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Thread: Papal CrusadAARs - A Papal States AAR

  1. #1

    Papal CrusadAARs - A Papal States AAR

    Settings: AGCEEP 1.55 Normal/Normal

    Obectives:
    1) If possible, take and hold Thrace and convert it to Catholic.
    2) Claim the Holy Land for Christianity (Judea, Samaria, Lebanon). If it becomes feasible to convert them, do it.
    3) Absorb Italian minors when reasonable, including Genoa and Venice if they get that small, and also including Messina and Sicily, basically all of Italy.

    Welcome to my new project. Empire on the Oder is complete and successful, this should be a wholly different venture. The above three are my stated objectives, but if you have good ideas on what the Papacy might reasonably consider as objectives feel free to reply and I'll add them if I agree and they sound fun and/or doable. I'm not looking to colonize or trade much if at all, and conquest beyond objectives should be limited, maybe to take and free a vassal for example. First update should come in the next few days.

    Taking Thrace will be objective number one, because it has to be done quickly, before the Ottomans get there. I'll do this with or without CB if necessary.
    Last edited by Anarion; 09-04-2008 at 07:56.
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  2. #2
    Ah, it didn't take so long before you decided on what nation to play. Good choice.

    If you're going to take Thrace, I would suggest adding the objective to get rid of Ottoman presence in Europe as well. It shouldn't be to hard if you own Thrace and have your navy blocking the straits. Also, I think obejctive 3 is more important than objective 2 early in the game. Owning those muslim provinces will be a major drain on your economy.

    Are you sure you want to play at normal difficulty? It seemed to me that it was a bit too easy for you in the German AAR near the end.

  3. #3
    Sergeant R. Daneel's Avatar

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    A totally different venture indeed.
    As for more objectives I suggest spreading catholicism throughout the world by fighting OE, helping catholic nations in their wars and fight some wars yourself to force-convert.
    I'm in once more.

  4. #4
    @Olav: you are probably right on both counts, but this time I'm not going to be a massive empire, which is what made things easier last game. And as you say, if I control the Holy Land that will make it harder too. So I'm going to stick with it as is, and if you are right and it does prove too easy than I guess I'm ready to play at harder levels next time.

    @R. Daneel: good to have you along again. Good suggestion, I'll bear it in mind.
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  5. #5
    Chapter 1 - A Tale of Two Romes

    "Your Holiness?"

    Martinus looked up from his papers as Cardinal Ambrosini entered. "Yes, what is it?" he asked. "Can you not see that I am busy?"

    "Forgive me, your Holiness," the cardinal said apologetically. "The Bishop of Constantinople has arrived."

    "Ah, the bishop!" exclaimed the Pope. "Most excellent! Arrange for him to see me as soon as conceivable." Martinus looked out the window. A fine day it was, and it had just gotten better. Finally he would decide what to do about the fading Byzantine Empire.

    "But your Holiness," said Ambrosini, "should we not first worry about the internal matters in the church?"

    Martinus waved a hand absently, his mind already racing to Constantinople. How bold dare he be in this matter. Would the Byzantines even stand for what he had in mind? Or would he set the Papacy in open war with the eastern Roman empire? He shrugged and recalled the cardinal's question. "We will deal with them too, never fear. Have you not heard? Johannes has abdicated already. The Council's work is complete."

    Cardinal Ambrosini nodded. The Pope was decisive he knew. Perhaps he would be able to handle both the internal and external affairs of the church all at once.





    Ambrosini paused at the door. "Johannes is one matter, your Holiness," he added, "but what of the rioting in the streets? Will you not consider once more whether to send envoys to Napoli, as I have suggested before?"

    Martinus suppressed a sigh. The cardinal worried too much. "We have enough troops to deal with the rioters. We do not need Giovanetta's assistance. I will not bring her armies into the streets of Rome. General Montefeltro is capable." Martinus did release the sigh as the cardinal finally closed the door. Ambrosini was a good man also, but sometimes he needed to trust more. God would be with them...





    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    The Bishop of Constantinople was an old man, and stubborn. "Your Holiness," he said, "the emperor will not accept your will in this matter."

    "Then he is foolish," replied the Pope. "Do you not see that the Sultan will be at your gates if you do not accept my advice?"

    "Constantinople has never been taken," the bishop replied haughtily.

    "Enough!" said Martinus. "I am sending Sforza to Constantinople and you will submit to my will or Sforza will enforce it. Tell the emperor: God's will will be done."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    It was Ambrosini once again who brought the news. "Your Holiness, Sforza sends word that Constantinople is in his hands. The emperor has abdicated. You now rule over the Roman Empire."

    Martinus bowed his head. "Thank you Ambrosini," he said, "and all praise be to God for His grace. I regret that we forced down this road of aggression, but I believe it was required to stop the Sultan from spreading Mohammed's heresy into Europe further. Just look how far it is already! Macedonia, Bulgaria and others already accept that vile faith. Constantinople must never fall!"



    "It is indeed God's hand," answered Ambrosini. "Have you considered, holy father, that this year is also a Jubilee?"



    Martinus nodded. "It is as you say, I have not forgotten." He mused for a moment, rubbing a hand across his forehead. The look he gave the cardinal was weary. "And yet the devil is still at work. The cardinals in Aragon have raised Clemens as their new puppet. It grieves us that their are still wolves within the church, no matter how few may acknowledge them."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    OOC: Trying a different style this time too, hopefully more story and less factual, if I can keep it up. At the end of each chapter I'll give a quick summary. We declared war on Byzantines in 1419 and though it took most of my navy to do it I was able to ferry enough troops to capture it in 1423 and annex it. I am guarding it with 16,000 troops and a small fleet in the Bosporus. No expansion on the home front but that will change in the next chapter.
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  6. #6
    First Lieutenant Burgundy's Avatar
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    this is surely an interesting AAR, I really hope you can reconquer the holyland

    and btw have you annexed the byzantine empire?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy
    this is surely an interesting AAR, I really hope you can reconquer the holyland

    and btw have you annexed the byzantine empire?
    Yes, sorry if that wasn't clear. I intend to hold that against the Ottomans as long as I can. If they take it it becomes their capital and then I lose that objective.
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  8. #8
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    Go go papal rangers

    Good fast move to safe Thrace before the Ottomans could take it. Btw: A map in every update would be nice.

  9. #9
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Excellent! Good to see you try out your narrative voice! I'm sure I'll like this one!
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  10. #10
    @chefkoch: I'll try to put some more maps in. I don't actually have any until 1462 but I'll put a note at the end to let you know where I'm at.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++
    Chapter 2 - Troubles on the Homefront

    The Papal council was already waiting when Martinus walked in, as usual. No cardinal, bishop, general or admiral would be late when the Pope call a meeting. Martinus noted the representatives from Modena, Tuscany and Siena were also present.

    "So," he said, "Visconti is at his antics again. How long shall we stand for his aggression?" He gestured to Niccolo, the Duke of Modena, a motion to allow the Duke to speak.

    Niccolo stood to address them. "Your Holiness, you are correct as always."
    Martinus stifled the urge to sneer at the blatant fawning. The duke continued, "We must not allow Visconti to move against us. Already he has forced the Doge to accept his authority. If we continue to stand alone Visconti will pick us off one by one. We must unite against him!"



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++
    "I would that we could be more aggressive toward Visconti," said Martinus. "But with Sforza dead we lack the general to maneuver against him."

    Ambrosini nodded. It was true, the papal generals were adequate, but not near the capability of Sforza.

    "However, even without Sforza we are more than a match for the duke of Siena. I will not countenance his ill favored attitude any longer. Siena should be a papal land. It will give us a stronger base against Visconti in the future. Send in the army."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++
    "Holy Father, would it be wise to allow the Lithuanians such autonomy?" the archbishop of Krakow pleaded. "Emperor Sigismund and King Jagiello favor it, but surely they do not see the implications?"

    "Assuredly not," interjected Cardinal Ambrosini, still Martinus's most trusted advisor after all these years. "An independent Lithuania would surely be lost to the holy church forever."

    Martinus nodded. "I agree. Jagiello may be getting old and weak but for the good of the people of Lithuania, the Polish kings must retain their right of rule. I will draft letters to that effect to Emperor Sigismund and King Jagiello. We must forbid granting the crown to Vytautas." Martinus neglected to state the obvious. In this case what was good for Lithuania was also good for the church. The common people probably didn't care what church they were in, but to lose influence there was unconscionable.



    The bishop departed, satisfied with the promises of papal support.

    "Excellent," said Martinus. "Once again our connections do us good and almighty God favors us in this regard again."

    Ambrosini smiled broadly. "Verily, your holiness, it has been an exceptional year.



    "Not a moment too soon either," replied Martinus warmly. "The papal loans expire at the turn of the year."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++
    The papal emissary brought good news. "Giovanetta has agreed to your proposal, your Holiness. Here are the written letters." He proffered a set of envelopes, all bearing the seal of Naples.

    The cardinals applauded spontaneously. Seven years earlier the Queen-Bee had broken the long-standing vassalization Naples had had with Rome. Now, feeling the brunt of standing alone and with the injuries mutually suffered having faded, Giovanetta had accepted the idea that a vassal state wasn't such a bad thing after all. Martinus was pleased but cautious. The queen was ever fickle, and who knew how long it would be before she found a suitor she preferred.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++
    OOC: If it wasn't clear, I annexed Siena. I now hold Roma, Marche, Siena and Thrace. Naples are my vassals, just by having good relations with them. Aside from the Siena incident I tried to keep it peaceful. If I want to keep my BB under control I'm going to have to be patient. That said, the Pope does what he wants so if I see an opportunity I'll be sure to sieze it.
    Last edited by Anarion; 11-04-2008 at 21:16.
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  11. #11
    Chapter 3 - When the Pope Comes Calling

    The large crowd gathered outside St. Peter's Basilica had been waiting for hours. The papal electors had been convened for even longer. The pomp and ceremony of the last rites and burial of Martinus were passed. The crowd now waited eagerly to see if a new pope would be elected. Just to dampen the mood a bit, clouds began to gather and light rain misted down onto the watchers. Ambrosini waited along with the crowd, a now aged man, and no longer deeming himself fit to be a Cardinal. He peered intently through the rain. At long last there was a shout from somewhere in the crowd and fingers began to point. A thin plume of white smoke wafted from the chimney of the chamber where the council was in session. Ambrosini came to his feet almost too suddenly. A new pope was elected!



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Pope Eugenius IV stood and the chamber fell silent. What a way to begin his leadership of the church of Rome! No sooner was he elected than trouble arose in Milan again. Visconti was at it again, Milanese troops marched within the papal states themselves.

    "Our father, Martinus, dealt with this rabble-rouser once," he began. "And now Visconti dares to send his troops within very sight of Rome itself? How wise was Martinus to form the first union against Milan. And still Visconti is ambitious? Shall we not stand together against him once again?"

    There were murmurs of assent and nods of approval throughout the chamber. "Already the papal armies march to deal with these invaders in the Apennines," continued Eugenius. "The church will do its part, now I ask you all to do yours."

    It was Niccolo who rose first. "Your holiness, the papacy has not turned its back on us in the past. How shall we then do so now? Modena at least will stand with Rome against Visconti."

    Cosimo il Vecchio, duke of Tuscany was not long in lending his support either. Eugenius was satisfied. Between the three of them, they were more than enough to turn Visconti back if they so chose.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    The new right hand to the Pope was Cardinal Gennaro. It was he who knocked and entered as Eugenius was at his desk, writing letters. "Your Holiness, word has arrived from Naples." He waited for Eugenius to set down his pen. The pope finished his paragraph and looked up. Gennaro continued, "Giovanetta is dead."

    Eugenius nodded. The news was not unexpected. "And the kingdom?"

    "She has willed it to Rene of Anjou. But Alfons of Aragon is moving to sieze the crown." Eugenius did not need to ask how Gennaro knew any of this. He was well aware that the Papal network had access to information throughout all the Catholic kingdoms.

    "Damn!" Gennaro stepped back. An expletive from the pope was outrageous, but not unknown. "So Naples is lost to us then. Very well, she has been more than troublesome anyway."



    "I do have better news, your Holiness," continued Gennaro. "Cosimo has accepted our approaches regarding Tuscany. We may now consider them vassals to the church. Is that not wonderful?"



    "And furthermore, so has Niccolo."



    That was good news. Not only were those two duchies in league with the Pope against Milan, they were now inextricably tied to him. He could count on these two allies and their powerful armies to do his bidding. It was indeed wonderful.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Eugenius opened the letter from Savoy. He read it once, and tossed it into the hearth dismissively. The flames licked at the edges of the paper and then it caught and smoldered to ash in a few moments. The two pages awaiting his orders said nothing, knowing it was none of their business but Eugenius said, "It was nothing. The rebel council has raised themselves a new pope. It matters naught. No one will listen to him anyway."

    The pages stared at each other, but the fact Eugenius had said this to them demonstrated just how little he cared about this news.



    He went back to his desk, and resumed his study of the cloth map that lay unrolled there. It was a map of the world but the interesting part was the depiction of the land beyond England and away across the Atlantic. A land called Vinland. A curious item this was...



    In other news, a rich noble had made a hefty donation to the church.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Gennaro broke through Eugenius' contemplation again, as was his wont. The pope looked up from his work. "What news now, Gennaro?" he asked, folding his hands in his lap.

    The cardinal was uncomfortable, he saw. The news must not be good. And in moments he knew it was not. "The Angevins have been thrown out of Napoli," reported Gennaro. "Alfons has had himself crowned as king. What shall we do?"

    "Leave it be," said Eugenius. "What threats we can muster against Aragon are little. We cannot risk a conflict."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

    OOC: Not too eventful but I did get my relations with Modena and Tuscany high enough that I was able to vassalize them both, which was nice, and counters the fact that I lost Naples as a vassal. My territory remains the same as before, still Roma, Marche, Siena and Thrace. I'm almost at the point where I do have map screenies saved so I'll add them in when I get to them.
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  12. #12
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    i like the way you weave in the events with the narrative. Good work, keep it up.

    I do have two questions: Did you write any of the events yourself
    How can the Pope vassalize other countries diplomatically? I thought they couldn't marry royally?
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  13. #13
    @Wari Bana: No these are all AGCEEP events. I did not write any of them. Also if Papal States is played by a human they can have royal marriages. It's only as AI that they cannot.
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  14. #14
    Chapter 4 - First Ottoman War

    Eugenius surveyed the gathering of officials and cardinals. Unfortunate news had just arrived. The fears of Martinus had finally been realized. Not even the power of the Pope had dissuaded the Ottoman sultan from attempted to wrest control of Constantinople away from Rome.

    "So, the sultan has declared war?" he inquired.

    "Yes," answered Admiral Accardo. "But our fleets blockade the Bosporus. At the moment the Turks cannot cross in force. Only the troops they have in Europe are a threat, and their Albanian allies. Our armies are strong enough for that, if we can resupply them."

    "We will do what we may. I have already convinced the Venetians to lead their alliance into war with Albania to distract them."

    "That is well." It was General Massimo who spoke up this time. "Our plan for this event has always been to take Thessaloniki and Sofia from the Turks. Even if they can besiege Constantinople, we will have bargaining power with them."

    "And Candar leads the alliance with the Ottomans. They will be less interested in a prolonged war. We must open negotiations with them," finished the Pope.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    OOC: apologies, I got so involved in this war I forgot to take screenshots. After I captured Macedonia and Bulgaria Candar offered 200 ducats for peace, which I gladly took to return to status quo.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    On February 23, 1447 white smoke again plumed from the electors' council chambers. Nicolaus V rejoiced at the honor bestowed upon him.



    OOC: only time for a short update tonight...
    Last edited by Anarion; 13-04-2008 at 20:24.
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  15. #15
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    I think the Sultan was just probing you. You could launch a pre-emptive strike when the truce ends...
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  16. #16
    Judging by the 55K troops he had in Smyrna I'd say it wasn't a probe. But apparently they have no navy to speak of because my 5 ships were enough, weren't even attacked.
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  17. #17
    Today's update is also short as Nicolaus' rule isn't all that long.

    Chapter 5 - The Modena Question

    The Duke of Modena was outraged. "You are asking me to do what?" he snarled. "Your holiness cannot be serious!"

    Nicolaus was taken somewhat aback. He was serious and he didn't think the idea was so very outrageous at all. "I am suggesting," he repeated patiently, "that it would be best for Rome and for Modena if we united our states, under the authority of the holy church."

    The Duke was white-faced with fury. "Never!" he snapped, forgetting or not caring to even bother addressing the Pope properly. "Modena is not a puppet! You may even forget the monies we offer yearly. This is outrageous!" He stormed out of the room without any niceties, his contingent trailing in an equal huff.

    Nicolaus was not amused. "How shall we stand this affront? If the Duke no longer offers his services, we cannot consider him an ally." He looked at the council members pointedly. "What do you suggest?"

    "Holy Father." It was Cardinal Gennaro, who spoke up, still a trusted voice in the council after his advisory role to Eugenius, the previous pope. "If the Duke will not agree peacably, we could send in the Papal armies. He has slighted the church enough to warrant it."

    "Has he?" wondered Nicolaus. "Perhaps to us, but I'm not sure whether others may agree. Still, I agree. Let it be done, and those who dislike it may answer to the church."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    "Our influence grows, Gennaro," said the Pope. "With Modena under our rule we have further resources to guide the Italian dukes as we want them to go. And all of this is accomplished in the year before this, which makes it even more fitting to celebrate the Jubilee was again."



    "It is so," responded Gennaro. "And celebrate the Jubilee we shall, but before we do so, there is a small matter of tax collection in Modena to be addressed. The people are not pleased with the extent of the collection. What should we do?"

    "Change nothing," said the Pope. "The church needs these monies. If there is trouble over this have Michellini deal with it with the Modena garrison. The tax is more important than what some peasants may want."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Gennaro drew near to the bed. There could be no question, the Pope was dying. Nicolaus opened his eyes and weakly beckoned Gennaro closer. The cardinal bent down to hear the whispered words.

    "It is my time, Gennaro. I feel it coming closer now. God is calling me home. Please administer the last rites to me before I depart this world." Gennaro nodded stoically. It would be the second time he did so for a dying pope. He hoped it would be the last.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    OOC: I tried to annex Modena and they refused and cancel the vassalization so I used the CB to kick them out of the alliance, promptly declared war without a CB and force-annexed them. I thought I needed to have them under my control before 1453 to get a core on them, but it turns out its a later date than that. Oops and oh well!
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  18. #18
    Chapter 6 - New Italian Possessions

    Gennaro stood at the door to the pope's chambers. Alas that it seemed to him that he would outlive his third pope. Calixtus was already weak and often bed-ridden. Gennaro was still hale, despite being past his seventieth year. The page swung the oak door back silently and Gennaro entered. Calixtus was up, for once not in his bed. Gennaro managed most of the papal affairs in his stead.

    Calixtus greeted him gracefully. "Gennaro," he said, "God bless you this day." Gennaro replied, "And you, your holiness. I have come to update you on the affairs of today."

    Calixtus perked up. "And what are those?" he asked. "Did you gauge the reaction to our Neapolitan venture?"

    "I did," said Gennaro. "It went favourably, though not unopposed. There are some who fear the Spanish response. But overall it went well and we have the support of our allies also, even from the Swiss. I have taken the liberty of instructing the generals and drafting declarations of war to Napoli. I hope I have not been remiss."

    "Excellent!" exclaimed the Pope, "Soon Napoli will be under God's sway also. I foresee that the Spanish will do nothing."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    It was one of the last good days for the pope. He became more and more bed-ridden as the year of our Lord 1457 passed on. Gennaro assumed more and more responsibility. News from the Naples front was good. Napoli and Taranto were both under siege. By Christmas the former was captured. Calixtus lingered on until August of the following year, due to the leechcraft of his physicians, but in August Gennaro was called for the third time to the final night watch over a pope.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    Pius looked regretfully at the emissary from Trebizond. "It grieves us to give you this response, my lord of Trabzon. But Rome is engrossed in its own war. Were we not dealing with the Duke of Naples, I might answer you differently. As it is we cannot. I could send troops from Constantinople, but the Turk is ever watchful. The Sultan eyes the city with undying greed. Should we weaken its garrison there is no doubt he would attack. Give King David our regrettable answer and God's blessing. Urge him to seek peace with the Sultan."



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    General Caldora, commander of the Neapolitan armies, went to one knee before Montefeltro, before coming to his feet. He offered the hilt of his sword. Taranto had fallen, the war was over.

    "We are defeated," he said. But there was little defeat in his voice. Clearly the choice had not been his. "What is the will of Rome?"

    Montefeltro accepted the proffered blade. "A worthy opponent, general," he replied, without a bit of lie. Taranto had held on, unrelieved for three years. "The pope demands that Taranto and surrounding regions be relinquished to the administration of the papacy. Napoli shall retain her independence, but for an annual tribute offered to Rome, one such as our allies routinely make. It is not too much to ask is it?"



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    "Milan has gone too far this time," said Pius. "If they wanted to take advantage of our weakness they should have done so while we still warred with Napoli. To insult us now is sheer foolishness. I, Pius II of Rome, shall put an end to the madness of the Visconti line once and for all."

    "And as for you," he turned back to the Milanese diplomats. "Return to Milan and tell your Duke: Milan's walls may be tall and strong, but God is stronger than all, and he sides with the Pope. By next year, Milan will be no more than just another city that serves the church."

    The legend grew in Rome about the Pope's gift of prophecy, for his words came to pass, just as he had assured the emissaries. In summer of 1461, Milan ceased to be an independent nation, becoming instead a servant of the papal states.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    The Papal States, 1462 (Tuscany and Naples are vassals).



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    OOC: hehe, well the above was a bit of Popish aggression. Both the wars above were instigated purely at whim, and neither with a CB. As a result I gained a ton of BB and that shall be an issue that will be seen in the next update I think.
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  19. #19
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    Finally... screenshots!
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  20. #20
    From this point on, I have a screenshot taken every few decades so hopefully one per update. The next few are just of Italy region like the last was, but as things heat up I'll include all of Europe. I've played up to 1585 already, well ahead of my updates.
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