(This is almost everything I’ve written in the past few days, after restarting my post-apocalyptic North America Crusader Kings 2 game as Duke Truman Still of Chariton earlier this week.)
War, Peace, and Succession
July 2666 – January 2669
After swearing fealty to King Franklin in 2664, Duke Truman served as his Lord Treasurer, usually spending a part of each year in Des Moines and in his own lands near the kingdom’s southern borders when he wasn’t traveling in either direction or on His Majesty’s business.
In early July 2666 (the earliest comprehensive surviving records), Duke Truman decided to marry, visiting the court of Count Lyman of Ottumwa (who had three daughters of marriageable age and no sons) and sending emissaries to Duke Jeroboam of Forgottonia (who had two daughters of marriageable age, in addition to his son and heir). While returning to Des Moines from Kirksville, Duke Truman asked Count Lyman for the hand of Evanora, Count Lyman’s youngest daughter.
On July 15, 2666 Duke Truman Still married Evanora, the youngest daughter of Count Lyman of Ottumwa, at Ottumwa. At 31 years of age, Duke Truman was ten years older than his wife, who was said to be the most clever of Count Lyman’s daughters. Duke Truman paid for the ceremonies out of his own pocket, deciding against levying a special marriage duty on his vassals and lands, and spent some time in Kirksville and Maryville with his new wife before returning to Des Moines. This is also around the same time that King Franklin first became known as “the Careless” and passed laws slightly increasing the power of the king at the expense of the nobility. In any event, Duchess Evanora was pregnant by the end of October, and in early November King Franklin summoned his vassals for war against the Duchy of the Quad Cities, declaring his intent to return Bettendorf, Davenport, and Eldrige to their rightful place under Iowan rule rather than being ruled by Duke Calvin Rodman. Duke Truman was entrusted with business in and around Des Moines, but some 300 men from Duke Truman’s lands were summoned to serve in the war.
In December 2666, after much waiting and delay, Abbot Merriweather finally received an audience with His Holiness Praised-Be in New Rome on behalf of Duke Truman and improved the Pope’s opinion of Duke Truman.
It took several months for the Iowan army to assemble, but by April 2667 the Iowan army had begun to lay siege to Bettendorf, where Duke Calvin of the Quad Cities had his seat. The Quadurbanite army had fled across the Mississippi rather than fight the larger Iowan army.
Duke Truman befriended Lavon, a man of humble (but noble) birth in his service after an inconclusive training bout resulted in a draw after both men were bruised, but otherwise uninjured. The next day, on April 23 2667, Duke Truman and Duchess Evanora’s first daughter was born and named Fairuza after Duchess Evanora’s mother.
In late July 2667, Duke Truman’s steward Sheldon was suspected of embezzlement, but investigation revealed that Duke Truman’s cook had forgotten to account for some extra eggs that had been purchased the month before. Around the same time, Count Zedkiah of Prairie Rapids made known his interest in reducing King Franklin’s power and return the powers of the Iowan nobility to the level that they had enjoyed before July 2666. This is also around the time that it was learned that the heathen King Melis of the Badgerlings, from the wilderness once known as Wisconsin, was also at war with the Duke of the Quad Cities, as Iowan scouts encountered 2000 Badgerling men laying siege to Galena.
Bettendorf surrendered to King Franklin in late November 2667. Duke Truman celebrated Christmas that year in Kirksville, and Abbot Merriweather’s prayer at the Christmas Mass that year for Duchess Evanora’s health and a healthy son for the Duke and Duchess was the first tidings most people heard of Duke Truman and Duchess Evanora expecting another child.
On April 1, 2668, Duke Truman announced his intent to return the County of Thompson, ruled by Napoleon Moberly, to its rightful place as part of the Duchy of Chariton and mustered his levies. Count Hamilcar of Hannibal brought 2 score of his own men, while men in Duke Truman’s service led 870 men from Nodaway and 600 men from the lands around Kirksville. After Duke Truman’s 1500 men met south of Kirksville in early May, they began marching south down the old road to Moberly.
Duke Truman was occupied with the king’s business in Des Moines, so Count Hamilcar of Hannibal was given overall command of the Duke of Chariton’s 1500 men. Lavon Graham, a knight from the village of Graham south of Maryville, was given command of the left flank due to demonstrated martial ability, and Mayor Isaac of Rock Port, in spite of his lack of martial experience, volunteered to command the right flank.
In the first skirmishes with the Count of Thompson’s men, the 100 men on the Thompson left collapsed and fled after being harassed by Lavon Graham’s 800 men, primarily due to Lavon Graham’s archers and light horse attacking from multiple directions. The Thompson commander, supposedly a courtier of Count Napoleon, apparently had very little military experience and most of his few scouts were prevented from reporting to their commander. Meanwhile, Mayor Isaac’s 100 men advanced on the Thompson flank while Count Hamilcar’s 500 men skirmished and met with the 700 men led by Morgan Carrollton, a knight in the service of Count Napoleon of Thompson. After the Thompson left collapsed, Lavon Graham brought his 800 men around to flank the Thompson army. The Battle of Moberly saw 1500 Chariton men face 900 Thompson men and was a complete Chariton victory, as the entire Thompson army were killed or wounded while only 250 of the 1500 Chariton men were killed or wounded. The Chariton army then began to lay siege to Moberly in mid-June.
In the Quad Cities, Davenport fell to King Franklin’s army in early July, and a Badgerling army began to besiege Rock Island, the only land of the Quad Cities that hadn’t fallen to the Iowan or Badgerling armies. On July 23, 2668, Duke Truman and Duchess Evanora’s second daughter Evanora was born. Evanora was smaller and seemed weaker than her elder sister Fairuza, and many prayers were said for her future health.
November 2668 dawned with the tidings that Duke Calvin of the Quad Cities had made peace with the Badgerling heathens and ceded Galena to their King in exchange for peace. Rock Island had fallen to the Iowan army, and Duke Truman’s men were laying siege to Moberly. On November 22, King Franklin and Duke Calvin made peace, and King Franklin received Bettendorf, Davenport, and Eldridge from Duke Calvin. At the end of November, Abbot Merriweather sent a letter saying he had improved Bishop Morgan of Carondelet’s opinion of Duke Truman.
The Chariton siege of Moberly lasted until March 13 2669, when Moberly and Count Napoleon surrendered to Count Hannibal and the Duke of Chariton’s army. Count Napoleon Moberly of Thompson agreed to swear fealty to Duke Truman and King Franklin, and was shortly thereafter appointed Master of the Horse of Chariton.
In late May 2669, His Holiness Praised-Be called a council to discuss aid that could be rendered to Catholics threatened by heathens. On June 19, 2669, His Holiness Praised-Be gave a speech calling for all true Catholics to take up the cross and come to the salvation of the souls in the heathen Kingdom of Louisiana, which had been ruled for many years by Voodoo kings. Duke Denton Wise of Metroplex, a Texan duke on Louisana’s north-western border, had attacked King Louis of Louisiana and written to His Holiness for aid, and the Pope promised absolution of sins for all Catholics that took up the cross to take Louisiana from its heathen rulers.
In August of that year the Rust Cultist Oligarch of Indianapolis took Chicago from the Duke of Calumet, who had been Catholic until he was led astray and converted to Atomicism.
On November 12, 2669, King Franklin of Iowa died in his sleep at the age of 62 years. His eldest son Franklin succeeded him as the second King of Iowa, and was 40 years of age when he acceded to the throne. Eustace, the new king’s younger brother, inherited the Duchy of Iowa, and Glen, the late king’s infant son by his second wife, inherited the counties of Decorah and Scott. Duke Truman was retained in his position as Lord Treasurer by the new king.
On December 23, 2669, a son was born to Duke Truman and Duchess Evanora and named Lyman after his mother’s father, the Count of Ottumwa.