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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Michaelangelo

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Suicide only if it fails, necessary if it suceeds - it is only a risk. And should you be guilty of the assassination attempt, then these orders would have been the logical next step. Truly unfortunate the former Marshal is dead - a little money, and he would have told us all we wanted to know.

I've wished that since the start of this trial. He could at least make it clear to you all I was not involved with the army. I left all matters pertaining to the military to my brothers. Why would I have bothered to send out false orders if my brother could already command the army, especially when the forged orders would have made it look like my brother gave the orders anyway? Someone has just been setting me up since the start to take the fall for the attempt on the emperor's life.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara
 

zenphoenix

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If you have indeed spoken to my secretary and he has revealed what I suspect he has, then there is no point in denying what I've done. I will admit that during my time as prime minister and treasurer, I may have taken funds from the treasury. My family was in dire financial straits and I abused my position to alleviate the situation. I will accept whatever punishment is necessary for such a crime.

As for the claims of attempted regicide, I will continue to profess my innocence. It is true that I did indeed spy on the emperor. I had men in place to watch his movements, to see who he talked to and what he said, but this was not for some nefarious purpose. As I stated earlier, I feared someone trying to manipulate His Imperial Highness, who at the time was a young impressionable man. And these claims that I sent men to "convince" the emperor are completely misconstrued. I am not foolish enough to send someone to murder him simply because he did not like who I appointed. No, what I was trying to convince the emperor of was that not everyone can be trusted. I was sending out some trusted men to find proof that I could use to show him that there were indeed people at court looking to use him for their own needs instead of Hispania's. This "convincing" did not involve harming the emperor. Of course nothing came out of this plan, for someone attacked the emperor before I could find anything to convince him that I was right.

I've heard nothing before of false orders sent to the army, and I surely had no reason to do so. I was already prime minister, and attempting to take the one position higher than mine would have been suicide, even with the army on my side. I can safely say I had no knowledge of any military coup. It is unfortunate my brother Sanç passed away, since he could have helped clear up this matter, although if you say the notes were forged it seems likely the former marshal was not involved.
Very well, I will speak then, and make myself clear. I was not involved in the attempt on His Imperial Highness's life, nor did I ever intend to harm him. I have always advocated for a strong Hispania, one led by its rightful emperor, Jaume IV. I will be honest, I was sometimes quite cold with the emperor, and that we butted heads more than a few times, but it was all for his own good. As his prime minister, I wanted to ensure his position remained strong, and that required making tough decisions that a newly crowned monarch might not be willing to make. I do not fault him for it, for he had a great burden placed on his shoulders unexpectedly and at such a young age. My actions may have viewed negatively by the court, but I did them all for the emperor. I appointed family because I knew they could be trusted. I did not want to see someone manipulate His Imperial Highness and weaken the Crown's power. I have always served the emperor with the utmost loyalty. I had no reason to harm him either. He had already appointed me prime minister, and as we are seeing now, attempting to kill him would only have shifted the blame to me. I may have seemed strong-willed and aggressive to some of you, but I am not stupid. That was why I resigned immediately after. To stay in that position would have only implicated me in a crime I did not commit. Clearly whoever targeted His Imperial Highness knew this and tried to frame me for it, but we are fortunate that someone was there to save him. I will state this again, for I can never make myself any more clear: I did not try to kill the emperor.
Lies. I have proof that you did hire somebody to kill the emperor. His name is Jose Sanchez. He is a mercenary from a company based in Castile. You used the money you stole from the treasury to pay him enough to quit his job and work for you, and you opened the secret passages to allow him to enter into the emperor's quarters. You never wanted to protect the emperor. You just wanted to give yourself more power, to manipulate him to serve you, to take over this great nation blessed by God. I tell you now, we will take back our nation from you and the others who have stolen it. We will save Hispania from the likes of you who wishes to take the throne from its divinely ordained occupant! Give up now and confess, Bartomeu, and the emperor might show you mercy.

((Assume that I have also presented all necessary information and evidence to back up my claims))
 

Michaelangelo

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Lies. I have proof that you did hire somebody to kill the emperor. His name is Jose Sanchez. He is a mercenary from a company based in Castile. You used the money you stole from the treasury to pay him enough to quit his job and work for you, and you opened the secret passages to allow him to enter into the emperor's quarters. You never wanted to protect the emperor. You just wanted to give yourself more power, to manipulate him to serve you, to take over this great nation blessed by God. I tell you now, we will take back our nation from you and the others who have stolen it. We will save Hispania from the likes of you who wishes to take the throne from its divinely ordained occupant! Give up now and confess, Bartomeu, and the emperor might show you mercy.

((Assume that I have also presented all necessary information and evidence to back up my claims))

You have proof that someone hired this Jose Sanchez, but I can safely say I've never heard of this man in my life. I will admit that I did take money from the treasury, but all that went towards paying off my family's debt. I'm sure even my secretary can support me in this, for he was the one that arranged all the shipments of funds. I never hired this assassin, nor had a reason to. These claims that I helped the assassin gain access to the emperor are just as unfounded. I didn't even know of the existence of these secret passages until after the incident. All your evidence reveals is someone went to great lengths to see the emperor dead, but it does not prove that that person was me.

I have indeed been selfish in that I took money from Hispania for my own needs, but never have I put the emperor at risk. Hispania benefits from a strong emperor, and I was merely helping our young emperor learn the ways of ruling. His murder would have done the opposite, putting the nation into a state of chaos. Regencies are never good for a nation. Accomplishing my goal of a stronger Hispania was far better served by working alongside the emperor.

You will never get a confession out of me, for I will not confess to a crime I did not commit.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara
 

zenphoenix

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never have I put the emperor at risk
You did by letting Jose get to him. If you were a loyal and effective prime minister who even as much as thought about putting the greater good before self-interests, you would never have let Jose as much as enter the palace. I know you hired Jose. The money you stole from the treasury was invested in shell companies in your home city as well as in "administrative costs." The mercenary captain reports that Jose was paid a large amount of money to assassinate the emperor. Only one person in Hispania has ready access to that much money--you. We know everything about your misdeeds. You're only delaying your demise. You might not confess now, but you will soon.

((If this and following ICs contain information I don't know about, assume I'm bluffing.))
 

Michaelangelo

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You did by letting Jose get to him. If you were a loyal and effective prime minister who even as much as thought about putting the greater good before self-interests, you would never have let Jose as much as enter the palace. I know you hired Jose. The money you stole from the treasury was invested in shell companies in your home city as well as in "administrative costs." The mercenary captain reports that Jose was paid a large amount of money to assassinate the emperor. Only one person in Hispania has ready access to that much money--you. We know everything about your misdeeds. You're only delaying your demise. You might not confess now, but you will soon.

((If this and following ICs contain information I don't know about, assume I'm bluffing.))

I don't see how I can be solely blamed for letting some nobody get at the emperor if I did not even know of his existence. I did take money from the treasury and it was invested in companies while listed as administrative costs, but I don't see how that implicates me as the one who hired this assassin. And I find it laughable you think that no one else has enough money to hire an assassin. Are the nobles of this realm so destitute that none of them could even afford to hire one man? Anyone with any wealth could have paid the assassin. If you had even bothered to check about those funds I stole, you'd know they all went to paying off my family's debts, not hiring some assassin. I will repeat, and will continue to repeat, that I did not attempt to have the emperor killed.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara
 

zenphoenix

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Very well then, Bartomeu, I shall let somebody else have their turn to present evidence. I believe I have said enough for now.

((Private))

Curses, he thought. Bartomeu was good at this. He had obviously covered his tracks well. But he did provide some clues as to what he should investigate next...

((Investigating the stolen funds, namely where they were invested, which companies they went to, what they were used for, if Bartomeu's family was indebted to someone and who, and if the stolen funds were used to pay these debts))
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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((I believe 05 has most of the information regarding the "companies" the stolen wealth went to))
 

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((Investigating the stolen funds, namely where they were invested, which companies they went to, what they were used for, if Bartomeu's family was indebted to someone and who, and if the stolen funds were used to pay these debts))

((Private - zenphoenix))

Tracing the stolen funds led to several businesses in Toledo, many of which had gone bankrupt, disappeared, or had simply never existed in the first place. There seemed no way to trace where the gold went, since anyone could have taken it at the time. The few legitimate businesses still around appear to be linked to the Trastámara estates in Toledo, either providing them with goods or services they needed. Without looking at their records, you can't tell more, but with Bartomeu on trial all necessary documents were handed over. The paper trial indeed shows all funds eventually making their way to the duke. Cross-referencing the funds coming in with debt paid off seems to match in most cases. The funds unaccounted for are small in number, so if any of the stolen money was used to pay an assassin it either was not recorded down when transferred by one of the front companies or the money was obtained from elsewhere. As for the debt itself, Bartomeu mostly owed money left over from his father and grandfather, for his lands were not able to produce enough to match spending. The fact that his two brothers spent a lot and gambled frequently did not alleviate the matter. Money is owed to many different companies, nobles, and even a few Trastámaras.
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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Bartomeu shuffled nervously in his seat, clearly caught on at least one charge. His expression became sullen, perhaps as the reality of his situation set in.

If you have indeed spoken to my secretary and he has revealed what I suspect he has, then there is no point in denying what I've done. I will admit that during my time as prime minister and treasurer, I may have taken funds from the treasury. My family was in dire financial straits and I abused my position to alleviate the situation. I will accept whatever punishment is necessary for such a crime.

As for the claims of attempted regicide, I will continue to profess my innocence. It is true that I did indeed spy on the emperor. I had men in place to watch his movements, to see who he talked to and what he said, but this was not for some nefarious purpose. As I stated earlier, I feared someone trying to manipulate His Imperial Highness, who at the time was a young impressionable man. And these claims that I sent men to "convince" the emperor are completely misconstrued. I am not foolish enough to send someone to murder him simply because he did not like who I appointed. No, what I was trying to convince the emperor of was that not everyone can be trusted. I was sending out some trusted men to find proof that I could use to show him that there were indeed people at court looking to use him for their own needs instead of Hispania's. This "convincing" did not involve harming the emperor. Of course nothing came out of this plan, for someone attacked the emperor before I could find anything to convince him that I was right.

I've heard nothing before of false orders sent to the army, and I surely had no reason to do so. I was already prime minister, and attempting to take the one position higher than mine would have been suicide, even with the army on my side. I can safely say I had no knowledge of any military coup. It is unfortunate my brother Sanç passed away, since he could have helped clear up this matter, although if you say the notes were forged it seems likely the former marshal was not involved.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara

So you confess to the crime of espionage? Which is a crime if my knowledge of the Hispanian legal system is correct.
 

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A Greek servant wanders in, claiming to have a letter for the Marshal

I hereby resign my commission of Captain General.

The Duke of Athens
 

Michaelangelo

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So you confess to the crime of espionage? Which is a crime if my knowledge of the Hispanian legal system is correct.

If that is the case, you may as well lock up the entire council, including His Imperial Highness. As prime minister, it was key that I looked out for the emperor, and that required keeping tabs on him to ensure that he was safe. It was part of the job, although I may have taken it to a certain extreme. It wasn't as though I was snooping through his private documents. My men were to serve as observers, an unseen contingent of guards if you will, who were to keep an eye on the emperor at all times.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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If that is the case, you may as well lock up the entire council, including His Imperial Highness. As prime minister, it was key that I looked out for the emperor, and that required keeping tabs on him to ensure that he was safe. It was part of the job, although I may have taken it to a certain extreme. It wasn't as though I was snooping through his private documents. My men were to serve as observers, an unseen contingent of guards if you will, who were to keep an eye on the emperor at all times.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara

But you did spy on the Emperor. And spying is a form of espionage, whether for foreign or private use, or even political use, as you have admitted. Why would you have men watch the Emperor and lsten to his private converstaions? Was it glean information on his actions. Maybe something to blackmail him on? Spying, for whatever purpose, is espionage, and the fact that you have just lied to the court, you are also guilty of perjury, at least that's where I am concerned.
 

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But you did spy on the Emperor. And spying is a form of espionage, whether for foreign or private use, or even political use, as you have admitted. Why would you have men watch the Emperor and lsten to his private converstaions? Was it glean information on his actions. Maybe something to blackmail him on? Spying, for whatever purpose, is espionage, and the fact that you have just lied to the court, you are also guilty of perjury, at least that's where I am concerned.

As far as I am aware, watching someone is not a crime, especially when it is practically part of your job, and neither is espionage if you prefer the term. If it is, someone should inform His Imperial Highness that he should fire his spymaster, whoever that is, before he is placed on trial next. It would look bad for the Crown if it is caught breaking the law, after all. And as I stated before, I was ensuring that no one was trying to manipulate the emperor into serving their own needs. I would have been a terrible prime minister if I had let some greedy nobles siphon away the emperor's power.

- Bartomeu de Trastámara

((I have no idea if spying is illegal here, since it seems to be done frequently and there is literally a spymaster position. :D))
 

alscon

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Montségur asked himself if it went better than expected, or if he hadn't expected it. Either way, the change in the army's leadership was complete with Mandromenos' resignation. A new army. Of course, said army was now in need of new officers.
Also, de Leon had found out the assassin's name. There would likely be a bunch of men named 'José Sanchez' around, but the army's records would clarify if the man was one of the couriers by asking if this Sanchez had his own weapon. Maybe this would be a step more towards tracking his origins. Also, the marshal would see if anyone else from this Castillian mercenary company entered the army back then. If they did, then the leader of the company was involved, the one hired in the first place, and so Montségur planned how to arrest the man.

myKh8vJ.png

Having served in the army for a while and with his family having a great tradition, I hereby appoint Alejandro de Leon as Lieutenant General. May he show the same energy and zeal on the battlefield as he does in the trial.
 

Michaelangelo

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Also, de Leon had found out the assassin's name. There would likely be a bunch of men named 'José Sanchez' around, but the army's records would clarify if the man was one of the couriers by asking if this Sanchez had his own weapon. Maybe this would be a step more towards tracking his origins. Also, the marshal would see if anyone else from this Castillian mercenary company entered the army back then. If they did, then the leader of the company was involved, the one hired in the first place, and so Montségur planned how to arrest the man.

((Private - alscon))

Looking back in the records did reveal a José Sanchez who had served in the Exercit Valencia, but he had been expelled from the army in the mid-1710s for various offences like disobeying an officer and bad behaviour. Complaints by several men serving alongside him at the time were registered. He was not in the army during the time of the assassination. There seems to be no connection between the mercenary company and the army other than the assassin seeking employee with them after getting booted from the army and nothing tying him to these mysterious couriers.

* * * * *

((Time for me to end the vote, at least for those not related to the trial. I will allow another 12 hours for council members to change their votes to innocent or guilty. Also, @zenphoenix I will need a stat focus for your general if you accept the position.

Free Trade Act: No
Arabia TATC Monopoly (Council Only): Yes
Mission: Tierra del Fuego

I'll get started on the playthrough in a bit. Seeing as the trial has no impact on it, feel free to keep presenting questions and I'll try to keep an eye out for them. Some final verdicts would be nice too.))
 

alscon

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The assassin was a dead end concerning the couriers. All Montségur could try to do was prevent this from happening again. For that purpose, each messenger from the marshal would wear an insignia indicating him as such; the sergeant major generals and higher ranked would know the men possibly sent as couriers, and the orders would be signed by the marshal and sealed with the seal of his office and his title. This should be secure enough for now.

myKh8vJ.png

No evidence has been presented so far that points solely towards Duke Bartomeu. His guilt hasn't been proven, and the charge of corruption already assures that should he be the instigator, there is no danger for the emperor from the same attacker. Is he not, then declaring him guilty would only encourage the would-be regicide to try again. So I hold him as innocent on the charge of attempted regicide.

((Changing my vote for Bartomeu Attempted Regicide to Innocent.))
 

ML8991

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((notice to the chat, I am going away on a holiday tomorrow, from 11PM GMT, over to the states and around the Frenchies in Canada, so no i can't say hi mike :p sorwi, for a holiday that will last 13 days. I hope i can pop on to keep up to date with matters, but idk for sure if i will be able to formally craft a new character and participate as he/she, sorry about this guys, but things should be back to normal for a while after that, until uni ;). Hope you understand and see you when i next do))
 
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Michaelangelo

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I must also concur with the marshal here. The evidence is plentiful, but not quite conclusive enough for me to consider condemning a man to death. Seeing as the accused has already pleaded guilty to the other charges of corruption, he will already be punished regardless. I pray we are making the right decision here today.

- Cardinal Joan de Trastámara, Court Chaplain of Hispania

((Bartomeu Attempted Regicide (Council Only): Abstain -> Innocent))

* * * * *

((notice to the chat, I am going away on a holiday tomorrow, from 11PM GMT, over to the states and around the Frenchies in Canada, so no i can't say hi mike :p sorwi, for a holiday that will last 13 days. I hope i can pop on to keep up to date with matters, but idk for sure if i will be able to formally craft a new character and participate as he/she, sorry about this guys, but things should be back to normal for a while after that, until uni ;). Hope you understand and see you when i next do))

((What kind of Brit are you where you'd rather visit Quebec than British Columbia? :p Enjoy your holiday and send my French brethren my love. :)))
 

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((Private))
They had condemned his radical shift in direction due to fear, ignorance, and obstinance. Very well, thought Timur, he would leave. But not before avenging the Holy City. Before he could do that, however, he had to make some arrangements.

Pigs,

Bow down to my greatness, it is through my magnanimity that you have survived thus far. You know it too, for if you really could get by on your own, you would let me go. But I know, you are too weak to survive without me, failures all of you. Your mother's would bark in humiliation if they knew the true extent of your cowardice.

Your Leader,
Timur Shah-un-Shah


Dear Saint-Pierre,

I have sent an insulting letter to the TATC Council, and I wish for you to know why. I do not send it out of hatred, but to give the TATC great impetus to forcefully discharge me of my position. It is likely you do not understand, and you may never, but I wish not to give you cause to personally hate me. You may spread this knowledge with whoever you deem fit, so long as I am still ejected from service.

Humbly,
Timur Shah