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Thread: Papal CrusadAARs - A Papal States AAR

  1. #21
    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.

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    "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.



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    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.
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  2. #22
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    His Holiness sure is heard up there in the skies, with the conversion of Thrace and all...
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  3. #23
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Nice job with Tuscany, there!
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  4. #24
    Sergeant R. Daneel's Avatar

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    This AAR inspired me to try the papal states myself. So, keep up the good work.

  5. #25
    @demokratickid: Thanks, they were vassals for 45 years before they would finally accept my diplo-annex.

    @Wari Bana: No doubt hey? Hurray for random religious events! Thrace is a pretty useful province now.

    @R. Daneel: Well, as Pope you can do what you want and feel all historical about it. You really need to get Italy quickly though. With only two cores to start it's pretty tough to get going and the Italian minors are quite strong and prosperous.
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  6. #26
    Chapter 8 - To The Holy Land



    Pope Innocentius was seated outside, in his private gardens reading manuscripts. The Roman air was thick with midsummer's heat. The paper was damp from the sweat of his fingers, but he preferred this to the stifling heat of his chambers. It was here that Borgia found him.

    "Your holiness," he said. "I thought I would bring you the news personally, rather than send a page."

    "What is it?" Innocentius asked, placing the papers down on the table and setting a book on top of them as a makeshift paper weight.

    "The envoys to Napoli were favourably received."



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

    Borgia smiled with delight as the announcement was made. All of his scheming and simony had paid off. The electors had come through as they'd promised and the papacy was his. Now, little could stop him from asserting his utter authority on the papal states. With Cesare running the army there was none to oppose him.





    It truly was an exceptional year, he thought. And what name to assume as Pope? What name better than that of the great Greek conquerer, Alexander?



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

    Borgia, now His Holiness, Alexander VI, nodded at the assembled councillors. "Let us begin this council," he said. "How have our letters to Geneva and Mantua been received?"

    Cesare smiled wolfishly. "Neither the Duke, nor the Swiss offered any opposition when they heard our proposals." His grin widened. "Perhaps they were frightened by my directness in explaining the alternatives."

    Alexander nodded. "I'm sure they are as well aware of your ruthlessness as we are," he answered. "Good."





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

    "There is one other matter," said Cesare, "but it is personal."

    "Leave us," said the Pope. He waited till the chamber emptied. "What is this about, Cesare?"

    "It's to do with Lucrezia," said his son. "I've an idea to send her to Aragon. She might serve us well there."

    "Hmm," said Alexander. "Your sister is poisonous and cunning, there is no doubt. It is an interesting thought." Then he thought better of it. "No Cesare, it cannot be done. Lucrezia is valuable to me too, and I will not put her talents in the hands of another king, no matter what her malice might achieve. Lucrezia stays in Rome."



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

    Cesare stood below the walls of Beirut, while it's defenders railed at him from above. Let them hurl their insults, he thought. They would be shouting them from their headless bodies when his siege engines arrived. Did these heathens think their feeble city would stand any longer than had Jerusalem, Samaria or Baghdad?

    The Mamluks had little to offer in ways of battle, no match for the discipline of the Papal cavalry. He knew that further to the south Egypt was under siege as well. The crusade ordered by his father was nearing completion. When Egypt and Beirut were captured it would be all over. Then they would do what the Templars and others had failed at; reconquer the Holy Land for Christ.



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

    "Honoured Sultan," began Cesare politely, suppressing the derision he felt inside, "you have seen how our armies have defeated whatever you could muster against us, and your cities and lands lie in ruins from Lebanon to Alexandria and as far east as Baghdad. However, my father the Pope is not a hard man. We ask only this from you: grant your blessing on the Pope's control over Jerusalem, Samaria and Beirut and our armies will withdraw and not trouble you again. Refuse and the full wrath of the pope will descend upon, incarnated in myself."

    Cesare left little doubt as too where that would lead. The Sultan's reply was immediate.





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

    OOC: The Crusade is complete. I could have taken more from the Mamluks, but I got what I wanted. Next step for those provinces will be to convert them when it becomes feasible. Swiss and Mantua are still vassals.
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  7. #27
    Cisár všetkých Slovákov demokratickid's Avatar
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    Nice going! What are your final goals for the Holy Land?
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  8. #28
    Once they are properly Christianized I haven't thought about it. They aren't provinces that can be released as vassals so far as I know.
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  9. #29
    First Lieutenant Burgundy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Finally the holy land will be catholic again
    good work

  10. #30
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    They aren't provinces that can be released as vassals so far as I know.
    Can't you release Judea as the 'principality of Judea' or something similar? I know in Vannilla it's possible... But then again, the infidel souls can only be properly saved by the Pope. Expand your realm in the middle-east, i'd say. All the way to Mekkah!
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  11. #31
    Ooh, nice to see the Holy Land back in Christian hands. Now lets hope for some more random religious conversions...

    Also, I'm impressed that you got out so well from the war against France - that must have been a hairy ride.

  12. #32
    @Olav: that would make my work easier. Missionary success chance is only about 25% right now.

    @Wari Bana: I haven't noticed that. I'm playing on AGCEEP though so maybe that is why. I suppose I could expand there but it will have to wait for reasons you will find out in upcoming updates.
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  13. #33
    Chapter 9 - Rise of Julius

    Cardinal Adrian Cerneto re-entered the dining room of his villa, carrying a decanter of wine. Pope Alexander and his son, Cesare were both still seated at the table. Cesare had an identical decanter before him, and a diabolical expression on his face. It was a familiar look, but Adrian went on high alert anyway. He didn't trust the Pope, or his malicious son.

    "We brought wine as well," said Cesare. "A different vintage from Tuscany. Perhaps you'd care to sample it? I'll try some of yours."

    "That would be fine," said Adrian. "But first, I have something to show you. After that we can relax and enjoy a few glasses."

    He led the general and the pope into an adjoining room, a small study. Here, Adrian hand a small sheaf of papers to Cesare. "You do not trust me, I know that well," he began. "But here, letters from Julius conspiring against you. You see, despite what you may think, I am a friend to you." The letters were carefully forged, of course. Adrian left the pope and his son standing in silent contemplation and returned to the dining room. As he passed Cesare's chair he swiftly exchanged the decanter with the one he'd brought into the room.

    "I still do not trust you, Cardinal Cerneto," said Cesare as he re-entered the room.

    "I can see that," said Adrian, noting the suspicious expression on his face. "Come, let us share a glass of wine and discuss this matter."

    Adrian poured two glasses from the decanter before him and offered them to the pope and his son. Cesare's eyes glinted as he did likewise, filling Adrian's glass from his own bottle. Adrian raised his glass silently to his two companions and drank deeply. Cesare's eyes sharpened as he drank his own glass, but he said nothing, though his face grew pale.





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

    The Swiss emissary's Italian was halting, he was clearly from the French area of that country. "Your holiness, I am sent by the prince to offer you a gift, as a token of our nation's loyalty and friendship to the Pope."

    Julius was intrigued, the emissary was empty-handed. "And what is this gift?" he asked.



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

    In 1506, Julius commissioned the building of the greatest church the world had ever seen. St. Peter's was to be the largest, most magnificent church ever built. It would be the seat of the Catholic church for centuries to come.



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

    Like so many before him, the Duke of Mantua had finally seen the light. "It is better," he concluded in confidence to Julius, "that Mantua join with the rest of the papal states, completely and irrevocably."

    "We are agreed," answered the Pope. "It is my wish that all the Italian kingdoms be united under one banner, that of the church of Rome. I am glad that you, our trusted and loyal friend, have seen this. One day perhaps, the merchant princes of Venice and Genoa will do the same."

    "So let it be done," said the Duke, and stooped to kiss the signet ring on Julius' finger.



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

    Papal States, 1506 (and the rest of the European political situation). For clarity, the grey province above Cyprus is Candar, not me. Outside of Italy I only control Thrace and the 3 Holy Land provinces.



    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++
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  14. #34
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    Can't help wondering what the effects of the b-option were in the commissioning of the St.-Peters Basilica...
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  15. #35
    I don't remember exactly, but if you want to know for sure, just look in the AGCEEP Papal States event file around 1506. It was something like a boost to trade and infra research and maybe some gold. Something along those lines. The manufactory gained is a fine arts academy, fyi.
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  16. #36
    Chapter 10 - The Reformation

    Julius' first task was to undue the dark blot that Alexander's papacy had left upon the Catholic world. Alexander had bought and bribed his way to the top and many of the ranking clergy and princes expected Julius to do the same. But Julius was an upright man, at least much more so than the Borgia had been, and he sought to reform the papacy in the time that he had. This was the ongoing task of his reign, and the legacy he left, one of a restoration of honor to the title of the Pope. Julius' nickname, the Warrior Pope, was thus a reference to his war on corruption.



    It was one that would consume him to the end of his days.



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

    Leo had troubles of his own to deal with when he became Pope. There were rumblings in Germany, inspired by a monk by the name of Martin Luther. The previous year, in 1517, Luther had audaciously nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wirtemberg. The German princes and clergy were already responding favourably to these reforms.

    Leo had therefore convened his council. "How shall we deal with this monk?" he asked.

    "It is probably best not do drag him to Rome by force," suggested Cardinal Francesco. "If he already has a following, and the German princes are among them, that might provoke a bigger conflict than needed."

    "Suppose we dispatch some of our leading scholars as envoys to counter him. This monk cannot stand up to their knowledge. Let them defeat his heresies and the whole issue will die down."

    "An excellent idea," said the Pope. "Why don't you lead this mission, cardinal?" It was an order, not a suggestion.



    But unfortunately, the envoys did nothing to dissuade the rising momentum of this movement. In 1520 more drastic measures were required.



    But even that could not reverse the growing outreach of Protestantism.

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    Pope Adrianus VI lived less than a year after being elected upon the death of Leo.


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

    The white smoke billowed from the electors' chambers again in 1523 announcing to the world the arrival of a new pope, Clemens, the seventh of this name.



    When Clemens was elected the situation in Europe looked like this:

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    OOC: stay tuned till next time for the further diplomatic wranglings of Clemens.
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  17. #37
    Chapter 11 - Damn Charles V!

    "The French have been routed at Pavia," reported Francesco. "News from Milan is that the French are seeking to form a new alliance against Charles. Reputedly even the English king will be part of this."

    Clement took the news resolutely. It was bad news. He had counted on France being the buffer against Spanish aggression in Italy, but with France defeated, there was little doubt what would catch Charles eye next. Spain still claimed the lands of Naples, once held by Aragon.

    "We have little recourse but to join this alliance," said the Pope. It is our only hope to stop Charles from grasping at Italy. See to it that this is done."



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

    1525 was also a jubilee year and with it new lies from Luther. In response to Luther's accusations Clement decreed that pilgrims would not have to pay indulgences while in Rome. But with the news from Spain, there was little participation in such pilgrimages.



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

    Clement looked out of his windows in disbelief. Not since Alaric had an enemy had such audacity as to march an army into the very streets of the Eternal City. Yet here was Charles' army of mercenaries, recklessly plundering the city. Even they, however, respected the Pope and the church enough that Leo himself as well as St. Peter's church were both relatively safe. Clement fumed, and none of his advisors dared to seek council with him in this state. There was little to be said, but Clement vowed that he would get his revenge on Charles for this outrage.



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

    The fallout from the crusade to the Holy Land was still ongoing. The priest who stood before Francesco was travel weary but he smiled as he wiped the dust from his forehead. Clement was engaged in matters of Spain, so Francesco would deliver this news himself later.

    "Well my brother," he said to the priest, "what news from Palestine is so great that you are come here in person?"

    The priest smiled again, and offered the letters he carried to Francesco. "The bishop sends his greetings, and his letters contain more details, but I can tell you this. Judea has in large part thrown of the shackles of Mohammed's false teachings. Jerusalem itself is now a Christian city. The remaining Mohammedans have been ushered out of the city."

    "Well!" exclaimed Francesco. "That is welcome news, and will be a boon to the pope in these distressing times."



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

    ...these are the terms I offer... began the letter. Pope Clement read the letter in dismay. It was a disaster. He couldn't even form the words to begin. Silently he passed the letter to Francesco.



    Condition number 1:


    Condition number 2:


    At the end of 1529, the might of the papal states has crumbled under the influence of Charles of Spain.


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

    OOC: Well I did not see that coming! That was an unfortunate sequence of events. Good thing Judea converted, that will at least boost my economy a bit in the absence of all my Italian provinces. Now I have to start the annexing process all over again.
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  18. #38
    Sergeant R. Daneel's Avatar

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    Oh boy. That's some bad luck!
    Strange too. Because in my Papal States game those events didn't happen. I also play the latest AGCEEP and I'm already halfway the 17th century.

  19. #39
    Those events have triggers to choices Spain makes, so if they for some reason took the other options you wouldn't get them.

    I fully intend to recover my territories.
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  20. #40
    Lt. General Wari Bana's Avatar

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    Pope vs. Emperor 0-1 i'd say! Take back the crown. It would be nice to have the pope elected Emperor...
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