Part 31: Lorraine Part 1: 1399-1446Lorraine Part 1: 1399-1446
This, and any any future LPs of mine will differ from the prior games I've done. There won't be any verbose descriptions about new game mechanics or complex descriptions of why I've made the choices I have. I've already gone through most of the subjects in EU3 that I have a solid understanding of. This thread has proven to have some people in it who know quite a bit about the game though, so any questions you have about gameplay will probably still get answered by either myself or someone else relatively quickly. These are simply going to be some fun nations and scenarios that I've been wanting to try for my own personal enjoyment.
Lorraine is a small Duchy in the Holy Roman Empire, positioned between France and Burgundy to the west and a sea of Holy Roman Imperial states to its east and north. We're a remnant of the old kingdom of Lotharingia which stretched from the Dutch Lowlands to Central Italy.
Our realm includes two provinces - Metz, and our capital, Lothringen. Both provinces have a healthy tax base and economies that revolve around mining operations, the smelting of iron, and metalworking.
Duke Charles I de Metz rules over the realm of Lorraine. Some would say that he's a rather unremarkable man, but he does have the military savvy necessary to watch over a land surrounded by potential threats.
Lorraine has an exceptionally sophisticated government. The Duke maintains a strong sway over the affairs of regional aristocracy, though the noble class is still kept happy with special privileges. The common peoples of Lorraine enjoy many more freedoms than those in other nearby Duchies and Kingdoms. They have rights to amass wealth, to move freely, and to own and operate businesses that generate revenues in amounts that would make a nobleman jealous. Due to those granted freedoms and our leaning towards innovative thought, many of the well-to-do from Lorraine travel at a young age to study at the universities of Paris, Prague, Oxford, or northern Italy.
Bar, Luxemburg, Trier, The Palatinate, Alsace, Baden, and Austria all share borders with our territory. We can't really count any of our current neighbors as enemies, but the Duke of Burgundy is ambitious and may make attempts to subjugate us in the future if he continues to grow his realm.
Charles is well aware that the people of Lorraine have made it more prosperous than many of its neighbors. With the help of his advisors, Charles is able to strengthen Lorraine's trading heritage even further.
Great works of art are commissioned by the state.
Burgundy and Austria are offered military access through our territory to deter any hasty invasions by either of them.
Meanwhile, news comes from the west that Portugal has staked their claim on the throne of Castille.
Charles' decade-long focus on economic matters has been embraced by most officials within the government. Not only are Lorraine's people skilled merchants, but certain intangible strengths begin to show within their government and businesses which other nations are finding difficult to emulate.
While Charles de Metz has recognized the benefit of strenghening the state's economy, his true calling has always been military matters. Lorraine's origin can be traced back to a grand kingdom of Lotharingia that spanned the length of Central Europe. Charles truly believes that the Lorrainian government is the direct evolution of that once great kingdom, and he isn't subtle about letting others know. Somehow, the Duchy of Alsace has misconstrued Charles' military buildups and strong sense of Lorranian superiority as some sort of insult.
Charles is not a great diplomat by any sense of the word. He responds to the worries of his neighbors declaring an era of peace in the region. This doesn't quite come across in the way Charles intended.
A university scholar in Bohemia begins speaking of heretical beliefs regarding Catholicism, and he is thrown in prison as a result.
Charles I passes away peacefully in 1414. His son and heir, Charles II will remain in tutelage until he is old enough to assume full responsibilities of administering the Duchy.
The years pass in relative peace. Nearly a decade of development occurs under the regency council. In 1423, Charles II de Metz becomes Duke of Lorraine. He absorbed his military training like a sponge, mastering the tactics, techniques, and science of war. He is a savvy diplomat as well, unlikely to make the same mistakes as his father.
The Palatinate and Alsace go to war, and Charles II sees an opportunity.
A hasty alliance is formed with The Palatinate. This is just diplomatic maneuvering to gain rightful cause to go to war against Alsace. Relations with Alsace have deteriorated ever since Charles I's time, but Lorraine has never had a proper casus belli to settle their differences on the battlefield. Lorraine declares war on Alsace to aid their ally.
Alsace occupies The Palatinate while their own territory is beseiged, then launches a joint invasion into Lorraine with their ally, Trier. Charles II takes to the battlefield himself and turns the invasion back and pursues their fleeing forces into Trier where they are forced to surrender.
The Palatinate loses their nerve for war with their home provinces occupied and makes a white peace with Alsace. Charles II continues though, seizing the Elsass and then annexing it. This puts unlawfully held Imperial territory in Lorraine's hands, but Charles believes that with the aid of a talented diplomat to advise him, they'll be able to weather any ill effects.
The Aristocracy grow in strength under Charles II's rule. The nobles provide a valuable source of well-equipped, eager cavalry with superb riding skills, and Charles can see the benefit in allowing them to flourish.
The jailing of Jan Hus has cause a Hussite movement through Bohemia. Religious zealots rise up and fight for their beliefs, but they are mercilessly put down again and again.
The tone of Burgundy's dealings with us have soured in recent years. It is evident to Charles that they are likely to make a move against us at some point.
Charles II recalls the stories his father told him of a greater Lorraine. Remembering those stories of Lotharingia and ancient kings provides Charles II with some inspiration. Diplomats and officials are sent to family holdings in Metz where they delve through old documents, and find legitimate claims on territory held by our neighbors.
Charles II jumps at the opportunities this news provides. The Palatinate is his first target.
Lorrainian troops lead by Charles II defeat the Count's army and lays siege to their holdings.
A wide range of military practices put into place by Charles II gradually reshapes the Lorrainian military. Their discipline and fearlessness becomes a point of pride to the nation.
The Palatinate is completely annexed by Lorraine. This adds another core province to our holdings, but also another unlawfully held imperial territory. With the Palatinate defeated, Charles II keeps his momentum up by declaring war and moving against Trier.
Trier suffers for the assistance they provided to Alscace earlier in Charles' life. Their cities are occupied and then annexed into Lorraine, though Charles himself dies during a siege. The Lorrainian army marches back to Lothringen from their new holdings to put down a pretender revolt that rose up upon Charles' death. In 1439, Charles II's younger brother, Francois Ettiene de Metz becomes Duke of Lorraine. He is a sickly man with few remarkable traits.
Scholars discover another document which ties lordship of Barrois to the de Metz line. Barrois is under the control of a powerful Burgundy though, so any unilateral move by us to seize it would end in disaster.
The Austrian Emperor asks us politely for our unlawfully held territory. Actually, they ask for all of it within the span of a few months, but Francois Ettiene is bullheaded and refuses to give even an inch. His brother died in battle to return those lands to Lorraine. Certainly any lack of claims on the adjacent territories is just a matter of lost paperwork.
In 1446, Burgundy comes under attack by France and suffers some tremendous losses in a relatively short amount of time. Francois ruminates on whether he can use this situation to deliver the province of Barrois to the rightful rule of Lorraine.