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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Keinwyn

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Markos spat and made the evil sign at Henri. Bastard Frenchman. It was not as though Markos himself had had any intention of playing fair, he just wanted the satisfaction of knocking the French scum flying. Preferably with grievous wounds.

He closed his eyes for a moment and summoned some of his more pleasant memories. Once again he was reminded just how grateful he was that he worked for the inquisition; the screams that filled his mind soothed his anger and washed away his hate. God was good.

For now he would have to content himself with progressing to the semi-finals.
 

Michaelangelo

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((Before I move on to the results of the semi-finals, I will give the results of the vote first.

Counter-Reformation: No
Colonial Nation: Nuevas Baleares
Colombia Monopoly (Council only): Yes

Now for the joust. Despite how they may appear, I swear I did not rig the results. The RNG really wants me to look bad. Maybe next time we do a joust I'll leave the Trastamaras out. :p

Prince Marti de Trastámara vs Markos - Victor: Prince Marti de Trastámara
Both combatants were unharmed.

Crown Prince Pere de Trastámara vs Matthais de Saint-Pierre - Victor: Crown Prince Pere de Trastámara
Pere sustained minor wounds, but Matthais was unharmed.


Players have 24 hours to send me any orders of sabotage. Even though both combatants for the finals are royals, anyone can try to sabotage one of the competitors.

Edit: Markos and Matthais de Saint-Pierre will face off for third place, so they can give me orders for potential murder of their opponent.))
 
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zenphoenix

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((I so called it! Always bet on the royals!))
 

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Another bout over and done with. Prince Marti was just one match away from the title. Markos had been a decent opponent, but Marti triumphed yet again. His body ached from all the horseback riding and his arms were sore from holding up his lance and shield. He did not doubt that he'd make it through yet another match. This time he'd be facing off against his great nephew. The boy was young and inexperienced. Somehow he had made it this far, but that would stop here. Marti was not going to lose right at the end.

* * * * *

The match had been close. Pere had not been sure he'd even win. Matthais had been his toughest challenge yet. During one of their passes, Matthais managed to slip past his shield and nick him in the arm. His armour prevented him from taking a serious wound, but it had made holding up his shield even harder after that. He persevered though and finally forced his opponent from his horse. Matthais was fortunately unhurt, which Pere was grateful for. He shook the man's hand afterwards and thanked him for a great match. Next would be his great uncle, Marti. He was not so afraid of injuring him, for he was a skilled jouster, but he was afraid of failure. He had come too far and gone through too much to lose now.

* * * * *

"I told you my boy would win," King Ferran bragged after knocking back some more wine. "Marti is a fine man, but let's see how he fares against my son. Looks like you might be losing your trading company, Auguste." The king let out a laugh and gulped back even more wine.
 

ML8991

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Goi away on holis till jan 4, bai till then.
 

Keinwyn

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((Private))

Marina found Pere being assisted into his armour by a a servant. The servant was swiftly dismissed, and Marina took over his duties, and tightened the buckles in silence; there was nothing to say, she would not distract him now.

Finishing up, she searched his eyes, finding confusion and sadness there with perhaps a glint of determination lurking behind. There would be time after the tourney to wash away any regret... and offer her comfort.

She gave him a not-so-chaste kiss and pressed her favour into his hands. The ribbon was not in the Sastre blue and white, but her personal red and black.

'Win, My Prince.' She said, and left him without looking back.
 
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((Sorry for being late but I didn't have access to Internet for most of the day. Here are the final results of the joust:

Prince Marti de Trastámara vs Crown Prince Pere de Trastámara - Victor: Prince Marti de Trastámara
Marti was unharmed, but Pere sustained minor wounds.

Markos vs Matthais de Saint-Pierre - Victor: Markos
Markos was unharmed, but Matthais sustained minor wounds.


So there you have it. To make it more plain, here is the placing for the tournament.

1st Place - Prince Marti de Trastámara
2nd Place - Crown Prince Pere de Trastámara
3rd Place - Markos

Well that was fun. Next time I'll keep more of the Trastámaras out. :p))
 

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Prince Marti de Trastámara rode around the tourney grounds, waving to the crowd. They cheered him on, for he was their champion. He had made it through every round with barely a scratch. The match against Pere had been his greatest challenge yet. The boy was strong, there was no doubt. It had taken all of Marti's willpower to hold onto his shield when Pere smashed his lance into it. But Marti had been through battle before, while the young prince had not. Pere broke before Marti did. The crown prince had fallen from his horse finally after several unrelenting passes. Pere had congratulated him on his victory, but was clearly disappointed by his failure. He was just a boy, after all, so such a loss was painful to his pride. He'd get over it.

Eventually Marti rode over to the royal booth where King Ferran was seated. Based on scowl on the king's face, he was not pleased with the result. Marti had heard rumours that Auguste de Saint-Pierre had bet ownership of the TATC against Pere winning the tourney. It wasn't his concern if his own victory thwarted the king's greed. This was his moment.

As Marti stopped in front of the king, Ferran rose from his seat and waved for the crowd to be silent. He nearly toppled over from waving his hands out too far. The king had clearly had too much to drink. After he regained his balance, he said, "I present to you your new champion, Prince Marti de Trastámara."

The crowd cheered wildly. Marti had earned their applause after all.

The king beckoned for silence and continued. "As I promised at the start of this tournament, the winner would be inducted into the prestigious Royal Order of the Light and receive one royal favour from me. Now, Uncle, what is it that you would ask of me? I will grant you whatever you please, besides perhaps my crown of course." The king burst into laughter and the sycophants sitting near him followed suit. Marti did his best not to roll his eyes.

Prince Marti had not thought deeply about what he would ask for if he won. He was a prince, after all, and a fairly powerful one at that. He did not need money, nor a prestigious position at court. The only thing that could improve his station was a crown, and that was not something he could ask for. Then again, there were more ways than one to gain a crown. A smirk spread across his face as he decided upon his request. The king would not be pleased with this one.

"There is one thing I would ask for," Marti said, "and in a way it is a crown." The crowd went silent and King Ferran's face dropped. Before the king could start throwing accusations of treason around, Marti continued. "This crown would not be for me though. You see, my second daughter Estrella is still unmarried and I have yet to find a suitable. Prince Pere is of a similar age. If you will grant me a favour, I ask of you to accept a match between my daughter, Estrella de Trastámara, and your son and heir, Prince Pere de Trastámara. I would see my daughter be a future queen if I could."

Murmurs spread through the crowd. King Ferran's expression seemed to swap between surprise and outrage. He eventually settled on the former, probably to avoid getting the crowd riled up against him. Marti knew the king had no choice but to accept. To deny the request would hurt his prestige.

After clearing his throat, the king said, "That is an unexpected request, but one that I can grant. My son Pere shall be wed to your daughter Estrella before the year's end."

The crowd cheered, for a royal wedding meant more celebrations. Marti would have cheered too if it would not have been unbecoming. He got exactly what he wanted. His daughter would be queen.
 

Michaelangelo

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1576-1579 – Imperial Division

A period of peace and quiet was to ensue after the joust held in Hispania. Two prominent generals, Francesc Gabriel Gerard Miquel Bernat de Loarre and Cesar Miguel de Montcada, both retired, although it was rumoured that Marshal Niccolo Limmona forced them out of the army. In their stead, Louis Clément de Montségur took up the mantle of general and was placed in command of the army in Provence.

Chancellor Marti de Trastámara went back to work shortly after his victory in the joust. He made a public declaration that the provinces of Lisboa, Coimbra, and the Canaries rightfully belonged to Hispania as the dominant Iberian and Atlantic power. He also began talks with the Duke of Galicia to formally integrate the duchy into Hispania. The duke had been a subject for many years, with his daughter even married to Prince Marti. It would take time to reach an agreement, but it did not seem impossible.

In the Holy Roman Empire, Austria decided to prey upon its neighbour of Ravensburg, bringing in several German states. With Hungary backing it up, it was unlikely to fail.



Members of court suggested the idea of selling titles to fill up the treasury. Seeing as the treasury was currently overflowing, King Ferran IV outright rejected the idea. The nobles were certainly happy with that decision.

Brabant annexed Utrecht, further securing its position in the Lowlands.

In November of 1576, Duke Garcia II de Alba of Galicia passed away. His son and heir Ramiro inherited the title. The man had no heir though, leaving the fate of the duchy in question. Talks for integration of the duchy into Hispania stalled, but it seemed more likely to occur now that succession was shaky.

With such a large presence in the New World, the navy kept receiving more and more attention. Money was being put into the development of better ships, even if they proved more costly.

Antoni Galindo, a trader and advisor to the king, passed away in January. His replacement was a much shadier character. He was rarely seen after being hired, although he was spotted from time to time skulking through the palace halls. He was rumoured to be the new spymaster, although others suspected he reported to someone else.



Austria flexed its muscles during the war against Ravensburg by annexing Bavaria. How hypocritical of the Emperor to annex his own subjects, especially with heresy running rampant.

Cardinal Velazquez’s colony in Guantanamo was doing extremely well. The last thing it needed to be a proper settlement was some women. A group of 200 women were sent to the colony, all personally selected by the Iron Cardinal based on their virtue. It was meant to be a settlement devoted to God, not somewhere the depraved went. Now Guantanamo was finally self-sustaining. Colonist Miguel Villanova headed further west, starting a settlement up in Havana.

Attempts to control the Portuguese population in Hispaniola came to fruition in April. With that out of the way, a proper colonial government could be established. Nuevas Baleares was created as a result. Hispania’s clear dominance of the Caribbean could no longer be denied. The Pope recognized Hispania’s claim to the region, despite the significant French and Portuguese presence.



After allowing heresy to ferment in the Empire for decades, Emperor Anton II of Austria was finally forced into action. The Protestant princes banded together to form the League of Schmalkalden in an attempt to protect themselves from their Catholic neighbours. The Emperor in turn formed the Catholic League to counteract that. A clash between faiths seemed inevitable, but would Hispania get involved? Would duty to their own faith pull them into a conflict that seemed an imperial matter? After just a month, nations outside the HRE started to join. France pledged its support for the Catholics. Tuscany, much to everyone’s surprise, backed the Protestants. Apparently relations with the papacy were so low that Tuscany would rather back heretics for political gain.

Back at home, the large list of building projects proposed by multiple stewards was continued on. A textile manufactory was built in Cuenca, greatly boosting the production of the province. Later a temple was constructed in Badajoz.

With the ramped up tension with the Protestants, Austria opted for only taking war reparations from Ravensburg instead of annexing them. Many were not pleased that Austria had used its war as an excuse to annex Bavaria instead of the intended war target.

With the expansion of the colonies, tons of trades good flowed into Iberia. Sevilla often became the port of choice for unloading these goods in Europe. The port region was flourishing as a result.



Attempts to find a new administrative advisor began, first with the forced retirement of an artist whose services were not needed by the Crown. Before more candidates could be found, the military advisor, Alonso de Bazan, passed away. He was replaced with Carles Domenec, who had served as an inspirational figure within the army. Once funds were gathered, Pere Sastre was replaced with Guillem de Guimera, who had several proposed reforms to boost the production of goods. It was desperately needed, since merchants were slacking off and the treasury was forced to take out a loan to keep itself in the black.

By May of 1578, all the taken Portuguese provinces had mostly accepted Hispanian rule.

One figure who had stood out during the joust back in 1576 was the knight, Don Chesús. Despite being over a hundred, the knight wandered Hispania offering his services were needed. Many though did not know of his former deeds, for most were not even alive when he accomplished them. The author Miguel de Cervantes took up the task of writing a novel on the elderly knight, detailing his past exploits. Many speculated it was more fiction than fact, but it brought attention to the man.



In August of 1579, France declared war on Bar. This brought in Austria as emperor to defend them. Soon though, France called on its ally for support. A call-to-arms was issued to King Ferran IV. Prince Marti suggested accepting and offering minimal support, seeing as it was likely the Austrians would focus on France and leave Hispania mostly untouched. Forts in northern Iberia, Provence, and Napoli were garrisoned in preparation and the army fully funded. The navy set out for Austria’s only port. However, word then reached Hispania that Hungary had answered Austria’s call. Their involvement meant that Byzantium was likely to be invaded and nearly doubled the enemy forces, with over 70k men at their command. Hispania and France surely outnumbered them, but Hispania would not be able to coast through this war. It was decided that the court should be consulted on the matter





JpsioAG.png

Presenting His Majesty, Ferran IV de Trastámara, King of Hispania & Galicia, and Protector of the Greeks & the Knights.

It seems that the French require our aid. I’m not quite sure I’m inclined to assist them after they were so hostile with use for a time. Seems they think they can use us for their own expansion. Then again, they are a valuable ally and would be a dangerous rival. I suspect that together we can beat Austria and Hungary. But as our chancellor has advised me, I believe it best to consult all of you.

There is also the matter of these leagues within the Holy Roman Empire. Heresy is running rampant, yet we see ourselves potentially drawn into a conflict with the Emperor, who has done a poor job of dealing with these Protestants. I am unsure if we should even get involved. While we are a good Catholic nation, it might not be our place to intervene.


((Ministers have until Thursday at 12pm PST to post their plans. Players may propose laws in that time. We’ll also have a vote later on whether or not to get involved in the potential religious war in the HRE. We’ll vote on the call-to-arms too, but feel free to discuss it for now.

Dying:
@LittleEtruscan))
 
Last edited:

05060403

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Your Majesty,
I that most of my plan doens't need any changes. But I believe we should always embargo our rivals. We should also seek to hurt Portugal by hindering their ability to trade by placing an embargo on their merchants. That would conclude my ministry plan.

I would also like to annouce that the Saint-Pierre family wishes to fund a trading colony on the island of Mahe.

Auguste de Saint-Pierre
Grandmaster of Hispania, head of the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company
 

Robban204

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sassari_prov_coa_n5059.gif

My grace Ferran IV de Trastámara, King of Hispania & Galicia, and Protector of the Greeks & the Knights,

I believe we should continue to honor the call to war. With the combined forces of Hispania and France we will surely be victorious, and besides, the fleet blockading Austria's port could blockade Hungary's port aswell.

In regards to these Religious Leagues, I believe it is not my place to decide such an important matter, as it is best to leave this question in the hands of people more competent in these sort of decisions.

Your loyal servant,

Ioannes de Alvaro, count of Sassari
Lux Tenebris Vincet
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

Pere was discontent. He'd lost the tournament a few years ago, and after making it all the way to the end too. To make things worse, his great uncle had beaten him and then forced him to marry his daughter. Estrella was a pleasant enough woman. She was hardworking and didn't back down, something he liked in a woman, but there was something about her that he couldn't put his finger on and it unsettled him. The spark just wasn't there. He'd done his husbandly duty, but his wife had had a miscarriage. Now she was pregnant again. Hopefully everything would go well. Once he had an heir, he wouldn't feel obligated to bed his wife.

Life at the palace was fine and dandy, but he felt he had no purpose. What was he supposed to do with his life? Wait around learning about affairs of state until his father croaked and he took the crown? He needed something to occupy his time. Perhaps he would train with some of the troops so he could become a general one day. Maybe his father would let him serve on the council. Yes, maybe he'd do that.

Pere sought out his father, King Ferran. He found him lounging about in his chambers. Once he had his father's attention, he asked, "I was wondering if I could serve on the council. It'd greatly prepare me for my own rule one day and give me something to do."

Ferran waved his hand at him and said, "Sure, that sounds good. We need a steward anyway. Feel free to handle those affairs so I don't have to."

Pere thanked his father and left. He supposed he was steward now, something that could allow him to prove himself and make a difference. Yet somehow he still didn't feel any better.

((Just so everyone knows, I'm just filling the empty council slots since obviously the king we have wouldn't want to do any. If anyone wants a position held by a royal other than the king, they shouldn't feel like they can't ask for the position. Well there may be special circumstances, such as with Marti who obtained it during a special event.))
 

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(( List for colonies
alscon - Nazca
ML8991 - Manabe
Firehound15 - Pamlico
05060403 - Mahe))

((I'm sponsoring one in Sergipe (or anywhere else in Sanchonia/Brazil.)))

((While this is being discussed, I also have written that Supergrej wanted to colonize Parabia and ThePatriotOfDreumel wanted to colonize Rio de Janeiro, although the former is not active and the latter was suggested by a known criminal at the time. Firehound is also no longer active, so you might consider placing him near the bottom of the list and giving preference to active characters, unless you actually want to colonize there. I can also confirm that Keinwyn asked to colonize Sergipe. I make sure to write down all requested colonies just in case we manage to go through our colonist's list so I know where to go next. :)))
 

Andre Massena

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Velazquez smiled as he read the reports coming in for Guantanamo. His holy venture seemed to finally have enough settlers to be considered a proper colony. He just hoped the women (many of them nuns) he sent would not ruin the atmosphere of virtue. God willing they would soon spread the word of the Church to the savages of the Americas.

He was about to pick up the delightful book about Don Cheesus when another letter caught his eye. The cardinal frowned as he read of the potential war with Austria. Aragon now had a difficult choice. Both Austria and France were leading Catholic nations. If they warred Austria they would be fighting the leader of the Catholic League, which would make joining it somewhat awkward. But on the other hand France was the true power behind the league. Either way they had to join the Catholic League. It was the manifestation of the Counter Reformation and the sword that could finally kill the Protestant heresy He had an idea...

3GUg7t6.png


To His Majesty and the Royal Court

I know my advice has been frequently ignored by the court I believe that I must offer it now. We must back France, who is our chief ally and the muscle behind the Catholic League. But we must also not offend the emperor too much, for he is the nominal head of the Catholic League. We must also join the Catholic League in order to defeat the Protestant heresy once and for all. Thus, I propose that the kingdom accept France's call to arms but only send nominal help. Then we shall join the Catholic League and crush the Schmalkaldic League when war breaks out. Then heresy shall finally be eliminated from Europe.

Sincerely,

Cardinal Cassano Velazquez


((No change for Knights))