Duchess Elisa of Provence 1112AD
My plans for Geneve are poorly thought out: in his wisdom Kaiser Gunzelin the Good has ruled that vassals may not wage war against each other. So be it. Truth be told, the notion left a bitter taste. I have a much better idea now, I do not know why I did not think of it earlier: Count Andreas has only a daughter, the charming Osterhild de Geneve. It seems like a match should be made with Gilbert, my second son.
Ælfwine has died. The old man didn’t last the year. I like to think he enjoyed our arrangement. There will soon be nobody left to remember the man, the last surviving descendant of King Knud the Great, King of England, Norge and Danmark. How the mighty fall.
Why can the men not be content in their station? I have just heard that the Prince-Bishop Isarad of Nice has been murdered on the instructions of my very own spymaster, Count Doumenge. Why? I do not see what Doumenge has to gain from this? The new bishop, Simon, strikes me as a proud and envious man, perhaps he had a hand in this? What hold does he have over my spymaster? Can I trust Doumenge? Perhaps the dungeon is the best place for him? I do not know what to do. I wish Albert was still here.
My son Gilbert is doing well. I still worry about Doumenge.
25th March 1113
I wish Garcenda was more like her brother. I pray for her soul.
I will have to act. I have no proof, but I suspect Doumenge is up to his tricks again. I have given him a chance to repent, and now he must face the consequences of his actions. I order the guards to imprison him. Sadly the make a mess of the job and Provence is now in civil war.
I am informed that Doumenge can only field a twelve hundred men. I will soon make an example of him.
Aton, my marshal, informs me the war goes well. We have triumphed in the first battle and have captured Duomenge’s brother, Gui d’ Orange. While he he’s transported back to Arles, my armies lay siege to Orange.
8th November 1114
The war continues to drag out: Doumenge has spent nearly a whole year hiding in his castle. At least I have support of the Emperor.
22nd March 1114
This dreadful little war is finally over. Doumenge is stripped of his titles and left to rot in the dungeon. Should I be merciful?
11th February 1116
It is happened again: my marriage has been annulled and my husband has joined the church. My advisors are all ready trying to arrange a 4th husband. A farce. Without a husband, the day to day work of managing my estates is too much. I decide to grant the Barony of Grimaud to Leon Robertszoon. One less thing for me to worry about.
Dear little Gilbert has developed a zealous streak. As my second son, it is perhaps fortuitous that he finds such a calling. I am starting to worry about Jaufret though. The boy eats too much and is far too proud.
The bastard used the claim.
14th February 1117
Prince Amadeus appears to be a good match: he shares my faith that heaven is all that we need and a celibate mortal life is as god intended.
Summer is well and truly upon us now. Gilbert is growing up to be a sweet and kind young man. Prince Amadeus appears quite taken with him. If only life stopped at my borders, everything would be as God intends. However, to the south, I hear worrying news regarding the followers of Islam
I decided to appoint dear Blasi as spymaster: times like this I need somebody I can trust.
11th April 1118
My steward has made a wonderful suggestion as to how we can calm the Muslim menace: we will befriend with with trade! It will take some time and money, but I’m assured that it will ease tensions.
The ship sets sail!
We arrive in the realm of Sultan Muslihiddin and present him with some of our finest silks and cloth as a gift.
This is awkward. The sultan takes offense at Ubald’s uncultured ways. I reassure the sultan that Ubald is only a street urchin, which seems to calm him. Later I see Ubald glare at me.
10th April 1119
the trade expedition continues to go well. The clergymen who have traveled with us put on a miracle play to teach the sultan’s court some of our history.
I have been away from my lands too long. The peasants in Nice are revolting! It should be easy enough to put down, but I worry about unrest.
I feel ill…