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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Michaelangelo

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Sitting on the rocks of Gibraltar, Ferdinand was still mourning the death of his father. He even sent a letter detailing his abstention from voting. He had also recently filed a request to be the admiral, but he never gave up his dream of exploring the western lands. He had told his father multiple times about a shorter route to a new world through the new colony of Beafada, and he intended to make this a reality.

((So you want to be admiral again? I'll need a stat focus then.

Oh, and the results of the vote:

Grand Admiral's Plan: Failed
Act of Uniformity: Passed

I'll use the old Grand Admiral's plan for now, not that it matters with war on the horizon.))
 
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05060403

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((Private))
To Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua

Most noble Duke Limmona,
It has come to my attention that you are denying access to Your harbour for ships that belong to my company. I kindly ask for an explanation of such an action. I hope we can resolve this matter in a civilized way.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon
 
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delpiero1234

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((Private))
To Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua

Most noble Duke Limmona,
It has come to my attention that you are denying access to Your harbour for ships that belong to my company. I kindly ask for an explanation of such an action. I hope we can resolve this matter in a civilized way.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon
((How does Maxime know of this? I never told him of the Duke's threat!))
 

delpiero1234

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((Umm... An embargo wouldn't be unnoticed... Maxime just doesn't know about your involvement))
((You can notice it after the next update only unless I tell you about the Duke's plan before that.))
 

delpiero1234

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Francesco sets sail for Venice, leaving behind Aragon. He feels the head of the TPTC is a dishonest man who backstabbed him by objecting his plan. In Venice, Francesco seeks refuge which the Doge of the most Serene Republic has granted him From Venice, he keeps selling his goods in the Mediterranean Sea. Seeking asylum in Venice seems safe to Francesco, knowing that Aragon's week navy cannot stop the mighty Venetian fleet.


((I hearby retire my position as representative of the TPTC in Italy and my position as Grand Admiral due to lack of support. My character has left the Kingdom of Aragon.))
 

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(Private Letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre)
Dear Grandmaster,

I have not allowed any TPTC ships to entire the harbour of Naples for your representative, or should I say former representative, was most ignoble in his actions towards me and my person. I have also come to believe that the TPTC will bankrupt many of the local merchants and some nobles, to whom I have duties and responsibilities as their lord and intermediary between themselves and the Crown, as such I may consider allow TPTC ships to enter Naples once more if I can receive a promise that your company will not actively try to enforce a monopoly on the trade in the Italian Peninsula. Once I have this gurantee, or once you have persuaded me to lift the embargo without concessions, then I will open the harbour once more to your ships.

From Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua
 

05060403

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(Private Letter to Maxime de Saint-Pierre)
Dear Grandmaster,

I have not allowed any TPTC ships to entire the harbour of Naples for your representative, or should I say former representative, was most ignoble in his actions towards me and my person. I have also come to believe that the TPTC will bankrupt many of the local merchants and some nobles, to whom I have duties and responsibilities as their lord and intermediary between themselves and the Crown, as such I may consider allow TPTC ships to enter Naples once more if I can receive a promise that your company will not actively try to enforce a monopoly on the trade in the Italian Peninsula. Once I have this gurantee, or once you have persuaded me to lift the embargo without concessions, then I will open the harbour once more to your ships.

From Jaume Limmona, Duke of Naples and Capua

Dear Duke,
I am shocked to hear that Francesco Chiave has dishonoured you. I'm also shocked to hear that he sadly retired from the position. While I cannot promise to stay out of Italy completely, I can promise to you that we shall not try to gain a monopoly in the region by force. I never wanted to gain so much influence in the region. The company if overstretched as is with the African colonies. I also understand that many are concerned by the rapid growth of the company. I'm shocked to achieve so much in such short time.
Sincerely
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon
 

wzhang29

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Michaelangelo

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((As I said in an earlier post, Fire. ))

((I must have missed that. At least I guessed correctly when I went to do the update. :D))
 

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1516-1519 – The Third Castilian War

The first Sunday after the passing of the Act of Uniformity, churches all across Aragon were packed. With church attendance now mandatory, everyone was required to attend Mass. All would hear the Church’s message, whether they wanted to or not. Efforts to convert the heathens of Africa would surely improve as a result.

With the truce over, the Castilians were quick to antagonize Aragon again. They immediately embargoed the kingdom, but King Ferran II brushed it off. He cared nothing for Castilian trade. If anything, it served as a good excuse for his future plans against their neighbour. The first preparations for war were taken as a result. The armies in Italy and Greece were shipped over to Aragon proper. Castile would be brought down by superior numbers.

Relations with Portugal took a downturn too. The King was still bitter about their participation in the last war with Castile. Did Portugal not understand that they were backing inferior scum? When the issue of the border between Fez and Ceuta arose again, the King did not relent. He demanded that the Portuguese recognize that the border was incorrect, but such a response was not forthcoming. At least the missionaries in Fez, headed by Archbishop Raffaelo Mòdena, had met with success. They reported that the majority of people in Fez now accepted the true faith. A few months later, the Archbishop was shipped to the recently conquered Siine to work on the heathens there.



As the months went by, more and more people started to keep their eye on the King. He was well into his seventies now and it was clear that his health was failing him. He now required a cane to walk and took slow deliberate steps. The occasional coughing fit plagued him as well. However, no one would dare say that the King was slipping into senility, for he was as sharp as ever. King Ferran remained quite involved in state affairs. He also dabbled in a few less scrupulous affairs, but those weren’t entirely public.

In January of 1517, the colony of Beafada reached a population of 1000. It had all the necessary infrastructure and professions to maintain its existence. The Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company was already making a tidy profit from the ivory flowing through the region. As for the leader of the colonizing effort, Alejandro Sancho, he had new plans. Upon his return to Aragon, he went before the King asking for the funds and ships to explore the waters of the Ivory Coast. Others had petitioned the King before, but their proposals had lacked thought and it seemed more likely that those men would run off with the money and ships and never return. Sancho, however, was well prepared. He presented the King with maps of the known parts of the region and a detailed description of the area he hoped to explore. King Ferran was quite impressed and granted the man’s request. Alejandro Sancho would have his chance to explore the unknown.

With war on the horizon, Aragon had the best men available trying to devise strategies that could be used against Castile. One of the primary concerns was cavalry. With the use of gunpowder weapons in battle, cavalry was less effective than it once was. Heavy armour had just slowed them down, but some military strategists suggested that cavalrymen could make use of those same firearms as well. Cavalry would now be equipped with pistols to allow for ranged fire at the enemy when need be.

In April of 1517, Castile declared war on Morocco. An unexpected surprise, especially with the Castilian army sitting right next door. The King immediately ordered the army up to full maintenance and on alert for war. They’d be ready to strike soon enough. For now though, there was at least one other piece of business to attend to. Colonists had been sent to Karou, which was on the other side of Sierra Leone. The King wanted a greater presence in Africa, and this seemed the next logical location.



For the past year and a half, the treasury had been scrimping and saving to build up a sizeable supply of ducats. Now that had finally paid off. It was time to focus efforts elsewhere. Prince Ferran suggested dedicating efforts to the conversion of Siine, which the King consented to. It wasn’t expected to be a difficult task. ((Conversion is expected by November 1518, so I figured I may as well pick that mission since it’ll be done before the update finishes.)) As for the funds in the treasury, they were immediately put to use. Temples were built in Bari and Salento, as required by law, and shipyards were constructed in Messina and Syracuse.

At this point it was clear that Portugal would inevitably join Castile in the result of war. The King had been making preparations. Agents were sent to Tangiers and later Sierra Leone to ensure that Aragon would have an easier time taking the provinces in a war. Portugal would not get off easy this time.

Many wondered what the King was waiting for. Castile was embroiled in war with Morocco and the entire Aragonese army, except for a few mercenaries, were in Aragon proper. Despite this, the King hesitated. In August, he revealed that he had heard rumours of potential revolts amongst the peasants. Men had been dispatched to find the leaders of such a revolt and removed the threat. There would be no peasants’ war on King Ferran’s watch.



In mid-August, the King sent out orders to all of Aragon. All forts were ordered manned and the navy was stationed out in the Straits of Gibraltar. All armies moved to the Castilian border. The trade fleet operating in Sevilla was advised to focus on trade in the Mediterranean until the waters near Iberia were safe again. There would be war and Castile was going to suffer again.



The armies were on the move the moment war was declared. The mercenary army in Africa had been given orders to occupy all Castilian and Portuguese colonies in Africa. No armies had been spotted in the region, so they were not expected to face any interference. They moved into Sierra Leone first. Up further north, an army under General En Alfonso Narzis de Montcada moved into Cuenca. The Castilian army moved to intervene, but scouts reported that de Montcada would arrive first. Once the Castilians were committed to an attack, the rest of the Aragonese army marched on Cuenca. What resulted was a bloodbath, for the Castilians that is. They lost half their men and were forced to retreat in disgrace. The Aragonese army immediately spread out, with armies sent to Toledo, Cuenca, Soria, and Rioja. The Castilian army could not be pursued with forts blocking the way for now.

Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities, Morocco sent an envoy to Aragon requesting military access through the kingdom. They both shared common enemies, so surely they should cooperate. Before King Ferran could reply, his son Prince Ferran told the envoy that they would never cooperate with heathens. The King was inclined to agree, but for different reasons. He did not want to see any Portuguese or Castilian lands in the hands of Morocco when a peace was finally decided. Morocco was still a threat, even if they did share common enemies at the moment. No military access would be granted now or ever.

Events in Northern Europe were heating up as Sweden continued its mass expansionism. After chipping away at Denmark and Norway, Sweden had decided to expand its control of the Baltic by annexing the Livonian Order. Sweden was clearly a country to be reckoned with.



Sierra Leone was the first province to fall, and without interruption the mercenary army in Africa moved on to Castilian Cayor.

Reports from France stated they had pulled off a victory against Burgundy, although casualties were still quite high. The terrain did not favour the French, but they had still won. As for Iberia, the Portuguese made an appearance and went after the siege army in Toledo. The siege army in Cuenca immediately moved to aid General de Montcada in fending off the Portuguese. The army in Soria also started marching over, but the battle ended before they could arrive. Casualties were quite high, but a victory was achieved. The larger army from Soria was ordered to siege Toledo instead with its larger size while the two weaker armies moved to Badajoz and Cuenca.

In the meantime, Rioja fell. The army there moved on to Castilla La Vieja. If Aragon could capture Castile’s two forts, they would have undisputed control of the region. Cayor didn’t hold out either and the mercernary army moved on to Portuguese Trarza. Within a month, Cuenca followed the same path. The army in Badajoz had to abandon its siege when the Castilian army returned.

Even while war raged on, Explorer Alejandro Sancho continued with his exploration. He had successfully charted the waters of the Ivory Coast and planned to map the coastline next.



In January of 1518, Castile made a move on Toledo to disrupt the siege. The armies up near Rioja were ordered down to Toledo. The battle was a struggle and the Portuguese army loomed nearby to intervene. Then a French army of nearly 30k men arrived and the outcome of the battle was set. Castile was denied victory, but casualties were still high.

During the battle, events elsewhere had transpired. First off, Trarza fell. The navy was ordered down to West Africa to transport the mercenary army to Cape Verde. The enemy islands in the Atlantic would not be safe from invasion this time. At Castilla La Vieja, the garrison of the city were quite resilient and did their best to rattle the siege army there. A night attack was conducted at one point and General Francesc Gabriel Gerard Miquel Bernat de Loarre was injured in the attack. He would be out of commission for some time and would have to sit out the rest of the war. ((I’ll add you back in after the update if you have no objections, EmperorBasilius.)) At least he had survived, unlike Trader Miquel Gallart. The man had done much to promote trade for Aragon, but his latest business deal went wrong when it turned out to be a Castilian ploy. The trader was murdered and a replacement had to be found. The King hired a man by the name of Ponç Martorell who would be managing the diplomatic corps of the country. Perhaps he would succeed in improving relations with Aragon’s neighbours.

In March, Alejandro Sancho returned to Africa (reaching Iberia was too perilous) with word of a new discovery. He had charted the waters of the coast of the Ivory Coast and discovered an island in the middle of the Atlantic. As to how this discovery could be used, no one was certain. When asked where he would go next, the Explorer said he was heading west to investigate these rumours of a new continent.



Portugal attempted to disrupt the siege of Castilla La Vieja with an outright attack. Another army raced to intervene, but was not close enough. However, a saviour would arrive in the form of General Basileios Kantakuzenos and over 4000 Greeks. Byzantium had sailed an army all the way around Iberia and landed an army in northern Castile. This army was perfectly placed to march south and aid the beleaguered Aragonese army. There were many who were overjoyed to see the Greeks aiding the war effort. Queen Helene was not one of them, for she passed away shortly before the battle began. The King withdrew from public for a time and mourned in private.

Cape Verde fell and the mercenary army was shipped off to Arguin next. Castile and Portugal had allowed the army to occupy its colonies without interference. This was unlike Venice, who was caught trying to forge a claim on Epirus. Were the Venetians eyeing up Greece again?

The French faced off against Burgundy again and achieved yet another victory. Their ability to put up a fight against the French juggernaut seemed limited.

Portugal tried to stir things up when they announced that Portuguese Colombia would be joining the war. No one in Aragon had any idea where this so-called nation was, but it must have been a colony of some sort in the west.



July of 1518 brought a great victory as the siege of Toledo ended in success. The army was moved to Madrid next. There were now two armies in Castilla La Vieja and Madrid, since the Castilian army had recovered and was wandering up north. Strength in numbers was needed.

Aragon was embarrassed when a vineyard in Naples produced disgustingly bad wine that was then shipped off all over Europe. The King tried to shift focus away from the debacle by investing more in the navy. For some reason people were saying that the Aragonese navy was weak and the kingdom was incapable of conquering its neighbours, despite the fact Aragon was currently crushing Castile and the Aragonese navy was one of the largest in the world. Some people clearly weren’t paying attention to current events.

Arguin fell next in the long line of colonies. Next stop was the Canaries.

Another advisor passed away, this time Jordi d’Ixer, a key figure in the administration. No suitable, or affordable, replacement could be found at the time.

In August, Castilla La Vieja succumbed to siege, leaving the rest of Castile wide open. It was only a matter of time now before the enemy was begging for peace.



Despite the loss of their forts, Castile did not lie down and die. Their army made an attempt at Toledo, but the armies in Madrid marched south to stop that attempt. The Aragonese forces arrived first and prepared a defence. Soon Castile arrived and the battle begun. The remaining two armies were ordered south to aid the effort, especially after the Portuguese army was spotted on the move. The Greek army nearby even intervened. All forces in Iberia had gathered in one bloody battle. In the end, nearly 30k men lost their lives in the Battle of Toledo, but Aragon came out of it victorious. Castile was not given a reprieve. The entire army chased Castile’s forces north and attacked them in Cantabria. The Castilians sacrificed over a thousand men to escape. There would be no mercy though. Another long chase ensued all the way to Badajoz where the Castilian army was slaughtered in entirety. Castile would not be putting up a big fight now.

The endless attack on the colonies continued as the Canaries fell. Next was Madeira. In other news, Siine accepted the true faith. For the first time in a long time, every province in Aragon, even the African ones, had embraced Catholicism. People throughout the kingdom rejoiced at the sign of devotion to God. In the HRE, Bohemia kept its grip on the Imperial crown, although King Ferran’s promise that Little Ferran might inherit it was proven to be a lie, not that that surprised anyone.



While the mercenary army was busy occupying colonies, the natives of Karou decided to strike at the colonists. They rose up and attacked the colony. The colony was destroyed and the colonists massacred. King Ferran ordered more men sent and promised that the natives would pay for their actions once the war was over.

Unbeknownst to everyone back in Aragon, Explorer Alejandro Sancho was facing difficulties of his own. After a gruelling journey through treacherous waters, he eventually reached the new continent in the west. Just as the coast came into sight, a Portuguese navy appeared. They attacked without warning and the Explorer was unprepared for such an attack. The exploration attempt was abruptly cut short. No one knew of Sancho’s fate until he showed up in Aragon much later. ((Andre, your character miraculously survived, so feel free to IC something about how you managed to get back home.))

Madiera fell shortly after Badajoz did the same, followed by Salamanca. This forced the Portuguese navy hiding at the island to battle the Aragonese fleet. Unprepared for such a fight, the Portuguese navy was defeated with ease. Admiral Ferdinand Xaver Lübecker even managed to capture a single ship. Once that was dealt with, only the Azores remained.



In Iberia, the Portuguese made a move on the siege army in Leon. Troops from Burgos and Salamanca moved to intervene. The Portuguese were driven out again, but manpower was running low for Aragon. Only a few Castilian provinces remained though. Armies were moved to Leon, Galicia, Asturias, and Burgos. A small Castilian force was even taken down in Burgos with minimal casualties. After Leon fell, the army there thwarted a Portuguese attempt to retake Salamanca. Soon Galicia, Asturias, and Burgos all fell, although the Portuguese managed to retake Caceres. Two armies went south to thwart further attempts, while the remaining two armies moved on to Cantabria, the last Castilian province up north, and Portuguese Braganca.

Despite the ongoing war, Portuguese merchants were trying to break into the Aragonese market by peddling goods off from the New World. Grandmaster Maxime de Saint-Pierre used the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Company’s influence to combat this menace. Not only were tariffs raised on goods from the New World, but the TPTC tried to undermine Portuguese merchants at every turn. With a monopoly on trade with France and with Aragon’s African possessions, it had the power and influence to do just that.



Braganca and Caceres were taken, but not before Castile managed to retake Badajoz. That would be the end of that. The army caught them in the province before they could escape. Aragon’s victory was absolute. It also coincided with the capture of the Azores. A Portuguese army in Castilla La Vieja and another in Toledo were also dispatched. The appearance of Morocco and Tunis in Portugal also complicated things. When they managed to reach Lisboa, it was clear that Aragon would achieve nothing more against Portugal. It was better to settle a peace now and hope the Portuguese could fend off the heathens later. King Ferran, who wanted to teach the Portuguese a lesson and was quite irate at the attack on Alejandro Sancho’s exploration fleet, wanted Portugal to regret joining Castile this time. He demanded that Portugal hand over all their African colonies south of Morocco, which greatly added to Aragon’s African possessions. After making these demands, the King promptly collapsed and was rushed to his chambers. The strain of the war effort was getting to the King.



Even as the war in Iberia calmed down, there was still activity up north. France was taking on a Burgundian force, and the Greeks had gone north to Poitou to help the French with some pretender rebels. Many in Aragon rolled their eyes at this. The Greeks could handle French rebels, but not their own.

Shortly after peace was signed with Portugal, an envoy arrived asking for military access. Unlike with Morocco, this request was granted. Portugal may have supported Castile, but they were better than the heathens.

When Badajoz fell in mid-August, the King welcomed the news from his bed. Castile was at Aragon’s mercy. Despite his ailing health, the King forced himself out of bed and demanded he be involved in drafting a peace treaty with Castile. He stated that he was the only one who could ensure that Aragon received what it deserved. A few days were spent ironing out the treaty, but eventually a draft was completed. When the King went to bed after that was done, he did not wake up the following morning. King Ferran II had passed away.

The late king’s son ascended to the throne as King Ferran III. Many thought he would make an excellent king, but there were those who thought that despite him being named heir, the late king’s grandson should be king instead due to the laws of succession. The boy had since been spirited off to Bohemia and married off, and there was also the matter of his abdication. Some speculated that the boy was forced to sign the document, but no one could be certain for they had not witnessed the event. There was a period of uncertainty as Ferran III ascended to the throne. Who knew how long he would sit on it before someone threatened his claim.



With the death of Ferran II, no one had the will to continue on with the war. A quick peace was settled with Burgundy, who provided a large payment to Aragon. Rethel was granted to the French in thanks for their aid. Castile was not let off so easily. The treaty written up in part by the late king was presented to the Castilians. They were aghast at the demands, but they had no choice but to accept. Castile was forced to give up six provinces in Iberia, all on Aragon’s border, as well as two colonies in Africa, cementing Aragon’s presence in the region. Attempts to administer the land would be complex and take some time, but they could mostly be managed in a few years.

With peace finally settled, exploration could begin again. King Ferran III offered Explorer Alejandro Sancho another fleet to explore Brazil and assured the man that if the Portuguese intervened again, they would soon face war. Portugal might almost welcome that, since relations had turned hostile after the war. Aragon would not be kept from the New World and Portugal did not like that.

The funds garnered from the war were soon put to good use. A shipyard was constructed in Malta and barracks were built in Alicante, Teruel, and Tarragona. Money was also flowing in from the new colonies in Africa, and the TPTC was reaping all of those profits due to its monopoly.



((Spam!))







((We also can now reach other parts of Africa for colonization. Anyone is free to offer to back a colony in any of these provinces. At the moment our colonist is an NPC, so the King decides whose offer to accept. If someone becomes colonist, they can choose which offers to accept. Also, here are the available exploration missions.))



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

We have achieved a great victory against the Castilians and Portuguese. Their presence in Iberia is considerably weakened and West Africa is all but ours. Yet this victory is bittersweet. It saddens me that my father did not live to see the end of the war. A few more weeks and he would have. Fate can be cruel that way. At least he lived a long and full life. His reign was long and filled with many moments of greatness for our kingdom. He did what was necessary to ensure that the kingdom would flourish. All that we have achieved is because of him and you, our loyal members of court. You have all proven yourselves many times over. Now let us pray that our future will continue to be so bright.

((Now back to business. Ministers have until 12pm PST on Monday to post their plans. We have a few minister positions people are free to claim if they wish. We will also be picking a new mission once we reach the time for the vote. Also, if anyone wants to back a colony in one of the available provinces or become an explorer and choose a mission, now is the time to do that. I should also mention that since our revolt risk is positive, people may stage coups. If you want the “grandson” on the throne instead of Ferran III, now would be the time to attempt to put him on it. Think wisely about that decision. The TPTC also has a spare merchant slot that they can do whatever they please with. Either a member can take it or it can be left empty for an NPC so the head of the company receives the extra VP.

Mustn’t forget the pension collectors.

@Emperor Brad

And the dying.

@TrueProd))
 
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Keinwyn

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Manuel, Cardinal de Vivar y Saste has died aged 73.

---

Armand Antonio Sastre
Born: 1498
Class: Noble
Religion: Catholic

Youngest child of Cardinal Manuel de Vivar y Sastre and his long term mistress, Doña Ana Martorell. When his nephew, the Baron Viver died childless fighting in the Second Castilian war in 1506 the Cardinal arranged for his estate to be settled on his younger son (the elder having entered the church).
Armand was a sickly youth who formed a great affection for his sister, Ava. By the time they were 15 Manuel suspected the two may be a little too close and sent Armand to the army for some basic military training.
Armand has a quiet disposition and addresses problems with a calm patience. He is pious, loves his family and is not particularly ambitious.

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A portrait of a young Armand

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Ava Sastre

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The late Cardinal
 
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05060403

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To Ferran III de Trastámara,
It is sad to hear that your great father has passed away. His rule will surely be remembered. But we there is still much to be done, so I will keep my letter as short as possible. I believe that the old Grandmaster plan is good enough, but with our unquestionable domination in Western Africa I believe we should focus on transferring goods from our colonies. ((So transfer trade from colonies to Europe)). I also believe that many may be concerned with the rapid growth of my company, so in order to smooth things out I propose that the Crown shall gain a representation in the company's council. I would also like to back a new colony in so called "Gold Coast". If there is truly gold in this region it will be worth the effort.
Maxime de Saint-Pierre,
Head of the Trans-Pyrenean Trading Comapny, Grandmaster of Aragon


((If anyone wants the merchant feel free to take it as long as you join the TPTC, if not the he shall stay an NPC))
 
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Michaelangelo

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With the recent passing of Cardinal Sastre, it has come to my attention that the Holy Father has appointed Raffaelo Mòdena ((@Von Habsburg)) to the Holy See. Congratulations, Cardinal.

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

((Just a note to the unlanded nobles and clergy. There are a ton of titles to claim now. Feel free to ask for any of them that are open.))
 

wzhang29

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A grand victory for Aragón today! Afterwards, Ferdinand had thought about resigning his post as admiral in favor of becoming an explorer instead, but he preferred not to think about the ups and downs yet. He only got one battle through the whole war, and something about Alejandro Sancho, formerly a student of his father, was also an explorer now and had miraculously survived a battle off of the coast of Brazil. He wanted in on some of this action too! Brazil... Alejandro had reached its coastline, but he didn't have time to map it. But he HAD explored the Ivory Coast and the Beninese bight, and there were plenty of places for potential colonies that he could back with what his father and grandfather before him had in money. He decided on the Ivory Coast. There were also rumors of land south of Brazil... Now if he went to Safi first...

((If you're not catching on from the text above...
-Explore the waters of Safi
-Explore the waters of Rio de la Plata
I also plan on resigning as admiral to pursue this.
There is also mention of me willing to back a colony on the Ivory Coast. ))
 
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Michaelangelo

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((If you're not catching on from the text above...
-Explore the waters of Safi
-Explore the coast of Brazil
-Explore the waters of Rio de la Plata
I also plan on resigning as admiral to pursue this.
There is also mention of me willing to back a colony on the Ivory Coast. ))

((For future reference, I will be lumping the waters and coast missions together, so since Andre is exploring Brazil, he will be exploring both the waters and coast.))
 
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Xs93UHA.png

The Council is quite vacant at the moment, so I shall try to formulate plans for as many empty ministries as possible. If anyone wishes to take up the duties later, I will welcome the assistance. Here are the plans I have created:

Chancellor: It is clear that relations with Portugal have been damaged irreparably. They refuse to associate with us anymore and an alliance is near impossible, not that such a thing would be preferable if they continuously favour Castile over us. I believe it is time we look elsewhere for allies. Due to the tangled alliances in Italy involving Austria and Hungary, I believe we need an ally who can combat that strength. That is why I suggest we form an alliance with Bohemia, the current Holy Roman Empire. With the Empire's withdrawal from Italy, we no longer have any feud with the Empire. If anything, we can use its strength against Austria or Hungary if we were to go to war with any of the Italian states allied to them. Since my nephew is already married to a Bohemian princess, the alliance seems only natural.

Steward: My plans shall remain mostly the same; however, I believe it may be prudent to focus on building marketplaces in provinces where there is a heavy trade presence ((provinces where the marketplace would give +1.5 trade power)).

Treasurer: Plans for the treasury shall remain the same.

Grand Admiral: Now that our economy can support it, I believe we should follow the example of our previous Grand Admiral. The navy shall be expanded in stages. First we will build seven light ships. Five of these shall become part of a new trade fleet, while the remaining two will join the single light ship captured during the war to replace the lost exploration fleet. After that stage is complete, two more heavy ships shall be constructed for the main fleet. If the navy still is not putting unnecessary strain on the economy, five galleys shall be constructed. The main fleet, excluding the transports, shall be mothballed during peace time.

- His Majesty, Ferran III de Trastámara, King of Aragon and Protector of the Greeks
 
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Alejando Sancho looked upon his work and smiled. The colony was complete. Beafada (oh how he hated that name) was sustainable.

It had taken grueling work, sickness, and many deaths. But it was all worth it as the kingdom and company had a foothold in a new continent. Whether Beafada was inhabitable in the very-long run was doubtful to Alejandro. Best leave that problem to someone else, however. They could always bring in new settlers.

It was time for another adventure. The king seemed optimistic about his plans to explore the coast of Africa and then travel west, where Portugal reportedly had established some far-off colonies. He would discuss the logistics with the king when he returned to Valencia, gather supplies, and then set-off as soon as possible. And to think the king would never give him the time of day a few years ago!

There would be some problems, as he would need to gather a many men for this unprecedented trip, especially since much of his crew, including his trusty first mate, Velazquez, had died in Beafada. The thought did not bother Alejandro, however. He was used to risks and almost numbed to death at this point. Instead, he waited impatiently for the glory that would ensue from this upcoming expedition. It would certainly beat digging ditches and cutting down trees in the fever-stricken jungles. As Alejandro boarded the frigate, Buena Suerte, he was sure that the days of misery and want would be left behind in Africa and only fortune and success would greet him from here on out.

((I'll write about the expedition in a little bit))
 
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Magister Inquisitiones
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Feb 28, 2013
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Duke Castelozzi's memory had more and more holes. But he refused to believe in any illness – and he was right. The diplomat had tried to gain the Portuguese to abandon their futile support of Castile; and the Portuguese weren't just not changing their point of view. They were angry on Aragon for taking the province they wished, Siine, and even more for troubling the peace in Iberia. As hostilities were close to escalating again, the Duke made his last visit to Lisbon – and this time, the dose of poison administered to him was much higher, and he would not return sane. After a period of agony, he left this earth. He could just mention no change in the Byzantine plans before his last breath. So he was right – had the kingdom followed his father's advice, he would maybe still be alive. With Vincenzo, the name Castelozzi faded into the history books.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

He sat at a cliff, observing the waves crush against the rocks. It reminded him of his own mortality. That he was powerless towards the force of nature. He who hadn't seen the sea since some months ago couldn't stop thinking of it. Sitting here, thinking about the world – and his own position in it. Francois de Montségur, Duke of Trinacria. He still didn't want to believe it.
His brother arrived, seeing Francois sit at his usual place. 'Ah, the sea. Countless dangers, adventures, and riches await the one venturing over it...' Denis Philippe de Montségur had a very different character than his brother.
'Is that what you see? Riches? Not putting the humble man to his place?'
'The naïve observer as always, I see. No. There is much more to that. Ivory and Slaves from Africa', Francois looked away at the word 'slave', 'Exotic plants from the new world, from Portuguese Colombia – and more. I heard of gold, masses of gold!'
Francois sighed. 'And I see that your greed hasn't diminished a bit. Poor sinner.'
'Is it really a sin? And poor – you will see how poor I am.' Denis looked at the waves as well. 'Breaking against the New World like this wave – I will submerge the natives and extract their wealth. Just wait. I will put our family's old military traditions into good service. Right, you abhor violence. Why am I not the duke? Anyway, I will teach the natives how to behave – you may just continue sitting here. Palermo or Montségur, I prefer to seek my destiny elsewhere!'
The Duke's brother turned away, heading to Valencia. He would need to seek an audience with the new King Ferran III. Francois watched him leave, and hoped for the best. The energy of youth – he didn't have much, but his brother was overflowing with it.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Name: Denis Philippe de Montségur
Birth: 20th September, 1503
Class: unlanded noble
Religion: Catholic
Bio: Since the conquest of Constantinople, the Castelozzi and Montségur families had shared a long friendship, both serving their respective kings in the army. The marriage of Duke Luigi's granddaughter to Charles de Montségur caused them to inherit the Duchy of Trinacria upon Vincenzo's death. Denis, as younger of the twins, had no prospect of inheriting, and had eagerly absorbed his father's military lessons while his brother studied his books. He is fascinated by the rumours of the New World, and eager to head there for personal glory and wealth. Not very familiar with the sea, he dreams of advancing into the unknown depth of the continent, and would give anything to do it.

______________________________________________________________

Your Majesty,

I congratulate You on the great victory against Castile. If only Your father could have witnessed this victory. But this is not why I have come to court, as my brother the Duke has to deal with that. No, I am offering my services to Your Majesty as someone ready to explore the unknown lands. I am young, I know, but isn't that an advantage? We do not have much experience in such expeditions, and my father has provided me with all the military knowledge needed. I want to bring the word of god to the savages, and more: rumours of enormous amounts of gold have reached my ears - Aragon could profit immensely from such discoveries. I humbly ask Your Highness to accept my offer, as rash as I might sound, for if we don't move first, the Portuguese - or worse, the Castillians! - will get to the gold before us. Do not let my inexperience stop you. If it does, than I would love to join another man on an expedition. But I can not miss that occasion. Please, grant me that request. I will serve you as good as a man probably can. The New World shouts, and I have to follow!

Your most loyal servitor,
Denis Philippe de Montségur

((willing to serve as conquistador))
 
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