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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Michaelangelo

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Your Imperial Majesty,

My name is Ruy Felipe Pena de Castro, and I am one of the natural philosophers that came here after the University of Valencia opened. I know I am a newcomer to the court, but I would like to offer my services and show that I am worthy of your trust. I studied law at the university, but since then my interests had expanded to the field of natural philosophy. I am in correspondence with some of the brightest European minds and I can humbly offer my advice in scientific topics to the court.

Along with this letter is sent a device I constructed a year ago in Salamanca. It is an improved version of the telescope built by Johannes Kepler, allowing to see distant things like if they were close with great clarity. Normally this devices invert the image, but I managed to keep it straight while also keeping all the advantages of the keplerian version. I hope it will amuse Your Imperial Highness.

Your humble servant,
Ruy Felipe Pena de Castro.


JpsioAG.png

All men of learning are welcome at the palace in Valencia. It is men of great intelligence who keep this empire ahead of our competitors, for each innovation leads to greater prosperity and victory over our rivals. It is also good to hear that the University of Valencia is already enlightening a new generation of intellectuals.

The gift is most appreciated. I'm afraid that I have not been one much for stargazing, but perhaps I will give it a try. If you require any assistance from the Crown in pursuing the creation of more inventions, you just need to ask. We are always willing to patronize innovative thinkers.

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

((Also welcome to the iAAR. Forgot to say that earlier. :)))
 

Michaelangelo

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1644-1651 – The Dark Continent

The start of 1644 saw a massive deconstruction effort in Italy and North Africa. Forts in Lucca, Umbria, Gharb, and Fez were dismantled and the supplies put towards the construction of a fort in Siena, as well as the upgrade of the forts at Genoa and Ceuta. Steward Lúcia Fernanda Manuela de Maia also ordered the expansion of the forts at Navarra, Girona, and Valencia, which were seen as the most important forts in Iberia. The growing wealth also allowed for Marshal Almudena Hashem to officially garrison all forts, even during peace time. The treasury certainly did not feel the strain any longer, and having all forts garrisoned better protected the empire from threats both within and without. It also better prepared the men for war, and war was on the horizon. Chancellor Petros Mandromenos had called for the conquest of the more valuable trade ports on the Africa coast. A quick examination of the region, mostly provided by TATC merchants, revealed that the more valuable ports were held by three African powers: Oyo, Mutapa, and Ajuuraan. The first was closest to Europe, but was also allied with the quite large Mali. A sizeable force would be required just to capture their coastline. As for the other two, they were much weaker and had no allies. Of even better news was the fact that they were both at war with each other. Thus General Hashem was ordered to sail to Madagascar with the Exercit Africa to secure at least one of the valuable ports from either of those two states.

The Swiss missionaries that had infested the province of Genoa under Savoy’s reign continued their work, protected by Hispanian law. The people were swayed to follow the Reformed faith, despite the clear foreign influence.

Ajuuraan, in a war with Yemen, came out victorious, securing itself several provinces. A month later, Ethiopia saw fit to attack the growing nation, aided by Alodia to the north. As Hashem landed in Madagascar it seemed that Ajuuraan was the ideal target, for it possessed more valuable coastal provinces and was being attacked by its neighbours. All that was left to do was fabricate a reason for war that would not antagonize the neighbouring powers.

Apparently both Venice and Switzerland were not pleased with Savoy. On the same day, they both declared war on their neighbour. Neither had allies, but the Pope supported Savoy. Hispania would have to watch with interest how this played out. When both the Papal State and Switzerland requested military access, Emperor Francesc granted both requests. Let the two sides spill each other’s blood if they pleased.

Sound trade policies in West Africa were paying off for the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company. Their income was quite sizeable this year.



The colony in Diego Garcia supported by the Saint-Pierre family was flourishing, no longer needing the aid of a Crown colonist. With that done, both the Crown and Chancellor Mandromenos organized the colonization of the Maldives to secure a position near India.

In April of 1645, Kaffa declared war on Ajuuraan, making them the obvious target now with so many enemies. The preparations were almost complete. Most of the Crown focus though was on the expansion of key shipyards at Steward Maia’s request.

The Holy Roman Empire was shown for the farce that is was when the upstart ruler of Brandenburg annexed Saxony and declared himself emperor. The HRE was a mere mockery at this point.

Preparations were about complete for war when the Ajuuraan fleet suddenly appeared right off the coast of Madagascar. It would be unwise to pit the transport fleet against that, so the main fleet was called in. The war would have to wait even further.

In 1646, Tyrone decided it would take a second try to capture the rest of Ireland, declaring war on Great Britain yet again with the backing of France. It seemed likely they would not succeed this time either without a miracle.



The ever-growing nature of Hispania and its colonial empire was leaving some of its citizens behind. The people of Naples had long since been a part of Hispania and Aragon before that, but as power focused more heavily in Iberia and towards colonization, as well as a wider mix of Italians were brought into the empire, Naples started to stagnate. Despite that, there was still some focus on Italy. Over in Sicily, recruitment efforts in Messina and investment in production added to the province’s growth.

Once the main fleet reached Madagascar, war was declared on Ajuuraan. It was time to gang up on the African punching bag.



Admiral Dietrich Vinzent Lübecker immediately engaged Ajuuraan’s fleet outside Madagascar. Hispania’s larger and more efficient fleet battered the enemy fleet, sinking many of the ships. A single transport was captured and added to the transport fleet. With the way clear, Admiral Lübecker sailed north to blockade Ajuuraan’s coast and to ensure the transport fleet was safe while landing Hashem in Zanzibar. Fortunately for the general, no enemies were in sight and Mutapa had already taken the two forts protecting the southern coastline.

The passing of a wealthy merchant left the state with plenty of money for the steward’s construction plans. With the vast sum, shipyards were constructed all along Iberia’s coast. Ironically, this would take away Naples’ and Sicily’s dominance as the shipbuilders of the empire, further alienating them.

Over in Africa, Hashem made a wild run up to Kismayo, leaving everything in his path unoccupied. The lands inland were wild and inhospitable, so no attack was expected from that side. Hashem wanted to secure the chokepoint, while allowing one or two straggler regiments to secure all the provinces south.

In a surprising twist, Tyrone and France managed to sink a British fleet. Perhaps they weren’t doomed after all.

Even as Hashem moved to secure parts of East Africa for Chancellor Mandromenos’s plan to dominate the continent’s trade routes, Steward Maia was helping achieve the same goal through her own means. Marketplaces were constructed all along the Ivory Coast with the hope that they would draw out trade from the interior.

By April of 1647, everything south of Kismayo had been captured. Hashem split his forces into two armies and made its way north. Mutapa already held the enemy capital, but there were no forts until they neared the Horn of Africa. For now, they secured the coastline uninterrupted.



It was well known that Emperor Francesc did not have a healthy respect for the clergy, especially those of the Catholic Church. No one was sure if this was due to a lack of faith or that he feared they threatened his power, but regardless they were seriously weakened under his rule. Used to the support shown under previous monarchs, the clergy started riling up the peasants against the emperor. The spark that lit the flame was an innocent discovery by a palace servant. He noticed a peculiar painting in the emperor’s quarters and showed it to the other servants. Soon after it was revealed that this portrait was of none other than Lucrezia, the supposed mother and saint of a heretic faith. With a heretical painting found in the emperor’s own quarters, the Catholic clergy set off a revolt across the empire. The Knights in Malta rose up, calling for the independence of their island as a holy order. Angry peasants in Toledo and Bari ran wild. The devout Catholics of Athens also expressed their anger, but unfortunately for them the Exercit Athens was drilling outside the city. As for the others, the Exercits Castilla La Vieja and Valencia converged on Toledo, while the Exercits Provence and Napoli marched south. Unfortunately, the latter two were stationed up in Genoa and Lucca to keep the population pacified. As for Malta, there was nothing that could be done until the transport fleet returned. A message was sent, and once it arrived half the fleet was dispatched to return to Europe.

The Athenian rebels rampaged across the province, chased by the Exercit Athens, but were ultimately scattered to the countryside. As for the rebels in Toledo, the fort kept them at bay until General Louis François de Montségur could arrive. With brutal efficiency, he crushed the rebel threat, perhaps with more enthusiasm than usual since these men had been spurred into revolt by Catholic priests. Two armies were down, but the ones in Bari and Malta managed to secure their position for now.

In August, the first army arrived in Bari. One force kept the rebels occupied as General Marti de Leon swept down from behind to shatter their flank. With nowhere to run, the entire army was forced to surrender or die.

Hispania wasn’t the only one dealing with rebels. Nobles in Nuevo Leon, perhaps feeling that Hispania was too preoccupied, rose up in the colony. The defeated the local garrison, but the natives of Charrua kept them getting at the northern provinces or the capital.



The wars in Italy escalated further as Tuscany decided to make another go at Switzerland, who was still fighting in Savoy. The new emperor Brandenburg now had its chance to prove it was better than its predecessor.

With Hispania’s reach extending across the globe, the navy became a more legitimate career. A professional administration had to be set up and the navy expanded beyond the immediate needs of the nation.

At the start of 1648, General Hashem reached the Horn of Africa, having captured the entire east coast of Ajuuraan. Mutapa had managed to capture another fort further inland, while Kaffa was besieging their coastal fort at Sanaag. Hashem assisted the African nation in taking the province, opening the way further west. The general continued along the coast, working his way towards the Red Sea.

The standardization of bottle sizes allowed for the reintroduction of corks, allowing for the preservation of wines for much longer periods of time. The wine trade flourished as a result.

In April, half the transport fleet reached Europe and the Exercit Granada made its way to Malta. The rebels had been sitting unbothered for too long. An assault on the island commenced, with the rebels unable to hold back the Hispanian army. They were forced to surrender, dashing the dream of an independent holy order.

Design changes to bastions allowed for a much more effective defensive strategy. By channelling your enemy into one area, you could easily overwhelm them from a fort, especially with the new cannon design.



In June the great statesman Conde-Duque Olivares passed away. He was replaced with an equally skilled man, one Jeroni Bielsa.

With the attention given to East Africa, more people were moving to the island of Madagascar. The growing colony in Antananarivo was experiencing significant growth, with a second settlement popping up.

The Lithuanian behemoth declared war on the Muscovian remnants in June. Their fate seemed grim.

June also brought poor tidings for the war. 30k peasants rose up against the Ajuuraan administration, but unfortunately in Hispanian-occupied Mombasa, one of the key ports targeted for the war. Hashem was too far north and did not have the men to handle this rebel threat, so all that could be done was let the peasants run wild and hope they moved further north. More rebels were spotted in the interior, but Mutapa handled those.

Some cardinal started babbling on about how Oran was captured from the heathens in the early 1500s, despite the fact it still belonged to Morocco. Despite the ramblings of this mad clergyman, many people did see the benefits of taking such a province in a crusade.

In September, Hashem captured the northernmost port of Massawa. The entire coastline had fallen to one of Ajuuraan’s enemies. Not wanting to get bogged down in the interior, a region of no interest to Hispania, Hashem set sail back for the southern provinces, hoping to recapture provinces from the peasant rebels as they rampaged northwards. The peasants had already captured Mombasa and Malinda.

The end of October saw the first peace treaty for Ajuuraan. Kaffa settled for war reparations, but Mutapa was bolder. They took only one province, but forced Ajuuraan to hand over several cores to Ethiopia, who was still at war with them. This also meant that most of Ajuuraan’s forts were now free. The only one that concerned Hispania was Bagamoyo in the south. Hashem landed next to it and moved on the fort as he let the rebels march farther away.



As the year neared its end, Croatia made its first move by targeting neighbouring Bosnia, a tiny OPM with no allies. It seemed the fledgling nation was destined to succeed.

A scandal also rocked the court at this time as a servant girl came forward claiming she was carrying the crown prince’s child. Following rumours years ago of Ferran’s philandering, this was not so hard to believe. Before the scandal could draw too much attention though, the girl simply vanished, along with a sizeable portion of the treasury, although the two did not seem connected at first glance.

The last Russian state, Muscovy, felt the wrath of Lithuania as they continued their conquests. Now would the giant steppe-dwelling Kazan stand in their way?

A new idea started circulating around court of a more centralized monarchy, one where the monarch exercised far more power while the court reaped the benefits. While some might enjoy allowing the monarch to do most of the work, others feared the idea of their fate being decided by the whims of one man.

Switzerland, having to face two enemies at once, was unable to carry out their war against Savoy. The Swiss were forced to give up the western half of their nation.

Hashem finally managed to take Bagamoyo in July of 1649. By this point the peasants were drawing near the enemy capital, far enough north to allow the general to start retaking provinces.

Barely in his forties, Emperor Kontantinos XII of Byzantium passed away, leaving his seven-year-old son as the new heir. A regency council was formed, and as Clara before her, Francesc’s daughter Sofia found herself as empress dowager. She faced just as difficult a time as Clara, for she was a foreigner at court. A strange rumour had also begun to circulate that the Trastámara family was siphoning away the life force of the Greek Palaiologos emperors, a ridiculous explanation for why the last three Greek emperors died in their thirties or forties, while Hispania’s emperors seemed to all live into their sixties or seventies.



Despite Savoy’s victory against Switzerland, they did not manage to succeed against Venice. For some odd reason, the Venetians decided to force Savoy to return Wallis to Switzerland rather than take any province. This greatly destabilized Savoy, who also had to deal with several Swiss provinces strongly devout in the Reformed faith. The new Swiss population undermined the government, forcing a conversion. A new Reformed state was born.

Ajuuraan’s army finally made an appearance as roughly 20k men marched their way down south to prevent the peasant army from reaching their capital. Hashem saw this as a prime opportunity to take out two threats. He moved just south of the battle and waited until one side seemed close to breaking. Then just as Ajuuraan defeated the rebel threat, he struck. The demoralized Ajuuraan army fought valiantly, but was greatly outmatched. They were forced to flee north or face losing the remnants of their shattered army.

With the enemy army on the run, Hashem easily reoccupied the provinces taken from the peasant rebels. Not wanting to dally any further, a peace was signed. Ajuuraan was forced to hand over their seven southernmost provinces, of which two were valuable ports and one had a fort. The Inquisition finally had its first task in a long time, with missionaries being sent to Malindi and Tanga to convert the Muslims.

With that victory achieved, it was decided that the aging General Hashem be eased into retirement. He was awarded full honours and personally thanked by the emperor for his lifelong service. ((The game killed you off @hirahammad after you had turned 80, but luckily it was after the war was over so you didn’t die.))



In global news, the temperature of the world seemed to be dropping as intellectuals started calling the era the Little Ice Age.

Even though the Inquisition was operating against the heathens in the new African provinces, the same could not be said for the Protestants of Sicily. Protected by law, they were flourishing on the island. The emperor also made a point not to interfere with their faith.

The colony in Antananarivo on Madagascar became self-sufficient, securing the entire island. Now Hispania could focus east. Colonist Eduard Villanova established a colony in Pontianak for the steward. St. Kitts also reached a similar state as Antananarivo, allowing more colonial resources to be shifted east, this time to Bangka for the marshal.

With Ajuuraan so weak, Ethiopia easily took a sizeable slice out of them.



Hispania was considered by many to be at the height of its power, with an empire on which the sun never sets. Despite Emperor Francesc’s anti-clergy approach to the Church, the Pope was willing to overlook that if it meant the support of Europe’s strongest nation. Hispania had much influence in the Holy See.

Croatia pulled off its first success by annexing Bosnia, securing its little corner of the world. Around the same time, Tyrone learned that poking the British beast a second time had not been a good idea as they lost two provinces this time.

Lithuania continued its hungry conquest spree by turning east yet again, its eyes set on Kazan. With the aid of Genoa, they were to take on the might of Kazan, Persia, and Delhi, a formidable inter-continental alliance. Perhaps they would be stopped here?

Complaints were made that the navy was being neglected for the army. Technically this was true, not that anything was done about it.

Rumours were also coming in from Nueva Granada regarding Cusco. The native nation was increasingly opening up to their colonial neighbour, exchanging goods and ideas. The Cuscoan people seemed fascinated by European inventions, and the colonial people of Nueva Granada were more than happy to share. Some Cuscoans even took a pilgrimage of sorts, travelling through the Hispanian colonies to see what life was like there. For the first time in history, the Cuscoan ruler sailed to Iberia to meet personally with Emperor Francesc to discuss relations between the two nations. While Cusco was not going so far as to adopt European ways, nor showing any true signs that they would abandon their old ways, there were clear signs of interest in Hispania that had not been as obvious before.





JpsioAG.png

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

It seems that we have met with success, having secured a significant portion of the coast of East Africa, and with it greater control of the trade coming in from the region. I applaud General Hashem for his efforts and wish him a happy retirement. He has surely earned it, although he may continue to serve as marshal if he so wishes.

I must also say I grow weary of the Catholic clergy that question my rule. I will not tolerate open rebellion against my just and righteous reign. At least the Pope has personally apologized for such disputes between me and members of the Church. He seems a good man, for a Pole.

Now I must unfortunately excuse myself. It has come to my attention that the crown prince has neglected to arrange a marriage for his only son, who is of age. It would not do for a man second in line for the throne to go unmarried into his twenties.


((I must first apologize for yet another seven-year update. Forgetting to forge a claim on Ajuuraan beforehand and the sudden arrival of their navy delayed the war, not to mention those damn peasants. When peace was signed, I had already gone part way into 1650, so I just decided to finish the year out. I’ll try to aim to a much more suitable five years next time. :D

Now you know what to do. All ministers have until Monday at 12PM PST to post their plans. Players may also propose laws or reforms in that time. We can now become an absolute monarchy, so feel free to suggest that. ;)

Pensioners:
@xXNorwegianSniperXx
@Von Habsburg
@hirahammad

Dying:
@LatinKaiser))
 

Mach Twelve

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((1647))

An uprising in Athens? Clergy inciting a revolt against the Emperor, attacking his latifundium in the area due to his connection with the man? Burning and pillaging as the please due to some perceived slight? To say that Petros was upset would be saying that the Crown Prince was a overreacted a little in the ball in 1644. That is, a grave understatement. As the thousands of soldiers marched off their ships to liberate the county. He turned to the general in charge and growled at him

No survivors. All those who raised the flag of rebellion pay with their lives.

((1651))

Things had improved over the last three years, the rebellion was a distant memory. His estates had been repaired and were now producing at old levels. And more importantly, his colony in St. Kitts had become self sufficient. Soon Kitts Cotton would be found in every shirt in Hispania, he hoped. He did like the new, light fabric, much better for summer-wear than the woolen garments he usually wore.

His oldest son Demetrios had wed in 1644, spending much time touring the country with Catherine throughout the year. They circled the coasts of Spain and spent much time in Western Italia. When the couple returned to Athens, Catherine was already with child! And from where his granddaughter came so did three more! Demetrios was made an army officer, and participated in the Athens revolt, then following the army to its foes. Petros hoped his son would be made into a general soon.

His other son Andreas, who wanted to join the Church, decided to pursue law after seeing the effects of the revolt. He was working the Imperial Courts in Athens and quickly distinguishing himself. Andreas had yet to be wed, and his House in Byzantium was putting much pressure to arrange a match for Andreas themselves. Petros could only hope that someone would offer an alternative.

((I would like an update on Sophia @Raboude, especially any children.))

Petros looked over the information in front of him, if it was accurate, it would be a great boon to the Empire. At least one man asked him to consider this beforehand, and Petros had to agree that the Grandmaster had a point. Also, finishing his African Ambitions was important, and the remaining pieces of land could be gained without war.

((Chancellor's Plan:

Threaten War on Ovo and Mutupa for the two trade provinces in their possession. This will give us the 50% needed to get the merchants for the West and East African TC and will complete my African Ambitions. Next up will be India, but not until the Maldives are a city.

Call for War on the Mamluks with Morocco as a co-belligerant, if the Cortz allows. I'm feeling squished between the Poles and a Great Muslim Alliance that the Mamluks have. With Byzantium and France with us, they can't stand against us, but we need to grab some clay and force these guys to revoke their alliance in a peace deal. Byzantium needs more Anatolia and we could use Safi ourselves. We still get the Crusade bonus, which is a nice buff to our armies, which will help the war. We may need to raise autonomy to deal with the uprising since we might need to move troops from Africa to Europe, but it shouldn't be a big deal...

))

Petros decided to mae a proposal for all to see.

Correction of the Cortz Act:

Should the Nobility of Hispania feel that one of the Cortz no longer represents them, they can remove that member by a majority vote.
 
Last edited:

Robban204

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sassari_prov_coa_n5059.gif

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

By the time you read this letter, my time has already come. It is with great joy and pride I leave this earth and join my forefathers i heaven.
Hispania have reached heights never before seen in the world, and is the most powerful country on the face of this earth. Our influence are felt to the far reaches, and everyone knows of Hispania. I leave this world knowing that Hispania will reach even greater heights, and its people will be the most powerful on the face of this world.

As I leave this world, my son will take over the duchy of Sardinia, as intended.
In my stead as Prime Minister, I would warmly recommend the venerable Petros Mandromenos, despite being a newcomer, he has shown great skill in all aspects of governing.
I feel he is the best suited to take up the mantle of Prime Minister of the great nation of Hispania.

Go in peace, and may God bless Hispania and its people.

Felipé de Alvaro, Duke of Sardinia, Prime Minister of Hispania
Lux Tenebris Vincet

At age 92, Felipé de Alvaro died in his sleep. The letter he had composed was sent to the Emperor and the various members of the Court.

((New character:
Name: Andrés de Alvaro
Born: 18th of December 1610
Class: Noble
Religion: Catholic
Bio: Andrés was brought up in his forefathers footsteps, training in military arts from a young age, and often sparring with his younger brother.
He studied law, a first in the Alvaro family, and worked as a laywer before his fathers passing. Know, he would take up the mantle of duke of Sardinia.
 
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Another Grandmaster from the Saint-Pierre died. Jean Gérard died of old age in the yeat 1644 at the age of 70.

((New character time!))

Name: Gaston Jacques de Saint-Pierre
Date of birth: 1604
Class: Noble
Religion: Catholic
Bio: Gaston is the oldest son of Luc-Pierre de Saint-Pierre the last baron of Perpinyà, which was granted to his grandfather Matthias, the great general of Hispania.

((Woo-hoo, reallt terrible IC of death and a terrible bio.))
 
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Emperor Francesc paced around his chambers, deep in thought. The passing of Duke Alvaro left him without a prime minister, a position that must be filled. It seemed that each possible candidate had noticeable flaws that made each of them less than perfect for the position. The most likely to succeed Alvaro were a Greek, a woman, and a Protestant, neither the optimal choice. Still, they were not without skill. Ultimately, Alvaro's public endorsement had to be taken into consideration. That was the deciding fact. Thus the emperor wrote up a letter to the next prime minister of Hispania.

JpsioAG.png

Your service to the Crown has been exemplary of late, but I must ask more of you at this time. The late Duke Alvaro has left a gap in government that must be filled. Thus I offer you the position of prime minister of Hispania. You may of course continue to serve as chancellor as well as prime minister. I would also ask of you that you appoint a new treasurer and grandmaster, for both positions have been left empty. May you help lead Hispania to a bright future.

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

((@Mach Twelve is the new prime minister. He may now appoint whoever he wants to any of the appointed council positions, even if currently occupied, although anyone can object to these appointments. For now I'd be content with filling to two empty positions.))
 

Mach Twelve

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Petros was sitting at his desk in the Chacellory, pen furiously writing away at a letter to the representative from France. Relations with the French were warm, but he still needed to utilize favors from the King and prominent nobles that he gained over the years to get them to honor their alliance with Hispania. It should not be too difficult, but it still needed to be done. Suddenly, a letter arrived. Petros was initially annoyed by the interruption, but it quickly faded after he read the message. Prime Minister. The second most powerful man in Hispania, a position that made him more powerful than most kings in the world. Petros could not help but smile. He had done it. But as he knew well the phrase Vae Victus always applies to these matters. The Prime Minister needed to ensure that he would not be toppled so quickly.

Athens COA.png
As the Prime Minister of Hispania, it is within my power to select the members of the Small Council as I see fit. After much consideration I have chosen the following people to serve in these capacities.

Chancellor: Petros Mandromenos - The only other person with the experience to be made Chancellor would be Countess de Maia. Since she is serving in another role, I have decided to continue my work as Chancellor as well as Prime Minister

Steward and Treasurer: Lucia de Maia -
Countess Lucia has been a fine and just Steward. Since the two offices are connected heavily, I see no reason why she wouldn't be a fine Treasurer as well.

Grandmaster: Alejandro de Soneta - The de Soneta have been connected with our merchants for generations. I see no reason why the Duke would not be a good choice.

Marshal: Louis de Montsegur - Duke Montsegur has proven himself to be a fine general. I hope his talents make him a fine marshal as well. As for Marshal Hashem, I thank him for his service over the years and move to grant him a just reward in both material goods and honors, but I believe that Hispania needs another man commanding our armies. ((Guess who just got forcibly retired)) Because of the post's duties, I will be required to remove Duke Montsegur from his post as Viceroy to Cusco.

Grand Admiral: Dietrich Lubecker - I see no reason why he should not be made Admiral.

Let the Lord watch over us,
Petros Mandromenos, First Count of Athens, Prime Minister and Chancellor of Hispania
 

hirahammad

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((I was just going to die anyways.
private))
Almudena was gazing out the window of his Brakna residence, which he had not often been present in due to his generalship. It had changed so much since the days of his youth. The rooms had been rearranged, furniture covered in sheets. For many years, no one had lived there except a few trusted servants, who occupied a small portion of the estate and kept it running. His son, Almaden, had spent almost no time at all at Brakna. He thought he could see the simple grave of his father on a small bluff overlooking the original house. He read the letter Almaden had given Almudena upon Almaden's arrival. It was a letter from the new Prime Minister, Petros Mandromenos, informing him that Louis Monstegur had taken his place as Marshal.

Ten minutes later, Almaden entered the room and found his father no longer living, with this letter all but finished but for the last "m".

Dear Louis de Montsegur,

I congratulate you upon your appointment as Marshal. I recommend you consider Demetrios Mandromenos as a candidate for generalship ((If he ever becomes an active character)).

Sincerely,
Almudena Hashem

((public))

Almudena, Marshal, general of the Hispanian Empire, father, husband, has died. All are invited to attend his funeral at Brakna.

Almudena bequeathes his estate to his sole child and heir, Almaden Hashem, along with everything in it.
Etc.
Private Portion
Almaden is instructed to remove the third drawer from the left in his father's room, and twist the knob counter-clockwise to find a manuscript.

Name: Almaden Hashem
Date of birth: February 9, 1604
Class: Courtier
Religion: Catholic
Bio: Almaden, son to the general Almudena, trained in debate and law, and then assisted under Duke Alvaro, wishes to become a Royal Diplomat.
 
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((I have been asked if non-active characters, like relatives of a player's active character, can assume positions like general, etc. I am not against it, so if players want to have their heirs serve as generals or admirals, I am fine with that. I'm not sure about roles like diplomat or merchant, but I suppose if a player wants one of them for a non-active character that is fine too. Council positions are off limits though to non-active characters. Also I will make it clear that only active characters receive VP or votes, so having your character's heir serve as a general will not boost your active character's VP or give him an extra vote. I'd also probably limit it to one non-active character per player, preferably that character's heir, so as to avoid someone filling roles with relatives. Preference should always be given to active characters if there is competition for a position. Anyway, it should serve as a good way to introduce a character's heir to court and get them situated beforehand.))
 
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The clergy thought it a wise idea to incite to peasants to revolt. Now, thousands of them lay in the mud of Toledo, never to think of rebellion again. Their leaders, seeing the nearing defeat, hid in some churches. What did they expect? For Montségur to leave them be, in the very same place they incited the revolt in? Catholic zealots, spurred on by power-hungry clergy, are a danger for the entirety of Hispania. Of course simply retreating to a church wouldn't stop him. They chose war, so they shall receive the treatment of war. Many were reluctant to storming the churches. So he opened fire. May the ruins of the buildings bury that scum, and stand evermore as a monument reminding the people not to revolt.

______________________________________________________________________________

myKh8vJ.png

The Catholic church has once again shown its true face in the last years. There are so many foul weeds to root out... it might be time to look for a new field. A start would be to dissolve the so-called 'knights' on Malta. There is nothing knightly in rebellion against the Emperor. The island should be freed from that nasty influence, and be given out to a loyal vassal instead. There hasn't been any benefit from the knights, only violent conservative reactions.
I also wish to congratulate Count Mandromenos to his new post, and I think his initiative for further Cortz reform is most commendable. Too often were members of the Cortz simply staying inactive instead of fulfilling their duties. As for the post of Marshal, I shall gladly accept it. Still, I do not want to see Cusco mistreated in any way - I do have a proposal to solve this. Marti de Leon knows our history with Cusco almost as well as a Montségur, and he is always carrying a reminder of it with him. He is the perfect person to take over as Viceroy.
My first act as Marshal would be to fill out the ranks of our generals. My late predecessor recommended Demetrios Madromenos, and I trust in his judgment concerning this matter, so if the young man is willing, I will appoint him. The second general I want to appoint is my son Maximilien Philippe. He has gained a lot of experience in my campaigns and I know that he is up to the task.
((These are the only two known characters with some army experience, so the only candidates to consider. I've got an idea should anyone else be willing to serve in the army: If we have a conquistador, all non-European wars could be waged with a conquistador in command.))
May Hispania continue to prosper.

General Louis François de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria, Chamberlain of the Cortz and Marshal of Hispania

((also attempting to convert Pirineo next))
 
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Mach Twelve

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The Prime Minister sat at his desk as the reports came in. Not only did the retired Marshal accept his situation, he passed away a few days later. It was a somber affair. Petros made sure that the man would be remembered by the people of Hispania by commissioning a scholarship in the name of the deceased Marshal, one student a year would be selected and would have his tuition and living expenses paid for to study the art of war to become a member of Hispania's officer corps. Petros hoped that the Hashem Scholars would do the nation proud.

Petros looked over the Marshal's response, and decided to reply.

athens COA 2.png

I thank the Marshal for his decision to make my son a general. I am sure that his talents will aid Hispania in the upcoming war. I have been told that he is accustomed to using the flintlock and cannon as an effective tool to break the enemy long before the charge ((I choose Fire as my emphasis)). As for the post of Viceroy, it isn't as critical as either Marshal or Chancellor so I see no reason to force anyone to fill it. But if Kyrios Leon chooses to pursue it, I will not object.

Also, I will be making Almaden Hashem the replacement of his mentor as diplomat. It is high time he received such a post. In addition, since I was very pleased by the previous arrangement with his father, I am looking to do something similar with both myself and my friend the Countess de Maia. A few years of tutelage and training under either of us will be a great boon to any future diplomat.

Petros Mandromenos, First Count of Athens, Chancellor and Prime Minister of Hispania
 

Michaelangelo

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((also attempting to convert Pirineo next))

((Unfortunately you failed to convert Pirineo and it was made public, so @ML8991 may want to react to another noble interfering in his duchy if he wants. Also you might want to provide a focus for your character's son as a general.))
 

Michaelangelo

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JpsioAG.png

His Imperial Highness, Francesc I de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks wishes to announce that he shall be seeking a young Hispanian bride for his grandson Alfons de Trastámara, second in line to the throne. Any noble family of Hispanian roots may present their young daughters for such a union.


((I need to marry off Crown Prince Ferran's sole son and heir, and I think it's about time I started marrying the royal family more closely to local nobility. Now unlike previous matches with more distant relatives, a player would be marrying off one of their characters to a future emperor. Now while I'd still have control over when and how many children are born from the union, I am fine with a player using that character as their active one, so if someone wants to potentially play as empress in the future, here's your chance. Now the game better not end up giving Ferran an exceptionally long reign so that Alfons's is short or killing him off or that will ruin this entirely. :p

If you're wondering, Alfons is born in 1630, so 21 years old. Aim to present women his age or younger.))
 

zenphoenix

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"Well, guess I'm not that young anymore," Marti muttered to his wife, "Twenty years of fighting the heathens and other enemies of the crown can do that to you. I really should be getting back into family politics."

Marti de Leon proposes that his daughter Marina be married to the crown prince. Marina is about twenty years old. She is skilled in several languages, poetry, and music. She has a pleasant attitude and has never attempted to stir up trouble of any kind; rather, she has made many friends and no enemies, always seeking to resolve conflicts peacefully. As the great-granddaughter of the late Marshal de Leon she is also a good archer and will give birth to strong sons.
 

Mach Twelve

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Petros read over the announcement to find a match for the Emperor's grandson. He almost scoffed at the thought of the Crown Prince not finding a match for his son on his own. It was a shame Antonia died of illness shortly after her first birthday twenty years ago. She could have been a perfect match, and Petros would have been in a good position to see it done. Petros's heart ached for his deceased daughter, but he knew that he had to carry on for the sake of the Empire.

My Emperor, if you require the aid, I would be available to help judge the candidates for marriage to young Alfons. I have no candidates of my own to contribute, so I would have no conflict of interest in the decision.
 

alscon

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(( Damn for the conversion :oops:. Oh well, better luck next time.
I don't think I need a focus. It should be siege, but as that isn't an option, I'd go with fire. After all, the army he served in consisted mostly of artillery in the end :rolleyes:.
Also, if you are marrying the second-in-line, could we marry into the imperial Palaiologoi line as well? With the Emperors dying quickly, this might be a good chance...))

myKh8vJ.png

For the Marshal's plan, I feel that it is time to recruit and form an army specialized in non-European wars. Seeing as this army will meet inferior opponents, I believe that a composition of 14 infantry regiments, 10 artillery regiments and 2 cavalry regiments shall suffice. This Exercit shall be stationed in East Africa for now, where it can deal with the rebellious population.
The Cortz also needs further reforms to make this assembly what it should always have been. A diet shall be called to discuss such plans.

General Louis François de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria, Chamberlain of the Cortz and Marshal of Hispania
 

ML8991

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When Alejandro heard of the attempted conversion attempt he laughed. It was well known to the people of Pirineo that the Duke was a gentle soul, and wasn't one to persucute people, irregardless of faith. However, there was a catholic majority, who successfully petitioned to Alejandro that the province was to be kept as Catholic, if only in name. Looks like he would need to write a few letters, especially given recent developments at court.

Dearest Cousin, I must congratulate you on your recent appointment, it seems only a few short years ago when my Great Uncle, Juan II, appointed you as a co Chanceller to the realm. Furthermore my sincere gratitude over the appointment to Grandmaster, I promise not to fail you.
I wish you well in your new role, and may the stars shine favourably,
Duke Alejandro III de Soneta, Grandmaster to Hispania

Dearest Cousin, firstly pleasantries. Congratulations on your recent appointment to Marshal, I hope to see what such a man as yourself can achieve with such a position. Be sure to keep Maximilien safe, i hear he married my 3rd Cousin Belle, she says he is quite impressionable, for sure i can imagine given he has done so much already. But onto serious matters. Although i appricate your effort to try convert Pirineo into a Protestant county, as you had impressively done with the capital, but the peoples here are very diverse, and there is a catholic majority, so they feel it would be unfair to convert the province, for fear of lack of recognition.
I hope you understand,
Yours truly,
Duke Alejandro III Lorenzo Maria Philppe Andreas de Soneta, 4th Duke of Ipar Menedakakeo, 4th Count of Zaragoza, 7th Count of Pirineo

A matter of state intrigued Alejandro also, the Emperor was offering his second in line to be wed. And so Alejandro announced his intent to offer his daughters to the grandson.

The First was Andromeda Selene Amelia Marie de Soneta. She is a most beautiful lady, and has been taught by her mother in all manners how to best present herself at court. At home however she is often seen riding the horses, or going out to the mills to help and otherwise learn, about the production of wool into such fine garments. She has a practical mind, but is very loving.

Her twin sister, Caterina Marie Julieta de Soneta, was more of a quiet individual. She has seemingly inherited her fathers great appetite for reading, and thusly is fluid in many topics and many tongues, having a passion for classical works. As per befitting, given that they are twins, she shares her sisters elegent and pretty appearence, but she is of a paler appearence, probably through her reading indoors for long periods of time.

Another difference, and one of the easiest ways to tell the sisters apart was their hair and their eyes. Andromeda had her Father's dark, rich, hair but her mothers warm brown eyes, whereas Caterina had her mother's luscious brown locks, but her father's stunningly blue eyes, a sharp contrast against her fair skin. Despite Caterina's lack of much interaction outside the Castle grounds she, once familiar with an individual, is a chirpy and otherwise lively person to be around.
 
Last edited:

Raboude

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The years had been kind to Lúcia. After the grand ball of 1643, wherein she had at long last the opportunity to talk to José, a huge burden had fallen from her shoulders. She became closer to her husband Jerome again which, quite surprisingly, resulted in another son in 1645. Afonso de Maia was born in the same year as her first grandchild, Joana de Maia. An odd situation, but the countess had found peace of mind, and had spent much more time with her family as a result. Two more grandchildren followed, a son and another daughter, assuring the future of her dynasty.

The situation changed again in 1647, when a massive catholic uprise took place within Hispania. Even if she had personally managed to keep the Portuguese - mainly catholic - out of the conflict, she felt it as a failure that the Knights of Malta, Bari and Toledo had done so. As for Athens, she wondered why Petros had allowed things to happen. Or were matters out of his control and were the catholic priests in Athens extremists? Perhaps it was a sign of the times... Even in the capital, Protestantism was popular... Or was it this new cult, the one with the ugly painting? In any case, order needed to be restored. And even if a tolerant stance was taken towards other Christian faiths, a position had to be taken. Hispania could not allow to let itself be teared apart.

KqGVsNI.png

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

With this letter, I would request upon you the organisation of an ecumenical council, as to reply our current instability. For centuries, Hispania has taken the role of leaders of Christianity. Your ancestors have united the Western and Eastern Church, leading to the tolerant society we now find ourselves in. Yet the people have questions. They feel a lack of religious leadership, an absence of answers, which leads to the formation of new cults.

Your Imperial Grace, I call upon you to unite the greatest theologians of our time, be it Protestant, Reformed or Catholic, or even this new cult, so Hispania may find an answer to the questions of the people. We need to decide on what is tolerable and what is not, we need to decide on what is heresy and what is considered a proper way of devotion to God. If a united reply can be found on the religious policy of Hispania, of how we would combine our traditional devotion to the Holy Church of Rome with our tolerance, we will be able to appease the people.

Your Imperial Grace, I am most aware that religion is not your favorite subject. Nor is it mine, I prefer to keep to my faith without lecturing others. Yet it is important to the people, and by law and tradition, you are the leader of the Hispanian Church, the Caesar of Rome. Your line is chosen by Divine Right to lead Christianity to glory. Do not let your people divide itself.

On a more personal note, I have taken knowledge that Alfons de Trastamara is still not married. May I propose my daughter Inês de Maia as a possible candidate? She is just three years younger than him, and has received a proper education, specializing in both Greek and Latin, as well as the Hispanian languages. She unites the de Soneta line with my own, inheriting the looks of her father and - if I may be so bold - my knack for organization.

May the Almighty protect you and through you, Hispania,

Lucia Fernanda Manuela de Maia
Condesa de Lisboa, Administrador and Treasurer of Hispania

KqGVsNI.png

Dear Friend,

May I congratulate you on your new position as Prime Minister? I am happy to work at your side for this long time, and I pray it may continue. My thanks for increasing my responsibilities, I feel honored my help and dedication to the realm is appreciated.

Your daughter Sophia is doing well. After two earlier children, she is now pregnant of a third. Actually, another newborn may come at any day now. After the birth of this child however, I will work to find an occupation for João. For far too long, he has taken life for granted. It is time he proved himself.

As for business, in attachment to this letter, you will find a copy of a letter I wrote to His Imperial Majesty. Our current crisis with the catholic church must be solved. Declaring our monarch as a ruler by divine right, might create the right balance between tolerance and religious devotion, needed for stability. I dare not ask you to support this initiative, but at least take knowledge of it. Perhaps you, as Prime Minister, might find other answers to our current crisis, which I would wholeheartedly support.

May the Almighty protect you,

Lucia Fernanda Manuela de Maia
Condesa de Lisboa, Administrador and Treasurer of Hispania


KqGVsNI.png


To his Excellence Dietrich Vinzent Lübecker,
Grand Admiral of Hispania,

Greetings, your Excellency. My congratulations on the victory against the heathens of Ajuraan, I have been told it was a most glorious battle.

May I enquire if you are in need of other admirals? My son, João de Maia, has proven a most capable captain during trade shipping in and near Lisboa. It would please me most, should you promote him to the rank of admiral, so he can prove his skills to the entire realm of Hispania. Of course, this favour may be traded to another. Perhaps more and better shipyards somewhere might be considered?

I am looking forward to your reply,

Lucia Fernanda Manuela de Maia
Condesa de Lisboa, Administrador and Treasurer of Hispania

(( To clarify: I believe this eucemenical council might provide the opportunity to install (or refuse) an absolute monarchy, and at the same time, find a clear position on how the tolerance idea group would mix with the religious idea group. ))
 

Michaelangelo

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(( Damn for the conversion :oops:. Oh well, better luck next time.
I don't think I need a focus. It should be siege, but as that isn't an option, I'd go with fire. After all, the army he served in consisted mostly of artillery in the end :rolleyes:.
Also, if you are marrying the second-in-line, could we marry into the imperial Palaiologoi line as well? With the Emperors dying quickly, this might be a good chance...))

((Well I was going to say that the Palaiologos family is entirely on my family tree and I can start arranging matches if people want, but then I actually looked at the tree and realized that the emperor and his brother are the only Palaiologos that aren't already married or dead, and those that are having children are the women, so the only ones available are not actually Palaiologos. Let's just say that if the game kills off the last remaining true Palaiologos, there is going to be serious trouble. :D))

The years had been kind to Lúcia. After the grand ball of 1643, wherein she had at long last the opportunity to talk to José, a huge burden had fallen from her shoulders. She became closer to her husband Jerome again which, quite surprisingly, resulted in another son in 1645. Afonso de Maia was born in the same year as her first grandchild, Joana de Maia. An odd situation, but the countess had found peace of mind, and had spent much more time with her family as a result. Two more grandchildren followed, a son and another daughter, assuring the future of her dynasty.

The situation changed again in 1647, when a massive catholic uprise took place within Hispania. Even if she had personally managed to keep the Portuguese - mainly catholic - out of the conflict, she felt it as a failure that the Knights of Malta, Bari and Toledo had done so. As for Athens, she wondered why Petros had allowed things to happen. Or were matters out of his control and were the catholic priests in Athens extremists? Perhaps it was a sign of the times... Even in the capital, Protestantism was popular... Or was it this new cult, the one with the ugly painting? In any case, order needed to be restored. And even if a tolerant stance was taken towards other Christian faiths, a position had to be taken. Hispania could not allow to let itself be teared apart.

KqGVsNI.png

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

With this letter, I would request upon you the organisation of an ecumenical council, as to reply our current instability. For centuries, Hispania has taken the role of leaders of Christianity. Your ancestors have united the Western and Eastern Church, leading to the tolerant society we now find ourselves in. Yet the people have questions. They feel a lack of religious leadership, an absence of answers, which leads to the formation of new cults.

Your Imperial Grace, I call upon you to unite the greatest theologians of our time, be it Protestant, Reformed or Catholic, or even this new cult, so Hispania may find an answer to the questions of the people. We need to decide on what is tolerable and what is not, we need to decide on what is heresy and what is considered a proper way of devotion to God. If a united reply can be found on the religious policy of Hispania, of how we would combine our traditional devotion to the Holy Church of Rome with our tolerance, we will be able to appease the people.

Your Imperial Grace, I am most aware that religion is not your favorite subject. Nor is it mine, I prefer to keep to my faith without lecturing others. Yet it is important to the people, and by law and tradition, you are the leader of the Hispanian Church, the Caesar of Rome. Your line is chosen by Divine Right to lead Christianity to glory. Do not let your people divide itself.

On a more personal note, I have taken knowledge that Alfons de Trastamara is still not married. May I propose my daughter Inês de Maia as a possible candidate? She is just three years younger than him, and has received a proper education, specializing in both Greek and Latin, as well as the Hispanian languages. She unites the de Soneta line with my own, inheriting the looks of her father and - if I may be so bold - my knack for organization.

May the Almighty protect you and through you, Hispania,

Lucia Fernanda Manuela de Maia
Condesa de Lisboa, Administrador and Treasurer of Hispania

(( To clarify: I believe this eucemenical council might provide the opportunity to install (or refuse) an absolute monarchy, and at the same time, find a clear position on how the tolerance idea group would mix with the religious idea group. ))

JpsioAG.png

Ever since King Ferran IV decided to place himself above the pope, we have indeed found ourselves adrift in matters of faith. I will be frank; I do not think highly of the Catholic Church. They have proven time and time again that they do not truly have Hispania's best interests at heart, as shown by the recent rebellions. Even the Protestants and Reformed stir up dissent against the Catholic majority, attempting to sway people to their faith and in the process fermenting potential rebellion. Their conflict seems to be the source of this tension that in turn threatens the Crown. Your idea to bring men of these various faiths together to settle their disputes and determine their role in Hispania is most valid. Ferran IV attempted this before with unsavoury results, but those were different times, before we had embraced all Christians as equals. Perhaps it is time that this tolerance we have spouted for some time be discussed by the clergy, who still seem hesitant to accept it. It would also do well to reassess the role of faith and religion and its ties to the Crown. I will thus endorse this idea of yours and announce this council immediately.

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

* * * * *

JpsioAG.png

His Imperial Highness, Francesc I de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks wishes to announce that an ecumenical council shall be held at the capital to determine the fate of all Christian faiths in Hispania and their relations to the Crown. All members of court are encouraged to attend or those within the church hierarchies of the various faiths.

His Imperial Highness also wishes to announce the union between his grandaughter Marta de Trastámara and Crown Prince Louis de Valois of France.


((Guess this will be our next event. As suggested by Raboude, the purpose of this meeting will be to determine the role of the various faiths in Hispania, mainly to coincide with our religious and humanist ideas. We shall also be discussing the relationship between religion and the Crown, which can be used as an avenue to discuss an absolute monarchy. It will probably resemble the one done shortly after the Reformation, but hopefully more civil now that all those faiths are equal. Also, while you of course can attend with your own character, I will allow everyone to make up temporary clergy characters of any Christian faith for this event if they want.))
 

Mach Twelve

The Insane Tyrant
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Feb 3, 2015
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The Prime Minister was heard praising the Steward's suggestion to host a Council. He was reported saying that the county needed to be reformed under new ideals since the old, moralistic views have given way to religious pluralism. He suggested that the Archbishop of Athens, a good friend of his, attend the Council to support these views.

Name: Ionnes Makos
Position: Archbishop of Athens
Age: 58
Bio: Ionnes was vested in the Catholic Church shortly after coming of age. Starting as a priest, he always took the controversial opinion that the Protestant and Calvinist churches were not to be considered enemies or even misguided, but to be respected. He considered the Muslim and other people who rejected Christ to be the true threat. After Petros, another pluralist, became the Count of Athens, Ionnes's Church Career soared. Shortly after being made the Archbishop, the majority moralistic clergy incited revolt among the citizens in protest against the policies of Hispania in general and Petros in particular. Speaking ill of both the Count and the Emperor saw the leaders of the moralistic faction imprisoned and replaced by less radical men. Distributed by the harsh treatment of the rebels by the army, Ionnes spent much the next few years attempting to aid them. Now a Council has been convened in Valencia, and Archbishop Ionnes hopes to reconcile the different faiths, achieve unity, and denounce the evils of moralism in all faiths.