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May 16, 2002
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Quest: The Spanish Search For Gold



Jackie Powers: (running onstage) Hello, hello. Welcome one and all to tonight’s show. And we have a great one for you. (smiles at the crowd and waves at a few people) ESPN 5150 is proud to present another episode of…“Quest!” The world’s favorite historical reality show! And I’ll be your host, Jackie Powers!

Audience cheers and claps

JP: Thank you, thank you. Now let’s get right to it, shall we? The envelope please.

Stage hand hands him an envelope.

JP: Thank you. (he starts to open it but stops) I have to tell you, I’m getting a little excited myself. What could it be?

He tears open the top and pulls out a slip of paper. Smiling, he holds it up to the audience and then reads it.

JP: The quest is…“own all of the gold in the world.”

More cheers and claps from the audience.

JP: A mighty tall order. Now let’s see our contestant. (looking back down at the slip of paper) Juan II of Castile…come on down!!!

The audience bursts into applause as a King gets up from the fourth row and makes his way to the stage, smiling and shaking a few hands on the way. Jackie Powers gestures for Juan to follow him over to a set of couches.

JP: Please, your grace. Have a seat.

Juan II: Well thank you, Wink. This really is a surprise.

JP: It's Jackie and I should think so. But are you up to the challenge?

Juan II: (smiling largely) Oh yes. Yes, of course we are. There’s not a better kingdom for it. Besides, we already own a considerable sum of gold as it is. (confident) Shouldn’t be too hard to find the rest.

JP: Well, you understand that there is quite a bit of undiscovered world, don’t you?

Juan II: Of course we do. But we shall not fail. We shall have 100 peasants flogged.

JP: Um…OK then.

Juan II: Brings good luck, you know.

JP: No, I didn’t know that. And in fact, I wished I didn’t. But that’s neither here nor there. Especially because it’s time to reveal the panel of judges for the quest.

Juan II: Oh goody. We always love this part.

JP: First up, all the way from Phrygia…iiiiittttt’s King Midas!

The audience cheers as King Midas comes out from behind stage. He blows some kisses and sits in the first seat of the judge’s box.

King Midas: (nodding at the crowd and smiling) Thank you, Jimmy. This should be fun.

JP: It's Jackie and yes it will. And for our second judge, I give you…Auric Goldfinger!

Boos drown out the cheers as Goldfinger makes his way to chair number two in the judge’s box.

Goldfinger: (nodding to each with a curt smile) Mr. Bond. King Juan.

JP: That's Jackie and it seems you have a few fans, Mr. Goldfinger. (smiling) And some not so fans too.

Goldfinger: (not smiling and looking out over the unfriendly audience) They will be dealt with.

JP: Um…OK then. (back to the audience) And finally, direct from Ireland…Tim the Leprechaun! (to himself) Tim?

Tim the Leprechaun: (recognizing and smiling to the cheering audience) Yes, Alex…leprechaun’s aren’t too imaginative with names. ‘Tis easy to remember though.

JP: Jackie, please. And that’s true. Well, let’s get started. Juan, you have 400 years to find and own all the gold in the world. Are you ready?

Juan II: We doubt we’ll live for 400 years.

JP: That’s OK. There’s always the heir.

Juan II starts to feel his hair and smiles to Jackie.

JP: Your offspring?

Juan II: (thinking to himself) Now there’s a troubling thought.

JP: Are you ready?

Juan II: Now is as good a time as any.

JP: Excellent. Let’s see the big board.

More audience cheering as Juan II follows a stage hand backstage and Jackie walks over to the judges box.


JP: Now then. Let’s start with you, King Midas. What does Juan have to do here?

King Midas: Well Jim, he’s sitting pretty good already. As you can see, Toledo already has a goodly amount of gold. And it’s well known that Castile is never lacking in that department. So he’s got a fairly decent lead to begin with.

JP: I see. But there are a few far off places that might be difficult to get to, yes?

King Midas: Oh, of course. I understand there to be quite a bit of riches to the east of the Golden Horde. Juan might find himself short if he has to take too much time finding that.

JP: A challenge then.

King Midas: Quite.

JP: And how about you, Mr. Goldfinger? What do you expect of our contestant?

Goldfinger: I expect him to die, Mr. Bond.

JP: (shakes his head) Well that’s one judge’s opinion. Moving on, how about you…um…Tim?

Tim the Leprechaun: Alex, I expect the quest to be long and arduous…but he’ll come out good in the end. He had better…because I wants me gold!

JP: Well, it’s not your gold, T…

Tim: It is, I tells ya. And it belongs in me pot.

JP: At the end of a rainbow, right? (laughing)

Tim: Yes…how’d ya know?

JP: Lucky guess. (quickly back to the audience) And there it is, folks. Three opinions on one quest. And one man to carry it out. Will he succeed or fail? Keep us tuned in to find out right here on ESPN 5150…
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And as you can see, I have started a new AAR. Now before people start screaming "but hey - you haven't finished your last one yet!", let me explain. I have been writing Into the West for so long now (2 years just about) and it's kept me from doing some other projects I've thought about over that time.

But after recently playing EUII again after a rather long hiatus (and thanks to the 1.09 patch) I have rediscovered the joy. Since I'm kind of struggling with both time and energy to work on the other one at the moment, I thought I might try and refresh the old battery with a hopefully easy (at least from the writing standpoint) AAR in good old fashioned EUII. :D

So, with that said - here is my new AAR.

The set-up: EUII, 1.09 patch and AGCEEP
The settings: normal/normal
The country: Castile to Spain
The goal: Own every gold province by 1819

I really have to acknowledge Farquharson and say that his P is for Portugal is very much the inspiration of this AAR. I liked the idea of a set goal to accomplish rather than just playing for the hell of it. I've played most of the biggies and a good many of the smaller countries and this helps to keep both the game and the story fresh. But I have never tried the AGCEEP, so this should be an education for me as much as a potential challenge.

Thus Spain seemed a good place to try both out. It has a bit of a lead on other countries as far as gold goes, but the AGCEEP moves some of the provinces around, and I might be right in thinking that some provinces switch to gold later by event - someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Further, I hope to attempt some comedy with this AAR, which I have really never tried. So all in all, this should be a fairly interesting AAR for me at any rate. And hopefully for the reader as well.

Here's what we need as of 1419:
Europe: Toledo (check), Tirol, Bohemia, Transylvania
Asia: Samara, Kurdistan, Angara, Buriat, Enkan, Lanzhou, Jambi, Wewak
Africa: Walata, Jenne, Leone, Zimbabwe
North America: Jalisco, Saltillo, Michoacan, Tenochtitlan
South America: Yatumal, Azuay, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Potosi, Tucuman, Moto Grasso, Guyana

Working on the first real update as we speak. And awwwaaayyy we go...
Yikes! I don't know if that's a tall order or not, but it sure SOUNDS like a tall order to me. That'll be a lot of fighting and a scattered empire (unless you plan on taking all the gold AND connecting it all together).

So, are Midas, Goldfinger and Tim going to grade Castile/Spain, much like American Idol? I sense a kind of Simon Cowell negative vibe running through Goldfinger there. :)

Good luck with this venture, I'll be reading.
Stuyvesant said:
So, are Midas, Goldfinger and Tim going to grade Castile/Spain, much like American Idol? I sense a kind of Simon Cowell negative vibe running through Goldfinger there. :)

Yes... and your not the only one...

So what is the presenters name anyway?? ;)

Looking forward to this one.

Sir Clive
This looks great - a wonderful start! Oh, and I look forward to some nice inflation levels with all that gold pouring in. :D Just one thing though, I'm afraid I have to protest your plans to pilfer Potosi - that's plainly a Portuguese prerogative! ;)
The intro was fun enough. And "Do you expect me to talk" - "No mr Bond, I expect you to die" - is probably my alltime favorite dialogue in Bond films ever, so... I'll be watching this ! Good luck :D
Grundius said:
The intro was fun enough. And "Do you expect me to talk" - "No mr Bond, I expect you to die" - is probably my alltime favorite dialogue in Bond films ever, so... I'll be watching this ! Good luck :D

Hihi...mine to! And here in Sweden there is a Bond Festival, they´re showing all the movies, and the fun thing is that they showed Goldfinger last Saturday, :p
coz1 said:
Tim the Leprechaun: Alex, I expect the quest to be long and arduous…but he’ll come out good in the end. He had better…because I wants me gold!

JP: Well, it’s not your gold, T…

Tim: It is, I tells ya. And it belongs in me pot.

JP: At the end of a rainbow, right? (laughing)

Tim: Yes…how’d ya know?

JP: Lucky guess. (quickly back to the audience) And there it is, folks. Three opinions on one quest. And one man to carry it out. Will he succeed or fail? Keep us tuned in to find out right here on ESPN 5150…
Tell that Leprechaun that he can't take the gold. King Juan will split the profit with the audience.
Great concept and great start, Coz! Have fun with Spain -- I know I did when I played them. :)

What are your house rules, if any, for taking other territory? That is, are you supposed to take only what is absolutely necessary for the gold, or anything you want, or ... ??? The reason I ask is that you could just do a WC and get all the gold automatically. ;)

I like your panel of judges. I look forward to more sympathetic commentary from Goldfinger. :D
Thanks for all the comments, folks! :D How about a little quick fb-fb:

BBBD - I have a few things planned for Tim. Rest assured.

Stuyvesant - Truth be told, I really only added the judges for a little comic relief and exposition helpers. But there is no doubt that Goldfinger has a little Simon in him.

SirCliveWolfe - That's a little joke I may use every now and then. Don't want to beat it dead, but it makes me laugh.

Farquharson - No doubt inflation will be an issue. I need to get the economy rocking ASAP to assist with that. And I need to keep my finger off of the F12 button. ;)

Grundius & Saulta - Yep, Goldfinger is my favorite Bond film. And a damn fine villain too.

Snake IV - Screw the audience - if Juan gets the gold, I take it home. ;)

Ciçatrix - Thank you sir, glad everyone is enjoying it so far. :D

jwolf - Yes, that was a good game. But no poetry here. It was hard enough for me to do in your AAR. As for house rules, I don't really have any. I try not to declare war without a CB, but that's never stopped me before. However, I tend to play a bit safe. I've never done a WC and I don't plan to now. But if the gold means I have to start a totally unjustified war and clean up on the victim...well... ;) I don't plan on getting too involved in continental affairs outside of my personal goal. I want (and will need) to spend more time exploring and colonizing - especially Siberia (and hopefully before Russia gets there.)

As I said - thanks for all the interest so far. I have one update ready that I will post when I get home from work. And I may have a second ready to go later tonight after another playing session. The one thing I've already noticed so far is that it is taking me longer to play since I am writing this as I go. I don't normally do that. We'll just have to see how it works.
CBs shouldn't be a problem; Spain gets a permanent CB on almost everybody outside Europe. So it's only within Europe that you might have to get a bit creatively Machiavellian, and I'm sure a man with your talents won't have any trouble at all. ;)

Gold inflation penalties are supposed to be a lot less with 1.09, though I haven't played a "gold" country yet to see it personally. I recall that when I played Castile with the old 1.07 it was almost 10 years until my income was high enough to avoid the gold inflation.
This just caught my eye. :cool: Setting a goal is a fun way to play and this is one hell of a goal! :eek: Looking forward to the story.

Ah, Goldfinger... my favorite James Bond movie, if only because it takes place mostly in Kentucky... :D

Oh, and Bohemia's a gold province? Perhaps that represents Joachimsthal (which was silver, and in Sudeten province, but anyways), though it strikes me as kind of odd.
jwolf - So far I haven't run into too much trouble inflation wise. But then I haven't discovered America yet. I'm curious to see what 1.09 does myself on that score. I didn't notice too much on my last game with Savoy.

Storey - Thanks for stopping by. And you are right, goals are a good way to play...and to write about as well.

JM - Yeah - I'm not sure why they have gold in Bohemia, but it's an AGCEEP thing. They move a couple of the provinces around - Steiermark to Tirol for one, and then added a couple of more. And as of 1419, there is no gold in the pacific northwest. But I think that may change - not sure.

Next update coming right up...
A lot of fun, coz1. And I know what you mean by new projects. Sometimes you do the same story for a while, and you wish could take a break from it and do something else for a time, not meaning to cancel your original project of course. Perfectly fine in my view, sir! And good luck on your new story. :)
Quest: The Spanish Search For Gold


Episode I: Of War and...War

Jackie Powers: Welcome back everybody. Let’s go back to the judges again. Now, Tim…if you had a country to run and a quest this large, what would be your first step?

Tim the Leprechaun: Alex, to get the gold, ya gots to get out into the sea and find it eventually. Twernt no man found gold in the same place twice…well, I don’t think there were. But never ya mind that. Old Juan…

JP: He’s nineteen.

Tim the Leprechaun: Well, Juan anyways…he needs to put more into ships.

Goldfinger: And he’ll need money to fund an operation like that. Takes money to make money too. He had best start finding some tax collectors soon or he’ll be bankrupt in no time. Especially with an army of 36,000 men. Soldiers need…

JP: We get the point, Mr. Goldfinger.

Goldfinger: You’ll get something, all right.

JP: (nervous laughter) Yes, well…and now over to you, King Midas. Thoughts?

King Midas: I have to say that moving to naval will boost his trade as well. So he should make sure and research trade. No use getting stuck behind everyone else, Jimmy.

JP: Quite agree, sir. And it’s…

Tim the Leprechaun: He’s in pretty good shape, otherwise. A couple of Muslim provinces to the south, sure…but tolerance will keep them in check. And he’s got enough money to promote tax collectors in pretty much every province but those two at the moment. That’ll be plenty to fund the search for me gold.

Goldfinger: He might save some of that money to pay for a war. I wouldn’t let those Muslim bastards stay to the south of him like that. They’ll pay eventually.

JP: But how does this help him find the gold, Goldfinger?

Goldfinger: It’s all part of the plan.

JP: Yes…of course…the plan. (a quick glance to the audience) Well, let’s look at the progress…


Having asked Aragon into an alliance, they quickly DoW Naples.

JP: Well. Things get off to a pretty hot start. You’ll notice the quick alliance was made with Aragon to start off and now all of the sudden…whoa nelly…war comes callin’! So what does he do?

Goldfinger: He joins. Of course! Naples is alone. Aragon can take care of them. Juan should be looking south, I tell you!

JP: (to the audience) You heard it here, folks! Let’s see what he does…

Everyone turns to the screen with anticipation.

JP: (smiling to the audience) He joins.


Castile DoWs Granada

Goldfinger: That a boy, Juan. Sock it to them Muslims!

JP: Well it’s about time. After all, you were yelling that he should have used that earlier diplomat he sent to Portugal for this purpose, right Mr. Goldfinger?

Goldfinger: And it was wasted since they turned him down. They could be right in the middle of this, but no…

King Midas: I’d have to say that Juan is sitting pretty right now. The declaration of war only lost him one stability because they already broke their vassal status. And he has plenty of men compared to Granada. I think it will be a cake walk.

Tim the Leprechaun: Did somebody say cake?


After a seemingly even start to the battle, both armies are soundly defeated in Granada and sent back to Murcia

JP: Well that didn’t go well. What just happened there, King Midas?

King Midas: ………………………………..(standing there with mouth wide open staring at the big board)

JP: Speechless, I see. Goldfinger?

Goldfinger: He had his head handed to him on a platter!

JP: (looking thoughtful) Hmmm…


Juan II sends both armies back into Granada as the enemy lays siege to Andalusia

JP: And he’s going back in.

Goldfinger: That’s right. Don’t let up!


A "family dispute" disrupts stability in September of 1420

Goldfinger: HOLY CRAP! What the hell is this about a coup? Who said there could be a coup?

JP: It’s legal, sir. And it drops his stability to a minus three. Not good, folks. Not good at all. Let’s take a quick commercial break. We’ll be right back here on ESPN 5150…

* ** *** **** ***** **** *** ** *​

JP: And we’re back! (to the judges) That was one fierce fight Juan had there. Let’s check the board and see how it turned out.


Postwar Castile in 1422

JP: Let’s go to you first Goldfinger, since you wanted this war so much.

Goldfinger: Well he won, didn’t he?

JP: True. But he lost a good many men fighting down in Granada and then had Navarre crash the party with a DoW in December of 1420. Of course Aragon answered…

Goldfinger: And they’ll pay for that.

JP: Yes, of course. What about you King Midas?

King Midas: As Goldfinger said, he won. Shame about Navarre and Foix, true, but he did gain Gibraltar and should sweep up the rest of Granada in good time.

JP: So a successful reconquista then?

King Midas: So far.

Tim the Leprechaun: I still don’t see how that’s going to get the gold. I don’t see him tryin’ very hard to do that.

Goldfinger: Oh shut your pie hole, little man.

JP: Please, gentlemen…please. Let’s not get out of control just yet. He did gain 50 ducats from the war with Foix before they were annexed by Aragon.

Goldfinger: Serves them right for joining up with Navarre like that.

King Midas: I quite agree.

JP: Well, some rare agreement up here it seems. And a little progress made by King Juan II. I think we can call that a step forward, don’t you think gentlemen?

King Midas: A trifle amount, yes.

Goldfinger: Damned Aragon!

Tim: Still no more gold.

JP: That didn’t last very long. (chuckles towards the audience, but few are laughing) Very well then. Join us on the next episode of “Quest!” where Juan II finds himself in 1422 and continues towards his goal of discovering all of the world’s gold. You can only catch it right here on ESPN 5150…
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Thanks for stopping by, Mett. And absolutely right - just a chance to try a little something different for a little bit, and then I can get back to the mammoth again.