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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Michaelangelo

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((I've been meaning to change this for a week or two, but I've decided to change the number of some of the leader positions. First, with us no longer needing explorers and now having multiple navies, I'm going to raise the number of admirals to 3 instead of just 2. Also, I'm well aware that conquistadors are being used as a workaround to get more generals, and I've allowed it since I just remove the conquistador whenever the army is sent anywhere near Europe. Honestly, it's pointless to do this, so I'm going to swap one of the conquistador positions to a general position, so we'll now have 5 generals and 1 conquistador. The sole conquistador will always be assigned to the Exercit Colonial. For now that means changing Louis de Soneta from a conquistador to a general, since he is leading the Exercit Africa.))
 
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Szabolcs, 7th June 1666

That should be the final nail in the coffin. Since Torontal, the Hispanian army had been pursuing the Hungarians, and now he held their surrender. Caught between Montségur, St-Pierre and Basileus Ioannes' army, the enemy general Kinizsi had come forward to lie down his weapons. There was no way he could escape, and all preferred not to shed any unneccessary blood. The Marshal still was a bit angry that he wasn't able to seal the fate of the pope in Rome, but could console himself as he guided the generals and men to their victory against Hungary. Vengeance could not always escape him.

After the victory, he headed to Palermo to prepare for the council. The future of the Papal State had to be discussed, and he had to participate.
'Your Grace, can I accompany you?'
'Stop it Félicien. You don't need to call me your Grace.'
'It is just that I want to follow my diplomatic teachings. Actually, this is the reason I want to go. Less soldiery methods might be necessary to negotiate some compromise that suits our position.'
The Duke grumbled. 'Fine. It cannot hurt. And you might finally find a wife.'
The young man sighed. 'Father is too concerned about getting to fight again to worry about me, that's true. But the Papal State is my focus. And I think we should show a sign of good will.'
'What is it?', Louis asked, visibly annoyed.
'Your preachers have failed miserably. Now that the Church of Jesus Christ tolerates them all, there are enough men preaching around. I think we should encourage Sicily to adapt this faith. Nothing bad can come of it, as Catholic clergy doesn't hold any power.'
'I see your point. Considering the last fiasco, I admit that it is what I should do. Even though the Greek can count himself lucky that I thought his threat was a good enough proposal.'
'I hear the couple is happy together.'
'Good enough. I wouldn't have wanted to spill any blood on that matter anyway.'
Félicien turned serious again. 'Seeing that it is some kind of state church, Hispania may also want to solidly encourage some core beliefs of the church, grounded on the similarities of the faiths. I am sure you can think of many to have the men fight in unity and with more fervour against any enemy.'
'Indeed.' The duke smiled. 'Young man, while I would have preferred you to choose the way of leadership in war, my worries may have been misplaced. Come, we have a council to attend. We might have good chances speaking with the French and Swedes, considering our family ties. You might want to speak to the Austrians in other matters as well.'

((Trying to convert Palermo to the CJC.
Marshal's plan needs no changes.
Proposing both Saints Accept Prayers and Holy Sacraments as church aspects.
And willing to negotiate with France and Sweden.))
 

Dadarian

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df59f46239b31289a641da9215558f9d.jpg

Duque y Conte Guillen II B.X. Etxeto, c. 1660 (Note: period costume for a ball)

Name: Duque Guillen II Barros Ximon Etxeto de Navarra, Conte de Vizcaya, Conte de Riojo
Date of Birth: 5 March 1632 - 1735
Class: Landed Noble (Navarre)
Religion: Catholic

- - - - - - - - - - -

Etxeto-arms.gif

Coat of Arms of the Etxeto
It is my sad duty to announce that my grandfather, the late Duke of Navarre, Count of Vizcaya, and Count of Riojo, has past into the hands of the Lord. Aged four score and eighteen years, he will be missed. However as he has past into the arms of the Lord, I, Guillen Barros Ximon Etxeto, do rightfully claim his place as Duke of Navarre and all the other titles and responsibilities of said title as Guillen II Etxeto.
 
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Emperor Alfons VIII entered the room he planned to meet the ambassadors in. While he intended to leave most of the negotiations to the chancellery and his court, he needed to get an assessment of the situation from the ambassadors firsthand. He had an assistant with him to write up notes on what was to transpire so his court would know what he knew. Ready to speak with them, he opened the door.

The first sight the emperor was met with was the Polish ambassador, a portly man with a balding head, trying to strangle the Swedish ambassador, a tall lean man with a nicely trimmed mustache. The Austrian ambassador, a well-built man of strong stature, was trying to pull the two apart while the Lithuanian ambassador tried to hide the amusement in his beady eyes. The French ambassador, a man of great poise and almost feminine in appearance, stood off to the side, as though the whole conflict was beneath him. Unsure what to do, Alfons just cleared his throat to draw their attention. They all turned their gaze towards him, their eyes wide. The Polish ambassador immediately loosened his grip and stepped away, while the Swedish ambassador fixed his collar with an look of indignation. They moved to their seats, the Swedish and Polish ambassadors pointedly as far as possible from each other.

"Thank you for meeting with me this day," Emperor Alfons said, trying to draw away from the recent spectacle.

"Of course, Your Imperial Highness," the Austrian ambassador said. "We wish to resolve this conflict as much as you do."

"Let us first start with what each of you wants," Emperor Alfons said, wanting to get to the core of the conflict. "I realize that our recent war with the Papal State has caused concern and we do not wish to anger others."

"Then you should not have subjugated His Holiness," the Lithuanian ambassador said.

Both the French and Austrian ambassadors gave the man a stern look. The former turned to the emperor and said, "Some of us do recognize the conflict that has existed between your empire and the Papal State and are thus more willing to accept a suitable compromise."

"Set the Papal State and the Pope free and there will be no further issue," the Polish ambassador said.

"Or if you feel that Hispania must pursue this course, it would be best that the state of this vassalization be clearly defined," the Austrian ambassador said. "We don't want any unneeded complications."

"Oh, don't be so vague," the Swedish ambassador said with a scowl. "What he means is we want assurances that you won't be manipulating His Holiness or the Church to influence other Catholic nations. We will not tolerate Hispania meddling with the Catholic Church."

"An understandable concern," Alfons said. "I am certain that my court shall draft up a suitable resolution."

"And make sure it is indeed suitable," the Lithuanian ambassador said. "His Majesty, King Aleksandras I, will not accept any further attempts at blatant Hispanian expansion."

The Swedish ambassador let out a huff of air. "You are one to talk about blatant expansion."

The Lithuanian ambassador rose from his seat and slammed his hands down on the table, startling the others. "Says the man whose people have been sending raiders into our lands!"

"Your lands?" the Swedish ambassador said as he also rose from his seat. "Those are rightful Swedish lands you stole from us."

"This is not the time for this," the Austrian ambassador said, trying to defuse the situation. The emperor was too shocked to respond yet.

"The Baltic is not your own private lake," the Polish ambassador said, ignoring the Austrian ambassadors attempts to end the argument.

"And yet Poland sees fit to lay claim to it as well. Your people are cowardly pig-dogs!" The Swedish ambassador pushed his seat aside and tried to rush at the Pole, but the Austrian ambassador held him back.

"Traitorous swine!" the Polish ambassador shouted as he circled around the table. "You broke our alliance decades ago and now you just expect us to lie down and die? I'll show you who is a coward!"

"Please, you two, enough with this madness," the Austrian ambassador said as he kept the two quarrelling men at arm's length.

"Perhaps you should stop playing both sides and let them settle this argument like men," the Lithuanian ambassador said with a bemused grin.

The room soon broke out into a yelling match between ambassadors, with the emperor just sitting there in stunned silence. Only the French ambassador remained removed from the conflict, shaking his head in annoyance. At one point he looked over at the emperor and said, "I think it would be best if we conclude this at a later time, perhaps when things have calmed down."

Emperor Alfons nodded his head and rose from his chair, not that the other ambassadors noticed. "Yes, that sounds like a good idea." He quickly hurried out of the room with his assistant. As the door was closed behind him, he heard something made of glass shatter against one of the walls. It seemed that the conflict over the Papal State wasn't the only thing that needed to be dealt with. Alfons only hoped that the leading Catholic powers at the Council of Rome could keep their composure long enough to settle the key issues civilly.

((Consider everything brought up in this meeting as public, since the assistant has provided notes of the event to the court. This should give us something for our negotiations. :D))

* * * * *

((There are now two openings on the Cortz, so landed nobles should start nominating themselves.))
 

ML8991

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Alejandro III was surprised when he saw a emergence of the Almeria line, his distant cousins had not exactly been apparent at court for the last 100 years it seemed.

But no matter, as Hispania's Grandmaster, he had a response to write

To your good sir,
It would give me pleasure to see you join our ranks as member of the Royal Merchants guild, may you serve the guild as well as your forbearers had,
In the all encompassing Lords name, Bless thee,
Yours truly
Grandmaster Alejandro III de Soneta

Furthermore he sent a letter to the capital, Proclaiming his desire to petition to sit upon the Cortz, as many of his ancestors had done, as well as to convert his home province of Pirineo, and that of neighbouring Zaragoza at a time convenient to his majesties missionaries to the Church of Jesus Christ.
 

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Gaston read the notes provided by the royal assitant and just couldn't help but chuckle. Was a resolution that would satisfly all really possible? Well if it wasn't then Hispania should focus on keeping Austria and France happy, then focus on the rest of the nations. He pondered while sitting silent in his room in his castle, grabbing some ink and a quill and writing some notes in case he would decide to meet one of the ambassadors. While thinking like that he came to a conclusion that the Saint-Pierre could only meet one of thre representatives: The French one, The Polish one and the Austrian ones. After finishing his notes he decided to nominate himself for the Corz d'Aragon.
 

hirahammad

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Now that the ambassadors had arrived, Hashem had to get a unified political stance. Therefore, he sent a letter to the member of the diplomatic corps ((not to the ambassadors))

Dear Diplomats,

Now that the ambassadors have made some remarks, before descending into childish violence, we must create a unified stance. While I believe Lithuania to be a lost cause, as they simply do hate us, I believe we can get Austria, France, and Sweden on our side. Perhaps even Poland. One thing we must assure them is that we will not meddle in the Papacy. I believe that we must vassalize the Papal State, but not interfere with the spiritual aspect. What I think we should do is have a secular leader of Rome, who will be subject to us, and to whom the civilians of Rome will be subject. In a sanctuary in Rome, perhaps in the Vatican, the Pope can reside. He will still have the power to call crusades, and even to excommunicate Hispanian emperors. Why that? If we show that the Pope has the power to "defy" the Emperor, we show we shall certainly not manipulate him. Thus, the Pope is divorced from secular leadership, and given "more time" to focus on the spiritual aspect. The Vassal, however, is subservient, similar to our Viceroys, though I trust it can be euphemized to something less demeaning. Make sure the ambassadors do not see this letter.

Sincerely,
Almaden Hashem
 

Dadarian

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Etxeto-arms.gif

The Musings of Duque y Conte y Conte Guillen II B.X. Etxeto of House Etxeto

The Duque makes it known that he wishes to sit on the Cortz much like his father and his forefathers before him.
 

Mach Twelve

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((I already nominated myself earlier, but I should say it again.))

Count Petros Mandromenos nominates himself for the Cortz.
 

Dadarian

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Etxeto-arms.gif

The Musings of Duque y Conte y Conte Guillen II B.X. Etxeto of House Etxeto

The Duque looked at the gathered names of those that wished to attain his father's seat on the Cortz. Heathens, sycophants, and peasants. Worse, these were what the court favoured. The Duque, in all of his pious place as the natural inheritor of his father's seat, will be overlooked by corrupted peasants for idolators.

What a world to live in.
 

alscon

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He had some bright ideas. Montségur didn't regret taking his grandson with him to Rome. Well, time to put these ideas into practice. He approached the Swedish ambassador, thinking about how best to talk to the French. Maybe make use of the colonial treaties France didn't respect, clearly not recognizing Papal authority?

Not only due to my personal connections, but also due to the geographical and political position, Sweden and Hispania are perfectly suited to cooperate. And as it seems that your disagreement with the Polish and Lithuanian governments are still omnipresent, so present that the purpose of this council might be dominated by it, the time for it might have come. The fate of the Papal State seems clear to me - Hispania won, and nobody stepped in to prevent it. This council is a place solely to find a compromise. Alfons is Caesar of Rome, and who can claim that title without holding the city itself? Hispania doesn't aim to control the church. Emperor Ioannes of Byzantium can confirm this - we aren't forcing our church upon the Greeks. What Hispania wants is to separate the pope from his worldly powers, so as to prevent any further rebellion on papal command as well here as in other lands - what if Sweden assumes its rightful place in the North, but doesn't decide to treat the Germans as the pope wishes? Let the revolts in Hispania be an example of what would happen.
But let me return to the Poles. They haven't just stolen Swedish land, the Poles are also meddling in the Balkans, a region in our interests. It might be time to push them out. As Marshal and Cortz member, I will use my influence as much as I can to start such a war, with the goal of breaking their influence in the South - what can open some opportunities for Sweden to assert its Baltic dominance. What weakens Poland is good for both of us. Hispania might also force the Poles to return Swedish land, from where you can start an invasion to claim your place for good. I am of the firm belief that cooperation is beneficial for both our realms, and can secure your dominance in the North for the future.
Support in the matter of the Papal State is all that we would need in return right now. The Catholic faith wouldn't be controlled by Hispania. Just the worldly power broken, which not only ends the risk of papally supported revolts, but also opens opportunities - as well as the opportunity of my proposal.
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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Juan thought to himself, a noble ally may be nice to have. He saw that Andres Romero had no wife. His daughter, Joanna, could be married off. Yes, that would work nicely...

Dear Good Sir,
I have noticed that you have no wife and that my daughter, Joanna, also has no husband. with this in mind, I offer a marriage
* between our two houses. I think that we shall be stronger together as one family. I hope this comes off well with your house.

Juan De Capadocia, Royal Hispanian Merchant
. *matrilineal
 

Michaelangelo

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He had some bright ideas. Montségur didn't regret taking his grandson with him to Rome. Well, time to put these ideas into practice. He approached the Swedish ambassador, thinking about how best to talk to the French. Maybe make use of the colonial treaties France didn't respect, clearly not recognizing Papal authority?

Not only due to my personal connections, but also due to the geographical and political position, Sweden and Hispania are perfectly suited to cooperate. And as it seems that your disagreement with the Polish and Lithuanian governments are still omnipresent, so present that the purpose of this council might be dominated by it, the time for it might have come. The fate of the Papal State seems clear to me - Hispania won, and nobody stepped in to prevent it. This council is a place solely to find a compromise. Alfons is Caesar of Rome, and who can claim that title without holding the city itself? Hispania doesn't aim to control the church. Emperor Ioannes of Byzantium can confirm this - we aren't forcing our church upon the Greeks. What Hispania wants is to separate the pope from his worldly powers, so as to prevent any further rebellion on papal command as well here as in other lands - what if Sweden assumes its rightful place in the North, but doesn't decide to treat the Germans as the pope wishes? Let the revolts in Hispania be an example of what would happen.
But let me return to the Poles. They haven't just stolen Swedish land, the Poles are also meddling in the Balkans, a region in our interests. It might be time to push them out. As Marshal and Cortz member, I will use my influence as much as I can to start such a war, with the goal of breaking their influence in the South - what can open some opportunities for Sweden to assert its Baltic dominance. What weakens Poland is good for both of us. Hispania might also force the Poles to return Swedish land, from where you can start an invasion to claim your place for good. I am of the firm belief that cooperation is beneficial for both our realms, and can secure your dominance in the North for the future.
Support in the matter of the Papal State is all that we would need in return right now. The Catholic faith wouldn't be controlled by Hispania. Just the worldly power broken, which not only ends the risk of papally supported revolts, but also opens opportunities - as well as the opportunity of my proposal.

((Private - alscon))

His Majesty, King Magnus IV, would prefer Hispania not interfere in Rome, but your points are somewhat valid. Your emperor has claimed the title Caesar of Rome and we did not dispute it, for it does please us to see the imposters in the Holy Roman Emperor see their intangible claims to Rome contested. Your offers are of interest to His Majesty, but you must understand that we'd need something more substantial than promises of actions taken against Poland. If our two countries could come to some sort of formal agreement, or if some definite action is taken to show your commitment, we would be much more amiable. Perhaps Hispania could join our cause to support Serbia's independence. Freeing the Serbian people will surely be beneficial to both of us, as a way to weaken Poland and their presence in the Balkans. If we can reach such an agreement, His Majesty would be willing to concede to your right to Rome, provided of course that Hispania allows His Holiness to continue with his spiritual duties unimpeded. If His Imperial Highness or his chancellor find this a viable solution, I hope for continued beneficial relations between our two peoples.
 

hirahammad

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Dear Ambassador,

It is my belief that you wish to be certain that Hispania will not interfere with Papal affairs. That is true. The terms of the peace are as following: The State shall have a ruler, subservient to Hispania, and to whom the average citizen is subservient. However, the Pope is divorced from secular rule, so that he can focus on the spiritual aspects. His Majesty the Emperor will not impose his will upon the the Pope, and the Pope will be free to continue his spiritual affairs, simply no longer having to worry about worldly matters.

Chancellor of Hispania, and Diplomat to His Imperial Highness, Alfons VIII de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks,
Almaden Hashem

((Everyone knows I sent the letter, but the contents are classified.))
 

Janha

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Andrés got letter from Juan De Capadocia, about... Marriage?
Andrés read the letter. It was wrote with letters as big as cats! Was Juan half blind or what. Then Andrés saw it. Juan tried to trick Andrés to matrilineal marriage! That bastard!
Juan De Capadocia

I'm disappointed at you. You trying to trick my into a matrilineal marriage? I will not marry your daughter, thank you.

From
Andrés Romero

 

Michaelangelo

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JpsioAG.png

I have been considering the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ and its melding of the various faiths and believe that if we are to use it as a state religion, it must reformed as such to create a more unified front. I thus wish to have the court consider this proposal:

Establishment of Archbishoprics of the Church of Jesus Christ

To create a more united religious community and encourage the cooperation of all Christian faiths within the Church of Jesus Christ, the following reforms shall be proposed:

I. All imperial provinces within Europe shall be designated as archbishoprics of the Church of Jesus Christ. These shall supersede all existing archbishoprics or equivalent dioceses of each sect.
II. The archbishop of each province must be a member of any Christian faith recognized by the Church of Jesus Christ and be of appropriate rank within their own sect.
III. The archbishop shall be chosen by all Christian clergy of their province.
IV. The archbishop of each province will handle the administration of the Church of Jesus Christ and direct its religious affairs within that province.
V. The archbishop will serve as their province's representative to the Council of Churches and the Crown.
VI. Only those who have served as an archbishop within the Church of Jesus Christ shall be considered for membership within the Council of Churches, and only if they've reached the appropriate rank within their own sect.
VII. The archbishop of each province shall serve for life, but may be removed if a majority of clergy within the province and the Crown feel they are not properly supporting the tenets of the Church of Jesus Christ.

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

((This is just me trying to clean up the archbishopric system. Since all Christian faiths are now part of the church, it doesn't make sense for us just to use the Catholic ones. If this passes, every province in Europe shall be considered archbishoprics. From now on any archbishop within this iAAR will be considered to be holding this position within the Church of Jesus Christ, rather than just that within their own sect. The same goes for the Council of Churches. This should clean up the clergy ranks and prevent having multiple archbishopics of different faiths within the same province. It also has the benefit of me not having to keep track of which provinces should or should not be archbishoprics. :D))

* * * * *

Dear Ambassador,

It is my belief that you wish to be certain that Hispania will not interfere with Papal affairs. That is true. The terms of the peace are as following: The State shall have a ruler, subservient to Hispania, and to whom the average citizen is subservient. However, the Pope is divorced from secular rule, so that he can focus on the spiritual aspects. His Majesty the Emperor will not impose his will upon the the Pope, and the Pope will be free to continue his spiritual affairs, simply no longer having to worry about worldly matters.

Chancellor of Hispania, and Diplomat to His Imperial Highness, Alfons VIII de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks,
Almaden Hashem

((Everyone knows I sent the letter, but the contents are classified.))

While France and His Majesty, King Louis XVIII, would prefer Hispania to not interfere in Rome, this proposal does assuage some of our concerns. However, there is still some fear that even this position can be abused to create undue influence over His Holiness and thus the Catholic Church. There is also concern about what this will mean for your empire's position within Italy. Perhaps if Hispania was to offer some form of concession as a sign of good faith, we would be more willing to take this risk.

This is a good step towards a final resolution. I am certain that my sovereign, Archduke Albrecht VI, can be convinced to accept such an arrangement, although I do fear the implications of such an arrangement. While you may not intend to interfere or harm the Catholic Church, such an act will greatly weaken the Catholic cause. With the fall of Bohemia to heresy, such a move against the Pope may just bolster the cause of the Protestants controlling the Holy Roman Empire. It is not within Austria's interest to see the Protestant faith further threaten Catholics within the Empire. However, with your recent stance of tolerance, perhaps your assistance could be used to help end the religious divide with the Empire. It may make the difference in ending the Protestant hold on imperial power and allow a greater equality of religions in the region.

An intriguing proposal, but one that will take much consideration before I can accept. I may be willing to accept such a concession, but it will take much convincing first. Perhaps you should speak to the Duke Montségur on the matter. He may have some insight on the matter.

It is not in the interest of His Majesty, King August IV, to accept such a proposal. You may choose to officially split the spiritual and secular affairs of the Papal State here, but Hispania's control of Rome will be all that is needed to coerce His Holiness to do whatever Hispania wants. Only Hispania's complete withdrawal from Rome can ensure the Catholic Church remains independent and free of Hispanian influence. Unless you can convince us that this is in Poland's best interests, I see no reason to accept this.

Your proposal is completely unacceptable. His Majesty, King Aleksandras I, will not accept anything less than the complete freedom of His Holiness and the Papal State.
 

hirahammad

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Almaden Hashem informs the Diplomatic Corps and Duke Montsegur of the contents of the letters he received.

Dear Duke Louis Montsegur,

Could you tell me what the specifics of your negotiations with Sweden are?

Chancellor and Diplomat to His Imperial Highness, Alfons VIII de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks,
Almaden Hashem

((Asking for some info: Does France have any claims on any of our provinces, and second, I'm assuming the HRE is only Protestants allowed, is it possible for us to force a Second League War with a goal of Peace of Westphalia, allowing our Catholic friends in Austria to regain Imperium? Lastly, could you post a HRE mapmode pic of Germany, and tell me who Poland's allies are?))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Asking for some info: Does France have any claims on any of our provinces, and second, I'm assuming the HRE is only Protestants allowed, is it possible for us to force a Second League War with a goal of Peace of Westphalia, allowing our Catholic friends in Austria to regain Imperium? Lastly, could you post a HRE mapmode pic of Germany, and tell me who Poland's allies are?))

((France does not have any claims on our lands, but they have designated Provence as a strategic interest and some of our Caribbean islands as provinces of vital interest. They do still have claims on Savoy and random provinces in the HRE and England. The HRE is indeed Protestants only, but I am willing allow a war to permit religious freedom. We could go for Catholics only, but it'd be harder to achieve and more likely to meet resistance. To make things easier, let me list every ally all five powers have. Also, here are some relevant screenshots.

France: Hispania, Austria, Sweden, Tyrone, Mainz
Austria: Hispania, France, Sweden, Poland, East Frisia
Sweden: France, Austria
Poland: Austria, Lithuania, Serbia (PU)
Lithuania: Poland, Pomerania, Genoa

))