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zenphoenix

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((The legend of Don Chesus lives!:D))
 
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hirahammad

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(IC from after duel))

Almudena had won the duel through his great skill and experience, but had it gone on longer, he felt he would have collapsed from exhaustion. His old age required him to play most defensively. Almudena found it increasingly unlikely he would win, but if he did, ((private)) he had a plan which would be a culminating point of his life ((private)).
 

Robban204

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Teofilo Volturno fought hard, as did Augustín. But in the end it was Volturno who was the victor. Augustín thanked the man for a good and fair fight afterwards and went and sat down next to his father, to watch his brother compete.

It was a close and hardfought battle, Erodio Volturno attacked and parried, attacked and parried, but Andrés held his ground, striking back with skill and precision.
The crowd gasped when they striked eachother, dancing skillfully around eachother, trying to get the upper hand. But suddenly, Andrés parried a strike from Erodio and with lightning fast reflexes he striked back, drawing first blood. Andrés was victorious!
It was a hardfought battle, and it boiled down to pure luck, something Andrés had gotten today. He thanked his opponent for a very good fight and went to rest.

A few hours later he heard that Crown Prince Ferran had beaten Petros Mandromenos. It looked like he would fight the Crown Prince. That would be interesting, fighting a royal. Andrés looked forward to the tournament.
 

alscon

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The opening battle of the tournament. The draw had been good to him. The Duke of Trinacria was perfectly prepared, and eager to
start his tournament with a swift victory. The Count of Salento was his opponent - the man was certainly not to be underestimated as he fought for the royal family, but Louis was confident in his abilities. And rightly so. The duel had just begun when after a few elegant parries he ended the tie with his first strike. Victory would only go over him.

His son was similarly successful. In a duel of youth, he almost managed to surprise the retiring marshal's grandson, but Marti had more experience then Maximilien and managed to deflect the blade in the last moment. Encouraged by this early advantage, he was able to press on and claim victory. And now he would face Don Chesús. A legend. But even if the 'Battle of the Ancients' was the best fight of the first round, it had certainly showed that the old knight was likely to rusty to prevail against his youthful speed, even more so that he had to be tired after that thrilling encounter. Maximilien thought about a hard semi-final probably awaiting him against Prince Ferran or Andrés de Alvaro. Both had proven their skill.
 

alscon

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The next round would start, with people still speaking about the battle of the ancients. The duelists had no concentrate on their task though and had no time to admire the feat of the two elders. The quarter-finals would begin.

Louis François de Montségur vs. Teofilo Volturno: The host had more to face with in Volturno. Unlike the last round, it didn't look as easy, but his win was still not threatened too much during the fight.
Roll: 37

Alejandro III Lorenzo Maria Philippe Alfons de Soneta vs. Diego Fajardo de Mendoza y Guzmán: The unknown lesser noble was still euphoric following his first round win. Soneta was quick to remind him of the reality, ending the duel in very few time.
Roll: 7

Andrés de Alvaro vs. Crown Prince Ferran: Definitely, Andrés de Alvaro is the man to watch for a close fight. After his thrilling first encounter, he saw a similarly hard-fought tie against Crown Prince Ferran, and won again, to the pleasure of the crowd awaiting his next match eagerly.
Roll: 48

Maximilien Philippe de Montségur vs. Don Chesús: The ancient knight was unable to manage a surprise win against the young Montségur. Exhausted from his last duel, Chesús moves were slow and he bowed out with dignity, but also with ease for his opponent.
Roll: 28

NkEfWgI.png

The commoner's tournament progressed to the next stage as well. The two final participants would be found.

David Maxime de Saint-Pierre vs. Hermann Lübecker
: Both men fought this duel as a worthy final. After a long exchange of blows, it was Saint-Pierre who made it through this fascinating tie.
Roll: 40

Achille Basile de Saint-Pierre vs. Almudena Hashem: Hashem's reflexes were no longer the best due to his advanced age, but he was still not to be underestimated. Saint-Pierre though overcame his experience with a fairly swift strike, ending the tie fairly quickly. The general should have done better in the opinion of many.
Roll: 17

This made the commoner's final a purely Saint-Pierre affair.

DPJGJDY.jpg
 

Michaelangelo

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((I'm finally back from my trip. I did have wifi at my hotel, but decided just to use it to skim over things without getting involved. It'd be a lame trip if I just did what I do at home. :p Anyway, thanks to alscon for hosting this ongoing fencing tournament. I'll try to write something up for Don Chesús later, since he deserves some IC. ;)))

((Also, I will not be writing out a full recruitment on the investigation plot on Empress Francesca, but @alscon @Robban204 @Raboude @ML8991 are all invited to this plot. Assume you have full awareness of the secret meeting with the Emperor))

((I'll try to work something out for this tomorrow. Obviously I haven't been thinking about this investigation the past few days. :D))

7pcGwiM.png

To His Imperial Majesty, Francesc I de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome and Protector of the Greeks,

Your Imperial Highness, please allow me to congratulate you on your ascension of the throne. May your reign be long and prosperous.

While it has no doubt your mind is taken by the many new responsibilities, I feel I must request your attention to a particular affair. During the reign of your predecessor, a most foul murder was committed at the Court. We have long suspected the murderer fled outside of Hispania, but we have lacked proof ever since. I would ask Your Imperial Majesty for a renewed effort in finding the villain who dared raise a hand against a noble. For your subjects, it would mean you stand for justice. For the nobles, it would mean a sign of support resulting in a higher loyalty, which I am sure will strengthen your rule.

May the Almighty protect you and your family,

Lúcia Fernanda Manuela de Maia,
Condesa de Lisboa, co-chancellor of the Imperial chancellery

(( I'd like another roll to find José Fulminante. ))

JpsioAG.png

I have heard of this most heinous act and shall ensure that the resources of the Crown are utilized to find this culprit. It would not do for the murderer of one of our empire's nobles to run free without punishment.

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

((I shall commence the roll once I consult our spymaster.))

* * * * *

JpsioAG.png

I have but one proposal to place before this court, one presented by Petros Mandromeno. It is of great importance. Recent events have placed succession in question, at least to some. Thus I wish you all to consider Petros's proposal to recognize me as rightful emperor and to call for all claimants to renounce their claims to my throne. It will ensure stability in these troubling days.

I also wish to publicly announce that I have considered those within this court most suited for the position of prime minister and after much scrutiny and several glowing recommendations, I believe that Count Felipé de Alvaro would fill the position nicely. If he is willing to serve me in such a capacity, I will gladly grant him this role.

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


((We only have one thing to vote on, Mach Twelve's proposal. I've also asked @Robban204 to be prime minister. If he accepts, he may appoint anyone he wishes to any position (excluding court chaplain, chamberlain, and spymaster) even if those positions are already filled. Also, seeing as he already occupies two council positions, he'd have to forfeit one to take the prime minister spot. Now for the vote:

Clarification of Imperial Succession: Yes/No/Abstain

Players will have until Wednesday at 12PM PST to vote. Please bold your votes and include your character's name and class. If I missed anything that needs attention from the past few days, please mention it to me. :)))
 

hirahammad

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Almudena suavely does not vote in this matter, in fact, he does it so suavely almost no one notices he has abstained.


((Almudena Hashem, courtier, Marshal))
 

wzhang29

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zenphoenix

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Mach Twelve

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Clarification of Imperial Succession: Yes

Petros Mandromenos -(Courtier)
 

Robban204

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Clarification of Imperial Succession: Yes

[[Landed Noble, Prime Minister]]

Open Letter to Emperor Francesc I de Trastámara and the people of Hispania:
sassari_prov_coa_n5059.gif

My imperial grace, Francesc I de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks,

I humbly accept the position of prime minister, and I will continue to serve Hispania and its people to the best of my abilities.

Regarding the court positions, I propose the following:

Chancellor: Petros Mandromenos, he has proven himself during the time as co-chancellor, and I personally vow for him.
Steward: Lúcia Fernanda Manuela de Maia, she has also proven herself during the time as co-chancellor, and having a portugese in the court will hopefully stem rebellious feelings.
Treasurer: Felipé de Alvaro, I will hold on to this position as I believe I am best suited as treasurer.
Grandmaster: Jean Gérard de Saint-Pierre, the Saint-Pierre family have proven time and time again that they are cunning traders, having one on the court will surely be beneficial.
Marshal: Almudena Hashem, the great general have proven himself to be the one and only logical choice for this position.
Grand Admiral: Dietrich Vinzent Lübecker, the Lübecker family are great explorers and sailors, this is only logical to choose him for the position.

Hopefully they will accept their nominations.

Your loyal servant,

Felipé de Alvaro, Prime Minister of Hispania
Lux Tenebris Vincet

@Mach Twelve @Raboude @05060403 @hirahammad @wzhang29
 
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Mach Twelve

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Petros sat in his office, a room reserved for the Crown Diplomats. The room reserved for the Chancellor laid vacant, as it had for the almost seven years. A letter hits his desk from the Prime Minister. He opens it, reads, and smiles. It isn't the warm inviting smile that so many have seen the diplomat wear, but a smile one might find on a crafty general after vanquishing a hated foe by a sly strategem. A smile of victory. He had done it. He was now the sole Chancellor of Hispania. And he did not need to ask for it. But his smile falters for an instant. With every victory there is a new challenge. The first step was to ensure that the Triumvirate was ended amicably. Rome was shaken to its core after its two Triumvirates ended poorly, that must not happen to the Chancellory.

@Raboude @Robban204
To my Friend and fellow Diplomat, the Nominated Steward of Hispania,

Congratulations on being nominated Steward. Your exceptional work in the Chancellory has not been unnoticed by either me or the Prime Minister and I believe that it is a just reward for your efforts. As Chancellor, I will allow you to continue serving as a diplomat and will work with your Cuscoian ambitions. May your efforts succeed.

Your friend
Petros Mandromenos, Chancellor of Hispania

((Some of Robban's Letter is common knowledge, the assistant part to be precise))

To my friend the Prime Minister,

I see that the Emperor has given the right man the position of Prime Minister after listening to several voices of reason, mine included. While your work as Prime Minister may be important, I fear that you cannot be replaced as a diplomat so quickly, but I intend on assigning you an assistant for your diplomatic work. In time, this assistant will take over your current position as Diplomat after he has gained the necessary experience. I hope that you agree with this.

Your friend,
Petros Mandromenos, Chancellor of Hispania
 

Robban204

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@Mach Twelve
sassari_prov_coa_n5059.gif

My friend,

I do not disagree with your proposal, for I see the truth in it. I believe it is a great idea to assign me an assistant to aid me in my duties.
I will try to teach him every tricks of the trade I know so he can serve Hispania as I have.

Your friend,
Felipé de Alvaro, Prime Minister of Hispania
Lux Tenebris Vincet
 

Mach Twelve

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((If anyone is unemployed or is old and looking to get their next character some IC experience, apply to be the Prime Minister's assistant today!))
 
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alscon

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As the tournament neared its final phase, the combatants for the semi-finals made their last preparations. The Saint-Pierres had some more time to prepare, while the nobles would see who would fight for the honour of becoming a Knight in the Order of the Light.

Louis François de Montségur vs. Alejandro III Lorenzo Maria Philippe Alfons de Soneta: The two brothers-in-law had been seen as favourites at the beginning of the tournament, yet the draw placed them both in the same half, so they met in the semi-final. The duel held the high hopes put into it. An encounter marked by truly virtous handling of their blades. Finally, it was the host who came out on top of a memorable duel.
Roll: 54

Andrés de Alvaro vs. Maximilien Philippe de Montségur: The crowd favourite Andrés de Alvaro had to pay a toll to his valiant performances of the previous rounds. It did look like this tie could be as the ones before, but Montségur was able to end it as it entered the final stages Alvaro had so masterfully decided for himself before.
Roll: 84

So it would come to be that both finals would be fought within a family. The Duke of Trinacria was happy to be confirmed in his belief that his family's mastery in the art of fencing was unchallenged, while the Saint-Pierres certainly proved that they weren't just all merchants, but also fighters, like the late general Matthias de Saint-Pierre. The families with French origins were more skilled with their blades, it seemed.

Final Nobles: Louis François vs. Maximilien Philippe de Montségur

Final Commoners: David Maxime vs. Achille Basile de Saint-Pierre

((Clarification of Imperial Succession: Yes

[Duke, General, Viceroy, Chamberlain]
Also attempting to convert Siracusa.))
 
Last edited:

Michaelangelo

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((First the roll for trying to catch José Fulminante. Unfortunately, the odds were not in the Crown's favour and he eluded them again.

As for the investigation of Empress Francesca, Mach Twelve has presented some ideas for mechanics that I find usable for it. Basically the plotters will have a chance of finding evidence that varies from circumstantial to damning, and the goal is for the plotters to find enough evidence to convince Emperor Francesc that his wife is guilty. The plotters may at any time choose to present their evidence to the emperor, but if he does not find it damning enough, he will call off the investigation, so it might be wise to wait until enough evidence is gathered to be convincing. At any time Francesca may learn of this investigation and choose to act, so the longer the investigation goes on, the likelier she will find out about it. Each piece of evidence found that is more than circumstantial will increase the odds of finding better evidence. As for how the plotters go about finding this evidence, I will be using a combination of RNG and a choose your own adventure style. I will present the plotters with possibles choices as to where to direct their investigation based on how they respond, with different odds for the RNG based on their choice. This should help make the investigation more fluid and player-involved. Seeing as Mach Twelve initiated the investigation, he shall be placed in charge. I will leave it up to him as to when to proceed, how he chooses to consult with his co-conspirators on which path to take, and when to present evidence to the emperor.

Anyway, I will let Mach Twelve decide when he wants to officially start the investigation, seeing as he may want to gather more co-conspirators. He may also gain their assistance during the investigation, so people can get involved partway through.))

Also attempting to convert Siracusa.))

((RNGesus favours you, converting the people of Syracuse to Protestant. I'm also chuckling at the fact both Montségurs ended up in the finals. It's Prince Marti and Crown Prince Pere all over again. :p))
 

Mach Twelve

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((Starting investigation immediately. ML8991 can join if he wants))
 

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As the final duel of the first day was about to commence, a mysterious fog fell over the crowd and the grounds. First a knight rode out into view, his armour finely polished but seeming from another era. He removed his helmet, revealing a withered face and curled mustache. The elderly knight dropped down from his horse and began carefully removing the bulk of his armour, until he was wearing only his leather tunic and trousers. He approached the middle of the duelling grounds, carrying a fine blade in his hand. Despite his extreme age, his hand did not shake. He stood for all the crowd to see. It was rumoured that this was the legendary Don Chesús and not some imposter, although few alive had been around to see the first knight and his identity put him at over 150 years old.

From the same mist that spawned the old knight rode another figure, a figure of average proportion, lightly outfitted in small selections of plate, but none to protect his face, from which a great shock of white hair came forth. The gentleman quietly dismounted, and drew out his blade, finely balanced but of a dull edge, time seemed to have taken it’s toll on on the ancient weapon, some said it was a great weapon that was over 200 years old. Though it was clear that the man was old, he held a great posture, and held himself in most high esteem, at least it seemed. To some in the audience, they felt his was a face they knew, that of the old chancellor to the realm in times long past, but this gentleman would not look so young if that was the case, and anyhow men don’t live past 100 do they now? Not even 70 years could be placed to the man’s face, let alone the 125 odd years that it would need to be that of Francesco de Soneta. And so the two men, both of great age and wisdom, locked eyes and started their dance.

The two legends, men both thought lost to the world, circled each other, taking measure of their opponent. Both had the wisdom that came with age and knew not to rush headlong into battle without preparation. Don Chesús made the first move, stepping forward surprisingly fast for an old man, trying to jab at his opponent’s torso. The move was quickly dismissed by Duc Francesco, whom in the same movement made an attempt to sweep at the back of his opponent's legs, so as to take them out. Without the proper angle though, the move was ineffective, with Don Chesús able to drop his blade down to block the move before it could connect. The knight spun away quickly, leaving some distance between him and his opponent. In a daring move, Francesco leant a lunge towards Chesús’s shoulder, but he was too far away, allowing Chesús room to counter with a quick sweep of his sword, knocking Francesco’s blade aside and leaving him open for a counterattack. Don Chesús pressed his advantage, trying to get close enough to get in at least one hit. But again his favoured thrust was turned against him, but Francesco could not counter with enough efficiency to try and overwhelm his opponent. All Don Chesús could do was continue to press his advantage to ensure his opponent did not turn the tide of the duel. He followed each blow with another designed to keep Francesco parrying his attacks and unable to strike back. It seemed to be working, although he could not get past the nobleman’s defences. Suddenly Francesco slipped, and Don Chesús tried to hone in his advantage, but somehow the Duke managed to hold him off. Don Chesús stamina was running out though, for his old age was beginning to catch up to him. Each blow was slower than the last. But with one last surge of strength, he twisted his saber around the Dukes, making a tight twist, spiralling the blade out of his hand, allowing the knight his triumph, although it was an incredibly close and engaging battle. Francesco, far from looking humbled, was in awe and bowed his head in respect for the ancient figure. But too soon did the mist return, and to the surprise of many there, Francesco walked into it, but he could not been seen after it cleared. Don Chesús gave a solemn nod to his departing opponent and returned to his horse, taking the time to don his armour again before riding out of the duelling grounds with much fanfare. No one was certain where he rode off to, but surely he would return for his next match.

((Thanks to @ML8991 for helping me write up this duel. At least Don Chesús got one victory. :D))

((Starting investigation immediately. ML8991 can join if he wants))

Emperor Francesc had given Petros Mandromenos permission to commence his investigation and assured the man that the Crown would not interfere. The Greek and his allies would have to rely on their own wits and resources to find any evidence of potential treason on the empress's part. But first they needed to decide where to focus their efforts. A quick search of her quarters at court or even Francesc's estate in Madrid could bring in results. There is also the possibility of questioning those around her. Her handmaidens may know some of her secrets, or perhaps some of the servants have noticed something odd. There are many potential paths to follow.

((Here are the four initial options for the investigation. It should be noted that choosing one does not disallow the others at a later time. This is merely to determine the initial focus.

1. Search Francesca's quarters at court.
2. Search Francesc and Francesca's estate in Madrid.
3. Question Francesca's handmaidens.
4. Question Francesca's servants.

Mach Twelve may choose any of these options, although he may want to consult his allies first. I'll post the results for the initial stage of the investigation once a choice is made. Also feel free to suggest potential paths with IC of the investigation to help me steer the options in the right direction.))