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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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SirAlucard

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My King

My votes go as follows

Chancellor's Plan: Now
Now that we finally have a war-changing advantage over the Castillian filth, we should press it and take what should rightfully belong to us.

Marshal's Plan: Yes
I already expressed why I think it to be necessary. Those units of artillery that we add to our army will save many Aragonese lives, I can promise that to you.

Heathen Tax: No
I am a very pious man, surely. But why should we tax the heathens in our lands what makes them live abroad if we can aswell peacefully convert them to the One True Faith? Maybe, maybe, if our economy is on the brink. At the moment, we're still gaining enough to pay for everything we need.

((Idea: Quantity
Defensive
Offensive
))

As to the Cortz, I'm not quite sure on who to vote on. Maybe my father could've told me who's the best candidate, but as it lies now, I don't want to mess with something I do not understand. I'm sorry if I'm hurting someone with this, but... well, I just explained why, didn't I?

Stefano von Thun
Count of Zaragoza
Marshal of the Realm
 

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Michaelangelo

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Chancellor's Plan: Abstain
Marshal's Plan: Yes
Heathen Tax: Yes
Idea:
  1. Exploration
  2. Quality
  3. Quantity
Alfonso Torarella, Unlanded Noble

((@Michaelangelo I will be interested in being named a consquistador...being an unlanded seafaring noble and what-not))

((Well I can't reserve roles, but I'll give you first dibs. And based on the result of the vote, you may get to do that sooner rather than later. ;)


This vote turned out much more complicated than I had imagined. For whatever reason, my spreadsheet of all the characters went a bit wonky and certain characters either disappeared or were replaced by their predecessors. Fortunately the first post was up to date, so I easily fixed it. I did a re-tally of the vote to make sure everything was okay, only to discover that someone changed their vote without telling me. This wouldn't have been a big deal if it wasn't for the fact that that person's vote is the deciding factor for Marshal's Plan. As per the rules, I've been forced to declare that person's vote void, which results in a tie. And with ties, that means the vote doesn't pass. Just a reminder that in the future people must explicitly post a new vote saying that they're changing their vote. Since I do a running tally, I will end up skipping over edited votes, or in this case get my tally messed up when I do a re-tally. That's not the end of the problems. We have a tie for third place for the Cortz. I decided to use a RNG to randomly pick one of the tied nominees. Here are the results of the vote:

Chancellor's Plan: Now
Marshal's Plan: Tie/Failed
Heathen Tax: Failed
Idea: Exploration
Cortz: Luigi Castelozzi (alscon), Sebastián de Loarre (EmperorBasilius), and Llorenç Alfons María de Agramunt (Firehound15)
))
 
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All his work had been for naught. The Church had not reformed one bit, the Inquisition was not completed, and heretics and heathens still threatened to subsume Aragon. The court had refused both his measures to cleanse the kingdom of heresy or at least control it through taxation. Now the king was about to fight against the Church itself and wage a destructive war against a fellow Christian power. Aragon was truly doomed in the long run and would soon be embroiled in sin.

The cardinal sighed and resigned himself to his fate. He would oversee Juan's ascension to the clergy and then wait for death. His only hope was that the young man would carry on his legacy and continue the good fight for the soul of Aragon and the Catholic Church.
 
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Michaelangelo

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((Some people have been talking to me about wanting the duke titles to be hereditary, instead of being tied directly to the Cortz. I'm willing to allow this, but there will have to be certain conditions to prevent the court being filled up with dukes in the coming decades. First of all, all dukes will only receive their extra voting power as long as they serve on the Cortz. All their descendants will retain the title, but not the voting power unless they are also elected to the Cortz. Also, the title does not necessarily have to be a duke title. I'm going to give players the freedom to create their own titles if elected to the Cortz, as long as it is within reason. For example, a player may choose to be a marquis instead. All titles created as such cannot affect the holdings of another player or the king, as well as not threaten the king's power or position. For example, a player may not be Duke of Aragon, since that belongs to the king, and a player in Aragon proper cannot claim to be Duke of Sardinia or something along that line. To make things simple, I prefer for people to make their titles for their specific province or a town or holding within their province. Also, since now these titles are becoming more than just titular with actual holdings, I can no longer allow unlanded nobles to serve on the Cortz. They may still vote for new members of the Cortz, but it would make little sense for them to receive a title to something when they don't have any land anywhere. Hopefully those changes please people. As I've said before, this iAAR is always a work in progress. Suggestions are welcome, especially in the chatroom.

This is probably a good time to mention that I will be starting the first of my college courses next week. As such, I will have less time available for this iAAR. Updates may be more spread out as a result. Don't worry about me disappearing for an entire week or anything. My program is fairly simple and I only have a couple classes at a time. As long as it's not exam time, I should be able to manage. Tomorrow will be a good test of this because I ran out of time today to do a playthough so the update won't be ready until at least Thursday. My bad. :D))
 
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9skqvwl.png


To His Royal Majesty,
Your Majesty, I must regretfully inform you that recent events concerning the nature of Aragon's diplomatic activities have compelled me to resign my position as court chaplain. I must follow the dictates of my conscience and faith.

God bless you,

Cardinal Fernando de Vascona
Bishop of Pirineo


De Vascona then sailed forlornly to Rome...
 

Italianajt

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"Captain Torarella!"

"Aye!"

"The men are feeling a bit disturbed by your prolonged bouts of silence as you stare off to the west."
Torarella smiled. His first mate was a good man but sometimes got caught up too much in the feelings of the crew. He had been staring to the west as they plied the king's trade near the Straits. He knew he could find his destiny out there in the open seas. Word had reached him through his past shipmates and fellow officers that the king was beginning to look west also, but nothing firm had been decided at the palace court. He had eschewed the secure position as Governor of Melilla for the chance to one day lead his king's banner across the Atlantic and find a faster trade route to the lands of Hindustan.

"Captain!" Torarella didn't realize he had lost himself in thought again. "Might the captain call for shore leave at the next port so as to get the crew and himself in better spirits?"

"Juan de Cama, if I let the men off at our next port of call they will most likely disperse and we will be stuck until they sober up enough to come back. No, we'll let the stevedores work their trade and then we'll sail back to Aragon's shores. We'll let give the men shore leave at that time."

"But that's a month away!" his first mate protested. Torarella shot him a stern look.

"Do not tell me how long it will take. Do not I also miss my senorita back at port?" Torarella heard de Cama mutter something about 'that whore' but he chose to dismiss it as his own inner thoughts. "The men will be content with knowing that I intend to make the leave a long one. Perhaps two weeks? That should give them enough time to whore about, drink, and provide them enough time to take care of their own matters. Let us speak no more of this."

Like a siren song he turned again to the west, formulating his plan to take a fleet west to find a passage to the Hindu's lands.
 

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Von Thun shaked his head when he heard of the tie against his plans.

Fellow noblemen and -women, dear courtiers and dear members of the church

As I've heard from many of you now, you see my plans about increasing our artillery share in our army as a waste of coin and cash. But as we all know, our country has a hard time recovering from every war. And if not financially, then at least in form of peasants on our own soil.

I understand your doubts about this new technology of artillery, hands down. But weren't the people living the risk always rewarded with the biggest share of the gain? I shall not present a Infantry + Cavallery = Artillery ratio again, I've understood that you doubt the technology too much as of now. But would you be willing to accept a ratio of 2/3 of Artillery to the main army? Please tell me your oppinions so we don't have a tie on the vote again. And don't forget, if we were to recruit more men who know how to use artillery, those would be able to harm the enemy without suffering casualities themself. And if you ask me, that is worth way more than the price they cost.

Regards
Stefano von Thun
Count of Zaragoza
Marshal of the Realm

((I like the fact that we didn't have a single tie until now and now we get 2 in the same voting period o_O))
 

Michaelangelo

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9skqvwl.png


To His Royal Majesty,
Your Majesty, I must regretfully inform you that recent events concerning the nature of Aragon's diplomatic activities have compelled me to resign my position as court chaplain. I must follow the dictates of my conscience and faith.

God bless you,

Cardinal Fernando de Vascona
Bishop of Pirineo


De Vascona then sailed forlornly to Rome...

Xs93UHA.png

It is unfortunate that you feel that you can no longer serve your country during this time. I understand that your faith comes first, as I'd expect of any member that high up in the Church. Still, it is a shame that you must leave. In a span of over 50 years, you have served four separate kings as Court Chaplain. Your dedication to Aragon will always be remembered.

- His Majesty, Ferran II de Trastámara, King of Aragon and Naples, and Protector of the Greeks

Von Thun shaked his head when he heard of the tie against his plans.

Fellow noblemen and -women, dear courtiers and dear members of the church

As I've heard from many of you now, you see my plans about increasing our artillery share in our army as a waste of coin and cash. But as we all know, our country has a hard time recovering from every war. And if not financially, then at least in form of peasants on our own soil.

I understand your doubts about this new technology of artillery, hands down. But weren't the people living the risk always rewarded with the biggest share of the gain? I shall not present a Infantry + Cavallery = Artillery ratio again, I've understood that you doubt the technology too much as of now. But would you be willing to accept a ratio of 2/3 of Artillery to the main army? Please tell me your oppinions so we don't have a tie on the vote again. And don't forget, if we were to recruit more men who know how to use artillery, those would be able to harm the enemy without suffering casualities themself. And if you ask me, that is worth way more than the price they cost.

Regards
Stefano von Thun
Count of Zaragoza
Marshal of the Realm

((I like the fact that we didn't have a single tie until now and now we get 2 in the same voting period o_O))

((That was one of the reasons I did a recount, other than the messed-up spreadsheet. All those close votes were bound to lead to a tie eventually.))
 

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SirAlucard said:
Von Thun shaked his head when he heard of the tie against his plans.

Fellow noblemen and -women, dear courtiers and dear members of the church

As I've heard from many of you now, you see my plans about increasing our artillery share in our army as a waste of coin and cash. But as we all know, our country has a hard time recovering from every war. And if not financially, then at least in form of peasants on our own soil.

I understand your doubts about this new technology of artillery, hands down. But weren't the people living the risk always rewarded with the biggest share of the gain I shall not present a Infantry + Cavallery = Artillery ratio again, I've understood that you doubt the technology too much as of now. But would you be willing to accept a ratio of 23 of Artillery to the main army Please tell me your oppinions so we don't have a tie on the vote again. And don't forget, if we were to recruit more men who know how to use artillery, those would be able to harm the enemy without suffering casualities themself. And if you ask me, that is worth way more than the price they cost.

Regards
Stefano von Thun
Count of Zaragoza
Marshal of the Realm

((I like the fact that we didn't have a single tie until now and now we get 2 in the same voting period o_O))

My Lord Marshal,
It gladdens me to see such new advances being embraced and employed. I also do not doubt you if you claim these guns would be of great tactical benefit to yourself and our other generals on the battlefield. Indeed, I can only imagine what an enemy might think faced with a row of them belching hell-fire. My objection is on administrative and logistical grounds; these weapons require inordinate numbers of men and horses to maintain, transport and operate them, who, in turn must be barrackedstabled, fed and paid. Therefore we must either increase the size of the army beyond a level we can sustain or reduce the size of the existing army. I assure you the former is not an option.
That would leave us with reducing the size of the existing army (to fifteen thousand under your previous suggestion, eighteen thousand under your current). We have territories in Iberia, Africa and Greece, I do not think eighteen thousand men is sufficient for the protection of those lands, even if they do have substantial artillery support. It also reduces our armies manoeuvrability and flexibility; have you seen the state of our roads Imagine attempting to drag so many guns along them.
-Bishop Sastre

(( Raffaelo is 13 yrs old. About the cardinals crest, the one I found originally turns out to be a bad quality picture but has exactly what I want. Here it is: http://i.imgur.com/qWJFa3w.jpg
The other option is to somehow get the regular crest onto this blank cardinals crest here: http://i.imgur.com/7fFui6p.jpg
Glad our characters are getting along well and thanks for messing with my darn crests. I bet it's annoying.))

((The first is already about the right size, the second is such nice quality because it is much too large.
I have increased the size and quality a bit one can at least make out that blob in the middle is a papal tiara now. archbishops green: http://i.imgur.com/EveHOB2.png cardinals red: http://i.imgur.com/Isv17ot.png ))
 

Morgan McCloud

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Name: Carlo Angelo Abate
DOB: 27 September 1462
Class: Clergy
Religion: Catholic

Bio: Carlo was born in Sicily to a prostitute named Adrianna. Unable to care for her son, she traveled alone to a remote monastery and begged an order of monks to take Carlo in. No one ever saw or heard from Adrianna again and many believed she died on the journey home from the monastery. Having grown up entirely in the closed community of the monastery, Carlo has known no other life besides one of faith. At his time in the monastery, Carlo received the formal training of a member of the cloth, and he fully embraced the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Although Carlo was always a pious observer of the laws of God, by the time he turned 18 he had a strong desire to leave the monastic life and explore the wider world. By 1481, the Abbot of his monastery was afraid Carlo would leave the order on his own, and decided to send him to work as a clerical assistant to the Bishop of Palermo. Throughout the next several years Carlo and the Bishop of Palermo became close friends and confidants. Under the Bishop's tutelage, Carlo became well versed in diplomacy and court intrigue, and also had several opportunities to travel the expanse of the great Kingdom of Aragon, including recently to the court of the great King Ferran II de Trastámara. In 1495 the Bishop of Palermo is quite old and it has become clear that Carlo is his chosen successor.

((I'd like to claim the Bishopric of Palermo if it wasn't clear))
 
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SirAlucard

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I think you're misunderstanding me here, my Bishop. I'm not asking to retire any of the regiments we currently have, not anymore. I would rather hire new artillerists until we are at the proposed threshhold OR at our supply limit which is at 31 thousand men currently. So we would basically hire just one more regiment and then await an increase to our supply limit through increased food taxation from our peasants.
 

Michaelangelo

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Name: Carlo Angelo Abate
DOB: 27 September 1462
Class: Clergy
Religion: Catholic

Bio: Carlo was born in Sicily to a prostitute named Adrianna. Unable to care for her son, she traveled alone to a remote monastery and begged an order of monks to take Carlo in. No one ever saw or heard from Adrianna again and many believed she died on the journey home from the monastery. Having grown up entirely in the closed community of the monastery, Carlo has known no other life besides one of faith. At his time in the monastery, Carlo received the formal training of a member of the cloth, and he fully embraced the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

Although Carlo was always a pious observer of the laws of God, by the time he turned 18 he had a strong desire to leave the monastic life and explore the wider world. By 1481, the Abbot of his monastery was afraid Carlo would leave the order on his own, and decided to send him to work as a clerical assistant to the Bishop of Palermo. Throughout the next several years Carlo and the Bishop of Palermo became close friends and confidants. Under the Bishop's tutelage, Carlo became well versed in diplomacy and court intrigue, and also had several opportunities to travel the expanse of the great Kingdom of Aragon, including recently to the court of the great King Ferran II de Trastámara. In 1495 the Bishop of Palermo is quite old and it has become clear that Carlo is his chosen successor.

((I'd like to claim the Bishopric of Palermo if it wasn't clear))

((You got it. Just so everyone knows, I've changed bishoprics to archbishoprics since that's more of what they were historically. Calling them bishoprics was a mistake I made early on. All bishops may now call themselves archbishops if they please.))
 

Keinwyn

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Manuel sat in one of the pews and craned his neck to gaze upwards. Images depicting The Assumption of the Virgin Mary were beginning to take shape on the ceiling of The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, Valencia's Cathedral.
Raffael shifted uneasily from foot to foot, no doubt nervous at the presence of his future king, upon who's request they were here.
Prince Ferran paced up and down the aisle of the Basilica, his head back, staring at the progress. "It's beautiful. Your father is very pious, Raffael, to have commissioned such work" His face was troubled though. "Wouldn't it be better though to donate money for charity to the poor? I mean no disrespect to the Lord d'Este, but shouldn't that be our first duty as Christians?"
"Corporeal acts of mercy are the duty of every good Christian, however there are also spiritual acts of mercy. To instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, and comfort the afflicted." Manuel gestured to the high altarpiece. "How does it make you feel?"
"Our Lady - it is as though she is gazing directly into our soul, it is beautiful and somewhat terrifying."
"It is humbling, the pain suffered by Christ must have been terrible and yet his serenity is comforting." The boys were absorbed in the various panels.
"It is as though God himself acts through great artists to bring divine inspiration. We should encourage art as an act of mercy."

---

I think you're misunderstanding me here, my Bishop. I'm not asking to retire any of the regiments we currently have, not anymore. I would rather hire new artillerists until we are at the proposed threshhold OR at our supply limit which is at 31 thousand men currently. So we would basically hire just one more regiment and then await an increase to our supply limit through increased food taxation from our peasants.

I see, thankyou for clearing that up. I have no particular problem with a single extra regiment.
 
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ML8991

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Conte Matthias was old, he knew that, being 71, nearly 72, and still going, if barely. He was finding each day a pain, being nearly unable to walk a few metres before having to either lean on his mahogany cane or catch his breath.

Despite his age, he still made a show, dressing in the height of fashion, with full attire. He wished he still had his father's sword, which was said to have swung at Agincourt, but family heirlooms were put away, and Jasminia, ever the diligent daughter and now proud noble housewife and mother, insisted on stopping her father from getting his hands on it, lest he hurt himself. Alexandre, oh his little Alexandre,had grown to be a fine gentleman pleasing his wife in spades, it seemed she would have a new piece of jewellery or a new dress each time Matthias met her, had secured both his and his wife's families legacies, lest there was a problem of succession.

Thinking on that brought bore tears to the eyes of the old count, his own wife had passed a few years back, just after Juan announced his affirmative to joining the cloth after his formal studies were over in Paris. Never had Matthias seen his wife so proud, not even when she had first met her grandchildren. She wanted to see the fate of all her children and thus that made her proud, he had always reasoned after she was put to rest. But he still looked back on their happy days, the courting, the tantrums of young Alex and Jasminia, the unexpected bundle of joy that was their Juan, the grandkids, he could go on, but he felt glad to have truly lived.

Suddenly, he felt his cane give way, and he fell. Not a word came out his mouth, just a solemn acceptance, as he fell down the ornate marble stairwell, landing in a crumpled heap at its foot.He heard noise, and all of a sudden it seemed that all the family was around him. Alexandre was calling for help, Jasminia wept into her father's bosom, as he felt warm fluid run from his head. Her tears slowly intermingled with the fluid from wounds in his head. He felt a sudden pain in his chest as he looked round faintly, barely able to see now with the darkness closing in. Before he escaped from this world, that he now understood to be sinful, he saw his youngest, Juan, murmuring, as if in prayer or as a final rite. And so the Conte de Soneta came to pass from this world, lead by his hand, to greater lands, by his wife, as his family crowded round the slowly cooling body.

Conte Matthias de Soneta- b. 17th October 1423
d. 29th June 1495( aged 71)

Conte de Pirineo: 1448-1495, to be succeeded by Alexandre de Soneta ((but will be playing as Juan as pre-stated Michael ;) ))

Steward to the Realm: 1487-1495

((will do Juan's bio after next update, @Andre Massena in the Juan pm we had, can you give a rundown of what Juan will be taught in his, i think, 2 years under Vascona's clerical tutorage after his formal study in France, thanks :D (this is of course if your still planning the same bucket kicking date as you suggested to me before)

 
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Von Habsburg

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My Lord Marshal,
It gladdens me to see such new advances being embraced and employed. I also do not doubt you if you claim these guns would be of great tactical benefit to yourself and our other generals on the battlefield. Indeed, I can only imagine what an enemy might think faced with a row of them belching hell-fire. My objection is on administrative and logistical grounds; these weapons require inordinate numbers of men and horses to maintain, transport and operate them, who, in turn must be barrackedstabled, fed and paid. Therefore we must either increase the size of the army beyond a level we can sustain or reduce the size of the existing army. I assure you the former is not an option.
That would leave us with reducing the size of the existing army (to fifteen thousand under your previous suggestion, eighteen thousand under your current). We have territories in Iberia, Africa and Greece, I do not think eighteen thousand men is sufficient for the protection of those lands, even if they do have substantial artillery support. It also reduces our armies manoeuvrability and flexibility; have you seen the state of our roads Imagine attempting to drag so many guns along them.
-Bishop Sastre



((The first is already about the right size, the second is such nice quality because it is much too large.
I have increased the size and quality a bit one can at least make out that blob in the middle is a papal tiara now. archbishops green: http://i.imgur.com/EveHOB2.png cardinals red: http://i.imgur.com/Isv17ot.png ))

((Thank you for all the work you have done. It is much appreciated.))

Manuel sat in one of the pews and craned his neck to gaze upwards. Images depicting The Assumption of the Virgin Mary were beginning to take shape on the ceiling of The Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady, Valencia's Cathedral.
Raffael shifted uneasily from foot to foot, no doubt nervous at the presence of his future king, upon who's request they were here.
Prince Ferran paced up and down the aisle of the Basilica, his head back, staring at the progress. "It's beautiful. Your father is very pious, Raffael, to have commissioned such work" His face was troubled though. "Wouldn't it be better though to donate money for charity to the poor? I mean no disrespect to the Lord d'Este, but shouldn't that be our first duty as Christians?"
"Corporeal acts of mercy are the duty of every good Christian, however there are also spiritual acts of mercy. To instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, and comfort the afflicted." Manuel gestured to the high altarpiece. "How does it make you feel?"
"Our Lady - it is as though she is gazing directly into our soul, it is beautiful and somewhat terrifying."
"It is humbling, the pain suffered by Christ must have been terrible and yet his serenity is comforting." The boys were absorbed in the various panels.
"It is as though God himself acts through great artists to bring divine inspiration. We should encourage art as an act of mercy."

---



I see, thankyou for clearing that up. I have no particular problem with a single extra regiment.

Your Excellency,
I have heard that Raffaelo is doing well. I count myself lucky to have such a esteemed theologian as a friend. The construction of my family chapel has commenced and I find myself with a few extra artists and resources. Are there any other churches or places in Valencia that could use the touch of a Italian craftsman? I have secured the employ of Giovanni Bellini of the Venetian school who is quite adept at painting. Also, a assistant of the hard-to-get Leonardo de Vinci has agreed to make the passage across the medditerrean. All this is costing a fortune but the family legacy is at stake. What can I say? We are Italians and don't want to left behind by our wealthy florentine brothers.
-Alfonso D'Este, Viceroy of Naples, Rightful Duke of Modena
 

Michaelangelo

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1495-1498 - Revenge (Part I)

Change was on the horizon for Aragon, in more ways than one. Probably the first sign of such change was the resignation of Cardinal Fernando de Vascona as Court Chaplain. After holding the position for over 50 years, the cardinal was forced to resign as Aragon prepared for a war with Castile, and thus the PapalState by extension. The man left for Rome before war could be officially declared. The position of Court Chaplain was left empty, with King Ferran not choosing a replacement as he focused more and more on how to deal with Castile.

Change also came in the form of rumours, ones of a path to India and China through the west, or even new lands never seen before. Some claimed that Portugal and Castile had already begun exploration of these lands. The people of Aragon did not want to be left out. Ambitious courtiers and unlanded nobles were already greedily looking to the west, imagining the limitless possibilities that could lie beyond the great wide ocean. Better yet, the King was starting to listen. If there were riches to the west, he certainly didn’t want Castile to get them.

In preparation for war, all forts were manned once more, excluding Messina, and the troops were shipped to Iberia. The army in Greece was sent to Naples to help protect against any Papal incursions. As the time drew near, Castile threw a wrench in the plan. A peace was signed with Tlemcen. Knowing the Castile was undoubtedly going to send their army home, Aragon had to strike now before the navy could transport the army home. This also presented a problem in the form of the Castilian navy being nowhere in sight anymore. At least reports had come in stating that almost the entire Castilian army had been spotted in Africa. There would be minimal resistance in Iberia.



Early 1496 did bring tragedy at first. Prince Joan, King Ferran’s brother, lost his wife, Eleanor de Avis. She died in childbirth, leaving the Prince without a wife or a child. She had given birth to two children years ago, but they died in their infancy. The Prince, who was rarely seen at court as it is, sunk into a deep depression and refused to see visitors. It would take time for him to move on.

With everyone as ready as could be, war was declared. Aragon was at war with Castile once again and they would get their revenge for the death of Alfons V.



In Naples, the small army under General Stefano von Thun was ordered to coordinate with the Neapolitan army. Their goal was simply to hold the peninsula and keep the PapalState at bay. An aggressive strategy against the Pope would not be looked upon favourably by others. Unable to engage any nearby enemy navies, the entire Aragonese navy under Admiral Ernst Wilhelm Lübecker was stationed in the Straits of Gibraltar to keep Castile’s and Portugal’s navies from entering the Mediterranean.

In Iberia, the three armies moved into Murcia, Jaen, and Cuenca. The latter two fell in a month. The smaller army under General Jean Charles de Fidèlle moved into Murcia to aid General Sebastián de Loarre, while General Luigi Castelozzi moved on to the capital of Toledo. A Portuguese army had marched through southwest Castile and was now besieging Granada, but Aragon would need to gather its entire army in Iberia to crush it with minimal casualties. Instead they hoped that France would arrive to help or that the sieges against Castile would finish first.

The first defeat occurred near Italy. The Papal navy attacked Naples’s navy and Aragon was not quick enough to intervene. The Papal navy had fled to port before Admiral Lübecker could arrive. The Papal army also captured Abruzzi, but could not move further without attacking the Neapolitan and Aragonese army in Napoli. The two were roughly the same size, but Naples had the advantage. Still, neither was big enough to risk initiating the attack. This led to a stalemate that would last for years.

In April, France’s army moved into Aragon on its way to Castile. The other French army was reported to be besieging Avignon. It was hoped that the arrival of the French meant an attack on Portugal could be conducted. General de Fidèlle moved into place in Almeria, ready to assist the French if they attacked the Portuguese in Granada. Instead the French marched to Jaen, turned around, and started marching back north. Vague reports came in that the English were planning something but nothing substantial at the moment.



Despite there being a war, or perhaps because there was a war, smugglers were running rampant, illegally moving goods in and out of Aragon. King Ferran was having none of this. In coordination with Grandmaster Ernst Wilhelm Lübecker, stricter policies were put in place to target smuggling. It was a costly process and angered the honest merchants who now found it harder to trade goods in Aragon, but it proved effective in cutting down the number of smugglers.

In the east, the heathens finished their war, with the Ottomans taking a brutal beating at the hands of the Mamluks. To make things worse for them, Genoa had declared war earlier in the year. Fate was not being kind to them, not that anyone in Aragon was upset about it.

In October of 1496, the Papal navy decided to make the interesting move of trying to pester the Greeks. The Aragonese navy chased them into the Aegean Sea, unwilling to let them destroy Byzantium’s navy. Despite this, the Papal navy fled the battle soon after Aragon arrived and fled back to Rome. They’d live to pester Aragon and its allies another day.



Murcia fell in November, a great victory for Aragon. General de Loarre moved on to Cordoba, while General de Fidèlle went after La Mancha, Castile’s gold producing province. A wary eye was kept on Portugal, who still sieged Granada. Up further north, the rumours of a potential English attack proved to be true as the English landed in Labourd. The French were clearly moving to intervene.

December brought a surprise when a single Castilian artillery regiments marched through Byzantium. They had claimed an “exile” status, whatever that meant, and were thus bound not to attack anyone until they reached home. While a single regiment was not a threat, the implication was. If this one regiment was in exile on its way to Castile, who was to say that the rest of the army was not as well? As expected the remainder of the Castilian army was spotted across the straits, but this time the Greeks intervened. They forbade the Castilians from crossing over into their land, exiled or not. The Castilian army would have to march all the way around the Black Sea if they wanted to get home.



Toledo, the Castilian capital, fell in December and General Castelozzi moved down into Badajoz. The Portuguese finally decided to intervene. Their army marched north into Jaen on its way to La Mancha, where the smaller Aragonese army was stationed. The two larger armies under Generals de Loarre and Castelozzi waited until the Portuguese were committed before moving in. With the advantages of being on the defensive and having superior numbers, the Portuguese were forced back. Aragon had won a significant military victory.

France engaged the English in Labourd with three times the numbers. The English were dealt a good blow and sent running. As for the Aragonese armies, they moved west to chase the Portuguese army, but it unfortunately fled north where the fort in Lisboa prevented movement against. Castelozzi remained behind in Lisboa to siege the Portuguese capital while the remaining armies moved back into Castile. This proved to be advantageous when the fleeing English army that the French had defeated arrived at Lisboa expected a friendly force to protect them. Instead they were slaughtered to a man with minimal casualties.



England proved more of a nuisance when they managed a naval invasion of Navarra. An English army now sat in the province with the Aragonese army too far to intervene. Fortunately the French returned to intervene, saving the province from the English, before heading north to take Calais. This was good news, like the fall of Alentejo, Badajoz, and Cordoba. On a sour note, Trader Ignasi Bergueda passed away and was replaced with the equally capable Miquel Gallart.

The Pope made another move against Naples at sea, dealing them a blow that forced them to port. This time though, the Aragonese navy arrived before the Papal navy could flee back to port. The Papal navy was dealt a crushing blow and two cogs were even captured in the battle. The Pope still had enough ships to pester Naples, but not enough to do any serious damage. This was meant to be a warning to the Pope that even though he was the head of the Catholic Church, his military forces were no match to Aragon’s.



As Caceres fell, the Portuguese army was spotted again, this time heading to liberate Alentejo. General de Loarre sprung into action, ensuring that he arrived in the province first. The Portuguese had not expected enemy forces, and were even more surprised when the remainder of the Aragonese army arrived shortly after. They had fallen into yet another trap. This time they were shown no mercy. In a stunning display of cooperation and coordination, the Portuguese army was completely wiped out with the Aragonese army facing minimal casualties in what would be known as the Battle of the Three Generals. King Ferran promised the three a hero’s welcome when they returned home once the war was done. The war was not done, however. General Castelozzi headed back to Lisboa, de Loarre to La Mancha, and de Fidèlle to Sevilla.

La Mancha and Sevilla fell easily, just as an English army with some Castilian reinforcements appeared in northern Castile. The French chased them all the way to northern Portugal. Due to forts blocking the way, Aragon could not aid the French. With more and more enemy forces arriving by the day, France was outmatched. They were forced to retreat. In a positive note, Caceres was retaken and Madrid fell next.

In August of 1497, the Castilian army was spotted again, this time marching through Byzantium. Despite the protests of the Greeks, the Castilians marched right through their land. With them now around the Black Sea, it was expected that they would reach Castile in several months. Time was running short.



The Portuguese attempted to retake Alentejo yet again, but were severely outmatched when Generals Castelozzi and de Fidèlle combined forces to repel the pathetic force. It was decided around this time that with the Castilian army on the way, the focus should be shifted solely to Castile. The siege of Lisboa was abandoned and forces sent to Cadiz and Gibraltar. It was around this time that Morocco decided that Aragon was a legitimate threat and declared it a rival. Up north, the French managed to take Galicia and Leon, as well as take Vizcaya for Aragon, before the enemy army drove them out.

November of 1497 brought a startling surprise when Genoa claimed a large portion of Anatolia. The Ottomans were a pathetic rump state at this point, doomed to failure. With enemies closer to home, the Ottomans attempted to normalize relations. King Ferran cared little for the Ottomans, but he felt it was a waste to consider such a failed state a rival anymore.



By the end of December, things in the north became more precarious. The English managed to take Navarra by invading by sea, while the French attempted to attack the English in Vizcaya. Unfortunately, the French were outnumbered as the full English army intervened. To make things that much worse, the Castilians finally arrived. Judging by reports of the enemy military, nearly the entire enemy forces, excluding the Papal army that had not moved from Abruzzi since capturing it, was now in Vizcaya. With the fall of Gibraltar, the army under General de Fidèlle was ordered north to bolster the siege of the last Castilian fort in the north led by General Castelozzi. It was expected that General de Loarre might have to abandon the siege of Cadiz if the large enemy army intervened.

It was around this time that King Ferran started feeling out the Castilians for a potential peace. Investigations reported that Castile might be willing to accept the cession of Murcia, Gibraltar, and Vizcaya. La Mancha and the coastal provinces were off the table as long as Murcia and Gibraltar were claimed. King Ferran refused to accept any peace without those two provinces, since they would be most beneficial and Aragon had claims to them. However, it was believed that Castile was very close to accepting the possibility of giving away La Mancha instead of Vizcaya. The question was whether or not to take those three provinces or to continue on in the hopes of even more. Aragon maintained naval superiority in the Mediterranean, something the Castilians could not compete with. While the French were about to face defeat in Vizcaya, they had another 18 regiments on the way from Calais. The Aragonese army in Iberia was roughly equal to the Castilian forces, and the French army on its way to Castile was enough to match the depleted English armies. If they coordinated well enough, they could outmatch the enemy army and get free reign in Iberia. With over half of Castile already occupied, it would not take long to claim the rest. Castile’s other allies were tiring of war, although it would still take quite a bit more to settle a white peace with them. King Ferran was optimistic that Aragon could achieve a total victory if they continued and claim more than three provinces from Castile. He just had to ensure his court would back his efforts.



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Presenting His Majesty, Ferran II de Trastámara, King of Aragon and Naples, and Protector of the Greeks.

What we have accomplished over the last few years will live forever in the annals of history. We have nearly struck down Castile, humbled them after we failed decades ago. If we so please, we could weaken the Castilian beast and lay claim to Murcia, Gibraltar and Vizcaya. Clearly such a thing would be a great boon to us. However, the real question is should we stop at that? Losing a mere three provinces will not stop the Castilians in the long run. Their army still remains. If we want to bring them down, we must deal them a crushing blow. If we continue on with this war, we have the chance of doing just that. Rarely will be get such a chance again. Our treasury is filled with ducats and we still have a few thousand men in reserve. If we continue, we can bring down Castile. Thus I present this choice to you, my members of the court: do we settle for a lesser peace by taking the coward’s way out, or do we laugh in the face of danger and show the Castilians that we are not a people to be trifled with? What say you?

((I reached a crucial point in the war and decided to see what everyone wishes to do. I am presenting you with two choices: end the war now and take the three provinces mentioned or continue on to achieve total victory. The choice will be up to you. As mentioned earlier, we will have the numerical advantage in Iberia as long as France helps, although we certainly have the funds to recruit mercenaries in a pinch. The other enemy nations will most likely accept a white peace in a few years or after Castile is weakened even more. Of course continuing does doom that French army for sure and it will require some decent strategy to lure that enemy army into a battle, that is assuming they stick together. I personally think it is manageable, but that’s up to you. Here is the vote:

Castilian War: Peace/War/Abstain

The first option is for taking the three provinces mentioned and the second for going for a better peace. Since we’re stopping anyway, I’d also like for our ministers to propose any plans for after peace is achieved. If we choose an immediate peace, then I can easily continue on. If the war is continued, then I have the option continue on after peace is achieved if I want. I will give everyone until Saturday at 9am PST to propose any plans or vote. I currently need a Court Chaplain now that Andre has resigned. The other positions available I can fill for now if no one wants them. Anyway, remember to bold your votes and included your character’s name and class, etc, etc.))
 
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