Chapter 7 - The Papal States Are Not Popular
...and in the last days you will hear of wars, and rumors of wars...
Pius looked up from the words of Matthew that he was reading.
"Take comfort," he said to those assembled. "Has not God himself forewarned this? The restless heathen may rage against us but we will not be alarmed. God will strike against the Turk with wrath and justice."
"Your holiness," it was one of the generals, Pius couldn't see which from where he sat. "Our allies have deserted us."
"The Swiss have not," said the Pope. "And the others are just afraid. I will speak to them, and they will support us. You will see."
It was a familiar scene two years later. Paulus sighed. What a way to begin his papal leadership. Candar had just arranged a truce between the Papal allies and the Sultan's alliance and now here was the arrogant King of Aragon thinking to reap the spoils of a weakened papacy. Worse yet, Aragon was allied with mighty France and not even the Swiss were bold enough to honor the Pope this time. But if Pius could bring them to war with the Sultan, certainly he, Paulus, could do the same for Aragon. Nonetheless, Paulus knew this would be a long and bitter war.
"Your holiness, Mantua has accepted the lordship of the holy church and yourself."
Paulus accepted the report with a short nod. Normally this would have been great news, but with conflict with France and Aragon still raging it was something he could barely keep his mind on. The papal alliance had its hands full just keeping the French at bay. Aragon was less a problem, with Sicily in reach to strike at.
White smoke plumed from the council chamber but there were few people assembled outside to notice. It was five years now since the war began and Rome's resources were stretched paper thin, trying to keep the alliance on top. The French would have nothing to do with the papal peace offers. Perhaps Sixtus would be able to change that.
A new core is gained:
In the year of our Lord, 1474, there was outstanding news! The bishop of Constantinople could barely contain his excitement. "Holy Father," he exclaimed, "The council of Constantinople has agreed to abolish the Orthodox heresy and accept the full authority of the Roman church!"
"We have much to celebrate," said the pope. "For next year is a jubilee! Now if only we could put an end to this senseless war! When will the French accept that it is pointless?"
The pope's prayers were answered, but he was made to wait two more long years, and fully ten years from when the war began.
"Your Holiness," said the Duke of Tuscany, "It has become clear to us, that our fate is tied with Rome's. It is pointless for us to continue as separate nations. Should we not unite?"
"If that is your will, Rome will accept it," answered Sixtus. "I trust that you will continue to administer Tuscany on our behalf?"
Papal States in 1480:
OOC: That's what too much BB will get you I guess. But I managed to win in the end. Also Thrace converted to Catholic by event so I didn't even need to bother with a missionary. How convenient. Naples and Mantua are vassals now. Naples is due for annex in about 5 years.