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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

wzhang29

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Your majesty,
As I am not affiliated with the army in any way and so don't know how it works ((i.e. it's kind of complicated)), I have to abstain from the Military organization act. As my grandfather said before me, Corsica would act as a great naval base to attack Provence and Genoa, should we attack them. Trade and exploration are of the utmost importance at the moment, so I suggest we focus on diplomacy.

With regards,
Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker
 

Marschalk

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((Uhm, so if you become Grand Admiral you change from general to admiral, right? IG?))
 

Keinwyn

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((Private))

Every time he promised himself it would be their last, that next time they would be strong enough to resist. Yet the slightest touch, smile or even glance was enough to melt any resistance there may have been.

Both knew there would not be a happy ending. Even now, the fruit of their mutual sin was growing inside her. Soon it would swell and announce her dishonour to for all the world to see. He could not do right by her, for if he acknowledged paternity it would only multiply her shame tenfold.

A swift marriage might work, but what man would be fool enough to believe the child was his? The thought of giving his love to another twisted his innards with jealousy. As selfish as it was, he knew he could not do it.

Perhaps it would be for the best if they just acknowledged it and accepted their just punishment. They would surely face the fires of hell in the next life, they may as well love to the fullest in this. Ah but the child, why must the child suffer? Could he find redemption, at least for the child?

O Lord, what have I done! Armand cradled his head in his hands.

---

Seven months later, a convent somewhere in Aragon.

For this one moment his life felt whole. On the bed, his love cooed over their child, a tiny, helpless bundle oblivious to the sin he had been born in. In Armand’s arms the boy’s twin slept, occasionally stirring.

He met his sister’s gaze and they silently shared a moment of bliss. She had already informed him of her intent to take vows, and he hoped she could find her peace with God.

What of himself? He was married now to a woman twice his age whose name he could barely remember, let alone her face. Trust his brother to find opportunity in despair, he had found a wealthy widow to play the role of mother to his children.

He needed to find his own peace with God, he could not trust himself to stay out of sin when near his sister, broken sinner that he was he could not be an example to his children. Nor did he find married life appetising. What then?

Perhaps his elder sister's father-in-law could find something.


A letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre

Sir,

I hope this letter finds you in good health, and that María and her family are well.

I write to you with a selfish request. Whilst recent events have been kind to me with the gift of two wonderful children, I feel a spiritual emptiness that I cannot fill. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot find solace in Aragon and must go out and search for God’s grace in the world, however far it may be. If one such as yourself could use your influence to find a place for me in the expeditions heading west I would be eternally grateful.

yours faithfully in God,
Armand Sastre


((@Michaelangelo I am asking to be an conquistador, preferably seeking the seven cities. If someone is already doing that, can Armand tag along with that expedition?))
 
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05060403

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Sir,

I hope this letter finds you in good health, and that María and her family are well.

I write to you with a selfish request. Whilst recent events have been kind to me with the gift of two wonderful children, I feel a spiritual emptiness that I cannot fill. I have come to the conclusion that I cannot find solace in Aragon and must go out and search for God’s grace in the world, however far it may be. If one such as yourself could use your influence to find a place for me in the expeditions heading west I would be eternally grateful.

yours faithfully in God,
Armand Sastre

To Armand Sastre

While I cannot promise you anything, I will try to do what I can. Your father was truly a great man, and a wonderful friend. I will try to inform the King about your intentions, and if he doesn't accept them, I'm certain that I might be able to find some extra room on one of company's transports. I will also speak with Alejandro Sancho, a great explorer. This is the least I can do the repay your father.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon


To Alejandro Sancho

Sir,
At the beginning I wish to congratulate you for your success in Africa, and for your great discoveries. The King is very luck to have you serving him, and I'm proud to call you my employee. But that name doesn't fit you, especially after your accomplishments. That is why I'm proposing to you a seat on the company's council. While it may seem that it will limit your possibilities to explore I assure you that I have though this through many times. But I will still understand if you decline. I also have a small request. I ask of you, that you take a man called Armand Sastre on few of your voyages. This man is eager to explore the unknown, and I believe you are the best person to help him with it.
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon
 

Michaelangelo

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((Uhm, so if you become Grand Admiral you change from general to admiral, right? IG?))

((Nope, the Council positions are completely unrelated from any in-game envoys or leaders. Anyone can take any of the positions, except the Court Chaplain must be clergy and the Chancellor should be someone with access to the game or active on Coldfront.))

((@Michaelangelo I am asking to be an conquistador, preferably seeking the seven cities. If someone is already doing that, can Armand tag along with that expedition?))

((Well we have two already and I'm not sure we can afford to raise three separate armies for three conquistadors. We'll have to see how things go before I consider adding more.))
 

AvatarOfKhaine

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My Liege,

I humbly request to serve you in the capacity of the position of Chancellor and hope that you allow me to relieve you of this great strain on you and the royal family and allow you and your family more time to concentrate on other aspects of the safety and organisation of the realm.

Your Grace,
Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua
 

Marschalk

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Moncada-Spain.jpg


((Michaelangelo - Private)

To Ferran III, of House Trastamara, the King of Aragon and Protector of the Greeks

My liege,

Having led the royal armies back to our kingdom, I am ready to continue the service to Your Majesty. While I desire to continue defending the interests of my King on the field of battle, I believe that I can be of use at peacetime as well. Hearing that the office of the Grand Admiral of Aragon has been vacant for some time, I offer to serve in that capacity and promise to do my best to develop the naval power of our great country.

I express my eternal loyalty,
En Alfonso Narzis de Montcada, Conde of Girona

The Military Organization Act: Si
Mission: Manpower
National Focus: Admin


[landed noble - Count, general ]
 

Michaelangelo

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My Liege,

I humbly request to serve you in the capacity of the position of Chancellor and hope that you allow me to relieve you of this great strain on you and the royal family and allow you and your family more time to concentrate on other aspects of the safety and organisation of the realm.

Your Grace,
Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua

Moncada-Spain.jpg


((Michaelangelo - Private)

To Ferran III, of House Trastamara, the King of Aragon and Protector of the Greeks

My liege,

Having led the royal armies back to our kingdom, I am ready to continue the service to Your Majesty. While I desire to continue defending the interests of my King on the field of battle, I believe that I can be of use at peacetime as well. Hearing that the office of the Grand Admiral of Aragon has been vacant for some time, I offer to serve in that capacity and promise to do my best to develop the naval power of our great country.

I express my eternal loyalty,
En Alfonso Narzis de Montcada, Conde of Girona

The Military Organization Act: Si
Mission: Manpower
National Focus: Admin


[landed noble - Count, general ]

Xs93UHA.png

I shall gladly accept both of you on my Council. Your services will not be needed until next time I address the court though, for I have already formed plans for both ministries.

- His Majesty, Ferran III de Trastámara, King of Aragon and Protector of the Greeks
 

Andre Massena

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"Look down, look down, don't look 'em in the eye.
Look down, look down, you're here until you die."

His back hurt, his arms were about to fall off, and he had to shit. Why was he singing? He didn't know, he was just following the lead of the other prisoners.

For the last two weeks, he was a slave on the island of Madeira. It was a beautiful island but his existence was far from beautiful. His Portuguese overseers forced the prisoners (a combination of Aragonians, Africans, and Mohammedans) to dig into the day and night. Dig, dig, dig. Dig until you die. Those that did fall over from exhaustion were just buried in the ground without a thought.

Alejandro was at the end of his rope. He felt like he could dig no longer. He was just skin and bones after months of hard travel at sea, weeks on the bottom of a Portuguese galleon with little food, water, and light, and weeks of digging.

But then on the morning of 22 February, he heard cannon-fire. He was saved: the Aragonian fleet had arrived. They had caught the Portuguese off the island and completely destroyed the fleet. A small army from Aragon landed and he identified himself as Captain Sancho.

"Captain Sancho? The captain Sancho?" A young knight asked.

"Yes, that is me," apparently his reputation had spread far and wide. The stableboys did not even know who he was before he left.

"We heard rumors that you were dead and that your whole fleet was destroyed. The kingdom prayed for your soul."

Alejandro barely refrained from making a joke about Jesus. Just Barely.

In a few months, he returned home to Aragon and was greeted like a returning hero back on the docks of Valencia. He at least looked a little bit like a hero now that he put pounds back on his flesh and trimmed his ungainly beard. Alejandro enjoyed his time back in the city and was the recipient of much free food, booze, and women. He hoped they would forget that his expedition was a complete debacle.

But there was still a hole in his heart. He had not fulfilled the goals of his expedition and discovered the western waters. Should he try again? Should he risk the lives of hundreds of young men, as well as his own?
 
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To Alejandro Sancho
Sir,
At the beginning I wish to congratulate you for your success in Africa, and for your great discoveries. The King is very luck to have you serving him, and I'm proud to call you my employee. But that name doesn't fit you, especially after your accomplishments. That is why I'm proposing to you a seat on the company's council. While it may seem that it will limit your possibilities to explore I assure you that I have though this through many times. But I will still understand if you decline. I also have a small request. I ask of you, that you take a man called Armand Sastre on few of your voyages. This man is eager to explore the unknown, and I believe you are the best person to help him with it.
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon

Alejandro shrugs

Fine.
 

Von Habsburg

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The Military Organization Act: No
Mission:Papal Controller
National Focus: Admin
 

Morgan McCloud

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3eKSocD.png

To the Court,

There are many issues to consider. The practice and study of warfare is in no way the realm of the clergy, so on these issues I must abstain as usual. However, while our position within the Sacred College of Cardinals is of my concern, the welfare of our nation is, and has always been, my first priority. Therefore, I urge the court and Your Majesty to focus on recovering the reserves of manpower within the Kingdom. The wars with Castile and in Africa have depleted our resources and have deprived many families of sons and brothers. Without the support of the masses we cannot properly defend and administrate the realm.

God Bless,

Cardinal Abate
Court Chaplin of Aragon
Archbishop of Palermo

((The Military Organization Act: Abstain
Mission: Manpower
National Focus: Admin))
[Cardinal, Court Chaplin]
 

Andre Massena

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Your Majesty,

I would like to lead another expedition to the west. Now that war is over we should be able to discover these unknown lands without interference. Mahal so we shall discover a new route to India or discover new lands for the kingdom.

-Alejandro Sancho

((Exploration plan:

-Coast of Brazil
-Waters of Brazil
-Waters of Amazonas))
 

Michaelangelo

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1519-1523 – Westward, ho!

With the defeat of Castile and the acquisition of large stretches of land on the western coast of Africa, the Aragonese economy was flourishing. Using his influence in West Africa as the head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, Maxime de Saint-Pierre ensured that all the valuable trade goods in the region made their way back to Aragon. Valuable ivory, and the occasional slave, was shipped to Aragon and then sold across Europe. Aragon had a dominant position in the region for now.

The loss of men during the recent war was still fresh in people’s mind. A general commitment around court was made to let the population recover before more men were sent off to fight for their king. It was estimated that the army was 16k under strength and that the kingdom should have nearly 40k in reserve. The kingdom had a long way to go.

The Castilians did not take long to try to undermine Aragon from within. A spy was caught in Granada trying to lay claim to the province. The attempt was laughable, for Castile had little to no chance of ever taking it now.

Down in Africa, the natives of Karou were quite restless. They rose up and attacked the mercenary army stationed in the province. Their weapons and tactics were no match for the superior mercenaries. Half the natives were slaughtered and the rest scattered into the wilderness. To keep the natives in order, the King arranged to hire two more mercenary regiments to be sent down to Karou. He also accepted the service of a conquistador, Denis Philippe de Montségur, to lead the mercenaries to pacify the population. The man seemed more interested in exploring new lands, but the King stated he would not waste men on exploration as long as Africa remained rebellious.



In matters of foreign affairs, an alliance was signed with Bohemia, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Bohemia was facing a tenuous position in regards to the Empire. Austria and Hungary had grown quite large and an alliance between the two threatened Bohemia. Then there were the incursions by the Polish into the Empire from the northeast. An alliance with Aragon seemed a good counterbalance. The earlier marriage between Little Ferran and Princess Anna of Bohemia certainly helped seal the deal.

Far to the west, Explorer Alejandro Sancho was finally getting his chance to discover new lands. Now no longer at war with the Portuguese, he was able to chart the waters off a new continent without interference. He even attempted a few landings, and in one instance encountered a barbaric tribe of people who may have been the “gorillae” discovered by another explorer. He attempted to offer them some baubles to calm them and met with some success. His journey had revealed much of what some called Brazil. What other wondrous things would he find next?



When Sancho returned to Aragon to re-supply, the King granted the explorer Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker the chance to explore the waters of Safi, which took but a few months. When he returned, the King requested that Sancho then explore the waters near Sevilla to ensure the Portuguese did not have more islands nearby to threaten Aragon.

Another three barques were put under construction so that two exploration fleets could be sent out at once. At the same time, all the galleys in the navy and the one early carrack were mothballed until such a time as war seemed likely.

The excitement of discovering new lands was starting to get to the court. Many felt a celebration was necessary for such an occasion. The King decided to fulfill their wish and hold a grand ball at the palace. It was a joyful event, and perhaps a distraction as Venice made another go at Serbia.



In October of 1520, the three barques were complete and ready to sail the unknown waters of the New World. King Ferran III granted command of the ships to Explorer Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker so that he could chart the waters south of the region known as Brazil. This new continent seemed vast, but surely India must just be beyond it?

The extra mercenaries finally arrived in Karou and launched an offensive against the hostile natives before they could strike again. Conquistador Denis Philippe de Montségur led the successful attack, pacifying the natives for good.

With the need for sturdier ships to brave the Atlantic Ocean, much thought and money had gone into designing better ships. Eventually the brightest naval minds in Aragon devised the carrack and caravel design for ships. These ships were much better at sailing against the wind, making them much more manoeuvrable. With these new designs, the King wanted to ensure the navy was as up to date as possible. A call was made to update all outdated ships in the navy, starting with the single barque escorting the transport fleet. The rest would come later when funds were available.



With the native threat in Karou gone, the mercenaries were shipped a bit north to garrison colonies taken from Castile and Portugal that had once belonged to Jolof. A rebellion was feared, so armed forces were needed in the area. Despite this, the army’s funding was cut for the time being. A rebellion wasn’t expected too soon, so cutting costs couldn’t hurt. At least Sierra Leone was quiet for now, having accepted Aragonese rule.

The kingdoms of Eastern Europe continued to expand at an alarming rate. The latest was Poland, who had extended into the Baltic and was threatening the Empire. With Lithuania still on a leash, they were a formidable power.

Attempts to keep the Castilian population in line were going very well. Aragon’s control of Iberia was practically uncontested at this point and they had the power to keep the Castilians down.



King Ferran III’s pious nature was becoming well-known and drawing attention from Catholics worldwide. A member of a holy order even offered his services to the court. Many were surprised that instead of hiring him, the King used the remaining funds in the treasury to upgrade the navy’s sole heavy ship.

Alejandro Sancho returned in January of 1521 with a report that the waters just beyond Iberia did not possess any islands other than the Azores. It would seem that there was nothing but water directly west. With that mission done, Sancho’s request to return to Brazil and explore further up the coast was granted. The Portuguese who had attacked him had come from that direction, so it seemed logical that they had their colonies that way. It would not hurt to know exactly where they were.

The expansion of the navy continued with four more caravels to form a second trade fleet. Even as the navy expanded, Aragon’s oldest enemy, Castile, took a blow and Morocco became that much more of a threat. Morocco had successfully kicked Portugal out of Africa and nabbed the Canaries. The independence of Galicia was an added surprise. Castile had been humbled. In a surprising move, they attempted to normalize relations with Aragon. In an even more surprising move, King Ferran III agreed. The King stated that while perhaps relations with Castile would never be positive, it would be sinful to continue such an aggressive policy against them while the heathens expanded at their expense.



As previous monarchs had done before, Ferran III took the extra effort to further develop the provinces of Aragon. Funding was put into boosting the productive capabilities of Cuenca, while recruitment centres were established in Rioja, Cagliari, and Sassari. It was hoped that the efforts in the last two would allow for a functioning naval base. ((I want to boost development to build a shipyard in those two provinces. Sassari is now available, but Cagliari needs more work.))

In November of 1521, the second trade fleet was finished and sent out to the Ivory Coast to bring the wealth of Africa to Aragon. Meanwhile, Austria expanded at Augsburg’s expense, completely encircling Salzburg and Bavaria’s capital.

Sancho returned in May, having explored the coast northwest of the original area he explored. His venture had revealed much, including the colonies of both Castile and Portugal. The mysterious Portuguese Colombia was even found. Invading their colonies was now a real possibility in the result of war. Upon his return, Sancho petitioned the King to explore even further west. The entirety of the continent must be revealed.



Venice finished their war with Serbia, taking yet another small piece. Poor Serbia continued to be victimized and yet kept holding on. And as they were eaten away, Byzantium became more and more threatened.

In June of 1522, the decision was made to send a missionary to Cayor, one of the more troublesome African provinces. If the locals could be converted, they could better be kept in line. The problem was that the conversion efforts would surely raise hostility. A month later, the same decision was made for Trarza. The Inquisition put its full might into this effort.



In an attempt to ensure Aragon maintained its trade dominance in the western Mediterranean, the trade fleet operating out of Sevilla was upgraded in its entirety, a costly but worthwhile initiative. The money brought in by the TPTC from Africa was a clear sign of the value of such trade. Despite that, not every merchant was successful. One Aragonese merchant went bankrupt, but the Crown did not want its trade threatened. A loan was offered to the merchant to help him get back onto his feet. If Aragon did not support its merchants, how could it expect to benefit from the wealth they brought in?

As efforts were made to develop the port of Vizcaya, the Mamluks were facing problems. Unlike Aragon, the Mamluks had not done as well maintaining their expansive growth. They were paying for it now, not that anyone in Aragon was upset about it.



In November of 1522, Lübecker returned from exploring the region called Rio de la Plata. The new continent extended far to the south and seemed to go on forever. An island was even found far from the coast. When he returned to court, the King requested he continue exploring further south to see if a way around this continent could even be found. Perhaps it extended all the way to the end of the world.

Naval expansion continued on at home. Two carracks were placed under construction. With the increased naval presence needed outside the Mediterranean, ships bigger and better than galleys were needed to defend Aragon’s interests.

Even during peace time, generals weren’t safe from harm. While cleaning his gun after a training exercise, General Jean Charles de Fidèlle accidentally shot himself. The man survived the wound, but would never lead an army again. General Stefano von Thun had to be recalled from Greece to take up command of the Neapolitan army.

February of 1523 brought some troubling news. Tuscany had declared war on the Pope and had called on Aragon for assistance. France had already honoured their alliance with Tuscany, while Poland, Switzerland, and Genoa were aiding the Pope. The last one was of particular note. Genoa was involved in the war without Austria or Hungary to back them up. Still, it was the Pope and the King in good conscience could not declare war himself. The court would have to be consulted over the matter.



((Spam. I’ve included a screenshot of potential rivals so our Chancellor can pick one, since we have a free slot. I'm thinking I should start putting these in spoilers.))


((I shall now include all the provinces that can be colonized. It should be noted that everything west of the Amazon is in either the same region as Castile or Portugal, and I believe we get penalized for colonizing in the same region as another Catholic nation. I’d recommend sticking to Brazil, which is unclaimed for now.))






Xs93UHA.png

Presenting His Majesty, Ferran III de Trastámara, King of Aragon and Protector of the Greeks.

I must admit, I am most conflicted at the moment. Our allies, the Tuscans, ask us to aid them in war, but that would require us to fight the PapalState. To go to war with the HolyChurch is not a decision we can take lightly. It is true that in the past, the Holy Father has perhaps shown a lack of compassion for Aragon as he eyes up our land, but he is still head of the Church. Yet Genoa fights alongside the PapalState, an opportunity we cannot surely miss. My honour requires me to aid my ally, but my faith tells me to not dare oppose the HolyChurch. I believe it is best that I let the court decide such matters. I am not of the right mind to do so. Take time to discuss the matter amongst each other before we deliberate to make a final decision.

Before the war was officially declared by Tuscany, I received an offer from the Medici family within Florence. The Medicis own one of the wealthiest banks in Europe and have great influence in Tuscan politics. It would seem that they aspire to sit amongst the royalty of Europe for they have sent an offer to marry their daughter to my eldest son Alfons. Many might consider a union between one of royal blood and one without quite scandalous, but Tuscany, and thus the Medicis, is our ally. They have also offered a sizeable dowry for such a match. I shall contemplate this for some more time before bringing it before the court in an official matter. ((I intend to make this a special event for the vote.))

((Ministers have until Saturday at 9am PST to present their plans. Anyone should feel free to pick provinces for colonization if you want to back them. I forgot to take screenshots for exploration missions, so I shall do that later.

Pension time! Time to pass Go and collect $200 for these people:

@GameHunter5303
@strategymad3500
@Luftwafer
@RyuDrago
@Emilersej

And as for our dying:

@fedzel
@01smito01
@Egil4950))
 
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zenphoenix

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Your Highness,

I apologize for not appearing in court as frequently as my brother had. I have been quite busy practicing my fencing and shooting skills in preparation for venturing into savage lands.
That being said, I have heard rumors of some "Seven Cities of Gold" deep in the newly discovered land of Brazil. Finding these cities, should they exist, would bring much prestige (and gold, of course) to Aragon. In addition, some coming back from the New World have heard tales of a Fountain of Youth which would grant eternal youth to those who drink from it. If Your Majesty ever considers launching an expedition to find any of the Seven Cities or the Fountain of Youth, I would be glad to lead it.

~Juan Ponce de Leon

((I'm wondering if we could send one or both conquistadors to do the "Hunt for the Seven Cities" in Brazil. And what should we do if we find the Fountain of Youth? Modify Ferran's age to make him immortal? Or would that be going too far?))
 
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delpiero1234

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((I'm wondering if we could send one or both conquistadors to do the "Hunt for the Seven Cities" in Brazil. And what should we do if we find the Fountain of Youth? Modify Ferran's age to make him immortal? Or would that be going too far?))
((Read the event text for the fountain of youth when you discover it and you notice that the water does not make immortal, yes even when you successfully discover it. So in my opinion making Ferran (and thereby anybody else who drank the water) immortal seems like a ridiculous idea.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((I'm wondering if we could send one or both conquistadors to do the "Hunt for the Seven Cities" in Brazil. And what should we do if we find the Fountain of Youth? Modify Ferran's age to make him immortal? Or would that be going too far?))

((I think an immortal king might be too far. As for the conquistadors, as I said in the update, I won't be sending them out until our provinces in Africa aren't at risk of rebelling. Might be difficult to set aside two armies for exploring without them being very small or pulling men away from Europe, but I'll try.))
 

Idhrendur

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Your majesty,

It appears my previous offer to send settlers to St. Helena was premature, as we would not be able to support a colony at that range. Instead, I would sponsor one in Muturu, to control the access to the great river there.

Long live the King!
Andrés Iglesia y Maig y Niño