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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tommy4ever

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Quick question: Should I be ultra-Catholic Counter-Reformationist or should I convert to Protestantism or should I just wait and see what happens and then choose my faith?

Coming up to reformation in the game now and I've still yet to decide what to do.
 

Marco Oliverio

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I think if you manage to remain Holy Roman Emperor then you have to support Catholicism in whatever flavor makes the most sense. However, if you lose that, then you should convert if it makes sense for other geopolitical reasons in the game. You know, convert to Protestantism in protest of the grave insult to you and your house. Then you could still become the HRE later if possible but you would have made your point and inflicted some damage to the Pope.

If you manage to vassalize the Pope or perhaps conquer and annex Rome then other things can happen. Maybe you can force him to convert (is that possible?) and then convert along with him to some version of Protestantism.
:p
 

Tommy4ever

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I think if you manage to remain Holy Roman Emperor then you have to support Catholicism in whatever flavor makes the most sense. However, if you lose that, then you should convert if it makes sense for other geopolitical reasons in the game. You know, convert to Protestantism in protest of the grave insult to you and your house. Then you could still become the HRE later if possible but you would have made your point and inflicted some damage to the Pope.

If you manage to vassalize the Pope or perhaps conquer and annex Rome then other things can happen. Maybe you can force him to convert (is that possible?) and then convert along with him to some version of Protestantism.
:p
Playing as we speak.

I'm employing the wait and see strategy and whilst the reformation is doing very well in many of my neighbors it has so far been very slow to proceed in Austria. In game the Papacy is incredibly strong ruling all of Italy from Sicily to Genoa :eek:. Being a big player in Northern Italy we are inevitably enemies. But its early days and I don't know whats going to happen.
 

Hannibal X

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Proddies please- whenever we have player Cath, the Reformers always die. Two, if one is Proddie, you can attack the Papacy and seize a good amount of North Italian land.
 

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I think you should attack and vassalize the Pope, afterwards becoming ultra-Catholic. It's very satisfying to realize that the Papal States are your vassal. :D
Also, great writing.
 

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Maria Theresa II (Part 1)
Lived: 1423-1494
Head of House of Habsburg: 1448:1494
Holy Roman Empress: 1448-1494
Archduchess of Austria: 1448-1494
Queen of Bohemia: 1459-1494
Duchess of Lombardy: 1461-1494



The 2nd German Empress oversaw the Habsburg realm’s transition from powerful German Princedom to established, multi-cultural, European and colonial Empire. By the end of her reign Austria more closely resembled Castile than Brandenburg. Maria Theresa was the most powerful Emperor since the Hohenstaufens and brought considerable unity to the divided Princes of Germany although her concentration on the German territories of the Empire left Italy free to be absorbed into the growing Papal States of Italy.

Maria Theresa was forced to go to war within three months of her investiture as Empress after the powerful Duke of Thurungia attempted to attack the County of Anhalt. Immediately the powerful Austrian army rolled into action alongside a large coalition of German Princes. The Thurungian army was utterly crushed and after less than a year of fighting the Duke was forced to become a Habsburg vassal, a small strip of territory to the North of Bohemia was also ceded directly to the Empress.

Following the excommunication of Milan in 1552 the Empress received Papal blessing for an invasion of the once proud Duchy. The Duke of Bavaria rose to support the Italian state but faced defeat in battle against overwhelming odds as the Austrian army crushed its foes. Peace was signed the following year with the entire Duchy of Milan being annexed and Bavaria ceding the province of Schwaben.

In early 1556 the ruling family of the small County of Mantua died out, the County was then offered to a minor branch of the House of Habsburg in return for protection from outside threats. With that the small territory became a vassal of Austria.



On October 7th 1556 the Anglo-Austrian rivalry began in earnest. During the 1550s and 60s the Papal Curia was dominated by English Cardinals and pro-English Cardinals. The King of England had given financial and military support to the Papacy for its Italian wars and in return the Papacy gave religious support for English politics. Fearing the expanding power of Austria, King James I (of the House of Stewart) organised the excommunication of Maria Theresa.

Several uneasy months passed as English fleets and armies began to relocate to friendly Mediterranean ports and English diplomats bombarded the German Princes. War finally came on February 17th after an Austrian merchant ship was sunk by an English warship in the Adriatic. England, Wurttemberg and the Palatinate prepared for war with Austria and their vassals in Saxony and Thurungia.



The war began slowly as the opposing armies assembled, the first major battle occurred on June 14th near the city of Nurnberg. The Elector Gustav Adolf of the Palatinate faced a Habsburg army twice the size of his own and won an incredible victory. The first stage of the battle began with an Austrian cavalry charge.



The charge into the Rhenish pikes ended in utter destruction as 2/3s of the Habsburg knights were slain. The Infantry then began to panic as Gustav Adolf led his army in a charge. With the nobility fleeing and without a strong leader the Austrian army began to rout, these routing men were run down by Gustav Adolf’s cavalry, the Austrians suffered terrible losses.

The defeat failed to win Gustav Adolf the war as at the same time another Austrian army ransacked his Rhenish lands but it did secure him a favourable peace which was signed at the start of 1458 along with the surrender of Wurttemberg.

Just before the war in Germany ended the first wave of English arrived in on the Adriatic shore whilst 15,000 Lombards rose up against Austrian rule in Italy.

On April 7th an Austrian army defeated the Lombard rebels in a brutal melee. Both sides suffered heavy losses but the battle proved a critical victory for Austria as the rebellion quickly petered out following the clash.



Meanwhile Carinthia became the site of a bloody struggle between the English and Austrian armies. Despite being such a great distance from their homes the English were able to support an army of comparable size, at times larger, than the Habsburgs. For the next 2 years both armies battled endlessly as each month thousands of English were killed and each month thousands more arrived in the captured ports. At the height of their advance English troops raided the outskirts of Vienna itself. At a time when it appeared that the English might secure victory the Austrians found an unlikely ally in the Barbary Pirates. In order to support such a large army English merchant fleets, laden with gold, men and supplies, were forced to sail across the favourite hunting grounds of the Muslim Pirates in large numbers. Such was the effect of the Pirates that for every ship that successfully made the journey between Friuli and Plymouth two were lost. This cost slowly drained away at the English army in Carinthia and by late 1460 they had been entirely thrown from Austrian lands. Shortly later a white peace was signed in which England recognised Austria’s annexation of Wurttemberg and was paid a nominal tribute.



In the year 1461 another attempt by the Teutonic Knights to annex the Electorate of Riga was defeated by the Austrian army.

At the same time as she expanded her realm Maria Theresa II firmly established the House of Habsburg in the regions inhabited by non-Germans. In 1458 she revived the ancient right of the Bohemian nobility to choose their Monarch. The elections was only ceremonial as it was required that the leading descendent of the House of Habsburg be elected but the Czech people seemed happy to have their vacant throne filled once more. Maria Theresa also had a local Bohemian Parliament created to help the Habsburgs govern the Czech Kingdom. The success of these policies convinced Maria Theresa to declare herself Duchess of Lombardy in 1461. The move was coupled with a system which handed greater rights to the Italian cities, this reduced Vienna’s power over them but the policy was accompanied by a shakeup of the tax and tariff systems in the region which actually allowed Vienna to extract slightly more wealth from the cities in return for greater local autonomy in the region.



Maria Theresa’s attentions had been fixed firmly in the South of the Empire for much of her reign and as such she had failed to take any major measures to keep the peace in Northern Germany. Tensions had been rising between the city-states of Northern Germany and the powerful Danish Monarchy for years and following the death of a Danish merchant in Lubeck these tensions erupted into war. Denmark’s attack on the vital trading port caused a great uproar throughout Germany and the Baltic as: Sweden, the Teutonic Order, numerous minor German Princedoms and Austria all declared war upon the Danes. Austria had significant trading interests in Lubeck and could not afford to have it fall into unfriendly hands whilst the Empress also saw a precious opportunity to push back foreign encroachment into the Empire, thus improving her popularity amongst the Princes.



In the first few months of the war King Christian II of Denmark was forced to fight a defensive war around his German possessions as the small armies of the Princes harassed his territories. Yet when news reached the King of 20,000 Austrians headed through central Germany he fled Northward to a line of forts in Slesvig.

Upon arriving at these forts the Austrians used cannons for the first time since the debacle at Milan during the reign of the previous Empress. This time the experimental weapons worked wonders as the Danish forts were obliterated allowing the Austrians to march Northward. Realising that he would have to meet them in battle Christian attacked the Austrian vanguard.



Despite numerical superiority and the advantage of surprise the Danes were crushed. The initial attack by the Danish infantry was easily fought off by a counter charge from the German knights and after two more failed attacks the Danes fled Northward. After two further engagements with the Austrian army the entire Danish army surrendered near Aarhus along with their King. Christian then agreed to a peace deal in which all of Denmark’s German lands were surrendered and united into the Duchy of Bremen and Holstein. The new Duchy was ruled by promoted members of the local German mobility and ruled over a wealthy realm which included the cities of Bremen and Hamburg.
 

Enewald

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Shouldn't you liberate Moravia from Hungary which is not a HRE state?
 

JDMS

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Nice. :cool: Austria seems unstoppable. :)
 

Tommy4ever

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Maria Theresa II (Part 2)
Lived: 1423-1494
Head of House of Habsburg: 1448:1494
Holy Roman Empress: 1448-1494
Archduchess of Austria: 1448-1494
Queen of Bohemia: 1459-1494
Duchess of Lombardy: 1461-1494



On September 8th the Kaiserliche Marine for officially founded as the five ship fleet (two carracks and three cogs) made their maiden voyage through the Adriatic. Officially, the navy was in fact the Navy of the Empire in the Adriatic but in practise it was totally subject to the Habsburg state. The fleet was initially founded for the dual purpose of protecting Austria’s Adriatic trade routes from the Barbary Pirates and allowing Austria to project its forces throughout the Mediterranean. However barely three years into its existence the Kaiserliche Marine found a new purpose – exploration. News had quickly filtered out from Iberia of the Portuguese and Castilian expeditions across the Atlantic. Although neither state had managed to secure a firm grip over any of the New World the idea of insurmountable riches on available on foreign shores had gripped the Continent. Early in 1469 Maria Theresa, who enjoyed amiable relations with the King of Castile, signed a treaty in which the Spaniards agreed to allow the Imperial navy to use their ports in the Canaries, Cape Verde and Cadiz as bases for exploration. In exchange the Empress promised to provide any maps obtained by Austria from these bases to Castile on top of a small tribute. Later that year the adventuring brothers Leopold and Ernst Kolin set out for the West African shore. Over the next few years the brothers mapped the entire West African coastline from Casablanca to the Bight of Benin and established trading relations with many coastal tribes.

It soon became apparent to the Kolin brothers that the establishment of an Austrian held coastal enclave would be very beneficial to Habsburg overseas interests as it would: end the reliance on the Castilians and their ports, provide a good base to establish German trading interests in Africa, provide a market place for goods from deeper in Africa to be brought for exportation. The best option seemed to be the prosperous but weak coastal lands of the Kingdom of Mali.



Mali was a weak state that had once ruled over a much vaster Empire but by the late 15th century had suffered from a long and disastrous rivalry with the Songhai.

In 1474 the Kolin brothers had applied for and subsequently been granted 3,000 men including a unit of invaluable cavalry. In February 1175 Ernst Kolin, who had long played second fiddle to his brother Leopold who was in charge of the fleet, landed without his brother near the large Malian town of Cayor. Utterly undefended the town soon fell and for the following two months Ernst advanced along the shore, being mirrored by his brother and the fleet. Surprised by the lake of action Ernst turned inland. It appears that during Ernst’s attack Mali was in the midst of a Civil War as two rival heirs fought for control of the Kingdom. The German adventurer used this to his advantage as he advanced deeper into Mali without facing serious resistance. Sometime during October, the exact date is lost, Ernst met the army of the King of Mali whose troops were still tired from their victory against the King’s dynastic rival merely days before.



The Battle of the Golden Mound was long praised as a story of triumph for German arms and proof of Austria’s destiny for world conquest as Ernst and his ragtag band of adventurers scored a stunning victory against a foe 4 times their own number. In the early stage of the battle the African army had charged the small Austrian infantry force which held its own barely. The African attacks would persist and after several hours of fighting the Germans had lost nearly ½ their men and were near breaking. It was at this point that Ernst unleashed the cavalry. The King of Mali lacked any horse, indeed the Austrian cavalry was unlike anything ever seen in this part of the world. What had started as an attempt to merely rally a breaking force turned into an utterly devastating charge to victory and glory. Those Africans that were not cut down by the German chargers fled and at the end of battle Ernst was able to raise the Habsburg banner atop the field of victory. The message to the King of Mali was clear – nothing could oppose the House of Habsburg. Shortly after Ernst’s triumph the King of Mali’s already battered army began to disintegrate as thousands fled fearing another battle with the demonically powerful Germans. In response to this the King met Ernst to hear his demands. These were surprisingly light considering the extent of the Austrian victory: Mali’s entire coast was to be ceded to the House of Habsburg, an annual tribute of gold and slaves was to be paid to the House of Habsburg from Mali for as long as peace existed between the House and the Kingdom of Mali. As news began to filter back to Austria of the successes of the Kolin brothers in Africa enthusiasm for expansion overseas grew immensely. In 1477 Ernst Kolin was made Herzog of Guinea (giving him all the lands on the Mali shore that he had conquered) whilst his brother was made a Knight of the Realm. In just one decade Ernst’s work in his lands had successfully converted the native populations to Christianity, established several fortresses along the shore and built up several small but not inconsiderable communities of Germans in the main towns. Meanwhile the captures were having the exact effects that the brothers had hoped for as trade accelerated and reliance on Castile was brought to an end.



Whilst Austria prospered overseas during the 1470s the economy received a major boost at home through the ‘artisan revolution’ as it is sometimes called. Essentially in Austria the demand for manufactured goods (in the Late Medieval period this phrase must be taken very lightly) spiked greatly largely due to government expenditure on the construction of ships, military equipment, fortresses and a major palace for the Habsburg Emperor in Vienna. This led to a unique period when the number of artisans within Austria trebled over the course of a decade providing Austria with a much wealthier nation more capable of providing for itself without imported goods from the workshops of Italy and elsewhere.



During the later years of the Empress’ reign two major wars were fought with the English and their allies, first against England, Norway and Cologne (1483-1486) and then against England, Norway, Aragon and the Savoy (1489-1491). The first war ended in the vassalisation of the Elector of Cologne whilst the seconf ended in the vassalisation of the Duchy of Savoy. The conflicts themselves both followed a very similar pattern with the nearby English allies (first Cologne then Savoy) quickly being overrun before the arrival of the English and other overseas powers in Italy. In the first war the English and Norwegians faced utter defeat before they could establish themselves but in the second war the English with minimal support from Aragon and Norway managed to take most all of Lombardy including the major city of Milan before being defeated in the Alpine passes of the Tyrol.

In 1493 the final war over Riga between the Teutonic Order and the city’s protectors was fought. In this short conflict the Knights won several significant victories against Lithuania before the arrival of Austrian forces. But once the armies of the Habsburgs entered the fray the fight quickly reached its end. The resulting peace brought a very acceptable situation to the troubled Baltic region. The lands formerly owned by the Livonian Order were ceded to Lithuania, Riga became a feudal County and an Austrian vassal, Riga lost its Electoral vote, the Order was abolished and replaced by the Kingdom of Prussia.



In Africa the slave trade was making Ernst Kolin extremely rich. In the years after the foundation of the Duchy of Guinea Castile had started to set up its first colonies in the Americas, these colonies provided a great deal of demand for African slaves. The human tribute of the Kingdom of Mali seemed to simply not be enough and so as a means of securing access to new slave markets the Kolin brothers received support for another expedition in Africa. Although the expedition was officially a means to gain another slave trading post in actuality Ernst Kolin was eager to satiate the envy of his brother. Ernst’s victory at the Golden Mound had received all the glory and in return Ernst had been rewarded generously whilst Leopold received no lands of his own. The two had already agreed (with the Empress’ approval) that Leopold would become Herzog of whatever lands the two could conquer.



This time the unfortunate victims were the people of the Hausa Confederacy whose lands were laid to waste in a short campaign that utterly destroyed the African state and slaughtered its people.



The conquest created the Duchy of the Niger (named after the river that ran to the West of the Duchy). However in the war of conquest, outbreaks of disease and short reign of terror that followed almost the entire native population was killed or forced to leave. Within a few short years the Duchy became majority German and brought the shameful colonial chapter of Austrian history into full swing.

Meanwhile back in Europe the Empress died in 1494 at the age of 71 still a virgin. The lands of the House of Habsburg then passed to her brother (20 years her junior), Matthias I shortly thereafter became the Holy Roman Emperor of the German Nation. Unlike his sister Matthias cared little for the colonies and although a steady flow of adventurous Germans continued to travel to Guinea and Niger there was little state support for overseas expansion. As the Kolin brothers both died within a few years of Matthias’ ascension the first wave of Austrian colonialism died with them.
 

unmerged(86922)

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Great updates.
 

JDMS

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So colonizing is over for now? Well good update, and I like your maps. How do you make them?
 

Tommy4ever

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Qorten: I always find blobbing in Europe to be rather boring and can never resist the urge to expand far beyond my own shores :D

JDMS: The lands I took in Africa were all from foriegn nations rather than new colonies. I just have to wait the 50 years until my lands in Guinea become cores, after than colonialism begins anew, this time in the Western Hemisphere.

Duke of Wellington: Whilst the slavery issue may be put on the back burner in this AAR during the inevitable rise of the trade through the next couple of centuries I plan on making it a much more important issue during the 18th century when the battle to end the trade begins.

Whilst I will probably be focussed mainly on the Americas in my colonial future I do plan on expanding into some of the wealthier parts of Africa.

Next update (probably tomorrow) shall see the ermergeance of the reformation in the lands of Eastern Europe. With colonialism and the reformation going the AAR shall really start to come into its best period.
 

Tommy4ever

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Matthias I
Lived: 1445-1518
Head of House of Habsburg: 1494-1518
Holy Roman Emperor: 1494-1518
Archduke of Austria: 1494-1518
King of Bohemia: 1494-1518
Duke of Lombardy: 1494-1518
Duke of Brunswick: 1516-1518



Matthias I, younger brother of the late Empress Maria Theresa II, was already 49 years old when he succeeded to the Habsburg and Imperial thrones. His comparatively short reign marks the transition period between the Medieval and Early Modern periods of European history. At the start of his reign the old certainties remained strong and immovable throughout the continent, by the end of his reign Constantinople was Muslim and the Reformation had begun. Matthias is often criticised for his inaction whilst these cataclysmic events occurred yet as Emperor Matthias had his eye almost exclusively fixed upon Germany, all that occurred in the East was none of his concern.



Just a few short months into his reign Matthias was faced with the last of the Anglo-Austrian wars. The Count of Baden had died heirless and the Badenese nobility attempted to offer the County to Matthias (most likely as a way of ensuring protection from the expanding power of France). In response to this the English declared war. Yet unlike previous conflicts the English did not send large armies to attack the Italian and Adriatic provinces of the Austrian realm but instead awaited the Habsburgs in their port-fortresses in France. The cities of Bordeaux and Brest were the last English strongholds in France and during 1494 both cities, each containing large armies, came under siege from the armies of Habsburg. By the end of the year both had fallen. Yet the English refused to surrender instead looking to strangle the Austrian dominated slave trade. English armies overwhelmed the Duchy of Guinea whilst they were barely repulsed from the Duchy of Niger. Meanwhile trans-Atlantic trade between Africa and the Spanish colonies of America was completely shut off. In early 1495, faced with heavy pressure from the mercantile classes, Matthias made peace. Baden was forced to elect a member of the local nobility to take over the County but was granted Electoral status whilst the English were forced to pay compensation to Austria’s merchants for the damage done to their holdings in Africa.




The late 1490s was a time of reform amongst the Imperial Electors. Riga and the defunct states of Trier and the Palatinate were all removed from the list of Electors. In place of these states Baden and Hainault were both promoted to Electoral status. The choice of new Electors was largely dictated by the respected Elector of Brandenburg who looked to counter the dominance of the Habsburgs. Although Baden had recently attempted to place a Habsburg on its throne the new Counts were in fact from the House of Hohenzollern, a House that already ruled Brandenburg. By promoting another Elector on the border with the French the Elector of Brandenburg ensured and even stronger voice was in place to pressure Austria into halting the expansionist French whose ambitions on the Rhine and beyond were clear to all.



In the Balkans the period between 1492 and 1505 is still remembered as one of the worst times in all history. Frequently known as the Time of Troubles the 13 year period between the death of King Michael the Good in 1492 and the ascension of Demetrios the Greek to the Hungarian throne in 1505 was a time of abject chaos in which as much as 1/3 of the population of the Balkans was wiped out. At the death of Michael the Good the Hungarian Empire ruled the entire Balkan Peninsula with the exception of the city of Constantinople which was in the hands of the Romans. In 1492 Michael died childless and the Magyar nobility quickly began to war amongst themselves for the Hungarian throne. Seeing the opportunity to break free the Greeks, Bulgars, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Albanians and Wlachs of the Hungarian Empire rose up in revolt. Unable to keep control of the region whilst the civil war was being fought in the Hungarian core lands by 1498 the Hungarians had been largely defeated in the Southern Balkans. Yet in that year the new King of Hungary, Bela the Cruel, led a huge army into the former Hungarian territories. For the next 2 years Bela raped and pillaged all the lands between Zagreb and the Black Sea, only Greece was spared from his armies thanks to the victories won by the Bulgars to the North. Even with the Magyars beaten the peoples of the Balkans could not secure peace as they quickly began to fight amongst themselves. The wars amongst the Balkanite peoples during the following few years are too many and too bloody to mention but the most important outcome of them was the defeat of the Angelos family who had attempted to seize the Roman throne in 1504. As Demetrios Angelos fled with his army northward he managed to solve many conflicts by providing the services of his troops. Indeed Demetrios became so popular that many of the Balkanite peoples whom he fought for and against joined his army, by the time he reached the Hungarian border in 1505 his armies numbered somewhere in the region of 20-30 thousand. The war weary Magyars put up little resistance to Demetrios’ invasion and after 2 separate defeats the nobility offered Demetrios the vacant Hungarian throne. With that the Time of Troubles in the Balkans came to an end and the Magyar state’s official religion was changed to that of its King – Greek Orthodoxy.



In 1507 the Byzantine Empire moved its capital from the rotted city of Constantinople, which for 12 centuries had seated Roman Emperors, to the wealthy and expanding city of Thessalonica which was more central to the Empire’s holdings in Greece. Just three years after its abandonment Sultan Mustafa Aydin, the most powerful of the Turks lords, lunged across the Bosporus with an army of many thousands. A short siege was ended thanks to the Turkish use of several large cannons which cracked open the city’s mighty walls. Shortly after the loss of the city the Byzantine Empire officially surrendered it to Mustafa Aydin in return for peace. With the decrepit Queen of Cities in his hands Mustafa claimed to rule over the true Roman Empire, an Islamic successor to Christian Byzantium. As such the Aydin Empire of the Turks was born in 1510.

Austria’s only territorial changes of Matthias’ reign occurred in 1504 as first the vassal Count of Mantua surrendered his lands to Vienna’s direct control and then the Electorate of Ansbach was forced into vassal bonds with the House of Habsburg.



Yet all was made to seem inconsequential by the earth shattering revolution that began when Szymon Ossolinski nailed his 95 Theses to the door of St John’s Cathedral in Warsaw on March 3rd 1506. Quickly the Ossolinskite faith swept across Poland and in 1509 the King converted to create the first Protestant nation.



Ossolinski’s supporters quickly began to spread out and much of Northern Germany alongside armies of the Netherlands began to convert to the reforming cause. The most significant victory of the Ossolinskites was won in 1511 when the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order was convinced to convert. The Grandmaster then abolished the last true remnant of Europe’s Crusader past and established the Kingdom of Prussia in its stead.



In 1512 the German émigré Priest Luitpold von Pappenheim formed a new Protestant Church in the form of the Reformed Church, based in Ragusa. Croat Merchant Republic quickly adopted Pappenheim’s teaching and started to distribute the ‘Ragusa Bibles’ in the native religions of many of Europe’s peoples. The Reformed Church found it very difficult to expand outside of Croatia except in France where the Huguenot movement quickly established itself as the religion of more than 1/3 of the French people.



With the Reformation quickly spreading across Europe Pope Pius III called the Council of Laibach in 1515, during this brief Ecclesiastical Council the Catholic Church was changed almost beyond recognition. At the end of the meeting the so called Counter-Reformation Catholic Church was established and presented to the Catholic Kings of Europe as the answer to Ossolinski and Pappenheim.

In 1516 Matthias made a momentous and controversial decision when he accepted a personal Union with Protestant Brunswick. In order to be invested as Duke the aging Matthias was forced to go through an Ossolinskite ritual and by involving himself with the heretics he earned himself excommunication from the Pope. With this move it seemed that the dream of Pope and Emperor fighting hand in hand together to protect Holy Mother Church from the evils of heresy and paganism was dead. The disunity of the ancient duality of Pope and Emperor would all but destroy the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Two years after his excommunication the 73 year old Matthias passed way leaving his titles to his grandson Franz. Franz’s reign would be the most extraordinary in Imperial history. Depending upon which faith the reader follows you may know him as either Franz, the Good or Franz, the Weak.