|The English Empire|
English Empire's Shield
Medieval 2 - Total War
47 (I think?)
The English Empire was the faction Damo2986 decided to play during his Let's Play: Medieval 2 - Total War campaign. It included most of Western Europe, excluding most of the Iberian peninsula, and the Holy Lands. The forging of this empire took from 1080 to 1197, a period of 117 years.
English History by KingEdit
William the Conqueror earned his title when he claimed the English throne in 1066, winning the Battle of Hastings. He was not politically active for another fourteen years, however; one can only assume that he was waiting for his children to reach maturity and ensure his bloodline's claim to the throne. What is known is that English diplomat Laurence Bidell sold trade rights to the French in 1080, reopening the doors of English politics. Later in the year, William consented to have his daughter Celilia marry Prince Edward Canmore of Scotland. York was claimed by England in 1082, expanding their territory for the first time. Prince Rufus married the following year, and in the year following that both conquered Wales and produced William his first grandchild, Hubert. After another two year interval, another territory was conquered in 1086: Rennes, the first conquered region not in the British Isles. Later that year, Edward Canmore died in a tragic accident, slipping down some stone steps and breaking his neck.
King William forged an alliance was made with the Papal States in 1089, putting England in good standing with the Pope. Tensions also rose with Portugal, as they seemed to be eyeing Ireland's capital of Dublin, which William wanted to claim as well. In 1090, Prince Rufus adopted one Laurence Harmer into the English family and two more alliances were secured, both with Venice and Denmark. King William the Conqueror passed away the following year, and while he did not unite the British Isles, he laid the foundations for his son Rufus.
King Rufus's first act was to name his adopted son, Laurence Harmer, as his successor. This was something of an upset to the rest of the family, but they accepted the decision. 1092 was an eventful year: Pope Gregory called for a Crusade on Jerusalem, Dublin was conquered before the Portuguese could take it, and Denmark was excommunicated. Lastly, the King of Scotland died, and with Edward Canmore dead, there was no heir to the Scottish throne; therefore, the kingdom ceased to be, leaving Scotland free to conquer.
The Crusade took priority, as the religious Prince Laurence sought to participate; attention was therefore diverted into readying his crusader army. Pope Gregory even helped finance this army in 1093, being all the more appreciative of the faithful after excommunicating the Milanese earlier that year. Inspired, Laurance officially joined the Crusade immediately afterwards, crossing the English channel and opting to march to the Holy Land across Europe. Soon afterwards, the French made an audacious demand of money from the English, threatening to attack if not paid; in turn, English reversed the demand for even more money, which was prompty refused. The next year, Prince Laurence left English territory and started the trek across Europe, although he married before leaving. Relations with France worsened due to Laurance's unauthorized trek through their territory. In addition, Matilda, the mother of the King, died that year, peacefully.
In 1095, Milan declared war on the Papacy and King Rufus began implementing a new political method known as the Splinter Cell, a diplomat/spy/assassin trio, which was sent to keep an eye on France. The next year, Prince Laurence was blesssed with a son, Ambrose, who was sent back to England. Back in Europe, the splinter cell had mixed results, the spy and diplomat failing but the assassin, Toby of Old Sarum, showing promise. The crusading army got hung up at Constantinople in 1097, forcing them to take a detour. Two years later, they learned that the route they had planned was blocked by mountains too dangerous to cross, forcing them to take a long way around. All the while, the splinter cell's nefarious deeds began to darken King Rufus' reputation.
In 1100, the legitimate (and understandably frustrated) son of King Rufus, Hubert, came of age. In addition, Edinburgh, the one-time capital of Scotland, was captured at long last. On the downturn, France forged an alliance with the Papal States that year, dramatically improving their relationship with Pope Gregory. Additionally, the Venician crusaders, headed by Councillor Barbus, managed to beat Prince Laurence to Jerusalem, capturing the city in the following year. Prince Laurence was upset, but after being commended for his efforts by the Pope, he decided to claim the settlement of Adana to form England's own crusader state. His unruly and restless men unfortunately exterminated the settlement despite the Prince's intentions.
With the capture of Inverness, Britian was finally united in 1102. Pope Gregory died the following year, leading to a Papal election. The English cardinals strategically voted for Venice, buying them good standing with the new Pope Zappa. Meanwhile, Prince Laurence adopted fellow crusader Jasper of Eynsham into the royal family, wishing for as much support in the Middle East as possible. In the following year, Hubert sired a grandson for King Rufus, one Paul by name. The assassinations by Toby of Old Sarum continued to darken King Rufus' reputation, earning him the title of King Rufus the Malevolent.
Prince Laurence got restless of sitting around in Adana, waiting for the settlement to gradually improve. In 1106, he took most of his army and marched to take Antioch. He took it in the following year, while in Europe, Danish armies marched into English territory, although they promptly marched out again. A new crusade was called in 1107, directed at Vilnius of the excommunicated Holy Roman Empire. Young family member Harold answered the call, only for said call to be repealed as Pope Zappa died in 1109 and his successor, Pope Vitalus, cancelled the crusade. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Prince Laurence's efforts to claim Aleppo left Antioch in a state of revolt. He would later abandon the village in 1111 in favour of capturing Acre. In the following year, Laurence's son, Ambrose Harmer, came of age and briefly usurped control of London from King Rufus himself before being booted up to York, and the famed diplomat Laurence Bidell died of natural causes. Acre was successfuly claimed that same year, giving the crusader prince a proper base to work with.
Despite King Rufus' reputation, he was a deeply religious man, and whether by righteous fervour or desire for territory, he convinced Pope Vitalus to declare a crusade on Spain's capital of Zarigoza. Michell, one of Rufus' nephews, took command of the crusading army. The French, ever the meddler in British affairs, barred Michell's path and forced him to take the long way around, resulting in massive desertions by the English crusaders. To make matters worse, with most of England's army being part of the crusades, the French finally declared war on England in 1116, besieging the city of Rennes. Michell faced even more desertions in the following year, while family member Harold led another army to fend off the French invaders. The English were victorious, and while many prisoners were taken, no quarter was given. In vengeance, Prince Gervaisot of France was assassinated by the reknown assassin Toby the Killer. That act made assassin and king synonymous, and his majesty was forevermore known as King Rufus the Killer.
Prince Laurence, learning of the troubles in England, gathered his forces and set sail back to England, hoping to assist. In Europe, efforts to convince the Danish to help battle France proved fruitless. Finally, in a disasterious blunder by general Lewes Scrobe, two thousand gold was given to the Byzantines during the peace talks instead of demanded. Fortunately, since the Portuguese completed the crusade in 1118, the peace talks with Spain restored the lost finances. This also freed Michell's army to attack the French. Despite efforts to convince Spain to join in the fray, they refused. Despite concerns that England was losing Papal favour, they had it restored when Pope Vitalus died the following year, being replaced with a third Venician, Pope Gualandus. In other fortunate news, the promising general Simon Maitland married into the family that same year. On the war front, Michell besieged the city of Marseille and Harold conquered the undermanned fortress of Angers, killing King Bertran of France in the process.
King Rufus the Killer died in 1120, following shortly after Pope Gualandus the Corrupt. The first act of the successor Pope Buonaconsus was to preside over the King of England's funeral, acknowledging that his many good deeds outweighed his sins, ensuring his place in heaven.
King Laurence was still at sea when news reached him of King Rufus' death. An impromptu crowning took place, although he wished for a proper crowning upon his return to England. His heir was naturally his son, Prince Ambrose. Michell successfully captured Marseille, with the French retaliating by attacking Angers and Caen. King Robert of France was assassinated in 1121, but despite hopes that he was the final member of French nobility, the French royals lived on. Pope Buonaconsus died that same year, and Papal favour with him; the aptly named Pope Villanus the Missionary was French. Angers survived the massive siege by the French, but at the cost of Harold's life. His loss, however, would only spur the English more.
Meanwhile, in the waters between Sicily and Italy, King Laurence's fleet got fenced in by Byzantine and Egyptian fleets. Breaking through the Byzantine line, he ended up declaring war on both them and their Milanese supporters. Acre fell to the Egyptians in 1122, losing England's hold on the Holy Land. Making matters worse, the Milanese marched toward Marseille with a large army. Another French ruler, King Pierre, was also assasinated. As Milan sent its army against Marseille, it sent its fleet against King Laurence. His fleet was diverted away from Europe, preventing him from reaching dry land ever again. King Laurence died at sea in 1123, slipping on some wet planking and cracking his skull on the railing. His was an ignoble end to a tragic life, the birth of his son being his sole great accomplishment.
Upon his crowning, King Ambrose left York and began to assemble his army in Nottingham; he wanted to defeat the French personally. Back at Marseille, Michell successfully repelled the Milanese army in a heroic victory. In an effort to restore peace with Milan, hundreds of soldiers were offered for a total ransom of nearly five thousand florins, but it was rejected and they were executed instead. Out to sea, the Milanese fleet again attacked the reinforcements once headed by King Laurence, forcing them to retreat towards Spain. Fearing another attack, the soldiers aboard were dropped off on the Iberian peninsula the following year, which did not please the Spanish and Portuguese. With a promising commander, Nicholas Horston, marrying into the family, the remnants of King Laurence's forces marched north to rendevous with their new commander.
Suffering greatly from the war, the French came on bended knee and begged the English for a ceasefire. Michell agreed, but only after they forked over four thousand florins. Similar negotiations were attempted with the Milanese, but to no avail. King Ambrose and Nicholas Horston crossed the channel and readied their forces, Nicholas waiting in Angers while the king waiting outside French lands, waiting for the right time to resume war. In 1126, Pope Villanus the Missionary died and was replaced with Pope Niccolus, a Dane, thereby improving Papal relations. Toby the Killer also died that year and was mourned for by the English royalty.
At long last, King Laurence's crusader army reached Angers in 1127. After a year of sorting his men, Nicholas Horston readied his army along the French border. In a stunning proposal, Princess Margaida of Portugal offered to wed the young King Ambrose, securing an alliance between the nations; it was swiftly accepted. They wed on New Year's Day of 1129, but in a cruel twist of fate, Portugal also allied with France. King Ambrose was unconcerned with this, however, and carried on with his plans. Recently deemed King Ambrose the Malevolent for his use of assassins (albeit poor successors to Toby the Killer), he charged into France that very year. Despite the royal wedding, Portugal decided to side with France, leaving their alliance in tatters and damaging the couple's relationship. Regardless, the slaughter of unsuspecting French troops removed all sense of disrespect the king once thought about. On the flip side, Pope Niccolus the Missionary was greatly displeased with King Ambrose and threatened to excommunicate the English if they continued with the war. King Ambrose did not care, however, and carried on regardless. Capturing Rheims in 1130, England was excommunicated.
Much of England was greatly upset by the excommunication, forcing taxes to be lowered in order to maintain order. Michell even considered abandoning Marseilles, though more on account of a plague devastating the city. Meanwhile, Nicholas Horston proved his worth by crushing several French armies. In 1131, King Ambrose conquered Metz and slew Prince Fulk of France, while Nicholas returned to Caen to replenish his troops. With finances in good stead, higher quality buildings started to be erected in English cities, and King Ambrose deemed it necessary to besiege the French capital, Paris, and Nicholas Horston took it within a year; however some French troops immediately counter-besieged it. In addition, the last remaining French, in a last act of defiance, besieged Marseille, and proceeded, much to general Michell's horror, proceeded to outflank him on not only one, but two sides! However, due to his excellent commanding skills, the English managed to repel all three attacks, and win the siege, executing all the prisoners.
After some preparations, in 1133 Nicholas Horston and King Ambrose marched on Dijon and the last capital of the French, Bern, respectively, while England's sole cardinal (and an assassin) tried repeatedly, with little success, to expunge heretics from the isle. Horston quickly captured Dijon in the year of 1134, killing the king, while Ambrose marched almost to the gates of Bern. In the next year, Horston captured Dijon with little fuss, and the heretic was finally burned alive, while a promising young assassin, Lewis Shillam, was trained. In the grand climax, King Ambrose personally led his forces in the final showdown against France, and her final king. The English easily won the skirmishes in the main city, but when the French retreated to the inner citadel, things took a turn for the worse. However, King Ambrose tore down the gates, and killed first the King, and then the Prince. In this manner, in the year 1135, France was destroyed, the first, but not the last, faction the English would conquer.
With France gone, the King turned his attention away from war and into stability and peace, and especially balancing the books as best as possible, especially with the country nearly four times richer than 20 years before. However, war was not completely off his mind, and he started to slowly recruit an army to take on Spain. Lewis Shillam was trained further, and the royal family started to think of him as a potential successor to Toby the Killer, while Stephen Swanley, another assassin, developed some good skills as well. Robert of Nottingham, a diplomat travelling to Rome, was shocked to find that the city was in Milanese hands. This was further compounded in 1136 when the Milanese laid siege to Dijon, having snuck an army there without warning.
Nicholas Horston, however, would not stand for this, and in a brilliant display of generalship, he crushed the Milanese force, even though he was greatly outnumbered, and he came through the battle with only one bodyguard remaining. This turn of events was enhanced by the promotion of two English cardinals to the college, bringing the total number to five. King Ambrose had decreed earlier on in the year that English generals and family members would be granted an unprecedented amount of control over their lands, and so most of the commanders in the British Isles immediately started training armies. These were to crush rebels, who had been terrorising the English countryside for years, because the kings had bigger fish to fry. The Milanese laid siege to Marseille, while the city undergoes severe unrest.
In the year 1138, to everyones's shock and horror, the Danes betrayed England, declaring war on them, marching an army into English lands, and sending a fleet into the English Channel. To compound this disaster, a huge Milanese army laid siege to Bern. In the winter of that year, a Danish assassin tried to assassinate Simon Maitland; he failed, and was assassinated himself in revenge. King Ambrose returned to England, while Simon Maitland and Lewes Scrope took over his army in his stead.
King Michell the WrathfulEdit
King Jacob the MalevolentEdit
King Nicholas the WrathfulEdit
Nicholas assumed the throne immediately after his father's passing, determined to claim Jerusalem. It was a short reign, as King Nicholas died a mere two years later, slain during the final moments of the battle for the city. Despite his tragic loss, the Holy Land was claimed by the English and swiftly acknowledged by the papacy. In the summer of 1197, his successor, King Paul II, was officially crowned High King and Protector of Christendom by the Pope himself, solidifying the English Empire as the dominant political power in Europe.