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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Von Habsburg

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Raffaelo stood in front of his fireplace in the Archbishop's Palace slowly throwing papers in the fire. These letters contained all the details to his plot to seize the prince's ship and much more intrigue relating to Aragon. With his plan to seize the prince failed and his call to the inquisition wavering, Raffealo found his position increasingly precarious. He therefore made two decisions.

FlbmQEd.png

Dear Court of Aragon,

I have two major issues to discuss. One is that I will be departing for Africa as a missionary and also to see if I should back any colonies with the remaining D'Este fortune. I will not relinquish Cagliari nor resign. I merely wish for, lets just call it a change in scenery. In the interim I will be adopting a distant relative of mine as my heir. May I introduce Maximillian of Habsburg D'Este, cousin of the Holy Roman Emperor and Governor of Tirol. My dynasty is extinct and I pass the torch to this dear kinsman in hope of a bright future.

As for the inquisiton, however futile I vote Yea
-Raffaelo, Primate of Sardinia, Archbishop of Cagliari.
((If you didn't notice I am applying to be a missionary.))
 

Michaelangelo

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((If you didn't notice I am applying to be a missionary.))

((Yay, our first missionary! How exciting. :) I'll add you in then. Just a note for the future, archbishops don't really have heirs since the Pope picks the replacements, but in reality everyone is pretty much guaranteed to keep their archbishopric with their characters.))
 

alscon

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Castelozzi was slightly disappointed that he couldn't shelter the prince from 'the pirates'. Saint-Pierre must have been involved in some way, and he feared even more that this greedy merchant would cause some trouble, but at least the prince was safe. Well, he hadn't been able to convince the French ambassador of the precarious situation, and the good Cardinal Abate had entirely missed the ship, and wherever he had landed, Vincenzo hoped he was alright. At least nobody suspected them of any dark plots, they who only had the good of the realm in mind! Therefore, he was worried about the new call for the inquisition against a respected Cortz member, as even though it seemed to come from a too ambitious clergyman, it caused some upheaval. He sighed. There was only so much he could do for the stability of the realm, and apparently it wasn't enough.
 

Von Habsburg

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((Yay, our first missionary! How exciting. :) I'll add you in then. Just a note for the future, archbishops don't really have heirs since the Pope picks the replacements, but in reality everyone is pretty much guaranteed to keep their archbishopric with their characters.))

((I intended Maximilian for a more secular position. He is Raffaelo's heir in the sense of continuing the family. Let's call it a blood transfusion . In other affairs, do I get to chose where Raffaelo preaches?))
 

delpiero1234

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Francesco and his fleet sailed from Pisa through the Mediterranean Sea to pick up goods which he was planing to sell. As always, Francesco was counting the coin in his head that he would make by selling the Tuscan wine which he bought for a bargain price from an inexperienced merchant in Pisa.
Then, in the middle of the passage, one of Francesco's sailors screamed because . . .

[requesting dice roll to intercept O5's ships which are disguised as pirates]
. . . spotted pirates on the horizon! Francesco's merchant fleet engaged the pirates in a long sea battle with casualties on both side. One of Francesco's vessels got sunk. Lots of wine was lost but at least one of the pirates was captured. The pirate was tortured but it remained unknown for whom he worked and what their reasons were. Francesco's fleet retreated and the pirates continued to hunt a ship. Who knows what they will do with that ship and its crew..
A disaster - Piracy in the Mediterranean Sea is unacceptable and Francesco is most angered that the Aragonese navy does nothing to combat piracy. The damaged ships return to Cagliari, Francesco's home port, where they get will get repaired even though this costs him a lot of money.



Private letter to the Crown of Aragon:

Your Majesty,
I have to report to you that my merchant fleet engage pirates that were patrolling the Mediterranean Sea. I lost a vessel and some of my ships got badly damaged. Piracy in the Mediterreanean Sea is a problem. It makes trade dangerous and thereby harms not only myself but also the country as less goods are traded from Aragon to Italy. The pirates which my fleet engaged was hunting another ship which we could not protect due to the sheer strength of the pirates. We captured one of the pirates and tortured him but we could for whom they were sailing nor where their base is.
I ask the Crown to reimburse me for my losses and furthermore to send the navy to patrol the main trade routes to ensure that pirates will neither threaten my fleet nor the fleet of other Aragonese merchants. Aragon is a maritime power that should be able to protect her merchants just like Venice protects her merchants. If trading becomes too dangerous because of pirates then less merchants will be willing to sail under the Aragonese flag.

Your loyal subject,
Francesco Chiave




Private letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre:

Dear Maxime,
I have to inform you that my merchant fleet suffered a big loss on my recent mission in which I was planing to sell wine that I acquired in Pisa. On my return, I encountered a fleet of pirates which sunk one of my vessels and damaged some of my other ships quite badly. I am at loss to explain why the Crown of Aragon does not patrol the Mediterranean Sea to combat piracy. Merchants sailing under the Venetian flag do not seem to have problems with pirates. I hope the TPTC can reimburse me for the lost wine. I have also asked the king to reimburse me for the damages done to my fleet since I feel it is the responsibility of the kingdom to protect the interests of us merchants. I will let you know if the Crown will pay for the damage done to my ships as soon as I get a reply from the king.
If the news start spreading that the Crown failed to protect the merchants from pirates then this will tarnish undoubtedly the reputation of Aragon as a maritime power. Piracy is bad for business and I am deeply shocked and angered of the latest development in the Mediterranean Sea.

Regards,
Francesco Chiave
 

05060403

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Dear Maxime,
I have to inform you that my merchant fleet suffered a big loss on my recent mission in which I was planing to sell wine that I acquired in Pisa. On my return, I encountered a fleet of pirates which sunk one of my vessels and damaged some of my other ships quite badly. I am at loss to explain why the Crown of Aragon does not patrol the Mediterranean Sea to combat piracy. Merchants sailing under the Venetian flag do not seem to have problems with pirates. I hope the TPTC can reimburse me for the lost wine. I have also asked the king to reimburse me for the damages done to my fleet since I feel it is the responsibility of the kingdom to protect the interests of us merchants. I will let you know if the Crown will pay for the damage done to my ships as soon as I get a reply from the king.
If the news start spreading that the Crown failed to protect the merchants from pirates then this will tarnish undoubtedly the reputation of Aragon as a maritime power. Piracy is bad for business and I am deeply shocked and angered of the latest development in the Mediterranean Sea.

Regards,
Francesco Chiave

((Private))

Dear Francesco,
it is in fact outrageous that pirates have attack your fleet. The company will of course pay for the damages done by them. If the Crown will not cover the cost of the repairs I will do so from my personal treasury. This cannot happen again! But we can't relay on the Aragonse navy. While it is their duty to protect the seas from pirates, we must remember that Aragon controls many territories overseas. Their navy is surely stretched. That is why we must have our own escorts. To further compensate for your loss I would like to propose to you the position of TPTC's representative in the Italian region. You will be responsible for all trade between Aragon and Italy.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company

After three months at the colony a ship had arrived from the TPTC with much nedded provisions, though still no women. A letter had also arrived that explained the company now had a monopoly on the region.

"I suppose that is good," Alejandro said to his first mate.

Alejandro's crew was still finishing the burials of five of the original colonists who had succumed to the dreaded ague. The lumberyard and huts were still not complete. Worst of all, they still had not secured any ivory. The company would not be pleased now that they secured the monopoly.

There was still much work to be done.

To honourable Alejandro Sancho,
I wish to congratulate you on your successes in Africa. I hope that you will keep it up. One thing that worries me is the lack of any valuable goods. But I trust that this will be solved shortly. To reward you for the success I would like to give you the office of general governor of the company's possesions in Africa, and the admiral of African fleet. I await your answer shortly.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company
 
Last edited:

Von Habsburg

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Letter to @05060403

To the Governor and council of the TPTC,

Due to recent events and the preoccupation of the count of Cagliari, I would like to extend a formal invitation to set up a TPTC regional headquarters in Cagliari. The port has already proven its virtues and the location in the Mediterranean could hardly be better. Sardinia also provides a eager market for French and exotic African goods. It may also be a excellent place for your trade fleets to use as a base to strike out at the Pirates, Particularly those of the Barbary Coast. I would be honored to finalize the agreement at the Archbishops Palace before by departure to do God's work converting the heretic and heathen.

May you walk in God's true light,

-Raffaelo, Primate of Sardinia, Archbishop of Cagliari
 

05060403

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To the Governor and council of the TPTC,

Due to recent events and the preoccupation of the count of Cagliari, I would like to extend a formal invitation to set up a TPTC regional headquarters in Cagliari. The port has already proven its virtues and the location in the Mediterranean could hardly be better. Sardinia also provides a eager market for French and exotic African goods. It may also be a excellent place for your trade fleets to use as a base to strike out at the Pirates, Particularly those of the Barbary Coast. I would be honored to finalize the agreement at the Archbishops Palace before by departure to do God's work converting the heretic and heathen.

May you walk in God's true light,

-Raffaelo, Primate of Sardinia, Archbishop of Cagliari

To Raffaelo Mòdena,
Father I fell humbled by your proposition, and I would gladly accept it if not for one major problem. Cagliari is under rule of count Antonio Cubell d'Ambrosio, and I fear that I would also need his approval. This is why I cannot accept this offer right now. If he would allow it I would get to it as soon as possible. I do understand the importance of Sardinia as a trade hub, and that pirates are a huge threat, especially after recent events. I assure you that TPTC is taking every necessary step to limit the amount of pirates on the seas together with the Aragonse navy. If you wouldn't object I would be more than happy to send few ships to escort you. It would also be a good time since I need to send more supplies and workers together with some citizens. But I do not want to bore you with the talk about colonization matters. So just to sum up everything: I can't accept your offer, and I would be happy if you would accept the escort of company ships heading in the same direction as you.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company
 
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delpiero1234

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((Private))

Dear Francesco,
it is in fact outrageous that pirates have attack your fleet. The company will of course pay for the damages done by them. If the Crown will not cover the cost of the repairs I will do so from my personal treasury. This cannot happen again! But we can't relay on the Aragonse navy. While it is their duty to protect the seas from pirates, we must remember that Aragon controls many territories overseas. Their navy is surely stretched. That is why we must have our own escorts. To further compensate for your loss I would like to propose to you the position of TPTC's representative in the Italian region. You will be responsible for all trade between Aragon and Italy.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company



Private letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre:

Dear Maxime,
Thank you so much for paying for the lost cargo. This means a lot to me and shows how well the company cares for its menbers. You are right regarding Aragon's overseas territory. Therefore, I agree with your suggestion that we need to build up our merchant marine with stronger ships to protect the interests of us merchants.
I also gladly accept your offer to represent the TPTC in Italy. It is an honor for me and the entire Chiave family to hold this position.As a first action in my new position I will think about a possible location for our official office in Italy and speak to the count of said province. Next to my home Cagliari, I could also see such an office in Sicily, namely in Palermo. I will evaluate the situation before making a decision.


Regards,
Francesco Chiave
 

Andre Massena

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((Private))
To honourable Alejandro Sancho,
I wish to congratulate you on your successes in Africa. I hope that you will keep it up. One thing that worries me is the lack of any valuable goods. But I trust that this will be solved shortly. To reward you for the success I would like to give you the office of general governor of the company's possesions in Africa, and the admiral of African fleet. I await your answer shortly.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company

Low on ink, Alwjandro writes a brief reply when the next trade ship arrives at the colony.

Thank you, I am honored

-Sancho
 

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((I intended Maximilian for a more secular position. He is Raffaelo's heir in the sense of continuing the family. Let's call it a blood transfusion . In other affairs, do I get to chose where Raffaelo preaches?))

((No, the missionary does not choose where they preach. It's technically the Court Chaplain's decision, but since a law was passed that made it so we have to convert any province we can, I just send out missionaries to any available province.))

Private letter to the Crown of Aragon:

Your Majesty,
I have to report to you that my merchant fleet engage pirates that were patrolling the Mediterranean Sea. I lost a vessel and some of my ships got badly damaged. Piracy in the Mediterreanean Sea is a problem. It makes trade dangerous and thereby harms not only myself but also the country as less goods are traded from Aragon to Italy. The pirates which my fleet engaged was hunting another ship which we could not protect due to the sheer strength of the pirates. We captured one of the pirates and tortured him but we could for whom they were sailing nor where their base is.
I ask the Crown to reimburse me for my losses and furthermore to send the navy to patrol the main trade routes to ensure that pirates will neither threaten my fleet nor the fleet of other Aragonese merchants. Aragon is a maritime power that should be able to protect her merchants just like Venice protects her merchants. If trading becomes too dangerous because of pirates then less merchants will be willing to sail under the Aragonese flag.

Your loyal subject,
Francesco Chiave

((Private to delpiero1234))

Xs93UHA.png

I heard word of such pirates and have been informed that they have been dealt with. No doubt they took advantage of the chaos of Naples's integration into the kingdom. Both the navy and army are in chaos as no one is entirely certain who answers to who. The fact we are at war no doubt adds to our problems. Once a clear order of command can be establish, a fleet will be sent out to patrol the area to see if any more pirates remain.

I'm afraid that I cannot reimburse you for your own losses. All merchants know the risks they face when they set sail. To be frank, the treasury simply cannot afford such generosity at the moment. Due to the administrative chaos brought on by Naples and the sudden increase in the size of our army and navy, we are barely able to pay the men serving in our military. It is expected that the kingdom will be bankrupt in a few months if the situation cannot be cleared up. If I was to reimburse you for your own losses in its entirety, the Crown would be forced to take out loans simply to pay our own military to avoid mutiny. I won't put the kingdom in such a situation. We will send enough funds to refurbish a ship or two, but that is all we can spare at the moment.

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

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((Now for the results of the vote:

License of Liveries Bill: No
Peace with Jolof: Take a province
Mission: Accumulate Money

I'm going to let the vote for the investigation of de Agramunt last another 24 hours to give the clergy more time to vote. I also don't have time today to do a playthrough anyway, so don't expect an update until at least late tomorrow or the day after.))
 

delpiero1234

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Private letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre:

Dear Maxime,
The Crown is financially troubled and cannot reimburse me for my lost ships. I had not known that the economic situation of the realm is this bad. Apparently, the country might go bankrupt if the king does not act immediately.
Therefore, all the Crown offered were a few ducats to repair a ship or two. A disappointing reply but I understand the king's reasoning. If your offer still stands to provide me with the funds to build a new vessel then I will use some of the funds my family to arm my existing trade ships with more canons. This will reduce their cargo capacity but increase their fire power in an encounter with a pirate fleet.
Because my homeport in Cagliari is not well suited to upgrade the vessels, I will use the main port in Sicily, Palermo, instead which has a large enough shipyard to undertake this project. All I need from you is the money to rebuild the ship and we are good to go.


Best,
Francesco Chiave

((Private to delpiero1234))

I heard word of such pirates and have been informed that they have been dealt with. No doubt they took advantage of the chaos of Naples's integration into the kingdom. Both the navy and army are in chaos as no one is entirely certain who answers to who. The fact we are at war no doubt adds to our problems. Once a clear order of command can be establish, a fleet will be sent out to patrol the area to see if any more pirates remain.

I'm afraid that I cannot reimburse you for your own losses. All merchants know the risks they face when they set sail. To be frank, the treasury simply cannot afford such generosity at the moment. Due to the administrative chaos brought on by Naples and the sudden increase in the size of our army and navy, we are barely able to pay the men serving in our military. It is expected that the kingdom will be bankrupt in a few months if the situation cannot be cleared up. If I was to reimburse you for your own losses in its entirety, the Crown would be forced to take out loans simply to pay our own military to avoid mutiny. I won't put the kingdom in such a situation. We will send enough funds to refurbish a ship or two, but that is all we can spare at the moment.

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

Private letter to the Crown:

Your Majesty,
Thank you so much for providing me with the funds to repair one of my ships. I understand that your financial situation does not allow you to completely reimburse me.
I would also like to enquire whether the position of Grand Admiral is still open. If so, then I would like to apply to this position. I feel I have the competence and experience to solve the current problems of the navy. The navy of Aragon needs to be competitive again and I will be more than happy to help the Crown in that aspect.

Your loyal subject,
Francesco Chiave
 

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(( Written jointly with 05060403))

((Private))

At the Archbishop's palace, Valencia, Maxime de Saint-Pierre and Cardinal Sastre are having a private meal to discuss… “business” matters.

Cardinal: The company is expanding at quite a pace. I am glad to have such a competent business partner. What do you make of your new recruits…. are they… flexible enough to engage in some of our “transportation” activities?

Maxime: It really does expand quite fast. I did not expect to gain so much power so fast. The funds from salt trade helps a lot, and I’m very happy that you accepted my offer 6 years ago. I also have something to share with you. You most likely heard about the pirates kidnapping the prince, yes?

Cardinal: Yes, the Lord knows what the king was thinking, he must be going senile with age.

Maxime: I feel that you are the only one I can trust with this. The pirates were mercenaries that I employed. I did not know it was a prince! I swear! I thought they were transporting some sort of treasure! As for my employees I do not really trust Francesco Chiave to do something illegal. As for Alejandro Sancho he is too busy in Africa, others are not important enough to be of importance.

Cardinal: Yes, well… I’m sure keeping the prince in Aragon will have its advantages, a chaotic succession will no doubt lead to many opportunities for advancing one’s causes.
Perhaps we could send poor Senyor Sancho a little something to earn some gratitude. Perhaps a small test as well.

Maxime: I did not keep the Prince for myself. I gave him back to the king. Why would the succession be chaotic? Is there something I should know?

Cardinal: The king, in his wisdom has decided to designate his second son, Prince Ferran as heir, as I am sure you know. The nobility might well feel that the eldest son should inherit… and though he is dead, that his son might have the better claim. No doubt sending the little lard-ball away from court was an attempt to secure the succession.

Maxime: That would make sense… But my mercenaries encountered some other groups attempting the same. If they would take the kid and hold him hostage they would only do a favour for the king.
After all I did get the monopoly in Africa for the little fatty. You mentioned something about a test and a “gift” for Monsieur Sancho. Could you go into greater detail?

Cardinal: It must be lonely out in the middle of some godforsaken hellhole, perhaps the company could persuade a few more colonists to make the journey out there, some women would be appreciated I imagine. It would even allow the colony to grow exponentially.

Maxime: It’s funny that you bring that up. The next transport of colonist was to bring some marriageable women so the colony can start to develop a sustaining population...

Cardinal: As for a test… that brings me to a new proposition I have for you. As you are no doubt aware, grain exports are often prohibited in order to avoid price rises leading to food shortages and civil unrest. Our Castillan friends are no different in this. Smuggling grain out of Castile could prove lucrative. One could even call it a service to the realm.
Manuel smirks

Maxime: Of course… Even though grain is a common good, if big amount of it would “disappear” from the market the citizens and peasants would get uppity… That could work, but it would take a lot of work… I guess we could give it a try.

Cardinal: Ah but the profit doesn't end there, if a large influx of grain into Aragon lowers prices here, the Grandmaster will likely lift the ban on the sale of Aragonese grain. Thus the company can freely export grain for profit. To Castile perhaps.
Manuel smirks again.
Of course, it won’t be easy, as I mentioned earlier we need a test for our friend Senyor Sancho, perhaps he could trial several methods.

Maxime: Ahh… Now I see what you mean… This could really work. I will try to convince Monsieur Sancho, but we do have to prepare an alternate plan in case he refuses. We also have to prepare something in case he would tell the king about our activities. You can never be too sure in this world.

Cardinal: Some more wine, Monsieur?

Maxime: I need to keep my head clear, but maybe one more cup.

Cardinal: It is an excellent vintage, if I say so myself. The monks at one of my monasteries have been producing it for centuries and are quite adept at the process. Perhaps we should send some to Senyor Sancho.
It is too true what you say. However who can you be sure of if not family? Perhaps some unions would be an excellent way to seal our deals. I have a daughter just turning twenty…

Maxime: I’m sure he will appreciate some good drinks. Especially in the heat that is so common in that area. I have to say this is an interesting proposal… I do have two sons in the right age…

Cardinal: I am sure they would make a fine match, whichever you should choose. Perhaps Senyor Sancho would make for a worthy son-in-law, you have a daughter, if I recall correctly?

Maxime: If I were to chose the one to marry off it would be Philippe, he is much like me when I was younger. The other son is Charles and all he dreams is glory. This will get him killed one day. He always talks about sailing west to find the riches of the “New World”. The only place where we will find riches is Africa, and the far off Asia. How can one find fortune in a land that we don’t even if it exists? As for me daughter, I will have to think about it...

Cardinal: Yes, of course. There is plenty of time before the Senyor returns from his project. Heaven forbid we send a sweet girl out there.
I suppose we should let the children meet before the union? I will inform María later. For now a toast. To family.

Maxime: I will inform Philippe then. To family.

The two men enjoy the rest of the evening discussing various topics.


((Public))

Announcing the wedding of Philippe de Saint-Pierre and María Sastre. May their union be fruitful and blessed.
 
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delpiero1234

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((Private conversation between Francesco Chiave and Count Alexandre de Soneta))
((ML8991 wrote Alexandre's part))



Francesco has returned with a few vessels from Cagliari to Valencia. From there he travels to the county of Pirineo to meet Count Alexandre de Soneta. The count is looking forward to sell wool in Italy and has therefore invited Francesco to his private villa.

Francesco: Thank you for inviting me to your castle, gracious Count. It is an honor to be here. I was told you have a large amount of wool that you wish to sell in Italy through the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company? If that is the case then you are speaking to the right man. The Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company enjoys good relations with some of the Italian cities.

Alexandre: Indeed we do, the king must’ve told you our surplus these past few years. Now, my good gentleman, could i invite you to a drink, it feels awfully formal standing out here.

Francesco: I gladly take you up on that offer! I could really use a drink. Maybe something refreshing before we discuss business?

Alexandre and Francesco follow each other to the nearby drawing room, the fire already blazing. A quick snap of Alexandre’s fingers and shortly afterwards a decanter of fresh squeezed orange juice, from the count’s orchard, is laid to rest on the table beside the fire; thus the mood was set for the men to discuss business.

Francesco: Thanks for the juice. It is truly delicious. How much wool are we talking about and what is the price? The wool price has seen better days but thanks to my family’s connections in Pisa, I would be able to sell a large amount of wool there, that is if the price is right.

Alexandre: Let's say for every 5 coats of wool, 15 ducats?

Francesco: Count, I beg your pardon but did you just offer me 5 coats of wool for 15 ducats? For 15 ducats I can buy 6 coats of wool from the Venetians! I hope you were joking. I cannot pay you more than 11.25 ducats per 5 coats of wool.

Alexandre: I am not a fan of fractional amounts, too fiddly coin wise, so a rate of 11 ducats for a set of 5? But i do have more stock than just 5 fleeces, should you want it, as we recently sheared 25 of our flock, so that’s a total of 25 fine wool fleeces, for an adjusted price accordingly.

Francesco: I knew you were a reasonable man, Count de Soneta. Your suggested price is fair and I accept the offer. I am willing to take 15 of your wool fleeces and after I sell those I’ll return to buy the others should you still have them.

Alexandre: For sure, pleasure to do business with you. offers hand.

Francesco shakes hands with Alexandre before he counts the coin to pay the count for the wool. He knew he made a good deal here by downplaying the current demand for wool.



((Public))
The wool trade between the Count of Pirineo and Francesco Chiave flourishes. He initially bought 15 wool fleeces from the count which he then sold in Cagliari, Pisa and Napoli. A few weeks later, Francesco then returns to Pirineo to buy another 10 wool fleeces. The wool trade was even more lucrative than Francesco initially believed but Francesco's also caused rivalries with local merchants, especially in Napoli.
The Trans-Pyrenean Trade Company receives the agreed cut from the profits and the trade ties between Count Alexander de Soneta and the Chiave family continue to prosper.
 

Von Habsburg

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((Private))

Raffaelo sat in a chair on the balcony looking at the storm roll in from the mountains of Sardinia. As rain began to pour and the distant toll of thunder boomed across the bay, he pondered the future of his house. It was already on the verge of extinction and only had survived due to his adoption of Maximilian Von Habsburg, the distant relative of his and cousin to the Emperor. He had avoided the aftermath of the failed capture of the prince by submitting his name to the king as a missionary. With any luck he would be deployed to some distant land, far away from court intrigue and he backstabbing of petty nobles.

Lightning flashed in the peaks and Alfonso thought about the future he could have had. His father could of made him a count in Naples and he would have had the ability to full challenge de Argamont and other critics, plus bring honor to his house. However, his father had choosen the path of clergy for him and his youth was wasted under the tutelage of the then Bishop Sastre. Now all he had to his name was a joke of a archbishopric and a failed inquisition attempt. All his father's allies and friends had betrayed him: The Von Thuns barely spoke to him even though he practically grew up with Carlo, Cardinal Sastre had voted against the inquisition attempt, and the remaining D'Este in Italy regarded him as a Catalan dog.

As he beheld a ship struggling into the harbor against the wind he felt just as lost as it was; so close to a goal before it is taken away from him.
 

Morgan McCloud

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To Vincenzo Castelozzi, ((private))

As you Your Grace may already be aware, our ships were too late to intercept the fleet. A large build-up of mercenary ships in the surrounding area convinced the captain of my guard to turn back. While the prince may be safe at the moment, I fear that the King may try to find another way of disrupting the succession. I urge Your Grace to remain vigilant in the coming months for I believe this crisis is not yet behind us.

God Bless,

Cardinal Abate

-----------------------------------------------------

To Raffaelo Mòdena, Archbishop of Cagliari:

My dear Bishop,

Your decision to leave the court behind is sudden, but I welcome and encourage your efforts to proselytize the heathen Africans. May you find success as a representative of the Lord.

God Bless,

Cardinal Abate
Court Chaplin of Aragon
Archbishop of Palermo
 

Von Habsburg

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To Vincenzo Castelozzi, ((private))

As you Your Grace may already be aware, our ships were too late to intercept the fleet. A large build-up of mercenary ships in the surrounding area convinced the captain of my guard to turn back. While the prince may be safe at the moment, I fear that the King may try to find another way of disrupting the succession. I urge Your Grace to remain vigilant in the coming months for I believe this crisis is not yet behind us.

God Bless,

Cardinal Abate

-----------------------------------------------------

To Raffaelo Mòdena, Archbishop of Cagliari:

My dear Bishop,

Your decision to leave the court behind is sudden, but I welcome and encourage your efforts to proselytize the heathen Africans. May you find success as a representative of the Lord.

God Bless,

Cardinal Abate
Court Chaplin of Aragon
Archbishop of Palermo

((Private to Cardinal Abate,

And may the lord's light shine on you as well, Cardinal. You do God's work in the eternal city; a Aragonese Pope has been long over due. Rest assured you have my support in every ecclesiastical way.

Raffaelo, Primate of Sardinia, Archbishop of Cagliari
 

Michaelangelo

Archaeopteryx
136 Badges
Feb 3, 2011
7.863
1.247
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1513-1516 – Quest for the New World

There were a few months of chaos just after the integration of Naples. Suddenly the kingdom had several more regiments and ships and no clear chain of command for them. The cost for these forces soon strained the treasury and it was clear that some regiments had to be disbanded or else the kingdom would go bankrupt. However, most of the Neapolitan regiments were in Africa and thus disbanding them immediately was not an option. The Neapolitan fleet was also ordered to the Mediterranean in the hopes that it could be sold off to the Greeks. For now, the only regiments that were disbanded were two mercenary regiments in Aragon proper. The rest would have to come later.

The recent loss of the French king was causing havoc at French court. The new king, only 18 years old, had no heir. Due to the intermarrying of the Valois and Trastámara families, it was rumoured that his successor may be more of a Trastámara than a Valois. The French court had not finessed who exactly would succeed, but the fact was that Aragon had strong influence in France now. This was also shown by the new king declaring that he would not contest King Ferran II’s claim to the Castilian throne. This was welcome news, although the English expressed dissatisfaction at this. It was likely they would intervene if the Castilian throne was threatened.

Down in Africa, things were going quite well. A small army was eliminated in Brakna and Tekrur was captured.



Attempts to trim down the military went fairly slowly at first. It was decided that the armies in Aragon would be cut down in size and then later reinforced by forces returning from Africa. Six infantry regiments in total were disbanded, severely cutting down military expenses for the moment. Two mercenary regiments down in Africa were disbanded once they reached Beafada.

In a surprise move, Hungary decided to take advantage of the situation in Italy and attacked Urbino. They clearly intended to claim the province before the Pope could reclaim it.

The capital of Wolof was finally captured in July, allowing a peace to be settled. Aragon took the coastal province of Siine and forced Jolof to pay war reparations. A trade arrangement was made, but was ended shortly after it became clear it was not worth the administrative headache. ((It wasted a diplo slot.)) The Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company, as part of their agreement with King Ferran II, was granted sole rights to trade in the new province. The region wasn’t rich in resources, but the Jolof locals had participated in a slave trade and the system was still in place. If the TPTC so pleased, it could take over and continue trading in slaves.



Plans to sell off excess ships soon went downhill. The Greeks did not want so many ships and they were already in debt as is. Even when offered the ships for free, they adamantly refused. The French were soon made an offer, but they had no use for more ships. Tuscany also refused. With no one willing to buy the ships, King Ferran offered them as a gift to the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company. Only one ship was designed for trade, but the galleys could be used to defend the company’s trade routes and the cogs for the transportation of slaves.

Speaking of Tuscany, the King made good on his plans and arranged an alliance with the Italian state. With mutual friends and no past conflicts, it was an easy arrangement to make. Such a thing seemed timely as Hungary annexed Urbino, threatening Tuscany’s position in Italy.



In November, the Mamluks made yet another attack on the Ottomans. It seemed only a matter of time until the Ottomans ceased to exist.

With the war over, regiments were being moved around to organize the army. A cavalry unit was disbanded and the army in Fez was transported to Athens to be added to that one. The Greek theatre was becoming more important again. The number of times the army had to intervene in Byzantium against rebels demanded more troops for the region, while Africa could easily be reinforced from Aragon proper. Hungary’s expansionism was also a worry, for now they were going after Serbia.

The King’s conflict with the lesser nobility was quite well known by now. Attempts to curb their power to keep them from committing treason was a continuous effort. The latest efforts involved ensuring that the extraordinary courts, created almost three decades ago, were able to act without interference from the local nobility. The court system was cleaned up to ensure a lack of corruption.

Changes to the court system weren’t the only major changes. In May of 1514, King Ferran II publically announced that the Crown would be willing to fund exploration missions outside of Europe, whether to the unknown lands to the west or down the coast of Africa. Those with sailing experience and the desire to explore the unknown were encouraged to present their ideas for exploration before the King so he could choose whether to fund them or not.



Even as Aragon turned its gaze westwards, there were growing threats in the east. The Mamluks successfully reduced the Ottomans to a minor state and were encroaching on Greece. The Mamluks were growing at the expense of the weakened Ottomans. Who knew what threat they would present to Aragon in the future. A careful eye had to be kept on them.

The Pope, in an attempt to smooth over relations, declared yet another ancestor of Ferran’s to be a saint. The Papal State was feeling the pressure with Hungary now in Italy. They still felt threatened by Aragon, but the hostility was gone.



The French court was abuzz with rumours when King Louis XIV produced an heir. The reason for the rumours was the fact that the Queen was not the mother. Some minor noblewoman had been knocked up by the king and had given him his only son. The child was supposed to be legitimized if another heir was not born by the Queen, but the bastard’s claim was weak for now.

The final plans for the army were put in place when four artillery regiments were recruited for the army. They would replace some infantry that had been kept around to keep the army up to size. The army would be stronger than ever, which was all that more important with growing threats elsewhere. Hungary had expanded into Serbia now and threatened Greece from the north.



In some positive news, conversion efforts in Melilla finally paid off. Catholics throughout the kingdom rejoiced as the majority of people in the province accepted the true faith at last. This was a momentous occasion. It was clear that all of Africa was bound to see the truth in time.

Portugal, even without Aragon’s help, managed to pull off a victory against Jolof. They took Trarza on the coast, since Siine had been claimed already. The Iberian presence in West Africa was growing.



The Holy Roman Empire achieved a massive victory as Pomerania crushed the Danes, expanding the Empire’s presence into Scandinavia. This success allowed the Bohemian Emperor to pass a reform with the consent of the Princes.

Concerns at home focused more on Castile. In February of 1516, the truce finally came to an end. The King spent several days before the date reading spy reports of their and their allies’ forces. Castile’s forces were only 17k strong, which happened to be the size of the army on Aragon’s border, meaning their entire army was right there. Burgundy was a much lower 14k, while Portugal had somehow managed to have their army knocked down to 6k men. Clearly the war against Jolof had been more of a struggle than first thought after Aragon left. The Castilian fleet only had 16 ships, while Portugal had 28, not that they mattered with no galleys between them. The King was busy writing up plans for days. With Aragon having a larger army than Castile and all its allies combined, now was the perfect time to strike. Diplomat Llorenç Alfons María de Agramunt had even returned from Castile a year or two earlier, having completed his mission. Aragon had claims to over a third of Castile. Yes, everything was perfect for another war. King Ferran only hoped he lived long enough to see such a war to its completion.



((Look at all that spam!))





((I’ve also realized you guys probably haven’t seen a picture of Europe in its entirety yet, so here you go.))



Xs93UHA.png

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

The world as we know it is changing. Where once the waters to the west seemed impassible and were believed to be the edge of the world, now we know there are lands to be explored there. We have heard as much from the Portuguese. Now it is time that we claim our piece of these lands. Let us send out those brave enough to seek the unknown. I will gladly hear the propositions of these daring explorers and offer the appropriate funding and ships for such expeditions.

Even as we consider what is beyond the ocean, we must also look closer to home. Castile is vulnerable and we still have unfinished business. I want them crushed. As long as they exist, they threaten us with their presence. The day that the Castilian crown sits upon my head will be a joyous one. I hope that day will be soon.

((Okay, first things first. Our ministers have until Wednesday at 9am PST to present their plans, and anyone else may present new laws within that time. We actually have two decisions we can now pass, so I will include a screenshot for them and anyone is free to present them as a law.

As for explorers, anyone who wants to be one should offer to now and I will add you to the game. I don’t have a hard limit on the number of them, but the more we have, the longer it will take for everyone to get to their missions. I’ll include a screenshot of our available missions below. I recommend putting the actual in-game missions in OOC when requesting them, since it makes no sense for anyone to want to explore the waters of Brazil, since we have no idea where that is. Everyone who wants to explore should just offer their service and petition the king for a fleet and funds to explore their area of choice. Hopefully that all makes sense.

We mustn’t forget our pensioners. There seems to be none this time, although we have one man ready to die. A few died off this update already. Here he is:

@JCan

))
 
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