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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

alscon

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((One would think that with the Exercit Athens being stationed close to my enemy, even more so being the first army I had ordered reinforced, I would certainly have chosen my most loyal and Greek-hating men to this Exercit. They might not have the people's support, but I certainly wouldn't leave this one as a wild card. Nor any other with my command purges, but well, that would perhaps strengthen Phoenix too much...

Sure Mach, that's fully understandable just as what I'm going to do right now: ))

Just as each previous day, message after message trickled into Valencia, most were not good news. Either way, it only encouraged Montségur to continue further on his path. Officially assuming the title of Lord Dictator, just as in ancient Rome guiding the nation through a hard time - a title he made clear to discard after the empire was pacified - he broke any chains the true Hispanian shorttime-government might impose itself. Without using all available resources and making the necessary sacrifices, the Loyalists would have the better starting position. He calculated possible losses and wins, and when he came to a scenario that, including the losses, was still positive, he would take action. The world would be involved. A strange thing, life. You have a certain amount of time on this earth, durin which you set yourself the rules you want to follow. Then you do, and either feel accomplished or failed as you take the next step. He wasn't afraid of doing anything necessary to succeed, and his rules were now Phoenix's. No matter how it ended, he had already won. The ideas were there, wouldn't be squashed. Though of course winning this civil war was the better alternative. He set himself to work.

Austria's greed had been directed into the right direction, but with this negotiation, Alexandre had a hard time to drive any other bargain. And if he already had to relinquish control of some provinces, then he could surrender the others as well. It was even good for him. If the Austrians wouldn't be dumb and announce their intentions to the Imperials right off the bat, they would stand at their capital Napoli's gates just before attacking. Fine. A sacrifice he had to make, though of course he would explain his choice to the men loyal to him.

This negotiation is acceptable. The immediate consequences will be followed on both terms.
((Full acceptance. Up until Abruzzi shall be ceded, and the Austrians are to march from there to Napoli.))

He then thought of his reaction to the Pope. Fool, as usual. His damned 'natural order' has already been destroyed multiple times. He thought he was helping the Imperials. Not in any way. His keys won't open anything when Montségur would be finished, nor would he be clad in white. Nor be Pope any more, for all it matters.
Fellow Christians, I am certain you have heard of the Papal bull condemning my actions. What more is that than a show of weakness, of complete domination? What natural order does he talk of? The same order that saw him being stripped of his lands, that sees him compete with another Pope for his supremacy, one that sees a Greek general rise up against his Emperor but being left completely alone. This man is corrupt and wicked as any pope is, and doesn't give a second thought to what Hispania wants him to say, just doing it as soon as he is told to. Brothers, this is an occasion to end his influence once and for all. As Phoenix will certainly not keep such a corrupt head of religion within its lands. Let him influence our policies of freedom of belief, a tolerance that has led to our strength! A valuable support that will not be forgotten, stay assured. Hispania will form a shield against any such unjust papal demands, a defender of tolerance, of all Christian beliefs!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix
You have always feared it. There hasn't been any sign of it before, but now it is apparent. The Pope in Rome is nothing more than an Hispanian puppet. His words might sound as if he wasn't, but only if you close your eyes and ears. In Byzantium, a General attempts to overthrow his Basileus, and, unlike me, tries to seize power for himself. Yet in this case, which is a clear break of whatever natural order the Pope speaks of - again, unlike in my case, where we aim to keep Alfons IX on the throne - he turns a blind eye. If that doesn't prove that the Pope is a puppet, something which all of you wanted to avoid, then nothing will.
Do not heed his call. Instead, rise up against the man! Phoenix will end the Roman papacy, which will open a way to a papacy free of Hispanian influence. A papacy that can address your concerns without Hispania's in mind. You have been fooled long enough!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix
You have been right all along. The Pope in Rome is an Hispanian puppet. ((Won't repeat myself here.))
This is your chance to break Hispanian influence, to end the schism. Denounce this wrongful declaration, and take the side of Phoenix, to end the Hispanian papacy for good, now that you have the best chance to do it!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix

Some governments might follow his call. Many volunteers, soldiers, mercenaries, peasants might flock to Phoenix' cause, perhaps even its enemies. And if Austria could be gained for his side, it couldn't hurt to try reaching out to the other allies of Hispania. He sent his sister, returned just at the right time to negotiate with the TATC, to speak with the UKA's government, and his wife to Sweden and France. All other Christian governments had already received a letter, and heathens were hardly worth negotiating with, considering Hispania's history.

Duke Wallace would likely have been transferred over to the then still-strong Brits to be hanged if he hadn't found help from Montségur and the TATC, and so he was ready to do his best to speak with the regenc council. He stated that Hispania's support for their independence would likely have stayed nothing more than the recognition of their nation without the two factors within Hispania, both now on Phoenix's side. And what were the ideals the movement tried to enforce - weren't they somehow similar to the American ones? The alliance would not exist, the UKA be alone against whatever the future would bring. Therefore, the UKA would have to honour the past, and support the movement with all its might. To add a financial initiative, he added how profitable the agreement with the TATC has shown to be, and that said TATC was also involved.
A messenger was also sent to Canada to implore the defence of their values, though Wallace didn't expect much of an answer from the Canadians, who had shown to be the weak civilized part of the continent.
Princess Marie reached the palace in Stockholm clearly in some uproar. She did find her brother, concerned about the Hispanian civil war, and was going to explain the reasons, the offer.
"Charles, the Hispanian monarchy suffers under great failures the Swedish or French crown do not. Weakly giving in to demands of power-hungry men within their subject nations, leading to the current civil war. Going against their own principles, trying to exclude the court from power, a bad idea as we both know from France's history. Yet we have been willing to implement the necessary reforms, while Hispania's last reforms within the government is nearly two centuries old. The state in its current form has been crumbling for the last decades. It was only a matter of time for this to happen.
My dear brother, I am certain you fear for your own crown in these circumstances. But stay assured that there is no risk for such a civil war to break out in Sweden, nor is it in France. We Valois have made the necessary reforms, modernized the state so that such demands are not even formed. Moreover, our ancestors as well as you and our departed brothers have always firmly been in control of the army, leading the troops by example. And I assure you that my husband doesn't want to depose Alfons - the reforms have to be made, and this is the only way for them. The emperor's role in the government shall be limited. Your fears for your crown can safely be cast aside.
What I wish to ask of you is to either stay true to your word of non-involvement, what will neither threaten yourself nor any other Swede. But what I hope you will see is that the status quo has much more potential for danger than what Phoenix stands for. The ideas are there, whatever the outcome. Should Phoenix fail, there may well be twenty, thirty years of relative calm - before it all explodes. And the next time, the call will not simply be to enforce reforms - then any royalty may fear for its crown. The wiser course of action is not to let this situation arise. As we wisely do through our implementation of reforms. And as Hispania has to be see. Please, make the right choice - not for my sake, but for yours, for our nephew's. For the Valois line.
((Make the changes to the Swedish one and it's ready))

Villanova had arrived with around half the Exercit Madrid, which was good, but that also meant that Leon had the other half and the land. Not that with the Trastámar in power, he expected anything else. He wondered what had happened to all the Sergeant Major Generals, Brigadiers and Colonels he had handpicked and promoted over the course of the last thirty years for their qualities and their loyalties. It was a mistake to positively answer Saint-Pierre's request for his son, but the man had been an useful ally and he had needed him. He sent out direct orders to all of them, men to the colonies repeating his previous offers, informed Blanco that would depend on the amount of arriving soldiers, assistance and volunteers, and then returned to thinking about his next moves. He would wait. But another order he could send. "Shall you see admiral Liu's ship approaching the harbour, have a cannon shoot a warning. Aim in another direction of the sea to make sure you don't hit it. If the ship continues on its course, let it, he will be on our side. If they desperately try to get away, sink it without hesitation. I cannot let that game continue too long. If he won't lead our fleet, he leads none, and San Battista will."
 
Last edited:

zenphoenix

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El Maestro,

Let me know the address where the subject is staying, and I shall do as you request.

~Leon

((Sending troops to find the target))
 

Mach Twelve

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As she was sitting in her office waiting for answers and results. Sophia remembered something. General Saint-Pierre was not aware of the attempts of the larger Imperial Faction. She decided to send him a letter updating him on affairs and requesting that he stay in contact.
 

05060403

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(( Speech given by general Gilbert de Saint-Pierre in front of Exercit Jerusalem and local recruits, sent out throughout the enitre Empire
So pretty much everyone knows about this.
Thanks to Mach, Gilber finally had a chance to learn most about what happened. ))

Few weeks ago, *Insert the date the coup began* -- a date which will live in infamy – The Empire of Hispania was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the armed forces of Exercit Valencia, acting on orders coming from Alexandre Ceasare de Montségur.


De Montségur was the marshal of the realm, and a possible candidate for Prime Minister and the regent. Days before the attack a discussion began, with the goal of electing a new Prime Minister and regent, in hopes of keeping inner peace in the Empire.


Indeed, when the soldiers began their assault on the Hispanian capital of Valencia, de Montségur and his co-belligerence were still taking part in the debate. And while he was mostly passive during it only addressing his appointment as the deputy prime minister, he didn’t show any threats or hints of war or of armed attack.


It will be recorded that the swiftness of the attack on Valencia makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, de Montségur has deliberately sought to deceive everyone at court by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.


The attack on Valencia has caused severe damage to Hispanian capital, and the reputation of our Empire. I regret to tell you that very many Hispanians have betrayed our nation, joining this treacherous man.. In addition, Hispanian ships have been reported bombarded on the high seas between Gibraltar and Alexandria, by armed merchant ships flying the flag of the Trans-Atlantic Trading Company..


Last week, Portugal and Galicia pledged their allegiance to the “Phoenix Movement.”


Last week, Tunis has joined the ranks of the rebels.


Last week, ships from Morocco harassed a loyalist fleet.


Last week, Eastern African administration agreed to help de Montségur.


Last week, Provance and Northern Italy were occupied by rebel forces.


And this week, half of Exercit Madrid betrayed their country.


De Montségur has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the entire Empire. The facts of the last few weeks speak for themselves. The people loyal to our Emperor, Alfons IX, have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As Captain General of the Hispanian Army, I have made sure with all of my power that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.


No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the Hispanaian people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.


I believe that I interpret the will of the nation and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.


Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.


With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God.


I ask that the Loyalist Government, wherever they currently reside, to declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Alexandre de Montségur on *date here*, a state of war has existed between the Empire of Hispania and the rebel forces of the “Phoenix Movement”.

Per aspera ad victoriam!
 
Last edited:

Michaelangelo

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((@wzhang29 @DragonOfAtlantis @hirahammad @Duke Dan "the Man" @zenphoenix @Michaelangelo ))

Sophia was pleased about the news from Castille. It was a shame she didn't get the entire army, but the area might be more important in the long run, especially if the French Emperor's request, to find Margaret de Valois, would be easier. The Empress Dowager ordered the search for her in both Naples and Castille in hopes of finding the girl.

After doing that, she sent a letter to the Spymaster, requesting that he use any influence he had in France to convince key players in the French Government to abandon neutrality and side with the Imperials in the war. ((Playing the Spymaster Card here. I am basically proposing that each side can use the Courtiers that sided with them as resources at their disposal, but of course the number of times each resource can be used should be limited, perhaps only once. Not sure if we are going to retroactively declare actions to be spent influence though..))

After that she got into contact with the Chancellor, Court Chaplain, and the Colonist Villanova. They would be sent to the undeclared regions of Italy to convince them to side with the Imperials. Villanova was the relative to the Neutral County of Provence, the Chancellor was a Florence native, and the Cardinal had the backing of the Catholic Church. They should all have much influence in the area.

The search began, but it will take time for any progress to be achieved.

Attempts to sway those at French court meet little success. A few nobles express their sympathies, but it will take a drastic change in circumstances for them to actively side with the Imperials.

All attempts to reach into Northern Italy utterly fail, for with the Phoenixes controlling the armies there, everything north of Firenze remains firmly under their control.

Nicolás was back home in Sassari when he got a reply from the Byzantine Emperor. One word. "Help". He immediately sent men into Byzantium to see what was going on, and if need be, rescue the Emperor.

A small contingent of men reached Constantinople and met with Basileus Demetrios IV. The Basileus, however, was unwilling to leave Byzantium and risk losing his crown. He requested aid in men or gold if Hispania cannot actively join his war. He seems to be quite frazzled, yet understanding that Hispania is in no condition to fight his war for him.

Juan sent one of his best officers and a whole battaillion to the Exercit Cathay to talk with them so they would support the Phoenix

((All armies and navies in Asia cannot be reached until the next turn due to their distance, but I'll make note that you sent word to them.))

Austria's greed had been directed into the right direction, but with this negotiation, Alexandre had a hard time to drive any other bargain. And if he already had to relinquish control of some provinces, then he could surrender the others as well. It was even good for him. If the Austrians wouldn't be dumb and announce their intentions to the Imperials right off the bat, they would stand at their capital Napoli's gates just before attacking. Fine. A sacrifice he had to make, though of course he would explain his choice to the men loyal to him.
This negotiation is acceptable. The immediate consequences will be followed on both terms.
((Full acceptance. Up until Abruzzi shall be ceded, and the Austrians are to march from there to Napoli.))

The Austrians officially sign the agreement and return home quite content.

((I can't control the AI, so we can only pray they do what we want. Here's hoping they don't try to invade St. Helena or something equally stupid. :p))

He then thought of his reaction to the Pope. Fool, as usual. His damned 'natural order' has already been destroyed multiple times. He thought he was helping the Imperials. Not in any way. His keys won't open anything when Montségur would be finished, nor would he be clad in white. Nor be Pope any more, for all it matters.
Fellow Christians, I am certain you have heard of the Papal bull condemning my actions. What more is that than a show of weakness, of complete domination? What natural order does he talk of? The same order that saw him being stripped of his lands, that sees him compete with another Pope for his supremacy, one that sees a Greek general rise up against his Emperor but being left completely alone. This man is corrupt and wicked as any pope is, and doesn't give a second thought to what Hispania wants him to say, just doing it as soon as he is told to. Brothers, this is an occasion to end his influence once and for all. As Phoenix will certainly not keep such a corrupt head of religion within its lands. Let him influence our policies of freedom of belief, a tolerance that has led to our strength! A valuable support that will not be forgotten, stay assured. Hispania will form a shield against any such unjust papal demands, a defender of tolerance, of all Christian beliefs!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix
You have always feared it. There hasn't been any sign of it before, but now it is apparent. The Pope in Rome is nothing more than an Hispanian puppet. His words might sound as if he wasn't, but only if you close your eyes and ears. In Byzantium, a General attempts to overthrow his Basileus, and, unlike me, tries to seize power for himself. Yet in this case, which is a clear break of whatever natural order the Pope speaks of - again, unlike in my case, where we aim to keep Alfons IX on the throne - he turns a blind eye. If that doesn't prove that the Pope is a puppet, something which all of you wanted to avoid, then nothing will.
Do not heed his call. Instead, rise up against the man! Phoenix will end the Roman papacy, which will open a way to a papacy free of Hispanian influence. A papacy that can address your concerns without Hispania's in mind. You have been fooled long enough!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix
You have been right all along. The Pope in Rome is an Hispanian puppet. ((Won't repeat myself here.))
This is your chance to break Hispanian influence, to end the schism. Denounce this wrongful declaration, and take the side of Phoenix, to end the Hispanian papacy for good, now that you have the best chance to do it!

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur of Phoenix

Some governments might follow his call. Many volunteers, soldiers, mercenaries, peasants might flock to Phoenix' cause, perhaps even its enemies. And if Austria could be gained for his side, it couldn't hurt to try reaching out to the other allies of Hispania. He sent his sister, returned just at the right time to negotiate with the TATC, to speak with the UKA's government, and his wife to Sweden and France. All other Christian governments had already received a letter, and heathens were hardly worth negotiating with, considering Hispania's history.

The non-Catholics in Hispania seem mostly uninterested in the Pope's comments, since for them the religious divide has been unimportant with all Christians accepted in Hispania, while the non-Catholics outside Hispania are too small in number and too far away to be concerned with Hispania's civil war. The Catholics loyal to the Roman Pope outside of Hispania are more off-put from being told that their Pope is a puppet by a Protestant, and it seems likely that making such comments on their religious leader will not win support. As for the Pope in Frankfurt, he seems more content to watch Hispania burn and has no intent of working with a heretic.

((I did rolls for all of these. The two I did for non-Catholics inside and outside Hispania were mediocre, so they're indifferent. The one for Catholics loyal to Rome was pretty bad and the one for the Pope in Frankfurt and his Catholics was even worse. It seems like religion isn't going to work as a rallying call here.))

Some governments might follow his call. Many volunteers, soldiers, mercenaries, peasants might flock to Phoenix' cause, perhaps even its enemies. And if Austria could be gained for his side, it couldn't hurt to try reaching out to the other allies of Hispania. He sent his sister, returned just at the right time to negotiate with the TATC, to speak with the UKA's government, and his wife to Sweden and France. All other Christian governments had already received a letter, and heathens were hardly worth negotiating with, considering Hispania's history.

Duke Wallace would likely have been transferred over to the then still-strong Brits to be hanged if he hadn't found help from Montségur and the TATC, and so he was ready to do his best to speak with the regenc council. He stated that Hispania's support for their independence would likely have stayed nothing more than the recognition of their nation without the two factors within Hispania, both now on Phoenix's side. And what were the ideals the movement tried to enforce - weren't they somehow similar to the American ones? The alliance would not exist, the UKA be alone against whatever the future would bring. Therefore, the UKA would have to honour the past, and support the movement with all its might. To add a financial initiative, he added how profitable the agreement with the TATC has shown to be, and that said TATC was also involved.
A messenger was also sent to Canada to implore the defence of their values, though Wallace didn't expect much of an answer from the Canadians, who had shown to be the weak civilized part of the continent.
Princess Marie reached the palace in Stockholm clearly in some uproar. She did find her brother, concerned about the Hispanian civil war, and was going to explain the reasons, the offer.
"Charles, the Hispanian monarchy suffers under great failures the Swedish or French crown do not. Weakly giving in to demands of power-hungry men within their subject nations, leading to the current civil war. Going against their own principles, trying to exclude the court from power, a bad idea as we both know from France's history. Yet we have been willing to implement the necessary reforms, while Hispania's last reforms within the government is nearly two centuries old. The state in its current form has been crumbling for the last decades. It was only a matter of time for this to happen.
My dear brother, I am certain you fear for your own crown in these circumstances. But stay assured that there is no risk for such a civil war to break out in Sweden, nor is it in France. We Valois have made the necessary reforms, modernized the state so that such demands are not even formed. Moreover, our ancestors as well as you and our departed brothers have always firmly been in control of the army, leading the troops by example. And I assure you that my husband doesn't want to depose Alfons - the reforms have to be made, and this is the only way for them. The emperor's role in the government shall be limited. Your fears for your crown can safely be cast aside.
What I wish to ask of you is to either stay true to your word of non-involvement, what will neither threaten yourself nor any other Swede. But what I hope you will see is that the status quo has much more potential for danger than what Phoenix stands for. The ideas are there, whatever the outcome. Should Phoenix fail, there may well be twenty, thirty years of relative calm - before it all explodes. And the next time, the call will not simply be to enforce reforms - then any royalty may fear for its crown. The wiser course of action is not to let this situation arise. As we wisely do through our implementation of reforms. And as Hispania has to be see. Please, make the right choice - not for my sake, but for yours, for our nephew's. For the Valois line.
((Make the changes to the Swedish one and it's ready))

While some in the UKA sympathize with the Phoenixes, the distance from Europe makes them mostly uninterested in the conflict. The Regent, Queen Dowager Sílvia de Trastámara, refuses to accept any condition that would see the UKA oppose the Imperials and her nephew, although court sentiment seems to suggest that almost everyone would prefer neutrality. As for Canada, they do show an interest and favour the ideas of the Phoenixes. Due to a general fear of the UKA, the Canadians suggest that perhaps Hispania could help ensure their safety either through an alliance or negotiating with the UKA.

Sweden in general doesn't seem inclined to get involved in the conflict at all, for it has little impact on them. King Karl IX's fondness for his sister makes the idea of turning against his own brother-in-law appalling to his senses, but the talk of limiting the emperor's power and adopting a constitution for Hispania is even more of an affront to him as a monarch who rules absolutely. He expresses his intent to stay neutral during this conflict, for he does not wish to see these ideas he despises flourish, and his nation will follow whether they wish to or not.

France is a tad different. The French court seems intrigued by the idea of a constitution for Hispania, but does not feel inclined to intervene to force such an issues. As for Emperor Charles VIII, he remains cold and distant to his aunt, distracted by other matters. He expresses general discontent with the whole civil war and the damage it will cause to the historic ties between Hispania and France.
 

Firehound15

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OS VOLUNTARIOS
_________________________

Galicia.png

Initially formed as a militia of Galician volunteers, Os Voluntarios was organized mainly as a response to the perceived attitudes of the Fenixist faction of the Hispanian Civil War toward Enlightenment virtues such as liberty and classical democracy. Namely at fault was the decision by the Fenixist leadership to declare a "dictatorship" across Iberia, which is considered by most modern historians to have caused the erosion of Cibrán Arceo's neutrality in the war and his decision instead to form Royalist-aligned independent military regiments in the Northwest of the country.

((Edit: In case it wasn't clear, I am switching my allegiance to Royalist.))
 
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wzhang29

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As I have said before. I do not know what you want. If it is gold or other material items, I can set up letters of marquee to have privateers plunder the Phoenix-aligned TATC. Such letters of marquee would include a cost of utilizing our Navy's ports, around three parts in ten of the recovered cargo in exchange for repairs and docking fees. While some of this will need to reward the port commander, much of this can go to the Admiralty...to you. Whether you take the cargo for yourself or sell it is your own business.

If it is fame or glory, I am sure that as the head of the Navy that stayed completely loyal to his Majesty, I can arrange for your name to be sung through the streets as a hero. The people would praise you as one of the bravest men of the Empire.

As for power, the position of Grand Admiral is likely to be increased. The power of the Army is likely to be reduced after the war. Long have we snubbed the Navy for the Army. The concept of Army Primacy is likely to be abolished, and perhaps a Naval Primacy will begin should you side with us. As Grand Admiral your power would similarly increase. Also, I foresee that many territories in Sicily will need a new Lord in the future. Perhaps the position of Count intrigues you.

But personal gains may not be the only thing that guides you. You are from China, yes? Maybe governorship of Canton, or another area would satisfy you? I have heard that the Ming are viewed as a foreign government and many of the Thirteen Provinces of China would seek freedom from them. Perhaps military support for an independent homeland is in order after we have regained our strength. Perhaps you will even be given the option of leading this campaign.

But once again, I know not what you desire. Perhaps you should ask?"
((private))
I know not what I desire. All I want to know is peace for the land. You can talk of rewards later.

He went back on the ship afterwards. Now it would do to head for Canton. Both sides desperately wanted him on his side, and he would keep his homeland neutral... for now.

((will oppose any attempts to influence Canton et al. (or its Exercit) to any side. i.e. keeping it neutral))

Dear Liu Binhan,
in this chaotic times we have to side with strength. And who has more strength then the Navy and the Army combined? Please, if you can, meet me at the harbor of Valencia
Juan Yagüe de Blanco
With this letter Juan also sent a chinese servant to translate everything for Liu Binhan
A simple note comes back to Blanco. Once again, a few characters worth of ink.
我会考虑一下。(I will consider it.)
 

Michaelangelo

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El Maestro,

Let me know the address where the subject is staying, and I shall do as you request.

~Leon

((Sending troops to find the target))

Instructions are soon sent designating a specific location, which turns out to be a home of one of the many Trastámaras in Castile. Inside, hiding from, the chaos, are Antoni de Trastámara and his wife, Princess Margaret of France. More instructions follow stating that these two must be taken to the coast and sent to France. With part of the Exercit Madrid under control and a willing general involved, doing that proves fairly easy. The Phoenixes seem unaware of the transport or are unable to intervene. The escort reaches the coast and boards the couple on a ship to Bordeaux, a destination they soon reach. While the reasons for why these two were so important to the Spymaster are unclear at the moment, his will has been carried out to the benefit of the Imperials.

* * * * *

CqtOYoW.png

Word has reached us of the arrival of Our dear sister in Bordeaux. She has informed Us that General Leon himself ensured her safety, a most welcome gesture. We can only assume that either you or one of your associates arranged her travels home and We are incredibly grateful. We pledge to do all in our power to convince Our court to support His Imperial Highness, Emperor Alfons IX, in his just conflict. France shall stand by the rightful Emperor of Hispania.

- His Imperial Highness, Emperor Charles VIII de Valois of France
 

Mach Twelve

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Instructions are soon sent designating a specific location, which turns out to be a home of one of the many Trastámaras in Castile. Inside, hiding from, the chaos, are Antoni de Trastámara and his wife, Princess Margaret of France. More instructions follow stating that these two must be taken to the coast and sent to France. With part of the Exercit Madrid under control and a willing general involved, doing that proves fairly easy. The Phoenixes seem unaware of the transport or are unable to intervene. The escort reaches the coast and boards the couple on a ship to Bordeaux, a destination they soon reach. While the reasons for why these two were so important to the Spymaster are unclear at the moment, his will has been carried out to the benefit of the Imperials.

* * * * *

CqtOYoW.png

Word has reached us of the arrival of Our dear sister in Bordeaux. She has informed Us that General Leon himself ensured her safety, a most welcome gesture. We can only assume that either you or one of your associates arranged her travels home and We are incredibly grateful. We pledge to do all in our power to convince Our court to support His Imperial Highness, Emperor Alfons IX, in his just conflict. France shall stand by the rightful Emperor of Hispania.

- His Imperial Highness, Emperor Charles VIII de Valois of France

Sophia grinned when she heard the news. The Chancellor needed a reward for this achievement. She wrote up a document granting him the County of Florence, and left it for her son to sign.
 

Michaelangelo

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The trade fleets operating in the Mediterranean were mostly up in the air as to their allegiance as they continued with their business. As they arrived in port to sell their wares, they found themselves pulled right into the civil war. The Flota Genoa, as it docked in the province of its namesake, found itself beset by Phoenix forces drafting the sailors and taking the ships for their cause. The influence of the TATC came into play here as they were able to convince the captains to cooperate. The Flota Venice, as it docked on the east coast of Naples, was called to the cause of the Imperials. The Flota Alexandria was a juicy prize the TATC aimed for, but it escaped their grasp. It went to trade in Alexandria and was claimed by the Free Merchants League for the Imperials. Now all these fleets could be used for the purpose of war.

* * * * *

Sophia grinned when she heard the news. The Chancellor needed a reward for this achievement. She wrote up a document granting him the County of Florence, and left it for her son to sign.

The Emperor signed the document, granting the County of Florence to the Chancellor upon the end of the civil war.
 
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Michaelangelo

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((Could we have a map of Europe's government types? Even Velazqeuz can change if the times call for it.;) ))

((Is there an actual map mode for that or do you just want me to list them? If the latter, any specific nations? Obviously the big ones, but does anyone care about the tiny HRE states?))
 

DragonOfAtlantis

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((Maybe we can have a sort of civil war progress post to monitor the balance of power between the factions so we can have a single place where all information can be seen on a single post.))

((Fausto's interpretation of the events in Madrid))
Field Marshall Villanova had started to rally men to the cause of the Phoenix, however he soon got word that his, once, colleague Alejandro De Leon had arrived and was also attempting to increase loyalty for the empire. Fausto cursed under his breath as he knew that, in Castilian lands, De Leon had an advantage in popularity and all Fausto could do was hope to secure as much of the Exercit Madrid as possible. Soon enough local militias formed, assaulting Phoenix positions, damn it all, he knew that time was running out, he had secured half of the Exercit, but soon enough he ordered a retreat from Madrid to reduce casualties. Unfortunately, several officers who were trapped in central Madrid were completely cut off, Villanova attempted to save the remaining pockets, but militia presence was growing and despite cutting his way to the square he soon took a bullet to the arm, it hit nothing important, but he couldn't risk any further harm and soon retreated from the field giving the Loyalists the first victory of the Civil War.

((Is there an actual map mode for that or do you just want me to list them? If the latter, any specific nations? Obviously the big ones, but does anyone care about the tiny HRE states?))
((There is a gov type map))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Maybe we can have a sort of civil war progress post to monitor the balance of power between the factions so we can have a single place where all information can be seen on a single post.))

((There is a gov type map))

((I was going to wait until the actual playthrough starts, since this is just the initial set-up stage. I'll play the game for like a month or two to get everything in place and then post some stuff sharing what side the provinces, armies, and navies went to. I'm also considering keeping most information secret so only the people in that faction know the stats of their own faction, although that might be redundant if I share the save file anyway. If people have suggestions on what information they'd like once I reach that point, or what should be shared and with whom, feel free to give suggestions.



Not sure how helpful this image is since the shading is very similar for all those monarchies. France, Austria, Hungary, Lithuania, and the bulk of the HRE are constitutional monarchies. Sweden, Poland, England, Scotland, and some northern HRE states are absolute monarchies. Hispania, Genoa, and Wallachia are administrative monarchies. Byzantium and Pomerania trail the pack with feudal monarchy. If you're also curious, the UKA is a constitutional monarchy, while Canada is a constitutional republic. The only republic in Europe seems to be Hesse, and possibly Lubeck if a free city counts. Mainz remains a theocracy.))
 

hirahammad

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((Thanks. Those are a lot more Constitutions than I realized. Perhaps Hispania should change... Private))

Velazquez had just returned from his Odyssey of exhortations, where he was unfortunately unsuccessful in Northern Italy, an important region for the defense of Napoli. He pored over maps, public letters, and the Bible. He knew the King was Holy, and was the only one who could be trusted to rule a nation. And yet, so much of the world's power had adopted constitutionalism, a Hispanian idea which was all the rage just north of the borders.

After many hours of deep thought, he formulated a plan to perhaps give the Imperialists a decisive advantage.

((Private except for Sophia @Mach Twelve and Alfons IX @Michaelangelo ))

"Your Majesty Alfons IX, and You Majesty Sophia de Trastamara, as you know many of our advantage are, at every step countered by a Rebel* advance. I believe a decisive factor could be intervention of our so-called allies. And that could be gained by promising a Constitution**. And as to that matter, I simply ask what your Majesties believe in terms of a Constitution.

What is a Constitution? A Constitution prevents the King from taking action quickly. He must convince everyone what he does is right. If he wishes to do something for the good of the people, he must grovel before them and ask them. You can see now how His Majesty the King of France cannot help us in his righteous cause due to the Constitution forced upon him.

So tell me, Your Majesties, what do you feel about Constitutions?

((*Just because you give yourself a name doesn't mean I have to use it. I don't negotiate with terrorists! ;)
**Imagine Constitution being pronounced as if it some disgusting thing.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private except for Sophia @Mach Twelve and Alfons IX @Michaelangelo ))

"Your Majesty Alfons IX, and You Majesty Sophia de Trastamara, as you know many of our advantage are, at every step countered by a Rebel* advance. I believe a decisive factor could be intervention of our so-called allies. And that could be gained by promising a Constitution**. And as to that matter, I simply ask what your Majesties believe in terms of a Constitution.

What is a Constitution? A Constitution prevents the King from taking action quickly. He must convince everyone what he does is right. If he wishes to do something for the good of the people, he must grovel before them and ask them. You can see now how His Majesty the King of France cannot help us in his righteous cause due to the Constitution forced upon him.

So tell me, Your Majesties, what do you feel about Constitutions?

((*Just because you give yourself a name doesn't mean I have to use it. I don't negotiate with terrorists! ;)
**Imagine Constitution being pronounced as if it some disgusting thing.))

((Private - hirahammad & Mach Twelve))

I believe a constitution may be the best course of action, provided it is done through legitimate and peaceful means. Whatever constitution Montségur intends to force on Hispania will not be best for everyone. And perhaps limiting the power of those with the most would be of benefit. We are seeing now what comes of having someone with too much in their grasp. Everyone has their purpose in society, whether they be an emperor or noble, farmer, or merchant, and so on. My role as emperor, as decided by God, is to rule, but that does not necessary mean through absolute means. A true monarch rules with the consent of their subjects and always with them in mind. A constitution written properly will account for this, granting a sovereign the necessary power needed to rule effectively while also ensuring that their subjects are treated the way they deserve. A constitution would merely enshrine the relationship between the Crown and its subjects in legal terms to ensure no one, not even a monarch, could abuse their power to harm the people of Hispania. If we are to pursue this path, it must be done through consensus and negotiation, to ensure that all segments of the population are fairly represented and that the powers of the Crown, the state, and the various government institutions are respected. I am not necessary saying that I must become a figurehead as some constitutional monarchs are or as Montségur desires, but that the powers I do have are enshrined in a constitution in such a way that serves the Empire best. Regardless, reforms are needed in some form, for clearly that is the source of this whole conflict.

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

((I do realize that this might seem a bit much for a 12-year-old (he's almost 13), but he's a bright boy. What can I say. :D))
 

hirahammad

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((Private - hirahammad & Mach Twelve))((I do realize that this might seem a bit much for a 12-year-old (he's almost 13), but he's a bright boy. What can I say. :D))
((He probably plays a lot of Paradox Interactive games. :p ))
 
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Mach Twelve

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((Thanks. Those are a lot more Constitutions than I realized. Perhaps Hispania should change... Private))

Velazquez had just returned from his Odyssey of exhortations, where he was unfortunately unsuccessful in Northern Italy, an important region for the defense of Napoli. He pored over maps, public letters, and the Bible. He knew the King was Holy, and was the only one who could be trusted to rule a nation. And yet, so much of the world's power had adopted constitutionalism, a Hispanian idea which was all the rage just north of the borders.

After many hours of deep thought, he formulated a plan to perhaps give the Imperialists a decisive advantage.

((Private except for Sophia @Mach Twelve and Alfons IX @Michaelangelo ))

"Your Majesty Alfons IX, and You Majesty Sophia de Trastamara, as you know many of our advantage are, at every step countered by a Rebel* advance. I believe a decisive factor could be intervention of our so-called allies. And that could be gained by promising a Constitution**. And as to that matter, I simply ask what your Majesties believe in terms of a Constitution.

What is a Constitution? A Constitution prevents the King from taking action quickly. He must convince everyone what he does is right. If he wishes to do something for the good of the people, he must grovel before them and ask them. You can see now how His Majesty the King of France cannot help us in his righteous cause due to the Constitution forced upon him.

So tell me, Your Majesties, what do you feel about Constitutions?

((*Just because you give yourself a name doesn't mean I have to use it. I don't negotiate with terrorists! ;)
**Imagine Constitution being pronounced as if it some disgusting thing.))

((Private - hirahammad & Mach Twelve))

I believe a constitution may be the best course of action, provided it is done through legitimate and peaceful means. Whatever constitution Montségur intends to force on Hispania will not be best for everyone. And perhaps limiting the power of those with the most would be of benefit. We are seeing now what comes of having someone with too much in their grasp. Everyone has their purpose in society, whether they be an emperor or noble, farmer, or merchant, and so on. My role as emperor, as decided by God, is to rule, but that does not necessary mean through absolute means. A true monarch rules with the consent of their subjects and always with them in mind. A constitution written properly will account for this, granting a sovereign the necessary power needed to rule effectively while also ensuring that their subjects are treated the way they deserve. A constitution would merely enshrine the relationship between the Crown and its subjects in legal terms to ensure no one, not even a monarch, could abuse their power to harm the people of Hispania. If we are to pursue this path, it must be done through consensus and negotiation, to ensure that all segments of the population are fairly represented and that the powers of the Crown, the state, and the various government institutions are respected. I am not necessary saying that I must become a figurehead as some constitutional monarchs are or as Montségur desires, but that the powers I do have are enshrined in a constitution in such a way that serves the Empire best. Regardless, reforms are needed in some form, for clearly that is the source of this whole conflict.

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

((I do realize that this might seem a bit much for a 12-year-old (he's almost 13), but he's a bright boy. What can I say. :D))

"Perhaps a limitation on the power of individuals and ensuring that everyone has a defined place in the Empire will help prevent any more Rebellions like the one Montsegur is causing. But at the same time, the Emperor is the one who unites us and the one who leads us by the will of God. If there is to be a place for everyone and everyone in his place, the Emperor's place is undoubtedly at the top, with the power to do what the others cannot. The flaws of Constitutionalism are that it limits even the Emperors and would render their rule torn down. The flaws of Absolutism is that it allows the people who contribute to the might of the Empire to be unable to aid it. It is clear that neither option is truly acceptable. And thus I choose to support an option that utilizes the strength of both. We will have a Constitution, but one that will allow the Emperor the power to make the decisions that need to be made, but the obligation to only use it when needed. We will include the clergy, the nobility, the merchants, the soldiers, the sailors, the commoners, and more to ensure that every man has his role in the Empire, and see that they fulfill it. This thought needs development, perhaps the thinkers will be able to better define it when the soldiers have done their part for this.....Enlightened Monarchy.

((Proposed war goal: Bureaucratic Despotism (when available if Mike doesn't give it to us automatically).))
 

zenphoenix

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((Changing a few aspects of the story to make it more dramatic, no offense:p))

There were a few Phoenix guards surrounding the building, but his sharpshooters (whom he had personally trained) made short work of them. Then his battalion of veteran commandos kicked down the door and charged inside, swords drawn. Anybody inside who resisted was captured and taken into custody as a suspected Phoenix collaborator. The building was secure within minutes, upon which Alejandro himself entered, accompanied by his brother, Cesar, and some of his officers. He congratulated his men on their success before turning to the captured guards.

"Who are you guarding?" he demanded.

The guard, too scared to act otherwise, nervously pointed upstairs.

Alejandro nodded to his men, and he walked up the steps, his pistol loaded and ready just in case. He was always a talented shot with his pistol and could not miss.

He pushed open a door and entered the room upstairs. Huddled in the far corner were two nobles he recognized from his time at court: Antoni de Trastámara and his wife, Princess Margaret of France. The spymaster was right about the target being important. If he could get them out of Madrid and to France, that could possibly convince the French to intervene on behalf of the imperials.

"Who are you?" demanded Antoni.

"My name is Alejandro de Leon," Alejandro said, "I am a Captain-General in the Imperial Hispanian Army and the Marshal of the Realm. My men have just killed the rebels holding you hostage. We are going to get you out of this city and to France."

He heard them sigh with relief. "Thank heavens!" said Margaret. "Thank you so much, Marshal Leon!"

With the rest of the city secured, it was quite simply getting the nobles out of Madrid and to Alejandro's estates in Leon, which thankfully remained unscathed by the war. From there Alejandro took them to one of the harbors in his domains and put them on the first ship to Bordeaux, with some guards of course. A little bit later, he heard that the nobles had arrived in France unharmed, where he assumed that they would try to convince the court to intervene. His work done, he returned to his estate in Leon, where he looked over his plans for the defense of the region while waiting for further instructions from Napoli.

((Private))

However, he then heard that the Chancellor had taken credit for the extraction of the nobles. While he was angry on the inside that his participation had been overlooked, he decided that now was not the time to act. Any "reminders" to the Empress Dowager of his contributions would likely be interpreted as a power grab and destabilize the imperial cause. He decided to discuss this with the Emperor at some other time.

He realized he had another idea to speak with the Emperor on. Montsegur had proposed a constitution, hoping to make himself into a "King of Carthage" (like that worked out the last time there was a Carthage) and to control the Emperor like a puppet. While this proposal was blatantly a way for Montsegur to formalize and legitimize his power, it nevertheless was somewhat popular among certain groups of Hispanians who wanted change or reform of some kind. The imperial cause, supporting the status quo, did not have such an advantage. He quickly wrote up a proposed reform that would grant his side such an advantage and set off for Napoli (once he was authorized to do so), leaving Cesar and some veteran officers in charge of defending Leon, Asturias, and Castile.

((Private - Emperor Alfons IX @Michaelangelo))

"Your Imperial Highness," he said, bowing in respect, "Thank you for granting this private audience with me. I come before you to discuss two things. The first matter is the recent securing of the lands of the former Kingdom of Castile for the Imperial cause and the extraction of Prince Antoni de Trastamara and Princess Margaret of France ((assume I used the correct title for the Prince)) to Bordeaux, for which due to my overwhelming dedication to the cause decided to let the Chancellor receive credit for. I am proud to inform you that Castile is now a bastion for the Imperials and will be a bastion from which to launch an invasion of the Phoenix's home regions from my bases in Leon and Asturias. Currently I am awaiting further orders on how to proceed next and am ready to return to Castile if needed. But that is not the main reason I'm here.

"The second matter is on Montsegur's proposal of a constitution, one more strict on the monarch's powers than any other currently in existence in other parts of Europe. I am a firm believer in rule by divine right and would like to see it continue throughout your long and prosperous reign. However, Montsegur's idea of a constitution is somewhat popular among the Hispanian people. So, I would like to propose a form of government that would counter the enemy proposal's appeal. We don't need a constitution; such a legal document binds Your Majesty's power and limits you authority, weakening the state irreparably. But I do believe that the support of the people is necessary to a long, peaceful, and prosperous reign of a monarch. So we must expand the government's bureaucracy and administration so that it includes the most talented of your subjects, maximizing the efficiency of the government. I believe we could learn from the bureaucracy of the Eastern Roman Empire during its heyday and from the so-called 'meritocracy' of the Chinese, where supposedly anybody could advance in society should they have the talent to do so, while the authority and the power of the emperor is upheld. It would be wise if we could apply some of the ideas of the 'Enlightenment' that has swept Europe in the past few decades and use them as inspiration to reform and strengthen the government. This idea would have constitutionalism's appeal to the people without limiting your power at all. I would like to hear your opinions on these proposed reforms, Your Imperial Highness."

Alejandro handed the Emperor a bunch of papers covered with neatly-written notes detailing his proposed meritocratic reforms.

((Proposing Enlightened Despotism as a postwar government type, as well as politely and subtly "reminding" the Emperor of my role in securing Castile. He's just a kid anyways, right?;)))
 

Michaelangelo

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"Perhaps a limitation on the power of individuals and ensuring that everyone has a defined place in the Empire will help prevent any more Rebellions like the one Montsegur is causing. But at the same time, the Emperor is the one who unites us and the one who leads us by the will of God. If there is to be a place for everyone and everyone in his place, the Emperor's place is undoubtedly at the top, with the power to do what the others cannot. The flaws of Constitutionalism are that it limits even the Emperors and would render their rule torn down. The flaws of Absolutism is that it allows the people who contribute to the might of the Empire to be unable to aid it. It is clear that neither option is truly acceptable. And thus I choose to support an option that utilizes the strength of both. We will have a Constitution, but one that will allow the Emperor the power to make the decisions that need to be made, but the obligation to only use it when needed. We will include the clergy, the nobility, the merchants, the soldiers, the sailors, the commoners, and more to ensure that every man has his role in the Empire, and see that they fulfill it. This thought needs development, perhaps the thinkers will be able to better define it when the soldiers have done their part for this.....Enlightened Monarchy.

((Proposed war goal: Bureaucratic Despotism (when available if Mike doesn't give it to us automatically).))

((I assume you mean Enlightened Despotism because Bureaucratic Despotism is a republican government. :p))

((Private - Emperor Alfons IX @Michaelangelo))

"Your Imperial Highness," he said, bowing in respect, "Thank you for granting this private audience with me. I come before you to discuss two things. The first matter is the recent securing of the lands of the former Kingdom of Castile for the Imperial cause and the extraction of Prince Antoni de Trastamara and Princess Margaret of France ((assume I used the correct title for the Prince)) to Bordeaux, for which due to my overwhelming dedication to the cause decided to let the Chancellor receive credit for. I am proud to inform you that Castile is now a bastion for the Imperials and will be a bastion from which to launch an invasion of the Phoenix's home regions from my bases in Leon and Asturias. Currently I am awaiting further orders on how to proceed next and am ready to return to Castile if needed. But that is not the main reason I'm here.

"The second matter is on Montsegur's proposal of a constitution, one more strict on the monarch's powers than any other currently in existence in other parts of Europe. I am a firm believer in rule by divine right and would like to see it continue throughout your long and prosperous reign. However, Montsegur's idea of a constitution is somewhat popular among the Hispanian people. So, I would like to propose a form of government that would counter the enemy proposal's appeal. We don't need a constitution; such a legal document binds Your Majesty's power and limits you authority, weakening the state irreparably. But I do believe that the support of the people is necessary to a long, peaceful, and prosperous reign of a monarch. So we must expand the government's bureaucracy and administration so that it includes the most talented of your subjects, maximizing the efficiency of the government. I believe we could learn from the bureaucracy of the Eastern Roman Empire during its heyday and from the so-called 'meritocracy' of the Chinese, where supposedly anybody could advance in society should they have the talent to do so, while the authority and the power of the emperor is upheld. It would be wise if we could apply some of the ideas of the 'Enlightenment' that has swept Europe in the past few decades and use them as inspiration to reform and strengthen the government. This idea would have constitutionalism's appeal to the people without limiting your power at all. I would like to hear your opinions on these proposed reforms, Your Imperial Highness."

Alejandro handed the Emperor a bunch of papers covered with neatly-written notes detailing his proposed meritocratic reforms.

((Proposing Enlightened Despotism as a postwar government type, as well as politely and subtly "reminding" the Emperor of my role in securing Castile. He's just a kid anyways, right?;)))

I thank you, Marshal, for securing Castile. I was worried my more distant family there would be harmed. I pray we shall be able to hold the region. I shall ensure you are properly rewarded when this whole mess is over.

I also concur with you both. A balance must be found. We need a government that both has the power to act but also fairly represents the people of Hispania. I would prefer a constitution of sorts to solidify the balance of powers, but really any reform will do that at least provides the people with better representation. Perhaps some sort of advisory body for the people to present ideas and legislation to the Crown with its members selected by the people rather than relying solely on the court as has been done for centuries. It is clear that any such changes to the government must be done carefully, for we must ensure it is done right.

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

((I'm willing to change our government to enlightened despotism at the end of the war, even though it's probably a decade or two before it unlocks in-game. I mean I technically allowed revolutionary governments to be a possibility in 1700, so why not. :p))