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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

alscon

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myKh8vJ.png

Your Majesty,

for the Treasury, I wish to make a small change. Instead of previously 430 ducats, 150 ducats shall be saved as reserve for harsher times. The economy is strong enough that no loan should be taken in wartime, and if it should come to this, then these will be swiftly repaid.

As for the duties of the Steward, I wish to continue the great building projects Marqués Sastre has begun by adding the following constructions:
  • a textile manufactory shall be built in the capital
  • workshops in Barcelona, Teruel and Granada
  • a weapon manufactory in Cagliari
To better support the people of Sardinia and Sicily, I propose to encourage a better representation of the Sicilian culture. Unlike Neapolitan, it is not accepted any longer as equal, and I feel that this might need to change. The Sardinian and Maltese people are also mistreated, and as such we should try to treat them all as Sicilians, or mediterranean insulars, which should have them be in sufficient quantity to be accepted. ((Or however one can interpret culture conversion. Not advocating genocide nor forced settlement, but... well, to cut it short, culture convert Sardinia, Malta and Corsica to Sicilian; if that's part of the steward's responsibilities, that is :rolleyes:))

I also call for the destruction of the fort on Corsica. If Sardinia and the Baleares are safe thanks to our navy, then Corsica is as well. The people there will also likely rejoice that we demolish a sign of Genoese oppression. That concludes the Steward's plan.

Finally, I will of course be present at the feast in honour of Your father and Your ascension.

Your most humble servitor,
François de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria, Steward and Treasurer of the Crown

((Also, do I have to name a Chamberlain considering that I'm the only member of the Cortz currently? François can fill in that position as long as he's alone in the Cortz, as it forfeits the Chamberlain's purpose if he'd just appoint someone of his choice.))
_____________________________________________

A messager is also sent with the next colonists leaving port:
I have reconsidered my proposal to fund a colony in Nazca. Due to its border with both the Cusco and the Charca, Camana would be a better location.
Duke François de Montségur

_______________________________________________

In other matters I wish to object to Grand Admiral's plan one more time, but this time because of a different reason. This reason being the size of our fleet. Our fleet at this moment is troublesome to maintain, and another 10 ships, very costly heavy ships will only put even more expenses on the treasury. Our country cannot afford this expansion. ((We would be going over the force limit and not be a small amount.))

((I already denied the funds :rolleyes:. Besides, you cannot object to plans since the administrative reform.))
 

05060403

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((I already denied the funds :rolleyes:. Besides, you cannot object to plans since the administrative reform.))

((THis only applies to the court. Concil can still object. Check the reform :p) But you are right, I missed you denying the funds. :/)
 
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DragonOfAtlantis

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(( List for colonies
Totally Oink - Tandil
Robban204 - Havana
alscon - Camana
ML8991 - Manabe
Firehound15 - Pamlico))
 

Keinwyn

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The Sastre family will happily sponsor a colony in Sergipe - or indeed anywhere in the vicinity of Sanchonia.
 

Michaelangelo

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I would also like to appoint Santiago Aybar and Jan Pieterszoon van Antwerpen as official Crown merchants.

((I'll need each of them to confirm they want the position, since it'd be weird to make them merchants without them actually wanting to be one. :p))

((Or however one can interpret culture conversion. Not advocating genocide nor forced settlement, but... well, to cut it short, culture convert Sardinia, Malta and Corsica to Sicilian; if that's part of the steward's responsibilities, that is :rolleyes:))

((Well it certainly should be, so I'll go add it to his responsibilities.))

((Also, do I have to name a Chamberlain considering that I'm the only member of the Cortz currently? François can fill in that position as long as he's alone in the Cortz, as it forfeits the Chamberlain's purpose if he'd just appoint someone of his choice.))

((I was going to wait to see who gets on the Cortz, and then let all three members appoint one. It's not as though the role needs to be filled immediately.))

((THis only applies to the court. Concil can still object. Check the reform :p) But you are right, I missed you denying the funds. :/)

((Actually, based on how I read it, only the king may object to plans now.

VIII. Ministers’ plans may no longer be objected to by the court.
IX. The King may object to a plan, and put it to a vote of the court. ((or Veto it outright))


People are free to voice their objection though and the king can decide whether or not to put it up for a vote. In this instance, alscon is right in that him blocking the funds effectively vetoes the Grand Admiral's plan.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

Caterina de’ Medici rubbed her hands together as she sent the servants off to make the final preparations for the feast. The guests would be arriving soon and she would have to make certain their every desire was met. It was one thing to attend the feast of some minor noble, but a royal feast had to be beyond expectations. The dining tables were properly set with the finest china and cutlery made of real silver imported from the colonies. The ballroom floor had been freshly polished, just in case any guests wished to partake in some dancing. An incredibly talented minstrel who had been travelling the countryside for the past year or so was to provide the musical entertainment. Her son had dismissed the need to have him at court, but Caterina had finally gotten in contact with him. Banners depicting the Trastámara coat of arms hung on the walls. She’d had a devil of a time getting those commissioned for this event. Shortly after announcing the feast, she had discovered that all the banners the royal family had still depicted the old coat of arms and the moths had gotten at them. Now some guild master was bathing in ducats and his employed weavers would be complaining of sore hands for weeks. The banners looked good at least. She’d gone over every one to ensure there were no loose threads.

This feast had been planned too late, at least in Caterina’s mind. Her husband, the late King Alfons VII, had passed almost three years ago. She had been grieving for most of that time. She wouldn’t be surprised if most people thought she was a heartless shrew, but she had truly loved him, despite his oddities. A proper funeral should have been held shortly after his passing. Instead her son, the new King Ferran IV, had stalled. She loved her son to death, but he wasn’t known for his energy. He kept providing excuses as to why it should be held off. First there was the war and then the celebrations of that victory and so on. Eventually she had been forced to take the responsibility out from underneath him and arrange the festivities herself. Of course she had to tie a late coronation feast into it so her son would agree. She supposed Alfons had not been the most loving father and it showed in his childrens’ reaction to his death.

It seemed Caterina’s family was plagued by death recently. It had been almost a decade since she lost her son Enric, leaving his widow and three children without a husband and father. Enric’s wife, poor Chloe de Valois, had been quite overwhelmed for quite some time. Caterina's youngest son Andreu had taken a liking to her and comforted her in her time of need. Caterina had taken notice and arranged for their marriage. She couldn’t let the Valois girl go off and marry some foreign noble when she was the mother of potential heirs to the throne. She did miss Enric though, but not as much as her sweet Peronella. A year after Alfons passed away, word came from Constantinople that her daughter was dead. She heard the Greeks had held a lovely funeral for their empress. Grieving over her husband, she had been in no condition to travel to Constantinople. Now Peronella’s little boy Manuel would grow up without a mother. Sometimes God could be so cruel.

There was at least one person Caterina wished God would strike down and she wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Ferran’s wife Isabel, the new queen as she constantly reminded Caterina, was a despicable little trollop. The Queen Mother regretted having paired that woman with her son ever since the war with Castile had ended. Oh she was all prim and proper to everyone, saying her prayers before bed and always saying please and thank you. Yet she also knew exactly how to use her husband’s laziness to get everything she wanted, and she wouldn’t shy away from bragging about her power at court to Caterina. Isabel was the queen now, not Caterina. The Queen Mother boiled inside that some Castilian harpy had usurped her position of power at court.

Now was her chance to take a little back. The chancellor had just passed away, leaving the position open. She’d served in that role before, thanks to her beloved husband. Now she’d have to convince her son to let her take back that mantle. Of course there would be obstacles in her way. Undoubtedly the court would be against a woman placed in such a position, even the mother of the king. She wouldn’t be surprised if Isabel whispered lies to the king to convince him to turn against his own mother either. No, she’d need to gather support from amongst the court.

Hispania needed her now more than ever. Relations with France had taken a downturn, which she suspected had to do with Hispania’s conquest of Provence and a shift of power in France. Caterina’s niece still served as queen, but her dimwitted husband had passed away, leaving her as regent for her son Charles. Undoubtedly her position as regent was fortified with her being the underage king’s mother, but it also placed a time limit on her position. Unlike with her husband who she could have remained regent for indefinitely, her son might not turn out to be as incapable as his father. Once the boy was of age, Catherine would have to struggle to hold on to power. Catherine had not been too explicit on the details in her letters to Caterina, but it seemed that the French court was becoming increasingly displeased with the Hispanian alliance. Meanwhile the court was lashing back against her, which resulted in some anti-Medici sentiment that reflected back on Hispania as well. If she could become chancellor, she could use the position to help bolster her niece in France and ensure the alliance remained strong.

Then there was Portugal. Mixed signals kept coming back from them. One moment they were furious with Hispania and the next they wanted to cozy up to them and be their friend. The obvious solution was yet another war to keep them in line. Some would suggest removing them from Iberia, but such aggressive expansion might anger some of Hispania’s neighbours. The real prize was in the New World. Portugal had some extensive colonies in the Caribbean that were ripe for the taking. Her contacts in the Holy See had heard rumours that the Portuguese were attempting to arrange for papal approval to their claims to the entire Caribbean. With France possessing a few colonies there and Hispania now in the area, that would not be a good thing. However, if Hispania moved quickly and took those colonies for itself, they could claim the region instead. They had lost out on Colombia, with the Portuguese still recognized as the true claimants to the region by the Papacy despite Hispania’s extensive colonial holdings there. If Caterina had her way, Portugal would lose its colonies for the second time.

The servants pulled Caterina out of her thoughts as they entered the room and announced that the preparations were complete. Everything was set for the upcoming feast. Now all there was to do was wait for the first guests to arrive.

((Public))

Queen Mother Caterina de' Medici announces that the preparations for the feast are complete and all guests are now welcome to attend.
 
Last edited:

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Niccolo Limmona arrives with a small honour guard component, with men from each major jurisdiction of the kingdom. Leading this choice entourage is the Catholic Berber Athello, a large man clad in heavy gilded plate. With a troop of 4 men following him, each formerly of different and non-honour roles; a Catalan archer, a Castilian man-at-arms, a Neapolitan gunner and an Aragonese knight.

Waiting for the other guests before making a proper introduction, Niccolo dismisses his guard to the outskirts of the feast and enters the hall. He awaits the herald to call out his titles and styles to see what his official title as Marshall is, and intends to discuss with the Queen Mother the potential for military reform and also have a general discussion with her the current state of affairs.
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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Miguel Villanova arrives to the palace, but the palace guard block his path.
"Do you know who I am?" Miguel asks impatiently.
"No, but you look and smell like a dirty peasant!"
"I am Miguel Villanova, the colonist."
"Yeah and I am the Duke of Essex!" The guard glares at the portly farmer standing before him. "I'll let you in if someone from court can vouch for you, got it?"
"Fine." *Miguel sighs, how will anyone remember me, I've been gone for years*
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

This feast was a long time coming. Marti, the late King Alfons VII’s youngest brother, had expected the Crown to have some form of ceremony shortly after Alfons’s death, yet it had taken three years for anything to be arranged. Marti had no doubt his nephew, the new king, was partly responsible. The man was decent enough, but he had no motivation to do anything. While not necessarily a bad thing if he properly delegated responsibilities, it did open the way to manipulation. Marti had no doubt who would be trying to get into the king’s good graces. His sister-in-law, Queen Mother Caterina, had been notorious at times for using her late husband’s position to enhance her own power. Perhaps she hadn’t done anything too detrimental to Hispania, but Marti never felt he could ever truly trust her with the reins of the kingdom in her hand. She was a woman after all, and a foreign one to boot. Only a Trastámara could have the kingdom’s true interests at heart.

It had been ages since he had been at court. Marti’s brother had granted him a title in some part of Castile after it was conquered and he’d spent the time since then lording over his new lands and caring for his now seven children. Quite a rambunctious group of youth, but he loved them all dearly. He’d have to find matches for them soon enough. Having five daughters to marry off would keep him busy for quite some time arranging matches. His wife never really thought of such matters. She spent most of her time attending to the gardens on their estate, since she found that most relaxing. His wife was a tad simpleminded, but she was a lovely woman.

Word had recently reached Marti that his brother Carles, a cardinal in Rome, had passed away. The passing of both his brothers had spurred him into finding a new purpose. As the third son of a king, he had always lived in his brothers’ shadows and never really managed to accomplish much of his own. His family had been his everything. Now he needed something else. The opening for chancellor would make a perfect goal. He knew Caterina well enough to suspect she was already manipulating her way into that position. He wasn’t going to stand by and let that happen. The kingdom needed him.

Relations with France had gone downhill and perhaps it was about time Hispania started planning for a future where that alliance was no longer there. If the French broke it off, Hispania had to be prepared to find allies elsewhere. Of course they’d have to milk that alliance for as long as they could, but there were other options. While that alliance was still in place, Hispania could focus west and go after Portugal. It was about time the other Iberian nation was brought low. Perhaps they could even grant Galicia control of some of Portugal’s provinces, which would surely delight his Galician wife. He knew there were many who coveted Portugal’s colonies, but the Portuguese needed to be broken at home first. At least that is what he’d pursue as chancellor. He’d need someone to back him first. Perhaps there was a noble or two who were looking for a match for their son. He certainly didn’t lack for daughters to marry off. A political alliance at court would prove greatly beneficial to strengthening his position. He’d need to use everything at his disposal if he wanted to outdo Caterina.

((If you’re wondering, here is a list of Marti’s daughters and their birth years: Marta, 1551; Estrella, 1556; Nuria, 1563; Candela, 1567; Joana, 1570.))

Miguel Villanova arrives to the palace, but the palace guard block his path.
"Do you know who I am?" Miguel asks impatiently.
"No, but you look and smell like a dirty peasant!"
"I am Miguel Villanova, the colonist."
"Yeah and I am the Duke of Essex!" The guard glares at the portly farmer standing before him. "I'll let you in if someone from court can vouch for you, got it?"
"Fine." *Miguel sighs, how will anyone remember me, I've been gone for years*

((Public))

Marti arrived at the palace after a long carriage ride from his estate much further inland. The palace looked just as he remembered it as a kid. The guards still looked just as sour and cranky as usual. One in particular was having some sort of spat with a man who looked like he needed a bath. Marti made his way over there out of curiosity.

Marti cleared his throat as he approached. “Excuse me good guard, but what seems to be the matter here.”

“This peasant claims to be some colonist at court. Bah, like the king would ever let such a filthy man near him.”

The man the guard had been speaking to earlier certainly didn’t look like a nobleman, that was for sure. He’d never met the colonist Miguel Villanova, but he suspected that such a man who had spent his years building settlements in the middle of the wilderness wasn’t accustomed to finery. He didn’t look like a beggar looking for a handout either. Marti turned back to the guard and said, “Well if this is the Crown colonist, the king would not be pleased to learn you turned him away at the gates.”

The guard scowled at him and spat down at the ground in front of him. “And who are you to be saying who belongs and doesn’t belong? You one of those upstart Castilian lords that have been flocking to court lately?”

Marti smirked. He supposed his clothing looked more Castilian than Aragonese. He’d started dressing like the people of his province more and more. Standing up straight, he said, “Why I am Prince Marti de Trastámara, and I believe that you should let this man in to enjoy the festivities.”

The guard’s eyes widened noticeably and he started to fidget. “I apologize, Your Highness. I did not recognize you. Of course you and the colonist may enter.” The guard quickly shuffled out of the way for the two.

Marti turned to the colonist and said, “I hope he didn’t bother you too much. It’s so hard to find good help these days.” With that, he entered the palace, ready to enjoy the festivities.
 

Michaelangelo

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Queen Isabel de Trastámara sauntered into the ballroom, feeling on top of the world. They hadn't held any special festivity since she became queen due to the war and she was dying to meet some of the members of court. She'd made sure her crown was freshly polished so it shone in the light. She could already see Caterina glaring at her from across the room. She couldn't help it that she was so beautiful and perfect. The queen made her way through the crowd to the Queen Mother.

"Oh Catherine, it is so lovely to see you," Isabel said sweetly. "You must introduce me to the servant who does your hair. It looks wonderful."

Caterina gave Isabel the most scathing smile she'd ever seen and said, "I'm afraid my servants are busy enough as it is without having to attend to the business of the Queen." The last word dripped out like venom.

Isabel let out a subtle sigh. Talking to Caterina was like trying to have a discussion with a rapid dog. She'd just keep snapping and barking until Isabel went away. She had tried to be nice to her mother-in-law, but the women just felt too threatened by her. It's not like it was her fault that King Alfons VII died and her husband became king.

Caterina kept looking over Isabel's shoulder, eyeing every person who entered the room. She was clearly up to something, but who knew what. Isabel didn't bother trying to keep up with her schemes. Wanting to seem polite by not drifting away from the conversation, Isabel said, "I've been thinking about the path of Hispania and have come up with some ideas for the kingdom's foreign affairs. I think I could implement them as chancellor."

That caught Caterina's attention. "You? Chancellor?" The Queen Mother let out a loud snort.

Isabel raised an eyebrow. "Why is that idea so ridiculous? I know I am a woman, but I am also the queen. Did you not serve in such a role during your late husband's reign?"

Caterina laughed as though she was in on some inside joke. "My dear, the position requires someone a little more experience than you."

Isabel frowned at that. "I do not see why I am unqualified. My ideas are sound."

After a tense staring contest, Caterina sighed and said, "Tell me your ideas then."

Isabel smiled smugly, having won a minor battle. "Well I was thinking that due to our souring relations with France, we should look for other allies closer to home. Perhaps the Portuguese."

"The Portuguese?" Caterina interrupted with a laugh. "Have you lost your wits?"

"I do not think it is so outlandish," Isabel said. "Portugal was once an ally of Hispania and they showed recent signs of potentially repairing relations with us. If the French truly want to cut ties with us, let them. We shall use that as a means to bring the Iberian nations together."

The Queen Mother remained silent for a moment, but her face spoke of bemusement. "Well I certainly hope my son has more brains than you do, otherwise this kingdom is in trouble." Caterina kept chuckling as she waved her hand in dismissal at the queen and wandered off.

Isabel tried to not let Caterina get to her. Her ideas were good ones. Maybe she'd find someone to listen to her at this party. She put on a happy face despite the thoughts floating through her head and went to mingle with the guests.
 

hirahammad

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Santoros travelled days to get to the palace, and stood in awe when he got there. His house in Brakna was the largest, as befitted a governor, but it was a shack in comparison to this.
He was about to enter when a guard stopped him.
"Who are you, another colonist?" He said, chuckling.
Santoros did not get the joke, but coolly replied, "I am the King's Governor of Brakna. Let me in, or you shall know of the King's displeasure."
The guard meekly let him in, and Santoros was awed by the spectacle inside.
 
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zenphoenix

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Hernando Francisco loved the food at the feast. He raised his cup of fine wine.

"A toast! To the King and Hispania!" he shouted.
 

Michaelangelo

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King Ferran IV pounded back another goblet at a toast to him. Yes, he certainly deserved it. It was so exhausting being king. Why just last week he had had to stand up for two hours straight while the tailor measured him for a new outfit. He couldn't even sit down in a chair during the process. What an ordeal that was. No one understood how much he suffered as king.

These festivities were frankly quite boring for him. He preferred the peace and quiet. You couldn't nap in a hall full of chatty people. Maybe he'd slip away once everyone was done eating. For now though, he was going to enjoy his wine and meat. As he poured back even more wine, he noticed some maiden ogling him from across the room. It felt like she was undressing him with her eyes. Maybe when he decided to retire to his chambers, he wouldn't go alone. God knows he needed some time with a woman other than his wife. Isabel was a sweet lady, but she had a habit of nagging him about his bad habits. And then she was terrible in bed. She refused to do it unless all the torches were doused and even then they could only do it "as God intended" as she liked to say. He had once suggested going in the back door and she nearly tore his head off. Maybe this beautiful woman across the room would be more open to experimentation. He let a smirk spread across his face and he forced himself out of his seat. He may as well make the acquaintance of this mystery girl while he was still here.
 

05060403

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Auguste prepared for Queen Mother's feast. He bought the best clothes he could afford and set off to the feast.
Auguste has arrived late for the feast. Just as he was approaching the castle he noticed that the gates weresclosed. He stood in front of the gate and shouted to the guards:

"Open this gate right now!"

"Sorry Señor, but we got our orders."

"Do you have ANY idea who I am? Open this gate!"

"How would I know who are you. Probobly some noble eager to catch King's favour."

"I am the Grandmaster of this country. Now open this bloody gate or the King will hear abot this!"

"Oh yeah?! You are the grandmaster? Well then I'm the King of Portugal."

"OPEN THIS GATE RIGHT NOW!"

The whole charade continued. Auguste and the guard insulting each other until someone notices.
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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((Well one thing's for sure, the guards hate everyone))
Miguel was enjoying the festivities when he heard several commotions between guards and other courtiers and nobles.
"Those stubborn mules of guards, can't I get some peace for once!"
He instantly shut up when several well armed soldiers walked past.
((To himself))
"At least the food is good and the minstrel is funny."
 

alscon

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Having spent most of the day in his study, as usual, Duke François almost forgot about the feast. As such, he came a bit late. Getting out of his carriage at the gate, he saw Grandmaster de Saint-Pierre argue with one of the guards.
He slowly approached with his cane, with all the dignity of his age and position. The guard saw him and immediately turned his attention towards the new guest.

He tried to recognize the family crest on the Duke's coat. Having no luck there, he recognized the face from François' last visit to the castle in his new office as Steward. 'My Lord Steward. The feast has just begun.' Looking relieved, he then stepped aside.

'What is the matter with the Grandmaster?' Montségur asked.

'The Grandmaster?' The guard nervously glanced at Saint-Pierre.

'Yes. Was I too silent? So, what is the matter, good man?'

'No, I heard what you said. I am sorry.' The man behaved strangely. 'And it is nothing, your Grace.' Saint-Pierre grinned, as they walked past the guard.

The feast was well-prepared, but François was lost in his thoughts and worries. So much to do, so few time... Since the death of his wife, he spent even more time working, and right now he still thought of it. What if France turns hostile? What if war breaks out with Portugal, in Italy or anywhere else? What if his daughter was right with the empire? What would he do? And how would the building projects fare? The income, the costs, the profits? What were his children up to currently? What, what, what?
He looked into his cup. Red wine. He turned it around. Red. No, he couldn't just sit there and think. He had to do something. If he wanted to work, he shouldn't have left his study. All who mattered in the kingdom were assembled here after all.
 
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LatinKaiser

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((I'm considering rejoining this IAAR; could I get a quick run-down of the internal political situation?))
 

Robban204

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The carriage stopped in front of the gate and Count de Alvaro stepped out, accompanied by his personal guard of four. The guard at the gate took a step to the side and let him in.
He entered the grand hall. It was a grand feast indeed. Food and drink and people everywhere. de Alvaro grabbed a cup of wine from a passing plate and took a sip.
That is some fine wine right there. He thought to himself and looked around. He saw a portrait of the late king, a black silk veil covering it.
de Alvaro walked over and kneeled, whispering a small prayer for the safe passage of the late king, and great health for the new king.

de Alvaro walked towards the balcony, it was a warm evening and it was getting quite warm inside. On the way out he noticed Grandmaster de Saint-Pierre discussing strategies dealing with potential war with portugal and france with a general. de Alvaro gave a respectful bow and the grandmaster returned the gesture.

He stepped put on the balcony. Such a wonderful sight, he thought.
de Alvaro stood there for a few minutes, drinking up his wine before he caught sight of a general for the army. de Alvaro approached the general and discussed the possibility of his son joining the army in the near future.

After a while the meeting finished and de Alvaro thanked the general and turned around and went inside to rejoin the feast. The servers had brought out a fresh round of food, and he was quite hungry and in need of refilling his cup with more wine.
 

Andre Massena

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  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
((I'm considering rejoining this IAAR; could I get a quick run-down of the internal political situation?))

((Catholicism is still dominant though there are some people clamoring for tolerance of other religions and it looks like Protestantism/Lucrezianism may spread. Some nobles and merchants think the Church/Inquisition in Aragon is too powerful.

We just became an administrative monarchy and the king just died so things are in flux))
 
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