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Thread: Novum Romanum Imperium -- A Tuscany DW AAR

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  2. #342
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    Why are you so concerned about the navy? Even the Old Roman Republic got navally p0wned by Carthaginians until they copied the way their enemies built the ships...

  3. #343
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris ze Spider View Post
    Nice, regarding naval NIs, press gangs are the way to go. With them and a level 6 naval building you can build two bigs ships for 20 ducats in one year.
    Then it's official

    Quote Originally Posted by Memento Mori View Post
    Why are you so concerned about the navy? Even the Old Roman Republic got navally p0wned by Carthaginians until they copied the way their enemies built the ships...
    Primarily because I don't have a land bridge to my Greek and Asian possessions, but some day (possibly never) I will need to invade Great Britain if I am to complete my goals. Venice still has a respectable navy, the Ottomans may already be rebuilding (although they're not a big threat any more), etc.
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  4. #344
    General Will Lucky's Avatar
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    Been reading, looking forward to more. I must say I love your writing style, seems to really let characters shine.
    Last edited by Will Lucky; 16-06-2011 at 02:06.

  5. #345
    Share Our Wealth! Seek75's Avatar
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    Great job so far...I assume you're going to remain imperial? No switching back to a republic or anything? Just asking, because I'm rather biased against imperial/monarchial administrations Plus "Roman Republic" sounds cooler to me than "Roman Empire"...may just be me, I dunno.

    Either way, continue onwards, for the glory of Rome! Vae victis!
    A rebel without a cause.

  6. #346
    Colonel Memento Mori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seek75 View Post
    Great job so far...I assume you're going to remain imperial? No switching back to a republic or anything? Just asking, because I'm rather biased against imperial/monarchial administrations Plus "Roman Republic" sounds cooler to me than "Roman Empire"...may just be me, I dunno.
    Off with his head?

  7. #347
    Share Our Wealth! Seek75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memento Mori View Post
    Off with his head?
    I like my reigns of terror.
    A rebel without a cause.

  8. #348
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Lucky View Post
    Been reading, looking forward to more. I must say I love your writing style, seems to really let characters shine.
    Thanks for the kind words!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seek75 View Post
    Great job so far...I assume you're going to remain imperial? No switching back to a republic or anything? Just asking, because I'm rather biased against imperial/monarchial administrations Plus "Roman Republic" sounds cooler to me than "Roman Empire"...may just be me, I dunno.

    Either way, continue onwards, for the glory of Rome! Vae victis!
    Quote Originally Posted by Memento Mori View Post
    Off with his head?
    Quote Originally Posted by Seek75 View Post
    I like my reigns of terror.
    Honestly, I haven't decided yet. I really want a Revolutionary Empire, some day, but I'm not sure how to get one without being too gamey (or just modding it). In my experience, CBs tend to dry up after 1650 if you don't have the Imperialism CB. I want to keep this as organic and natural as possible. I'll have to think about it, but I wouldn't change my form of government before 1650 anyway.
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  9. #349
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Honestly, I haven't decided yet. I really want a Revolutionary Empire, some day, but I'm not sure how to get one without being too gamey (or just modding it). In my experience, CBs tend to dry up after 1650 if you don't have the Imperialism CB. I want to keep this as organic and natural as possible. I'll have to think about it, but I wouldn't change my form of government before 1650 anyway.
    That is true, but you could just do what I did. I was playing as Mecklenburg and decided that It did not make sense that my ruler should have to take a demotion in order to get the Imperialism CB (I had long sense become an empire). Therefore, I modded it so that You get the Imperialism CB in 1650 if you are an empire. Tried connecting it to government tech so that you get it when you research the government tech that would give you absolute monarchy, but I could never get it to work.
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  10. #350
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by History_Buff View Post
    That is true, but you could just do what I did. I was playing as Mecklenburg and decided that It did not make sense that my ruler should have to take a demotion in order to get the Imperialism CB (I had long sense become an empire). Therefore, I modded it so that You get the Imperialism CB in 1650 if you are an empire. Tried connecting it to government tech so that you get it when you research the government tech that would give you absolute monarchy, but I could never get it to work.
    That's an interesting solution -- I may have to consider it. Would you mind posting the code (or PMing it, if you prefer)?
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  11. #351
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    Quote Originally Posted by Memento Mori View Post
    Why are you so concerned about the navy? Even the Old Roman Republic got navally p0wned by Carthaginians until they copied the way their enemies built the ships...
    The old Romans also didn't have to worry about a RN fleet of ships of the line armed with 32 pounders sailing through the Straits of Gibralter, landing Royal Marines and infantry to burn the Duke of Rome's palace to the ground. Unfortunately, the days of yore when naval power was simply littoral (Alexander, Caesar, even Don Juan), are over. Advances in naval technology have (or will) rendered expeditions to the America's and India, if not commonplace, then attainable...
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    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Chapter 19: The Barbarian Hordes


    Author's note: For some reason, I picture every horde in the game as the Zerg (from Starcraft) in my mind. Has nothing to do with the AAR, but it is kind of fun. Right, on with the show!

    16 November 1527, the groundbreaking at the new University of Rome [1]

    The new Emperor of Tuscany and King of Milan, Leo II, was strolling around the new construction site just outside the city with his chief advisor, the Theologian Johann David von Brecht. He was still getting used to his new position. He knew his people did not think much of him. He wasn't a great warrior, like John I; a great administrator, like his namesake; or a great diplomat, like Julius the Great. If the Empire of Tuscany were a true Republic, as some had quietly argued in the past, he would probably not survive a single term.

    He had one thing no Emperor before him had, however. Religious conviction.

    The Teutonic Order had founded the Protestant religion in the beginning of the 16th century, providing protection for the German monk Martin Luther when no other state would have him. The monks of the Order knew that Protestantism could not survive without a powerful protector, and when the opportunity to educate the Heir to the Imperial Throne had arrived, thanks to a clever monk in Sardinia, they knew they had their champion.

    For his part, Leo II welcomed the spread of Protestantism. He had secretly converted to the new religion while still a young boy in Danzig; he planned to make Protestantism the state religion as soon as he could. The country needed to be much more stable before he could announce this; he anticipated riots in the countryside by Catholic demagogues. He'd quietly sounded out most of the Dukes on the new religion; few honestly saw much of a difference between Catholicism and Protestantism, and with the Statute of the Restraint of Appeals, passed long ago in the reign of Leo I, the Emperor was head of the Tuscan church anyway. He chose the rituals, the text of the Bible, etc.

    He was not a violent man, by nature, and had begun construction of this new university with Imperial funds to educate new religious leaders to make the transition as peaceful as possible.



    The Constitution of the Tuscan Empire had not specified who controlled the Imperial Treasury; while the Senate was given very clear authority on collecting taxes, the spending of funds when already collected was very vague. Since the Emperor claimed all rights not expressly given to the Senate, he had unilaterally decided to build the University. It would take about five years to finish, but it would be a beacon to scholars around the world.

    Leo II thought about the Senate for a moment. The two most important offices in the Empire, Chancellor and Marshal, still belonged to their previous occupants, Axel Gathenhielm, the Duke of Sardinia and Istria, and Alex del Moro, the Duke of Sicily and Malta, respectively. Sextus and Publius Porcius Cato, former occupants of those offices, had retired with the passing of John I and formally relinquished their Duchies to the twin sons of Publius, Marius and Marcus, as Sextus had no children. Marcus, named for his grandfather and great-grandfather, inherited the oldest Duchy in the Empire -- the Duchy of Pisa-Siena, first unified by his uncle Sextus. Marius became Duke of Naples, as his father had been.

    The second oldest family in the Empire -- the Ciceros -- was still represented by Agrippa Tullius Cicero, the Duke of Romagna-Ancona, but as he too grew older, more and more of his duties were undertaken by his eldest son, Primus Tullius Cicero. Agrippa himself rarely, if ever, attended the meetings of the Senate. Primus had nine brothers and sisters, from Secunda (his younger sister) to Decimus (the youngest of Agrippa's children). Primus was 35; Decimus was 6, so there was considerable discrepancy in their ages. If the Ciceros weren't so powerful, many would have teased Agrippa for his uncreative names for his children.

    One other Duke under John I had more or less retired; Sir Andreas Germanicus, the Duke of Milan. As Commandant of the Legionary Academy, he still personally instructed many of the new recruits and served as one of the most respected Senators. However, his son Gaius handled most of the administrative duties back in Milan.

    The other Dukes personally administered their estates and fulfilled their responsibilities in the Senate. Besides del Moro and Gathenhielm, this also included the Duke of Constantinople, Tiberius Graecus. His lands had been expanded thanks to the recent war with the Ottoman Empire; by Imperial decree, rather than create new Duchies, all lands in the former Ottoman Empire would be added to the Duchy of Constantinople. He was even more powerful because Leo II's wife, Sofia, was his daughter. His grandson would be Emperor someday!

    Leo II's son, Gian Gastone Datti, was Prince of the Empire and nominally Duke of Florence; his regent was the Theologian von Brecht. Although officially a Count, von Brecht was extremely close to the Emperor; he'd been one of his instructors in the monastery in Danzig. Because of his position, Florence was openly Protestant; the only other province in the Empire that accepted the new doctrines wholeheartedly was Sardinia. The transfer of the capital from Florence to Rome had left a power vacuum in Florence; very quickly, Florence changed from administrative leader to religious leader.

    von Brecht, age 60, was formally Giovanni Davide Bracelli, thanks to a Genoese mother. Still, he'd only been to Genoa twice in his life; once when he was born and once to bury his mother. He spoke Italian and Latin very poorly; German was his mother tongue, and more often than not he spoke to the Emperor in German. He was a noble in Danzig as well; he'd been forced to renounce his titles and estates to take his new position, by Tuscan law. He had no children or family. The Protestant Church did allow priests to marry, but he elected not to.

    von Brecht had one burning ambition and desire; to see the Empire convert to Protestantism and declare itself Defender of the Faith. He impatiently waited for the more politically-minded Leo II to make the decree.

    Perhaps he needed to find a way to speed things along.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9 December 1527, the Legionary Academy, Rome

    Alex del Moro was impressed. As Marshal of the Empire, he had the right to inspect the legions any time he wished, and he was excited to see the first wide-scale adoption of gunpowder in the legions. Andreas Germanicus had proclaimed the "Tercio" formation as the basis for the legions; combining pikes to neutralize cavalry and the long range firepower of the musket, it was sure to be a winning combination.



    The elderly ex-Marshal -- now well into his seventies -- saluted del Moro.

    "Come to see your troops, Marshal?"

    Alex del Moro nodded. "Indeed, Sir Germanicus. These weapons are wonderful! I remember my father complaining about drills with longbows, but any man, no matter how strong, can strike a long distance away with these."

    Andreas smiled. "You're quite right, Marshal. The accuracy isn't ideal, but by distributing them in large numbers, we can make up for this. Truly, we have one of the most modern armies in the world."

    "I heard that we are at war again, my lord Duke. Somewhere in India?"

    Andreas shrugged. "I've heard that too, Marshal. The Swedes have called us into another war, but I honestly don't see how they're going to get there -- no man has been brave enough to go around Africa. That's an awfully long walk."

    The Marshal chuckled. "I remember now. I had to send a deputy to the Senate, as I was in Naples training the new Legion."

    Andreas nodded. "Yes, the Legio VI 'Nike'. Duke Graecus insisted on a Greek name for one of the legions; I suppose the Goddess of Victory is as good as any other. What's the current deployment for the Legions?"

    The Marshal pulled out a small parchment from his pocket. "Three Legions -- III, IV, and V -- are in Asia. One legion is in Istria -- I think the Second -- and you've got the First here in training. The VI isn't quite ready yet; there's still a regiment in Malta, but the fleet has been in port for repairs and hasn't had a chance to pick them up just yet. I'm not sure what the Emperor plans to do with the new legion; I think he might send that to Asia too."

    "The Turks are very restless; there's revolts all the time. Probably a sound move, at least until we can start to pacify the population."

    "So very true. I must be off; I just wanted a look at these brilliant new weapons."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4 August 1528, the Chancellor's office, Rome

    Axel Gathenhielm, on the order of Leo II, had re-allocated monthly revenues to law enforcement, to restore the Stability of the Empire. Once again, as was quickly becoming an Imperial tradition, the Emperor had further aligned his policy with the Aristocrats, at the expense of the merchants. Trade was still an insignificant part of the Tuscan economy.



    The budget was almost entirely balanced; the earlier work of government officials like his grandfather, the former Master of the Imperial Mint, had eliminated inflation. The Empire took in 76.2 ducats per month, divided almost evenly between tax and production. They spent slightly more -- 77.4 ducats per month -- but the yearly census ensured that the Imperial coffers were always full. There was some minting -- 11.6 ducats a month -- but it was inflation neutral, and the National Imperial Bank never minted more than it had to.

    Leo II clearly had a specific objective in mind, but rarely spoke directly to any of his advisors, apart from Johann von Brecht. It was understood by all government officials that the voice of von Brecht was the voice of Leo II. Axel was actually in favor of the eventual conversion to Protestantism; part of his duchy, the island province of Sardinia, was the first Protestant province, and this had actually resulted in more revenue. Many of the other Dukes felt the same way, but they all agreed, with the concurrence of Leo II, that until the realm was much more stable, a decision of that magnitude ought to be postponed.

    Nobody realized it at the time, but it was about to postponed even farther.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10 March 1529, the Palace at Constantinople

    Tiberius Graecus sighed. Another report of Timurid barbarians slaughtering villagers. Even with four legions, he could not guarantee security. The Ottoman Empire -- very quickly disintegrating -- had lost one of her provinces, Konya, to Timurid control, and from there, the hordes flooded into Tuscan territory.



    So far, at least, the Timurid armies had not crossed into Tuscan territory, but as Duke of Constantinople, Tiberius Graecus was ready. The Imperial fleet was already blocking the straits, so that the barbarians could not sack Constantinople. The Ottoman and Tuscan Empires were now on the same side, after a fashion -- both repelling the uncivilized hordes of the Timurid Empire. Still, that didn't prevent him from chuckling at the news that Ryazan and Transylvania had both declared war on the Ottoman Empire. He'd even briefly considered asking Leo II to provide funding to Transylvania, but the cost -- 15.2 ducats a month for 12 months -- was not an inconsiderable amount.

    There was only one way to neutralize the Timurids; occupy their lands with the Legions of the Empire of Tuscany, then settle them with loyal Tuscan citizens. The provinces would then formally become part of Tuscany (and his Duchy), and a local garrison installed, who could then patrol and keep out the Timurid hordes. Only two provinces currently were under Timurid control; Konya and Sivas. Tiberius made the decision to let the Timurids occupy as many Ottoman provinces as they wanted; Tuscany could then annex the former Ottoman lands with absolutely no infamy, since they were taking them from uncivilized nomads. It was a brilliant plan. He sent his decisions to the Emperor and the Senate, but he had no doubt that they would approve.

    After all, the war was started by the Timurid Empire, not Tuscany.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5 October 1529, the camp of the Legio V 'Graecia'

    The commanding General in Italy, Innocenzo Piccolomini, was an absolutely ruthless individual. Shortly after the outbreak of war, he'd been hired by the Empire of Tuscany, and he saw his mandate as twofold: one, protect the incoming Tuscan settlers, and two, establish law and order. He sanctioned burning Timurid villages, if necessary, and the countryside was dotted with pikes, and affixed to each pike was the head of a Timurid.

    General Piccolomini, unlike many soldiers, had no desire to become a noble. He never wanted to become Marshal; he loved leading men in the field, and wanted nothing more than do it as long as possible. Some of his detractors said what he really loved was killing; he'd gotten into many a bar fight as a young lad, some of which resulted in fatalities. A sympathetic judge gave him the option of enlisting in the army or spending the rest of his life in a dungeon; he naturally chose the former.

    Unlike many of his predecessors, Piccolomini had also never commanded a legion. He'd never even been an officer until the war against the Ottoman Empire, when he was newly promoted to Lieutenant on the battlefield. He would never gotten any higher in the Legions had he not made an important ally during that war: John I. He'd been one of the Emperor's aides, and his bravery was unmatched, being wounded no fewer than seven times. He stayed, unlike many of his fellow officers, to fight against the rebellions of the Turks, getting wounded and decorated several more times. Although no officer or noble, Piccolomini was the obvious choice to lead a brutal campaign where tenacity mattered much more than clever maneuvers or strategic planning.

    His approach, as unsavory as it was to many back in Tuscany, worked. Two provinces had already defected to the Empire of Tuscany.



    A colonist could, in effect, lead 600 settlers into a Timurid province, occupied by a Legion. Given that roughly 1000 settlers were needed to establish the necessary organs of government, this meant that two colonists were needed per province; waiting for the population to reproduce over time would simply take too long. [2]

    Yazgod and Sivas remained Timurid. General Piccolomini ordered his troops to pull up stakes and be prepared to march soon. This opportunity simply could not be missed.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7 February 1530, the chamber of the Imperial Senate

    The war against the Timurids -- although not a single Timurid soldier had been engaged yet -- proceeded nicely. The reports from General Piccolomini were both frequent and positive, which were always two good things a report should be. This let the Senate and Emperor Leo II focus more on domestic affairs.

    Muscovy had announced a peace deal with Crimea; a Horde like the Timurids, they had vassalized the nation. Emperor Leo II had personally traveled to Moscow to congratulate the Tsar, the first foreign visit by any Emperor for quite some time. A new piece of legislation, remarkably uncontroversial, had just passed as well.



    The economy continued to flourish; stability was improving, but slowly. They had recently achieved the "+1" rating, a system used by banks worldwide to ensure domestic security for investments. The coveted "+3" rating would take some time yet, however.

    Really, life was good in Tuscany. Only one person was unhappy; von Brecht. He alone was dissatisfied with events domestic and foreign, as his sole goal was to get Tuscany to openly embrace Protestantism. Not a single new province had adopted the teachings of Martin Luther, and government-sponsored missionaries refused to spread a religion not sanctioned by the Imperial administration. He and Leo II had grown somewhat distant, mostly because the Emperor was tired of von Brecht's constant complaints and insistence on discussing the procedures for conversion. Leo II was adamant that no conversion could take place until and unless they had achieved at least "+2" stability. They would also have to admit defeat in a war to get another country to claim Defender of the Catholic Faith. This was perhaps von Brecht's greatest sin -- to insist that Tuscany concede defeat without gaining the lands she deserved.

    Leo II remained extremely devout, and rumor had it that he'd never slept in the Imperial bedroom, but used a simple mat in a small antechamber off of the Imperial throne room. He rarely saw Sofia, who was raising their son almost entirely alone. He spent more and more time alone. He rarely attended meetings of the Senate; he spent the vast majority of his waking hours praying to God. This wasn't enough for von Brecht, however. He demanded the official recognition of Protestantism.

    von Brecht was starting to consider more radical measures.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5 October 1530, Yazgod

    General Piccolomini, ramrod straight, saluted the flag of the Empire of Tuscany as it went up over the palace in Yazgod. Another success for the Piccolomini method. Marshal del Moro had visited a few days ago, and was extremely impressed. The barbarians simply had no answer for the musketry of the Tuscan legions.

    Admiral Corsini had died a few days ago; he'd never achieved the status he thought he deserved, and while Piccolomini privately admitted that the war against the Ottomans would never have been won without his fleet, he also knew that the fleet drew resources from his legions. That the amount was negligible was of no concern to the General; every ducat that didn't go to the legions was a wasted ducat, in his opinion.

    The General had also won an easy victory over some Turkish rebels; when Yazgod had initially rebelled against Tuscan occupation, he didn't even feel the need to go to the battlefield himself. They simply were no match for Tuscan technology. He only lost 28 men at the battle of Sivas; most were from untrained horses who reared at the sound of gunfire and threw their riders. He yearned for greater competition; he was disappointed, but not unduly so when the Emperor refused to answer the Polish call to arms, which would have pitted Tuscany against Austria and Bohemia.

    The Duke of Constantinople had begun construction on a fort in Burgas, as the Emperor had ordered. It was a reasonable decision, in the General's opinion, as the Turks might be weak but they were not as far behind as the Timurid hordes, technologically. More forts followed shortly afterwards; Bulgaria, Bithynia, Anatolia, and Bursa were all being upgraded to a "level two" standard. These would require more garrison troops, but would also be a much more effective resistance against sieges. They would also be a more effective way of maintaining order.

    There was still no sign of the Timurid army, however. This worried the General. According to intelligence provided by a scout, they should have roughly as many soldiers as Tuscany did. Part of this, no doubt, was the barbarian horde's constant need to be at war with her neighbors. Still, his request for one of the Imperial agents to infiltrate the Timurid hordes was denied, because another project was in the works -- supporting the rebellion in Macedonia against the Ottoman Empire. Until that was completed, the Emperor would not authorize the use of any more spies.

    Sivas would be next to fall, he thought. After that, there were no more officially Timurid provinces; he'd been ordered by the Duke of Constantinople to "let" the Timurids occupy the remaining Ottoman provinces before sending in colonists to settle Sivas. A wise plan.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7 December 1530, the Imperial Throne Room

    Although Leo II was not known for having a particularly quick temper, he was nonetheless furious at this latest petition.



    Of the nine Senators, eight had voted for it; only von Brecht had voted against it. Why would they bring this up during a time of war? The Senators all made plenty of money. He examined the petition to see who had initially sponsored the petition; after all, without being sponsored by at least two Senators or the Emperor, nothing could be voted upon by the Senate.

    He was astonished to see the Imperial seal on the petition. He clearly had never proposed this petition, which meant that somebody had possession of an imperial seal, illegally. Since keeping track of the Imperial seals was one among many of the Chancellor's duties, Leo II sent for Chancellor Gathenhielm.

    The Swede entered fifteen minutes later; the Castle St. Maso was not a small building, and the Chancellor's office was almost at the opposite end of the castle from the Imperial Throne Room. "How may I serve you, my Emperor?"

    "You are keeper of the Imperial seals -- where are they now?"

    The Chancellor thought for a few moments. "There is one for each Emperor in the Imperial Museum. One is, of course, in your possession. That leaves two; I have one, but it was damaged in an accident and is at the Imperial blacksmith for repairs. I believe Count von Brecht has the other, by your decree, Emperor Leo II."

    Leo II was puzzled, but dismissed his Chancellor. The museum seals were all different from his; each Emperor chose his own seal, and Leo II's had a very prominent cross in the center. He remembered the incident in which the Chancellor's seal was damaged; he never should have hired that juggler in the first place. Since Leo II knew he didn't sponsor the petition, that left von Brecht, yet von Brecht had voted against the petition. Something very strange was going on.

    Very strange indeed.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13 May 1531, the chamber of the Imperial Senate

    With the Senators all gathered, they began to discuss the events of the past few months. The Ottoman Empire had paid a small indemnity to Transylvania -- about 40 ducats -- in exchange for relinquishing their control over Ottoman lands. A researcher at the University of Florence had written a treatise on the power of Monopolies; by using 6 merchants instead of the normal 5, the Empire could gain a stranglehold on trade in any given Center of Trade. This could mean more income, perhaps substantially so. Leo II very quickly authorized additional spending to make sure that Thrace and Liguria became monopolies as quickly as possible.

    A new University began construction in Apulia; southern Italy had no center of learning, apart from the still unfinished University of Rome. Leo II knew that technology and education would be the cornerstones of further success for the Empire of Tuscany; he wanted to construct some Weapons Manufactories as well, but there were no iron or copper deposits in Italy. Until he had greater control over the Turkish territories, he had no intention of wasting money there.

    A few months ago, the Senate had voted on a potential declaration of war on France; Great Britain had asked for aid from Tuscany as the Defender of the Faith. The vote had been 4-4, with one abstention, Sir Germanicus. Marshal del Moro, one of the loudest opponents of a new war, effectively ended the debate when he produced a comparison of the French and British armies -- the British had only four thousand soldiers, while France had nearly as many as the Empire of Tuscany. The Muscovites would likely not contribute much to the war; it would fall heavily on Tuscany to engage in war, and with three Legions in Asia (the fleet had been blockading Timurid ports and the Emperor decided to leave the Legio VI 'Nike' in Tuscany for the time being, as they were very inexperienced) they could not bring as many troops into a war as the French. After del Moro's presentation, the vote quickly turned to 9-0 against.

    Their most pressing concern, however, was a note from the General of the Legions, Innocenzo Piccolomini.

    Gentlemen of the Senate,

    My scouts have finally located a Timurid army -- 7000 soldiers in the Turkish province of Smyrna. I would request a second General be assigned to my command, so that we can effectively coordinate both the repression of Turkish rebels and a rapid end to the war against the Timurids. I would also like a fourth Legion, if possible; with one of my three Legions in Bulgaria, far from my command, I can only muster 20,000 soldiers. Our allies have 31,000 men in theater, but they do not approve of my methods and refuse to cooperate unless another General is in overall command.

    Please act quickly. I've heard rumors of the bulk of Timurid forces slowly coming west; I cannot hold with only two Legions and unwilling allies.

    General Innocenzo Piccolomini


    All eyes turned to Demosthenes Graecus, filling in for his father, the Duke of Constantinople. Marshal del Moro was the first to speak. "What about you, Demosthenes, or your brother Pericles? One of you would be very well equipped, both with knowledge of the terrain, the language, and the men."

    Demosthenes shook his head. "Marshal, neither my brother or myself have ever so much as picked up a pike in our lives; our father was primarily concerned with making sure we were ready to succeed him, not lead men in the field."

    As the Senators argued amongst themselves over who would get this thankless job -- after all, there would be no new Duchies -- the Emperor himself entered the Senate chamber.

    "I am heading to Asia as the new General. The War Council in my absence will be Marshal del Moro, Theologian von Brecht, and Chancellor Gathenhielm. Good bye."



    Without another word, the Emperor left, and the Senate was stunned. Everybody knew the Emperor had no military training. He'd never even shown the least interest in the Legions and had never once visited a Legion in the field. While they all chattered excitedly, von Brecht grinned. This was part of his plan. With Leo II out of the way, he only had two rivals for ultimate power; del Moro and Gathenhielm. He had a secret weapon as well; after convincing the Emperor to don the Imperial armor, he'd humbly proposed himself as Imperial regent, should the worst happen.

    von Brecht's smile got much nastier, although nobody noticed. All he had to do to finally make the Tuscan Empire Protestant was make sure the worst happened.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    19 April 1532, Karaman

    Leo II wiped sweat from his brow. He'd decisively won a victory for Tuscany.



    God was clearly on his side. Even with only two Legions in theater -- he'd ordered the legion in Bulgaria to return, initially, but a new rebellion forced them to be rerouted -- he'd shown that victory was all but certain. Why was that idiot General always complaining? Angora, Sivas, and Adana were all occupied and would probably defect in a matter of months. Even better, the Timurids only had a small force left -- 2000 soldiers -- which he'd allowed to live so they could continue to take Ottoman lands.

    It was time to return his tent. The actual battle had been relatively easy -- only 6 minor casualties, mostly from muskets misfiring -- but the terrain was brutal. He started to feel a bit ill from the heat. Maybe that doctor could give him something; he was personally recommended by his trusted friend von Brecht. A nagging feeling bothered Leo II, as he lay down on his rush mat, before he drifted off to sleep.

    If this doctor was so good, why hadn't anybody else heard of him?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13 February 1533, the Imperial Throne Room

    Leo II felt dizzy, but hid this from everybody at the feast. With Angora's defection, von Brecht had insisted that a celebration was in order. The people had not had a big festival in a long time, and needed to relax. The Emperor admitted this sounded good; it had been quite a while since he'd been able to relax. It turned out that the doctor had been poisoning him while he was in the field! One of his soldiers recognized that the berries that the doctor was grinding up for his medicine was nightshade. He'd had the doctor executed on the spot; when he asked von Brecht why he'd recommended the doctor, the Theologian had recommended this feast while he started an investigation. Leo II never noticed that von Brecht had not answered his question.

    Johann David von Brecht was quietly furious. The "doctor" had come highly recommended as one of the best poisoners, but he'd not had time to prepare his concoction in advance and had to make it in the field, where he didn't have a ready supply of the berries. von Brecht had to send them via courier, but the courier, unfortunately, looked in the bag and asked a soldier what they were for.

    He'd tried everything to end the war so that the Empire would finally be able to defend the Protestant Faith. He'd tried to turn the Emperor against the Senate, but had only narrowly escaped imprisonment by insisting that his Imperial seal was stolen. He was thrilled when the Emperor had finally agreed to lead the troops in the field, but del Moro and Gathenhielm wouldn't even allow von Brecht to propose legislation proclaiming Protestantism the official faith of the Empire. They thought that legislation of that kind would distract the Tuscan people from the war. von Brecht had tried to forge peace proposals for the Timurids, but the Emperor himself had taken the Imperial seals into the field.

    Up to this point, nobody suspected von Brecht. Most were distracted by the feast and the forming of a new legion, the Legio VII 'Asia'. Since he was the official in charge of the investigation of the doctor, he made sure that the investigation stalled. von Brecht had no idea what he could do at this point. If he openly acted against the Emperor, he would lose his position in the Imperial Council and in the Senate. The war would probably not end any time soon; colonists were in short supply and it would take a long time for Tuscany to fully settle the Timurid lands. He was at a loss for ideas.

    What nobody had realized, not even the Emperor, was that he had a bad heart. Since he normally lived both simply and without much stress -- he delegated a lot of his authority -- this had not been a problem. Living alone and rarely speaking with anybody but God had also helped him stay calm. However, the days of feasting took a toll on the Emperor's normal love of solitude, and worrying about the men in the field while he was absent was even more damaging. Combined with the weak effects of the nightshade, his heart simply couldn't take it all, and he dropped dead of a heart attack.



    In the midst of the commotion, von Brecht quietly slipped away; his actual purpose for the feast was to distract the Senate and the Emperor so he could place his forged version of the Emperor's will. As a result of the problems with the "doctor", Emperor Leo II had altered his decision to make von Brecht his regent -- instead, he'd planned to make Sir Andreas Germanicus his regent at the recommendation of Chancellor Gathenhielm. However, the Emperor had not had time to make it official, or even to notify Germanicus. The quick switch took but a few seconds.

    Those few seconds would alter the course of Tuscan history.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    [1] I completely forgot that Rome doesn't start with a University in 1399.

    [2] It used to be 200; I'm not sure if this changed because of a recent patch or because I'm on Very Easy.

    This update took a lot longer than I thought it would; the next update might not be done until next week. Although von Brecht makes a nice in-game scapegoat, the truth is I had a hard time convincing myself to "lose" the war on purpose just to convert to Protestantism. Had the Timurids not intervened, I would have done it much sooner, but since I'm an idiot, I'd not been financing stability and you need at least +2 stability.

    The death of Leo II served a number of purposes; I made him a General so I could kill him off quickly First, he's 4/4/4. Second, I was hoping I'd inherit Milan (I didn't ). Finally, I'm not sure where I could have gone with Leo II as a writer; ascetic types are easy to write for, but hard to make interesting. He's kind of given me writer's block, which is why it took me three days to write this update (not constantly, obviously).

    You know what could help break writer's block? A new contest!

    When I do switch to Protestantism, something really unpleasant happens. I mostly account for it, but it was totally unexpected and I do lose something I'd had for quite a while. Not something devastating, but irritating nonetheless.

    This is a two part contest. If you guess what I forgot, you get to create a character! If you guess what I lost, you get to name the next Legion coming up (the IX -- I raised the VIII Legion sometime during the next two updates)!

    You can guess on each part only once.

    Good luck!
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  13. #353
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blsteen View Post
    The old Romans also didn't have to worry about a RN fleet of ships of the line armed with 32 pounders sailing through the Straits of Gibralter, landing Royal Marines and infantry to burn the Duke of Rome's palace to the ground. Unfortunately, the days of yore when naval power was simply littoral (Alexander, Caesar, even Don Juan), are over. Advances in naval technology have (or will) rendered expeditions to the America's and India, if not commonplace, then attainable...
    Very true
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  14. #354
    Major Michaelangelo's Avatar
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    I hope everything ends well with the Timurids. Hordes can be a big pain at times. I see that von Brecht turned out to be one sneaky priest. It's very interesting to see some intrigue in Tuscany.
    As for the contest, I think that you lost your alliance with Sweden.

  15. #355
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Glory to the Horde!

  16. #356
    sasemese esemesas's Avatar
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    You lose the PU with Milan?
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  17. #357
    Share Our Wealth! Seek75's Avatar
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    You lost your PU with Byzantium/Byzantine Empire/whatever it's called.
    A rebel without a cause.

  18. #358
    Thoroughly Useless Konnigratz's Avatar
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    I'd say, with the massive relations drop, someone nasty (Austria or France?) declares war on you. And you lose the alliance with Sweden, though that's already been guessed.

  19. #359
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michaelangelo View Post
    I hope everything ends well with the Timurids. Hordes can be a big pain at times. I see that von Brecht turned out to be one sneaky priest. It's very interesting to see some intrigue in Tuscany.
    As for the contest, I think that you lost your alliance with Sweden.
    I did lose the alliance with Sweden, so you'll get to name my next Legion. Congratulations!

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Glory to the Horde!
    Some help you are

    Quote Originally Posted by esemesas View Post
    You lose the PU with Milan?
    Quote Originally Posted by Seek75 View Post
    You lost your PU with Byzantium/Byzantine Empire/whatever it's called.
    Nope; all my PUs are intact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konnigratz View Post
    I'd say, with the massive relations drop, someone nasty (Austria or France?) declares war on you. And you lose the alliance with Sweden, though that's already been guessed.
    I'm going to let you make the new character; changing religions eliminates ALL alliances, and since Michaelangelo's already had two characters, I'll give you credit for the alliances.

    Great job everybody! I think this is the fastest contest victory yet; Michaelangelo, PM me the name of the forthcoming IX Legion. Koniggratz, you can PM me your character. I need a name, birthplace, goals, and as detailed a bio as you'd like to provide.
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  20. #360
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    Why do I get the feeling von Brecht is overdue for an appointment with something pointy and unpleasant.
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