1481-1483: End of an Era - the Last of the Spies
Baden was one country that didn't let Bavaria off the hook easily. The small nation successfully requested the province of Pfalz to end the war as far as they were concerned.
Additionally, the peace deal separated Worms from the rest of the nation.
Meanwhile, Brandenburg was going down. By December, they were completely occupied by Bohemia and suffered a bankruptcy.
For some reason, Bohemia continued the Brandenburger war for months after this. At least they ended the Bohemia-Hungary war in June 1482 with small territorial gains for Bohemia.
The next year featured slow technological progress in Brunswick and little else of interest. Then finally in June 1483, Bohemia accepted peace with Brandenburg, forcing the release of Pommerania and a small Poland.
Heinrich wanted to take advantage of this, he just didn't know how. Then in a court meeting, Natural Scientist Christian von Rhein told the King of an old man living in Paderborn.
Von Rhein, almost sixty himself, had spent a lot of time in that city decades ago and knew of a secretive man living just outside the walls. Few knew anything about him these days, but von Rhein had lived close to him at a time when the man, perhaps ten years von Rhein's senior, still lived in the city and was much less reticent.
Despite the earlier successful operations in Holstein and Bremen, spies hadn't been trained in Brunswick for decades now, and most believed that all of them must have died of old age after such a long time. What made the man in Paderborn interesting, von Rhein explained, was that, thanks to his longevity and being among the last and therefore youngest to be trained, he was probably Brunswick's last spy. He might be the only man in the country capable of creating a reason for war out of thin air.
The King was very sceptical. The spy had to be close to seventy years old - if he was indeed still alive, Heinrich wagered that he had to be too senile or crippled to get a major operation like that done.
He was wrong. When no other way to deal with Brandenburg was found, Heinrich decided that they had nothing to lose, so Von Rhein went back to Paderborn and paid the man a visit. They never saw the spy again, they never even learned his full name, but soon enough, interesting documents were found on Heinrich III's throne - the vigilant guards could not explain how they ended up there - as well as in the most important and secure archives all over Europe. The old man sure had got the job done.
Maybe he was still sharp and had carefully maintained his skills over the decades, maybe no-one just was suspicious of an elderly man. Whatever the reason for his success, Brunswick was now ready for war.
Despite the treachery of Brunswick's ally Gelre and a small revolt in Anhalt, the war itself was a simple matter. Thanks to bankruptcies and other chaos, Brandenburg wasn't able to fight back and only held for just over a month. On August 8th, Heinrich III was crowned King of Brandenburg.
The last act of Brunswick's last spy had been a grand success, but from now on, the nation had to make do without the services of such men.