I write this by the grace of God. The Empire is dead. It is no more. Fire has claimed it and the wind carries it to Heaven. I ride with my Lord Philip, to whom I shall refer to as “Lord” since he bears neither the title of Ceaser nor of Rex Francorum. My Lord’s face is weary. Back in the home country, they call him Philip “the Just”, the man who knelt to save his people. Truly he is a father to France and the French. A kind, yet stern parent who will not abandon them in their time of need, but will neither hold their hand through life. Time tells many tales of Kings who allowed for the spilling of their subjects’ blood in exchange for gold and prestige. Time will not remember Philip like those men. Let time remember Lord Philip as a father. A man whose first duty is to his people. A King’s head is only strong enough to support a proper crown. One which is free of grief or regret. Gold mixed with innocent blood is a burden too cumbersome for any Godly man to wear.
Today is a cool night in September. We would still be harvesting, had the Germans left any wheat unburnt. Instead, France is left scarred and her people hungry and afraid. This task, which I do not take lightly, has befallen me and I intend to see it through. Lord Philip has called me to witness and to scribe all and everything important at the peace treaty in Bern. We have been at war for fifty years. I have seen only thirty summers. The war had seen more summer nights and more winter mornings than I have. Cruelty befits you, foul beast! Irony upon the ancestors for making such a cruel jest possible! I digress. We near the port of the Germans. The Holy Roman Empire; what remains of Charlemagne’s achievements. From Brittany to Dalmatia his borders stretched. If I didn’t know any better, I’d claim he was heir to Aurelius or Alexander. But if that were true, then Lord Philip here would be a man with a heavy burden on his shoulders. The weight of greatness troubles him. The responsibility of rule weighs on him like the stones off of the coasts of Dover. I pray he remains strong.
Today we arrive in Bern. We are greeted by the Germans and offered many guestrights despite our countries being at war for longer than I have drawn breath. I’m sure more than half of those who died and suffered through this past half-century didn’t even know what the war was about or for. The call to war is a call few men can turn down. While we are here, Lord Philip’s mother Empress Georgina rules over what lands remain. Understand, that once we are finished here, we must return to a land which is plagued by both rebelling Imperials and rogue warlords who refused to return to Germania when the Kaiser recalled his forces. The real war begins there. The war to retake all of France from the clutches of those who would destroy her.
I have been allowed to write during the discussion today, God bless. What happens in this room I can only describe as pure Hell. Lord Philip is so pure. He fights tooth and nail for his people, while the Kaiser and Pope Innocent III, the fledgling Holy Father from Iberia, attempt to tear our country apart. Lord Philip knows, however, that despite their victory, they cannot hope to fight an additional year, let alone multiple. It is in the best interest of everyone for the Carolingian Empire and the Roman Empire to settle their disputes. I know the bards will sing of this war for generations to come, but I oft wonder about the men and women who died in those battles and sieges. Who will remember their names? If I knew them, I would write a book about every single name. Every single soldier and peasant killed by fire or steel during these fifty years deserves to be granted Heaven and absolution for fighting for the Emperor. And yet, all we have to show for these years of war is a single parchment, decorated by some sealing wax and three great signatures with only a couple of drops of ink’s worth of history. I will pray for them and I hope they will pray for us…
In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti,
We, the belligerents of this war, call upon the good reason of God to once and for all, settle the dispute of the war of fifty long summers. In God’s eternal mercy and heavenly embrace, we draft this treaty in the virtues of peace and love between fellow Christians.
Let it be known that the Sirius Empire, founded by Torrino “the Founder” shall give up the German-speaking borderlands which dot the Kingdoms of Deston and Munrich. Furthermore, the Holy Father, Pope Innocent III shall make it so that all the Kings of France shall be no more. Their crowns shall pass only as Ducal ones if so they are seen fit to wear them. If not, their crowns shall wear them as Counts. Following this holy order, the Second Carolingian Empire is dissolved, as well as the titles of Emperor of it, the Sirius Empire, and the Aqvintian Empire. Instead, Pope Innocent III and Kaiser Wilhelm II as well as King Philip II ratify the formation of the Kingdom of France. Lord Philip II Sirius will be crowned as Franciae Rex and will be given a claim upon the de Jure lands of Western Frankia, with the City of Rosewood as its capital.
The Holy Roman Empire’s Kaiser is the true inheritor of Rome, meaning no other man except the Kaiser can claim the rank of Imperator, or be crowned as such by any member of the Catholic Church.
A peace will be put into effect where France and the Holy Roman Empire are forbidden from going to war against each other for at least another half-century.
May the good glory of God envelop those fallen and may it guide the living. Amen.
Signed:Treaty of Bern, dated 1174 Christmas Day, bearing the Imperial seal of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Papal seal and the Royal Seal of France, written originally in Latin
-Kaiser Willhelm II von Eppenstein, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
-Pope Innocent III, successor to St. Peter, Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome
-King Philip II Sirius, Lord of France
Thus the fate of men is decided. Nay! The fate of both Kings and wars and crises! On this day an Empire died alongside its Emperor, but a Kingdom rose from its ashes. Long live Philip, King of France! Amen!