• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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TERRIBILIS EST LOCUS ISTE:

HIC DOMUS DEI EST, ET PORTA COELI, ET VOCABITUR AULA DEI.






Welcome to Avignon

Welcome to the new Rome





Appropinquat agnis pastor et ovibus pascendis.

Genua nunc flectantur omnia.

Jussit olim Jesus Petrum pascere gregem Domini.

Ecce Petrus Pontifex Maximus!





Our Most Holy Lord

Clement the Seventh, Bishop of Rome


Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth
Successor of the Prince of the Apostles
the Highest Pontiff
Archbishop of the Roman Province
Primate of Italy
Patriarch of the West
Servant of the Servants of God.



Gaudeat igitur populos Christi, et gratias agat Domino.

Nam docebimur a Spirito sancto.

Ahleluia, ahleluia, ahleluia!
 
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CURIA



Rather much like the Royal Court is the centre of the Kingdom, the Papal Court is the centre of the Universe. The members of the Roman Curia-in-Exile are the primal aides and helpers of His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff, including the College of Cardinals, the Congregations of Rome-in-Exile, the Tribunals, the Pontifical Councils, and of course the sheer number of the various monsignors who are the officials of the Church.

His Holiness Clement VII holds a generously splendid court here in Avignon: balls and feasts are held every evening for the greater glory of God in the lavishly decorated grand halls of the Palais des Papes, hunts and other kinds of entertainment await the visiting dignitaries. Never forget that the Papal Court, housing the One and Only Vicar of the King Christ, is the first and foremost of all the princely courts in Europe, that the other courts are just dim imitations of the Roman Curia-in-Exile.

Now shall be introduced the most notable members of the Curia: notable cardinals, prelates, and some laymen of note.







Clemens Pappas Septimus



Born: 1342, Annency Castle, County of Geneva, Kingdom of Germany
Full title: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, the Highest Pontiff, Archbishop of the Roman Province, Primate of Italy, Patriarch of the West, Servant of the Servants of God.
Proper styles: Your Holiness, Most Holy Lord, Apostolic Lord, Holy Father
Personal arms: Cinq points d’or équipoles à quatre d’azur.
Personal motto: “TE VOCAMUS”​
Born Robert de Genève, as the fifth and youngest son of the Count Amédée III de Genève, he was destined for an ecclesial carreer from his birth, though he also recieved a gentleman’s education, including military training. As a descendant of Charlemagne, an aristocrat related to the highest-ranking families in the world (amongst others to the Houses de Valois, de Luxembourg, de Savoie), he quickly and easily rose through the ranks: he was appointed Apostolic Prothonotary in 1356, making him a Monsignor as early as at age fourteen; as such he was living in the Curia in Avignon, gaining valuable connections and experience in the Papal court. He was consecrated Bishop of Thérouanne in 1361, then he was made Bishop of Cambrai, the diocese with the largest flock in the world, in 1368. In 1371 the Pope Gregory XI made him Cardinal, protector of the Basilica of the Most Holy Twelve Apostles. He served as Papal legate numerous times, his most notable service being his mission to Italy in 1377, when he was charged with preparing the return of the Holy See to Rome: he personally commanded the pacification of the Patrimonium Petri, leading the mercenary army of John Hawkwood. He earned the sobriquet “the Butcher of Cessena” when he allowed (some say: commanded) the mercenaries to massacre four thousand men and women in Cessena before razing the town to the ground. This incident made him hated and feared throughout Italy, but the Pope Gregory did value his work, and confirmed Robert’s position as commander-in-chief of all the Papal armies in Italy. After the Pope’s death, he took part in the horrible parody of a conclave in 1378. Under duress, he voted for Bartolomeo Pinagni; and he was one of the Cardinals gravely insulted by the false Pope: Pinagni declared him guilty in “murder, simony, fornication”, and kept accusing him of the incident at Cessena. Robert and Giacomo Cardinal Orsini were the ones to tie the madman in rage down. On the 25th April, he approached Jean Cardinal de la Grange, with whom they agreed on that the Pope for sure was not chosen by the Holy Spirit, and soon after they realized that it was because the election was held under the threat of mob violence. The two of them led the Cardinals’ flight to Anagni, then to Fondi. On 20th September, on the third day of the real conclave, he was nominated by Jean Cardinal de la Grange, and the Sacred College of Cardinals elected him Pope with thirteen votes, three abstaining, and six cardinals not participating. Robert assumed the regnal name Clement, probably in honour of Clement V, the Pope who extricated the Holy See from Rome to Avignon: Pope Clement VII imitated his namesake’s example when he sailed to Avignon on 20th January, 1379, where he set up his splendid court.

Very much unlike the Antipope Urban, the son of a pauper whose way toward the highest position has been painful and exhausting, Clement is a born prince with a princely pride, haughtiness, ruthlessness, relentlessness. His way leading to the throne of Saint Peter was smooth and easy, he never actually had to fight for anything; as a result, he developed a terrible amount of self-confidence and egoism, and a fatal convinction that sooner or later everything would turn in his favour, that his triumph over his enemies was inevitable, a matter of course. But even though he is yet to realize that this is not so, his character has already softened since his election, he has shifted into the role of a kind and merciful Pope with surprising ease. A doubter would call it hypocrisy. A believer would call it the work of the Holy Ghost, protecting the flock from harm.

His Holiness, though very courteous, is not an overly educated person. Theology is not his strongest suite at all, and he is especially repulsed by the subtle intricacies the Dominicans love so very dearly. Generally, he dislikes most mendicant orders, and especially the Friars Minors -- due to his dislike of beggar orders. Only the benedictine orders are truly close to his heart. Even though he is fascinated by mystics, he fails to understand them. Clement’s knowledge of art is also limited, he is unmoved by poetry and prose alike (though the burlesque-ish pieces amuse him greatly). He nonetheless recognizes and values beauty, he is fond of the visual arts.

His Holiness’ mothertongue is the Franco-Provençal dialect of the Geneva region; he also speaks an accented Francien and similarly accented Provençal. His Latin is not bad, though his grammar is sometimes lacking. During his tenure of office as diocese bishop, his witty, somehow satyrical, ironic sermons were rather popular, though it was a noted that he could not sing very well. Great many cynical remarks are attributed to him: for example when he was accused of neglecting theology, he allegedly said “If one owns a dog, he himself does not have to bark”. They say the General of the Dominican Order took great offense.







Jean Cardinal de la Grange, O.S.B., D.Th.



Born: ca.1330, Pierrefite, Lordship of Beaujolais, Kingdom of France.
Full title: Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati, Doctor of Theology.
Proper style: Your Illustriousness.
Personal arms: De gueules, à trois merlettes d’argent, posées en barre, au franc-quartier d’hermine.
The “head of the conspiracy”, the “architect of the Schism” -- the Antipope Urban called Jean de la Grange so. And... indeed...

A benedictine monk, Jean de la Grange studied theology at the University of Paris. He was ordained priest and became prior of the abbey of Elincourt in 1350, then in 1357 he was elected abbot. By this time he was already a counsellor of the University of Paris. From 1364 he worked as a personal advisor of King Charles V of France. In 1373 the Pope Gregory XI made him the Bishop of Amiens, where he was exceedingly popular; albeit he was diocese bishop only for two years, he cared greatly for the welfare of his former see in his entire life, hence his nickname “the Cardinal of Amiens”. In 1373 he was appointed royal Superintendant of the Finances, then soon after he was made First Minister. Pope Gregory made him a cardinal, protector of the St. Marcel’s, in 1375. He advised against moving the Holy See back to Rome, but he took part in the preparations nonetheless. He was sent to Sarzana on a secretive diplomatic mission, to negotiate peace with the Florentines and the representatives of Bologna. He got the news of the Pope’s death there.

That shameful conclave had already ended when de la Grange finally arrived in Rome. Already enraged that his colleagues elected an Italian, he had a shockingly violent reception from the false Pope Urban, who publicly called him “a traitor of the Holy See”, a “sodomite, lover of the French King”, Urban accused him of working for the French in Sarzana, against the interests of the Papacy; what more, the Pope Urban was so enraged (and, some say, drunk) that he tried to do physical harm to de la Grange, two cardinals had to hold him back so that the Cardinal of Amiens could escape. This was on 25th April, and from then on the St. Marcel’s Church was the centre of the resistance against the false Pope where the cardinals could meet, discuss and plot. It was also de la Grange who convinced the French lieutenant of the Castle St. Angelo about the invalidity of Urban’s election, and thus de la Grange saved the Papal treasury from falling into the hands of the Antipope, and it was also de la Grange who actually organized the Conclave of Fondi of 18th September. The freshly elected Pope Clement VII appointed him the bishop of Frascati soon after. In the famous Bulle of Urban VI, in which he declared Clement the Antichrist, de la Grange was designated “the Beast the Antichrist is riding on”. Upon the death of Charles V of France, de la Grange was given a seat in the Regency Council.

A grey Illustriousness of the best kind, de la Grange is the real power behind not only Clement VII, but also behind the entire Papacy. He is behind all decisions, all decrees, all actions. De la Grange is everywhere -- but unnoticed. He lets the others shout and yell anathemas, it is enough for him to write the words for them. Urban VI seem to know the truth about him. Catherine of Siena only suspects it. For the rest, the de la Grange is but one of the Princes of the Church: the Cardinal of Amiens is well concealed behind the wide shoulders of the Pope Clement VII.







Pedro Cardinal de Luna, J.C.D.



Born: 1328, Illueca, Kingdom of Aragón.
Full name: Don Pedro Cardinal Martínez de Luna y Gotor.
Full title: Cardinal-Deacon of St. Mary in Cosmedin’s, Doctor of Canon Law
Proper style: Your Illustriousness
Personal arms: De gueules, au croissant versé d'argent, à la champagne du même.
The House Martínez is a well-respected Aragonese noble family. Participating in the Reconquista of Aragón, they have come into the possession of great tracts of lands. The branch Martínez de Luna gave Aragón many prelates and royal advisors. They are even related to the Royal House of Barcelona through a number of royal bastards.

Perdo Martínez de Luna acquired his doctor degree at the University of Montpellier; later he taught canon law there. A not exceptionally pious layman, he never had the intention to pursue a Church carreer, he was interested only in judging the Churchmen. But the Pope Gregory, a learned man himself, was attracted to the aging, but every-so energetic scholar by his noble descence, his austere life, his great learning, and by his never-tiring energy. They say the Pope offered de Luna the diocese of Avignon numerous times, but de Luna always refused to be ordained priest: “I do not have a calling,” he explained. And hence he became but a Cardinal-Deacon when, on 30th December, 1375, the Pope Gregory made him a Cardinal, protector of the Church St. Mary in Cosmedin.

During that terrible Roman conclave of 1478, de Luna showed great courage when he refused to flee the Vatican (“Even if I must die, I will fall here”), and then once again when he spoke vigorously against the defetism that reached its peak when another cardinal whispered “It’s better to elect a devil than to die”. De Luna stubbornly refused to give in to the demands of the mob, and it was only because of his composure that not a Roman was elected indeed. As a matter of fact, Pedro de Luna was the one nominating Bartolomeo Pignano, the later Antipope Urban VI -- a mistake, even sin, which he will be sorry for in his entire life. At first he firmly and stubbornly sided with Urban, but he got more and more disillusioned in the man he had once known as pious and modest, humble in his wishes and sincere in his selflessness -- he joined the other cardinals in Anagni on 24th June, and there Jean Cardinal de la Grange convinced him of the invalidity of Urban’s election. De Luna cast his vote on Robert de Genève. Upon the return of the Holy See to Avignon, His Holiness made him legate to all Spain, where he successfully gained the Kings of Aragón, Castille, Navarre and even Portugal, to the obedience of Avignon. Greatly disgusted with the Schism and seeking to end it, he’s continously in contact with the University of Paris. What more, he carries a correspondence even with the followers of the Antipope Urban, trying to win them over to his just cause. It can be said that Cardinal de Luna is His Holiness’ “Foreign Minister”. In the meanwhile, when he has the time, he is busy writing his newest treatise on the canon law, the De novo Schismate, a commentary on the Schism.

Cardinal de Luna is energetic, persistent, and vigorous -- but mostly stubborn, “stubborn like the mule of his homeland” as the Pope Gregory jokingly put it. He stubbornly defends his stance all the times. But this stubborness is combined with a terribly strong persuasiveness and charm: his determination always convinces those weaker in character.







Pietro Cardinal Corsini



Born: ca.1335, Firenze, March of Tuscany, Kingdom of Italy.
Full title: Cardinal-Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina, Count of the Imperial Palace, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire.
Proper style: Your Illustriousness
Personal arms: D’argent, à trois bandes de gueules, à la fasce d’azur, brochante sur-le-tout.
Allegedly descended from a certain Corsino, the House Corsini is a prominent Florentine family the members of which has been playing important roles in Firenze’s chaotic political life since centuries: Tomasso, Filippo, Giovanni and Pietro all rose to the dignity of gonfaloniers, supreme magistrates of the Republic. But the chief ornament of the family is by all means the Venerable Andrea Corsini, the saintly Carmelite, later bishop of Fiesole, deceased in 1374. The process of his canonization has already begun; the request was officially made by Silvestre de’Medici and the Venerable Andrea’s nephew, Pietro Cardinal Corsini.

Being a living saint’s nephew is not always comfortable, but most certainly helps a Church carreer: Pietro Corsini was not yet thirty when he was consecrated Bishop of Volterra in 1362, then only a year later he was made Bishop of his native Florence. As such he was mediating between Florence and the Curia rather effectively, for which he was well rewarded: Urban V made him a Cardinal-priest of the St. Lorenzo in Damaso’s on 7th June, 1370, and he was accredited as Papal legate in the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor Charles IV, in consideration of Corsini’s services in restoring peace, named him Count Palatine and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1371 -- upon Cardinal Corsini’s death, the head of the House Corsini would inherit these merits. In 1374 Pope Gregory appointed him Cardinal-Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina, making him Sub-Dean of the College of Cardinals.

Despite being an Italian, he did not support the Papacy’s return to Rome, possibly because he saw it as a threat to Florence, but maybe he just feared it would make the already bad relations between the Republic and the Holy See even worse. Apparently his cordial relationship with Gregory greatly cooled down because of this disagreement. After Gregory’s death, lacking a Bishop of Ostia, he was the one to preside over the tumultous conclave of ’78, and he was responsible for most of the controversies, such as the faked presentation of Cardinal Tabaldeschi as Pope. The famous saying, “It’s better to elect a devil than to die” is also attributed to him. He was on friendly terms with the Antipope Urban VI for the longest time amongst the cardinals. He led the delegation of Italian prelates Urban sent to Anagni to negotiate with the College of Cardinals; as the other members of the aforementioned delegation, he took part in the Conclave of Fondi, and while he did not vote, he pledged allegiance to Pope Clement VII nonetheless.

Cardinal Corsini is tremendously popular in his native Tuscany, despite the Florentines supporting the Antipope. Also, because of his high, albeit merely titular, Imperial office as Count Palatine, he enjoys relative safety in the Schismatic lands of the Empire, and thus he’s a natural choice as legate to the Holy Roman Empire. On his mission of gaining the support of the Imperial Princes, he achieved little to no success so far -- some say because he does not even try to. Corsini most certainly has his own agenda, not necessarily matching that of His Holiness.
 
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The Sacred College of Cardinals




  • Bertrand Cardinal Lagier, O.Min., Bishop of Ostia and Velletri [player of France]
    [*]Pietro Cardinal Corsini, Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina
    [*]Angelique Cardinal Grimoard de Grissac, O.Can.S.A., Bishop of Albano.
    [*]Gui Cardinal de Maillesec, Bishop of Palestrina. [player of France]
    [*]Jean Cardinal de la Grange, O.S.B., Bishop of Frascati.
    [*]Pierre Cardinal de Sortenac, Bishop of Sabina. [player of France]
    [*]Guillaume Cardinal d'Aigrefeuille, protector of S. Stefano al Monte Celio.
    [*]Gérard Cardinal du Puy, protector of S. Clemente. [player of France]
    [*]Giacomo Cardinal d’Itro, protector of S. Prisca. [anchorlink=note1]*[/anchorlink]
    [*]Niccolò Cardinal Brancaccio, protector of S. Maria in Trastevere.
    [*]Pierre Cardinal Amiel, O.S.B., protector of S. Marco.
    [*]Gautier Cardinal Gómez, protector of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. [player of Castile]
    [*]Thomas Cardinal Clausse, protector of S. Sabina. [player of Savoy]
    [*]Leonardo Cardinal Rossi, O.Min, General of his Order, protector of S. Sisto. [anchorlink=note1]*[/anchorlink]
    [*]Guillaume Cardinal Noellet, deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria. [player of France]
    [*]Pierre Cardinal de Veroche, deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata.
    [*]Pedro Cardinal Martínez de Luna, deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin.
    [*]Hugues Cardinal de Saint-Martial, deacon of S. Maria in Portico. [player of France]



[anchor=note1]* Imprisoned by Charles of Durazzo, self-styled King of Naples, since 1382.[/anchor]
 
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Christ Divided





In the year of Our Creator and Redeemer 1376 Gregory the Eleventh, Bishop of Rome, announced his intention to relocate his See back to Rome. It wasn’t a new thing to anybody, His Holiness had kept announcing this ever since elected; but this time, as the cardinals and the burghers of Avignon soon realized with horror, this time it was for real, this time the preparations really began to be made for the voyage. Immediately, and from all sides, good reasons to stay rained on the Pope: the cardinals made it clear that they would not follow him to Italy, the Camerlengo threatened him with locking away the treasury, the King Charles V of France kept sending dozens of letters, first persuading, then pleading, then outright threatening in tone; and -- the best of all arguments -- the citizens of Avignon cut off the supply of the Palais des Papes: Papal famine ensued, but Gregory was adamant. Catherine Benincasa of Siena exulted and cheered: “come like a virile man, and without any fear, sweet Christ on Earth!”

And he went indeed, on September 13 he manfully stepped over the last obstacle which was his very own old father, who threw himself down at the treshold in a last, desperate argument; and then he also managed to squeeze his way out of the city through the mass of citizens that blocked the gates: Avignon’s only industry was the Pope, and sure as hell they did not want to lose it.

His Holiness took ship in Marseille. But the winter storms had arrived exceptionally early that year, and thus His Holiness’ journey was disastrous in every means possible. In Genoa, a consistory was held to discuss whether the storms were not obviously God’s warnings, to show that Gregory should remain in Avignon. But Catherine of Siena was also in Genoa, and the Pope apparently could not resist the charm of this exceptional woman of special graces and seemingly infinite divine attention, the woman who had died and had been resurrected after drinking the blood of Christ right from the wound, and who later would be dismissed as a heretic believing false visions induced by the Satan. On October 29 His Holiness and his Curia set sail from Genoa, and on January 17, 1377, he landed from his galley in the Tiber.

Preparations were made for the great entré to Rome, and preparations were made to pacify the Papal States. His Holiness’ army of mercenaries, under the command of Robert Cardinal de Genève, fought the rebels desperately, but was defeated repeatedly. The army’s only victory, the one at Faenza, was accompanied by a terrible sin: the town of Cessena was razed to the ground, four thousand citizens were massacred. This incident made the Pope hated throughout Italy, even though he himself had nothing to do with it; even Rome, where he’d been initially recieved like a hero, even Rome turned against him, there were riots in the city, the Curia eventually had to flee to Anagni. It was clear that the return was a failure.

Needless to say, Gregory was dejected. Disappointed and disillusioned, he no longer listened to Catherine of Siena, he publicly voiced his intention to go back to Avignon. But the great disappointment took a toll on him: he was already ill when he arrived at Anagni, and on March 27, 1378, Gregory the Eleventh, Bishop of Rome, died. He was forty-eight years old.



From the very moment Rome learned of the Pope’s death, one thought alone possessed the entire city: at all cost, the cardinals must be convinced to elect a Pope who would not return to Avignon, a Pope who would stay in Rome -- a Pope who was Italian, not French. Guards were set at the gates to prevent any electors from escaping while the see remained vacant; the ships of the Tiber were stripped of sails and rudders. Thousands of peasants and brigands were brought in from the countryside, and armed bands paraded the streets. Each time a cardinal tried to leave the Vatican, he was caught, and was hauled bodily back to the palace. And in the meanwhile, even though the conclave was yet to begin, the crowd on the St Peter’s Square ceaselessly chanted: Romano lo volemo, o almanco Italiano!

The conclave began on April 7, at about five o’clock in the afternoon, with sixteen cardinals present. The guards, unwilling to shed the blood of those they agreed with, were swiftly disarmed, the gates and windows of the Vatican were boarded, so that the conclave was now not only with key, but also with nails and timbers. And while Pietro Cardinal Corsini was formally opening the proceedings, the governor of the conclave sent in an urgent message: “Haste, for God’s sake, elect a Roman or an Italian, else you all will be massacred!

But the shaken conclave just began to discuss the possibilities when some of the mob, some fifty armed men, made their way into the chapel the cardinals had assembled, and kindly advised them to make the right choice. The old Cardinal Tebaldeschi, the only Roman amongst the cardinals, managed to convince them to leave, arguing that the election would be invalid if they remained. But when the mob was gotten rid of, then the heads of the thirteen districts of Rome broke in the conclave... The cardinals’ visitors did not forget to pillage the palace: they took away everything they could move, so that the cardinals had no beds, not even cots, neither food nor drink, neither anything else. In the evening, the mob began to hurl stones and feces at the chapel. Later two men climbed up onto the roof and cut an opening: buckets of slops were drawn up to the roof, and a citizen cheerfully poured them in through the hole. Cardinal de Genève climbed up to one of the broken windows, yelling anathemas at the crowd, excommunicating everybody in sight. The crowd cheered and applauded as if he had announced good news.

The Sacred College could do little to no work. Those earlier thought papable were not Romans, not even Italians, and now the cardinals were desperately trying to find somebody acceptable for them and for the mob alike. Cardinal Tebaldeschi was nominated, mostly because he was an octogenarian anyway, but the old prelate threatened he would yell non accepto if elected, and the memory of the Saint Celestine V, the last one to shout these words futilely from his hermit’s cave, was still very upsetting for the Church. Pietro Cardinal Corsini was not an option, as his ties to the Republic of Florence were well-known; Giacomo Cardinal Orsini was way too young.

The night was noisy, particularly because the mob managed to find the wine cellars of the palace. The Romano lo volemo, o almanco Italiano! stopped not even for a moment. And even though there was some brief subsidence in the dawn, the mob awakened to fresh activity when the cardinals celebrated a mass to themselves in their worn chapel. The siege of the chapel soon grew into an assault: axes were piled against the doors, a rain of stones poured in through the windows. Frightenment flared high. It was Pietro Cardinal Corsini, Sub-Dean of the College, who said it out loud: “It’s better to elect a devil then to die!” Half an hour later, Giacomo Cardinal Orsini (who had the loudest voice amongst the cardinals) announced that they would elect an Italian if they are given a little rest. Upon his return to the chapel, Orsini then suggested to hold a mock election, with some Friar Minor persuaded into playing the role of the Pope, and then the College could hold the real election later, elsewhere -- his proposal was flatly refused. Some fifteen minutes of idle debate passed until the mob started to roar again: Romano lo volemo, o almanco Italiano! And this was the moment Pedro Cardinal de Luna climbed up on the altar itself to catch the attention of his colleagues, and from there he nominated Bartolomeo Prignano, the Archbishop of Bari, Vice-Chancellor of the Church, a devout monk, honest, humble, meek and supposedly easy to control. As the chimney had been destroyed, the traditional burning of votes did not take place. And, frankly, there was nothing to burn, as the cardinals had no paper and ink, the voting was by word of mouth. Fifteen of the sixteen cardinals voted for Prignani. Only Orsini declared that in his opinion there was not sufficient freedom for the election to be considered valid.

But not only Prignani was not a cardinal, he was not even in the Vatican, and between him and the news of his election was the hostile mob. He could not be proclaimed Pope until he accepted his election. The first hint to the mob outside that the election had been made was therefore the command from the cardinals to a dozen Italian prelates -- of whom Prignani was one -- to come immediately to the Vatican. But it took these prelates hours to arrive, and by now the mob had lost all patience. They poured into the castle and into the worn chapel itself. Some cardinals managed to flee, but the majority was arrested. These poor souls believed the mob was enraged because not a Roman was elected (while in reality the mob was merely overjoyed), and they produced the possibly most shameful scene in the history of the Church, as they took Cardinal Tebaldeschi, dressed him up in the papal robes, hoisting him on the altar, intoning the Te Deum with solemn faces, while the old Cardinal kept yelling threats, curses and anathemas at them. The mob paid homage to the Pope Tebaldeschi, while the old man kept screaming: “I’m not the Pope! I’m not the Pope! It’s the Archbishop of Bari!” Prignani, at this time hiding in the palace, learned that he had been elected from Tebaldeschi’s protests. He was not notified of his election in any other way.

The Vatican was thoroughly pillaged by the time the evening set in. The mob dispersed. Silence and calmness returned to the city of Rome. Only two days later the cardinals began to come in from their hiding places to do homage to Prignani who chose to be known as Urban the Sixth.



Urban VI was crazy, no doubt about it. His unexpected ascendance to the throne of St Peter disturbed the balance of his mind. Known to be modest and humble before, now he was a tyrant, selfish, conceited and cruel. He had made up his mind that his first duty was to cleanse the Curia of corruption and pomp, to banish worldiness and impropriety, and this wouldn’t have been that bad a thing if not his wild and violent way of doing it. The first signs of the new policy given to the world were general denunciations of whoever appeared before the pope. One was told he was liar. Another was told he was a fool. Cardinals were accused of simony and greed and fornication and murder and banditry. When Angelique Cardinal Grimoard (a Papal nephew, famous for his characteristic that he could not see his knees when sitting) appeared, the Pope had to be held down or he would have done him physical harm; and when Jean Cardinal de la Grange was granted an audience, noise of brawl filled the halls of the Vatican. Urban boasted that he could now depose kings and emperors, and he told the cardinals that he would soon add so many Italians to the Sacred College that the French would not count anymore. Urban was ceaselessly “breathing out threats and slaughter”.

The centre of the cardinals’ resistance against Urban was the St Marcel’s Cathedral, Cardinal de la Grange’s church: de la Grange, who had not participated in the conclave, argued that the election was invalid, as it was held under duress, and the invalidity was clearly proved by Urban’s behaviour -- he for sure was not guided by the Holy Ghost, rather he was guided by a demon or the Satan himself. Soon all but the Italian cardinals were on de la Grange’s side.

The time passed, the summer set in, a summer particularly hot. One by one, the cardinals left the sultrly Rome, fleeing the heat and the Pope to Anagni. The first two -- de la Grange and de Genève -- left on May 6, and by June 24 all the non-Italians were assembled together, protected by the free company of Gascons. Urban got worried, and ordered a company of his troops to bring the cardinals back to Rome; there was a fight, the Gascons won through, and the Sacred College of Cardinals was now de facto at war with the Pope.

Alarmed and shocked, Urban now sent not armies, but the three Italian cardinals to offer terms for his own college, promising better treatment and more patience. But de la Grange won the three cardinals to his cause, and now the entire College was together (save for the six cardinals who had refused to accompany the Pope Gregory to Italy). On August 2 the cardinals issued a manifesto in which they stated that the election of Urban VI was void by reason of the strong external pressure exerted upon the electors, that Urban, therefore, was not pope, and Urban was invited to recognise the fact and to cease to exercise the papal office. One week later an encyclical letter of the cardinals was read aloud in which they solemnly excommunicated Bartholomew Prignani as an usurper. On August 27 the cardinals moved to Fondi, a town just beyond the border of the Papal States, placing themselves under the protection of the local count and the Queen Joanna of Naples. From here the cardinals sent out their envoys to the secular rulers of the world, notifying them of the situation. The most important embassy was clearly the one sent to the King Charles V of France, whose answer of support reached the conclave on September 18. On September 20 the new conclave started; Robert Cardinal de Genève was elected at the very first ballot, with thirteen votes and three abstainings. All cardinals paid homage to the newly elected Pope who chose to be known as Clement VII.

Urban declared Clement the Antichrist and excommunicated his supporters on November 29. Clement placed Rome under interdict on December 5. War broke out between the Popes, Clement having the Gascons and the Bretons under his control, Urban sporting John Hawkwood’s and Alberigo di Barbiano’s free companies. The Castle St. Angelo, which was under the command of a French captain loyal to Clement, was besieged and taken, and then Clement’s armies were routed at the battle of Marino. After a brief detour to Naples, Clement, a descendant of Charlemagne, fled Italy for Avignon, where he set up a splendid court, feasting and drinking all day long, living in luxurious comfort -- while Urban, the son of a beggar, perched in the sacked and pillaged Vatican, paranoically suspicious of the twenty-nine new cardinals he had created, occasionally having a few of them arrested, tortured and executed.



The Catholic world was forced to choose sides, the Catholic world was divided into two “obediences”. There were two Popes, there were two Sacred Colleges of Cardinals, there were two Curias, two Churches, really. There was a schism going on, a great and severe schism which had absolutely no dogmatic or liturgical reason, its reasons were purely political, even personal. This was something new, something horrible.

The Schism was clearly perceptible in all levels of the society: people from countries of the Avignon obedience were not allowed to confess or recieve the sacraments in the territory of the Roman obedience; there were two people claiming to be bishops in many dioceses; the princes found a new battlefield to fight on. Later on, the commoners would develop a habit of wearing a sign of their obedience on their clothes. Some priests of the Avignon obedience would cross themselves in a different way, making a fifth motion toward the heart. The respect for the Church diminished very rapidly, some nobles were claiming to be atheists openly, even in the presence of prelates. Other people turned toward the mysticism, in hope of finding a new, better way to worship God: the devotio moderna was being born, the various reformist heresies grew stronger.

The University of Paris began working on the matter as early as in October, 1378. A month later, they presented a list of the six possible ways out of the impasse:
  • via factum - a Commission of inquiry,
  • via vis - secular rulers would align themselves on behalf of one or other of the two claimants, and the matter would be decided militarily,
  • via cessionis - both claimants to the Papacy would resign and a new election would be made by Cardinals of both obediences,
  • via compromissi - a Court of Arbitration would be empowered to settle the matter,
  • via concilii - decision by a General Council of the Church, or
  • via subtractionis - recognition would be withheld from the invalid claimant(s).
 
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Bagricula

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Fra Loring picks up the hem of his black woolen robe trying to avoid dragging his overburdened pockets in the mud. The benedictine was not normally heavy on his feet, having spent many years copying illegible manuscripts in a free hand. Etiquette in the scriptorium demanded absolute silence when working except for the inevitable scratch of parchement against quill tip. When approaching another monk, you had to step lightly, though being careful to make enough noise to be noticed and thus not startle the man.

And in fact, Loring had brought very little with him, speed in this mission being emphasized by his patron. No, the fault lay entirely in the overly enterprising men and women of Avignon and the gullibility of the pious benedictine. He had managed to stuff his pockets with nails from Golgotha, feathers from Raphael's wings, vials of blood from the Virgin, and a flask of water from the Sea of Galilee. The seller had guaranteed that this water had touched the Lord's own feet, although, now that Loring reflected on it, the sea was probably being continually renewed by rain and the man had probably exaggerated. Well, there was a place for hyperbole in God's plan wasn't there? In the ring right below liars, Fra Loring figured. Afterall, hyperbolists not only denied the truth but adultered it mixing it with the work of Lucifer.

By midday the lumpy looking benedictine arrived at the Palace of the Popes. there he prostrated himself before the guards begging entrance and an ear for his desperate plea. His belief in the Pope of Avignon was only reinforced by what he reflected was one of the cleanest doorsteps he'd ever groveled at.
 

I Killed Kenny

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After Charles is escorted outside, the discussion between D. João Dona Leonor and D. Fernando, but a young servent aprouched and asked to speak with Dona Leonor, with a red face she heardm the servent and smiled, she turned to the court and bowed, without saygint anything more and the two brother were left with their mouth open without much to say



Minutes later that same servent enters the Old Cathedral and asks to speak with the Cardinal, after he is accepted he informed the excelency that he can come to St. Geoge's Castle the next day at any time that he shall be welcomed by the King
 
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Brother Loring of Lorraine would have never been admitted in the sight of the Vicar of Christ, had it not been for the said Vicar’s well-known fondness for the benedictines, and of course had it not been for the Vicar’s lackeys' fondness for the religious rapture these miserable little pilgrims usually showed. Their enthusiasm looked great. But even so, the Brother Loring would have been made wait some three weeks or four, had it not been for the higher-ranking lackey whose attire was so grand that the monk at first mistook him for a cardinal, attempting to kiss his ring, realizing his error only when he found none. The sedarius was nonetheless deeply moved by the show of respect, and his gentle support opened the gates of the aula dei before the lumpy looking monk from Lorraine.

Terribilis est locus iste...! Dreadful place indeed, House of God, Gate of Heaven, which shall be named the court of God.

The crowd arose and knelt in a slow wave as the chair containing the Vicar of Christ moved forward amidst the black-red-purple-gold procession of cardinals, monsignors, bishops, priests and various lay functionaries. The Pope gestured his blessings at the people as he passed by. Ecce Petrus Pontifex: behold Peter, the High Priest. The Bridge-Builder of the World, head of the Mystical Body of Christ: Clemens Pappas Septimus himself, “whom alone the Lord God did appoint Prince over all countries and kingdoms, to root up, to pull down, to waste, to destroy, to plant, and to build, so that he might preserve a faithful people.”

The procession arrived to the scala caelestis, at the top of which stood the Throne of Peter. The Apostolic Lord got enthroned there amidst his cardinals, he sat there like the Emperor he was, and the audience began: the petitioners would move forward, would kiss the lowest step of the stairs in place of His Holiness’ slippers, then they would recite their plea, on which the Highest Pontiff would nod, or shake his head, maybe he would even utter a word or two in his generousity, and then he would wave his hand towards the Camerlengo who would then produce a bag of gold. The bag was usually much smaller than the petitioners hoped. (The religious zeal usually overshadowed the reality; but for some the audience was boring enough to enable them to see through the dignity, to witness the poverty it benevolently hid: the carpet leading to the Throne of Peter was worn through; plaster had fallen from the ceiling in several places; the gold had faded, the curtains were moth-ridden; His Holiness was generous with benedictions, but was stingy with his gifts.)

Finally, after half an hour or so, the Brother Loring was pushed forth by a sedarius:

Fra Loring ex Lotharingia, Ordo Sancti Benedicti,” the master of ceremony announced.
 
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Look at the tyrant Charles of Durazzo, look how he sits enthroned on the heap of corpses amidst a sea of blood, how he boasts his odious deeds! Having Our beloved daughter of blessed memory, the Queen Joanna, strangled while she was in prayer, now this bandit is perching on the Kingdom of Naples as though he was King, harassing Our prelates and having Our legates imprisoned, resisting Our calls and disobeying Our commands, hence resisting the call of the King Christ We are the Vicar of, hence disobeying the Lord God.

Know ye, that the tyrant Charles of Durazzo and his household, having by their own deeds been excommunicated, are hereby declared by Us the enemies of God and the Holy Catholic Church. We declare them cursed, condemned, cast out, cut off from the Body of Christ, out of which there is no salvation. And for crimes against the humanity and the Church, We declare Charles of Durazzo deposed of his offices, stripped of his titles and dispossessed of his properties. We absolve his former subjects from all oaths of obedience to him, and on the pain of excommunication We forbid all Christians from serving or obeying him in any way...
His face set, Jean Cardinal de la Grange watched the Pope reading the bulle. Clement was, admittedly, a pleasing sight as he sat there on the sofa holding the parchment in one hand, holding a goblet of good red wine leisurely in the other. His aquiline nose, his high forehead, his deep-set eyes, his wide shoulders -- he was hansdsome by everyone’s standard. As usually, de la Grange could not help but be fascinated how stunningly the Pope resembled those old Romans. Should he wear a laurel wreath and not a skullcap, he’d make quite a good Emperor.

On the other hand, de la Grange mused, he was growing fat and lazy. His belly seemed larger and larger every day and he had a very visible double chin, and even though he still had the phisique of a soldier, this wouldn’t last very long if he continues to prefer feasts for hunting. Annoyed, the cardinal fidgeted: he had a paternal care for the Pope who was fifteen years his junior, and it was troubling to see him detoriate.

“Fetch me another bottle of this Burgundian, please,” His Holiness asked in his soft baritone, still reading the document which would be known as Ecce ad Tyrannum.

De la Grange closed his eyes in despair. “No,” he grunted, and he wondered why, just why, why he had chosen Robert de Genève to be Pope. But who else? he wondered. De Lagier? Grimoard? The cardinal shuddered.

Clement looked up at him. “No?” he asked in mock horror. “I’m the Pope, man! The Vicar of Christ! I can depose Kings and Emperors, and you dare not to bring me wine?!” De la Grange smiled; Clement had been playing this jest ever since elected, but he parodized the outbursts of Bartolomeo Prignani so well that the cardinal still found the joke amusing.

“How do you like it?” de la Grange asked, changing the topic.

“The bulle? Well, it’s a bulle all right.” Clement cautiously put the parchment down on the table; de la Grange noticed he hadn’t read it fully. “It’s all right,” the Pope repeated. “Even though... well, it’s nothing fancy. I mean, I’m guessing it should be a bit more... furious, right? But I guess it’ll do,” he added. It was obvious he did not want to deal with the text any longer. He looked at de le Grange again. “Jean, relax,” the Pope said. His Holiness gulped the rest of his wine, put his heels on the table, leaned back, and smiled at the elderly cardinal. “Relax,” he repeated, “else I’ll anathemize you. It’s a good bulle. Thanks. I like it, I like it very much. I’ll issue it tomorrow.”

“And then?” de la Grange asked eagerly.

Clement stared at him. “Then?” he echoed.

“What are you going to do then?”

“Oh.” There was uncertainity on his face. “Well, everything is going well, no? Everything is all right, no? Everything is going to be fine.” On having himself reassured, Clement was smiling again. “Don’t worry Jean, everything is going along fine.”
 

Bagricula

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Bedazzled by the wondrous beauty of God's House, Fra Loring stumbles forward. The carpet feels like lush grass against his sandaled feet, and the poor light glinting off the fading gilt glitters brighter than the sun herself in Loring's eyes. Reeling from the long journey and the mass of people, Fra Loring could not even turn his eyes towards the Petrine Throne, dazzled by the spots of light that floated in his eyes. The Cherubim and Seraphim! Such is the power of faith, to transform the mundane and the wordly into the extraordinary and divine.

He gasps for air and falls softly to his knees before th first step of St. Peter's dais. His overlarge black woolen robe softly crinkles as he falls through this heaven of golden light. Crack! Pain in his knees breaks his dream. He stares with horror as blood seeps from his black vestment onto the palace floor. He sweeps the fold of his robe that had caught beneath his knees in his fall aside with a crinkle of glass. Yes, the lump in that pocket looked smaller. Luckily the blood seeped so slowly that none in the court could notice it.

Throwing himself forward in prostration he kisses the step, and speaks through his wrinkled travel-dust encrusted mouth:

"Sanctissimo! Sanctissimo! Sanctissimo! I weep! In my home, Lorraine babes are baptised by the hands of heretics, and they cry in their sleep fearing the stamp of Lucifer's cloven hoof! Proper communion has not been granted in months, and dogs howl knowing that God no longer resides in their master's house! Lightning has struck the ancient willow in my abbey's fields and its mark is that of a Wrathful Lord! It is the mark of Cain!"

He kisses the ground again, before speaking with more control, "Sanctissimo, the people of Lorraine must have a shepherd obedient to you, God's True Vicar on Earth. We are a flock astray and without guidance. The Bishop's Palace at Metz is occupied by a German with who cares only for his dark master in Rome, and taxes the monasteries to pay for his gluttony. He seeks to rebuild the walls of Metz with the produce of our lands, but I know that the Lord will tear down those walls when like the Israelites his true servant comes.

Please, Your Holiness, I suffer in darkness so long as I live outside of the Church."


He places his palms on the ground and kisses it again. As he raises them he sees blood on his hands, blood that had seeped from his black cloak. In horror, he pulls back the cloak and finds no injury on his person. As the multitude of angels around him clad in red, purple, and black shift and swarm, he faints terrified that he has defiled the House of God.
 
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Unto Robert of Geneva, the butcher of Cesena and a Misguided Bishop,

Surely you do not expect me or any of my people to be affected by this? The Pope is a man, servant only to God himself. However the Pope rules from Rome. Surely, this conflict is nothing but a political madness that needs to be ended as quick as possible. His Holiness Pope Urban was elected legally in Rome, where the late Pope died. And as you know, the new Pope shall be elected where the late on dies. A Pope that does not rule from Rome, is thus false.

The Keys of St. Peter are still in Rome,

Charles III d'Anjou, Roi de Naples, Jérusalem et Hongrie, Duc de Durazzo, Achaea et Calabrie
 
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The House of God filled with astonished murmur and half-supressed laughter as the Fra Loring fell on the ground. One of the chuckles belonged to His Holiness, who just couldn’t resist to giggle at the sight of the monk’s silly mien: but the Apostolic Lord stopped laughing when a cardinal, apparently scared, grasped his shoulders, pointing down at the monk, staring wildly at the monk’s cloak. Another cardinal leant to His Holiness, whispering something in his ear.

Silence returned as Clement VII, Bishop of Rome, rose from his throne with a face solemn and somber. The shuffling noise his slippers made was clearly audible as the Vicar of Christ went slowly downstairs, increasing the crowd’s astonishment with each step he took. When Fra Loring regained his consciousness only to see the radiant figure descending from above, he fainted again.

The Lord Pope stood before the brother monk for a moment or two. This rather large man then carefully removed his tiara, knelt, and pressed his lips to the bloodstained hand of the poor monk as if kissing an altar stone.



Fra Loring was already in a priory of his Order when he woke up from the swoon, in a hospital to be precise. The Brother Medic advised him rest, but apparently forgot to prohibit the brother monks from visiting him: as if the whole priory gathered in the small hospital every dawn, before the start of the silentium. They paid him great attention, which was at first understandable: after all, he had visited the Pope! But their attention just would not want to cease, and Fra Loring began to feel it not only uncomfortable but also unwarranted. The brothers would stare at him strangely, or would keep harassing him with odd questions: did he experience anything special? Did he feel as if some presence were taking control over his body? Was there a choir of angels singing? Were the stigmas painful? Did the booming voice of the Wrathful Lord really order His Holiness to humiliate himself? Did Raphael really appear to heal the Schism?

Lornig’s own questions went unanswered: each time, the monks would just giggle, as if he asked something silly. The Brother Prior claimed to know nothing about the results of Loring’s mission.



Gossips of miracles and saints possessed the city of Avignon in the early months of the year of Our Lord 1383. First, there was the rumour about the saintly hermit from Lorraine who preached to the Pope about the Schism, talking about terrible disasters to come, predicting that the Egyptian Darkness would come again, commanding the Pope to defend himself properly, preventing “Caine from slaying Abel again”. The saintly hermit from Lorraine had the stigma, they said, the blood of Christ flew from his wounds, which wounds closed just as miraculously as they opened. It was also rumoured that the blood was the Virgin’s, but this notion was generally dismissed in favour of the previous one.

Second, there was the saintly Pierre de Luxembourg, son of the Count of Ligne, a flearidden thirteen-year-old of remarkable austerity and penance. He had the habit of writing a diary of his sins all the times, and he drove his confessors mad with his passion of confessing even the least of the sins in great detail. An interesting freak, he’d been a local celebrity in Burgundy and then in Paris until recently when he’d been sent to Avignon because his asceticism had grown annoying to the lords and ladies of the court -- and his novelty had long passed anyway. The Curia had received him with arms wide open, seeing him a useful tool to counter Catherine of Siena. Pierre, already a deacon and by now convinced that Urban VI was the embodied evil, was ordained priest, was made an Apostolic Prothonotary, then in February, 1383, he was appointed Bishop of Metz during a special consistory.



Two weeks after his stormy audience with the Pope, Fra Loring of Lorraine was given a mule to ride, a bag to be delivered to his abbot, a company of Gascon lancers for escort, and a thirteen-year-old bishop to obey.

“His Holiness wishes to thank you for notifying him about the terrible situation of your homeland,” Jean Cardinal de la Grange, O.S.B., said to Fra Loring, “and he apologizes he cannot bid you farewell personally. Oh, and His Holiness hopes the contents of the bag will cover the losses of your abbey,” the cardinal added with a wry smile on his face.
 

Blade!

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*A letter is brought under royal flag of Castilla y Léon by boat and then courier in livery*

To Our Most Holy Lord, Clement the Seventh, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, the Highest Pontiff, Archbishop of the Roman Province, Primate of Italy, Patriarch of the West and Servant of the Servants of God,

I write to you after some period of mourning, for my Wife, Elenora of Aaragon has passed away. Long did I wrestle with the void left in her passing, not only in comforts but her guidance of my person to the church and your Holiness.

I know that to best honor her, I must commit myself wholly to the will of the faith, and in this task I ask your blessings and guidance, so that I may do right in the eyes of the Lord as my Elenora would have wished. I fear if I do not embrace your guidance will all of my heart, I shall be lost. Already my children have drifted... I must reforge the purpose of my life and that of Iberia.

Your servant,

~Juan Trastamara, by God's Grace King of Castille, Toledo, Leon, Galacia, Seville, Cordoba, Murica, et cetera, and Servant of the Catholic Church, in mourning.
 

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Avignon

A Priest & a Kingdom

So this is Avignon thought Samuel as his Arabian trudged into the city slowly.His solemn eyes incorporated all that is around him, the damp Christian villages, the dark monestaries, the gloomey plauge ridden towns of Firanja, such was the state of Christianity, barbarity.Though he himself a Christian he loned for Ghernata, the beautiful pearl of Iberia.

He had come here on official business though some might claim he was doing the devil's work.The Sultan had assigned him from amongst the Mozzarabes (Christian Andalusians) to reach the Avignonian Papa who weilded much power in Iberia in contrast to the Papa in Rome.It would be the man sitting on that throne, that would decide the fate of al-Andalus, and Samuel might as well make a strong plea that the heavens themselves would shed tears for.

Wearing his Monk attire he reached the Vicar's Palace, and asked for an audience "A Priest from Grenada, representing the Moors" he exclaimed solemnly , surly the Vicar wouldnt turn away the faithful?