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Avignon, Holy See of Avignon.


"Your Majesty, I have word from Palermo!"

"What is it? It must be something if you should be ordered to travel to France."

"The King of Naples is dead."

"Charles of Durazzo has died? Spectacular."

"Along with his wife, who died before him.."

"Wait... Two deaths? Was it a coup?"

"She died before he did, or so I understand.. She died in childbirth early enough for him to remarry. He died shortly afterwards."

"Oh well, I guess that serves a purpose. Did the child live?"

"She gave birth to two daughters, both survived and are kept in Hungary."

"Queen Maria of Hungary and her mother abhor the Durazzos. I am certain that neither of these girls will see Napoli soon."

"Well, Sire, there's not really anyone in Napoli for them to go to. Prince Ladislas has been yet another casualty, and Princess Joanna is in England."

"My word! This truly must be the work of God."

"Go.Return to Palermo. Tell them that I shall return to lead the armies as soon as the Pontiff and I finish our business here."

He summoned another man who had accompanied him to Avignon from Sicily.

"You, go to my brother Wilhelm in Meissen. Tell him that the last action of Charles of Durazzo was to promise the hand of his daughter, the heiress of Naples to him in marriage, and tell him that Charles' promise will be kept. He is to come to Sicily and be formally installed as Duke of Noto."

"Yes, My King."

Later, when Friedrich met with Clement again...

"Your Holiness, Charles is dead. His wife is dead. His only son is dead. Naples is in anarchy and they have no crowned monarch. He promised his daughter to my brother, and she is the only one who lives. This must be divine intervention! What shall we do? I know you support the Duc d'Anjou, and that is your choice, but as for when to strike, the time seems to be now, Your Holiness, does it not?"
 

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A letter is delivered unto the Holy Father, from Prince Martin.

Your Holiness,

I regret that my response took so long to reach you, but I had to be certain of all the facts. The things you mention in your letter to me were news to me as well, and after some consultation I discovered they were likewise news to my father. It appears that the King of Castille sent a guard contingent to Rome to transport the pretender to the Papacy to Barcelona, yet never informed my father or myself of this. I must share your concern for treachery, but I assure you it does not come from myself or my father. I feel that perhaps the man styling himself Pope Gregory XII has far more to fear from any potential (justly deserved) treachery.

My father has received correspondence, finally, from the Castillian guard captain once they arrived at Sardinia, and the navy has been sent to bring the usurper in. I should certainly not expect you to risk your own safety in attending this bizarre meeting, but if you chose to I imagine the potential for your finding a solution to the schism would be great...if the Pretender is willing to come to Barcelona in the company of strange men, then surely he is easily persuaded and manipulated. On the off-chance you would elect to come to Barcelona, I would personally assure your safety as part of my future duties of Standard-Bearer of the Church.

I hope that my answers satisfy Your Holiness' curiousity, and if I may be of further service please do not hesitate to send for me.

Your Humble Servant,
Martin
 

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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 from my station of watch where you have placed my sword arm. I last wrote you on the matter of the Balaeres, and prior to that on seeking guidance on my wife's passing. Again I write, but not to ask for guidance, thgou I must take one moment to compliment you on your ever wise decision to leave the Balaeres in local hands.

I write regarding the death of the embodiment of Satan's will on this mortal earth in the form of the Anti-Pope in Rome. I came to the aid of the church with force of arms when the Balaeres were threatened by the Greeks urged on by this Satan. I sent my men to Granada and extracted the obediance of the heathen, and ejection of those who follow Satan, allowing only our men of cloth throughout ALL of Iberia... all of Iberia save one place. Portugal, where even now, as your Legate commanded I have set my armies a watch and I build a great fortress in the name of the Virgin mother to prepare for that time where I may have to rush to portugal's aid upon your command.

My strength has been redoubled a thousand times with your wisdom and the Lord's compassion... so when I heard of the death of the Satan's body on earth, I dispatched arms to secure the basilica for you person. Yet, it seem I was too late and some flase coven of Cardinals, from presumably within a day's ride of Rome selected a new Anti-Pope. Presumably, my men have taken custody of this individual, or died trying, which I hope to present to you. I know your presence will banish the evil force embodied in this man. I have a small villa in Aragon to hold his person until you have time to arrive and cast his demons out.

Second, I am commited to spreading the true faith and breaking the hold of Satan on parts of our church, and I write to you with joy, knowing that I am now determined to free Naples from the grasp of Rome and into the embrace of Avignon through marriage if I can. If I cannot, I will do my best to convince the heir and Queen of the rightiousness of Avignon and back her is she will admit to your supremacy.

Your servant,

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

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"Joanna II, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Albania, Princess of Durazzo and Achaia, et cetera, unto Clement VII, the One and Only True Pope, the warmest greetings.

Dear father, we read your letter with the greatest joy. We are more than willing to bow to you in Avignon, but at such a time we are unable to go there in person. I hope that you will accept the envoy I send you, Antonio d'Altavilla, who assisted me in my escape from the heretical English court. I have also read the letter you sent to the King of Castille, and by this I was somewhat grieved, for I ask that you revoke what you said in it, and give me permission to marry at once, for the sake of my kingdom.

Your most humble daughter,
Joanna II, Queen of Naples"
 
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Avignon, the Holy See.




Friedrich von Wettin said:
"Your Holiness, Charles is dead. His wife is dead. His only son is dead. Naples is in anarchy and they have no crowned monarch. He promised his daughter to my brother, and she is the only one who lives. This must be divine intervention! What shall we do? I know you support the Duc d'Anjou, and that is your choice, but as for when to strike, the time seems to be now, Your Holiness, does it not?"
Clement was taken aback for a moment or two. His last chat with the Wettin had been pleasant: the feast had been quite good (the patê being especially tasty, and the Pope Clement really loved the patê), and the Wettin had seemed more relaxed -- but this time the Wettin was once again annoyingly impatient, rushed and pushy, and the Pope's brow darkened, his gentle smile faded away as the German prince spoke.

"Firstly, we do not merely support the Duc d'Anjou," he said sharply, though speaking slowly, with measure. He felt his anger growing as he waved his attendants further away, guiding the Wettin to an anteroom, making sure nobody would overhear the conversation. "The Duc d'Anjou is the heir to the throne of Naples, for the Queen Jehanne of blessed memory has adopted him properly, and this adoption was approved by the Church, Universal and Apostolic. The tyrant Charles you mention was never King of Naples."

Clement paused: he was getting more and more enraged with each passing moments, his face slowly grew red as he tried to supress his growing anger.

"Accordingly, his daughter cannot inherit the things that were not his father's in the first place. We shall never, never, never recognize her rights to the throne of the Kingdom of Naples and Sicily, never, no matter if she marries one of your schismatic Teuton brothers." He was already speaking very loudly.

"You're never quite contented with what you get, are you?!" Clemens Pappas Septimus suddenly cried out loud, and grabbed the Wettin by the shoulder. "Greedy, lazy, ungrateful Teutonic lad," Clement spat the words, "I'm about to give you half of Italy already, ain't it enough?! Ain't it enough, eh?!"

Out of breath, he was staring in Friedrich's eyes for long moments before letting him go. "That's about it," he said in a low voice. "We don't want you to bring this topic up again. You'll get what we've agreed on with your wife, but nothing more. You ought to be satisfied with the two kingdoms and the two duchies. That's about it," he repeated, and sank in a nearby chair. He was sweating, and he was afraid for his carefully laid out plans that seemed to be falling apart.

"And as for the timing of the attack: we'll wait still a bit more, for reasons we wish not to share with you. And remember, Frédéric von Wettin, you're no longer the adventurer you used to be. You're now a Standard-Bearer of the Church, and as such you have to do your business with more dignity, more respect towards the Church... and with less greed, for God's sake, less greed! Do you understand?"
 

unmerged(23474)

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Dec 14, 2003
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Avignon, Holy See of Avignon.

Frederick was now on the defensive.

"Your Holiness, it appears my French is lacking. To my knowledge I have not asked you for any more land. To the contary - I came here not to ask for land, but to kiss your ring. You say my brother is a schismatic, but he is not even of age to be confirmed. My uncles are schismatics, and this is true. As such I have ordered my brother William to depart from Germania and to go to Sicilia. I do not want my brother to wed this Angevin. I did not accept her when her father offered. I simply do not want to allow this temptress to walk the earth freely as long as she claims Naples and Sicily as her own. You yourself stated that you wish to create a true kingdom in Naples, and you were gracious enough to separate Calabria and Apulia from this demense. I want nothing but to bring your dream to a fruition, Father. I will raise my sword to fulfill God's will, and you are the vicar of Christ and the successor of the apostles. Whether or not the Duc d'Anjou has actually been crowned by your hand was not known to me, for I know so little of France, Your Holiness, and so much of Germania."

He clapped his hands and ordered one of his servants to bring him a document. He then brought it to the pontiff.

"My wife and I have already told Louis of our support for him. This document is nearly a year old, and it states that I will fight and endanger my own life in order to see to it that he acquires those lands. I received no response from Louis, but when the man I sent to Provence returned he assured me that Louis had seen it."

He pulled his sword from his side and laid it on the ground in front of him.

"Your Holiness, I have never fought for greed, but for Christ and for the honor and legacy of my ancestors. I re-captured Sicily for the true Hohenstaufens because it disgusted me that anyone could claim a throne through lineage of a bastard. Never for me, Father. I fought among the commoners and was willing to lay down my life, for I had two brothers who could continue where I left off, and now I have two sons, both of which were christened in the Latin rites of Avignon. Now, I only wish to follow their example, and to remove the bastard brother of Charles of Durazzo from Naples, and to remove the traitorous man who sits upon your throne in Rome. For God, for church, for my ancestors, for my sons, and for my soul."
 
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His Holiness' private conversation with Friedrich von Wettin

Clement tried to, but could not hide his satisfaction. Though he attempted to keep a wry face, his mien betrayed his real feelings. Eventually he laid back in his chair with a wide grin spreading across his face. When the servant bringing the document was about to leave, His Holiness asked for of brandy.

"We think you and us have have much in common, son," a contented Clement said, holding the goblet of brandy in his hand, stretching out in the chair in a most comfortable way. "And, yes, we tend to agree with you in everything you said. You wield the word quite well, don't you? But anyhow... that Anjou lass is currently in the court of our beloved son, the King of Castille. We're in contact with the King, and we expect him to send us the bitch. Once here, we'll invest her with her rightful inheritance... her rightful inheritance, you see? In exchange for her support, we'll give her Durazzo. Where in the hell is Durazzo anyway? Bordering the Mongol Empire or somesuch, so it's not much of a loss."

Clement felt that the brandy and the paternal affection he felt for the Wettin, combined, were making him say much more than he would normally say, but he did not care. His eyes were glittering as he went on: "Just think of it, son, she's thirteen years old. Which means she's dumb and naïve. Well, she probably has somebody behind me... a Hautville, if I recall correctly... but it won't be too hard to seduce her with sweet words and... dolls, or whatever a girl of this age is yearning for. Hell, sure, maybe in these modern times a thirteen-year-old girl wants lovers, but that's not a high price either." The Pope laughed.

"You know," he continued, "I don't want her to be in my back during the crusade. She sows the seeds of discord wherever she goes, and..." The Pope took a deep breath. "That's why I delay the things. And, well, also because Louis is yet to arrive. I guess it's because of Raymond de Turenne, the damned bandit... and of course the unrest in the Terres-Nouvelles. Anyhow, I guess we'll have to wait for him to come."
 

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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,

Your forgiveness is sought; in reference to both of your letters.

As to the reference you make in the second, I know not how such a document came into her hands. I can only assume that what liberties I have allowed her in respect of her title, have allowed her to walk among my private things unsuspected by my security arrangements. This has been corrected.

I pray you will find my person worthy of your blessings when I arrive personally in Avignon with both Joanne of Naples and the Minion of Satan in tow, as per your command.

Your most humble servant,

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





The festivities began on Saturday, a day before the actual coronation, in the afternoon. But the expectation had begun to flare high as much as a week before that: merchants and traders and noblemen of varying rank had kept arriving in Avignon -- they just kept coming, coming, coming, as if the entire world wanted to witness the coronation, and the always crowded city became so crammed that the court of His Holiness fled the city for the silent and calm Villeneuve-lèz-Avignon. Innkeepers and pickpockets got rich, a hundred pounds of the Holy Cross was sold: business flourished in the Other Rome as though there was a Jubilee going on, and the Other Rome loved the Pope and the King-to-be for it.

Martin of Aragon was to arrive in the city from Villeneuve through the Bridge Saint Bénézet, taking the Road of the Pilgrims towards the Palace of the Popes. The Prince's way was surrounded with spectators on both sides: the nobles were sitting on stands, rising from the mass of commoners in the way cliffs rose from the sea.

Excitement rose as time passed until, not long after Vespers, the bells began to ring in all the churches of the city: first in Villeneuve, in the Little Notre Dame, silently, then the sound of the bells climbed slowly in loudness, intensity and urgency as the other churches of Avignon joined in, those great many churches, those great many bells, until there was nothing but the thunder of the ringing bells, painful to the ears. The sharp-eyed now glimpsed the procession in the distance, but their cheers got lost in the deafening din. First came the spearmen of the Breton Guard, clearing the way (the screams of pain got lost in the deafening din), followed by some twenty horsemen who were there more for decoration than anything else, their faces set, solemnly emotionless. And then the procession suddenly turned into a religious one: monks came, Benedictines, in fact a choir (their song got lost in the deafening din), and after them came the Apostolic Cross, carried by the Gautier Cardinal Gómez who had been, as the only cardinal from Iberia in the absence of the Cardinal de Luna, chosen to be the advocate of the King-to-be's cause during the ceremonies.

Many bad things can be said about the Church, Universal and Apostolic, but one thing cannot be disputed: they knew how to manipulate people, how to manipulate emotions; they had a millenia of experience. Thus it's no surprise that by the time the King-to-be appeared, wearing his monk's habit, escorted by four monsignors, the crowd exulted and cheered in a maddened joy. Even the nobles were shouting and screaming like peasants, forgetting about pompousness and scepticism. Even though the ceremony was a mundane one, a religious rapture took over the minds as the Prince Martin was escorted in the Notre Dame Cathedral where he would spend all the night awake, praying for guidance and doing introspection, all alone in the grand basilica.

The crowd felt only emptiness and a strange disappointment when the bells fell silent and the gates of the Notre Dame were shut closed after the Prince Martin. The people lingered for a while, surprisingly quietly, then the crowd slowly dispersed: a few chose to follow the Prince's example, but the most retired to the inns, taverns, guesthouses... There was intense expectation in the air; Avignon awaited the tomorrow.



Sunrise, a new day breaking forth. The Prince Martin was thoroughly confessed, was bathed, and was clothed in royal garment: these activities took three long hours. In the meanwhile the crowd gathered again, filling the streets where the procession towards the Palace of the Popes would go through. But today the procession was different: only one churchbell was tolled, its lone, shrill voice just increased the expectations. The crowd was dead silent. The procession reached the Palace: there was a richly adorned wooden stand built before it, so that the crowd could witness the coronation. The procession reached the palace, the Prince Martin fell on his knees before the stairs leading up to the empty throne of Saint Peter.

Upon the hallowed silence came the sudden scream of trumpets: ta-ra, ta-ra-ra-raa, ta-ra-ra-ra, a throbbing, annunciotary voice, followed by the tenor cry:

"Appropinquat agnis pastor et ovibus pascendis..."

Clemens Pappas Septimus gestured his blessing towards his flock with a condescending and contented smile on his face.

"Ahleluia, ahleluia, ahleluia...!"

Cardinal Gómez approached the throne and knelt.

"Sancte Pater, ab sapienta summus petimus...," he sang in a plain chant."Holy Father, we ask from your highest wisdom to make this Martin, at whose piety and honour many have wondered, King of Mallorca, for it is not good for a Kingdom to be without a King..."

The request was long and tense, it somehow managed to make it seem as if it were a request real, not merely ceremonial.

"Gratissima nobis causa, fili," Clement expressed his doubts. "It is great concern, children..." Then he went on to explain that even though he would favour the idea, he is now somehow discouraged, hesitating to make such an important decision: he asked all to pray for guidance.

The choir and the crowd sang the Litany of Saints together: "Father-of-Heaven, God, have mercy on us! Son, Repurchaser-of-the-World, God, have mercy on us! Ghost-Most-Holy, God, have mercy on us! O Sacred Threefoldhood, God-One-and-Only, have mercy on us! Holy Mary, pray for us!" Cardinal Gómez repeated his request, Clement once again prayed for guidance. "Kyrie eleison...! Christe eleison...!

Cardinal Gómez pleaded the Pope yet a third time. "We, who are Peter himself..." Clement intoned his positive reply, rendering his decision under the guidance the Holy Spirit, calling the Prince Martin up to before him, and now it was the Pope's turn to plead and be rejected: the Prince rejected the crown twice, only to accept it for the third time.

Martin of Aragon was anointed with the Holy Oil brought right from Reims, of the very same chrism Pepin and Charlemagne had once been anointed with; the substance smelled of age.

"Benedicat te, omnipotens Deus..."

Clement placed the crown on Martin's head, and then he presented the newly created King with the sword:

"This is the sword of Saint Peter," the Pope recited, "may you unsheathe it when the Patromony of Peter is endangered, may you use it skillfully and well against the heretics, schismatics, infidels, the enemies and presecutors of the Church, Universal and Apostolic..."

Then King Martin swore the well-learned oath on the Bible: "I, Martin, by the Grace of God King of Mallorca, from this hour forth shall be faithful to God, St. Peter, the Universal and Apostolic Church and to my Lord Pope Clement and all his successors elected and ordained in a proper manner. I shall not bring it about by deed, word, consent or counsel, that they lose life or members or be taken captive; to the contrary, I shall prevent them being harmed, and I shall aid them to the best of my ability with kindly given advice and princely service. Any counsel which they entrust to me through themselves or through their envoys or through their letters, I will keep secret, nor will I knowingly disclose it to anyone to their harm. I shall aid to the best of my ability in holding and defending against all men the Patrimony of St. Peter, and I shall never cease to donate charitable gifts to the aforementioned Apostolic Church: namely, the aforementioned Apostolic Church shall receive yearly a hundred golden ducats, and more if my Lord the Pope wishes so. And I bind myself and my successors not to try to counter any of these things; and if I or anyone of my successors shall attempt this, whoever he be, he shall lose his rights to the Kingdom. So may God and these holy Gospels aid me."

"Long live the King," His Holiness announced in his loud baritone, "long live King Martin!"

The chorus burst into the Te Deum, and then the Pope, the King and their escort proceeded back to the Notre Dame: the King on foot, walking before the Pope's throne in the way once, back in the pagan times, the captured barbarian leaders walked before the triumphant Emperor. In the basilica the Pope himself celebrated the mass: there were so many people in there that his helpers had a hard time getting him through the crowd; the newly created King was almost squashed to death.

And only now began the real celebration: the commoners were given free ale and wine at the Palace of the Popes, the richer were drinking in the taverns, the cardinals held great feasts in their Livrées, but the greatest feast was given by the Pope himself in his summer residence in Villeneuve-lèz-Avignon: there were three feasts, actually, one in the courtyard, for the retainers; one in an outer hall, for the lower-ranking nobles; and one for the privileged only. Here His Holiness sat at the head of the table, with a King on both sides: on his left sat the King Frederick of Sicily; and on his right the King Martin of Mallorca.



 

unmerged(23474)

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Avignon, Holy See of Avignon.

This was the first coronation Frederick had attended, other than his own. He was jealous, as he didn't have a POPE officiating his, and most of the guests at his were either German soldiers or Sicilian nobles whom only half-supported him. Regardless, Frederick was very kind to Martin. At the table, he turned to him.

"Congratulations, Your Majesty. Welcome to the exclusive club of royalty. As you are my wife's maternal uncle, I feel honored to have attended this event."

He had consumed a lot of wine already, and was not as witty or as on-point as he usually had been.

"Believe it or not, some Greek is claiming to be King of Mallorca. He supports the Antipope, too. Maybe when we're done crusading through Southern Italy we'll stop by his place in Northern Italy just to knock some sense into him... A Palaeologus, no less. Pah! Schismatic dog."

He spit, not thinking of the bad impression that could make on the Pope sitting next to him or the newly-crowned King Martin sitting across from him.
 

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The Coronation Feast

Martin had to admit to himself, the days events had made him just a little euphoric. King. Just the word sent shivers down his spine. His Kingdom was by no means impressive, but he was King.

"And I thank you, Your Majesty. I've been honored to have family present at this event...and a fellow standard-bearer of the Church, no less. I have a feeling, King Frederick, that" he turned to the Holy Father "with God behind us and His Holiness as our guide, we shall accomplish great things together.

It seems a great many men claim lands which are rightfully yours or mine...Sicily, Minorca, Mallorca...but these satanists shall pay for their unholy allegiances and their pretention. I look forward to it." He smiled and raised his wineglass to both men, bowing his head deferentially to the Pope.
 

Blade!

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The Deliverance of Satan, a Girl, and a King...
unto His Holiness in Avignon



Into the city of Avignon came a train of fine carriages bearing the flags of Castilla y Leon. Surrounding and escorting the carriages, and in a train of pairs fifty long, mounted Hidalgos rode with lance tips shining and pennants streaming out behind them.

In the first carriage, rode King Juan Trastamara of Castilla y Leon and several retainers, noble lords who wished to attend the coronation of King Martin of Mallorca, brother in law to Juan.

In the second carriage, rode Joanna of Naples, recently fled of England seeking her crown as Queen of Naples, and being taken to Avignon under command of His Holiness. Along with her rode several prominant ladies, whose husbands rode in the carriage of the King.

In the third carriage, rode the Queen-dowager, step mother of King Juan. Along with her rode her daughter Lady Penelope de Coria, and notably Count Ferran of Aragon escorted the ladies. King Juan's children also rode in the carriage. It was rumored that much paper was crumpled and thrown out the window on the ride.

In the fourth carriage, rode Gregory of Rome, selected by the Cardinals of Rome in the Basilica to be given the mantle of Pope, yet under heavy guard and escort. He had been escorted away from Rome by the men of arms of Castilla y Leon. Notably, his closest advisors who he had brought sat with him, and his clerks and guards also were allowed to accompany him in the next three carriages, though unarmed.

The following ten carriages carried various nobles, their families, and administrative staff associated with King Juan's domains.

Upon arrival and being hostled in accomadations provided in the form of a villa belonging to a second cousin to the King who was well compensated, the nobles, including Joanna, but excluding Gregory attended the cornonation of Martin. King Juan made his presence known to Martin with a friendly bow of the head from across the plaza, but the day did not have time for a meeting with the festivities.

The following day, saw a smaller party made up of King Juan and his closest advisors return to Avignon with Joanna for presentation, and Gregory under guard to be put forth before his Holiness. Gregory was allowed to be accompanied by his own advisors, and the court of Castilla y Leon was of broad thought that in any case, Pope Clement would want all of Gregory's minions in one swoop.

King Juan kneeled in the Audiance Hall.


"Your Holiness, I come before you humbly, turning over to you both Joanna of Naples and the one of Rome, and to seek your guidance on furthering your will."
 

Hawkeye1489

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Gregory had spent many months cramped into that tiny vessel from Castile. The time had arrived, and they docked in Barcelona, or what he thought was Barccelona. Gregory and his escort was disembarked, when Gregory heard the sound so familiar to him - French. They had landed in France and he knew exactly where they were headed.

Upon arrival in Avignon, he was escorted to the Palace of the Popes, the home to several earlier Popes, and now one pretender. The "King" of Castile, Juan Trastamara introduced the men surounding him. He spoke a little Spanish, but a man beside him was translating it into Latin for the Bishop of Avignon, so Gregory understood what was going on. After receiving a queer look from those around him for quite some time, he soon realized what it was. He was the only member of the quasi-delegation which was not bowing before the Bishop of Avignon. Instead, he stared directly into the eyes of Robert de Geneva, and awaited his response to the usurper of Castile y Leon.
 

Velasco

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Joanna was by no means pleased to be handed over like a captive to some upstart Bishop. She bowed, nonetheless, although she admired the Roman for not doing so. Straightening up, she eyed the Avignonese Pope. She waited for him to say something, but for the meantime he inspected her and the Roman silently.
 

Bagricula

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An epistle bearing the seal of Pierre de Luxembourg arrives. It reads:

"Unto His Holiness, Clement VII, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of St. Peter, Pontifex Maximus, Summus Pontifex, Archbishop of the Roman Province, Primate of Italy, Patriarch of the West, and Servus Servatorum Dei, deep and reverential salutations,

Providence sends the angels to propell the orbs through the heavens and to lighten the burden of us who employ ourselves in his work. The Lothringens are a people of particular and unique zeal and my efforts to bridle this zeal for the use of the Lord have proven most promising. They are glad to bring their sins and wrong-doings to the Church, and although the reports of their errors wax in number they wane in severity.

The Duc de Lorraine has proven unusually cooperative and even enthusiastic in my war against sloth and gluttony in the monasteries of Upper Lotharingia. Sadly, he has not yet heard the call of God and consented to receive spiritual guidance from me, nor to declare decidedly his faith in Your Holiness.

This situation is growing untenable. The people of Lorraine despite my efforts remain divided in allegiance between the Lord and the Enemy. Strong leadership from Duc Jean would inevitably fulfill the Lord's purpose here, but I fear that God has not yet granted me the strength or wisdom to save this wayward sheep.

Please forgive me, holy father, my many sins. I have failed you and the Lord, for apostates are still pervasive in my diocese undermining the Works of God, and spreading dissension and fear in my flock. I have indulged in pride and satisfaction in my meager efforts, imagining them to come from my own powers instead of from the power of Providence. I have allowed sloth to turn me from my good work on six occasions in the last month, and have felt the oilly caress of lustful thoughts four times. In my anger at these lustful stirrings I dismissed a goodly maiden employed in the cleaning of the episcopal estate. I have brought misfortune on her family through my actions and seeking to rectify it through payments from the episcopal coffers have both damaged her name and stolen from the poor who could be fed from those same coffers. To compensate for this, I have turned from my divinely appointed mission for five days of work in the fields to recover the coin spent...


The list of sins and errors continues for another three pages.

...I beg your intervention that the Lord might find love to forgive me.

Finally, please forgive the time I have stolen from worthier purposes to ensure you here of my failings.

Dictated in Metz,
Pierre de Luxembourg
Bishop of Metz"