'm a dad again. At seventy two. Still got it."
"Ah, so the dust has finally settled. Rebels are all dead, Finland is ours again. The Baltic Sea is almost a Swedish lake. This is going well.
"And finally there's some peace. I can just put my feet up and relax."
"Fuck it, relaxing's boring, let's go get that lake."
"En guard, again, you fat cocknob! Danzig or war!"
"You guys know what to do. You been doing this as long as I have."
"I must be some kind of beast or something."
"Fuck you, Cathars! Fuck you forever! Fuck you - oh hi."
"Wawzynic! My old friend! This is, what, the third time I've kicked your ass, massacred your army, captured you and locked you in the dungeon with your old pal the shit bucket? And then forced you to make humiliating territorial concessions? Ain't that a hoot?"
"Make sure you get my good side."
"What is it, lad?"
"Well, I kind of... w-well -"
"Spit it out. Every second wasted is a second before the Mongols attack again."
"I n-need help with some money. There was this African p-prince -"
"... I knew I should have done something about that guy."
"Huh. It looks like they made the bit in the play where I broke character in the middle of the performance and rode out to conquer the mongols part of the script. Good on them."
"I may or may not be the most prestigious and holy man in the world right now. What's that - eleven Duchies?"
"Women want me, men want to be me... yeah I think I did all right."
"Sweden's looking all right too. I think I did good, all told. I think I did pretty good."
"... I don't want to die. I've still got more work to do."
"GUESS WHO'S BACK, MOTHERFUCKERS!"
"We danced this dance before."
"The partners may change but the steps stay the same."
"Rally, advanced, concentrate, victory. Just like the last time. Just like the time before that."
"Aw, well wasn't that sweet."
"Listen, lad. Your pappy must have taught you a thing or two about this part because it was, like, all he did. I'ma take your land and you're going to wring your hands and do nothing until I get around to kicking your ass again. I know you got a hard job but someone's gotta do it."
"So... here I am. At eighty. I've spent the past fifty years at war and never been cut. I've spent the past fifty years fighting for the Church and Christ, for King and Country...
"But there's still more to do. There has to be something more to do. Guard! Get me my helmet, I'm going over to Poland again -"
"Oh dear, I seem to have fallen. And I can't get up.
"... may as well catch up on some reading. Asta left a book for me to read, right at the end."
"... you know?
"She's right. I've put this off too long.
"There's nothing to fear. I lived a holy life. I stood up for the Church when no one else would.
"I don't need to be afraid.
"I don't need to be afraid any more..."
Duke Poul would be forever remembered as the defining figure of the 14th century. Without his selfless, endless heroism Europe would have looked very different.