• 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

Mach Twelve

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((Yup, he's only 67.))

((only 67... 67 is that the new 30? I guess ol' Petros is astounded by you whippersnappers and your crazy ideas of age!))
 

ML8991

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((@Mach Twelve say that to Don Chesus or Francesco de Soneta ;), the ones that are even older than your ghosty guy :p. ))
 

Mach Twelve

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((@Mach Twelve say that to Don Chesus or Francesco de Soneta ;), the ones that are even older than your ghosty guy :p. ))

((Those guys only come back for duels.

And there are rumors that if you are quiet at night in the Chancellor's office, you can hear a voice with a thick Greek accent giving diplomatic advice...

That would be interesting if the Chancellor was found to be guided by this voice now wouldn't it? Would explain his pro-Greek stance.))
 

05060403

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Spoiler: Private letter to Alexis Cyril de Saint-Pierre
JpsioAG.png
Surely by now you have heard of the intended creation of the Hispanian Suez Canal Company. Due to its location in Africa and the great boon it will provide for trade, it seems only logical that the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company play a pivotal role in its administration. I wish for the TATC to provide the bulk of its staff, managing the everyday operations. While all those working for the proposed HSCC would still be responsible to the company's Board of Directors, the TATC would have unparalleled influence and leverage over the Suez Canal to ensure its proper operation. I have already presented the charter for such a company, so feel free to suggest any clauses you would like added if you find these offer agreeable. I also believe that if the TATC plays a larger role in its administration, it should also receive more profit from it. I suggest that profits be split 40% to the Crown, 40% to the TATC, and 20% to the remaining shareholders. As a sign of good faith, the Crown shall hand over 5% of the HSCC shares to the TATC upon the conclusion of any arrangement we reach. I hope that this proposal seems favourable to you and the TATC.

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

Of course I have heard the news, and I think it is a reasonable undertaking. I also think that the TATC would gladly take some of the administrative duties over the canal, in exchange for more control over the canal, and I gladly accept your offer, My Emperor.
As for the the charter itself, I feel that every ship not flying the Hispanian or TATC flag should be required to pay a toll for using the canal, cheaper for our allies, and slightly higher for trade ships, while war ships of nations not allied to Hispania would have to pay the most. Obviously, during war time the canal shall be closed for everyone with the exception of Hispania and our allies. And in order to keep it that was I propose we install coastal artillery on both sides of the canal to bombard enemy ships if there wil lever be a need for this. I also believe there should be a small military force guarding the province at all time, however that is up to the marshal.

Alexis Cyril de Saint-Pierre,
Prime Minister of Hispania, Grandmaster of Hispania, Head of the TATC

With every nation present in Arabia agreeing to TATC help and the rebuilding of the region progressing steadily phase 2 of Alexis' plan could begin. It was time to flood the local markets with cheap opium, hoping that the population will become dependant on the TATC imports and TATC hired smugglers. The final step was still far away, but sooner or later his work would be completed. Maybe not in his life, maybe not in the life of his son, but in future.


Mission: Nukunu

[ courtier, merchant, grandmaster, PM, colony ]
 

ML8991

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((@Mach Twelve only, least for me, cause mike made me, something about custody charges and warped timelines were his words I seem to recall ;) :p ))
 

zenphoenix

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Misison: Nukunu

~Alejandro de Leon
 

alscon

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((There is another immortal who is going to show up again some day, should he leave America. ;)
With Reaper's Due, couldn't resist. A side campaign that won't end before the entire world answers to him!
3PtnJKW.jpg

Mission: Nukunu

[Duke, Marshal, general, Cortz, funded colony]
))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Those guys only come back for duels.

And there are rumors that if you are quiet at night in the Chancellor's office, you can hear a voice with a thick Greek accent giving diplomatic advice...

That would be interesting if the Chancellor was found to be guided by this voice now wouldn't it? Would explain his pro-Greek stance.))

((Actually that would be the voice of his late wife guiding him, who was also Greek. His wife made him very fond of the Greeks.))

Of course I have heard the news, and I think it is a reasonable undertaking. I also think that the TATC would gladly take some of the administrative duties over the canal, in exchange for more control over the canal, and I gladly accept your offer, My Emperor.
As for the the charter itself, I feel that every ship not flying the Hispanian or TATC flag should be required to pay a toll for using the canal, cheaper for our allies, and slightly higher for trade ships, while war ships of nations not allied to Hispania would have to pay the most. Obviously, during war time the canal shall be closed for everyone with the exception of Hispania and our allies. And in order to keep it that was I propose we install coastal artillery on both sides of the canal to bombard enemy ships if there wil lever be a need for this. I also believe there should be a small military force guarding the province at all time, however that is up to the marshal.

Alexis Cyril de Saint-Pierre,
Prime Minister of Hispania, Grandmaster of Hispania, Head of the TATC

JpsioAG.png

Excellent suggestions regarding the amount paid. I imagine the Exercit Jerusalem is close enough to defend the Canal if necessary, although another large force could be used beside the small garrison already planned. I shall ensure they are added to the charter, along with those regarding war time.

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

((There is another immortal who is going to show up again some day, should he leave America. ;)
With Reaper's Due, couldn't resist. A side campaign that won't end before the entire world answers to him!
3PtnJKW.jpg

((I was tempted to try a playthrough as Aragon, but then I found out they start as a single county surrounded by larger enemies and I'm too crappy to actually survive that without cheating horrendously, so I went with Ireland instead. :p So it there a working immortality mod now? The one I used to use stopped getting updated, and it was always fun to have a character never age.))
 

Dadarian

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Etxeto-arms.gif

Coat of Arms of the Etxeto
I, Tomas V Etxeto, do hereby claim my family's rightful place on the Cortz. It has been absent for too long, following the eviction of my elderly great-uncle by malicious forces.
 

Michaelangelo

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((What a surprise. The mission that's actually possible was chosen. I'm shocked. :p

Mission: Nukunu

Time to get started on that playthrough then.))
 

Mach Twelve

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I am sure you have noticed that our Marshal has expressed his views of the Greek People quite clearly. As he is the deputy Prime Minister to an aged Prime Minister, he is the clear choice for the position in the near future. Since the Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor, it can be said that the Emperor indirectly approves of the candidates views. Should Montsegur become Prime Minister, a message of subjugation will be sent to Byzantium. That will not settle well with them. To avoid such issues, I propose that we both speak to our husbands and convince them that such a thing is to be avoided. This way we can avoid any unfortunate incidents in the future.

Should you need it, I would serve as Representative to Byzantium. They cannot ignore a Trastamara of Greek birth and I can prevent incidents that may result from personal views of high officials on either side.
 

Firehound15

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CIBRÁN RODRIGO PAULO AFONSO ARCEO
YUmxKpL.png


Date of birth:
February 27, 1712

Class:
Courtier

Religion:
Deist

Bio:
A Galician by blood, Cibrán was born to a surprisingly successful family of tailors and bookbinders, which although lacking in the standard metrics of success (namely political power, although distant relation was claimed to the semi-legendary El Lobo de Alicante) still gathered for itself enough connections to find the young Arceo an education abroad at the University of Uppsala, at which he found company among a group of radical young intellectuals and philosophers. It was with this group that he published his first piece on philosophy, "Alexandre," at the young age of twenty-four. Shortly afterwards, he returned to his homeland and began to formulate a perspective to rival the stale status quo of Hispanian society.
 
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Michaelangelo

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((Just wanted to let everyone know that I unfortunately had family obligations occupying my time this evening and haven't been able to work on the update for the last few hours. Based on the content I have, I doubt the update will be done until sometime later tomorrow. I'll try to get it done as soon as possible.))
 
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hirahammad

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After long years of work, both in his capacity as Bishop and otherwise, Velazquez hoped to become Archbishop of Granada.

((Nudge,nudge;)))
 

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I am sure you have noticed that our Marshal has expressed his views of the Greek People quite clearly. As he is the deputy Prime Minister to an aged Prime Minister, he is the clear choice for the position in the near future. Since the Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor, it can be said that the Emperor indirectly approves of the candidates views. Should Montsegur become Prime Minister, a message of subjugation will be sent to Byzantium. That will not settle well with them. To avoid such issues, I propose that we both speak to our husbands and convince them that such a thing is to be avoided. This way we can avoid any unfortunate incidents in the future.

Should you need it, I would serve as Representative to Byzantium. They cannot ignore a Trastamara of Greek birth and I can prevent incidents that may result from personal views of high officials on either side.

Empress Eirene is too busy avoiding her husband to actually bother discussing anything with him.

The Viceroy Superior does not bother to respond, too preoccupied with arranging a war and reining in the colonies to care about some irrelevant position.


((Letters sent after I start a playthrough mysteriously get lost in the mail and never get answered properly. How strange. :p))

After long years of work, both in his capacity as Bishop and otherwise, Velazquez hoped to become Archbishop of Granada.

((Nudge,nudge;)))

The Archbishop of Granada dies in his sleep at the ripe old age of 87, with Bishop Velazquez suddenly finding himself elevated to the role of archbishop.
 

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1740-1745 – The Quadruple Entente

As preparations began for the next major conflict, Viceroy Superior Andreu de Trastámara turned his eyes to the New World. He immediately cut tariffs all across the board, lowering them to a base 25% in Sanchonia, Nuevas Baleares, and Nueva Granada, where they were anywhere from 30-40%. This helped ease tensions, but it would take time for wounds to heal. Most of the progress of these efforts were set back by the conversion of Nuevo Leon and Nova Hispania to the Church of Jesus Christ, which did not sit well with the locals. In time they would adjust to the change in religious environment, but for now the two colonies were not too pleased.

The army received the usual expansion efforts, this time with the Exercits Firenze and Jerusalem being expanded. As for the navy, the Armada Asiatic was slowly expanded with a further five three-deckers and galleys.

In preparation for the upcoming war, the Grande Armada was taken out of the mothballs. The Exercits Athens, Firenze, and Provence marched to the Polish border in Byzantium, while the Exercit Valencia was transported to the Hungarian border. The Exercit Jerusalem later joined the rest in Byzantium. The Empire was gearing up for war.

War broke out between Cologne and Bavaria at the start of the year, proving a blessing in disguise. Hungary joined in alongside Bavaria. Being distracted by a second war would make them an easier target.

The proposed conflict against Poland and Hungary had caused some tensions back at court. Two sides emerged, one pro-Greek and supporting the expansion of Byzantium and the other believing that Hispania should put its need first and stop pandering to the increasingly demanding Greeks. The Emperor had had to intervene to put the conflict temporarily to rest so that it would not threaten the war effort. The timing had not been good, for the Emperor was already in a fragile emotional state, and he decided to keep away from court for the months before the war declaration. Money poured out of the treasury to ensure nothing kept the war preparations from collapsing, even if it stretched the Empire’s finances.

Another setback was experienced with the death of Jeroni D’Empuries, who had been vital in ensuring the army was properly supplied and able to maintain so many soldiers. Without him, the army became much more unsustainable. Hispania was fortunate though that a successor was waiting in the wings, the young Ramon Gil de Biedma.



With the mothballs cleared away, the Grande Armada set sail for the Baltic, where it was to blockade Poland’s key ports, for the Swedes had an insufficient navy for the task. This soon became even more important as mere days before the proposed war declaration against Poland, Munster declared war on Brabant. This war seemed unimportant to Hispania, other than that Sweden was an ally of Munster’s and had joined in alongside their ally. As Hispania called upon its allies to participate in a war against Poland, Sweden showed reluctance to join, and ultimately stated it would need time to consider whether it should pursue two wars at once. Their loss was a nuisance, but nothing too damaging. France was fully willing to join, and Austria was eager as well, especially when promised Polish land. With troops all along the Polish border, delaying the war to see if the Swedes would make up their mind was unadvisable. Thus the Quadruple Entente declared war on Poland a member short.

Marshal Montségur took command of the Exercit Athens and led the left flank up into Poland, aiming for the fort at Hunyad, with the Exercit Provence covering his flank. Lieutenant General Leon took the centre with the Exercit Jerusalem and marched on the fort at Tirgoviste, while Lieutenant General Saint-Pierre took the right flank and was tasked with taking Bessarabia. The Excercit Valencia under Field Marshal Villanova hovered around Serbia, although clear instruction from the Emperor expressed that only the Greeks were to attack Serbia. If they wanted the land, they would have to get it on their own.

A surprise participant joined the next month, coming to Serbia’s defence after Hispania had announced an intention to see it annexed. The Papal State sought its revenge, perhaps an unwise move with France and Austria so close to Frankfurt.

A delay in the war declaration against Hungary was made, for there was still a hope that Sweden would reconsider and join the war. That meant that Villanova was sitting around waiting. While he had been given explicit instructions to let the Greeks lead any sieges against Serbia, that didn’t include destroying their army. He launched an assault on their army, removing that threat before it could start pestering Byzantium.

By December, Sweden had decided that it could manage to join two wars and offered its assistance. Vague promises of territory along the Baltic were made, but nothing definite was agreed to. Either way, the Quadruple Entente was all involved now.



The fort at Tirgoviste was the first to fall, succumbing at the start of 1741 to Leon. The former lands of Wallachia had been occupied. Up north, France and Austria had sent well over 100k men into Silesia, with more Frenchmen on the way and some Austrians entering the former Hungarian lands. Poland also had the bulk of their army in Silesia, but it could not dislodge the assembled army at its current numbers. As for Byzantium, a large force of over 50k men entered Serbia in January under General Pausanias Mandromenos.

Near the end of January, Emperor Louis XIX launched a near suicidal attack on the Polish army. Reinforcements were slow to arrive, and the Austrians were much more preoccupied occupying the land they desired than helping the French. Only with the arrival of Archduke Leopold VIII Johann and more Frenchmen did the French Emperor hold his own. Tens of thousands died, but the Polish army was shattered for now.

Treasurer Alvaro managed to pay off the debt the Emperor had accrued trying to prepare for the war.

With Sweden now in the war, if not fully committed, war against Hungary could now be pursued. Austria, of course, could not come to Hungary’s defence, while the Papal State was already fighting against Hispania. Munster and Bavaria were willing to stick with their ally. As for Hispania’s allies, France expressed a willingness to join, assistance that was gratefully accepted. Sweden sent mixed messages, saying that they wouldn’t mind joining, but they already had so many wars to deal with. Seeing as such a war would pit them against Munster, who they were already fighting alongside in another war, it was thought best to keep them uninvolved. Thus war was declared on Hungary with the intend of claiming the Balkans for Byzantium. ((Despite having a negative score to joining, Sweden was willing to accept a call to arms. Decided not to risk it with Munster willing to come to Hungary’s defence.))

Field Marshal Villanova was sent instructions to assist with sieges in Hungary but to encourage the Greeks to take over. Seeing as they were preoccupied with Serbia at the moment, Villanova moved on the fort at Travunia.



Hungary’s allies were considered a minor nuisance, but they would need to be dealt with to secure a suitable peace with Hungary. The Exercits Madrid and Napoli were ordered up to Bavaria to force that nation out of the war.

March saw the capture of Bessarabia, securing the Polish ports on the Black Sea. Montségur and Leon were already working their way along Hungary’s border after the fall of the fort at Hunyad, while Saint-Pierre and the Exercit Provence went up the eastern side of Poland. Poland’s narrow southern half allowed for a straight-forward campaign northward with little interference.

With the Papal State defying the Quadruple Entente by siding with Poland and Serbia, that set the stage for the last member of the group to reject the Anti-Pope in Frankfurt and return to Rome. Austria formally endorsed the Roman Pope as the true representative of the Catholic Church.

In May, the Anti-Pope was further shown the error of his ways as France eradicated his army.

The colony of Graaff-Reinet became self-sufficient, allowing for Crown resources to be shifted to Nukuna, where the court wished to see a colony established to ensure the French did not claim even more of Australia.

France continued to push against the enemy armies near their borders, this time targeting the Hungarian army fighting in Cologne. The French didn’t exactly win the most spectacular victory, but it did send the Hungarians running. Probably the more stunning victory was when a French general managed to fend off 5k Hungarians with only artillery.



The Austrians got involved in two simultaneous battles against Poland in Germany. The first, conducted in Cologne’s territory, saw the Polish Crown Prince devastating the front lines of the Austrian army before the cavalry succumbed and the army fled the field losing almost 5k artillery in the process. The second battle though lacked sufficient leadership, seeing Austrian men slaughtered in the thousands and pushed back.

In news unrelated to war, a period of good weather allowed for improved progress in the construction of the Suez Canal. It was projected that the workers were able to shave three months off the proposed timeline.

The Bavarian capital was poorly defended, falling in under three weeks. The Exercit Napoli, responsible for this feat, moved on to Eger to the north, perhaps overconfident with their success. Thus they were caught completely unawares when they ran straight into Munster’s army. The Exercit Madrid marched to reinforce, but ultimately could not arrive in time. In perhaps one of the most humiliating military defeats in Hispanian history, an entire army of 32k men was killed or captured in little over a week. The Exercit Madrid, its morale flagging at the loss of its companion army, retreated to Northern Italy for further instructions. With nearly the entire general staff in the east, there was insufficient leadership for the unexpected western front. For now, a new Exercit Napoli could only be recruited and any further attempts done with more discretion. ((Honestly, I didn’t see that army until it was too late. My bad. At least it shows how important generals are. :D))

Over on the eastern front, Poland was falling bit by bit. Podole on the Lithuanian border had fallen, allowing armies to keep pushing north. The four Hispanian armies were nearing the Polish capital, and only a single fort stood in the way.

The call for a constitution amongst the population continued, this time focusing in Italy. Emperor Jaume showed a willingness to accept such reforms, but ultimately did not pursue them. Such efforts would have to be attempted by the court first.

With a French army in Cologne, the Exercit Madrid worked its way back north to besiege Frankfurt. It was hoped that Munster’s army would not reappear this time. As for Hungary, an army of nearly 40k had appeared in Slavonia and was attacking Byzantium’s fort.



Apparently the decision to force some of the colonies to embrace the Church of Jesus Christ had not sat well with the locals. The government of Nova Hispania had promoted a known anti-Hispanian to the rank of general, following Nueva Granada’s example. Dissent was high yet again, but hopefully such things would fade away with time.

In November, Bavaria was willing to come to the peace table, seeing as Hispania had occupied their capital and they were actively engaged in another war. The peace terms were not too harsh, with Bavaria forced to pay war reparations and cut ties with Hungary and Alsace to prevent further conflicts.

The fall of Zemplen in December was a great breakthrough, for it opened the path to Poland’s capital. Saint-Pierre was to take the fort at Krakow to link up to Austria’s territory to make a clear path to reinforcements, while Leon marched on to the capital.

Tulangbewang became self-sufficient at the start of 1742. The region around Malacca was proving quite profitable, so another colony was set up nearby in Katapang.

After taking Serbia’s capital, General Mandromenos of Byzantium decided he could not tolerate Hungarians besieging Slavonia. With a smaller army than his enemies, he rushed head-on into the Hungarian force without waiting for the reinforcements lagging behind his army. Just as his men were about to rout, another 20k Greeks arrived to bolster the ranks. This slightly tipped the odds, allowing him to just barely force the Hungarian army out of Byzantium. Thousands of Greeks had marched to their death in what some saw as poorly-timed assault that could have turned out much better if Pausanias had waited for reinforcements first. Regardless, the Greek people cheered for their hero, for he had expelled a foreign army from their lands.

Around this time, the Exercit Napoli was reformed and ordered up to Frankfurt to join with the Exercit Madrid. Munster’s army was battling Cologne’s army to the west and it was deemed advisable that the two Hispanian armies keep close together.



In February, the Poles tried to make a break for the east to reclaim their occupied land, but this required them to march right between the Hispanian armies. Leon and Saint-Pierre channeled them east right at the Exercit Provence. Saint-Pierre then abandoned the siege of Krakow to join up with the defending army, although Leon remained at the Polish capital to ensure their second army did not try to keep them out of it. With the fall of Wolyn further east, Montségur joined the other armies. What ensued was a major success for Hispania. The Polish army was crushed, losing well over half their infantry and cavalry, while being forced to surrender half their artillery.

Perhaps at the news of this victory or maybe just because Hispanians loved wine, the population started chugging back the latest vintage, thought to be the best in recent history.

Some people who weren’t happy were the workers on the Suez Canal. Some of the leaders on the work site were causing problems, which forced the Crown to intervene to hire better replacements.

Hispania’s trade empire continued to grow as nowhere in the world could escape its influence. ((We got another merchant, this time from Nueva Sicilia. I sent him to Brazil for now, but the Grandmaster can change that if he wishes.))

In April, Frankfurt fell to the Exercits Madrid and Napoli. The two armies were ordered to march on Munster’s capital to force them from the war, all as a peace was signed. Of course Hispania could annex the Papal State and remove the Anti-Pope, but instead the Emperor requested that the state be allowed to exist. Humiliation would serve well enough. The Papal State was forced to renounce all claims in Italy, as well as cut their ties to all their allies. War reparations were paid, as usual. Perhaps now this Pope in Frankfurt would accept that it was better to focus on spiritual affairs.

Yet again, Hispanian armies ran into Munster’s army unawares. This time they at least had twice the numbers. This did not seem to matter. Munster held their own and dominated the field. Without proper leadership, Hispania could not prevail. A retreat to Provence was ordered, for it was clear that Munster could not be attacked until reinforcements or one of the generals were available.



June brought the greatest breakthrough in the Polish war: the capture of Warszawa. With the Polish capital in Hispanian hands, the people of Poland became greatly demoralized. Their army was in tatters and half their country occupied. It seemed unlikely they could fend off this invasion now. As for Hispania, it could now try pushing for the coast and Swedish border, where the Polish army now hid. Ideally Sweden would come help take these provinces, but they had not contributed a single soldier to the war effort. Their main army was still stationed in Stockholm, with a smaller force fighting in the west for Munster.

The fall of Krakow secured the corridor to Austria, just as Austria caught the Polish army trying to march west. Saint-Pierre immediately went to bolster the Austrians, ensuring another victory. The Poles fled yet again.

Perhaps unified behind the war effort or due to the growing religious and ethnic tolerance, the Council was getting along for once. This was likely to end when everyone returned to court. The nobles certainly needed to make their presence known, for their power was degrading.

An outbreak of Roman Fever in Kaurna was alleviated as all efforts were made to end the outbreak.

The French had shifted their focus to Hungary as the Poles started to collapse. Emperor Louis XIX chased the Hungarian army and dealt them a decent blow. With over 60k Frenchmen besieging the Hungarian capital of Pest, it seemed their fate was to be similar to Poland’s.



In November, after recovering from a minor wound sustained during the siege of Travunia, Field Marshal Villanova returned to Hispania to take charge of the Exercit Napoli and lead an assault on Munster. The German state had humiliated Hispania and had to be dealt a serious blow soon to knock them out of the war, and Villanova intended to do just that. Just as he left, Travunia finally fell after a year and a half long siege. The Exercit Valencia started making its way up to Hungary proper, allowing the Greeks to take the rest of the Balkans now that the main war goal was captured.

With Poland falling apart, Serbia was finally willing to capitulate. Serbia was forced to renounce their existing claims on Hungary’s land and then was fully annexed into Byzantium, securing a significant portion of the Balkans.

In a part of the world few people outside the TATC cared about, Ethiopia lost a few provinces to Kaffa.

With most of Poland occupied, a small Swedish expeditionary force decided to take a tour of South Poland, as though mocking their hated enemy. As for actually fighting, they seemed less inclined to do that.

The start of 1743 marked the destruction of the Hungarian army, with Emperor Louis XIX chasing them to Bavaria where they were finally brought down.

In Poland, the Polish army made a break for their capital, but Marshal Montségur was not having any of that. With Austrian and French assistance, he expelled the enemy army and secured the capital yet again.



The first coastal fort was captured by Austria at Slupsk, who had arrived before the Hispanian army. They handed it over to the Swedes, despite them having no army nearby or having contributed much of anything so far. Saint-Pierre then proceeded to race the Austrian to Memel, the only fort standing between Poland and Sweden.

As Wizna fell near the Polish capital, the French Emperor succumbed to wounds sustained in battle against the Hungarians. His son, Charles, became the next Emperor of France, but at only six years of age, a regency had to be established.

In the war between Munster and Brabant, Saxony became the first major casualty. They were forced to hand over three provinces to Bavaria, as well as grant independence to Anhalt. The so-called Emperor was not performing so well.

Saint-Pierre had the pleasure of eliminating the remains of the Polish army as they retreated right into his path. Already demoralized and weak, they stood no chance against the seasoned general.

Over in the British Isles, Scotland further weakened Britain, not only reclaiming Aberdeenshire, but also further expanding south into England.

The colony of Kaurna in Australia was able to sustain itself, which meant that the Crown could hire Colonist Vladimir Pugachev to colonize Highveld in South Africa and ensure Sweden did not colonise in the African interior.



As Eastern Poland was occupied, their navy was forced from port. The Grande Armada proved its worth, easily sinking the entire Polish fleet without losing a single ship. The fleet sailed out of the Baltic and headed for Munster’s coast.

Hungary attempted to reform part of its army, but half of the Exercit Valencia was enough to stop that. Hungary was almost entirely occupied at this point, although the Greeks had been besieging the one remaining Hungarian fort in the Balkans for months now.

Revenge was to come at last as Munster’s army appeared in Cologne, just as a French army on its way to Munster marched at them. When Munster’s capital fell right before the battle, Villanova marched all his men at them. Outnumbered more than 5:1, Munster could not avoid defeat this time. They were forced to retreat, and Villanova eagerly gave pursuit.

More land changed hands in East Africa, this time between Kaffa and Alodia.



Pursued all the way to Holland, Munster’s army fought to the death with Villanova. The Hispanian general gave no quarter. The entire enemy army was wiped out, repayment for the loss of the Exercit Napoli.

Memel fell in June, which by then most of Central and West Poland had already fallen to Austria beforehand. A fort or two remained, but Hispanian and Austrian armies worked together to take those. Sweden circled around, and even managed to take out a regiment or two, but other than that didn’t do much of anything.

The loss of Munster’s army had not deterred them. They signed a peace with Cologne, forcing them to hand over Breda and pay war reparations.

In July, Archduke Leopold VIII Johann of Austria passed away, passing the throne to his son Ferdinand. The boy was only 15, barely old enough to rule, but worse of all he did not have an heir. Yet again, another throne was in danger of falling into the hands of a Trastámara, in this case Emperor Jaume’s younger brother Sanç, who was married to the Archduke’s aunt.

Munster’s peace with Cologne appeared to be all bluster, for they were more than willing to finally settle a peace with Hispania. There wasn’t really anything Hispania wanted from Munster, and it seemed unseemly to cripple a Swedish ally when they were both together in a war. Instead, to humiliate them further, Munster was forced to return the province they had taken from Cologne two weeks earlier. War reparations were extracted to pay for losses and war costs. With that done, the Exercits Madrid and Napoli could finally return home and Field Marshal Villanova could return to much fanfare for redeeming Hispania.



Slowly but surely Poland and Hungary fell. All but the single province being besieged by the Greeks remained in Hungary. With the fall of Niederlausitz to Austria, only the fort in Berlin remained and the port of Stade. The Exercit Jerusalem marched on Stade, where it would take the province before returning to the Middle East. The Exercits Valencia and Athens were already making their way home, with only the Exercit Firenze remaining to besiege Berlin.

The French, with the late addition of Lieutenant General Leon, dealt the last blow of the war. Poland’s Crown Prince lost yet again.

Berlin fell in October, and the members of the Quadruple Entente gathered to discuss a potential peace. They all wanted to dismantle Poland, but the question was how. These were all matters that would have to be dealt with, and soon.

Matters overseas could not be totally ignored. Scotland, with newfound boldness, decided to establish colonies in Central America, right next to Nova Hispania. They were seriously tempting fate now. The fact that Nuevo Leon had just appointed an anti-Hispanian general too only made matters worse.

The Emperor of the HRE died and the crown was granted back to Saxony, despite their recent defeat.

Munster attempted to make up for their loss by annexing Brabant.



At the start of 1744, representatives of all members of the Quadruple Entente finally met in Austria’s capital in what was unofficially dubbed the Council of Vienna. Emperor Jaume accompanied Chancellor Andreu de Trastámara to the council, although he had given the Chancellor full permission to settle a peace along proposed guidelines. Basileus Ioannes X also accompanied the Hispanian delegates, the only representative from Byzantium, although Byzantium was not given official representation at the Council and the Basileus remained part of the Hispanian party. A group of French nobles represented France, for the Emperor was far too young to be involved. King Karl IX of Sweden sent a few representatives, for he personally seemed uninterested in the council. The new Archduke of Austria represented his own country. What followed was one of the most chaotic peace conference seen in Europe, with all sides bickering and fighting over every little detail.

All parties came to Council with the same goal in mind: dismantling Poland. Of course only so much could be done without antagonizing the rest of Europe, or worse leaving Poland vulnerable to Lithuania. All parties immediately agreed that Eastern Poland should be left untouched. Chancellor Andreu took the initiative and started presenting proposals.

First off was that all of Poland’s German territory should be granted independence or be handed over to existing powers. Hispania in general favoured consolidating existing powers or granting freedom to medium sized nations, for these powers would be more able to resist Polish intrusions in the future. The French set forth a proposal that East Frisia be granted independence in Stade, for this would remove the Polish presence in the North Sea. Sweden objected, for their ally Munster considered that land rightfully theirs, so it should be granted to them. Hispania, despite their altercation with Munster, favoured the Swedish side, for Munster would be best suited to ensure Poland did not reclaim their port on the North Sea. France reluctantly agreed, despite it seeing their neighbour strengthened. Chancellor Andreu suggested then that Luneburg and Hesse be granted freedom to further push Poland out of Germany. France fully agreed, and the Swedes had no problems with it, but Austria protested. The protests seemed to have little grounds to them, although many suspected Austria merely felt it should get more land instead of freedom being granted to small German states.

Things started to break down as the Council looked farther east. Hispania put forth a proposal that land be returned to Pomerania and Saxony to secure Eastern Germany. This idea did not get very far. The Swedes refused to accept any peace that benefitted Pomerania, and Austria did not want to see strong neighbours and a peace that took away from land they could take. France favoured restoring Brandenburg instead as a solution, but that was rebuked by Austria as well. No single agreement on this region could be reached, and as it became clear that to hand away land in this region would mean less for Austria, the Austrians threatened to end the Council and send the participants home. No further agreement was reached, so Eastern Germany remained untouched.

At this point, Basileus Ioannes X stepped forward and suggested Byzantium take Wallachia and Poland’s territory on the Black Sea to weaken their presence in the south. This was universally rejected, for Byzantium had recently annexed Serbia and it seemed likely they would receive part of Hungary. Emperor Jaume did favour the idea of a buffer though, and instead put forth the suggestion that Wallachia be granted independence to serve as a buffer state. This received approval from both France and Sweden, although Austria protested that instead Hungary should be granted its lost territory in the east. Ultimately the Austrians were outnumbered and Wallachia was to be granted its freedom.

The last argument, however, brought up the issue of Hungary. The Austrians were not overly pleased that Hispania was still at war with their ally. They wanted all Polish provinces stolen from Hungary returned. Chancellor Andreu refused, stating that it would be detrimental for Hispania to allow Hungary to grow during their ongoing war. If such a peace was to be signed, it had to be after peace with Hungary was signed. Unfortunately, time was not on anyone’s side. Peace with Hungary had to wait for the Greeks to finish their sieges, while France and Sweden expressed an increasing urge to end the Council. France was experiencing increasing unrest at home due to the regency, while Sweden showed disinterest on the whole matter and a desire to go home. What finally ended this issue was Andreu’s suggestion that if Hungary were to receive land, less could be granted to others. With the threat of less land for themselves, Austria abandoned their ally’s interests.

Now came Austria’s time to put forth its claims. It wanted land and a lot of it. Initial claims included all of Silesia and the remaining German provinces. To support such claims, they presented the fact that they had contributed a significant number of troops to the war effort and had been promised territory. They also did not want Poland to hold land in Germany. Austria then proposed that Sweden receive the entire Polish coastline. France was the first to reject both of these. In a shouting match between representatives, the French delegates accused the Austrians of being greedy and putting their own needs ahead of the stability of all Europe. They then proceeded to refuse to agree to any land being granted to Sweden, for the Swedes had not contributed a single thing to the war effort. Sweden, to everyone’s surprise, was not willing to push its own claims to the Baltic. A general sentiment was expressed for the weakening of Poland, but they would not be displeased if they did not receive land. Austria used this to request more land, but by then both the French and Hispanians were tired of the Austrian drama. Drafting an agreement without the Austrians, Hispania and France decided that Austria would receive parts of Silesia and surrounding territory on their northern border, but the parts of Germany that Austria had claimed would not be given away. Sweden was to be given nothing, for France refused to see them given a single province, especially when they had contributed so many troops and weren’t getting any land either. Due to Swedish apathy, it was quite easy to get that added into the peace.

Finally, after countless days of arguing, a final agreement was reached. Austria received some of the land it desired, but not enough to keep them happy. Stade was granted to Munster, a stronger power that could hold the coastline. Luneburg and Hesse were then granted freedom to keep Poland out of Western Germany. Much farther to the southeast, Wallachia was granted independence as a buffer state between Byzantium and Poland. It was perhaps not a perfect peace, for everyone has something they disagreed with or wanted more, but it had weakened Poland for the time being. None of the parties went home satisfied, and neither had some of the participants. Chancellor Andreu had been drained by the experience. Now in his 80s, the man was finally starting to show his age. Upon returning to Hispania, he announced his resignation as Chancellor and Viceroy Superior.



Two months after the Council of Vienna, the last Hungarian fort finally fell. A peace could finally be signed. Hungary was forced to hand over all their Balkan provinces to Byzantium. They also had to cut ties with Munster. There was talk of making them cut ties with Austria to avoid future conflict, but it was decided that that might anger Hispania’s ally and make Hungary more vulnerable to Poland in the future, something no one wanted.

Now with the wars over, focus could be given to the administration. A more efficient way of handling documents was devised, which despite temporarily raising costs, actually helped out.

The English decided to follow Scotland’s example and settle a colony in La Plata. It was almost like they wanted to invoke Hispania’s wrath.

The recent wars left a lasting impression on Byzantium. For the first time in centuries, all of Anatolia and the Balkans now belonged to Byzantium or their allies. The Greek people rejoiced at their success, and many expressed gratitude at the assistance of Hispania. The one who benefited the most though was General Pausanias Mandromenos. Attributed with contributing the most to Byzantium’s success, Basileus Ioannes X had no choice but to appoint the man Sebastokrator or risk riots in the streets.

Sensing weakness, Pomerania pounced on Poland to reclaim their lost land. Perhaps Poland was destined to lose even more land in Germany.



In July of 1744, Bukhara polished off what was left of Sibir. They remained the last nation standing between Lithuania and further expansion east.

Cologne did not fare well against Bavaria. They were forced to release Frankfurt, Nassau, and Brabant, now a mere shell of their former self. The HRE was starting to fragment.

The colony of Mtetwa in South Africa became self-sustaining, giving Colonist Sancho Villanova a chance to establish his own colony is Southern Taiwan.

As the year turned to 1745, the administration went through further reforms. A modern bureaucracy was developing, with employment in the state now becoming the preferred career path and universities seeing greater enrollment.





JpsioAG.png

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

I must say that I am glad that those wars are at an end. We have weakened a growing threat in Europe, pushing back the Poles further eastward, all while gaining the love and approval of the Greek people. Agreeing to a peace that pleased everyone was not the easiest thing to manage, but at least we reached an agreement. Now we can enjoy the spoils of our labours. Poland is less a threat and Byzantium celebrates our mutual success. We have all done well.

I also believe it prudent to reward those that performed so admirably during this war. I wish to induct our four most prominent generals into the Royal Order of the Light. I thus offer Alexandre César de Montségur, Fausto Villanova, Alejandro de Leon, and Gilbert de Saint-Pierre all a position within its ranks. Winning a war is not just about winning battles either. As I have witnessed, obtaining a preferable peace with so many powerful nations involved is not that easy. I thus also wish to offer the former Chancellor Andreu de Trastámara a position in the Order as well. Congratulations to you all.


((Ministers should post their plans before Monday at 12PM PST. Players may also propose laws or reforms in that period.

The Prime Minister may want to get around to filling up the now empty council positions and perhaps replacing the Steward. There is also the matter of the national focus. We actually have more admin points than we need, although I won’t be saying that if we go on a conquering spree soon. Anyone who wants to change it should suggest so. The Grandmaster can also choose where to send the new merchant, unless Brazil is fine.))
 

Mach Twelve

The Insane Tyrant
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The past few years have been kind to Sophia. Alfons was growing well, and flourishing under his mothers guidance. The boy already spoke both the Greek and Hispanian Languages, at only the age of five. He was also readily absorbing Latin, a needed language for an Emperor. Sophia herself was brushing up on her diplomatic training. She had always taken an interest in it and now she had an opportunity to fill an important gap in the Council. She made her opinion on the matter known to the Court.

((Elsewhere.))

Sebastokrator Pausanias Mandromenos wishes to announce his acceptance of the Church of Jesus Christ and requests permission to be baptized into it by the Court Chaplain in Valencia.
 

Firehound15

Power-Hungry Demagogue
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THE GATEKEEPER
Cibrán Arceo
___________________________________

I.

Wherefore, when thou find thine life,
ye might not know thine lover's mind,
nor shall ye find her stark betrayal,
but rather rest beyond the pale.

The Gatekeeper knows not thine sin,
for no man knows what God begins,
yet ye believe thineself to be all knowing,
even as thine river-of-life might soon stop flowing.

___________________________________
The virtuous life, we are taught, is the life which, while it may be fraught with perils, shalt lead us unto the promised land through, ultimately, the fruits of our own efforts and behaviors. Certainly, we are born into a life of misery from which we can only escape through our personal determination. Excluding that we live our lives overwhelmingly in reaction to other factors, rather than under our own initiative, there is an overwhelming truth which we must come accustomed to as long as we have the choice to react or not react to those factors: that our minds exist within themselves.

With every passing generation, we must understand that a great wealth of knowledge, expertise, and thought is lost to the sands of time - and why? Is it because we do not share? Is it because The Lord hath destined it to be so? Perhaps that may be the case through the unstable mechanisms of un-reasoned belief, but the answer is far clearer, and may be easily observed by any individual of a conscious mind.

That is, that what is within us can never be accurately or properly understood in its full potential by any human being, plant, or animal, and as much as superstitions of Gypsy fortunetellers may scare children and the unaware, they are held to the same metrics as all other men: that they know no more - in fact, they likely know far less - that thine neighbor, or some distant relation.

One would never even consider the possibility of sacrificing their free will, their ability to choose, and the conscious power to make decisions on behalf of themselves, so why would such a concession ever be made to those figures which seek to establish themselves as "acting in the best interests" of the citizenry? Certainly, there is no figure, particularly not the concept of an absolutist despot who may, perhaps, have the ability to enforce behaviors upon a populace which lacks true confidence in his being. He knows not their minds, and as long as there is a rejection of a mechanism by which they may freely - just as Athenian citizens - express and put-in-place those elements of the mind most important to them, the natural order shalt not be in place.
 

DragonOfAtlantis

"Something historical sounding"
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Grand Admiral Plan:
Expand the Armada Asiatic by 5 heavy ships and 10 galleys ((progress towards completion, after next update, 15/45 heavy ships 20/55 galleys))
Attached to the plan was a small note:
Grand Admiral Sancho Villanova has died at the age of 95, he has bequeath the family farm and 1/3 of the family wealth to his son Alonzo Villanova and the title of family patriarch and 1/3 of the family wealth to his other son Field Marshal Fausto Villanova. The rest of the family wealth is distributed to various persons and groups within Hispania.
--------------------
Name: Joaquin Villanova
DOB: January 27, 1727
Class: Courtier
Religion: Catholic
Bio: The son of Alonzo Villanova
 
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