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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

cheif bearpaw

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While Aedan was currently packing up for his little journey to Valencia, he had received yet another letter. This wasn't necessarily uncommon for him, but he was a bit curious as to what this letter would hold. He opened it and examined the words written upon the paper. Another business offer? And from the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, no less. Well, he's heard of the company, but he has honestly never given them much attention, preferring to stay in his own business, especially when it has to do with other businesses, or politics, which he'd only take part in if it were of his interest. He quickly grabbed a pen and paper and replied to this letter as well.

Dear Maxime de Saint-Pierre,

I have heard of you before, yes, and I have also heard of your company. While I am rather pleased with you taking interest in my trading 'empire', I must say that, with some hesitation, I refuse this offer. I have recently been offered another business opportunity by someone else. While joining the Trans-Pyrenean trading company might be profitable, I am not sure if this offer would be in my best interest. Besides, I do not believe I belong in such a company as yours. I do not mean that offensively, I just do not feel my business would be best fit. I am sorry, but I must decline this offer.

Best regards,
Aedan O'Connery

With the letter now finally out of the way, Aedan could finish his preparations to set up a journey towards Valencia. Within a few more hours or so, he was on a boat heading towards the mainland Iberian peninsula, his destination being a small port in the province of Valencia
 
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wzhang29

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"Son of a---! I thought this king ruled with equality in mind!"

Less funding than usual? Something seems fishy about that... Sancho, or someone on friendly terms with him, must have influenced the king someway or another. Ferdinand would not tolerate this. He also heard something about a new merchant attempting a trade company...?

Another report files in.

"WHAT!?!?"

He almost immediately throws this one into the sea. Sancho had joined the Trans-Pyrenean Trade Company. Somebody was attempting to sabotage him, that was for sure. Was it Sancho himself? Or the only person Sancho is on good terms with... what was his name? Maximme de Sankt-Pißere?

<letter>
Hallo, Maxime--whatever your name was.

I am suspecting that you are involved with Alejandro Sancho, by some logic that I do not care to explain right now. In that case, desist immediately on your attempt to sabotage me and cut all ties with Sancho. My father knew the King of Aragon rules with equality in mind, but you are attempting to turn him against his ideals. The King's favor will surely turn against you and your (albeit influential) company of greed, even though it is crown-sanctioned as it is. So please, I ask again: desist from your attempt. I have nothing on Sancho; why would he have a hunch on me?

With regards,
FXL
</letter>

((Exploration plan:

-Mexico
-Panama
-Chesapeake
-Saint Lawrence
-North Sea))

((I picked Mexico and Panama already. :mad:))
 

05060403

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Hallo, Maxime--whatever your name was.

I am suspecting that you are involved with Alejandro Sancho, by some logic that I do not care to explain right now. In that case, desist immediately on your attempt to sabotage me and cut all ties with Sancho. My father knew the King of Aragon rules with equality in mind, but you are attempting to turn him against his ideals. The King's favor will surely turn against you and your (albeit influential) company of greed, even though it is crown-sanctioned as it is. So please, I ask again: desist from your attempt. I have nothing on Sancho; why would he have a hunch on me?

With regards,
FXL

To Monsieur Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker,
Of course I'm involved with Alejandro Sancho, he is my employee after all. And what do you mean that I'm trying to sabotage you?! I have done nothing! And I do not understand why you are assaulting my person. I assure you I do not have anything against you. Why would I want sabotage one of the explorers?! Your expeditions can discover many valuable goods, which will bring profit both to the Crown and my company.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, Grandmaster of Aragon

((Lol I havent even written a letter to the King about the funding. You should assume that it already happened :p))
 

wzhang29

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To Monsieur Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker,
Of course I'm involved with Alejandro Sancho, he is my employee after all. And what do you mean that I'm trying to sabotage you?! I have done nothing! And I do not understand why you are assaulting my person. I assure you I do not have anything against you. Why would I want sabotage one of the explorers?! Your expeditions can discover many valuable goods, which will bring profit both to the Crown and my company.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, Grandmaster of Aragon

((Lol I havent even written a letter to the King about the funding. You should assume that it already happened :p))
<letter>
Herr Maxime,
As I am entirely sure that I received less funding this night (and only a man as competitive as Sancho would attempt to knock his rivals down), and I know that you are a very influential man among the court (like your predecessor as Grandmaster (my father)), I felt that you must have convinced the King someway or another. I apologize in advance for any errors on my part.

With regards,
FXL
</letter>
 

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Your majesty,
I would be honoured if you could find a place for me in a foreign court as a diplomat, or as Representative to the Greeks.

- Armand Sastre

Xs93UHA.png

If you like, you may have both positions. I find it difficult to assume the duties of Representative to Byzantium when I have so many duties to attend to in Valencia.

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

((I picked Mexico and Panama already. :mad:))

((Don't worry, I have you marked down for them first. We didn't get to them in the next update anyway, as you'll see in a bit. :D))
 

Andre Massena

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"Sastre, why do you look so down?" Captain Sancho asked his new first mate.

"Nothing, sir," the boy replied.

"Is it a lover at home?" the captain asked teasingly. He remembered when he was Sastre's age...

The boy blushed. "No, just... just family, sir." He knew he was not very convincing, but Sancho would get the wrong end of the stick, he hoped.

"Ah, young love."

He could not blame the boy for daydreaming about his faraway love. The voyage was monotonous with its endless waves, poor food, and constant rocking motion of the ship. Of course monotony was good for Sancho after the debacle against the Portuguese, though he was not about to tell the crew that.

Trying to move the subject on he asked "What happened to your last first mate?"

"He died in the line of battle," Sancho awkwardly replied.

Sastre's eyes widened.

"But don't worry," Sancho assured him. "You're perfectly safe. The kingdom is at peace and we are sailing in a calm period."

Except we are travelling to lands uncharted by Europeans, Sancho thought to himself.

"Here, have some more wine, boy," the captain said as he plopped a jug into his first mate's hand.
 
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Michaelangelo

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1523-1525 – An Unexpected Surprise

Tuscany had called for aid against the Papal State and Aragon answered. Army maintenance was ramped up to full and the main fleet taken out of the mothballs. Even as this was all going on, drastic changes were occurring for trade. Grandmaster Maxime de Saint-Pierre shifted the focus of Aragon’s trade resources into the eastern Mediterranean to siphon trade away from Venice. While no one doubted the man’s skills, some questioned his intentions. With the Crown focused on the eastern Mediterranean, the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company would surely be free to dominate elsewhere.

Even with a war going on, the matter of the marriage of the King’s heir had to be dealt with. The Medici family in Florence had sent an offer to King Ferran III to marry the young Catherine de Medici ((not the historical one that married the king of France, but a made up one)) to Prince Alfons. While the idea of marrying a royal to someone who wasn’t even of noble blood was somewhat scandalous, the Medici family was influential in Tuscany and the marriage would strengthen ties with Aragon’s newest ally. The dowry that was included was an added bonus. The Court seemed to be mostly in favour of the match for various reasons. The marriage was thus arranged between Prince Alfons and Catherine de Medici.

The dowry from the heir’s marriage was soon put to good use. While the King could have hoarded the gold, he instead put it towards the betterment of the kingdom. He personally funded a shipyard in Sassari and marketplaces in Tarragona and Napoli. The kingdom would surely benefit from these.

With all those matters dealt with, there was a war to wage. King Ferran III waited until the next month to give his answer, wanting to give the army and navy time to prepare. The forts in Napoli, Girona, and Navarra were manned. Aragon was now at war.



Aragon soon found itself pressed early on in the war. The Papal army, instead of focusing on Tuscany, moved into Abruzzi first and then went on to Napoli. The army in Napoli was only half the size of the Papal one, so it was forced to retreat south or face defeat. Napoli was under siege and could not be liberated until men were shipped over from Iberia.

Over in Byzantium, the first Polish-Lithuanian troops appeared. The army in Athens was sent to aid the Greeks to help them fend off the invasion. The Polish and Lithuanians faced horrendous casualties, but Aragon did not have the manpower to spare. Every battle was going to hurt.

Over in Italy, Tuscany proved its worth as an ally by marching south and attacking the Papal army in Napoli. General Stefano von Thun coordinated with the Tuscans in a successful offensive against the Papal army, driving them from Naples. The army then marched on Rome and was later reinforced by a second army from Iberia.

Despite the victory in the Balkans, the Polish and Lithuanians had much more men to throw at their enemies. A Lithuanian army caught the Greek and Aragonese forces before they could retreat south. What followed was a humiliating retreat to Athens. It seemed that without reinforcements, Byzantium could not be defended. Victory in Italy would have to be achieved before the Greeks fell. In some good news, Genoa was attacked by Savoy, drawing some of their attention away from Tuscany’s war.



The discovery of the New World had been an exciting event. Explorers were bringing back maps and charts of new lands and people delighted at the oddities being brought back. However, when it came time to put their money where they mouth was, many failed to do so. Very few at court seemed eager to fund an expedition to this new continent, other than the elderly Andrés Iglesia y Maig y Niño who thought it was a good idea to claim land right in the middle of Castile’s colonial territory. Everyone seemed more interested in Africa, where the land could be easily reached, better defended, and there were fewer unknowns. The King decided to intercede this time. He personally called for an expedition to Alagoas, hoping that it would spark off a colonizing effort in the future.

Things in Italy were still quite turbulent. Even though Tuscany had managed to occupy all but Roma, the enemy kept on fighting. Genoa managed to sneak an army down south into Napoli. A Swiss army had made a go at Firenze, but the French had intervened. A Polish army was also in the area and went to Switzerland’s aid. The battle was much more heavily contested now. Fearing a French loss, which would greatly threaten the war effort in Italy, von Thun marched north with his army to provide aid. Losses on both sides were staggering, but the enemy was repelled for now.

It was clear by now that another army could not be dispatched to pacify Africa. The local garrison was instead instructed to take extra efforts to suppress any potential rebellions. The locals faced harsh treatment for some time, but at least they’d be kept in line.



A new trade route was developing due to a growing presence in the New World. Plantations were popping up in the Americas and slaves were needed to work those plantations. This in turn provided materials for Europe to manufacture into goods to sell to Africa, resulting in what was called the Triangle Trade.

The final army in Iberia was shipped over to Italy. An offensive against the Genoan army in Napoli was planned. The army heading over from Iberia led by General Francesc Gabriel Gerard Miquel Bernat de Loarre would launch a naval invasion just as General En Alfonso Narzis de Montcada attacked from Rome. General von Thun would be tasked with ensuring the siege of Rome continued on.

Two things soon arose to complicate matters. The Papal army tied up Tuscany’s forces, preventing reinforcements this time. The second was that the Papal navy made a suicidal attempt to block Aragon’s fleet. Both proved mere distractions at first, as the enemy was soundly defeated. Complications soon arose though as the army that was being transported over had landed in Palermo when the fleet was engaged, instead of waiting it out to land in Napoli. General de Montcada was not informed of this delay and launched the planned offensive. ((I don’t know why they landed in Palermo, but the game thought it was a good idea not to tell me even after I was committed to the attack.))

General de Montcada was outnumbered from the start. He held out, expecting reinforcements sooner rather than later, but they continued to not show. Eventually it dawned on him that the Aragonese reinforcements were not going to arrive on time. Fortunately for the general, the Tuscans had made quick work of the Papal forces and were marching south with the French. Their arrival tipped the tide of battle and saved the Aragonese army from defeat. Napoli was safe once again.

While this was all going on, the King’s colonization efforts had paid off. A small settlement was established in Alagoas, but it was far from self-sufficient. Regardless, Aragon had claimed its first piece of the New World. It even had one of its first experiences with the locals, other than the few times explorers had encountered people before. A few were spotted around the new colony. Following Explorer Alejandro Sancho’s example, they attempted to draw these strange beings in with pretty baubles. The natives seemed quite eager to trade for such things.



Attempts to transport the army that had landed in Palermo by sea met yet another setback as Genoa attempted to block it. This proved just as suicidal as the attempt by the Papal navy. The enemy naval force was all but devastated at this point.

Once that was dealt with, the army aboard the ship was shipped to Corsica. The French were already there taking the province, but it was hoped they would be willing to hand over control to Aragon if the Aragonese army was involved. This proved false, for the French decided to keep it for themselves. The army was then shipped over to Albenga.

Meanwhile, things in Byzantium seemed glum. More and more Polish and Lithuanian forces were pouring into the region. Fortunately, the Greeks had a string of three forts to keep the enemy from taking too much of the coastline and slowing them down.

May of 1524 brought a great victory as Roma fell to Aragon. King Ferran III, ever the pious one, ensured that the city was not sacked during the occupation. The Pope had fled long before, but any remaining cardinals were allowed to leave in peace or continue to reside in the city without persecution. The King also made sure that no men interfered with the Holy See itself. The cardinals were allowed to continue their holy work without interference, as long as they resided in a confined portion of the city. The Church would not be touched.

With Rome in Aragon’s hands, the rest of the army headed for Genoa. The enemy had a massive army in Firenze, but they were disorganized as they dealt with Tuscan noble rebels, which the Tuscans were surely grateful for. When Albenga fell, all three armies in the region converged on Genoa.



It was reported that in one part of the kingdom, farmers were producing more crops than elsewhere. The King ordered an investigation to find out the reason behind the increased production of crops. It turned out that the farmers in this region had adopted the use of scythes instead of sickles to harvest their crop. This discovery encouraged Steward Raffaelo Mòdena to start a program to encourage farmers across Aragon to adopt the scythe to boost production.

Even as the Aragonese armies tried to take Genoa, the Genoan army went for Rome. The navy was sent out to Athens with the intent of shipping the army there over to Genoa’s territory in Anatolia.

Across the ocean, new discoveries continued to be made. Explorer Alejandro Sanche encountered a friendly tribe in Coro that offered gifts to the exploration party they saw as “bearded gods”. There was clearly much wealth to be found in the region.

France attempted to expel the Polish from Romagna with Tuscany’s help, but the Papal army was next door. Not wanting their allies to lose, an army under General de Loarre’s command was dispatched from Genoa to intervene. The Genoans learned of such a plan and intercepted the army in Firenze. General de Montcada had to leave Genoa to intervene to ensure victory. His arrival turned out not to be necessary, for the French polished off the enemy army and then came to Aragon’s aid. Genoa would regret their decision to attack Aragon’s army now.



With the general region clear, armies returned to Genoa, although General de Montcada remained behind long enough to liberate Modena for Tuscany. Over to the east, things were looking just as grim. The Greeks had attempted to sneak into Moldavia and take Basarabia, but didn’t get far. Their defeat was inevitable. The enemy had also captured Edirne, but had abandoned the siege of Constantinople to stop the Greek army up north. At least two forts still held.

With the straits blockaded, the army shipped to Anatolia made quick work of the region. Province after province fell. A Genoan army was even encountered in Hamid and quickly dispatched.

An embarrassing story reached court of the Explorer Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker, who during his investigation of the province Candelaria, ended up indulging a bit too heavily in the local liquor. The resulting hangover was apparently quite amusing for the locals, but many back in Aragon thought it more of an embarrassment. Fortunately events that far away weren’t as damaging.

The King’s plan to convert the newly acquired African provinces started to pay off as the population of Trarza embraced the true faith. It was hoped this would quiet dissent for now.



At the start of May in 1525, some surprising news reached Aragon. The Pope had been leading the war effort and dealing with Church affairs in exile for quite some time, but most of the cardinals had remained in Rome. Thus it was a surprise to everyone when news of the Pope’s death arose. The cardinals were now tasked with picking a replacement. The election proved a contested one. The candidate from Romagna had been expected to be the next Pope before the war, but the occupation of Roma had changed things. There were many in Rome who wanted this war ended and believed that an attempt to appease Aragon would bring about a quick and fair peace. The fact that Aragon had held much influence over the Holy See before the war greatly affected the outcome. Thus, after much deliberation, the first Aragonese pope was chosen as head of the Church. Now all waited to see whether this would impact the war or not.



((Spam!))






Xs93UHA.png

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

This is a blessed day. For once, one of our countrymen leads the Holy Church. The fact that we are at war with the Papal State complicates matters. This should be a time for celebration. Perhaps now that the Pope hails from our kingdom, we can achieve that goal. We can only hope.

In another matter, I shall be assuming the role of Marshal for the moment. Our current Marshal has been too preoccupied at this time. ((I didn't get a plan the last 2-3 updates, so he's fired. Sorry.))

((Well this is an interesting situation, to say the least. We finally become papal controller and we’re at war with the Papal State. This also complicates things since we’ll now have a player as Pope. @Morgan McCloud is next in line as Pope, so he gets the position. With a player pope, it seems somewhat silly that the war should continue as is. Thus I will hold a vote. We shall vote OOC on whether or not our player pope may settle a peace as the Papal State. We’ll also vote on a new mission. As for ministry plans, they can be presented during the vote, but they aren’t mandatory this time. The only minister-related thing I require is a rival from the Chancellor. The vote will last until Friday at 9am PST and our new Pope will have until that time to respond. If he does not, he may be replaced with a more active player cardinal or I will interpret it as the cardinals having more power over the peace settlement than the Pope. Our player pope should hopefully express the peace he wants within reason (no giving all the Papal land away, etc). If everyone votes in favour of letting the player pope decide a peace, we will go with that, otherwise the war will continue as normal. Also, all exploration missions and colonisable provinces should be the same as last time, so refer to the last update for any relevant information. Start funding colonies, people! Anyway, here is the vote.

Pope settles peace?: Yes/No/Abstain
Mission: Naval Race/Improve Relations/Gharb/Abstain

FYI, Gharb is a Moroccan province and our relations with Portugal are at +4 with almost full improved relations.



Now for our pensioners:

@Artistove
@Qwerty7 (You never told me Giuseppe’s birth year, so I made it the same as Ferran II’s)

And the dying:

@NiniNunny))
 
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Idhrendur

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Your majesty,

I would suggest that we take more North African territory. Also, my family would happily take over funding for the new colony in South America, allowing you to focus your efforts elsewhere.

Long live the King!
Andrés Iglesia y Maig y Niño

(( Pope settles peace?: Yes
Mission: Gharb ))
 

cheif bearpaw

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((considering I don't know how to rolelplay this into my character, I'll just do this

Pope settles peace?: Yes
Mission: Improve relations))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Keinwyn requested to see who the current Byzantine Emperor is and his heir. The tooltip may say margrave, but use that term at your own risk. I've added in the current rulers and heirs for France, Castile, and Portugal as well, since those could be relevant too. It appears that a bastard might be the future French king judging by that heir's legitimacy. Almost tempted to put one of our Valois relatives on the throne. :D I've also included a screenshot of the trade mapmode, since 05 requested it a long time ago and I forgot. My bad. :p If anyone wants or needs any other information, feel free to ask.

))
 

wzhang29

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Ferdinand had docked at port in Argentina. Warm welcome to the natives? Yes. Warm welcome for him? Well... the natives got him to drink some fruit liquor, and he overestimated his ability to handle it. Now he was very sick and could not muster the ability to write even a word to the king. From what one of his sailors told him, the natives found this amusing, but it was a great blow to his reputation in the court. Sancho was having much better luck than he was.

((Due to the condition of my character *cough* drunk explorer *cough* I won't be voting. :p))
 
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AvatarOfKhaine

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My Liege,

As Chancellor, I would put forward Hungary as a rival.

Your Grace,

Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua and Chancellor of the Realm

(( Pope settles peace?: Yes
Mission: Conquer Gharb ))

((Landed Noble, Cortz, Chancellor))
 

alscon

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'Get up, men, we have some work to do!'
The instructions Montségur had gotten from the crown were not what he had hoped for, but better than just doing nothing of interest. 'One day, we will get to the gold of the New World, but sadly this day is not today. Yet we have an important task I am sure you will like. We have to deal with rebellious elements.' Much mumbling followed, but they shared the conquistador's feelings.

After a while of suppressing, he was overjoyed each time news from the New World arrived. Gold from Coro, liquors from Candelabria - even if that interested his men more than him - and King Ferran's intervention, the new colony in Alagoas.
'Karunga, old friend, it might be sooner rather than later! Aragon has a foothold in the New World!' He had decided to name the skull after the province he got it from, plus a -nga suffix. Because he had some bones with him, not a colony. The skull had strangely proven useful in his suppressive activities, alone and with the many new ones that hung around the land with their bodies attached.
'Though it seems that the king opts for trade... Well, it wouldn't hurt to have a living native at my side sometimes... And they are pagans, not Muslims, so there is still hope to bring them the word of God... Don't you agree, Karunga? Oh no, you were a rebel, you are much better dead than alive. Ha!'

But now, the colony was already a year old, and he still stood there beating up random Africans from time to time. Soon enough, partly thanks to him, the missionaries had finished their conversion efforts. Hopefully then they will accept the Aragonese rule. The pope among their ranks surely was a sign for more good to come. Montségur looked at the horizon.

(( Pope settles peace?: Yes
Mission: Abstain

[unlanded noble, conquistador]))
 
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Marschalk

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(( Pope settles peace?: Yes
Mission: Gharb ))

((Landed Noble, Grand Admiral))
 

05060403

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Maxime sat in his office looking through the latest reports. He felt like he couldn't achieve much more... His company was providing a steady income, but it was unable to expand much more... But he continued. After the death of Cardinal Sastre Maxime didn't stop the salt smuggling which was the base of his profits at the beginning. But Sastre's last project, the great plan about grain didn't come to life. After reading the report about Aragon's trade, he smiled to himself. He managed to improve the national income, and siphon some profit from the Venetians. Then he saw an unopened letter... It was from Aedan O'Connery... Why didn't he read it earlier? He started reading it in a good mood, but in the time he finished he felt a little bit sad. The Irishman decline his offer. Too bad, he could be a great asset for the company. Going back to reports he found one very interesting... Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker was found drunk during his exploration mission! This could be very good for Sancho. Surely after this incident he would receive less funds... Right? But it was not the right time to worry about it. More land was found in the west. A trade outpost could be valuable, but surely the only right way to India could be in the South! He had to think this through...

((Pope settles peace?: Abstain
Mission: Naval Race))

[courtier, merchant, Grandmaster, NPC merchant]
 

ML8991

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Pope settles Peace: Yes

Mission: Naval Race

Juan was most agaited, caught in rome under siege, and during conclave of all things. But when he heard news of the college electing an aragonese cardinal to head the curia, he felt the years fall off him, with only Cardinal Abate possible to take the leadership from him, he felt in good stead. But still his agitation continued. He hoped the decision can be come to quickly, or even he himself deciding the fate of the faith, now that... That would be something he whistfully thought.

Cardinal- Archbishop Juan de Soneta, sending this letter under the conclave door, along with the request for some bread to feed the many individuals inside this chamber.
 
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ML8991

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In case you can't tell mike, i will happily be your pope if Morgan is unable to return :).
 
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