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Mach Twelve

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I hope I am doing this right, this all looks so interesting! I don't think this has been done before, so I hope this will be interesting to you all as well!

Name: Petros Mandromenos
Date of birth: 1600
Class: Courtier (Foreigner, Seeking to become a landed noble though)
Religion: Greek Orthodox
Bio: In what seemed to be the final, dark days of the Byzantine Empire, the Mandromenos Family came to prominence. The Family was founded in the Morea Despotate shortly after the reclamation of Constantinople in 1261 and quickly became landowners with a respectable regional presence limited to the Peloponnese. When the Ottomans invaded and reduced the Empire merely the Peloponnese, Macedonia, and Constantinople, the Mandromenoi went from a minor dynasty to among the most important families in Greece, simply by being one of the few who maintained their place in a shrinking nation. When Aragon "offered" their protection, the Mandromenoi were among the first to "accept" their gift. After the reclamation of much of Greece due to Hispanian benevolence, the Mandromenoi were one of the few to greatly benefit from the increased territory. Now among the Magnates of Byzantium, they seek to increase their House's power by gaining a position with their protectors.

To do this, they have sent Petros, the descendent of a previous House Patriarch's third son, to Hispania. Diplomatic, courteous, and charming, the well-educated Petros seeks to represent both his House and his country in the Hispanian Court and gain a landed title to start something greater. While he may be a devout Orthodox Christian, Petros respects his host's religious customs and prefers to work in secular affairs.
 
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wzhang29

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((I suggest Nova Hispania (New Spain in Latin). Historical FTW! :p))
 

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((@Mach Twelve : You should be aware that Greek Orthodoxy has been violently oppressed for over a century within Byzantium and the nation is firmly Catholic since Aragon told them to be. With the bloody revolt of the remaining Orthodox defeated, I can't see an Orthodox having any kind of power within Byzantium. Otherwise, welcome :).))

Fez, January 1619
'This is not the same as the Canaries!' The Moroccan head envoy was not pleased.
'I never said that. Only that Morocco is in a very precarious position right now, with the Malians on the advance.' Montségur was calm and confident.
'But Ceuta - why should we give up our fort, protection from our enemies - like you!'
The Hispanian Chancellor had a very good reason. 'You conquered the Canaries from Castille. My liege is king of Castille. Your Sultan conquered Ceuta from Portugal. My liege is king of Portugal. We just reclaim what is ours.'
'No! The Portuguese were the intruders and...' The envoy sighed. 'Fine. But this will be the last time, infidel jackal.'

After his second meeting with the Moroccans in Fez, Montségur saw to it that the second Portuguese kingdom's existence would end. Then he left for Byzantium to explain the reasons for the change in succession law. He didn't mention the letter. Instead he pointed out that this change was made to clarify the law. Trying to prevent Maurianus II from claiming the throne of Hispania in the future, the Chancellor spent a lot of time trying to convince the emperor and the influential families of Greece to accept this change without taking up arms. Leaving for the marriage of his eldest daughter to the Duke of Guise in France, upon his return he offered his second daughter's hand to the Greek nobles. Closer bonds with the families of Constantinople would only help him in his task.

There had not yet been a suitable groom found when he returned to Valencia. With the Chancellory, he had to decide of the Itza partition. What would the next years bring?
 

Mach Twelve

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((No heretic burning for the Mandromenos ;)))

((@Mach Twelve : You should be aware that Greek Orthodoxy has been violently oppressed for over a century within Byzantium and the nation is firmly Catholic since Aragon told them to be. With the bloody revolt of the remaining Orthodox defeated, I can't see an Orthodox having any kind of power within Byzantium. Otherwise, welcome :).))

(( I might have misread the tolerance of all heretics laws and thought they included Orthodox, but this makes it more interesting to me. After all in real life, despite the Spanish Crown pushing Catholicism on the newly conquered masses of Islamic Spain, there still were enough concerns to form an Inquisition that cannot be expected to deal with them even centuries after the fact. It can't be expected that Hispania has crushed all Orthodox influence in Greece, thus the Orthodox Greek character. But, I would like to make one change, Petros Mandromenos appears to be a Catholic in public, but is a secret heretic. I will wait for the Emp-rar to approve this change before I post, just in case. @Michaelangelo

To those of you who recognized the family name, once I decided that I wanted to be a Greek, I just decided to use a name that I am already semi-notorious for. But make no mistake, EotM Mandromenos are not TIM Mandromenos, at best they are the results of the different timelines influences a house that began the same way. At worst, I was just lazy. I have made the effort to make them different than my other iAAR dynasty. But I must agree, TIM Mandromenos are famous for their harsh treatment of heretics, EotM Mandromenos ARE the heretics!))
 
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zenphoenix

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(( I might have misread the tolerance of all heretics laws and thought they included Orthodox, but this makes it more interesting to me. After all in real life, despite the Spanish Crown pushing Catholicism on the newly conquered masses of Islamic Spain, there still were enough concerns to form an Inquisition that cannot be expected to deal with them even centuries after the fact. It can't be expected that Hispania has crushed all Orthodox influence in Greece, thus the Orthodox Greek character. But, I would like to make one change, Petros Mandromenos appears to be a Catholic in public, but is a secret heretic. I will wait for the Emp-rar to approve this change before I post, just in case. @Michaelangelo

To those of you who recognized the family name, once I decided that I wanted to be a Greek, I just decided to use a name that I am already semi-notorious for. But make no mistake, EotM Mandromenos are not TIM Mandromenos, at best they are the results of the different timelines influences a house that began the same way. At worst, I was just lazy. I have made the effort to make them different than my other iAAR dynasty. But I must agree, TIM Mandromenos are famous for their harsh treatment of heretics, EotM Mandromenos ARE the heretics!))
((So in the inevitable crossover with TIM, you will purge yourself?:D))
 

Mach Twelve

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((So in the inevitable crossover with TIM, you will purge yourself?:D))

((Yes. I don't think the two timeline's Mandromenos will get along at all. But then again, I did want this family to be very different than the TIM Mandromenos.))
 

Michaelangelo

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(( I might have misread the tolerance of all heretics laws and thought they included Orthodox, but this makes it more interesting to me. After all in real life, despite the Spanish Crown pushing Catholicism on the newly conquered masses of Islamic Spain, there still were enough concerns to form an Inquisition that cannot be expected to deal with them even centuries after the fact. It can't be expected that Hispania has crushed all Orthodox influence in Greece, thus the Orthodox Greek character. But, I would like to make one change, Petros Mandromenos appears to be a Catholic in public, but is a secret heretic. I will wait for the Emp-rar to approve this change before I post, just in case. @Michaelangelo

To those of you who recognized the family name, once I decided that I wanted to be a Greek, I just decided to use a name that I am already semi-notorious for. But make no mistake, EotM Mandromenos are not TIM Mandromenos, at best they are the results of the different timelines influences a house that began the same way. At worst, I was just lazy. I have made the effort to make them different than my other iAAR dynasty. But I must agree, TIM Mandromenos are famous for their harsh treatment of heretics, EotM Mandromenos ARE the heretics!))

((Your interpretation of the tolerance laws is correct. Orthodox is technically tolerated like all the other Christian faiths like Protestant and Reformed, but Hispania has been acting as though the Schism was ended over a century ago and as though the Orthodox faith simply does not exist. You won't be persecuted for being Orthodox, but most people will treat you as though you're following a dead religion. I'd also consider Byzantium even more Catholic than Hispania, for they were left unscathed by the Reformation and their current emperor is very pious. You can hide your faith if you want, but that's up to you.))
 

Mach Twelve

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((Your interpretation of the tolerance laws is correct. Orthodox is technically tolerated like all the other Christian faiths like Protestant and Reformed, but Hispania has been acting as though the Schism was ended over a century ago and as though the Orthodox faith simply does not exist. You won't be persecuted for being Orthodox, but most people will treat you as though you're following a dead religion. I'd also consider Byzantium even more Catholic than Hispania, for they were left unscathed by the Reformation and their current emperor is very pious. You can hide your faith if you want, but that's up to you.))

((Noted. I still will keep my religion hidden, due to the fact that my character is more secular-minded. But I may reveal my inclinations to a few friends. Speaking of which, I guess I should make my first IC post.))

@alscon
@zenphoenix
Assume both of you receive separate copies.

Dear Esteemed Councilor of Hispania,

First, I would like to send my thanks to you as a leader of the Empire for allowing me to make my home in your nation. I promise you that this generosity will not be forgotten. Know that House Mandromenos were among the first to accept Spanish Lordship in Byzantium and that we have used our considerable influence to insure good relations between our nations.

But the nobles of Byzantium are faced with a problem. Ever since their emergence, the Islamic Menace has been a thorn in the Byzantine's sides. And while our hold on Greece may be secured thanks to Hispanian Benevolence, Muslim Power extends far in the neighboring Anatolia under the Mamluks. I believe I speak for all Greeks when I say that we are greatly concerned when we know that such a threat is as close as the other side of the Strait of Bosporus from Constantinople.

I believe that the Greek People, from hoi polloi to the aristoi to the doux himself, will be greatly pleased if the Emperor were to make war with the Mamluks with the intention of reclaiming the northwestern areas of Anatolia for Byzantium. I know that my House will be thankful of such an act.

Also, since my talents lie in the diplomatic sphere, I will be willing to serve as a diplomat for the empire either in Byzantium or elsewhere. For now, I simply desire to prove my worth to Hispania and humbly ask for the means to do so.

Your Thanks,
Petros of House Mandromenos
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

Empress Dowager Clara stood with her entourage at the docks of Constantinople, waiting for her son to return. His ship was pulling into the harbour at the moment, the emperor aboard. Clara's son had sailed off years ago to personally lead Byzantium's army in Mexico against the enemies of Hispania. Clara had considered it a foolish decision to leave the empire for so long, but Maurianus had never lacked for bravery and a thirst for adventure. A military expedition across the world was a thrilling opportunity for him. In the meantime, Clara had served as regent in his absence, much to the distaste of most of the Greek nobles. She was not particularly concerned that the nobles did not like her, for she had cemented her position at court and she'd managed to outwit anyone who made a move against her.

Clara's position as regent had kept her in Constantinople and unable to properly attend to a most pressing matter. Her brother Pere, emperor of Hispania, had changed the succession laws, essentially removing her as heir. She was not particularly offended by the change, for she understood the reason behind the change, one that benefited the empire. Chancellor Montségur had even come to Constantinople to personally explain the change. She saw no fault with that. If Pere wanted to ensure that the Trastámara family kept the crown through male-preference succession, she was willing to accept that. Admittedly she wouldn't have minded being empress of Hispania, but the title of empress was not something she required yet again. What did bother her was that her brother had not informed her of the change beforehand, or even told her personally. He had always told her that he thought she was a suitable heir, so why the sudden change of heart? She had expected that the two of them were close enough that he would have told her beforehand. Perhaps he felt the change was needed urgently, and the distance between Valencia and Constantinople was too great for him to send word in time. Either way, she felt that she was owed an explanation from Pere himself. As soon as she had the chance, she would depart for Valencia, and the last thing keeping her from leaving was about to arrive.

Clara smiled as her son Maurianus disembarked from the recently docked ship. He immediately came over to her and embraced her, something not lost on the other gathered nobles who raised their noses at the display. She returned the embrace warmly, always glad that her son was forever a mother's boy.

"So how was that dreadful part of the world?" Clara asked.

Maurianus's smile told Clara the answer before he spoke. "It was spectacular. Jungle as far as the eye could see. Strange pagan temples aplenty. And the people, dressed in animal skins and fierce fighters, although no match for my men."

Maurianus placed his arm on her shoulder and tried to guide her away from the docks as the group headed towards the palace. Clara held her ground though, making the emperor hesitate. "Is something wrong?"

"Our reunion has been so short, but I must take my leave of you. I have business in Valencia." Clara nodded towards a nearby ship waiting for her. Her servants were already packing her luggage on-board.

Maurianus seemed confused for a moment and then nodded. "This is about the succession changes, isn't it?"

"Indeed," Clara said. Her son must have heard about it while sailing home. "My brother owes me an explanation."

After a short farewell that had so closely followed their reunion, Clara boarded her ship and set sail for Valencia. She would have answers from her brother in-person.
 

ML8991

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((No letter to the PM and now Pope @Mach Twelve, I am positively offended :p))

Juan, or now Pope Francis I as he was now known as, came to a realisation. With his advanced age, and his new position, he would need to delegate some authority, to insure that the administrations of both realms he now governed stayed stable. He couldn't delegate any authority of a religious nature to anyone, not many students had taken to the cloth in this new age of discovery and reasoning. Therefore he sort to delegate authority of his Prime ministry. He hoped that his relative, and close friend and ally, Duke Denis Montséger, could accept the role.

Dearest brother,
as I am sure you are aware, I have been recently instated as the leader of the Lord Gods church, well at least my church. Given the fact that this would mean I am often out of the country, whether in Rome or otherwise on tour, I can't be as effective as I have been. Furthermore my advanced age has hindered me yet further. Therefore I offer to you the post of Co- Prime Minister
((no extra VP btw, sorry)), of the realm. When I am out the country, you will effectively take my place, though I would appreciate letters of discussion, so that I am aware of what is being said. When I am in the country however, you act, as you have, as my aside, whereby you offer me suggestions of both policy and of other political matters.
I do so hope you may consider and accept this role,
May the Lord shine on you and with deepest love,
Pope Francis I, Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican Estates, Servant of the servants of God in nomine, natus Juan II Francesco Michael de Soneta, Archbishop of Barcelona, Primate and Cardinal to Hispania, Prime Minister and Court Chaplin to the Hispanian Empire
 

Mach Twelve

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ML8991

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((@Mach Twelve not even the Pope that has made a protestant his Chancellor- btw, come to the IRC :) ))
 

Michaelangelo

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JpsioAG.png

With the appointment of the former Cardinal Soneta to the rank of Pope, he will find less time to attend to his duties in Hispania. His Holiness has informed me that he still wishes to serve Hispania as Prime Minister when he can, something I cannot deny for a man of his station, but that he requires a substitute while in Rome. Your services have been greatly appreciated as chancellor. I wish to affirm His Holiness's wish that you serve as Co-Prime Minister in his absence.

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

alscon

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myKh8vJ.png

Your Imperial Majesty,

I sincerely hope that this succession change will not have any negative consequences in the future. I have done my best to limit the impact in Byzantium, but let us hope that presumptive heirs will be safe of each other. But onward to actual matters. The Savoyards have recently seized the city of Genoa, what leaves them in a vulnerable position once again. And as they are surrounded by all sides from our alliance, I am fairly certain they will give in to a demand to hand over Albenga. Slowly but steadily, and without shedding a single drop of blood, we might be able to take control of the Italian coast by means of diplomacy.
After issuing this demand to the Duke of Savoy, the time will be come to finally strike against the Mamluks. Delaying our war may even have had positive effects - they are recovering from a peasants' war and are especially vulnerable while Hispania can count on a Persian ally too. Another advantage sits in Rome - I will ask Pope Francis to declare a crusade for Anatolia. This should bring in many volunteers to fight against the Mamluks, and the call for the crusade will have time to spread while I negotiate in Chambéry. I think this war will last for the next years, so we should concentrate our military there, while the diplomats shall try to enhance our reputation where necessary. Improving relations with the Swiss shall help to further isolate the Italians, while the fierce Poles should be discouraged from entering a war on our enemies' side.
I would also announce my candidature for the Cortz.

Your loyal servant,
Denis Vincent de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria and Chancellor of Hispania

((Chancellor's Plan:
- threaten Savoy over Albenga
- declare holy war against the Mamluks (after the Pope calls for a crusade)
- improve relations with Switzerland and Poland))

Some other things to do. Answer that Greek noble... he sighed. It would be good not to hear any Greek speak for a while. Constantinople is a beautiful city, but all these schemes between the houses are intolerable if you are not truly involved and every single man with some power seeks to gain you as an ally. Tiresome. Very tiresome. It would be good if that man handled it for him.

Senor Mandromenos,

I am sure that it should be no surprise for any Byzantine that we are long considering a war against the Mamluks. Other matters have always been more pressing. I wouldn't speak of any 'Islamic Menace' though. The days when the Turk threatened Constantinople are long over, and one just has to remember that there has been a peasant uprising in the Mamluk state to see that they are no menace. Know also that I would never consider waging a war just to fight a menace that doesn't exist. Diplomacy is my favoured method, taking up arms should always be nothing else than the last measure if negotiation fails. Stay assured that I have included a war against the Mamluks in my current plan, to reclaim the lands long lost for the Greeks and to cut down the Mamluk ambitions.
For your offer to serve as diplomat, I will gladly accept it. Nobody may be suited better to talk with the Greeks but a Greek... But answer me some questions first. Are there any feuds with other houses? Are you easily influencable? If the answer to one of these questions is yes, then you will have to prove your worth in the Chancellory before serving as actual diplomat. I'll see there if I should accept your offer myself, for I am always seeking diplomats with some influence.

Respectfully,
Denis Vincent de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria and Chancellor of Hispania

Then there was Pope Francis' letter to answer to. Montségur had a request for his friend anyway, and this appointment was not just an honour, it was something he would use wisely and to the benefit of all involved.


My Friend,

I will be honoured to act as Co-Prime Minister during your absence from court, which I think might be often as I hear that politics in Rome with all these Cardinals are hard to keep track of or direct in a certain direction, what you surely want to do.
May I ask for a papal favour too? No, not for myself, I am sad to disappoint you in that regard. But your word carries a lot of weight in all Catholic realms since the conclave elected you, and I wish to put that word to use for Hispania. The time has come for us to attack the Mamluk Sultanate; and while I don't expect the Papal state to support that war in any way, having its own problems, you might call what could very well be the last crusade. A crusade against the Mamluks, to free Anatolia. Support from all over the Catholic world would keep the costs of such a war as low as possible.
You will find a copy of my intentions as Co-Prime Minister along with that letter.

May your reign in Rome be wise and long,
Denis Vincent de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria, Count of Palermo, Messina and Syracuse, (Guardian of Imperial Letters, Imperial Diplomat, Founder of the Austrian and Persian alliance, Intimidator of Morocco, Savoy and Genoa, Protestant Leader in Hispania) and Chancellor of Hispania

myKh8vJ.png

In my office as Co-Prime Minister, named as such by Pope Francis and agreed upon by Emperor Pere, I will have to make some appointments to offices and some changes as well.
Some vacant offices are in dire need of being filled. As such, I would name
- Lorenzo Volturno as new Representative to Byzantium. The man has seen a lot of the world and will like to settle down. I can also imagine the Greek nobles reacting positively to someone able to tell many stories and without too much influence in the court of Hispania from my own experience there.
- Felipé de Alvaro as new Treasurer. The man has shown a lot of skill in the Chancellory and thereby I think he will be able to fill this position quite well.
- Almudena Hashem as Viceroy to Nuevas Baleares. The colony needs to grow through trade, and cooperation with the CTC in that regard seems to be a good choice for now.
- The other Viceroyalties will be governed by the Chancellory for now, until someone able advances his name.
- Anyone thinking to be a capable Steward should present himself as well. As long as there is none appointed, the duty of the Steward shall be filled by the Treasurer if he deems himself capable.
-The current Grandmaster has shown himself to have little understanding of much more than his fishing business, sadly. And even there I question his ability since he proposed to bring fresh fish from Crunia to Palermo at my son's wedding. There has been multiple disputes with the Grand Admiral, and he has shown little ability to think in the greater scheme of the world. How would conquering Alexandria help our trade situation? The city only flourishes because the goods that reach it from the East or South freely reach the city as part of the Mamluk Sultanate. An exclave there would see the Mamluks move their main trading port and impose tall tolls on any trader in Alexandria proper. And for a common man and trader, calling for war is more detrimental than beneficial, yet he does that. A man with more experience, more education is needed for such an important position and as such I would ask for you to consider the dismissal of Senor Fulminante from this office and seek a suitable replacement.

Denis Vincent de Montségur,Co-Prime Minister of Hispania
 
Last edited:

Michaelangelo

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JpsioAG.png

All these men seem like excellent candidates and I hope they will accept the positions offered to them. I can assume that His Holiness consents to these appointments. As for the matter of the dismissal of José Fulminante from the position of grandmaster, I must voice my disapproval. He has done admirably in bolstering the trade income of Hispania. I have never seen so much money flowing into our treasury. Perhaps my mind is not entirely suited for financial matters and there is a better path. The court shall be consulted on whether a new replacement is needed.

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

((Anyone offered a council position by alscon just needs to accept to receive it, although ML8991 can overrule any of the appointments as the acting prime minister. As for the matter of delpiero1234's position as grandmaster, the prime minister may only fire a minister if either the king consents or the court votes in favour of the dismissal. Seeing as the king has disagreed, a vote shall be conducted alongside the rest of the votes to see if he shall be replaced. ML may also overrule this decision as well.))
 

Robban204

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@alscon
sassari_prov_coa_n5059.gif

My friend Denis Vincent de Montségur, Co-Prime Minister of Hispania,

I humbly accept the position of Imperial Treasurer and temporary Imperial Steward until another suitable candidate present himself, hopefully I can live up to the expectations that are put on me.

My plan is as follows,
Treasurer:
-Lower inflation to under 2% and keep it there, if possible, lower it even more.
-Reduce the funding of the army by 50% in peacetime.
-Raise war taxes during wartime.

Steward:
-Build marketplaces in all available trade nodes, if a marketplace already exists, build a trade depot instead. Trade is an important source of income for our nation.
-Supress the Nahuatl Zealots. We will not tolerate heathens, especially heathens that do not originate in our part of the world.
-Keep our war exhaustion below 5.

If a suitable candidate presents himself, he can immediately disregard my plans as steward and present his own.

Your loyal servant,

Felipé de Alvaro, count of Sassari, Imperial Treasurer and Steward of the realm
Lux Tenebris Vincet
 
Last edited:

hirahammad

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Dear Denis Vincent de Montségur,

Congratulations on your appointment to the rank of Co-Prime Minister. ((Beta Minister?)) I accept a position as Viceroy to Nueva Baleares, as I already maintain business contacts there, in order to keep the family trade running, and I am well-known on the islands.

Sincerely,
General Almudena Hashem
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private))

Emperor Pere cursed as he read over the latest report regarding the search for his missing son and daughter. It had been five years and still nothing had been found. Whoever was keeping them hidden was doing a good job of it. He rubbed at his eyes, feeling as though the task was hopeless.

The door to Pere's chamber opened, but he wasn't in any mood to deal with anyone. Not bothering to look up, he said, "I'd prefer to be left undisturbed, thank you."

"That's no way to speak to me after I sailed all this way just to see you."

Pere's head snapped up at the familiar female voice. His sister Clara stood in the doorway, her hands on her hips and a smile on her face. The emperor blinked rapidly and said, "What brings you here?"

"No 'how are you' or 'it's good to see you'? I feel so welcome here." Clara strutted over to a free armchair near the fireplace and sat down, crossing her legs and eyeing her brother with a smirk.

"I apologize," Pere said. "My mind has been rather preoccupied as of late."

"Affairs of state never end," Clara said with a knowing look.

"Is that why you have come here?" Pere asked, genuinely intrigued. His sister had given him no forewarning of her arrival.

Clara's eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "No, I am not here on behalf of my son. I am here for more personal matters."

Pere's cheeks reddened, suddenly aware of the reason for her recent arrival. "You mean my changes to succession years ago." He withered a little under her cold calculating gaze. "I did not mean to so hastily cut you out of succession. It was not an easy decision."

Clara held her intense gaze for a few more seconds before her expression softened. "I do not fault you for your decision. You were only thinking of the implications for Hispania. I am, however, upset that you did not tell me beforehand."

Pere licked his dry lips, not wanting to discuss this matter. "And I apologize for that. Unfortunately, my hand was forced on the matter."

Clara let out a sigh before placing her hand on Pere's knee. "I know the loss of your children, all lost so young, was hard on you. No parent wants to lose a child, let alone more than one. Yet you knew years ago that there was a possibility that you would not sire another heir and did nothing about it. We even discussed this matter at great length and you told me you were completely content with me as your heir. What changed?"

It hurt him to admit it, but Pere couldn't bring himself to tell the truth. Clara seemed to think that the deaths of his children were to blame, but little did she know that it was children of another sort that sparked his decision to change succession. "The reality of the situation hit me so suddenly that I felt the need to act. Sometimes we do drastic things when our family is at stake."

Clara narrowed her eyes again and then rose from her seat. "Well next time have the courtesy to tell those involved before you make those decisions." She walked towards the door, only taking a moment to look back and say, "And I know you too well, brother, so don't expect to fool me. There's something else going on that you're not telling me. Perhaps I will stay in Valencia until you're ready to tell me the truth."

When Clara finally left, Pere gasped for air, as though he hadn't breathed for the past few minutes. It hurt him to hide things from his sister, especially when she knew he was lying. He had never liked keeping secrets, and this one was burning away at him. But what else could he do? The more people that knew put his son and daughter at greater risk. He couldn't allow that. He hated being forced to act against his nature to save his family, but what little choice did he have.
 

Mach Twelve

The Insane Tyrant
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Feb 3, 2015
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Senor Mandromenos,

I am sure that it should be no surprise for any Byzantine that we are long considering a war against the Mamluks. Other matters have always been more pressing. I wouldn't speak of any 'Islamic Menace' though. The days when the Turk threatened Constantinople are long over, and one just has to remember that there has been a peasant uprising in the Mamluk state to see that they are no menace. Know also that I would never consider waging a war just to fight a menace that doesn't exist. Diplomacy is my favoured method, taking up arms should always be nothing else than the last measure if negotiation fails. Stay assured that I have included a war against the Mamluks in my current plan, to reclaim the lands long lost for the Greeks and to cut down the Mamluk ambitions.
For your offer to serve as diplomat, I will gladly accept it. Nobody may be suited better to talk with the Greeks but a Greek... But answer me some questions first. Are there any feuds with other houses? Are you easily influencable? If the answer to one of these questions is yes, then you will have to prove your worth in the Chancellory before serving as actual diplomat. I'll see there if I should accept your offer myself, for I am always seeking diplomats with some influence.

Respectfully,
Denis Vincent de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria and Chancellor of Hispania

Petros was sitting in his chambers. It was a small room, just large enough for a bed for sleeping and a desk for working. He didn't like it, but he knew that he would need to accept it, until he earned something better of course.

As he sat reviewing a missive from his family back in Greece, a knock is heard. He answers the door and accepted the messenger's item, another letter. He opens it, and then smiles.

Better than I had hoped, and miles beyond what I had expected.

He takes another sheet of paper, and prepares to respond to Co-Prime Minister.

To the Duke of Trinacria, Chancellor of Hispania, and Newly Minted Co-Prime Minister,

First of all, congratulations on the Post of Co-Prime Minister, I am sure that you will be able to lead this country to new heights. It speaks much of your talent that you were given this post.

Next, I would extend my deepest gratitude from myself, my House, and all of Byzantium for your willingness to engage the Mamluk for Anatolia. Ever since the seventh century, the Followers of the Prophet have attacked my people. Since then, many different Peoples following their Prophet have assaulted and taken land from Byzantium, only to be pushed back and then for a new People to rise up and restart the cycle. The Greeks are looking for a permanent solution to this millennium-old problem and we would like to see these Egyptians be the last. Once again, I and every true Greek thank you for what I hope to be the beginning of a long term habit.

Now on the matter of the diplomatic position. While I may be from one of the most prestigious Houses in Byzantium, I am a somewhat distant relative of the House Patriarch. This puts me in a unique position. I am well aware of the Nature of Greek Politics and of the Houses, but I have not earned the ire reserved for close relatives in positions of import and do not see the need to dislike those who do not see me as a threat. I am unbiased in my opinions of the Greek Nobility and will be able to act in Hispanian interests.

Also, know that I am accustomed to the precise form of flattery and persuasion that Greeks employ and will be able to distinguish those who are willing to give meaningful aid and those who seek to take without giving in return. I will not be influenced or hoodwinked by the Great Houses or any other who would seek to subvert me. In fact, your decision to wage war against the Mamluks will ultimately be to both of our benefit. As I implied earlier, all true Greeks seek to see the Muslims brought to heel. With your recommendation for war, combined with a grant of a sizeable portion of territory in Anatolia from the Mamluks, the Greeks will feel indebted to Hispania. A skilled diplomat will be able to take these feelings and turn them into tangible results, especially if he were to say that he was one of architects of these conquests, with your permission naturally. The best part is that the two of us have the records to prove this to the Greek Houses. Once again, I applaud your wisdom and promise that you will not regret your choice in this matter.

May Good Fortune Bless Your and Your Successors,
Petros of House Mandromenos, Hopeful Diplomat of Hispania