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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

hirahammad

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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.
((I originally put this on the Imperial conversation, but everyone deserves to hear this in reaction to the news. :p ))

Velazquez, after de Saint-Pierre's rousing speech, left to his besieged Archbishopric of Grenada. As he traveled through the war-torn countryside, he remembered how it use to be, when he was a young Bishop, who only wished to be allowed the chance to serve his King and his God. Now he served his King and his God, but he wished he didn't have to. At least, not in these conditions, of war and violence, death and devastation.

Finally he slipped through Phoenix lines and spoke to the defenders:

"Whoever wishes to save Hispania should not hesitate humbly to take up the way of the Lord and the King, and if he lacks sufficient food, divine mercy will give him enough. Brethren, we ought to endure much suffering for the name of Christ - misery, poverty, nakedness, persecution, want, illness, hunger, thirst, and other ills of this kind, just as the Lord saith to His disciples: 'Ye must suffer much in My name,' and 'Be not ashamed to confess Me before the faces of men; verily I will give you mouth and wisdom,' and finally, 'Great is your reward in Heaven."
((et alia ;)))
 

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((private - German negotiations))

The Phoenix diplomats' hard work had led to many considering a German state a possibility, and encouraged by their initial successes, they put even more fervour in the talks in the objective to reach a suitable compromise.

The old carcass of the HRE has been no more than a burden for the German states ever since the League War, be it the first or the second. It was time to drop its corpse, not to drag it any further. Germany shall be born from its remains. The past would have no great role - it is the failures of the previous empire that have to be removed, and so it would be a wrong symbol to give the Saxon monarch the German crown. The present, the future are the goals of an united Germany, and the best suited candidate is Munster, the strongest of them, a power that the others recognize, that can lead this new state forward, also towards reclaiming land lost to the vile Poles in the East.

The Catholics would be presented with a choice. They themselves are clearly in no position to defend their lands, shall Austria, France or the unified Germany. Not an enviable situation, with all three powers having their reasons to be interested in the region. Staying like this is hardly an alternative. The compromise put forward includes the creation of a South German state, loosely led by Bavaria with much autonomy of the single regions, a concept to prove its merits. Within fifteen years, the government of this state would have a better understanding of their situation and have to make their choice:
Join Germany? Join Austria? Stay South Germany and reorganize it? Or break apart again, the experiment having ended in failure?

Instead of a Catholic buffer, the diplomats forward another suggestion to the Scandinavians. As initially proposed, all Danish land shall go to Scandinavia, and the request of abandoning the claims is very reasonable. Furthermore, they propose to renew the alliance and strike against Poland. Germany and Scandinavia would both share territorial ambitions that conflict little, with Scandinavia interested in the Baltic coastline and Germany in the German lands conquered by the Poles, and are therefore perfectly suited for cooperation. A cooperation that both secures and advances the Swedish borders against their long-time enemy.
 

BelisariustheGreat

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Juan sat in his tent and waited for a messanger to bring him news about the fights in the fire trenches. Napoli was sorrounded from three sides by Phoenix soldiers. Their cannons already fired a big whole in the St Anna Bastion, the biggest on at the landside. the St Anna Bastion was a gate, defended by small but thick walls. Then a 20 Meter long corridor came and ended at the second door, defended by two small Bastions, and all of this stood on a terass. He had an very exact plan of all fifeteen bastions and the position of the Imperial soldiers and where they're positions were. The St Anna Bastion was held by 1100 soldiers when the siege began, now the two smaller bastions in the second row of defence were defended. By 320 soldiers and 2 cannons. The big 64ers as he called his 120 mortars made their job well and destroyed almost the whole first floor of the left bastion. The "St Georg Bastion" was also destroyed by the mortars. When the messanger arrived Juan listened:
"Our spy told us from a mass of troops located at the "Aragonese Bastion". Allmost 500 soldiers and 16 cannons. 50 men of cavalry. I think they are preparing for a sortie. And around 150 men and 3 cannons are building defences behind the St Anna bastion. Around 100 meters behind the gates."
"Go to Sergio Primero, and tell him were to shoot. The mortars must concentrate on these two places: The second row of St Annas Bastion and on the defences. And sent me Francesco de Saltiego. "
After 20 minutes Saltiego arrives.
" You called for me Sire?"
"Yes Saltiego. We both know that you are the bravest regimental commander in our army. And the troops love you. Informations has reached me that our... Spy told us from a sortie at the Aragonese Bastion. The situation is difficult. We must decide between defending an sortie or to attack the St Anna bastion. I decided we would fight the aortie so they don't have enough man to support the St Anna Bastion. I hope you'll do your job good.
 
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The Phoenixes were at a disadvantage when it came to securing the Asian colonies. The Imperials controlled the two key passages to the Far East, allowing them to restrict the influence of the Phoenixes on the region. The arrival of Admiral Liu Binhan in Canton proved enough to win over the Chinese subjects of Hispania, securing both the Colonial Armada and Exercit Cathay. As for India, the presence of a Crown trading company proved a deciding factor, securing both the Exercit Colonial and the Flota Colonial. However, the Phoenixes had managed to rein in the TATC and used it influence over the trade fleets in Asia. One by one they fell in line, giving the Phoenixes control of the various trade fleets. With it, the colonies more distant from China and India swung into Phoenix hands. Most of the Malaysian and Indonesian colonies sided with the Phoenixes, as well as the various islands out in the Indian Ocean. Whether this was enough was yet to be seen.

((private - German negotiations))

The Phoenix diplomats' hard work had led to many considering a German state a possibility, and encouraged by their initial successes, they put even more fervour in the talks in the objective to reach a suitable compromise.

The old carcass of the HRE has been no more than a burden for the German states ever since the League War, be it the first or the second. It was time to drop its corpse, not to drag it any further. Germany shall be born from its remains. The past would have no great role - it is the failures of the previous empire that have to be removed, and so it would be a wrong symbol to give the Saxon monarch the German crown. The present, the future are the goals of an united Germany, and the best suited candidate is Munster, the strongest of them, a power that the others recognize, that can lead this new state forward, also towards reclaiming land lost to the vile Poles in the East.

The Catholics would be presented with a choice. They themselves are clearly in no position to defend their lands, shall Austria, France or the unified Germany. Not an enviable situation, with all three powers having their reasons to be interested in the region. Staying like this is hardly an alternative. The compromise put forward includes the creation of a South German state, loosely led by Bavaria with much autonomy of the single regions, a concept to prove its merits. Within fifteen years, the government of this state would have a better understanding of their situation and have to make their choice:
Join Germany? Join Austria? Stay South Germany and reorganize it? Or break apart again, the experiment having ended in failure?

Instead of a Catholic buffer, the diplomats forward another suggestion to the Scandinavians. As initially proposed, all Danish land shall go to Scandinavia, and the request of abandoning the claims is very reasonable. Furthermore, they propose to renew the alliance and strike against Poland. Germany and Scandinavia would both share territorial ambitions that conflict little, with Scandinavia interested in the Baltic coastline and Germany in the German lands conquered by the Poles, and are therefore perfectly suited for cooperation. A cooperation that both secures and advances the Swedish borders against their long-time enemy.

((Private - Phoenixes))

The various involved parties withdrew to further consider the matter within their own countries.

((I think it's safe to say that the unification of Germany would take longer than a year to figure out, so a response will come after the next update.))

* * * * *

Public letter to the Imperials & Phoenixes

We, the representatives of the colonial governments of Nueva Granada, Sanchonia, Nuevas Baleares, Nova Hispania, Cusco, Nuevo Leon, Nuevos Valencia, and Nueva Sicilia, hereby present again the following demands for reconsideration.

I. The Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia shall be granted full control of and independence in all domestic affairs. Hispania shall retain control of foreign affairs.
II. The Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia shall form a legislative assembly within each of their own nations, with members elected by male citizens over 21 with property.
III. A governor shall be selected from the legislative assembly to govern the nation. He may only be appointed and removed by the legislative assembly, without interference from Hispania.
IV. A supranational committee shall be created with all the Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia, as well as Hispania, serving as members. This committee will have no legislative power but shall serve as a means to settle disputes and submit grievances.
V. The Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia shall be free to choose their own state religion.
VI. All tariffs imposed by Hispania on the Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia shall be removed or lowered to a maximum of 10%.
VII. The Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia shall be free to trade with each other, with all inter-colonial trade no longer taxed by Hispania.
VIII. The Hispanian colonial government of the Americas and Australia shall be free to trade with foreign nations, excluding nations actively at war with Hispania, while Hispania shall retain the right to impose tariffs on this trade.

We, the representatives of the colonial governments of Nueva Granada, Sanchonia, Nuevas Baleares, Nova Hispania, Cusco, Nuevo Leon, Nuevos Valencia, and Nueva Sicilia, submit these proposals with the promise that their unconditional acceptance will ensure neutrality in the current conflict within Hispania. If our plight is ignored once more, the Hispanian colonial governments of the Americas and Australia will be forced to take further action to rectify the situation.
 

hirahammad

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((Private))
Velazqeuz nearly cursed when he saw the insolent demands of the colonies. Now, even Australia was a part of this farcical crusade. Some of the Colonial Governments mentioned had never before mentioned liberty or looser restrictions, yet now, in the face of a civil war!, they pushed their demands as if they were gracious allies and not subject states.

The insubordinates had even resorted to blackmail. If one didn't give in to the ridiculous terms, the armies of the colonies would be turned against them. Pirates, robbers, thieves, highwaymen, backstabbers, all this and more, those were these colonial governments. He could not give in. Not to these children.

Montsegur,

We are enemies. That is true. But, one thing we both want, even if one of us must be deluded for the other to be correct, is the best for the people of Hispania. These demands of the colonies are detrimental to all Hispanians, regardless of loyalty. While I cannot condone your actions, I simply ask: For the good of Hispania, do not give in to these harmful demands. The King and his armies shall not. What of yours?

Archbishop
 

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((Private - Imperials))

JpsioAG.png

I am personally of the opinion that we should grant the colonies their request. None of the demands are too damaging or detrimental to us, and if anything will improve relations with the colonies. Most of the demands will cause little change at all and may in fact cement existing practices. We have rarely intervened in the domestic affairs of colonial nations before, and in most instances have allowed the colonies the freedom to appoint a suitable governor. Creating an official process for this would make things more efficient and the colonies more grateful. A supranational committee for settling disputes will relieve a great burden from our shoulders and place more responsibility on the colonies to figure out their own problems. It would also be hypocritical for us to say that the colonies may not choose their own state religion when we have chosen to allow all Christians the freedom to practice their religion without persecution. Honestly, it's the economic clauses that will have the most impact on us here in Hispania. The lowering of tariffs will see us draw less income from the colonies, but in turn they can use the money saved to further develop themselves. Keep in mind the colonies have not called an end to the treasure ships and seem willing to continue the practice due to its exclusion in their demands. The fact that they are willing to accept any tariffs at all, something that will prove a disadvantage to them but not us, is a sign that this can be salvaged. I suggest we agree to the demands and use it to further our goal of a proper settlement with the colonies in the future when this civil war is at an end.

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

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Montségur read the archbishop's letter, letting the messenger freely enter and leave the camp. He should know that Phoenix' army in Iberia was well-equipped, morale high, but without being able to judge its numbers, if he was to report anything to his master. The Lord Dictator then gave the letter to his men. It should be sent to the colonies as soon as possible. His diplomats had already achieved some success over there, and clearly his enemy was oblivious to the proposal he had made to the colonies right after the Exercit Valencia had marched against the capital. They could only use it to their advantage. As the messenger left, he carried Montségur's answer.
No Catholic priest can want the best for the people of Hispania, and you are just confirming my thoughts. The church has throughout history often been an enemy of Hispanian interests, and you are no different. We need a radical change, a secularization Phoenix will bring. A power beside, partly independent of the state is not good for the empire. While accepting the demands is. You do not see it, do you? The realm is rotting in its glorification of ancient times, so great that no change is needed. The colonies are, just like the world, ever-changing. And the reborn empire certainly profits more from loyal, happy colonies than from ones it can profit little from until they break free - haven't the UKA and Canada been enough of an example for you? No, because you live in the past.

Lord Dictator Alexandre César de Montségur

((a little reminder of my offer: ))
"When I speak of demands meeting deaf ears, your concerns are one of them. Entirely reasonable, from what I see - we cannot both have the cake and eat it. I am willing to accept them all. 10% of tariffs are clearly enough for the empire's needs while assuring the financial strength of the colonies, and the acceptance of Christian faiths? A choice to be made where necessary, that is locally. A guarantee of tolerance had been issued in Hispania, and if we wanted it to impact all our colonies, we would have had to enforce it immediately, not now.
I will take it a step further: For the next twenty years, the colonies shall not have to pay any tariffs as compensation for the past mistakes. Though they will of course have to support the end of the previous system militarily, for I cannot hold true to my offer if I am not in power."

_______________________________________________________
((and for something totally unrelated, perfect occasion to do so: ))
The strange man left the strange ship, his mysterious bird on the shoulder, and went to the palace. What did he want? Who was he? Yet none of Palermo's inhabitants dared ask him a question. Only the Imperial soldiers securing the palace of the Trinacrian duke did.
'What do you want? This is no place for anyone, in any case. Leave before we make you.'
'Something special happening here?' The man asked, surprised. 'I have come to take something that belongs to me.'
The leader of the four men laughed. 'I wonder what that can be. Boys, we may have a Phoenix on our hands!'
The man was unfazed, looking at his bird. 'Beautiful, isn't it? Cavillaca, spread your wings for the good guards.' The bird did.
The guards looked at their leader, wondering what to do. 'He obviously is the enemy. Attack!'
With the four men charging him, the man gave a little sigh, then drew his rapier, slit the left attacker's throat in a swift movement and stabbed another in the heart before deflecting the leader's blow. The bird flew against the last one, catching fire. The man howled in pain as the flames began to consume him, while the strange man finished off the leader. 'I thank you for this exercise, gentlemen, but I have to go', he said as he sheathed his rapier, the bird landing on his shoulder again, as if nothing happened.

After he had returned to the harbour and had vanished on his ship into the open sea again, the stories began to spread around Palermo. Most guards of the palace had been found dead. Witnesses spoke of a masterful fencer with a phoenix, some muskets aimed at him exploding instead of the bullet hitting the man. He would have entered the palace and left shortly after with an old box, saying 'reunited at last'. Some caught a glimpse of the content of the box when he opened it, and swore that it was the Eye of Fortuna, the great sapphire Maximilien de Montségur had brought with him from Ceylon, since his departure rumoured to be hidden somewhere in the building. Only stories, or was there some truth in their words?
 
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hirahammad

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The Lord Dictator then gave the letter to his men. It should be sent to the colonies as soon as possible.
((I never signed the letter. ;) You could do a roll.
 

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((I never signed the letter. ;) You could do a roll.

((There is only one Archbishop involved in court politics, so it's not too hard to figure out who sent the letter :p. Either way, the message stands, so I'll make a little modification to account for it.))
 

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((Private - Imperials))

A letter arrives at the Imperial court from Iberia, signed by Alejandro de Leon.

"It appears that the colonies are not demanding complete independence yet, so why not grant their requests? I agree with His Imperial Majesty's decision, as it is the best course of action we can take in times like this."
 

Mach Twelve

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((Private Imperials))

It is dishonorable of them to use this war to force our hands.

Sadly, we can't afford another war at this time.

Let them their freedom. But, when we deal with Montsegur and recover, we will grant unto them what they now grant unto us.

Dishonor, threat of military action, and a completely one sided agreement.

((For those of you not clear on what I mean, I accept the terms. But, when the opportunity arises, things will go very south for those colonies. This betrayal will be remembered and they will reap what they sow.))
 
Last edited:

BelisariustheGreat

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Juan slept when one of his trusted friends woke him up. He gave him a letter sent by Francesco de Saltiego. Some blooddrops showed that the writer of the letter was wounded.
Good commander,
as you said the enemy came out. But not with 500 men, no with allmost 1500 soldiers! It's a hard fight, and if you don't send us support we will lose. Every minute is counting!
Francesco de Saltiego
Juan called for Jero Marcello, a young battailion leader.
"Jero i'll take the command over your battailion. The regiments there are indeed in a need for support. You will come with me, i learned that soldiers are fighting better when their commander is fighting with them."
"But my commander..."
"You can't change my mind.," then he turned to one of his advisors:" Go to Primero and tell him he must concentrate on the Aragonese bastion. Thank you."
With for steps he stood outside of the tent and listened into the darkness of the night. Some noise from the left flank. Francesco told the truth.
------
Juan followed Jero and stood in front of the whole battailion of 432 men.

"Brave men of the fourth battailion of the Grenadiers! Today is the day we can end this siege! The enemy attacked some units of ours at the left flank and our camerades are wavering. It's now your task to sent them to the gates of the city and to the ground. Follow me and your commander Jero and we will win! If we win they will tell stories about your battailion. Follow me!"
The men were tiered but everyone shouted :"Phoenix! Phoenix!"
Juan took a musket, his old uniform (his first uniform) had a red color years before, with the time the colors changed from red and yellow to brown-red and dust gray. He commanded Jero to take the half of the battalion. He should walk in the back of the defenders. The fire trenches were a complicated system of communication trenches, real fire trenches and logistic trenches. Juan than lead his 220 men through this labyrinth and when they heard commands all their uniforms were brown. He shot then he charged in the big crowd of enemies. His rapier wasn't made for fighting but it worked. Left and right the Hispanian soldiers fell on the ground. A mountain of a soldier stormed in his direction. But with a elegant step to the right side Juan safed his life, and killed him with a stab in the back. A sudden pain in his knee told him that someone stood behind him. With a circle he opened the enemies throat and made another soldier blind. Some soldiers were shouting, then the enemy fled... in the arms of Jero. Only 350 men arrived at the Aragonese bastion. 350 of 1500. And at the phoenix side 1400 of 2600 came back. And the general was injured
 

Firehound15

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LETTER TO HIS MAJESTY'S COURT AND HOUSEHOLD IN SARDINIA
______________________________________

It is my recommendation to Your Majesty that, if that colonies shall be granted greater rights, it ought to only be done with the intent to later grant them their full and complete independence from Hispania, such that they may someday be independent-yet-loyal allies to the rightful Crown of Hispania. As long as we rule over their lands from across an ocean, we shall not be able to administer them to their full capacity, and as long as they are in control of their domestic affairs, they will be able to become unilaterally independent before we are even aware that they have done so.

Thus, I shall repeat my position: that regardless of whether to accept their demands (I am certainly in favor), we must only consider doing so while also weighing and acknowledging the inevitability of their independence from the political institutions of the Hispanian Empire.


Sigo,
EiCmqTq.png
 

zenphoenix

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((Private - Imperials))

Isabel de Leon, daughter of Alejandro de Leon and wife of the Crown Princess, decided that she wanted her say in the colonial matter.

"Your Imperial Majesty," she said, "With all due respect, I believe we should wait until the war against the rebels is over before we deal with the colonies. But in the event that Your Imperial Majesty decides to grant independence to the colonies, may I humbly suggest a 'special relationship' to replace the old colonial ties? The colonies may be independent in all matters such as foreign policy and self-government, but they shall retain Your Imperial Majesty as their official head of state. That will ensure their continued loyalty and friendship to Hispania while also granting them all of their demands."
 

Dadarian

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Etxeto-arms.gif

Coat of Arms of the Etxeto
In the long forgotten, although impressively sprawling, estates of the Etxeto Clan, Duque Tomas V received a visitor.

"My liege, I come bearing news!"

"Oh do you? Well be quick! Be quick!"

"Sir, you have been appointed Lord Chancellor and Viceroy Supreme of Hispania..."

"Is that so? Excellent, about time our place has been secured."

"... however you have been deposed by another via court intrigue."

"Oh. Most shameful. People these day have no respect."

"There's also a civil war."

"WHAT!?"

"Yes, it has been raging for over a year now."

"Well than. Who do I support?"

"... no one sir. No one has heard from you since 1740, some 13 years ago."

"Well it's not like anyone even sent me a letter. My word. Well I hope that everything turns out alright."

"... shall we fight anyone my lord?"

"No, no. I imagine the war is nearing it's end now. No need to tip the balance."
 

Michaelangelo

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((Private - Imperials))

JpsioAG.png

I am not opposed to changing the existing relations with the colonies, whether that means independence or not. Of course, if they do wish to pursue such a course, I would also favour ensuring ties continue with the colonies even if they choose to go their own way. Such talk, though, should wait until after the civil war is over and we are capable of carrying through with such reforms.

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

Michaelangelo

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1753-1755 – The Hispanian Civil War (Part III)



((Cagliari is meant to be taken when needed later, but then I’d have to stop to trigger an event. Just ignore that it’s been captured and don’t be surprised if I act like it isn’t.))

The colonies, since before the civil war, had been demanding greater rights. Perhaps using the ongoing conflict to their advantage, they have set their demands before the two sides asking for unconditional acceptance. The Phoenixes readily agreed, while the Imperials were mixed. Ultimately the majority felt that this was not the time to antagonize the colonies and gave in. The colonies were granted their demands. Tariffs were lowered across the board to 10%. Referendums were held in the colonies to decide their state religion, with only Nova Hispania deciding to revert back to Catholicism. Nuevo Leon, despite tensions surrounding the earlier forced conversion, decided it was best to stick with the Church of Jesus Christ. Soon all the demands were implemented and the colonies were quite pleased. They wouldn’t be causing problems for quite some time.

Things heated up near Iberia. Rumours of a Phoenix fleet making its way to Granada was intercepted by the Imperials, with them sending half their heavy ships to blockade the straits. This covered up an unexpected manoeuvre. The Exercit Valencia left Granada for a bit, only to return shortly after, perhaps on a scouting mission to spot out Imperial troops. Both served as distractions, allowing a single fishing ship to sneak across to North Africa with a very important passenger on board. When the Exercit Africa disappeared into the interior, it had a new general leading its ranks.

Over near India, a Phoenix fleet tried to sail towards Africa, but ran into a French fleet. The Flota Colonial was nearby and intervened. Even with 10 more ships arriving to help, the Phoenixes had no choice but to retreat west, having lost 18 ships in the process.

In Italy, things were not going so well for the Imperials. Napoli, the old temporary capital, was captured by General Blanco, leaving the rest of Naples undefended. It was only a matter of time before the entire peninsula was occupied.



With the two Phoenix armies stuck in Granada, all Imperial armies in Iberia converged on the location. After retaking Almeria and Jaen, they made the final push. General Villanova held out against the combined might of Generals Saint-Pierre, Leon, and Trastámara for over a month, with his back against the walls of Granada. The Imperials lost thousands in their attack, but ultimately their superior numbers outmatched even the skilled Villanova. The ex-Field Marshal had no choice but to surrender, his army laying down their arms and Villanova taken into custody. His fate would be decided when the civil war was over.

As this was all going on, the Austrians tried to make a break into the Mediterranean, targeting the trade fleet operating near Genoa. The assistance of the French kept them from achieving a major victory and sent them back to the Adriatic.

The Greeks continued to fight for their Basileus against the rebels. General Kaukadenos took out an army in Macedonia, ensuring they could not get close to the capital.

As the war raged on, the common people started resorting to some strange religious craze called football. It involved some form of ceremony where a ball was kicked around, a baffling display to say the least. The Imperial military advisor became a supporter of this unknown faith and decided to devote his full time to his football career. Fortunately, a cheaper if less qualified advisor was found instead.



The French attempted to force the Austrians out of Savoy, but yet again went in with insufficient numbers. The Austrians swarmed them and sent them rushing back into the French interior. ((Missed the screenshot for this one.))

The Greeks sprung into action against a rebel force on the island of Corfu, taking advantage of their trapped position to eliminate the threat.

Just after the Imperials took out Villanova’s army in Iberia and returned to Aragon to retake Valencia, Montségur resurfaced in North Africa, marching his way through Libya. With no threat left in Iberia, Leon was charged with catching the wayward former Marshal, setting sail for Egypt soon after.

In Italy, the Imperials had neglected to leave much in the way of defence, even at sea. With the focus on Iberia, no navy was present to blockade the straits between Naples and Sicily. Blanco crossed right into Sicily and started retaking the island for the Phoenixes as the Exercit Provence occupied what was left of Italy. South Africa was also claimed for the Phoenixes.

The French finally managed to win a victory against Austria, despite another large Austrian army nearby. They managed to secure victory before the reinforcements could arrive. The Austrians tried to overwhelm the French before they could recover with a counterattack, but it backfired for them. Momentum was starting to swing in favour of France.



The fate of the whole civil war was not to be decided in Iberia or even Italy, but Egypt. Montségur rushed for the Suez Canal, trying to secure the waterway for the Phoenixes. The timing proved incredibly unfortunate for him though. Just as he neared Alexandria, the Flota Colonial entered the Suez Canal with the Exercit Colonial. With news of Montségur’s arrival having reached the area, the Exercit Colonial unloaded on the west bank and prepared to hold the Canal against Montségur. However, just as Montségur was marching through the deserts of Egypt, Leon was sailing across the Mediterranean to catch him. Ships proved faster than men, with Leon and his army arriving in Damietta shortly after the Exercit Colonial. Just as Montségur marched into Rosetta, almost in sight of the Suez Canal, Leon and the two Imperial armies struck. The two Hispanian generals fought it out on the Nile Delta. Montségur used the river to his advantage, but Leon had superior numbers and morale was high now that they were finally facing the traitor face to face. In an attempt to force the issue, Leon charged headlong into the Phoenix ranks, and with the numbers on his side this overwhelmed the enemy forces. Montségur’s entire army, tired from marching all the way across North Africa, collapsed into chaos. The entire Phoenix army was routed. As for the leader of the Phoenixes, he disappeared in the midst of battle without a trace. Without their leader though, the Phoenix cause was certain to collapse.

((I gave alscon permission for his character to get away if he didn’t die in battle provided he doesn’t return to Hispania. He can be a boogey man for Hispania, used to scare small children. :p For now, Montségur has another purpose in life that will probably be revealed later on. ;) As for what this victory means for the coup, I’ll explain at the end of the update.))

With that done, Leon started marching across North Africa to take Tunis for the Imperials. The Exercit Colonial set sail for East Africa.

Just as the most important land battle was waged in Egypt, the most important naval encounter occurred off the coast of East Africa. The Phoenix fleet had gathered in the region to make a push for the Suez Canal, ready to move into the Mediterranean once Montségur captured the Canal. However, Admiral Liu Binhan, after hearing of the encounter with the Flota Colonial near India earlier, had sailed down the coast of Africa looking for the escaped ships. Thus the two fleets ran right into each other. The Phoenixes had more than four times as many ships, but the Imperials had by far better ships and a superior admiral. Unlike with the battle between Leon and Montségur, numbers were not enough here. Not only did the Admiral decimate the enemy fleet, he did so without losing a single ship and even managed to capture two. A hundred ships had sunk to the bottom of the Indian Ocean and took any dreams of a Phoenix navy with them.

In August, King Karl IX of Scandinavia passed away, with his son ascending to the throne as Gustav V Adolf.

The Basileus’s army continued to force defeat after defeat on the rebels. Despite the superior skills of Pausanias Mandromenos, the coup was disorganized and none of the forces were cooperating.

Soon all of Aragon excluding Valencia was secured for the Imperials, with an army marching on to Galicia. General Francesc de Trastámara set sail for North Africa to help Leon occupy the region.

As for Italy, General Blanco had retaken Sicily and returned to Firenze. Word from Iberia and Egypt had not been good, and he was cut off from the other theatres of war. Without a navy to assist him, he had few options before him. The best he could do was pester France in the hopes of assisting Austria or making his way to Iberia.



Even with a war raging on, colonization occurred as though nothing had happened. The colonies in Pipil and Lesser Namaqualand became self-sufficient, despite the fact that that the latter was in South Africa and occupied by the Phoenixes.

As the Exercit Colonial landed in East Africa and started securing the region, the remnants of the Phoenix fleet faced off against Admiral Liu again and was defeated in entirety. Now only the Flota Genoa in Valencia remained for the Phoenixes.

Attempts to pester France had not gone over well. The French finally managed to organize a proper offensive. The Exercit Provence lagged behind and Blanco did his best to save them, but ultimately the French inflicted a major blow on the remnants of the Phoenix army, which could only flee to Northern Italy.

Blanco’s army did provide a distraction for the Austrians to allow them to remove a French army from Novara at least.

As resistance crumbled away and it seemed certain that the coup had run its course, Emperor Alfons IX officially came of age. The regency council was officially disbanded, although the Council appointed by the Regent was kept for now until order was restored. The court was gathered in Corsica for an unofficial crowning of the Emperor, for the official ceremony was to occur once Valencia was retaken.




((Private - Imperials))

JpsioAG.png

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

This unfortunate episode in Hispanian history will soon draw to a close. The ringleader, Montségur, has vanished, leaving the Phoenixes without a leader. With Villanova in our custody and Blanco struggling to hold out in Italy, it is only a matter of time until order is restored. I pray that we may all overcome the difficulties that have arisen from these circumstances and band together to restore Hispania to its former glory.

Even with the end of this coup in sights, there is much that we must do. This was not some random occurrence, a blatant grab for power with no motive but personal gain. Montségur may have descended the Empire into chaos with his actions, but he was right that the Empire has stagnated and needs reform. Too long have we lived content with the spoils of our many victories and the steady growth of our empire. Things worked the way they were, so why change them? But change them we must, or we will soon experience another situation similar to this coup but on a larger scale. Montségur wanted to turn me into a figurehead, to shift the balance of power and set the army above all. This is not the answer, and our victory assures that it will not be. What we strived for is a balance, one where the monarch stands above all and guides their subjects like a father guides his loving children. A monarch must play an active role in the administration of the Empire, but in turn must listen to their subjects and allow them to express their opinions so that the monarch may do what is best for the people. We live in enlightened times, and I wish to serve as an example of that. I refuse to be a powerless figurehead when I can use the position granted to me by God to improve the lives of the Hispanian people. Some of my predecessors favoured reform, but they lacked the initiative to carry through with them. They relied on the court for such things, but those reforms never came to light. I promise that after things settle down, I will be placing reforms before this court to see change in the Empire. The countless lives lost in this conflict will not have been lost in vain.


((Well that’s pretty much the end of the coup. @BelisariustheGreat may choose to continue on if he wishes, but with Montségur and Villanova gone, much of the support and land will defect back to the Imperials. He may also choose to flee Hispania and live another day, and thus the coup will officially end here.

You may notice I haven’t included any spam screenshots or appropriate maps. I also have not posted anything to the private chats. All the relevant information is in the update for the coup, but if it does end here I shall post the usual stuff for ministers. I won’t set an official deadline until then. What I can do is start a vote for the government type in the meantime. The Imperials were tossing around the idea of becoming an Enlightened Despotism, and I shall permit it despite the government type not being officially unlocked yet. All Imperials will thus vote on whether to adopt it or not. If we do not, someone better start writing up a constitution or we’ll be stuck with administrative monarchy forever. :p For those wondering, Enlightened Despotism is meant to work as a mix of absolute and constitutional monarchy. The monarch will technically have absolute power, but they are expected to have their subjects’ best interests at heart by following Enlightenment ideals. The emperor will have unlimited vetoes and no longer gets a permanent penalty to coup chance for the rest of their reign for using it too much. Instead, every time a veto is used, their legitimacy drops. I will also be tying legitimacy to coups for this government, so lower legitimacy means coups are more likely to succeed. I’ll be adjusting the rules for this at some point. So basically if the monarch starts going against the court too often and using their veto, their legitimacy will drop and coups will be easier to pull off. Anyway, here’s the vote. Remember, only Imperials need to vote.

Enlightened Despotism: Yes/No/Abstain

I’m not going to set a deadline yet, since I need to know if the coup is officially over or not first. If a majority of Imperials votes one way, I’ll end it. This is going to be a one player-one vote thing, since VP has been thrown off by the coup. May as well make it OOC as a result.))
 

Mach Twelve

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To all those in the Rebel Phoenix Territories:

You have lost. Your leaders have fled or been captured. Your Armies face imminent destruction. Your Navies are either at port or at the bottom of the ocean. Your rebellion is destroyed, and the lands you hold will be quickly recaptured and you would face execution should you require such methods of subjugation.

But, should you submit to His Majesty, we will consider reducing your punishment.

Should the remaining leaders of this rebellion stand down and surrender their lands to us, they will have their punishment reduced.

Should these leaders be stubborn, their subordinates would be rewarded should they overthrow them and hand them over to us.

The continuation of this war is on your shoulders

((Rolling for the territories to default to Hispania, and for the Armies to overthrow Blanco, should he not submit.))

Sophia walked up to her son, the Emperor.

"It is time to consider getting you an Empress. The French have been loyal, perhaps we should strengthen our ties with them. Or maybe the Scandinavians. Or the Americans. You are Emperor, and you need an heir of your own. I would help you with this, if you want."

Enlightened Despotism: AYE
 

BelisariustheGreat

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Juan was tiered. He fought to long. Allmost his whole live. Why shouldn't he stop fighting. De Montségure gone, Villanova gone, and almost every army gone. But he knew that the Imperials wouldn't show grace to him. They would take his title, in the army as well as his title as a noble. No! He would fight till the end. Or maybe... No. He couldn't do this. His soldiers wanted to come back to their wifes and they were mostly in Iberia. And... Juan wrote a letter.
Emporer Alfons IX,
this letter is written to you and your whole court. I'm waiting for your men to capture me. The Exercit Provence and the Exercit Firenze won't give on shot. The war has ended
Juan Yagüe de Blanco
((Ha Yagüe lost and won one Spanish civil war.))