- Feb 3, 2011
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. ))
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.
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. 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.