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alscon

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Let me congratulate you for your new title, Count Volturno. There are few men I know who deserve such an honour as much as you do. May I remind you of your promise then? I guarantee you this will not damage your standing as new count nor the reputation of your family in any way. I gather you have read the letter concerning my plan? What are your thoughts about it?

I thank you in advance,
Denis Vincent de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria and Chancellor of Hispania
 

Renzo da Lusari

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This may not be in my best interest, but I won't break my promise, I will help with this.Please send me a letter to inform me of who else i backing us.

-I think a diplomat would be a most useful ally, in case any foreign power has a hand in what may be going on.

-If you wish to investigate Byzantium since they are married into the Trastamara family i would advise you to ask for the position of Representative to Byzantium, since you already deal with the realm's foreign affairs, the Emperor will probably accept.

-If you wish to investigate inside the realm you, of course, need the support of the Steward, as he has power over the administration. Since lord Etxeto has not done much for the realm recently I think you should try to get a trusted man to occupy that function. That would help your inquiry greatly.

I will deal with the Italian provinces so you can focus on those tasks.

Sincerely yours,
Lorenzo Volturno, Count of Abruzzi
 

05060403

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My Emperor,
I write to you with a simple request, that you might find, I hope, just. I would humbly request a bit of land for myself an my brach of the family. I do not ask for much a single castle or a small village will do. I simply wish to provide for me family. Because I do not belong to the main line of the family and my only I only inherited the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company because the son of my mad brother wasn't of age, and as you can imagine a young boy controlling a trade company is simply unheard of. That is why after my death my children will be left with nothing but what I gathered through my life. I hope you understand my reasoning and will fulfil my request.
Your loyal subject,
Matthias de Saint-Pierre,
General of Hispania, Head of the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company
 

ML8991

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Dearest Sir, I thank you for explaining your plan,
although I already know, or at least have a good idea to the contents of the letter, I don't need to support you. But I feel that if the emperor is honest his subjects, their will be unrest, I can only pray it offers a stable resolution to the problem at hand. So allow me to express my vote and I hope it is as you want

Change Succession Laws: Yes
Letter Investigation: Yes

Cardinal Juan II de Soneta, PM and Court Chaplin of Hispania
 

Michaelangelo

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((So when does this "investigation" end?))

((I was waiting for a few select people to respond to alscon, but I think most of them have now. I'll let alscon wrap things up and call for the official investigation, and then I'll do the rolls. I've already prepped the update, so I can literally post it the moment the vote ends.))

My Emperor,
I write to you with a simple request, that you might find, I hope, just. I would humbly request a bit of land for myself an my brach of the family. I do not ask for much a single castle or a small village will do. I simply wish to provide for me family. Because I do not belong to the main line of the family and my only I only inherited the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company because the son of my mad brother wasn't of age, and as you can imagine a young boy controlling a trade company is simply unheard of. That is why after my death my children will be left with nothing but what I gathered through my life. I hope you understand my reasoning and will fulfil my request.
Your loyal subject,
Matthias de Saint-Pierre,
General of Hispania, Head of the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company

JpsioAG.png

The Saint-Pierre family has faithfully served the Crown for many generations. Indeed, you have accomplished much for Hispania in your time as general. It is always good to reward those who serve both the Crown and their countrymen well, especially families that have done so for generations. I shall grant your request. A nice barony in Roussillon will suit your family well. Perhaps in time your family may well serve as the counts of Roussillon. Only time will tell.

- His Imperial Highness, Pere V de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks

((Feel free to claim any historical barony that should be in Roussillon. Doesn't matter which one.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((alscon has requested I do the roll now in IRC, so it has been done. alscon and his allies have found the letter, although Pere did discover that alscon was snooping around. The emperor does not know that anyone else is involved. I'll now post the letter, but only @alscon, @hirahammad, @Robban204, @Mau da Cic, & @ML8991 have seen it. They may do what they please with it. If anyone wants to change their vote on succession, now would be the time.))

Emperor Pere V, for too long you have ignored the succession of this empire. Without further interference, the crown will pass to those unworthy of ruling the empire, those not even of Hispania. Your inaction dooms us all. If you truly care for Hispania, you will make a change to the succession laws before it is too late. Only by placing all males above females in succession will you ensure that the crown never passes from the Trastámara family. You must do what is necessary for the stability of this empire.

If logic is not enough to convince you, let it be known that I know of your two bastard children and have hidden them away where you will never find them. I’m am certain you will immediately check on them now that you have read this and will soon discover my words to be true. If you do not take the efforts necessary to secure succession, you will never see them again. Choose your next actions wisely.
 

alscon

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Together with his allies, Montségur had planned through most possible scenarios. What kinds of reaction the servants and guards of the palace would make. How to proceed in each case. Confident enough, he put his plan into motion. The guard remembered a day when he was told to stay away for a moment, a day when, as he told, Pere didn't look like his usual self.
Using this as anchor of the investigation, Montségur had men from the Chancellory ask around. The guard had officially not been close to Pere during that time. Did he meet with the enemy then? Or did he try to spy on him? Thoroughly asking around for the guard's and Pere's whereabouts brought forth some fascinating information. The investigators didn't believe the still present guard much and dug deep, deep enough to learn from some distracted servant that Pere had received a letter. As he read it, the servant claimed that his reaction was as if he'd lost another child. There was no spy around as far as he knew. A maid then saw Pere entering his chambers with the letter, but not leaving them with it. He often deposes important documents there, she said. There might have been a discussion within the walls, but she couldn't hear it if there was one.
After some days of investigation, Montségur had heard enough to stage to great return of the missing guard. His youth friend had requested help, for there was an imminent attack from Barbary pirates on his native village. The last raid had killed the guard's mother. He left immediately. While his service in the Guardia Real was likely over, Montségur would reward his bravery with taking him into his own.
Then to see what was possible with the letter. The maid did seem... 'receptive' to money during the investigation. In fact, she had asked for some in exchange for her story. While the investigators could threaten her to cooperate, he could bribe her with little effort o bring him the letter.

And what a shocking revelation! Two bastard children! Montségur cursed under his breath. Will the Hispanian rulers never learn that bastards cause nothing but trouble? He played through all scenarios he could imagine. The letter wasn't signed. Bad, bad, bad! It wasn't Byzantium or Clara. But it could have been anyone else. Not good. He would have to think of how to act very carefully.
 

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Where was that damned letter! Pere ruffled through his chambers, searching futilely for it. It couldn't have gone missing. He should have burned it long ago, but it was a constant reminder of what was at stake. His poor children suffered through God knows what and there was little he could do. Why did God punish him so?

After nearly an hour of frantic searching, Pere came to the conclusion that the letter was gone. Had one of the servants come across it and taken it? That seemed a possibility. He immediately had the guards call up every servant and maid that usually attended to him or his chambers. He asked them all one by one if they had seen anything suspicious or had perhaps gone through his things. While some were clearly intimidated, it was mostly the fact their emperor was questioning them personally. One maid though seemed much more disturbed than the others. When pressed further, she revealed that a man from the chancellery had questioned her about Pere and had then bribed her to fetch a certain letter. Pere's eyes widened at that news and he had the maid dismissed. Could the chancellor know about the letter, or worse now have it in his possession? What if those who sent the letter found out? His children could be in danger. So much more rode on the vote on succession. He had always favoured his sister Clara as heir, and part of him still desired that, but was it worth risking his children's' lives? Changing succession would save them, and perhaps in the long run help the empire, but surely this decision benefited his children's kidnappers in some way. Starting this whole vote was his way out. If they voted to change things, the kidnappers would be satisfied. If they voted against it, well it wouldn't be his fault then and perhaps his children would be safe. He'd have to see how they reacted to that vote though, and perhaps they would still blame him. This whole affair was becoming far too taxing on him.

There was still the matter of Montségur. If he did indeed have the letter, then there was the risk that the information may be spread. He did not want to put his children at risk. He needed to confront the man, and soon. As he thought of doing that, he felt even more drained and anxious. What if he was being watched? He did not truly want to discuss this with anyone. Instead he wrote a letter, entrusting its delivery to his most loyal service. Hopefully this would resolve matters.

JpsioAG.png

It has come to my attention that someone within the chancellery has been dabbling in my affairs and perhaps has in their possession a letter of the utmost secrecy. It is imperative that the contents of this letter are not made public, for the sake of the empire's stability and that of those individuals involved. I will forgive the indiscretion committed against me, for I am a forgiving man. I would just appreciate if you could ascertain the location of this letter and ensure it is not made public. I trust I have your full discretion regarding this matter.

- His Imperial Highness, Pere V de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks
 
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alscon

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Montségur was still thinking about what to do in his residence when a man came with a most urgent letter from Emperor Pere. Did he know? Then why not speak him in person? He opened the letter, and saw that it was indeed the case. There were two possible ways to deal with it. Explain the investigation and say that one of the investigators might have taken it. Or explain his true reasons.

Your Imperial Majesty,

Dabbling into Your affairs is not how I would call it. This letter of the utmost secrecy obviously has an impact on You, and as such on the entire empire. I felt obliged to investigate the reason for Your sudden change of heart concerning the succession, and I haven't been the only one. I do see why You would not want its contents public. But with all respect, Your Highness should have asked Your closest advisors for how to deal with this matter. I have come into possession of the letter, but it could just as well have been someone with the intention to damage Hispania. I have dealt with the letter as soon as I realized its potential and will take care that nobody else reveals it. I ask for the authority to use means of intensive persuasion if others fail - that is, promising an Imperial favour of some kind.
Now for my advice. The author of the letter wishes for the crown not to pass out of Trastámara hands. I have presented a possible solution for that. The Byzantines might not like it, but the author is obviously not a Greek. You have my full discretion, my Emperor. Should the Chancellory come up with any other solution, I will of course immediately report it.

Your loyal subject,
Denis Vincent de Montségur

The character of our revelations has been shocking. You are well-aware of its consequences. The emperor would prefer his children to stay as safe as possible, which would not be possible if any of us reveals the letter to the public. Before we have decided what to do with the information now that we have obtained it, we shouldn't make any rash move. Having begun to confront Pere, I am certain he would appreciate our discretion. I have proposed to use my interpretation of the current law to give in to their demands, but only as much as it doesn't change anything. Hispania's stability depends on us. I trust that you make the right choice.

I thank you again for your help,
Denis Vincent de Montségur
 

Renzo da Lusari

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((Vote modification))
Succession law change: Abstain
[Lorenzo Volturno, count]

I have retracted my vote on the succession law because I did not knew the whole context while voting. The Emperor will probably guess that I helped you, I don't mind. It is now clear to me that we have to work with the Emperor to preserve him from his invisible enemy. I do not know what our next move should be, but I strongly suspect, and you probably do too, that whoever sent the letter is a Trastamara, bastard or not. I will keep supporting you and the Emperor.

Lorenzo Volturno, count of Abruzzi
 
Last edited:

Michaelangelo

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Your Imperial Majesty,

Dabbling into Your affairs is not how I would call it. This letter of the utmost secrecy obviously has an impact on You, and as such on the entire empire. I felt obliged to investigate the reason for Your sudden change of heart concerning the succession, and I haven't been the only one. I do see why You would not want its contents public. But with all respect, Your Highness should have asked Your closest advisors for how to deal with this matter. I have come into possession of the letter, but it could just as well have been someone with the intention to damage Hispania. I have dealt with the letter as soon as I realized its potential and will take care that nobody else reveals it. I ask for the authority to use means of intensive persuasion if others fail - that is, promising an Imperial favour of some kind.
Now for my advice. The author of the letter wishes for the crown not to pass out of Trastámara hands. I have presented a possible solution for that. The Byzantines might not like it, but the author is obviously not a Greek. You have my full discretion, my Emperor. Should the Chancellory come up with any other solution, I will of course immediately report it.

Your loyal subject,
Denis Vincent de Montségur

The secret was now out. It seemed clear that Chancellor Montségur would not do anything that could damage the Crown, but if there were others involved what of them? Pere had to trust that Montségur had things well in hand, otherwise he'd drive himself insane trying to contain this situation. Promising to grant some imperial favours might be needed, as Montségur suggested. As for the suggested loophole, Pere was unsure how to proceed. He did not know what the kidnappers truly wanted. Perhaps it was time he did accept some help.

JpsioAG.png

I will not speak further on how or why that letter came into your possession, for what is done is done. If I must use my powers as emperor to ensure that those involved maintain silence, then I shall do so. I fear the consequences of this being made public and will do what is necessary to keep everyone silent.

As for the matter of succession, I am uncertain whether maintaining the current succession but declaring all non-Trastámaras discounted from succession will solve my problem. It may well ensure stability for the empire, but it may also not satisfy those who wish my family harm. The situation is far too delicate for me to take action without knowing the consequences. I fear that for now I am helpless in what I can do.

- His Imperial Highness, Pere V de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks
 

05060403

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Your Majesty,
Thank you for your generosity! I will gladly accept the barony you have given me. I believe that the barony of Perpinyà will be just right. I once again wish to express my gratitude. You truely are a benevolent ruler. Long may you reing in the Empire of Hispania!
Your humble subject,
Matthias de Saint-Pierre,
General of Hispania, Head of the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company
 

Michaelangelo

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JpsioAG.png

Emperor Pere V let out a loud sigh and rubbed at his forehead.

After much thought and at the advice of the court, I shall carry through with the changes to succession. All males shall now be placed ahead of females in succession. I can only pray that this decision proves best for the empire.

((I decided to end the vote since it seemed unlikely to fail at this time. Here is the result if it's not obvious:

Change Succession Laws?: Yes))

* * * * *

((Private))

Emperor Pere felt so very tired. This whole affair felt as though it had taken several years off his life. He just need some rest to regain his strength after that whole affair. Unfortunately that seemed to be denied to him as he spotted another letter as he entered his chambers. Glancing around to make sure no one was in the room with him, Pere approached the table with trepidation. After calming himself, he picked it up and opened it. The contents brought his anxiety back as strong as before.

Well done regarding the changes to succession. You have done as requested and your children shall not be harmed. However, to ensure you stick to your word and do not change succession back, your children shall be kept from you indefinitely. I expect you to take no action to find them or you will jeopardize their lives. Act wisely, my emperor.

The letter dropped back on the table. Would this ever end? Consumed by sudden rage, Pere grabbed a nearby vase and threw it at the wall. It shattered on impact, sending bits of pottery scattering across the room and leaving a wet stain on the wall. Without hesitating, Pere picked the letter back up and tossed it into the fireplace. He would not risk letting this letter get out too. No, what he needed to do required the utmost secrecy. He would find his children, however long it took, but he'd do this alone. He had allowed this to happen and he'd be the one to fix it.
 

Mach Twelve

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((Ominous! This has been a great AAR already, but this little ploy has upped the stakes considerably. Keep up the suspense!))
 

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1619-1624 – Portuguese Problems

With the changing of succession laws, Pere’s demeanor changed as well. The anxiety was gone, mostly replaced with a sense of determination that bordered on obsession. The man was constantly brooding over something. He became more withdrawn from court, continuing to serve his duties as emperor but making less and less public appearances. No one was certain why, although a select few members of court had their suspicions.

After stewing for several years, the Holy Roman Emperor in Saxony decided to publicly denounce Emperor Pere, claiming that he had no right to declare Hispania as the successor of Rome. All the electors supported the denouncement, making it clear that the member states of the HRE were against Hispania. Hispania received some support from its long-time ally in France as King Louis XVI expressed his support for Hispania’s claim to empire. Perhaps the support merely had to do with France’s constant rivalry with the HRE, or maybe it was a positive sign of the alliance between Hispania and France that had existed for nearly two centuries.

Chancellor Denis Vincent de Montségur managed another grand success against Morocco as he convinced them to hand over Ceuta without a fight. Perhaps the Moroccans had come to realize that this use of threats would not end, but with Mali’s army making its way north, they didn’t have the strength to resist anyway. Either way, Hispania now had a greater presence in North Africa. The Exercit Granada was stationed in Ceuta until the population could be pacified.

The expansion of trade centres continued as trade depots were placed under construction in Alicante and Sevilla.

Chancellor Montségur also had plans for Mexico, where it was decided that Portugal would be saved from the rule of the local natives, as well as a chance to civilize the primitives. Two armies under the command of Generals Almudena Hashen and Hernando Francisco de Leon departed for the New World.

Even as a war in the west was prepared, the same was done in the east. The need to contain the Mamluks led the chancellor to seek out an unusual ally. Persia hated the Mamluks as much as Hispania did, and had a sizeable army that could be used against them. The Persians were surprisingly willing to commit to this alliance with little negotiation. There was a mutual understanding about the Mamluks, and the Persians greatly admired Hispania’s strength. Perhaps the fact that Persia was one of the few Shia Muslim nations in a world dominated by Sunnis was a convincing factor.

In March, Camaguey became self-sustaining. Colonist Eduard Villanova, feeling that the Caribbean was well in hand for now, set off for Arequipa near Cusco at the behest of the Montségur family, who had financed many colonial endeavours in the region.

The HRE’s claim against Hispania seemed feeble as Bohemia continued to eat away at heretic lands. Perhaps they should get their own house in order before denouncing one of the most powerful nations in Europe.



It was only in August that the two armies arrived in Mexico. With 24k well-trained men in the area, war could be declared. The war declaration was sent out to Tlapanec, despite them being a vassal of Colima. It seemed best to make it clear that this war was to free Portugal from the grasp of these primitive heathens. They would be set free, if only to be placed under the rule of Hispania.



The two armies immediately marched on Tamaulipas, what remained of Portugal. Their feeble army was no match for the two Hispanian generals. Hashem remained to siege the province while Leon marched to Metztitlan, the sole province of Totonac, where he had little trouble dispatching their army.

The construction of trade depots progressed, with new ones placed in Girona and Draguignan. Later more were constructed in Corsica and Lucania.

Finishing off where Bohemia had started, Mainz annexed the Palatinate, ridding the world of one of the electors.

A Malian army appeared near Fez in pursuit of the Moroccans. Much to onlookers’ surprise, the Moroccans won with half the numbers. How had Mali managed to win the war so far?

In March of 1620, Metztitlan fell, allowing Leon to move on to Tullucan, the capital of Aztec. Another worthless enemy army exterminated as Tamaulipas fell. Hashem set out for the fort in eastern Tarascan. The remaining unoccupied countries all had forts and further defences in their capital. These primitives were surprisingly well fortified.

Cusco would most likely not be providing any aid soon, for the people of Chimu were not going silently. Rebels had risen up in Piwra, a nuisance the Cuscoans had to deal with.



Despite their sole victory in battle, Morocco was forced to cede their southern provinces to Mali. All their progress into the interior of Africa had been removed.

In June, Savoy made yet another move on Genoa. It was pretty obvious what their target was, with only the province of Genoa itself left in Italy. It seemed clear that soon Genoa would be exiled to the Crimea.

Before Leon had left for Mexico, he had left clear instructions behind as marshal to continue recruitment efforts across the empire. Men in Cosenza seemed eager to join the army, and Valencia was always a good place to look.

Tullucan fell, removing a third nation as a threat from the war, just as Austria declared war on Ulm. Leon marched through the wilderness to capture Colima’s western fort. These natives kept their lands heavily fortified and these forts had to be eliminated before progress south could be made.

After years of searching for a way to spread the faith to the people of Nice, it finally seemed as though the people were finally listening. The Inquisition swooped in, ready to bring the region back into the arms of the Church.

In August, Austria called upon Hispania for aid in its war against Ulm. The tiny city state had four allies, all who were minor imperial states with minimal armed forces. Better yet, France had already come to Austria’s assistance. With minimal risk to Hispania itself, Emperor Pere accepted the call-to-arms and joined the war.



General Matthias de Saint-Pierre was tasked with aiding the Austrians. At first he was to be sent out to aid the French in taking out Aachen or Trier, but then it was reported that the entire Austrian army had ignored Ulm entirely and marched up north. Knowing that taking Ulm was the key to ending the war, Saint-Pierre marched up through western Austria towards the city state.

Austria’s decision to attack Aachen was unusual, and nearly cost them their army, for Aachen was prepared for their arrival. Only the arrival of thousands of French soldiers saved them from near defeat. As for Saint-Pierre, he encountered only a single regiment guarding the city, allowing him to set up a siege. The city defences were massive though and it seemed unlikely he could take the city without further assistance. The transport fleet, fresh from the New World, headed for Naples to ship General Niccolo Limmona to Austria.

Saint-Pierre had a near scare as the army defeated earlier by Hispania’s allies marched right past Ulm, France in close pursuit, retreating for the safety of Salzburg.

With no treasurer to advise the emperor on financial matters, Pere had taken to handling the duties himself. The empire had a sizeable surplus, and thus he believed they could afford more skilled advisors, especially if that meant bringing in more money. One Enric Gisbert was considered a genius with numbers and boasted he could raise Hispania’s tax income by 10%.

As expected, Savoy dealt with Genoa easily, exiling them from Italy and taking the valuable province of Genoa. It was becoming clear that Italy was soon to be divided between Savoy, Tuscany, and Hispania.



The artisans became more vocal about taxes, wanting certain ones lowered or abolished to allow them to better practice their work. It was argued that doing so could improve their productivity, although it would cost the Crown money for now. Not want to destabilize the empire while in a state of war, Pere gave in to their demands. The empire had to take out two loans to cover the losses. To help alleviate the costs, the emperor ordered the collection of war taxes.

France caught up to one of Salzburg’s armies in Landshut, moving quickly to eliminate the threat before the gathered enemy armies could terrorize Austria.

Limmona landed in Gorz and began the march through Austria to Ulm. Early in 1621, the enemy forces in Salzburg thought to ambush him. They attempted to catch him in Lienz, and even though he managed to prepared a defence beforehand, he did not have the numbers. Saint-Pierre was informed of the attack by the Austrians and abandoned the siege of Ulm to march to help. There was a fear that the remaining army in Salzburg might intervene, but France took care of that matter. Saint-Pierre did arrive in early February, but before then Limmona had been wounded in battle. Just three days before the enemy army was forced back, Limmona succumbed to his wounds. The great general, a hero who had fought in the Battle of the Five Generals, was dead. ((Sorry @AvatarOfKhaine, the game killed you off in battle and the RNG was not in your favour.))

Perhaps a bit dispirited, Saint-Pierre rallied Limmona’s men to his cause and returned to Ulm to finish the job, making sure to get revenge on the army that had struck such a blow at Hispania.



Bohemia continued to weaken its neighbours as Brandenburg gave land to their ally Pomerania.

Sayultecas, Colima’s western fort, fell in March. The natives had rallied to retake some of the captured forts, so Leon moved to prevent that. Cutzamala fell soon after, so Hashem aided that effort. Two enemy armies were engaged before they could flee, with superior numbers and technology easily winning the day.

It was also around this time that tariffs on wine from Nueva Granada were raised. Hispania had to find money from somewhere to pay off its loans. At least Hispania had received a small sum in the peace Austria signed with Trier.

Lubeck and the rest of the enemy alliance had converged on Lothringen and managed to take the fort, but the French army swept in to eliminate that threat. Overwhelming numbers forced the enemy aside, just as Hashem wiped out the last army of the New World primitives.



Pasai was experiencing internal troubles, perhaps a sign that it was time for Hispania to intervene in the region and secure a colony.

Austria managed to force Aachen out of the war, settling a similar peace as they did with Trier.

June brought good news as Nice embraced the true faith once again. Catholicism reigned supreme, with all signs of Protestantism and Reformed removed.

Austria finally made a move on Salzburg, eliminating their pitiful defence and opening the province to siege. It was also around this time that the first of Hispania’s two loans was paid off.

A group of nobles in Sanchonia rebelled against the governor, but Sanchonia’s army in the region was larger and could handle the threat on its own. At least Lubeck was facing a similar fate, with nobles rising up in their own lands and allowing Austria to settled another peace.

After a basic administration was set up in Ceuta, the Inquisition was sent in to remove the heathen presence. Here was a chance to use some of their old methods, for Muslims were not so openly tolerated.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Byzantium landed an army in Colima, led by none other than Emperor Maurianus II Palaiologos.



In October of 1621, the little known Duke of Olivares offered his services to the emperor, first as prime minister and then as chancellor. Both offers were refused, for the emperor had more than capable men in those positions. He was instead assigned as an ambassador or diplomat to be used by the chancellor as he saw fit. The man was indeed brilliant, and Montségur made sure to use his talents to their greatest effect.

Patzeuaro fell in November, capturing one enemy capital. The enemy had recruited more regiments to attempt to retake their land, but Leon managed to eliminate two of the armies. A colonial force from Nuevas Baleares took out the third.

January of 1822 saw many new breakthroughs in several aspects of society. The first were some remarkable new muskets called carbines, greatly improving the cavalry regiments who used them. This also coincided with better designed cannons, ones that were more accurate and easier to manoeuvre. New naval strategies were also devised, with battles taking a new form that focused on broadside attacks rather than boarding the enemy. The idea of a nation state started to form, with the various kingdoms and countries of the world being free from inference in internal affairs from outsiders. This new idea also prompted many intellectuals to start looking at Hispania and how the empire could progress in the future. What new path could it take?



With the fall of Cihuatlan came the beginning of the end. All the enemy forts, with the exception of Colima’s capital, had fallen. One or two provinces remained, but the war was decided. With the goal in mind of annexing all the native nations to better civilize them, the possibility of connecting all the provinces required land from Itza. Another war was required, sanctioned by the chancellor. Hashem was already on the border, while Leon was finishing off Colima. It was time for the second stage of war.

Within a week of declaring war, Colima finally fell. Some time was spent convincing the enemy to accept a peace, but soon all six nations were annexed. The embarrassment that was Portugal was rectified, and the last resistance to Pere’s claim to the throne of Portugal was removed. Even the Pope accepted this and was willing to recognize Hispania’s claim to Colombia over Portugal after all these years. The Inquisition was also tasked with enlightening the primitive people of this land, starting with Apatzingan.

While Hispania prospered on the world stage, the nobility were faltering. Constant infighting had weakened their influence at court.

Leon’s first action in this second war was to prevent Itza from attacking Hispania’s colonies. While Hashem focused on taking out one of Itza’s forts, Leon went after their army that had snuck into Tamaulipas. There he showed them the superior skill of the Hispanian soldiers.

In May of 1622, Ulm finally fell. General Saint-Pierre welcomed the Austrians into the city he had conquered for them and then began the long trek home. Predictably, they annexed the nation, a great boon for Austria who now had connected the two halves of their nation.

In September, the final loan was paid off, bringing Hispania out of debt.



The fort in Mexico fell in October. With Leon trying to capture the only other fort in western Itza, Hashem split his forces and started rapidly capturing territory from the enemy. He continually pushed east, with Itza preoccupied by Hispania’s allies. Byzantium’s army was present and Cusco had appeared with 20k men and went straight for Itza’s capital.

The emperor was approached with the idea building a new flag ship, but he instead requested a lighter model. Trade had taken such a priority, since it contributed greatly to Hispania’s prosperity.

Bohemia continued its murderous rampage by this time targeting Hungary. Hungary had Austria at its side, so perhaps Bohemia would be held back a bit.

Itza had managed to sneak yet another army north, but this time Emperor Maurianus intervened and crushed the native army. Soon after, Leon captured the fort at Tlaxcala. His forces were split up to secure what was left of western Itza as Hashem continued east.

Over in Africa, Ceuta embraced the true faith. Catholicism reigned supreme yet again. Now the Inquisition could fully focus its efforts overseas, this time on the primitives in Cihuatlan. They had already met with success at converting to natives of Apatzingan, so they extended their efforts to Cutzamala too.

In June 1623, Ile Bourbon became self-sustaining. The Crown still wanted a greater presence in the southern tip of South America and commissioned a colony in Carmen.

It was also in June when the entire western half of Itza was occupied. The fort in their capital was the only thing keeping the Hispanian armies and their allies from pushing farther east, that is until the transport fleet arrived. Hashem was able to get around the fort and rampage through the Yucatan peninsula.

A petition was presented to the emperor to support struggling composers. Ever a supporter of music and the arts, Pere offered to patronage several musicians of note.



Itza’s capital of Peten fell in 1623 thanks to Cusco and the leadership of General Leon. Cusco went further to show its dedication to the cause by taking on Itza’s army and wiping out half their numbers. In the meantime, Hashem went after the last fort in Ecab. Leon, had the privilege of driving the natives from their next hiding spot, followed by the Greeks finally eliminating the armed threat.

The recent acquisition of loans and the stress that placed on the economy made Emperor Pere consult several economists and others knowledgeable in financial matters to better prepare the Hispanian administration to handle debt and inflation in the future.

The natives of Cihuatlan and Cutzamala accepted the Church into their hearts and the Inquisition hoped they’d be just as successful in Sayultecas and Cuitzeo.

Much to everyone’s disappointment, the Mamluks overcome a peasants’ war, although many didn’t even remember that they had one to begin with.

Muscovy rise as the dominant Russian power was knocked back as Lithuania pressed into their southern lands. With the massive Sweden and Lithuania on their border, it would be difficult to thrive.

Once Leon reached Ecab to assist the siege, Hashem was given the honour of wiping out Itza’s last army. His unexpected naval landing caught them by surprise, leading to an easy victory.



Two new trade depots were set up, this time in Pirineo and Urgell.

The decision to ally with Persia over Georgia in the end seemed a wise decision as the former decimated the latter and extended their presence in the area. Perhaps this would give them an advantage against the Mamluks.

In August of 1624, Ecab succumbed to siege, leaving Itza completely occupied. Hispania was already having difficulty holding down the current colonies in Mexico, so annexing Itza was not an option without risking mass revolt or international condemnation. After consulting with Chancellor Montségur and Diplomat Felipé de Alvaro, Emperor Pere decided that the best course was to take enough provinces to link Hispania’s current holdings in Mexico, as well as the fort in Mexico itself to secure the region. Itza was also forced to release several native states to ensure they didn’t threaten Hispania’s holdings in the region. This victory spurred on the Jesuit Order to increase activity in the New World.

With that settled, General Hashem was tasked with watching over the new colonies while Leon returned to Iberia to resume his duties as marshal.

This colonial victory also coincided with a victory of sorts back in Europe. The Pope had passed away and a new successor had to be considered. While Hispania’s influence had not been as great ever since King Ferran IV had placed himself above the Pope, there were many reformers within the Holy See who applauded Hispania’s more lenient and tolerant approach to the Protestant and Reformed faiths. Nearly all signs of heresy had been removed without resorting to harsh methods as seen elsewhere. Perhaps it was time for the Church itself to take a similar route, and to do that they’d need a Hispanian in charge.



((Ignore the heir in the spam picture since I obviously did this update before succession was changed.))



JpsioAG.png

Presenting His Imperial Highness, Pere V de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, and Protector of the Greeks.

I did not expect to see the day when the College of Cardinals appointed another Hispanian as Pope, for last time it ended in disaster. Perhaps it is a sign that relations may finally be mended and we can cooperate with the Church for the greater good.

It is also good to see Portugal put to rest so they no longer have to suffer in some dark corner of the world. Our new colonial holdings in the region are quite extensive now and will most likely require a new name once the proper administration is established.

This may also be a good time to contemplate on the accomplishments of our fair empire and which direction it will take now. We have many paths to choose. I hope we may choose wisely.


((Well that was a surprise. Didn’t expect to become papal controller with us struggling for influence. For whatever reason, the game won’t show the notification for becoming papal controller even when it’s turned on, so I didn’t notice until several months later when I saw the extra diplomat. I also apologize to @alscon for not getting to the rest of his plan. I would have continued on to the next planned war, but the appointment of a Hispania pope demanded I stop the playthrough. Speaking of that, we only have one cardinal, so @ML8991 gets to be pope again, unless he prefers to decline the position and allow an NPC to take it instead. I’m also willing to keep the in-game pope’s age the same despite ML’s character being older so it doesn’t kill him off right away.

I also see we will have several things to vote on. We’ll soon have a colonial nation in Mexico, so we’ll need a name for that. I still have the old list of colonial name suggestions like Leonia (seems fitting with the active role conquistador/general Leon has taken), Neuva Cathargo, Ferrania, and Trastamaria. Feel free to start suggesting more now. We also get to pick our fifth idea group. I’d suggest either military or diplomatic, since we have two admin groups already and struggle for those points the most. I’ll include a screenshot of the available ideas below.

All ministers will have until Sunday at 12PM PST to submit their plans. Players may also propose laws or reforms in that time period too, and we need names for our soon-to-be colonial nation. We also have an opening on the Cortz, so any landed noble many nominate themselves for that position. The Cortz may also choose a new Chamberlain now, or wait until the third Cortz member is chosen.

I also wish to clarify something here. While I’d prefer plans to be submitted before that deadline, I will accept them after that as long as they’re submitted before the end of the vote deadline so I have them for the playthrough. I just prefer them before the posted deadline so that they can be put up for a vote if the king objects to them, otherwise it gets complicated if a controversial plan is posted late. Players may also voice their opposition to plans to convince the king to put them up for a vote too if they wish.

Pensioners:
@zenphoenix
@wzhang29
@ML8991 (Technically you’re over 80, but since you’re the only papal candidate the age restriction doesn’t apply)

Dying:
@Totally Oink

))
 
Last edited:

ML8991

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Conclave IC

The chamber was hot and stuffy and, with the prolonged conclave, beginning to smell. But suddenly the votes were announced, and slowly the votes tailed more and more towards Juan. It almost overtook Juan went he realised he was to become the next Pope, just like his namesake, a proud moment for any a family. Juan stood confidently, as he recited the vows, and declared his name, for some reason some people thought Clemens was an appropriate name, no that name was for the French to keep. Juan much preferred Benedict, the saint of Europe and a leader in the stability movement, something Juan personally hoped he could uphold, but he was innately suspicious of the number 13, he didn't want to face bad luck like his predecessor in the family, and thus he took the name Francis.

 

zenphoenix

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((Public, but not to the court))

The Portuguese may be our enemies, but they're our enemies and still Christians and Europeans! We couldn't let them suffer under the yoke of pagans who practice human sacrifice! And that is why I at my advanced age led Hispanian troops into Mexico to liberate them and bring the Gospel to the poor natives.
Hernando Francisco stopped to drink some water as the crowd waited silently.
That's better. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the war in the New World. Those natives have primitive weapons and military strategies, but they are proud and resilient. I admire their loyalty and their devotion to their leaders. They will make great soldiers once they are properly integrated into Hispania as good Christians.
The Mayans in Itza were quite different from the Nahua that I fought in Mexico. The Nahua had these beautifully decorated feathered armor suits and helmets which were shaped like eagle and jaguar heads, though they of course were no use against our guns and swords. You can't imagine how fierce they were. They screamed this primal scream which scared the daylights out of at least a dozen of my men before we overcame that and opened fire on them. But the Mayans...they were different. They were disciplined, they had art and elegance to every move they made against us. They had honor and to some degree civilization, though of course having recently converted they haven't become fully civilized yet. They were worthier than any foe I had fought in Mexico.
After crushing their armies, my army and I marched through the Yucatan. We lost many good men not to the natives but to disease. It was like a reverse Eden, a garden of death. Everything was out to kill you: mosquitoes, jaguars, wild boars, monkeys, snakes, even the fish! Luckily most of us got out alive.
In the jungle, though, we came across these old stone cities. They were unlike anything I had seen in Tenochtitlan or even in Europe. Large step pyramids decorated with serpent and jaguar motifs, empty ballcourts with balls still lying around in the ground, buildings built so perfectly that clapping in the middle of one of them gives off the sound of a quetzal bird. The cities were old, hundreds of years old, old when Aragon was young. They were many, and I can give a whole list of names: Xichen Itza, Palenque, Peten, Tulum, all grand cities to rival some European cities themselves, and all abandoned, without a single soul living within them. I felt a strange emptiness in the ruins, like something was missing there. The friendly villagers nearby and our own guides said that their ancestors used to live in these cities until some calamity drove them out. I was standing in the ruins of a long-dead civilization. What caused them to abandon their cities, their great empire? Could the same fate befall our colonies or even our own cities? I came to realize the brevity of life and of civilization. Just as a man is born, lives, and dies, a civilization rises and falls over the centuries. Nothing is permanent.
The old conquistador looks at his cup.
Wait, was that beer?! No wonder I'm trying to act like a philosopher. Must be my age then. So, some soldiers wanted to loot the cities, find anything of value, maybe even deface the pagan idols there. I told them to leave the cities intact for the good of the natives and of human culture in general. These cities are achievements of all of humanity together. Their abandonment teaches a lesson to the future, that no pagan empire lasts forever.
Oh, we won that war with the Itza. And as a reminder, they're Christian now, so in the future they will help us in our effort to spread the Gospel throughout the New World.
Okay, that's enough storytelling for now. I'm an old man, but I've still got government duties as Marshal. I'll be heading back to the capital tomorrow.


((To the court))

As is family tradition, I hereby propose that the new colonial administration be named "Leonia," with its capital designated as Tenochtitlan, to be renamed "Nuevo Leon" or "New Valencia."
 

Dadarian

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After 23 years of quietly embezzling funds from the Imperial treasury, Lord Etxeto actually does something. And dies.

- - - - - - - - - - -


7d78b3346e66884b6bb6f6458f03fa95.jpg

Duque y Conte Tomas IV B.L. Etxeto, c. 1650 (Note: period costume for a ball)

Name: Duque Tomas IV Barros Luys Etxeto de Navarra, Conte de Vizcaya, Conte de Riojo
Date of Birth: 12 June 1587
Class: Landed Noble (Navarre)
Religion: Catholic

- - - - - - - - - - -

Etxeto-arms.gif

Coat of Arms of the Etxeto
It is my sad duty to announce that my grandfather, the late Duke of Navarre, Count of Vizcaya, and Count of Riojo, has past into the hands of the Lord. Aged three score and eighteen years, he will be missed. However as he has past into the arms of the Lord, I, Tomas Barros Luys Etxeto, do rightfully claim his place as Duke of Navarre and all the other titles and responsibilities of said title as Tomas IV Etxeto.
 
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