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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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1534-1536 – Punching Bag

As Aragon geared up for war, some changes had to be made. The kingdom had focused so much on expanding its navy, spreading the faith, and exploring new lands that the army was somewhat neglected. Many expressed a desire to see the army see some attention, for it was what won wars after all and protected the kingdom. The first step to improve the quality of the army was a reworking of the chain of command, working off of earlier reforms. Men could now more often find themselves promoted for merit to ensure the best and brightest held the higher roles.

The stage was finally set and the army was ready to move into action. A declaration of war was sent to Castile. They would face the wrath of Aragon yet again, and Portugal had made the mistake of joining the call and brought along their puppet Galicia. It was Aragon against all the other Iberian powers now.



In the New World, Conquistadors Denis Philippe de Montségur and Miguel de Leon had been hiding in the jungle south of Castile’s colonies, waiting to strike. When word reached them that war was declared, they moved north into Castile’s undefended colonies.

The armies in Iberia launched into action immediately. General Francesc Gabriel Gerard Miquel Bernat de Loarre headed for Alentejo with his 10k men, while a second army went for Algarve. General En Alfonso Narzis de Montcada headed for Madrid, with General Stefano von Thun on his way to secure the coast by stopping at Burgos first.

It didn’t take long for the first success. Half the Castilian colonies were occupied in little over a month. Algarve and Madrid took little time to fall either, followed shortly by Burgos and Alentejo. General Montcada had to face an enemy army while moving in the capital of Castilla La Vieja, but the force was an embarrassment. The entire army was eliminated with littler under a hundred Aragonese casualties.

The real challenge came when an army of Portuguese and Galicians intercepted an Aragonese army by accident. Aragonese scouts had reported that the enemy army had been heading for Toledo and the Aragonese general in charge had decided to sneak behind them to get to Caceres. What they hadn’t anticipated was the enemy army stopping its march short to rest. The Aragonese force ran right into the larger enemy army. The armies in Lisboa and Castilla La Vieja were immediately recalled to help. Their arrival proved timely and ultimately prevented a rout. The unnamed general responsible mysteriously disappeared after that debacle. ((The tooltip literally said I’d arrive in Badajoz the day after they reached Toledo. :rolleyes:))

Over in the HRE, Bohemia decided to expand at Bavaria’s expense. King Ferran III was just glad that Bohemia had not called in Aragon. They did not need a distraction at this moment.



Castile’s colonies were all but conquered by now. When Muturu fell, the decision was made to seize the fledgling colony. The population had been reduced to almost nothing after Castile’s bankruptcy and it was not hard to simply take over. If Castile wanted to dispute this land grab, they could well try. Colonist Miguel Villanova was even recalled from St. Helena to ensure the stolen colony did not collapse entirely. At least that was what his goal was in public. Secretly, he was tasked with gaining the people’s loyalty and bringing in Aragonese loyalists to sway the population.

After the Battle of Badajoz, the army spread out into Castile without interference. French troops had arrived in the thousands and were providing whatever aid they could. By February of 1535, Castilla La Vieja was occupied and the last Castilian resistance was gone. The army swarmed into Galicia and some onto Portugal.

Even with Castile’s colonies now under occupation and Muturu in Aragon’s hands, the native population was not pleased. They rose up in revolt and the two conquistadors had to put them down. With that dealt with, the conquistadors could march through the wilderness to Portuguese Colombia.



The French faced off against the Portuguese and Galician armies that had been trouble earlier and had no problem eliminating the threat entirely.

April brought more trouble as even more native rose up in Muturu. Conquistador Miguel de Leon had to march back to deal with the threat before the stolen colony was destroyed.

Portugal put up as much resistance as Castile as an army was wiped out outside Lisboa. Half their country was already occupied and the rest under siege. Their straggler armies were picked off one by one.



Conquistador Leon finally reached Muturu in May and crushed the natives before the colony was lost. A few days later and he would have failed. Wanting to ensure no further trouble, he ordered the native population slaughtered or run off. There would be no more native rebellions. While handling that threat, an army from Portuguese Colombia had snuck through unexplored land. Even while Montségur was capturing land in Colombia, the enemy was making a move to liberate Castile’s colonies. Leon had to intervene. The enemy was tougher than the natives, but not tough enough to win. They were forced out of the Castilian colonies.

While war was being waged, Explorer Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker was continuing his exploration as though nothing was going on back in Iberia. He had managed to map most of the east coast of Africa before returning to Fernando Po. It was there that he received word of the war and that he would not be permitted to explore until the conflict ended.



By the start of June, only Lisboa and Galicia held out in Iberia. The enemy force had been eliminated and nothing could stand in the way of victory. King Ferran III even ordered that all forts in Iberia be mothballed to cut down on expenses. Having to maintain the newly taken Muturu was putting much more strain on the treasury.

On July 15 of 1535, Emperor Theodoros III Palaiologo of Byzantium passed away. In unprecedented action, King Ferran III sailed to Constantinople to attend the funeral in person. It was there that Representative Armand Antonio Sastre informed the King that the new emperor, Andronikos V Palaiologos, had no heir. What would become of the imperial throne was uncertain if he passed away.

Colonist Villanova’s mission in Muturu did not take long. After Leon had removed the hostile natives and Aragonese money started flowing into the colony, it did not take long to earn the population’s loyalty. They were true Aragonese citizens now. With that done, Villanova was recalled and sent to the colony in Karou. Its growth was proving too slow and needed to be pushed along.

Galicia fell in August and the armies in the province were to be sent back to their original stations. The first army under General Stefano von Thun was sent back to Naples. During the trip, the General received word from the King that he was being forced into retirement at the conclusion of the war. The duke was almost in his 90s and allowing him to continue serving in the army was not entirely wise. He was of course granted a sizeable pension and rewarded generously for his long years of service.

While moving up through Portuguese Colombia, Conquistador Montségur ran into the enemy force. They were not expecting an attack and were easily wiped out.



Over in the east, Lithuania asserted it dominance over the hordes and proved it didn’t need Poland watching over it.

King Ferran III was known for his piety, but sometimes that got on the nerves of those who wished solely to talk matters of state. In a recent trip to a foreign capital, his advisors spoke to him about avoiding his habit of trying to pray with other leaders. He took that advice for once.

With only Lisboa left, a second army was shipped down to Africa, since its services were no longer needed.

Bohemia had won its war with Bavaria, expanding ever so slightly.



In January of 1536, Lisboa finally fell. Portugal’s navy was forced from port and broke against the might of the Aragonese fleet. With them crushed in Iberia, a peace could finally settled. In an attempt to weaken Portugal’s influence in the Atlantic and better protect the route to the New World, King Ferran III demanded the Azores and Madeira from them. Galicia was granted its freedom. All claims and alliances were to be renounced, and a hefty war reparation taken. Portugal would think twice before siding with Castile again.

With the waters between Europe and the New World secure again and several colonies under occupation, the desire by the population to settle in these new lands was increasing. Settlers were appearing in the colonies in greater numbers, a great boon to their growth to be sure.



With Portugal out of the war, Castile was entirely at Aragon’s mercy. Chancellor Jaume Limmona, who had called for the war in the first place, wanted to ensure that Castile could easily be crushed again so that Aragon could control all of Iberia in the future. The desire to expand Aragon’s colonial presence at the expense of Castile was strong throughout court. Thus Castile was forced to hand over all four of its remaining colonial provinces, as well as their remaining coastline and southern provinces. War reparations were taken yet again to help keep the economy afloat with multiple colonial efforts underway. Castile would not be contesting Aragon’s might again.

Attempts to administer to the new land proved difficult. Resources were not available to handle everything, so Madrid, Caceres, and Asturias would have to wait while the colonies and the more outlying islands and provinces were brought under control.

There was also the matter of Morocco. Aragon, as it had done many times before, had yet again eclipsed its rival. Considering Morocco a threat seemed pathetic. The embargo was even called off with it not being worth the effort. There seemed to be few powers that were any threat at all.



That transition back to peace was gradual. The remaining two armies were stationed back in Aragon and the main fleet mothballed. Others elsewhere were also experiencing peace too, if not by choice. Tuscany found itself a victim of Provence. What made this peace most interesting was that Tuscany was forced to end all its alliances except with Aragon. Rumours arose around court of a chance to backstab the Tuscans and declare war in revenge for the Pope. France had also managed to vassalize Luxembourg, although that news was of lesser importance.

What would be of importance was France’s call to arms that reached Aragon in July of 1536. France had had enough of Provence’s expansion in its own backyard and had decided to act. War was declared on Provence, with England, Lucca, and Liege coming to their aid. Provence was already at war with Savoy and Hungary and was winning. It was hard to imagine them fending off France though. King Ferran personally favoured this war to aid France after all the help they had given Aragon. For once the army was not depleted or in a state of weakness. This could also be a chance for Aragon to push its claims on Provence proper, if given the option. But first the court would have to be consulted.








Xs93UHA.png

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

We have won yet another victory against the Castilians and Portuguese. The idea that someday Aragon may control all of Iberia does not seem so impossible now. But while we may celebrate our victory, the French have need of us. Our relations with Provence have been tenuous at best. It is no secret that designs on their land have been made over the decades, but nothing ever came of it. The fact that France allowed Provence to possess so much land surprises me. Now it is time that the threat is dealt with. However, since we just waged a war, it is perhaps wise to consult you all first. I wish to discuss the call to arms before we choose to accept.


((We’ll be voting on the call to arms after the ministers’ plans come in. I will be accepting those until Wednesday at 9am PST. I will require the Chancellor to pick yet another rival, otherwise I will do so myself. It’s getting tiresome having to pick new ones all the time. :p Also, the Marshal is hereby fired for not posting any plans for two weeks in a row. From now on can people only request these positions if they intend to post plans. I’d consider the same for the Court Chaplain, but that role isn’t that pivotal and we don’t have many clergy to assume the role. If any other clergy want it, just ask. May as well mention that there are no available exploration missions except for circumnavigating the globe.

Pensioners:

@Idhrendur
@naxhi24))
 
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a96e564d3d430d8bd7f7789c5a41e9c1.jpg

Duque Tomas III B.X. Etxeto, c. 1554

Name: Duque Tomas III Bartolo Ximon Etxeto de Navarra
Date of Birth: 1 June 1512
Class: Landed Noble (Navarre)
Religion: Catholic

- - - - - - - - - - -

Etxeto-arms.gif

Coat of Arms of the Etxeto
It is my sad duty to announce that my father, the late Duke of Navarre, has past into the hands of the Lord. Aged two score and fourteen years, he will be missed. However as his son and heir, I, Tomas Bartolo Ximon Etxeto, Third of that Name, take his place as Duke of Navarre and all the other titles and responsibilities of said title.
 
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Letter to Duke Tomas Etxeto of Navarra

My Dear Duke,
I pray this missive finds you in health. It is with great sadness that I learn of your loss, fathers may be destined to precede their sons to the Lords side but that makes it none the easier. However at such times we can find solace in the rest of the family they leave behind, in that vein I would like to propose a union between our houses, with a betrothal between Senorita Arias Juanita Etxeto and my son, Manuel Alonso Fernan.

Yours faithfully,
Armaud Antonio Sastre,
Count of Urgell.
 

Andre Massena

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War had proven to be a blessing to Alejandro Sancho. It had been too long since he last commanded war galleys. He was a little rusty but he still loved the rush of battle and the near-brushes with death. True, it was nothing next to exploring the mysterious lands of the west but it was something.

Unfortunately, there was only one major naval battle with Portugal, which Aragon easily won. That meant that Sancho and his small squadron of ships spent most of the time blockading.

But what now? Demand for explorers had dropped sharply. There clearly was no Northwest Passage and most of the lands in the great western continent had been discovered. He could return to the merchant work of his young adulthood. But that would not do. Alejandro was the most famous explorer in the world. Crowds cheered him when he passed in the street (at least he thought they did). He could not be a lowly merchant.

There were no more lands left to explore. Or were there? Sancho had an idea that had been steadily gnawing at him for years. He had sailed along the coast of the new western continent for decades, discovered new lands and peoples, saw cities of gold and ice. But he was not the first explorer to do so, even if he was the greatest. Besides, the New World was becoming Aragon's backyard anyway.

What if he was to go where no man had ever gone before? What if he was to do something unrivaled in the history of man? It might be foolhardy, sure. It may even be suicidal, but Sancho would gladly die on the sea. It might be hard to convince a crew, but he had gained many loyal men from the last expedition and from the war.

What if Captain Alejandro Sancho was to circumnavigate the globe?

((Explorer mission: circumnavigate the globe or die trying))


To the court,

It has been too long since I have blessed you all with my presence. Some of you I do not even know! I am glad to see that the realm has prospered in my many years of exploring. I am sure it is in no small part due to my efforts to establish our kingdom in this New World!

I believe we should heed France's call and aid them in their war. France has helped us many times and it is only fair we help them. Besides, Provence is a menace to our Mediterranean trade and it would benefit us to weaken them.

-Alejandro Sancho
 
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to all the nobles
would you support a war along with Byzantium to conquer genoa lands?

jose de la costa

Xs93UHA.png

It seems foolish to even consider such a war when we just finished one with Castile and the French are calling us into another. If we wage war non-stop, surely God will punish us for such bloodlust. Let us contemplate a period of peace once we consider what to do about France's call to arms. Byzantium has survived for centuries, so surely a few more years of waiting to reclaim parts of Anatolia will not be too difficult to accomplish.

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

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My Liege,

In the matter of rivals I leave this to your judgement.

May I also inquire into your records on the state of our lands (( What is our total development ? ))

Your Grace,

Jaume Limmona
 

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((Private letter to Ferran III de Trastámara @Michaelangelo))
Your majesty Ferran III de Trastámara,
I want to congratulate you with the victory over the Castillians, and I am pleased to hear that we conquered the Castillian colonies. I also heard that you are having difficulties keeping the colonies under control. That's why I ask you if you could give the task of administrating the newly achieved colonies to the ATC, and in return we shall give you our colonial products for free whenever you desire.

- Ferdinant de Almeria, head of the Atlantic Trade Company.
 

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Letter to Duke Tomas Etxeto of Navarra

My Dear Duke,
I pray this missive finds you in health. It is with great sadness that I learn of your loss, fathers may be destined to precede their sons to the Lords side but that makes it none the easier. However at such times we can find solace in the rest of the family they leave behind, in that vein I would like to propose a union between our houses, with a betrothal between Senorita Arias Juanita Etxeto and my son, Manuel Alonso Fernan.

Yours faithfully,
Armaud Antonio Sastre,
Count of Urgell.


Etxeto-arms.gif

A Message from Duque Tomas III Etxeto
We of the Etxeto thank you for your condolences. The passing of my father was a sad event, but such is the Will of He. However, we are delighted to hear of your interest of a betrothal with the young Arias. Such an event has my blessing, and once she is at age, you two may wed in the eyes of the Lord.

May He bless you,

Duque Tomas III

to all the nobles
would you support a war along with Byzantium to conquer genoa lands?

jose de la costa



Etxeto-arms.gif

A Message from Duque Tomas III Etxeto
That is a a truly silly proposition. Your vanity and willingness to embrace Lucifer's hubris concerning the Crown's strength in war is disturbing to see. I hope you confess your sins and see the errors of your ways.

May He bless you,

Duque Tomas III

 
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((Private letter to Jose de la Costa @strategymad3500 ))

The County of Sevilla will not support a war against Genoa at the moment because of the recent call to arms of Aragon's ally. At a later time, I will support your initiative, if the circumstances are right. Conquering Genova and other Genoese possessions is something Aragon should do in the next years but now is not the time.

~ Antonio di Arezzo, Count of Sevilla and Represent of the Bank of Tuscany in Aragon.
 
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Easy enough, as expected. Castile's colonial ventures were in a very sad state and willingly surrendered as soon as the Aragonese armies came into sight. Portuguese Colombia mounted some resistance, even used their local knowledge, but they stood not much more of a chance. 'If father could see me now...' Not only he had more men, but a better strategy to face the enemy. He would push on into their lands next. The war was fought in the Old World, but Montségur was certain that the kingdom had similar success over there. Muturu had already fallen under complete Aragonese control before any peace treaty was signed.

He was certain that the conflict wouldn't last much longer and prepared the next expedition. There were still many lands to charter. With or without Miguel de Leon, the son of his previous companion. Even if he was a bit older than Montségur, he would surely want to profit from his experience. He was at least very grateful for the return of his father's sword. It was his choice. Montségur's expedition members had all assured that they would follow him again though; Valeyron, Sacagewa with her child, the hunter Martí, the other adventurers and his newly-wed wife, the Cuscoan princess Aurélie. He couldn't wait his return into the wilderness. The New World was his home.
 

05060403

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Your Majesty,
I do not believe my plan needs any changes at this moment. That is why it should stay the same.
I also believe we need to aid our ally. France was a loyal ally of Aragon for many years and betraying their trust now would hurt your opinion.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, Grandmaster of Aragon

to all the nobles
would you support a war along with Byzantium to conquer genoa lands?

jose de la costa

To Jose de la Costa,
I do not believe it it wise to start another war so shortly after our war with Castille, and with another war closing on. Even if the Genoese are weak right now we mustn't underestimate them.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, Grandmaster of Aragon

To noble Alejandro Sancho,
Thank you for your long years of service. Word has reached me about your most recent plans for an expedition and while I think it it crazy I will do anything that will help you in your mission. Feel free to use my own and company's funds to prepare for this long journey. That is all that I wanted to say, so I will end this letter now.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre
 

Andre Massena

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to all the nobles
would you support a war along with Byzantium to conquer genoa lands?

jose de la costa

((Unless you intentionally wanted this to seen only by only nobles I'd recommend you address general messages to the entire court since some of us are not nobles.))
 

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Your majesty,

I am the latest great scion of the house of Iglesia y Maig. I wish to apologize for Andrés' absence these last several years, it seems that a depression overcame him in his final decade.

The Balearic islands remain well managed by the family, so I wish to ask a boon for my family's long service: to be allowed to fund the expansion of the colony in Muturu, or if that proves impossible, to fund a nearby colony. Thus my family can support Aragon and provide new opportunities for the younger members of the family.

As well, I support the war against Provence. If nothing else, it will continue to cement our alliance with the French. And if there is a need of officers for the army, I am sure I can find a cousin who needs a vocation.

As always, Long Live the King!
- Pablo David de la Iglesia y Maig

-------

Name: Pablo David de la Iglesia y Maig
Date of birth: April, 1511
Class: Noble
Religion: Catholic
Bio: Pablo is a grandson of Andrés Iglesia y Maig y Niño, and the latest leader of the family that has long ruled the Balearic islands. He considers the family to have fallen by the wayside of the kingdom, and believes the family needs to find opportunities for the younger members, be they in the army, as traders, or best of all in the new colonies. He has not yet married. He has an older brother, recently married, a younger sister, long married with two children, and a second younger sister who has not yet married.
 
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Muturu was something he kept in the back of his mind. He had heard reports of the savages--no, natives--causing a ruckus and burning down the settlements in the area from a friendly tribe he met. Something snapped inside him as he remembered his father's murder. Enraged, he took his army and marched on the settlement, burning down everything and cutting down every non-European-looking person he or his men could find, regardless of age, gender, religion, or any other distinction. To him, they were all savages. Nobody escaped his wrath.
When he came out of his rage, there was nothing left to save, nobody left to save. The colonists luckily were sent to a safer location during his rampage, but he regretted that the savages were given no time to embrace the Gospel. He had doomed all of these souls to Hell. Wait, did they even have souls in the first place? It was a question that kept nagging him from the back of his mind. At least he saved the colonists. At least they were good Christians.
He had known Montségur from the letters his father had written to him. He never thought that he would be meeting the man in person. Then again, he never thought that his father would be murdered by savages.
They met in the jungles of Brazil, the name that several colonists had started to give to this new wilderness. Montségur was slightly younger than him, but much more experienced in dealing with natives. His expedition was quite diverse compared to Miguel's army. Miguel found himself chatting with Aurélie, a native noble from a kingdom west of the great forest, high up in a high mountain range somewhere. There was Sacajawea and her European husband Marti, though Sacajawea didn't appear to look like the natives in the area. Maybe she came from somewhere north or south of here?
Before they parted ways, Miguel to attack the Castilians and Montségur to continue exploring, Montségur handed an old suit of armor and a sword to him.
"This was your father's," said Montségur, "It seemed only right to hand them over to you, as you are his son."
Miguel thanked Montségur, taking the items. Inspecting the Roman sword, he wondered what savage hands had handled it before Montségur had taken it back. He vowed to uphold the legacy of his father.
He hoped they could meet again and work together to continue his father's search for the Seven Cities and the Fountain of Youth.


---


"Well, this never gets old," said Miguel as he swung his sword at a Portuguese, cutting down the man quickly and quite painlessly (for a sword stab), "Some things never change."
His army had charged out of the jungle and assaulted the enemy defenses, which were mostly pointed at the coastline since "Nobody expects the Aragonese Inquisition" to charge from a jungle where out of thousands of men only a handful had come out. The soldiers were overwhelmed quickly as the Aragonese stormed the settlement. To the enemy soldiers, they cut down any who did not surrender or flee immediately. Despite this colony and the neighboring ones being a Castilian settlement, there were strangely no Castilian guards around.
"Those Castilians and Portuguese multiply like cockroaches," he muttered, "Push them out of Europe and they'll only relocate to somewhere else in the world."
The colony fell quickly, followed by the others. The Portuguese made attempts to liberate the colonies, but they were easily pushed out by Miguel.
The colonists were shown mercy. Miguel ordered his soldiers to not loot anything or touch any Castilian colonist. He knew that Aragon sought to take control of these colonies, and he wanted them to understand that Aragon was much better than Castile. Though he was merciful, he was also firm. Any who resisted Aragonese occupation was arrested and put through "enhanced interrogation techniques" developed by the Inquisition. Any guilty persons were summarily executed in the middle of the settlement as examples to be made of those who defied Aragon. The war ended soon after the colonies fell, and Miguel was hailed as a war hero by some in Syracuse but mainly in the New World.


With the war over now, he could finally turn his attention back to exploration...
 
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to all the nobles
would you support a war along with Byzantium to conquer genoa lands?

jose de la costa
Though I am not noble, I do have understanding of warfare. A war with Genoa would be extremely unprofitable to the kingdom, and it will be very hard to fight because of the war with Provence that will happen. Not only that, the Genoese can place their fleet in the straits of Gibraltar and blockade the city of Sevilla, by which we do not only temporarily lose communication with the colonies, the incoming trade fleet of the ATC will also have a huge chance to be pirated by the Genoese, with which we will lose huge amounts of money, ships and men.

- Ferdinant de Almeria, head of the ATC.
 
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delpiero1234

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Though I am not noble, I do have understanding of warfare. A war with Genoa would be extremely unprofitable to the kingdom, and it will be very hard to fight because of the war with Provence that will happen. Not only that, the Genoese can place their fleet in the straits of Gibraltar and blockade the city of Sevilla, by which we do not only temporarily lose communication with the colonies, the incoming trade fleet of the ATC will also have a huge chance to be pirated by the Genoese, with which we will lose huge amounts of money, ships and men.

- Ferdinant de Almeria, head of the ATC.
((As far as I know, you can't reply to a message which was not addressed at you. The message was only sent to all nobles, so your character can't be aware of it. No playing God.

Edit:I think the same goes for O5. Maybe Mike can comment on this.))
 

ThePatriotOfDreumel

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((As far as I know, you can't reply to a message which was not addressed at you. The message was only sent to all nobles, so your character can't be aware of it. No playing God.

Edit:I think the same goes for O5. Maybe Mike can comment on this.))
((Wouldn't noble class include all courtiers?))
 

delpiero1234

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((Wouldn't noble class include all courtiers?))
((Why would the noble class include all courtiers? To my understanding, nobles are nobles, courtiers are courtiers and clergy is clergy. They are different classes. Let's see what Mike things about this. If the noble class would include all courtiers then there is no point of being a noble.))
 

ThePatriotOfDreumel

Queen of Nothing, A Lack of Things and Emptiness.
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May 6, 2015
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((Why would the noble class include all courtiers? To my understanding, nobles are nobles, courtiers are courtiers and clergy is clergy. They are different classes. Let's see what Mike things about this. If the noble class would include all courtiers then there is no point of being a noble.))
((@strategymad3500 could have made it more clear, but we should wait on Mike to say something. But all courtiers being noble might just be something Dutch.))