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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

05060403

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(( Well you forgot that Rémi was off in Arabia and travelled on board of a TATC ship. So a ship that would be on your side. The other rolls would be reasonable, and I actually was considering a scenario where he would be kindapped. Besides I doubt they would go out shoting they decided to change sides. I'm pretty certain they would keep it to themselfs.
Other thing is, what if they would justify their leave by saying they have administrative duties in Africa to fulfil? ))
 

alscon

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((That's what I meant with FML ships. See, they are both the same, so you'd have to stop them first and see who is on board.
The council meeting can hardly be hidden, and a representative of Phoenix took the place of the crown's one.
They made their choice, and so now they have to live with it under surveillance. They might regret it by now, but nobody enters or leaves the city but the military.
If it was somewhere else, sure, there's less strict security measures, as it would be unenforceable. But certainly not in Valencia.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Might be that the fools have been convinced. But that doesn't have to have any effect on the TATC's alignment.
You forget that the city is entirely under my control. Why should I let anyone freely enter and leave the city? Especially permit some unknown variable to enter my calculations. Certainly I wouldn't just let them leave and say 'oh well, time to support the Loyalists'.
I'm keeping an eye on them. You are in the heartland of the revolt. So I'd ask for, only if the previous one fails, with good success chance:
1. A roll to intercept Rémi as soon as he arrives.
2. A roll to intercept him when he leaves the TATC HQ.
3. A roll to intercept whatever order wants to leave the TATC HQ.
Without that, nothing would stop ships from the FML to just take Valencia back, as I apparently don't care who passes through. The city is sealed off as heart of a revolt, not exactly a tourist haven right now.))

((I was thinking something similar. I doubt he'd be able to march right in and secure the allegiance of the TATC. As already mentioned, the provinces will not change hands, but modifiers may be applied. I shall do those rolls then.))

The Phoenixes took notice of the arrival of a Saint-Pierre in Valencia, but were unsure of his intentions. Tabs were kept on him and he was followed to the TATC headquarters. There Montségur's agents waited. After it was revealed that he was trying to persuade the board of the TATC to swap sides, Rémi and the other TATC men were intercepted upon leaving the building, leaving them in the hands of the Lord Dictator. However, the couriers carrying the new orders of the TATC were either overlooked or missed, for they left Valencia without interference.

((You succeeded with the first two rolls, but the first was low enough that he managed to reach the TATC headquarters. The second let you intercept him, so he's in your custody if you want. The last roll failed though, so the orders made their way out of Valencia.))
 

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The TATC councilmen, together with their recently returned head, stood in a row in the fortress of Valencia, in chains. Surrounded by some of his men, the Lord Dictator faced them, judging their current mental state. Either way, they had betrayed Phoenix's cause, and why? Only because one man returned from Arabia and told them, without any logical argument on his side, to do so.
"You know where we are now. The fortress, or to be more precise the part of it that has been built under Alfons VI and VII." He paused. "And you know why you are here, why you will not leave for a while - or not at all.
Phoenix's cause is one you have committed yourselves to. A noble cause, one that brings multiple benefits to both the people of Hispania, but also the TATC. What do you stand to gain from betraying this cause? Nothing, you only lose. Why should any of the Imperials put his trust in one of you again, leave such a powerful company untouched? No reason. Why should Phoenix leave the TATC intact, after such betrayal? No reason. What you did right now destroyed the TATC as it is." He had some coins in his hand, and let them drop on the floor.
"I will say it as it is, this fortress will be your home until the Imperials surrender. The Alfonsine oubliettes. The paranoid kings, having built them into the rock, only connected to the outer world by the trap door on top of it. Each time it opens, the guards are alarmed. A facet of your beloved monarchy few, if ever, speak about. Nobody can leave these holes.
As for your failures, the consequences will be both negative for us as for your new friends. The loyal councilmen are still here. Now we have both your seals and enough of your own letters to copy your writing, then send new ones carrying orders, looking as if written by the same men. Be it to the TATC, or to the FML as Saint-Pierre, reverting the orders or luring them into a perfect ambush. I will give you a choice, and both answers will not be appealing to you. Write these letters yourself. Don't even think of having some code message sent to your men though, we will watch and analyse any anomaly, any misworded part. If you do, I will take it as a sign that you can still think a bit and leave you in one of these holes slightly accomodated, from where you can leave once the Imperials have surrendered. Or refuse, or try to write a coded letter. We will then take matters into our own hands, and you will get the only fate a double-traitor deserves. You know which one. You have one minute to think about it."
Montségur then awaited the answers of the men. He had a perfect place in mind for the ambush, a bay with many likely hiding places, while wide enough to have many ships arrive. Before the FML would notice the trap of a 'safe place to organize resistance', their ships would be on the sea floor. Not just here, but elsewhere as well, sending them to fully Phoenix-controlled haroburs to be sunk, with a copy of the original orders to deal with their doubts.

((Depending on how many agree, I guess that the success chance of the reverting orders or the trap can be rolled, for the others will have to be forged.
The reverted orders would reduce the mali, from making them mere nuisances to no effect, while the traps can hurt the FML badly depending upon how much they trust and invest into it.))
 

Mach Twelve

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The Imperial Faction, the supporters of the Emperor and the Empire wish to announce a change in policy.

All those in the bondage in Serfdom, be it in Imperial or Phoenix land, are to be released in exchange for military service.
 

Michaelangelo

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((Depending on how many agree, I guess that the success chance of the reverting orders or the trap can be rolled, for the others will have to be forged.
The reverted orders would reduce the mali, from making them mere nuisances to no effect, while the traps can hurt the FML badly depending upon how much they trust and invest into it.))

((Time for a whole series of rolls. Based on earlier rolls, 4 of the 5 TATC heads swapped sides to the Imperials. Of those four, two have agreed to write letters but the other two will have to be forged, lowering chance of success. The one still Phoenix TATC man has managed to revert an order, and one freely written letter reverted another. The other written letter failed to have effect and the forged letters did nothing too.))

The Imperial Faction, the supporters of the Emperor and the Empire wish to announce a change in policy.

All those in the bondage in Serfdom, be it in Imperial or Phoenix land, are to be released in exchange for military service.

Serfs receive this announcement with much glee, with men rallying to the Imperial banner to be freed from serfdom. While this helps fill the Imperial ranks and provides a steady source of manpower, it has little impact on the Phoenixes. They've managed to keep control of the serfs in their lands.

((The roll was slightly above average, so you get a nice little bonus but it doesn't negatively impact the Phoenixes.))
 

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After the TATC heads announced their decisions, the two men who accepted were guided to a place where they could write their letters, while the oubliette was made ready for their prolonged stay. The two others did not. As for Rémi de Saint-Pierre, he simply cursed the Phoenix. They left Montségur with no choice. Within a short time, he stood on a wooden construction in the middle of the city's greatest square. A sharp, long sword in his hands. He had to show the people that he wasn't afraid to carry out his own instructions. Unlike a god-given ruler, he was ready to get his hands dirty, had no man to carry out that task.
"These men have made their decision before. A decision to support Phoenix. Its ideals. The people it wants a better future for. But then, they turned their backs on us. Not only have they risen up against the vile monarchy, but then they have chosen to return to the serpent. They have betrayed everyone. The Imperials, Phoenix, themselves. For such a crime, there can be only one punishment. Loyalty to one cause, and may it be the wrong one, deserves no hate. For a choice has been made. But this betrayal is the lowest of actions. In the name of all you have betrayed, all of Hispania, these men, heads of the TATC, are therefore sentenced to death."
One after the other, the sentenced were dragged forward, their heads put on the block, before the blade swung down, cleanly severing the head from the body. Resistance, however intense, was futile. The last one to be brought forward was Saint-Pierre, the head of the TATC.
"You know you shouldn't have come, or at least accepted." The Lord Dictator told him. "Any last words?"
"**** the Phoenix."
Shortly after, the sentence had been carried out. Montségur knew he couldn't expect any different treatment from the side of the Imperials, and any other action would have been interpreted as weakness. A weakness he wanted to root out. May the man find the peace, the justice he thought in the afterlife. For he had gotten to know the earthly justice himself.


The TATC traitors dealt with, Montségur heard of the announcement of the Imperials. Poaching on what makes Phoenix strong, were they now? That shall not help them. Though with the radical step he would take, he was not prepared to do it alone. He had to ask his supporters first. What he could do was assemble the best diplomats that had joined his cause.


((private))

Men, we are in a difficult situation. But hardly one that is without a possible solution. I still remain confident that in the end, Phoenix will achieve its victory. To do so, faster and with less devastation, less corpses left behind, can only be in our interest. The men troops have strict order not to loot Imperial lands, only necessary foraging, for it is still Hispania. This is their task. Yours will be greater. Difficult, surely. But if successful, an important asset.
I want you to influence the opinions in Germany. Not just Munster, Bavaria, Lüneburg, Cologne, whatever small nations there are. Germany. Poland has fought numerous wars in the name of nationalism. It has been present in these states as well. Use this. France sees itself as balance of Europe, they are clearly failing in their task if intervening against us. What creates a balance would be a united German state instead of the small realms that are so intent on fighting each other than whenever a big nation comes, they are helpless. Use what they have in common! Use their enemies on all sides! Use their weaknesses, their strengths, even their rivalries. They all see the same I do. They share our ideals of a constitution. They are either Protestant or loyal to the Frankfurt pope. Germany has to be united.
Certainly they will not agree easily. And then, there are many questions arising - most of all, how should such a state be organized? All questions the Germans themselves can most likely answer best. Show them the path, guide them along it, and lead them to unity. Though in doing so, consider Phoenix's interests:
- The Germans should not be confronting with Swedish interests. So Pomerania would have to abandon its Danish possessions to join this union.
- Munster is the strongest of these states and an ally of the Swedes. They would be the most likely candidate for a German crown.
- Propose that Hispania shall guarantee this realm's existence and constitution, perhaps talk to the Swedes for them to do as well.
- Austria would not be happy. But they would after knowing that this Germany shall fight by our side, and help us secure victory against the French, and in any future conflicts.
It will not be easy. It will maybe not work. But we have to try, not only for Hispania, but also for Europe. Men - good luck.

((These negotiations have to be long and take at least some years, but the goal would be clear. A German nation as ally against France, and as bonus motivator for Sweden. In this first year, I shall only deploy my diplomatic mission to gather support for that idea.
Blame the Poles for their nationalism.:rolleyes:))
 

BelisariustheGreat

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After the TATC heads announced their decisions, the two men who accepted were guided to a place where they could write their letters, while the oubliette was made ready for their prolonged stay. The two others did not. As for Rémi de Saint-Pierre, he simply cursed the Phoenix. They left Montségur with no choice. Within a short time, he stood on a wooden construction in the middle of the city's greatest square. A sharp, long sword in his hands. He had to show the people that he wasn't afraid to carry out his own instructions. Unlike a god-given ruler, he was ready to get his hands dirty, had no man to carry out that task.
"These men have made their decision before. A decision to support Phoenix. Its ideals. The people it wants a better future for. But then, they turned their backs on us. Not only have they risen up against the vile monarchy, but then they have chosen to return to the serpent. They have betrayed everyone. The Imperials, Phoenix, themselves. For such a crime, there can be only one punishment. Loyalty to one cause, and may it be the wrong one, deserves no hate. For a choice has been made. But this betrayal is the lowest of actions. In the name of all you have betrayed, all of Hispania, these men, heads of the TATC, are therefore sentenced to death."
One after the other, the sentenced were dragged forward, their heads put on the block, before the blade swung down, cleanly severing the head from the body. Resistance, however intense, was futile. The last one to be brought forward was Saint-Pierre, the head of the TATC.
"You know you shouldn't have come, or at least accepted." The Lord Dictator told him. "Any last words?"
"**** the Phoenix."
Shortly after, the sentence had been carried out. Montségur knew he couldn't expect any different treatment from the side of the Imperials, and any other action would have been interpreted as weakness. A weakness he wanted to root out. May the man find the peace, the justice he thought in the afterlife. For he had gotten to know the earthly justice himself.


The TATC traitors dealt with, Montségur heard of the announcement of the Imperials. Poaching on what makes Phoenix strong, were they now? That shall not help them. Though with the radical step he would take, he was not prepared to do it alone. He had to ask his supporters first. What he could do was assemble the best diplomats that had joined his cause.


((private))

Men, we are in a difficult situation. But hardly one that is without a possible solution. I still remain confident that in the end, Phoenix will achieve its victory. To do so, faster and with less devastation, less corpses left behind, can only be in our interest. The men troops have strict order not to loot Imperial lands, only necessary foraging, for it is still Hispania. This is their task. Yours will be greater. Difficult, surely. But if successful, an important asset.
I want you to influence the opinions in Germany. Not just Munster, Bavaria, Lüneburg, Cologne, whatever small nations there are. Germany. Poland has fought numerous wars in the name of nationalism. It has been present in these states as well. Use this. France sees itself as balance of Europe, they are clearly failing in their task if intervening against us. What creates a balance would be a united German state instead of the small realms that are so intent on fighting each other than whenever a big nation comes, they are helpless. Use what they have in common! Use their enemies on all sides! Use their weaknesses, their strengths, even their rivalries. They all see the same I do. They share our ideals of a constitution. They are either Protestant or loyal to the Frankfurt pope. Germany has to be united.
Certainly they will not agree easily. And then, there are many questions arising - most of all, how should such a state be organized? All questions the Germans themselves can most likely answer best. Show them the path, guide them along it, and lead them to unity. Though in doing so, consider Phoenix's interests:
- The Germans should not be confronting with Swedish interests. So Pomerania would have to abandon its Danish possessions to join this union.
- Munster is the strongest of these states and an ally of the Swedes. They would be the most likely candidate for a German crown.
- Propose that Hispania shall guarantee this realm's existence and constitution, perhaps talk to the Swedes for them to do as well.
- Austria would not be happy. But they would after knowing that this Germany shall fight by our side, and help us secure victory against the French, and in any future conflicts.
It will not be easy. It will maybe not work. But we have to try, not only for Hispania, but also for Europe. Men - good luck.

((These negotiations have to be long and take at least some years, but the goal would be clear. A German nation as ally against France, and as bonus motivator for Sweden. In this first year, I shall only deploy my diplomatic mission to gather support for that idea.
Blame the Poles for their nationalism.:rolleyes:))
((Alexandre César Stark;)))
 
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Michaelangelo

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((These negotiations have to be long and take at least some years, but the goal would be clear. A German nation as ally against France, and as bonus motivator for Sweden. In this first year, I shall only deploy my diplomatic mission to gather support for that idea.
Blame the Poles for their nationalism.:rolleyes:))

((I'll do some rolls after the update then to determine the general response from the involved parties.))
 

wzhang29

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((private))
At news of how the Fenghuang used land bribes to bring in allies, the admiral was shocked, to say the least. If such underhanded techniques were used to win the war, who knows what changes the so called "Lord Dictator" would bring to the world order.

Very well. He despised nobles anyways. Onwards to coerce his homeland (the colonies in Asia) to fight for the empire.


((Imperials it is. :p))
 

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1753 – The Hispanian Civil War (Part II)



((The event is just all the random stuff that happened between updates.))

The first battles of the war occurred at sea. The Flota Venice caught a small Austrian trade fleet unawares and managed to capture two vessels. Meanwhile, the Flota Genoa made a break for Valencia, only to encounter a tiny French fleet. It easily crushed it, but the fleet was slowed down. The Flota Genoa just barely made it to Valencia before the Grande Armada arrived and blockaded the capital.

Over in Anatolia, the Byzantine army continued to clean up the pesky rebels bit by bit.

In Italy, both the Phoenixes and Imperials made a move. The Phoenixes sent the Exercit Firenze under Blanco to take Umbria, with the Exercit Provence securing parts of Northern Italy. The Austrian army floated about the region, securing provinces. As for the Imperials, the Exercit Napoli under Crown Prince Francesc marched on the vulnerable Sicily.

Over in Iberia, Montségur and Villanova attempted to catch Leon in Madrid, but the general safely retreated to his home, just out of reach of the Phoenixes. Thwarted in their attempted attack, the Phoenixes marched south to test the fort at Granada, especially after wind of a massive French army somewhere in the Pyrenees surfaced. Men were also spotted on both sides being recruited for the nearby Exercit Madrids.



The Greeks secured another victory against a rebel force in Anatolia. It seemed that time favoured the Crown as it gathered men and resources to use against the rebels. As for Pausanias, he made the decision to secure the straits before moving onto Constantinople, focusing on the Anatolian side.

In mid-June, the Exercit Athens was spotted in Sevilla, just out of reach of the Phoenix forces. The Exercit Jerusalem then showed up in Libya, occupying parts of North Africa. This was countered by the appearance of the Exercit Africa in Morocco.

By July, all of Sicily had been taken by the Imperials. The loss of their leader’s home was certain to have a demoralizing effect on the Phoenixes. A few days later, Austria managed to capture Rome, followed by the Exercit Firenze taking Umbria. The way to Napoli was now open. Thankfully for the Imperials, the court had moved to Sardinia months ago, a much safer location.

A Phoenix gambit was revealed in August as a single regiment took Natal in South Africa from the Imperials. With the region completely undefended, this single regiment could freely take provinces as it pleased.

The Greeks eliminated a rebel force in Syria, one less threat to the throne. The rebellion was losing momentum as the rebels moved slowly and allowed the Basileus to gather his forces and pick them off one by one.

France attempted to make a push into Austria, but the Austrian forces in Italy intervened. Despite a further 30k men arriving for the French, the Austrian numbers were too great and the assistance of the Exercit Provence kept them from breaking through. The French were pushed back, although both sides suffered large numbers of casualties.



The Imperials made a massive move on Iberia near the end of the summer. Three separate armies appeared in northern Aragon and started occupying provinces. Valencia was soon under siege. With the Imperials having greater numbers, and the French army lingering somewhere up north, Montségur had no choice but to remain in Granada and hold a defensive position as Aragon was slowly retaken.

In international news, the recent conquests by Sweden had inspired a change in the nation. In September, the king of Sweden proclaimed himself king of Scandinavia, a new nation born from the old one. As to what this change entailed, no one was certain.

It seemed that things were completely opposite in Iberia compared to Italy. The Imperials had the superior numbers in Iberia and had Montségur and Villanova trapped down south. The Phoenixes had managed to take all of Northern Italy and the fort in Napoli was the only thing keeping them from the south. In Africa, the Exercit Africa moved on Ceuta, while the Exercit Jerusalem disappeared for a bit, only to show up in Iberia to aid the capture of Aragon.

The French made a poor choice as they attempted to attack an Austrian army of equal size with another Austrian army right next door. Predictably, things did not go well for them. Their army was crushed and forced to retreat as the Austrians casually resumed their siege.

In Asia, Ming caved in to their western enemies. They ceded several provinces to Delhi, and one to Bengal. A few neighbours had their lands returned, and Xi was set free. Ming was crumbling.

Ethiopia lost land to Kaffa, another shift in the region.

The Greeks had mostly secured Anatolia with the elimination of another army.

As the year neared its end, there was no clear winner yet. Someone needed to force a victory or see Hispania descend further into chaos.



((That was an incredibly frustrating playthrough. The game crashed once when sending out a diplomat, and then my laptop crashed right before the end of the year and the checksum changed for some untold reason. The quicker this coup ends, the happier I’ll be. :p

I realize there are no really decent maps here, but they shall be shared in the private chats. I’ve also decided to implement a few changes. From now on, any province captured that is not still protected by a fort will defect to the occupying side after the turn ends. So, for example, Northern Italy is now Austrian (as promised by alscon), Umbria belongs to the Phoenixes, parts of Africa shall change hands, while Sicily is now Imperial. Also, I’m introducing ways to end this war more quickly, if pulled off successfully. If the army that Montségur leads is stackwiped, he is considered captured and the coup dies with him. If the Imperial capital is taken, the Emperor is captured and the coup succeeds. A note to the Imperials, I will not allow you to move the capital around willy-nilly. It must remain in Europe and I must be told that it is moving ahead of time. If there is an enemy army in the province, it cannot be moved.

Anyway, orders should be sent in by Wednesday at 12PM PST. The Asian armies and navies, as well as the nearby colonies, are now up for grabs. We have two armies of 32k men each, a transport fleet, the Colonial Armada, and a few trade fleets.))



 
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Mach Twelve

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The commanders of the forces at the Straits of Gibraltar and the Suez Canal, the two enterences to the Mediterranean had their orders. They were to intercept the incoming armies and any orders coming out of the Mediterranean. Since they were likely the first comrades the Asian Armies would see, Sophia hoped they would follow their lead.

The incoming armies were given genuine orders to report to Corsica without delay to have the situation explained to them and more orders given.
 

wzhang29

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The admiral, now in Asia, began rallying the troops there. ((Too lazy to write anything else :p))
 

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Velazquez attempts to disrupt the Siege of Grenada.

((IC will come later. Mike, I think it is realistic as Velazquez is the beloved hardcore Archbishop, so can lift Morale or something. ;)))
 

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((Please include the Navy in the army rolls I meant to include them as well))
 

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((Keep in mind that just saying "try to get the Asian armies/navies" won't work very well. Winning the people over is the best option, or explaining why they'd rally to your cause. wzhang's character being from China gives him an advantage, for example. I'll delay handing those armies and navies out so both sides have a chance to make a grab for them.

I've added an image of the map after swapping the captured provinces around to the update.))

Velazquez attempts to disrupt the Siege of Grenada.

((IC will come later. Mike, I think it is realistic as Velazquez is the beloved hardcore Archbishop, so can lift Morale or something. ;)))

Granada, the headquarters of the Inquisition, had been devoutly Catholic for centuries, ironic considering that it was also the last bastion of Islam in Iberia. Regardless, the people of Granada were proud of their faith, and even more so of their archbishop and cardinal. As they faced a siege led by the Protestant Montségur, they knew that they had to hold out for as long as they could. The Pope had sided with the Emperor and so would they. The fort would not fall on their watch.

((You got a pretty good roll, so the fort at Granada will be a bit harder to capture.))
 

Mach Twelve

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Sitting in their new location in Sardinia, Sophia decided to send a Letter to the Commanders of the Asian Armies and Navies, the Colonies, and the Peoples within.

To the Commanders in Asia and the Colonies.

We have been attacked not by a foreign power but from within. The Marshal Montsegur has turned traitor and has attempted to overthrow the Emperor Alfons IX during his coronation. Many of your comrades have joined him in his mad quest for dominion over his ruler.

I call for the proud soldiers and sailors of Hispania to fight for their Empire. Fight for your Emperor. Montsegur promised freedom for the masses, but he has only given tyranny. He rules as a despot over his supposed equals as a "Lord Dictator", while the Emperor has given freedom to the serfs, and refuses to restrict our Government even in these dark times as Montsegur has.

Should the peoples of Hindustan, Cathay l, and the Colonies desire to fight for freedom and justice, they would support their Emperor. He is a kind and just man, and will surely grant rewards and autonomy appropriate to the actions to those who fight for his behalf.

Sophia de Trastamara, Empress Dowager, Prime Minister, and Regent of Hispania.
After doing so, she sent the message out, with the ones headed to Asia being sent with the Admiral Liu with a fleet for his protection so he could advocate it on her behalf.

Also, she ordered the Navy and Army to attempt to intercept any response from the Phoenix to deny or delay any message from Montsegur to either Asia or the Colonies.

((I have Naval Surpremecy and the only ways out of the Mediterranean, and the only way out of the Mediterranean that alscon has that evades my fleets involves a long trek to Galicia from Granada through Imperial lands, risking capture. The merchants in Africa may be inspired to send a letter on their own with a 100% chance of success, but it wouldn't be a effective as a order from the Marshal...))
 
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05060403

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At the fields of Valencia, general Gilvert de Saint-Pierre delieved another speech to his soldiers, requesting that his words are written down and sent to other loyalist armies.


"
Soldiers and Sailors of the Hispanian Imperial Armed Forces:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, towards which we have striven these many months. The eyes of our Empire are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people living in our country march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the Phoenix military might, the elimination of de Montsegur tyranny over oppressed peoples of Hispania, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and eager to resist our troops. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1753. Much has happened since Phoenix triumphs at the beginning of the war. Franco-Hispanian troops have inflicted upon the traitors great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our naval superiority has seriously reduced their strength on the seas and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts gave given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of Hispania are marching together to victory.

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."


(( Looks like Gilbert likes to give out speeches :p

But editing those is really fun, so I can't stop myself xD ))
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private - Phoenixes))

Over the past few months, Phoenix diplomats have felt out the various German states and their important neighbours to determine their opinion on a possible unified German state. The idea has met with a wide variance of opinions.

The Protestant German states have met the idea with much enthusiasm. They have been alone with their faith for quite some time, further isolated as larger Catholic power encroached on their lands. The HRE, while providing some form of protection, has proven entirely ineffective at warding off larger threats. No Protestant state is capable alone of protecting the rest as Emperor, and no Catholic that might be capable of defending them will ever be elected with Protestants holding the majority of elector positions. The HRE has failed, but a unified Germany provides the solution. With many of the German states aligned through marriage or alliance, it would not be too difficult to create such a union, but the question is who will command this new nation. Of the Protestant powers, Munster and Saxony seem most qualified. Munster is the strongest Protestant nation and has proven itself the most capable of defending Germany. Saxony, though, has a long history as Emperor and ties throughout the HRE. They also share dynastic ties to Poland, which some consider could be used to prevent further Polish encroachments. Either way, no such plan can go ahead until one concedes to the other control of such a nation.

The Catholic German states are another matter. They unanimously refuse to join any such unified Germany, for it will inevitably be dominated by Protestants. The Pope is also strongly against it, for it would see him encircled and his power diminished over Germany. There have been some talks of a separate Catholic state, but it has not received much support outside of Bavaria, who would be best suited to lead such a nation. Austria is opposed to a unified German state, for it would create a potential rival next door. Instead they favour a reform of the HRE, one that would allow them as the clearly dominant HRE power to wrestle the imperial crown away from the weak Protestant Saxony.

Scandinavia seems disinclined to see a unified German state, especially since relations with Munster went south when Munster cut ties with Scandinavia. The King has suggested that he'd be willing to tolerate such a state, but only if Scandinavia received all German-held lands in Denmark and this German state and the HRE renounced all claims to lands held by the Scandinavians. The idea of a potential Catholic buffer state, preferably dominated by Scandinavia, to serve as a block to Polish expansion has been put forward.
 

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A TATC messenger is captured trying to reach Valencia, carrying word of a fleet of TATC ships heading to Granada to help the trapped armies escape. The messenger commits suicide rather than reveal more than the message he was carrying.