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The Duke of Escalona sends a letter to all who he had invited to his ball...

The Grand Ball shall be held on July 4th, 1858 at the estate of the Duke of Seville.
 

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A Night of Grace I
July 4, 1858

“We at La Sociedad del Gentilhombres thank our gracious co-host the Duke of Seville for tonight. Now, the Duke shall say a few words.” Said Duke Francisco D’Ambrosio. The Duke of Seville, a young man of only twenty-five years of age, walked onto the stage, to the crowds of Spain’s elite. He saw his uncle’s state-press corp recording every little detail, probably to be used in some fancy newspaper headline for his work. Regardless, this was HIS night, and he was not going to let his Uncle nor his family take the spotlight from him!

“Thank you! Thank you all!” The Duke said, “It is really good to see you all here. Alright, speech-speech-speech-speech, enjoy the champagne and music, more speech, and sayings of thanks to you all. NAH! I am just messing with you. In truth, I wish to thank the La Sociedad del Gentilhombres for co-hosting tonights event with me, and for agreeing to let me have the damn thing on my estate! I do hope that you all enjoy yourselves tonight, though just keep in mind, you break it you buy it!” Said the Duke laughing, no one really laughed back. “I...I do offer my solemn regrets to those who could not make it. I...I...it is not really gentlemen like for me to stutter I do understand. I would like to give a big shout out to old Uncle Charlie, who sadly may not be in attendance tonight. Knowing him though, he will probably be here in due time, at least I hope.” The Duke said, slowly eying the crowd to make sure his uncle did not have any minders in the crowd listening to his every word. “Anyway, I hope that you all enjoy your time here tonight, mingle around, get to know each other even though you probably spent all day with them, and drink some fine champagne. Also, big hand to Senor Alejandro de Santa Ana, the pianist playing, my older uncle Ferdinand himself complimented this fine man’s work. Anyway, I leave you to mingle! Thank you again for coming out tonight!”


The Duke walked off the stage and went to the back to a servant. “There are dozens of Carlist government officials in this room, some of them the most conservative men in Western Europe. Some though have sent their sons. Lets see if they cant be shown my view of this country.” Said the Duke, as he went to mingle with the crowd.

((The Night has begun! I shall leave you all to mingle with each other. Act like you are at a ball, and converse with each other. You may gossip, talk about current affairs, or even attempt persuasion. I am not going to bar you from conversing if you did not accept the invite, just say you did when you first IC! This shall last till Tuesday night EST. I shall attempt to coordinate joint ICs between the Duke of Seville and others in the crowd.))
 

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Esmeralda arrived at the ball, fashionably late of course, letting the Baron lead her along on his arm. She only referred to him by his title because she had long ago forgotten his name. She imagined his name was just as drab as his personality. No matter, he was a means to an end. She had not attended a ball in ages, and felt a bit out of her element. As she entered the ballroom, she recalled her first experience amongst the nobility all those years ago. She had been so uncouth and unrefined, but had since learned that all it took was confidence to keep up with the overbearing nobles. This setting was also starting to favour her more as she aged. In a room full of powdered women in multi-layered dresses, she could better entice the eye and hide her age. She could apply make-up liberally without suspicion, for what noblewoman went to a ball without hiding her imperfections? The gown she wore not only accentuated her figure, but enhanced it. The Baron had generously provided her with a deep green gown and an emerald broach, appropriate attire for the Emerald of Elche. A tight corset did wonders for her figure, if not her health. She felt like a young woman again, especially with the many lustful gazes sent her way. Oh how she had missed the attention.

Before Esmeralda could go off and mingle with the other guests, she had to appease the Baron. She was his guest, after all, and he expected her to escort him wherever he went. Spending the entire ball on the arm of such a bore was not her idea of fun. To get rid of him, or at least make him let her wander, she just had to do what she did best. With a playful grin, she convinced him to leave the ballroom and wander into the other parts of the Duke's estate. He had opened his estate, allowing his guests free reign as long as they didn't go into the more private areas. Esmeralda led the Baron to the one place that would be available to guests but where no one would be during such a celebration: the family chapel. Any pious noble had one somewhere.

((Private))

When the two reached the chapel, Esmeralda was relieved to see it was empty, not that she had expected any differently. As they approached the altar, the Baron said, "Are we to pray together?" He eyed her with his usual bland expression, not comprehending her intentions.

Esmeralda dropped to her knees before the altar and started playing with the Baron's belt, eliciting the first sign of emotions since they arrived. "I do find such an irresistible urge to get down on my knees whenever I enter a holy place."

Before the Baron could even respond, Esmeralda had undone the belt buckle and dropped the Baron's trousers down around his ankles. With a grin, she went to work. God's name was invoked several times in the next few minutes, but not in prayer.

Ten minutes later, the two left the chapel, Esmeralda seeming quite pleased with herself and the Baron wobbling around in a daze. He certainly wouldn't be telling her what to do for the rest of this night. She left him to find his own way back to the ball while she went her separate way. There was more fun to be had this night.
 

Marschalk

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A Night of Grace I
July 4, 1858
((Attendants - Private))​


Don Ramiro Esteban Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Soneta di Belmonte entered the hall, looking handsome, yet still very boyish in his blue and red uniform of the Royal Guard. He took off his shako and passed it to one of the lackeys, and then turned to the companion following him. – So, Boggles, do you expect this party to be any fun?

«Boggles», was in fact the nickname of Francisco Godoy, a friend, regimental buddy and sidekick of Ramiro. From the first glance, they were quite different . While Esteban was a son of the First Minister and beared the glorious courtesy title of the Count-Duke Olivares, Francisco was simply an untitled nephew to the deceased Manuel Godoy, Prince of Peace. While Esteban was tall, dandyish and attractive, Franciso was short, fat and pug-faced, resembling a bulldog. And yet they had lot in common – both were young, wealthy, noble and up to any mischief.

- Who knows, Ramiro, this royal is known to be not as prude as the others, Maybe there would be bare-assed barmaids and we will all drink ourselves stupid, eh, eh? - Godoy joked, smacking his red-striped breeches playfully. The both young men were sublieutenants within the elite Carabineers of the Guard – and, mainly busy with maneuvering and watches in the palace, were pretty bored. Thankfully, Madrid offered them many enjoyments – and they indulged in them readily. And one of such potential enjoyments was suddently noticed by the Godoy, as the youths strutted through the room full of stately gentlemen in uniform and tailcoats and dames in long dresses, their diamond necklaces and tiaras shining in the light of the many candles. – Hey, Ramiro! See that one?

The Count –Duke of Olivares, who has just taken a glass with champagne from one of the servants, looked in the direction where the pudgy finger of Francisco was directed. He noticed a seductive brunette in green, who was followed by some fellow resembling the provincial baron type. Ramiro licked his lips, grinning. – What of her? Mature, yet still tentant, as Frenchmen say. I would ride that. Both of them guffawed, Francisco more confidently. While the heir to the House of Alba was, of course, not a virgin, he was not as experienced with women as his buddy, who was three years senior. Godoy leaned forwards and whispered into his friends year. – It is Esmeralda of Elche…You know… That Woman... The eyes of Olivares became wide. He has heard about the famous putaine, who cost many a lord a fortune – but never expected to see her at a royal ball, even if it was hosted by such a secondary and shitty prince as the Duke of Toledo. Truly morals seem to have been forgotten in this estate.

He shrugged and lowered his voice as well. – Imagine the scandal that would happen, if all these grand wifes and sisters of our aristocrats would find they share a ballroom with a courtesan. They would bellow like mad cats and their husbands would all demand satisfaction from Infante Enrique. Both of the officers laughed again. Suddenly the eyes of Godoy glinted. Esteban knew this mad gaze – it meant that his comrade is up to something. Something fun, if wild. – You know what? Let us shock her and see how she reacts! Go, distract the Infante! – before Olivares could ask something, Francisco disappeared in the crowd. Wondering what he was up to, the Count-Duke of Olivares advanced the Duke of Toledo, standing tall and proud despite his age. He was the eldest son of possibly the most powerful man in Realm, after the King – and he was going to hold his banner high. Bowing slightly, Don Ramiro said. – Your Highness, congratulation on holding such a grand event. My father had to hold an extraordinary meeting with several foreign ambassadors, but he hopes he would be able to arrive later…

Suddenly a very loud and unnatural voice shrieked, from the midst of the guests. The words were. - SLUT! SLUT DETECTED! In a few minutes Ramiro noticed Francisco Godoy, who was already enjoying his wine with quite a serious expression. While it was not very likely that anybody would understand that he was the one who organized that prank, Alba immediately understood that it was so - and had to use all his will to hide his smile.
 
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mrlifeless

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Teniente Coronel Alberto Fajardo de Mendoza walked into the ball room with a serious look on his face, looking very professional in the uniform his battalion.

He didn’t come to the ball for the fun of it- there are far too many important people to risk possibly offending. Rather he came for networking purposes, both for his father and for himself. For that reason he came alone- keeping track of anyone who came along would get in the way of meeting and befriending new people, and his wife away a few years earlier.

I am too tense, I won’t get anything done like this. Maybe a bit of wine won’t hurt… He thought.

But only one.

Just has he was starting his third glass he heard an odd shout coming from the crowd: SLUT! SLUT DETECTED!

I wonder who that is. And whose voice was that maybe there will something more to this ball then simple politics.
 

zenphoenix

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"I...what?!" said Carlos Maria, almost coughing up his drink at the sound of the 'odd shout.'

"Let's pretend we didn't hear that," said the aide, "Now, you were discussing your battle plans?"
 

Plutonium95

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Infante Juan helped Archduchess Maria Beatrix down from the carriage as they prepared to enter the party. His skin had been darkened by the Philippine sun, and there were lines beginning to form at the corners of his mouth and eyes. Despite this, he was still a handsome man at thirty-six, with a strong jaw and well defined cheekbones. He wore a dark-blue Contraalmirante's uniform with golden buttons and a number of medals pinned to the breast. His wife, in her stylish golden dress, looked far younger than he did, having spent the majority of their marriage in court at Madrid while he served at sea, in Africa, and in Manila. It had been her idea to attend the ball, the first Juan had been to in nearly ten years since one couldn't consider the parties in Manila proper balls, so he happily indulged her.

"Slut! Slut detected!" He heard as they entered the main hall, immediately making him wondered what sort of ball this was. In truth, the call reminded him of his own youth when he would mock his teachers and play pranks on the members of court. So it was with an amused smile on his face that he obtained glasses of wine for Maria and himself. "It seems this will be quite interesting." He said, leaning down to her.

"It's disgraceful. Such behavior would not be acceptable in Vienna." She replied, always the sort to hate any sort of fun.

"Mmm, yes." He mumbled noncommittally, not wishing to fight with her about the strict environment of Vienna. "Excuse me for a moment Maria, I have to mingle." With that, he left her and began socializing.
 

Keinwyn

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It was with some apprehension that Infante Carlos agreed to attend the ball; he knew full well that his cousin had political views far from the Carlist establishment, however Infante Enrique had so far kept a low profile. The collaboration with the Duke of Escalona somewhat allayed his fears on that front and so it was that Carlos looked forward to an evening of entertainment; he understood that it was the Duke had been responsible for the hiring of the pianist, perhaps there was a man with fine artistic sensibilities; the Prince would look forward to talking to him.

Carlos proceeded into the crowd exchanging pleasantries, looking for fellow patrons of the arts, and making himself available to any who wished something of the Monarchy. He somewhat regretted that his wife could not accompany him at such events, however they tended to strain the princess' condition unduly.

At the unnatural shriek, the Infante stiffened slightly, fearing some nonsense engineered by his cousin, however his mind was drawn back to the shenanigans of his younger brother in their youth, and he relaxed with a wry smile. As a boy he had found his brother's exuberance to be an affront to their position and duties, a mockery of the responsibilities placed upon them as rulers of Spain, however age had relaxed that attitude somewhat; the gaiety of youth should find it's expression - within reason of course.
 

Marschalk

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A Night of Grace I
July 4, 1858
((Attendants - Private))​


Ramiro sipped champagne carelessly. He searched the ballroom with his gaze, trying to find the tables for baccarat and craps. Then sighed reluctantly - mayhaps they and Francisco had too high hopes for this meeting. Infante Enrique was, after all, supposed to be a liberal - and all liberals the Count-Duke of Olivares knew were complete bores with shrill voices and unpleasant ways. The ball could turn out to be completely uninteresting - well, at least the ladies were quite attractive. In the most elegant garbs, mostly produced by Paris (fashion was, after all, apolitical), they smelled of exotic and intriguing perfumes, chattered between himself and flirted with the gentlemen. Strict mothers were watching over their innocent daughters, many of whom were only starting to make their debut, from times to times directing them with whom to dance. The orchestra already started to play the music of Jean-Baptiste Lally, urging the pairs to join hands in a courteous menuet. Sighing, the young officer advanced a girl in a emerald necklet and a dress of while silk. She had a nice figure, intelligent black eyes and a proud face. - May I invite you to a dance? - the heir of the House of Alba said, and extended his hand. It was accepted and, kissing the palm of the beautiful lady, Ramiro led her away towards the center of the hall.

As they whirled in the dance, the girl talked. She turned out to be a daughter of a Count, who held a rather high office in the Ministry of Interior. They often visited their manors in Vasconia and the lady (her name was Christina) just loved the weather and the green forests of the area. She was also very interested in literature and kept asking Ramiro if he thought much of this popular author, Victor Hugo.

Don Ramiro was answering politely, though his thoughts were elsewhere, quite far away. Such teenage noblewomen were guarded too strictly in the Catholic Spain of King Carlos and sleeping with them could cause too much of a scandal. Dishonor to their families and so on. Why, if there always were young widows and wives secretly wishing to cuckold their husbands, as well as jolly courtesans and frivolous beauties from the lower classes? The Count-Duke of Olivares was sure that one day he would marry, either for love or for land and money. But currently he felt no inclination to neither in his heart. His romances were all the same - passionate, but short.

Finishing with the dance, the guards lieutenant bid his goodbye to Lady Christina and joined Godoy again. The round face of Francisco was already ruddy - too chubby to dance, he preferred to spend time near the table with the snacks, gobbling one sweetmeat after the other and washing the desserts down with wine. - Come on, Ramiro, they have a very nice Burgundian potion! - he declared, his mouth full of sugared peaches. To prove that a nobleman does not lie, Godoy immediately filled the glass of his friend with the red drink. The Count-Duke of Olivares raised it, as if greeting several people who concentrated around the table. - To the King, good sirs! Long live the King! As a loyal servant of the Crown (like father, like son), the youth could not choose another toast. The next would go to the regimental banner and the dames.
 

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Shortly after returning to the ballroom, a great ruckus erupted as someone started yelling something about a slut nearby. The nobles scanned the crowd wildly, and a few ladies openly gasped at the vulgar language. A few curious glances were sent her way, but she was not too concerned. Perhaps the disruption was directed at her or perhaps not. She was not ashamed of her profession, although surely it was better to be discrete when possible. When one particularly elderly gentlemen took a lengthy look at her face, she stared him right in the eyes and asked, "Is something the matter?"

The gentleman's face went a vivid red and he sputtered for a moment. He attempted to regain his composure and subtly pointed to her face. "I'm sorry, my lady, but it appears you have some sort of... icing on your face."

It took a moment for Esmeralda to catch on and she nearly burst out laughing at her predicament. Apparently she had not been thorough enough when cleaning up after her rendezvous with the Baron. She feigned embarrassment and said, "Oh my, how silly of me. I must have indulged too heavily in the sweet cakes and left some trace on my face."

That response seemed to placate the gentleman and he even offered her his hanky to clean up the mess. She wiped the white substance from her cheek and around her mouth, finishing with a few light dabs. She went to hand the hanky back, but the man raised a hand and politely declined. After he had left, she shoved it within her dress just in case she needed to clean up later. It wouldn't do to wander around the ball with the remnants of her last job on her face.
 
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naxhi24

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((Thanks to Noco and Kein for agreeing to this))

Night of Grace II

The Duke of Seville was making rounds with around the room while enjoying a nice glass of wine. He heard someone shout something that made the whole room turn, but he ignored it. He was conversing with people when all of the sudden he overheard two men in a loud discussion. He walked over slowly so that he could hear them. He immediately recognized one of the voices as his cousin, the Prince of Asturias, and the other as famed businessman Don Aldo Trumpo. He immediately butted in.

“Boys! Man! Don Aldo Trumpo meets Infante Carlos! I love it! I love bringing people together! How are we?” He says, extending his hand to his cousin who shakes it. “...Hi hello…” he says as he reaches for Don Aldo Trumpo who shakes his hand. “Ow! Wow! That is a good grip you have.” He says looking over to Infante Carlos, “You should not pick a fight with this gentleman!” The Duke turns back to Don Aldo Trumpo. “Mr. Trumpo, I think we should go invest in some similar business endeavors, we are businessmen afterall.”

“Appreciate the offer sir, but I must excuse myself.” Said Don Aldo Trumpo as he walked away.

“Dearest Cousin, walk with me for a second.” Said the Duke of Seville to Infante Carlos. They walked together down the hall-way. “So how is good old Uncle Charlie holding up in his palace? I am a bit bummed he might not be able to make it.”

“The King is well,” Carlos said noncommittally, he wasn’t going to discuss his father’s health here. “he is much buoyed by our foreign successes, however I doubt we shall see him grace us with his presence tonight.”

“Such a shame, the health of the nation does seem to be on his mind a lot.” Said the Duke. They continued walking down the hall, and the Duke stopped to look at a painting. It is a picture of the Carlist victory of Bilbao, with the majestic Carlist forces chasing the Cristino forces into the hills. It’s point of view is strictly on the Carlist soldiers. “You know… I bought this painting a while back. It has always been a great piece to have. Though… I would change one aspect of it, one small aspect that many would find hard to believe, to match the life those I know have lived. Do you know what that is cousin?”

Carlos eyed the painting, full of bold colours and strong lines fully expressing a certain ideal of military glory. He half expected his cousin to say ‘the victor’ but the younger man wasn’t addled. “Enlighten me cousin. What would you change?”

“The point of view. I would change it, instead of focusing on the victorious Carlists, I would have the painting focus in on those running away from them. It is something that would make a lot more sense for a lot more people.” Said the Duke of Seville. He turned to face his cousin. “Do you know what the oldest lie in the world is cousin?”

“Tragedy too makes for good art, certainly. Perhaps it even speaks to the emotions more than a glorious scene as depicted here; so you may well be right.” Carlos sidestepped the Duke’s meaning. “The world’s oldest lie? I cannot think you speak of original sin?”

“It is that power can be innocent.” Said the Duke of Seville. “You never know what you lose until someone steps in with all the power and forces you to do things just because he has the power to do so. Bless my brother, he was naive to believe that Isabel could ever return. When the British wanted to marry them, he agreed, and he fled Spain to join her. I feared that because of this I would not be able to enjoy this lifestyle I was given by our uncle King Ferdinand, that Uncle Charlie would punish me for the sins of my brother. He did not. It makes you stop and wonder though. There is another saying I like to speak of, that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Your father must have thought it to when he had to fire the Primate of Spain from his position.” Said the Duke.

“I disagree, cousin, power can be innocent and it is terrifying; consider a prince whose people are afflicted with a terrible illness, he is advised to isolate them, and restrict their freedom least the illness spread. Yet in his naivety his heart bleeds for them and he cannot impinge upon those already suffering. As a result the contagion spreads and his innocent actions full of pious good-will condemn more of his people.”
“The flipside, however, is a machiavellian quest for an end result, believing that any means will be justified in obtaining it; it is easy to see how the responsibility of power may jade a man to the extent he would take such a course perhaps this is what you think of when you refer to corruption? It is well then that God entrusts us with not only power but an obligation towards duty and justice.”

“Many know the former, but not the latter under this regime sadly.” Said the Duke of Seville. “Anyway, if you will excuse me cousin, I must be getting back to the main ball.” He said as he walked back to the main hall. He pulled aside one of his friends.

“What say the crown Prince?” Asked the friend.

“I believe he is going to be like his father when Uncle Charlie kicks the bucket and he takes the throne. Prep my carriage for France, we leave tomorrow to get help.” Said the Duke of Seville. He then eyed a courtesan in the grand ball. “But for now…” He stated as he walked towards her.
 

Keinwyn

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((Unrelated to the ball))

For some time Infante Carlos had heard talk in cabinet of expanding the education provided by the church to those of little means, notably from the Primate and the Duke of Zaragoza, however little definitive action materialised. He thus took it on as a personal project, with the approval of his royal father.

Royal proclamation on the church as educators.​

Children between the ages of seven and twelve shall attend school for between fifteen and twenty hours per week. However it is requested that flexibility and understanding be shown should a child's labour be required for the continued well-being of his family.

Emphasis shall be placed upon literacy, physical education, tradition and religious studies. Though the exact nature of the curriculum may be decided at a parish level.

Children between twelve and sixteen who display aptitude shall have the option of continuing studies in addition to beginning lessons in more practical subjects.

The crown shall offer support to the church in whatever manner is deemed necessary, and His Majesty’s Secretary of the Treasury is requested to cooperate in this matter.​
 

Dadarian

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In the Cortz.
Lord Etxeto, thoroughly angered by numerous slights, penned a missive to the Cabinet and the King.

- - Private to Cabinet and King - -
Dearest Sirs,

I do writeth thou in declaration of my emptying of the chair of the treasury. By the will of God, I hath tried mine greatest to apply proper taxation upon the King's realm. However, the King is most unwilling to engage in such taxation, which protect the chosen by pushing the burdens of state upon the lesser men that are bound by the law of King and God.

As such, I doth resign mine post as Secretary of Treasury and returneth thine powers to the King. As he doth not want mine advice, so he shalt not have it.

In the name of God and King Carlos,

Etxeto, Conde Viscaya.
 

Imperator1993

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Name: Don Carlos Antonio Maria Veranzo-O'Connor Don, 3rd Count Veranzo, Prince of Connacht.
DoB: September 17th, 1810
Background: A scion of a mixture of the noble house Veranzo, his grandfather, Carlos Diego Veranzo, being granted the title by King Carlos III, after serving as an admiral in the Royal Navy, and of the Irish Royal house of O'Connor Don, Carlos Antonio is proud of his heritage. Strongly conservative, catholic, and anti-British, are the best way to describe his views. He is ready to see Spain achieve its goals of regaining its empire, becoming a strong modern power, and also regaining Gibraltar and hopefully one day seeing Ireland become independent.
 
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naxhi24

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The End of an Era: 1858-1861

Morocco, the homeland of the Berbers. One-thousand years prior, Muslim invaders from Morocco crossed the straits of Gibraltar, and started 700 years of Muslim rule over Iberia, destroying the Christian kingdoms that had lived there beforehand. It would take strong Christian kings to chase them out of Iberia. Now, four-hundred years have passed since the last of the Muslims were chased back into Morocco. Spain had advance significantly, while Morocco was left in the dust as nothing more then a pirate state. With France's withdrawal of protection of Morocco, the Muslims of the area were left wide open to the jingoist Carlist regime. Spain took advantage of the situation, and proceeded to fabricated a claim that Morocco was using pirates to disrupt trade in the Straits of Gibraltar. Spain used this to attack Morocco head on, and to force them to agree to Spanish demands of stopping pirates. In 1858, Spanish troops crossed into Melila, and attacked Morocco. The Moroccan army tried to mount a defense against the Spanish onslaught, but to no avail. The "Christian Hospitality" of the Spanish soldiers was shown in many cases throughout Morocco. Muslims were slaughtered in the hundreds. Even though many officers tried to stop the bloodshed, the zealous Carlist soldiers burnt villages, and marched locals out into the desert to be left to die. However, the ends justified the means as Morocco bent the knee to the Carlist regime following the fall of the capital of Fez. An agent of Spain was dispatched to Morocco to make sure the Sultan stays in line with Spanish policy.


(Moroccan Troops)

At the same time though, issues were beginning to flair up again in Germany. Prussia, having consolidated control over the Northern German states, declared the creation of the North German Federation. The NGF was a federalized monarchy headed by the King of Prussia. It's states were the former Northern German princes and dukes. The North German Federation had the industrial power of Northern Germany coupled with the military might of Prussia's armed forces. The one problem though with this new state was its northern most border. The Prussian's had annexed the state of Schleswig-Holstein, a Danish vassal and a German princedom. At the request of the Danish government, Austria moved in to demand the new North German Federation leave the Danish vassal in accordance to the deals made at the Warsaw conference. The North German Federation refused these demands. It viewed Austria as weak. You see, Austria had also gone through some changes. Austrians and Hungarians had agreed to the idea of a "dual monarchy", where the Emperor of Austria also was King of Hungary, and the Hungarians would have their own government separate from the Austrian government, two different governments under one monarch. This would lead to the creation of what is called Austria-Hungary. The North German Federation viewed this decentralization as a sign of weakness of the Austrians, and pressed its demands. Tensions rose again, and both sides even called for mobilization against the other.


(Prussian Troops on standby in Silesia)

Then the Spanish intervened. Spain was still very paranoid about Napoleon III, and felt that if the Holy Alliance fell apart, Napoleon III would destroy the Concert of Europe. Negotiations went on for weeks. Eventually, Austria made a compromise. The North German Federation would be allowed to keep Holstein, and in return Austria federalized its influenced states into a Southern German Federation. The deal was agreed to, and the South German Federation was born. The President of the SGF was King Maximilian II of Bavaria. The Southern German Federation was also liberal, in order to placate the masses of Southern Germans who suddenly found themselves together with their other Southern German brethren. The new state of South Germany would have to deal with the rising might of the Northern Germans, and even with Austria-Hungary behind it, another spark in the German Question would possibly lead to all-out war, and not even the Spanish could possibly hope of fixing that.


(The North German Confederation is in Red, the South German Confederation is in Orange)

As Spain expanded its borders and tried to navigate the treacherous waters of international politics, word slowly began to slip out into the public. Carlos V was ill. Many government papers reported that Carlos was in good health, and avoiding the public eye to focus on his work, but many middle-class supporters knew this was not true. With the rumors of illness hitting every aspect of society, middle class men decided that now was the time. With the King ill, he would not be able to resist a massive rebellion. The first actions against Carlos V were actually in Catalonia. An armed mob of 45,000 Catalans stormed and seized Valencia. Eventually, Carlist troops took the city back and suppressed the Catalan revolt. However, many in government began to fear for the coming days should Carlos V die. "The Catalans were his best friends and greatest allies, and look what they just did! What do you think the liberals and jacobins will do?" They said. Their response would be given in the early months of 1860, when over 120,000 liberal rebels rose up calling for reform and change in the Carlist regime. Across Spain, rebels seized towns and armories against the government. They called for elections, freedoms that they believed belong to them, some of the more radical jacobins called for an end to the monarchy, and some even went as far as to put Isabel II back on the throne.


(Revolutionaries)

None of this would matter. Even though Carlos V's health was waning, his resolve was as strong as iron. He ordered the army to deploy, and soon, thousands of rebels were chased off into the countryside. Rebels were stringed up in front of known rebel hideouts and across liberal cities in Spain to show all that Carlos V was still kicking. Spain would be bathed in the blood of liberal revolutionaries, and by the end of 1860, all pockets of resistance against the government stopped. It was as brutal as it was effective. Carlos V had kept peace in Spain for the past 22 years, he was not about to have that record be shattered. Regardless, Carlos V still had huge amounts of popularity from the poor population. Many monarchs though often teased that Carlos V was a man of the poor, unfitting of a King like him to value those "lesser beings". Say what you will about it, many reasons why revolutions never really took off was because the poor population of Spain respected the King, not only for freeing them from serfdom, but for keeping their taxes low, and distributing land to them. This helped save Carlos from many revolutions, for the poor did not rise up against him. While the poor adored their King, the middle class hated it. The enlightened middle class, knowing in the ways of the enlightenment, believed that Carlos V was everything against what the enlightenment stood for, and they sought to see him removed.


(Carlist Forces marching to crush Rebels)

With 1860 turning to 1861, all was quiet in Spain. Rebellion had been crushed, Morocco had been forced to bend the knee, and the Holy Alliance was still going, even if on a tight rope. On November 25, 1861, that peace was shattered with the morning church bells. Infante Carlos was sumouned to the royal palace that morning to learn that Carlos V had died in his sleep. The man of iron had passed away from this world. When news reached the public that Carlos V died, their were many mixed reactions. Carlos V had forged his own path, and had fought to become King. Now that he was dead, what would become of his successors? Would their be another pretender war between his sons? Would their be revolution, or another civil war? Who knows.

The King is dead!

Long Live his Royal Majesty Carlos VI!

-------------------------------------
Player Actions Needed: Carlos V has died. @Riccardo93 is now no longer King. @Keinwyn shall now take up the duties of monarch. As I am leaving Thursday and will not be returning till Sunday, I will give you all a week to get organized and for the new King to adjust himself. @Riccardo93 is now free to make his own character.
 

zenphoenix

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((Can we get screenshots if that is possible?))
 

naxhi24

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Keinwyn

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((With @Riccardo93 & @Plutonium95 ))

Last Days of the King

Carlos V had travelled personally to Vienna to assist the Duke of Alba in forcing through the negotiations between the Prussian Crown and the Austro-Hungarian Empire; he felt that his presence at the conference would add a heightened air of gravitas to the already imposing Duke. His prediction proved correct, and after several weeks an agreement was made between the Germanies. However, the King’s outing had come at a cost; the weather proved unfavourable to him, and he soon fell ill, though Carlos V remained as energetic and wily as ever – upon his return to Spain he inducted the Duke of Alba into the Order of the Golden Fleece and promoted him General of the Infantry, such was the King’s faith in his long-serving foreign minister.

As 1861 dawned, the King’s illness transformed into pneumonia. It was, in his own words, a “damned inconvenience,” and one he would be rid of soon enough. However, the outbreak of rebellion, both in Catalonia and across Spain generally, further sapped his energy, and sleepless nights spent coordinating various generals and operations, both military and covert, merely worsened his condition. Still a wily and clever man, the King made every attempt to keep up appearances, though he carefully began to concede more and more duties to the Prince of Asturias, citing his age and the need for his son to gain experience in ruling whenever asked.

However, by autumn of 1861, the King had become bedridden.

~*~​

Carlos V lay in bed, it was evident that the monarch who had guided Spain for the past two decades was no longer possessed of the energy or fire that had brought him to his throne, as though ruling the nation had sucked the very flesh from his bones leaving him haggard and wizened. As it became apparent the end was drawing near his family gathered, his wife Teresa sat closest to him, intent upon nursing her sovereign to the very end. Her step sons and their families had also gathered.

The Prince of Asturias gently tried to console his younger son who, still only six, did not fully understand events, but nevertheless had picked up on the heavy atmosphere in the room. With a little encouragement the elder son Infante Felipe stepped nervously forward to speak with his grandfather.

The King forced a thin smile, obscuring his tired, half-covered eyes even moreso behind dark purple lids. He propped himself up gingerly, before patting the boy on the head. “Felipe,” Carlos said at last, his voice slightly louder than a whisper, though throaty and weak “look after your brother and father for me.” He smiled wryly before looking over the young prince once more. “You’ll be a fine king, I think. Yes… a fine king.”

The other Royal grandchildren approached the King each to receive their last memories, the words that would, perhaps, encapsulate his legacy to them. Looking at his brothers, the Prince of Asturias motioned for them to step forward and have their time with their father, silently dreading the time his turn might come.

Prince Juan stepped forward first, taking his hand off of his young sons’ shoulders. Not that Carlos, now thirteen years old, had needed comforting, he was as serious as ever and while tears welled in the eyes of eleven year-old Alfonso, Carlos simply looked on stoically. Juan, on the other hand, had almost allowed himself to think that this day might never come, and now that it had he could scarcely imagine how Spain would continue on. Unwilling to trust his voice, Juan merely took his father’s hand and squeezed it gently.

The Prince of Asturias briefly grasped his brother’s shoulder - as much for his own comfort as the other’s - stepped forward and knelt, gingerly enfolding his father’s by now bony hand in his. For some minutes he was silent.

“Father, I… I… what does one say at a time like this? You were a kind father, not just to us… to all your children, the millions who call themselves children of Spain. I do not know how to bear the weight of so many; with you at our side it seems easy…” He trailed off. The King did not respond in words, merely smiling at his son as though to convey his courage and conviction.

At 14:37 on the 25th of November, the royal doctor slowly pulled away from the King, his face heavy and uttered the phrase that all in the room expected yet hoped would never be spoken. “The King is Dead.”
 
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Marschalk

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THE ALBA CHRONICLES (XVI) ((Private))

The First Secretary of the Spanish Realm, Don Esteban Alonso Fitz-James Stuart y Silva, was sitting in his cabinet and reading the reports of the provincial governors and viceroys. All of them reported the same - the remnants of the Jacobin conspiracies and revolts were eradicated. The might of the most catholic of kingdoms could not be challenged by the group of overeducated underintelligent renegades that the so-called Spanish liberals were. The people and God were behind the King – this was what counted.

The Duke of Alba grimaced and comforted his aching back. He was still slender and handsome, yet at fifty-seven you are never as healthy as when you are seventeen. Don Esteban tried to spend his spare time fencing, riding, hunting and engaging in various physical activities – and yet most of his hours were still eaten by the table. The smell of ink over time became quite disgusting for Don Esteban – sometimes it smelt almost like poison.

The Spanish Prime Minister stood up and poured himself some black rum, brought from Jamaica. Sipping it slowly, he dwelled on his life up to now. He gained everything that he wanted – and even what he did not want. He was held in great trust by the King, being the most powerful man in Spain after him. The latest highest awards, the Order of the Golden Fleece and the new rank, were a proof to that. In Europe he was respected and esteemed, earning the moniker of the Spanish Metternich, for only through moral authority and good sense Spain under his government managed to resolve the number of international disputes and keep the Concert of Europe whole. He was the First Secretary for ten years – and the Foreign Secretary for twenty two. He was wealthy, had a still beautiful wife, several children – and yet was he happy?

Probably not. The feeling of jolly happiness was alien to the cold calculating nature of the Duke of Alba. Ambition and sense of duty substituted it – and, while he was sometimes glad, sarcastic, triumphant, he rarely felt a true feeling of emotional attachment to anybody. And to a certain extent it pained him – and he hoped that the heart of his son would be a different one. Certainly not one out of weak and flashy gold, but perhaps one out of marble rather than iron? Hopefully his life would not be only one of race for accomplishments and battles against hardships, but would be full of warmness and pleasure.

- Your Excellency! – Montcada walked in, quite shaken and pale. His gigantic moustache, now completely grey, was drooping and the fat face was cringed – the time was much more merciless to him than to his patron. The Order of Isabella the Catholic was hanging from his chest and the silk ribbons on his neck were matching his complexion. – What now? War? Revolt? – Don Esteban asked, raising his voice. There was an impatient glint in his eyes – and his palm automatically gripped the hand of the sword. And then his private secretary and confident muttered. – An equerry came from the palace… His Majesty is dead.

For a few minutes the First Secretary stayed silent. His heart began to beartquicker –for this statue of a man it was a sign of great emotional disturbance, The greatest King of Spain since the old times, the man under whose banner he had walked during most of his life, the person chosen by God himself to ensure the greatness of the Spain - was dead. This thought seemed irrational, unreal – and yet what occurred has occurred and they had to deal with that. – Leave me alone. – he finally told Montcada – I need to write some letters.




TO THE KING (Keinwyn - Private)



Your Catholic Majesty,

My heart is overcome with grief over the death of Your august Father and my Master. When such divine-inspired men pass away – and we, common mortals, remain to live, it is always a great wonder and a mystery. He would be remembered and mourned by the generations to come, whom He brought happiness and stability, He would be remembered and mourned by Europe who saw in him a fair and impartial arbiter and mediator – and yet we, His loyal servants, who had the honor of witnessing His kindness, wisdom and noble ways in person, would weep until the day we die. I express my sincere condolences.

However, it is my grim duty to move to the matters of state. Your Catholic Majesty is now the King of Spain, ruling by the Grace of God himself – and I give you my pledge of loyalty. This pledge of loyalty forces me to speak of the governmental affairs even at the time of grief.

First of all, I believe that it is important for Your Catholic Majesty to consolidate Your authority over the Realm through acts of benevolence towards Your people, both great and small.

Your August Father was always successful in his just fight against the evil radicalism because through his kind acts He was seen as a true father to His people. While some haughty men say that one should scorn the poor, they are wrong, for the poor people are like wood. Separate trees can by brought down by an axe of any lumberjack, but nobody can bring down the forest as a whole. If one would try to battle the forest, he would most probably get lost in it and be eaten by animals. And if somebody would try to chop the forest down, he would most probably die before he cuts it even to the half – and while he does that, the new trees would grow. Therefore a good ruler should keep the forest flourishing.

At the same time the elites are like noble elephants, extremely useful, but at the same time only being able to breed and exist well, when they are fed, watered and live in a healthy forest. At the same time they should not be allowed to destroy the forest – otherwise they would one day lose the source of food, water and fresh air and die out themselves.

Therefore, in my opinion, it is important for a Sovereign to maintain a benevolent policy towards both the people and nobility, valuing the principle of social cohesion.

Your coronation could, in my opinion, be the event that would allow you to demonstrate Your good intentions towards both Your noble vassals and your loyal smallfolk. Bread and circuses, as the Romans said. Charity, donations and various easements towards the poor, as well as rewards and honors for your courtiers and officers, especially within the Army, would, I believe, most appreciated by Your subjects.

The matter of the Cabinet being in need to be reshuffled if, of course, a matter I should raise as its current president.

The Minister of Finance, the Count of Viscaya, is known to have resigned due to the disagreement of our late Monarch with his budgetary measures. I must say that the wisdom of our King here was immense, for the budget proposed by Senor Etxeto would inevitable prove to be counterproductive, possibly destroying the good relationships between His Majesty and the majority of his subjects, by putting upon the shoulders of the weakest members of our society the burden of most hard taxes. However, since Lord Etxeto is a man of solid traditional views, he could perhaps could be considered for the appointment to an office of state which would not lead to the conflict between his views and the views of Your Majesty and the rest of the Cabinet. Sadly enough, the Treasury was definitely not one of these.

It is also known that Don Aldo Trumpo has, in private talks, many times expressed his will to govern one of His Majesties overseas realms. I believe that now a vacancy has opened, which would be quite suitable for a man of such stature. In accordance with our latest agreement with the Sultan Muhhamad of Morocco, a Spanish envoy would be appointed to his court, with the right to give (de-facto binding) advise on the internal and foreign policies of this country. I think that the appointment of Don Aldo Trumpo as the His Majesties Representative and Supreme Political Agent in Morocco could guarantee the Spanish interests (among them, commercial) quite well.

I also believe that now, when time has passed, it may possibly make sense to (in some way) bring the Archbishop of Toledo back into the fold, carefully entrusting him with more duties, without, of course, repeating the errors of the past. While he did make significant mistakes, he was still always a loyal servant of Your Father – and the support of the Holy Church is needed by the monarchy. All of the participants of these past event long ago have now departed that world.

Regarding the new (or renewed) ministerial council, I must note that I am sure that the Prince of Belmonte would be happy to take some new duties, if Your Catholic Majesty would choose to entrust him with them, and that, say, such an old member of the Court as the Duke of Escalona would be ready to serve his Fatherland in some capacity. Possibly there would be other candidates which would bring new blood into the government..

However, the matter of the future Cabinet (as well as the future premier, for my portfolio is fully in Your hands) is up to my Sire,

Your faithful servant,
General of the Infantry Don Esteban Alonso Fitz-James y Silva,
Duke of Alba





((Public - State Newspapers))




The loss we have suffered today cannot be described in words.

The Monarch through whose genius, iron will and benevolence Spain has prospered for so many years is gone. A ruler truly chosen by Heavens, a worthy successor of such saintly Kings as Louis XI of France and St Ferdinand III of Castille, is gone. Him breathing the air of our country, Him guiding and inspiring us alone was something that led to the spiritual strength of the Spanish people. A modern Charlemagne, he ruled as if despite this cynical and greedy age, raising the banner of duty, honor and noble doings and intentions that has it seems, been forgotten for such a long time.

A Monarch, a Knight and Christian, King Carlos V has been true to His principles from the beginning of His life to its end. The only prince who refused to bow down before the Corsican usurper, the heir to the throne who defended the Holy Church from desecration during the Wars of Restoration, the King who recovered the Spanish overseas empire from its ashes, who all his life, like a true father, cared about his people, granting them lands, abolishing serfdom, selflessly helping them during each calamity.

He always kept his word, He was an epitome of justice - and because of that under His hand Spain once again gained the wide international respect. We were successful everywhere under his leadership - and how could it be different, if we had a King who ruled in accordance with the Will of the Creator?

Now the King is gone - but He has a worthy successor. His eldest son, King Carlos VI, would lead us to victory as His father did. He carries His sacred blood, His soul is full of the same virtues - and under His wise rule Spain would continue to walk the path of glory. The legacy and great inheritance of Carlos V is in good hands. Long live the King - and may the Carlist cause prevail forever.
 
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Mikkel Glahder

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Tomás de Zumallacárregui stood, looked out the window on his two youngest children, Tomás and Esther, who were playing in the snow, whilst his two oldest sons, Antonio and Miquel discussed something in the saloon. He felt happy and somewhat lucky for the family he had, and also him not dying on the battlefield. He did have a feeling that something was off; the day was too quiet and peaceful for it to be true. His wife entered the room, her face as cheeful as ever.
"There is somebody who wishes to speak with you my love." She said.
"Please let them in."
She walked back to the door, opened it, two men in black clothes walked in and she walked out and closed the white door.
The two men clad in the black bowed and moved closer.
"What do you two gentlemen?"
"We bring ill news my lord."
"And these are?" Tomás felt uneasy. And continued, "How bad could it be?"
"My lord," The first one began but hesitated so the second one continued, "My lord, his Majesty, Carlos V de Borbon has passed away."
Tomás felt a cold wind cutting against him, is face turned white and he said: "How did he die, and when?"
"We presume he died of pnenumia and it was on the 25th of November."
"Any other news? If not, you can leave."
"We bring nothing else my lord." They said and left, leaving Tomás in the room alone not feeling well. He had lost someone who stood him near, a man he had followed through what seemed like hell during the Carlist war and he blamed himself for not being in the capital. He sat down on a richly decorated chair grapped pen and paper and began to write.



To his Majesty King Carlos VI, King of Spain etc.
It is with great sorrow that I write this letter. I have just been informed about your father's unfortunant death and it is like a spear has been thrust against my heart as he was not only my king, but also a friend of mine. As you undoubtly know, your father and I have worked together for a long time since the Carlist war. Therefore, I offer my condolences and pray that his soul may recieve just and fair treatment in the kingdom of God. I hope that you and I will work as well together as I did with your father. It is a loss to the whole nation. I will pay visit to the capital and the Royal Family shortly to honour your father and your family, whilst personally offer my condolences.

~ Tomás de Zumalacárregui e Imaz, Duque de la Victoria, Conde de Bilbao y Capitán General de España