• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

ML8991

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Recognise Pope: Rome
Byzantine Wars: Delay

Empress Dowager Caterina II de Trastámara née de Soneta, Viceroy Superior
 

zenphoenix

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Marti was getting very old now. He had hardly enough strength to walk, let alone command troops. For a man who had led Hispania's armies to victory and liberated both Rome and Paris, surpassing even the fame and glory of his grandfather, it was an ironic fate, but he didn't feel bad, as it was all according to God's plan. He himself was a grandfather now, older than his grandfather was when he died. He hadn't attended court in many years now, instead sending representatives to Valencia to participate in politics for him while he managed family affairs. His grandson Alejandro was showing promise in areas of diplomacy and rulership. Perhaps it was time for the House de Leon to change its purpose and its path in the world? Then again, Alejandro was also a top graduate at the military academy and a devoted soldier. He was also a devout Christian dedicated to serving God and helping out the common people. Marti did not know what he would do once he became the head of the family upon his own death. Ruler, soldier, theologian...all were great occupations for a de Leon. He didn't dwell on it much, for he wanted to attend the court one last time, to offer his advice on the papal situation and the eagerness of the Greeks to expand against their rivals. Then he would go home and rest. He had done so much in life. Marti felt it was time to pass the torch to a younger de Leon who would carry on the family's legacy.

Recognize Pope: Vatican
Byzantium's Wars: Delay

~Marti de Leon, Duque de Leon y Asturias

((Just got back from vacation, new character will be created sometime this week.))
 

Mach Twelve

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The streets of Valencia were busy when Andronicus was walking to his residence in the capital. As he approached a set of stairs, he heard a crash. A fruit Carr had broken down, and fruit was rolling everywhere.

The old man, now seventy paid it no mind and continued to walk. But then something happened. His foot stepped on a melon, and tripped him up. He could not regain his balance, and unfortunately tumbled to the stairs.

Sadly, he could not stop himself and crashed down the steps with frightening force, and did not survive.

The Treasurer and Steward was dead.

((Time for the Next Character))

Name: Philaretos Mandromenos'
Religion: Catholic (CJC Compliant, as much as his Uncle and Great-Grandfather)
DOB: June 14, 1672
Bio: A skilled general, Philaretos, Andronicus's nephew, is known to be a terrible blight on the enemies of the Empire, with his most notable achievement to date being the Sacking of Mecca. Currently a Lieutenant General, he has high ambitions since becoming Duke and is known to support his fifth cousin, Pausanias.
 
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Michaelangelo

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1716-1719 – A Heavenly Omen

After much debate around court, it was decided that Hispania would help Byzantium reclaim parts of Anatolia, but only once Hispania was ready. While this did not exactly please the Greeks, it was a suitable compromise for now. Surely the Greeks would be waiting, and to deny them this would be a serious hit to Hispanian-Greek relations.

This was all overshadowed when the Muslims nations of the world universally condemned Hispania for its desecration of their holy city. This one action by one Hispanian general then united a large part of the Muslim world against Hispania as they forged a coalition to contain the threat to their faith. The one notable exception to this coalition was Persia, who through their actions against Hejaz wanted to distance themselves from the fact they had been the first to besiege the city. Regardless, Hispania now had to keep an eye on this united force, something that seriously hampered expansion to the south-east.

Hispania was also doing a fine job of antagonizing the Catholic world as well. After a new Papal State had been created in Frankfurt, supported by cardinals from all the Catholic nations, Hispania refused to acknowledge this imposter and continued to back Pius II in the Vatican. If rumours of Hispania’s influence over the Church hadn’t existed before, they did now. None of the other nations recognized Pius II as the rightful pope, but Hispanian Catholics were hopeful that they would come around eventually to recognizing the one true pope in Rome.

Although the planned war against Tunis had to be put on hold, the same could not be said for the colonial ones. Nova Hispania was given instructions to attack Zapotec, and this time annex them.

To take everyone’s minds off the problems at court, Emperor Joan hired a young female troubadour to perform in Valencia. Her performance was quite unconventional, and offended quite a few pious individuals. Joan though took it at face value as a work of art, applauding the performance. Crown Prince Jaume had also attended, although he’d done his best to avert his eyes the whole time.



Nova Hispania performed its task most expediently, annexing Zapotec in under three months, even managing to get some payment out of them in the end too. With that out of the way, Itza was designated as the next target.

With the offices of grandmaster and grand admiral now united in one man, the expansion of the navy continued in full sweep. 20 heavy frigates were constructed over the year to be sent all across the empire. The army also received attention, with a new army recruited for Africa.

Ming ended its war with Delhi, but definitely in the latter’s favour. Delhi received a dozen provinces and plundered their enemy’s treasury. The Ming army was in tatters, with only 30k left, half of it mercenaries, and almost no manpower. It seemed a good time to pounce. The Exercit Colonial was transported to Taiwan and preparations made, although there was some hope that a new state would break free near Canton.

Nova Hispania finished its war with Itza near the end of the year, annexing them as well. Now only Xiu was left, although they had copied western ways, a complication preventing the usual colonial war.

Hispania’s commitment to Pius II and the Vatican was starting to sway others. France, always a close ally of Hispania, decided that perhaps the true pope was still in Rome after all. The French promptly denounced the anti-pope in Frankfurt and had all their cardinals return to the Vatican. Hopefully they would be the first of many. ((If anyone is wondering, I’ve designed this event so that over time, Catholic nations may accept the pope in Rome as legitimate, with a greater chance for those with better relations with us.))



As funds became available, upgrades were made to the Armada Colonial, for the best ships were needed for the future war with Ming. Efforts to combat inflation, an ongoing effort by the steward’s office, saw it drop to nearly 1% at the end of the year.

As an efficient administration was established in the Holy Land, Emperor Joan III commissioned a new fort for Jerusalem. He also, with the late steward’s acquiescence, managed to upgrade a few of the smaller forts around the Mediterranean.

Newfoundland’s and the Thirteen Colonies’ push for independence fell flat as the British crushed the rebellion. They firmly remained under British control, with Newfoundland paying for the war as punishment. The Thirteen Colonies, however, were quite bitter that they had been held down, for they had not nearly been affected as Newfoundland, and only the latter’s leadership in the war brought it to an end. Perhaps independence would be achieved in time.

France managed to put down the rebellion in French Louisiana and win their war against Chickasaw.

Munster’s dominance of their little corner of the HRE was practically undisputed as they annexed Gelre.

Marriageable women were encouraged to migrate to the colonies to help establish a sustainable population, with this policy proving most effective in Belitung.



The merchant class, known as the burghers, were prospering under imperial rule. With Hispania so focused on trade, they were often becoming more influential as a result.

With the Holy See in the Vatican now indebted to Hispania, the emperor decided to make use of this to get the Church to aid with the administration of the Holy Land. The clergy were not overly pleased to be bossed around like this or pulled into secular matters, but it did at least help Hispania. In return, Joan was willing to grant clergy more favours at court to earn their support.

Cologne, another ambitious HRE state, made their move on Utrecht.

Ethiopia bounced back at their neighbours’ expense, taking land from both Kaffa and Yemen. It seemed to be a back-and-forth battle for supremacy in that part of the world.

Near the end of 1717, army maintenance was raised in preparation for war. Ming was starting to recover and fend off the rebels, so war needed to be declared sooner rather than later.



At the start of 1718, Sweden declared war on Pomerania, calling upon both France and Austria, but not Hispania. Despite the fact that Lithuania was on the enemy side, it seemed that the Swedes had started to be of the opinion that Hispania was too far away to want to be of assistance. ((I’ve noticed with wars we declare that Sweden will rarely join because of distance, so probably the same is happening the other way around.))

Persia managed to polish off the part of Najd near Mesopotamia, but such conquests weren’t as important as Yemen leaving the coalition against Hispania. Apparently after two years, they had started to consider that fact that such a coalition meant they might actually have to go to war with Hispania, a frightening prospect after losing a war to a minor power like Ethiopia. Najd and Malindi made a similar decision. What was even more shocking was a few days later when Tunis followed suit and left the coalition. A sudden change in orders was carried out. A declaration of war was promptly sent to Tunis before they could change their minds about the coalition and the Exercit Valencia was transported to North Africa. Tunis was going to regret that mistake.

With the declaration sent out, the next phase in naval expansion was carried out. Threedeckers and archipelago frigates were constructed for the two armadas.



As the war began, a comet shot across the sky over Iberia. The superstitious peasants thought it a sign that this war would prove disastrous and the economy would plummet. The majority believed though that it was a sign that something calamitous was going to happen to the emperor. Some people would believe anything.

Despite this sense of foreboding, there were few problems in the beginning. A province or two fell, and a single enemy ship was sunk when forced from port. It seemed that Persia though had the greatest success, winning their war with Egypt after being cut off from them by Hispania. One half of Egypt’s control of the gateway to the Red Sea was handed over to Adal, weakening their hold there.

The war with Tunis had not exactly been planned, for the coalition had ruined that idea. War with Ming had been the original intention. However, seeing as Tunis was incredibly weak and the war theatres were so far apart, war with Ming was declared as well. Ming’s army was expected to be combating rebels near Canton, so the Exercit Colonial could sail right up the coast and take Beijing.



War taxes were enacted to cover the expenses of two simultaneous wars, raising almost an extra 40 ducats a month.

The Exercit Africa was the first to engage in battle, catching the Tunisian army in Mitidja. It was clear by now that the North Africans could not compete with Hispania. Their entire army was routed with only 50 Hispanian casualties. With the enemy force all but gone, the fort at Aures could be besieged without interference. With the capital of Djerba falling in a month, there was little standing in the way of victory.

Tunis’s navy was forced to sea with the capture of their capital, forced up against the Flota Mediterranean. They fled back to port the moment they could, but it was only temporary. Eventually they had to face off again, and this time there was no escape.

By June, the Exercit Colonial had landed in Beijing, meeting with little resistance. The Korean army had stationed itself next door, perhaps waiting for Chinese reinforcements. Speaking of reinforcements, the Flota Colonial set sail for Sinai to bring the Exercit Jerusalem over to China. An extra army would surely help the war effort, and fortunately now they didn’t have to go all the way around Africa to get one.

Morocco, smelling weakness in their neighbour, declared war on Tunis. It seemed likely they’d get to clean up the scraps Hispania left them.

Byzantium’s army showed up in August, led by Pausanias Mandromenos, although by the time of his arrival the entire Tunisian coastline had been occupied. Only the fort in Aures and a couple inaccessible provinces were left.



Bohemia was but a fragment of their former self, and Hungary seemed determined to wipe them out entirely. Using religion as an excuse, they declared war to free their fellow Catholics.

In November, Aures fell, leaving only two provinces left to siege of Tunis’s. A small skirmish was fought with what remained of Tunis’s army, with it being just as successful as the last one.

Just as the last province was about to fall and Tunis’s fate seemed sealed, Hispania lost its guiding figure. After ruling as emperor for over four decades, Emperor Joan III passed away peacefully in his sleep shortly after his 66th birthday. No one had quite expected his passing, for the man had seemed so lively even up until the end. Perhaps the comet from the year before had indeed been an omen. Thus the crown prince was crowned Emperor Jaume IV. ((While usually I would end the update when the monarch died, we were so close to finishing the war with Tunis that I felt I’d end that and finish a few things up first. Also, I put the wrong regal number in for Jaume and the heir’s stats were changed yet again by the game.))

It was clear from the beginning that Jaume had not expected to receive the crown so soon, and he was on the verge of panic for the first week after the emperor’s death. To take his mind off it, he threw himself into his work, refusing to even call upon the court for the next few months. There were two wars to win, after all, and that proved a good distraction. He did make sure not to neglect his baby son Ferran, only two years of age, although it was clear he did not get along so well with his wife, Empress Eirene. What did become apparent soon enough was the emperor’s habit of leaning on his family for assistance, although some might see it the other way around as his family started using him to obtain greater power and influence. Feeling overwhelmed with the task of ruling an empire, he was impatient to find anyone who could take some of the responsibilities from him, and the number of relatives that popped out of the woodwork made sure there was rarely a lack of people to do that.



A major breakthrough in the war against Ming occurred at the end of January, with Beijing falling to the Exercit Colonial. The Ming capital was now firmly in Hispania’s grasp. The Ming navy, which had hidden within the capital’s harbour, finally found itself forced out to face the Armada Colonial. The Ming fleet was ill-equipped for such an encounter. The entire Ming fleet sank right outside the harbour, ensuring Hispania’s naval dominance in the war. On land, a similar victory was achieved with the Exercit Colonial launching an attack on the Korean army. Their weapons were quite inferior compared to Hispania’s, and they could not keep up with Hispania’s advanced strategies. The Koreans suffered a massive defeat, a major victory for Hispania.

Cologne was also facing their own success with the acquisition of Breda from Utrecht.

With Tunis all but crushed, a peace could finally be arranged. As originally planned, the remainder of Tunis’s coastline was claimed, connecting two parts of Hispania’s North African coastline. All that stood between Hispania and total dominance of the Mediterranean were two Egyptian provinces.

Ming’s army finally made an appearance, perhaps spurred on by the capture of their capital. Unwilling to give them the chance to reclaim it, the Exercit Colonial tried to race back to fend them off. A battle ensued that proved much more challenging than expected. The Ming general threw men at the Hispanian rank with abandon, willing to use sheer numbers to achieve victory. Roughly 10k Hispanians lost their lives, but the Ming army was severely depleted and forced to flee. Beijing would remain with Hispania for now.

Trouble was also brewing in Syria. A large rebel force of 43k men rose up demanding independence, perhaps at a most inconvenient time. Byzantium’s star general was off with the entire army somewhere in North Africa, while Hispania only had 30k in the vicinity, seeing as the Exercit Jerusalem had set sail for China. The Exercit Athens could not make a move until the Greeks brought their army back. Perhaps this would be a lesson that the Greeks should secure their current gains before demanding more conquests.





JpsioAG.png

Presenting His Imperial Highness, Jaume IV de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, and Protector of the Greeks. ((Temperate, Shy, Impatient))

So… I must apologize for not appearing before you earlier. You must understand that my uncle’s passing was a surprise to me, as to you all, and there were so many matters to deal with. It was a most trying time.

Our victory against Tunis; that was good. It’d be nice to see the Mediterranean controlled solely by Hispania and our allies in the near future.

Victory against Ming seems a certain thing once the Exercit Jerusalem reaches China. We’ll have Canton in no time.

As for the matter of the Council, well, I shall be considering the appointment of a prime minister shortly. Sorry for the inconvenience. I should go work on that....


((RIP Joan III, our longest reigning emperor. I was hoping he’d outlast another heir or two. Anyway, I’ll get to the appointment of the PM within the next 24 hours hopefully. I have some plans for that. ;)

As for our usual business, ministers have until Monday at 12PM PST to post their plans, although I suppose we’ll need ministers for those to be posted. Some of the old ones were not quite complete, like the grand admiral’s, before the update ended. Players may also propose laws or reforms in that time period. It should also be noted that there is another opening on the Cortz, so landed nobles can start nominating themselves. We also didn’t get any suggestions for a colonial nation name for California last time, and seeing as it hasn’t been formed yet, feel free to suggest something.

Also, if anyone is interested, I’ll include a screenshot of the war screen for our war with Ming and a general look at the war theatre. Not much has happened other than taking Beijing and a few successful battles though.

Pensioners:
@ThePatriotOfDreumel

))
 
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alscon

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While he didn't expect anything else to happen, Alexandre César de Montségur found himself leading the Hispanians against Tunis with ease. Sergeant Major General within shortest time due to both his illustrious ancestry and his own skill, the first time he had to prove himself on the battlefield was entirely one-sided. Lieutenant General would be the next step - if he couldn't take a bigger one...

myKh8vJ.png

Your Imperial Highness, may Your reign be as long and prosperous as your uncle's. Now it is time for the next generation to leave its mark on the world. I am sure we will not fail to do so.
This rebellion in Syria will likely have no consequences, but only because we stopped the Byzantine ambitions. It is only the first. I firmly stay by what I said - I believe it is a mistake to let the Greeks wage their own wars, for it cannot end well for Hispania.
Having only been able to show a bit of my skill faced with such an inferior foe, I still think that I do deserve a promotion in the ranks of the army. An army that has for a long time now been in the guidance of older men - a new Marshal has to be appointed, and while experience has its worth, we need fresh impulses for the army. Not too great reforms, but some changes are always necessary to advance. If nobody steps forward to become Marshal, You or the next Prime Minister can appoint me.

Alexandre César de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria and Count of Calabria
 

05060403

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Alexis stood in the shadowed corner, once more observing the court with caution, not much happening for now... Well now was his best chance to discuss few matters with the Crown Prince, no, Jaume was crowned as the Emperor not too long ago, yes, how could he have forgotten. Must be his old age getting to him. Alexis slowly approached his monarch, kneeling in front of him, then standing up, which proved harder than it seemed for the old Grandmaster

"My Emperor..." The Saint-Pierre started slowly and calmly "...The death of your predecessor was quite the tragedy, though I guess everyone has their time to leave this world. However it is not what I wanted to discuss with you." Alexis clarified, rubbing his old eyes with the tips of his fingers, trying to focus on Jaume "You see, I'm here to present my plans, and point out few things that may lead to your empire prospering even more than it already is. So let me begin with the most important plan, my ministry plan... I do not think the war fleet is in dire need to expansion for now, so I instruct we order 20 new heavy frigates to protect the trade routes all over the world. Of course if there is still need then all old ships shall be refitted to be equal to the newer models." The Grandmaster and Grand Admiral explained, moving his hands around as he spoke "And these new ships are to be sent to protect our trade in the Gulf of Adan and India, since after what happened to Mecca we might see an increase of Arab pirates in the area." Alexis instructed before taking a step closer to the throne, then leaning even closer to the Emperor "I believe the remaning matters should be discussed privately. I'd be more than happy to welcome you in my home, but I'm sure you're a busy man, so I will allow you to decide when we can meet, my lord." And with that whispered to Jaume, Alexis backed off, once agian kneeling and returning to his corner to watch the court.

(( Plan:
Build 20 light ships
Send 10 to gulf of Adan, send 10 to Ceylon
Upgrade ships if any are in need of that. ))
 

Mach Twelve

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Philaretos, already a man approaching 47, rose from his seat to speak.

It has been too long since we have had a Marshal in charge of our armies. I would like to nominate myself for the role, as I am among the most experienced officers the Empire has.

Also, I nominate myself for the Cortz position that my Uncle left.
 

zenphoenix

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Marti de Leon has passed away in his sleep. His grandson Alejandro will assume his duties and responsibilities as head of House de Leon and the Duque de Leon y Asturias.

Name: Alejandro de Leon
Date of birth: 1690
Class: Nobility (unlanded)
Religion: Church of Jesus Christ
Bio: Alejandro is a graduate of the Hispanian military academy and a devoted soldier. His interests include theology, poetry, falconry, hunting, and intelligent discussion. Although he wishes to serve his emperor on the battlefield, he is a gentleman at heart and is an honorable fighter not unlike the knights of old. While he is a devoted Christian, he wants to extend tolerance to non-Christians so that they could eventually see the light and convert. With his two predecessors being distinguished leaders, there is much pressure on him to continue the family legacy.

Alejandro immediately sends a request to the Marshal to become a general in the Hispanian armies.
 

wzhang29

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To the Grand Admiral:
I have noted a lack of admirals in the navy as of late. Thus I nominate myself for the role, from the years of experience our family has had with the navy.

Konrad Lübecker

((@05060403 ))
 

05060403

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Monsieur Lübecker,
I am glad to hear that you wish to become an admiral and lead our navy to glory, commanding one of our Armadas. You can consider yourself appointed, since we are in fact in dire need of admirals to command out ships during combat.

Alexis Cyril de Saint-Pierre
 

Michaelangelo

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"My Emperor..." The Saint-Pierre started slowly and calmly "...The death of your predecessor was quite the tragedy, though I guess everyone has their time to leave this world. However it is not what I wanted to discuss with you." Alexis clarified, rubbing his old eyes with the tips of his fingers, trying to focus on Jaume "You see, I'm here to present my plans, and point out few things that may lead to your empire prospering even more than it already is. So let me begin with the most important plan, my ministry plan... I do not think the war fleet is in dire need to expansion for now, so I instruct we order 20 new heavy frigates to protect the trade routes all over the world. Of course if there is still need then all old ships shall be refitted to be equal to the newer models." The Grandmaster and Grand Admiral explained, moving his hands around as he spoke "And these new ships are to be sent to protect our trade in the Gulf of Adan and India, since after what happened to Mecca we might see an increase of Arab pirates in the area." Alexis instructed before taking a step closer to the throne, then leaning even closer to the Emperor "I believe the remaning matters should be discussed privately. I'd be more than happy to welcome you in my home, but I'm sure you're a busy man, so I will allow you to decide when we can meet, my lord." And with that whispered to Jaume, Alexis backed off, once agian kneeling and returning to his corner to watch the court.

((Private - 05060403))

JpsioAG.png

I thank you for the services you continue to render to the Crown. And, if you wish to discuss something further, I will gladly speak with you in private. I must first deal with the matter of the prime minister position, but shall arrange a meeting following that.

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

* * * * *

((Private))

Emperor Jaume IV crossed off another potential candidate from his list. Being emperor was such a pain. So many possibilities to consider. Many of the previous ministers had passed away, and most of those remaining at court had yet to prove themselves or were too young for such responsibilities, much like Jaume himself. How was he to choose one?

"You know, you're going to make yourself sick fretting over such things."

Jaume nearly jumped out of his chair, before letting out a small laugh as he recognized it as his lover's. "And you should really stop sneaking up on me like that."

"And here I thought you preferred discretion."

"Yes, but when I'm alone in my room perhaps you should announce your presence first before you end up giving me a heart attack."

Jaume's lover feigned a bow. "My apologies, Your Imperial Highness."

Jaume rolled his eyes and returned to his work. His head spun every time he looked at the long list of names, many crossed out or rewritten. The longer he went at it, the harder it seemed to reach a decision.

"I can help you find a new prime minister, if you like."

Jaume raised an eyebrow. "What do you know of politics?"

"Well I know that all those candidates you listed there would only want such a position to further their own power, often at your expense."

"Pray tell who you'd suggest then." Jaume stared down his lover, for he didn't see how this decision could be made any easier.

"There is only one thing you can trust in this world, and that is family." The two paused for a moment, chuckling at the irony of the statement. "You should follow your uncle's example and appoint a Trastámara as prime minister."

"My son is a bit young for that," Jaume said, chuckling at the idea of his two-year-old son serving as prime minister.

That prompted a head shake from Jaume's lover. "No, not your heir. Any Trastámara will do. You see, as members of the royal family, they benefit from your reign. As long as a Trastámara reigns, they sit above the other nobles. Keep them close and they'll ensure your reign remains strong."

"Or they could just topple me and take my place," Jaume said. "Weren't we just talking about Francesca the other day? Relatives can become dangerous when they have a claim."

"That's why you have to keep them close," Jaume's lover said. "If they are made to feel important, they won't care whether or not they are the one with the crown."

Jaume had to admit that made some sense, although he knew few of his more distant relatives, and many had been content to stay at their estates up until recently. "Fine, then who do you suggest?"

Jaume's lover smiled from that success. "Ideally you should place one of the more influential members of your family in such a position. Perhaps one of the dukes. Now, the duke of Madrid is out of the question, for he passed away recently, leaving his lands to his infant son. Now, the duke of Toledo and Salento is an influential man. He and his brothers could help cement your position, and his family has a history of dedicated commitment to the Crown. Then there is the duke of La Mancha and Castilla La Vieja, a very wealthy man with ties to several influential families. I believe his wife is the aunt of your wife, so his ties to Byzantium are quite strong then. Of course you could also go for more minor member of the family who may be more indebted to you as a result. Any of these catch your fancy?"

"Perhaps the Duke of Toledo and Salento then?" Jaume said, practically picking him at random. What did he know of these distant relatives of his?

"Excellent choice, my love. I shall inform Duke Bartomeu de Trastámara of your decision."

As Jaume's lover left his chambers, the young emperor wondered not for the first time if he was doing the right thing.

* * * * *

((Private))

It did not take long for Duke Bartomeu de Trastámara to arrive at court, as though he had been prepared for this eventuality. He met with the emperor the moment he arrived.

"Your Imperial Highness," the duke said as he bowed to Emperor Jaume. The man's voices was gruff, his tone severe, and his expression stern. All that added up for the perfect level of intimidation.

"Thank you for presenting yourself to me," Jaume said, a tad nervous now that he was in the presence of this relative of his. "I have called upon you to serve as my prime minister."

"I gathered as much from your letter. You have proven yourself to be a wise ruler to choose me to serve in such a position," Bartomeu said, his voice overflowing with pride. "I am descended from the legendary Prince Marti, after all, and he served his family with unparalleled dedication."

"Indeed," Jaume said, fidgeting in his seat. "Did you perhaps select some ministers yet?"

"I have," Bartomeu said as he handed over a list.

Jaume scanned over it and immediately noticed an apparent pattern. "They're all Trastámaras?"

"Of course," Bartomeu said with all confidence. "Who else but the royal bloodline is fit to govern this empire?"

"Shouldn't some of the influential nobles or knowledgeable courtiers be included?"

"Bah." Bartomeu crinkled his eyebrows in disgust. "They're all sycophants clamouring for royal favour."

"I do not think the court will take this well." Jaume could already imagine the anger of his court, and it made him more nervous than ever.

"You are their emperor and they will accept this as your will."

"Well perhaps we can make some exceptions," Jaume said, although his voice was almost a squeak at this point. "The grand admiral and grandmaster has served us for quite some time. It seems rude to replace him."

"I'd prefer more reliable and loyal men in those positions."

"I don't think that is wise." Jaume tried to match Bartomeu's intimidating stare with little success.

"Fine," Bartomeu said, relenting somewhat to imperial prerogative. "He can remain grandmaster, but we should have a more capable man as grand admiral."

"But the last time we had separate men in those positions, we--"

"Do you want me to serve as prime minister or not, Your Imperial Highness?" Bartomeu said with a level of seriousness that nearly had Jaume cowering.

"Of course I do, it's just--"

"Saint-Pierre will not be both grandmaster and grand admiral."

Jaume felt no option but to give in. "Very well, but what of the Viceroy Superior? Why replace her?"

"We do not need some elderly woman in charge of that office."

Jaume scowled at that. "That 'elderly woman' is my grandmother."

Bartomeu remained silent for a moment. "Very well, she may stay. It's not like she did much of anything with that position anyway."

Wanting to move on Jaume, pointed out the marshal position. "I've heard several requests for this position at court. Why not select one of them?"

"You must be joking," Bartomeu said with a laugh. "Montségur is a pompous buffoon, Mandromenos has shown a willingness to jeopardize the Crown's interests, and Leon is some nobody from one of the noble families that fell from greatness ages ago. I wouldn't trust any of them with the army."

"I am not so certain that--"

"Are there any other concerns you have, Your Imperial Highness?" Bartomeu asked, clearly not willing to budge on the marshal issue.

Jaume face reddened, whether from embarrassment or anger he didn't even know. He was not used to dealing with such men. "Well, I was thinking that we should offer Enrique de Burgundy-Ivrea-Orange a position. His father was a decent grandmaster, so perhaps the treasury would suit him."

"Trust some bastard son with the empire's finances?" Bartomeu said with indignation. "He may be married to a Trastámara, but he is unfit to sit on my council."

Jaume found himself unable to utter a response. The intimidating stare being sent his way by his new prime minister was enough to keep him silent. After mustering what little courage he could, the emperor said, "If you could announce the new council, that--"

"I shall do that immediately, Your Imperial Highness." Bartomeu de Trastámara turned on his heels with military precision and marched out of the room, leaving the emperor with his ego somewhat trampled from the encounter.

* * * * *

((Public))

JpsioAG.png

On behalf of His Imperial Highness, Jaume IV de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks, who has wisely chosen myself as his prime minister, I have devised the following appointments.

A list of ministers is presented to the court:

Prime Minister - Bartomeu de Trastámara, Duke of Toledo & Salento
Chancellor - Andreu de Trastámara, Duke of La Mancha & Castilla La Vieja
Steward - Enric de Trastámara ((Grandson of Prince Miquel))
Treasurer - Bartomeu de Trastámara, Duke of Toledo & Salento
Grandmaster - Alexis Cyril de Saint-Pierre ((05060403))
Marshal - Sanç de Trastámara ((Brother of Bartomeu))
Grand Admiral - Carles de Trastámara ((Brother of Bartomeu))
Court Chaplain - Cardinal Joan de Trastámara ((Son of Prince Miquel))
Chamberlain - Nicolás de Alvaro ((Robban204))
Viceroy Superior - Caterina II de Trastámara née de Soneta ((ML8991))

Hispania shall continue to prosper under the guidance of this most wise council.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara, Duke of Toledo & Salento


((Before you all start complaining about the appointments, this is only temporary, or rather will be based on player actions. I'll probably intervene either way, since it'd be biased for me to hold most of the positions. I felt that the lesser branches of the Trastámara line were being ignored and it seemed time to get them more involved at court. I also noticed that we lacked the usual vying for power amongst the royal family. Too many royals sitting back at their estates doing nothing. Now they've use Jaume to make a power grab. Now, I'm leaving several avenues open for players to rectify this situation if they don't want the Trastámaras controlling everything. You could attempt to reason with the prime minister, or use less savoury methods like bribery or arranged marriages, to convince him to appoint you to a position. You could try to sway Jaume to intervene. You could try to hunt down the source of this situation, or perhaps try to play ministers off against each other. Each of the different branches of the Trastámara family have different interests and they don't all get along. Or if you're truly desperate, try to topple some council members through a coup or even outright assassination. The other option is to accept this and make me do all the work, but that'd be boring. Start scheming. :D))
 
Last edited:

ML8991

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((how dare my nephew, or what ever Barty is to me, be such a crash b****** to me, perhaps he is one himself))
 
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DragonOfAtlantis

"Something historical sounding"
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Sancho was outraged at the news of the new minister list, ((Private)) how dare the Duke fill the positions with only the royal family.((Public)) Knowing he had little power at court, let alone appeared for the past few decades decided to post notices to various frequented locations of the court do nothing.


The notice reads:

Dear good and noble court of Hispania, that damned Bartomeu de Trastámara has stolen the ministry. We must band together to stop him from possibly sealing off the ministry permanently. The Trastámaras are attempting to centralize power and we must stop them at the source, Bartomeu de Trastámara. It is clear that the Emperor was bullied into this arrangement and we must save the empire!

The notice is unsigned. ((The spymaster may have had men capture one or more of the messengers as they posted the notices. This way it is possible to trace the notice back to Sancho. Although, if he remains undiscovered anyone can use the notices, and change it, to challenge Bartomeu's attempt at nepotism.))
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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William takes a few steps towards the boy-king, or emperor. He wasn't exactly a boy, but he behaved like one. Bit shy, and likely gullible from what he saw of him. He began to take some steps towards to emperor, and finding himself in front of him, he kneeled. and a few seconds later, he rose up. "Your Imperial Majesty, I wish not to waste your time, but if you need advice, you could come and talk to me." He moved closer to him, hoping no one else finds out, "It appears your current prime minister is quite a divisive man. Not that I think badly of him, unlike some others, but being close to him might lead some, although I am certain this is false, that you are simply his puppet. And if you want proof of this, " He handed him a small notice, "read this. It was printed somewhere and I managed to find it."
 

wzhang29

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On behalf of His Imperial Highness, Joan III de Trastámara, Emperor of Hispania, Caesar of Rome, & Protector of the Greeks, who has wisely chosen myself as his prime minister, I have devised the following appointments.
((I thought that king was dead. :p))
**********
((Private))
All Trastàmaras? Somebody said that this was a place where people had a say... well, the Cortz was left untouched, as was the Grandmaster's position, but this felt like a needless power grab. And this Duke of Salento... Dietrich had told him over and over again the history of Hispania (and before that, Aragon), and that name rang a bell somehow...

Konrad ripped a paper off the wall. A notice to "band together" and "stop [Barthomeu] from sealing the ministry possibly forever." This could have a premise, but that would need quite a bit of... how would you say it... evidence. Yeah, that was the word.

He pulled a rather hefty book on Aragonese history from the shelf, began looking at the twenty-first chapter, about Ferran II, for the umpteenth. He could care less about history... until Salento showed up in the book.

"One of the bastard Ferran's descendants had coerced the Emperor (at one point) to hand over the duchy of Salento to him."

He thought of it interesting, but he never bothered to stare at the family tree, which only detailed the main family, the one that controlled Hispania (and earlier, Aragon). But the bastard's power grab could not be tolerated.
 

Michaelangelo

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Sancho was outraged at the news of the new minister list, ((Private)) how dare the Duke fill the positions with only the royal family.((Public)) Knowing he had little power at court, let alone appeared for the past few decades decided to post notices to various frequented locations of the court do nothing.


The notice reads:

Dear good and noble court of Hispania, that damned Bartomeu de Trastámara has stolen the ministry. We must band together to stop him from possibly sealing off the ministry permanently. The Trastámaras are attempting to centralize power and we must stop them at the source, Bartomeu de Trastámara. It is clear that the Emperor was bullied into this arrangement and we must save the empire!

The notice is unsigned. ((The spymaster may have had men capture one or more of the messengers as they posted the notices. This way it is possible to trace the notice back to Sancho. Although, if he remains undiscovered anyone can use the notices, and change it, to challenge Bartomeu's attempt at nepotism.))

((RNGesus likes you, so no one knows who created or distributed these notices. That didn't take long for someone to challenge him. :p))

Prime Minister Bartomeu de Trastámara, irate that his authority was being challenged already, had men dispatched to tear down these notices, although they were only mildly successful.

William takes a few steps towards the boy-king, or emperor. He wasn't exactly a boy, but he behaved like one. Bit shy, and likely gullible from what he saw of him. He began to take some steps towards to emperor, and finding himself in front of him, he kneeled. and a few seconds later, he rose up. "Your Imperial Majesty, I wish not to waste your time, but if you need advice, you could come and talk to me." He moved closer to him, hoping no one else finds out, "It appears your current prime minister is quite a divisive man. Not that I think badly of him, unlike some others, but being close to him might lead some, although I am certain this is false, that you are simply his puppet. And if you want proof of this, " He handed him a small notice, "read this. It was printed somewhere and I managed to find it."

((Private - Duke Dan "the Man"))

Jaume read over the notice and felt a sense a dread. People were already rallying against his own prime minister, simply because he had placed Trastámaras in key positions. Then he remember something said to him earlier. Everyone who wasn't part of his family wanted to grab power away from him. Surely this was an example of that, an attempt to topple his own family members from government? Or maybe he was looking at it the wrong way. He really didn't know anymore.

JpsioAG.png

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I shall have to think over this alone.

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

((I thought that king was dead. :p))

((The emperors do like to haunt the palace for a few weeks after dying. :D))
 

Mach Twelve

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Unlike many of you, I believe that the Prime Minister was within his rights of his position. But this just shows the weakness of our current system. Perhaps it is time to reform that government. Personally, I would like to see these positions lose their power and be made advisory in nature. The Emperor alone will have the power to act.

((Calling for Absolute Monarchy))
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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Unlike many of you, I believe that the Prime Minister was within his rights of his position. But this just shows the weakness of our current system. Perhaps it is time to reform that government. Personally, I would like to see these positions lose their power and be made advisory in nature. The Emperor alone will have the power to act.

((Calling for Absolute Monarchy))

"Are you calling into doubt the decisions of the Emperor? It was fully within the Emperor's right to appoint this man. Like all other systems in this world, it has its own flaws, the current system we have now is better than letting one man have all the power. The emperor is a man, who I am sure will lead this country into even higher heights, but what about others? What about the mad emperors? Like Nero? By preventing the opportunity for a man like this, to have absolute control over this glorious nation. I do not doubt the capabilities of the current Prime Minister to help guide the Emperor. But I do doubt the capabilities of you to make a rational decision about this. Let this cabinet lead our nation for now, if we see that they make mistakes, that they reverse the long process that the Trastamaras have undertaken, the process to glory, and Imperial Authority over many nations. Let us not impulsively judge Baromeu guilty without at least getting proof that he wishes only help himself and not this nation. Let us show that we are better than those who lynch others only off of superstition. Let be the rational human beings that God wants us to be."

***
JpsioAG.png
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I shall have to think over this alone.

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

"Do not thank me, I do this out of duty to you, your Imperial Majesty. If you need advice, please, come visit me in Florence, or invite me here to Valencia. I am sure it would be a worthwhile venture for you, and by extension, Hispania."

***