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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

delpiero1234

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Hello and welcome to Sunni Pope - A Papal State AAR


Overview

  • Starting Country: Papal State
  • Year: 1444
  • Ironman: Yes
  • Version: Beta patch 1.13
  • DLCs: Conquest of Paradise, Wealth of Nations, Res Publica, Art of War, Common Sense, El Dorado (since chapter XII)

Introduction

Pope Eugenius IV had called for a crusade against the Ottoman Empire in 1443 and the King of Hungary and Poland, Wldayslav III, led the Christian forces. He ultimately died in battle and Christianity suffered a devastating defeat.
The Papal State is weak with little room for expansion. Northern Italy is protected by the Holy Roman Empire; Southern Italy is controlled by Naples which is ruled by the Crown of Aragon.
The City of Urbino swore fidelity to the Eugenius but besides that, the Pope is left without allies and desperately needs to make some new, powerful friends.
Can Eugenius save the Papal State from foreign aggression? Can he unite the Italian City States and proclaim the Kingdom of God?

Goals


In this AAR I plan to establish a Sunni Papal State which dominates large parts of the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. I have never tried converting the Pope to Sunni before but I apparently this is possible and I am about to find out.

Why play as a Sunni Papal State, you might wonder? I imagine it being challenging and fun :)






 
Last edited:

delpiero1234

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That was probably the best first move you could have made. Nice.
Yes but I screwed myself because I accidentally declared a war which I had not planned to declare. I lost the war had to end the vassalization of Byzantium and had to cede too much land. Then I though it's better to give up and maybe start over. Ironman got the better of me. Couldn't reload since there was only one save game. None of my allies joined that war I declared by accident. Silly me.

I plan on starting and trying to do the same opening move. Sorry that you just red an entire chapter :( I deleted it as you can see :(
 

delpiero1234

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Chapter I - Setting the Stage

It is the year 1444 and Eugenius IV, an incapable weakling, rules over the Papal State. He is not good at anything which makes life for the Papal State tough. The Pope has a desire for expansion but he is surrounded by countries which are too strong. In the North is Florence, a member of the Holy Roman Empire and to the South lies Naples, a possession of Alfons V of House Trastámara.
Eugenius's forces include 8000 Latin Medieval Infantry and 3000 Chevauchée calvary men and The Holy Fleet is composed of 15 ships with the majority being transports. This army is far too small to protect the Papal State. Therefore, alliances with Austria, Aragon, Genoa and Venice were formed in November of 1444.


Because any sort of expansion into Italy was too dangerous, the Holy Fleet embarked on a journey to the Aegean Sea together with the majority of the Papal forces. When they arrived, the fleet blockaded the port of Achea and a war of aggression was declared on the shadows of what used to be the glorious Byzantine Empire. Aragon and their subject Naples joined the the Papal State. This war led to a serve stability hit because Eugenius IV lacked any sort of claim on the Byzantine possessions. The people questioned this move and riots broke out on the street of Rome. None of the peasants knew what Eugenius IV had in mind, only his closest advisors were informed that he wanted to force Byzantium into vassalage!
Spies informed his Holiness that the Ottomans could soon make a move against Byzantium. Therefore, the Papal forces were urged to act quickly.


Scholars from Italy and the German-speaking countries traveled to Rome and Avignon to study the numerous books that the Holy Church possessed. Eugneius had the brilliant idea of establishing a Vatican Library in Rome. All books that were stored in Avigon were shipped to Roma. The Vatican Library was going to be become the greatest since the Royal Library of Alexander. It become a library especially or the military arts. Ever since technological advancements happened faster. This greatly benefited the Papal State.
France was very displeased by this and this led to tensions along the Avignon border. Suddenly they laid claim on the city. A worrying development.


Together with the Aragonese forces, Achea and Morea were quickly occupied, thanks to a mothballed fort in Morea. At the same time, Papal diplomats worked on fabricating claims on various neighboring countries including Ragusa, Firenze, Siena and Provence. One diplomat was also sent to Vienna where he improved relations with the Emperor. Eugenius was advised to placate Emperor Friedrich III in order to eventually join the Holy Roman Empire. The Pope also saw it fit to excommunicate Cosimo de Medici, the Gonfaloniere of Florence. This ensured that none of the Italian minors allied them.
In June of 1447, the Ottoman Empire declared war on Byzantium! Luckily, Papal forces were already hammering against the gates of Constantinople. However, this meant a total war against the Ottoman Empire once the Byzantines were forced vassalized.. A scary thought given that only a few years ago, the Ottoman Empire humiliated Christianity when they defeated the Christian forces.
To better prepare the Holy Forces against an upcoming war against the Turks, the Pope made a smart decision in hiring an Italian siege engineer.


Diseases and a supplies shortage finally caused the Byzantine garrison in Constantinople to surrender three years after the Papal War of Aggression had begun. The lords of Byzantium had no choice to agree to Eugenius's demands to become his vassal. Furthermore, they paid 110 ducats as war compensation. Consequently, Eugenius assumed leadership in the war against the Ottoman Empire.
Austria, Aragon, Genoa and Venice were called into the war. Eugenius ordered his troops back to Rome and gave instructions to let his allies do all the fighting. The Ottoman Empire was heavily outnumbered. More than 120.000 Christians defended Byzantium against the invading Turks. Tunis sided with the Ottomans.
By letting his allies do all the fighting, the Pope ensured that war exhaustion remained at acceptable levels.


The Battle of Macedonia was a crucial one as it showed the Ottoman Empire that it was not going to win this war. Eugenius felt this was a good moment to continue fighting the Ottoman Empire. His allies laid siege on Ottoman provinces and the goal was no longer to reach a white peace but to make the Ottomans return all Byzantine cores to Byzantium!
Meanwhile in Italy, Austria and Milan both declared war on Ferrara. The Milanese forces annexed Modena; Ferrara itsel fell to the Habsburgs. Soon afterwards, Milan declared war on Mantua.. Were they planing on uniting the Italian minors? This seemed dangerous to Eugenius. He was worried that Milanese aggressions might target him sooner rather than later.


Meanwhile, Venice had annex Albania, much to the displease of the Pope. The Venetians wanted to increase their presence in Greece. Unacceptable because Greece was going to be Byzantine !
Eugenius IV was an old man and on Christmas Eve, 1448, he passed away. He was replaced by 53 year old Eugenius V on the following day when the Papal Conclave elected him Pope. Not many cardinals were present but the quorum was reached. Eugenius was a skilled administrator and diplomat. The art of war he left to his advisors. New Papal Controller became the Pope's rival France. How ironic...


For the Ottoman Empire the
Ottoman Conquest of Achea was going more than poorly - it was a disaster! Forces allied to the Pope had occupied much of the Ottoman holdings in Bulgaria and Greece. Neapolitan troops besieged Edirne, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and Venice launched an attack on coastal towns in Anatolia.
The Establishment of the Vatican Library split military scholars into two factions: One favored attack; the other defense. Eugenius V had pretty much zero military skills and decided they should focus on attack but it was quite a random decision. By focus on attacking techniques, the siege times became shorter. This was good.


Just before the war with the Turks came to an end, Florence tried annex Siena, a neighbor of the Papal State. In case of a Florentien victory this would increase the border between the two rivals and surly lead to more tensions.
The peace negotiations were help in Constantinople, which was an insult to Sultan Mustafa given that he had claimed the city for his realm. He was forced to return five Byzantine cores, Edirne, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly and Kastoria. On top of that, he had to cede Silistira, Burgas, Sofia and Vidin to Byzantium.
The newly elected Pope enjoyed good relations with Emperor Friedirch III and when he asked him whether the Papal State could become a member of the Holy Roman Empire he naturally said "Yes!" and pleased the Pope by doing so. With the protection of the Empire, the Pope felt much safer.


In an effort to support Siena, the Pope and his ally Genoa went to war with the Medici family. The goal was to conquer Arezzo for Urbino and Firenze for the Papal State. Provence sided with the Medici.
The Papal State was a devout nation and people believed in miracles. The day, the Armata del Papa laid siege on Firenze, a saint performed such a miracle by making a blind person see again. This greatly increased the stability of the realm.
Siena had managed to occupy Pisa and it seemed like they were not going to get annexed by the hated Medici. Good.
On June 23, 1454, Aix-en-Provence was finally occupied by Papal force. Arrezo and Firenze had priorly been successfully besieged. This was enough to make peace: Firenze became a Papal province; Arezzo was given to Urbino. Victory at last!


Europe in 1454





Comments

As you can see, I had to restart the campaign because of a silly mistake where I accidentally declared war on another country which called in lots of allies. Because it is Ironman I could not reload. Anyways, I hope I won't have to start over again.

I am very happy with the first 10 years of the campaign. They were productive. We gained a foothold in Greece by forcing Byzantium into vassalage and by conquering Firenze and Arezzo we severely weakened our fierce rival Florence.
We have strong allies but I have a feeling that sooner or later Venice will turn on us because they want to dominate Greece themselves. I hope that Aragon, even though they are my ally, will sooner rather than later lose its PU over Naples.


See you next time!
 

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It sucks you had to restart your campaign. OTOH, it started even better than the last. I guess you didn't take Provence because it would be too much AE?
 
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delpiero1234

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It sucks you had to restart your campaign. OTOH, it started even better than the last. I guess you didn't take Provence because it would be too much AE?
Yes. I debated with myself whether I should annex Aix-en-Provence and Draguignan (the two Provençal provinces on the French Riviera) but I decided against it because it would have resulted in a very, very big coalition given that these provinces were not part of the war goal. There is always a next war :)
 

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Chapter II - The Punitive War

Urbino began coring its province Arezzo and the Papal State was busy turing Firenze into a core province. Aggressive Expansion was a huge issue after conquering these two provinces. Some neighbors began hating on the Papal State. Savoy and Ferrara were the first two Italian minors to form a coalition against Pope Eugenius V. Soon France, Hungary and Wallachia joined it, too. From that point on, the coalition grew larger and larger.
Diplomats worked tirelessly to better relations with neighboring countries.
Siena eventually made a white peace with Firenze and joined the coalition against the Pope.


On December 11, 1454, less than six months after the conquest of Firenze, Ferrara declared a punitive war on the Pope! All of Eugenius's allies sided with him. The Ferraranese-Papal Punitive War was sure going to be an tough and balanced war with powerhouse like France and Hungary on the one side and Aragon and Austria on the other. The first of many battles was the
Battle of Arezzo in which Urbinese and Papal troops defeated an attacking Sienese army but then the French forces stomped into Papal territory and the odds started to shift in favor of Ferrara.
On top of that, Venice called the Pope into a defensive war against the Mamluks that planned to seize Crete. Unfortunately, the alliance was canceled and the call to arm dishonored. Eugenius was viewed by fellow Christians with deep distrust.
A major battle of the War was won by the allied forces against France. It took place in the Alps, in Wallis to be precise. France attacked them there and the defenders used the terrain to there advantage. Historians said that it was the largest battle ever recorded with more than 120.000 soldiers participating and more than 25.000 casualties.
Two years into the war and it was still unclear who was going to be triumphant. It was sure going to come down to which side had the larger manpower reserve.


Not as big as
The Battle of Wallis but still an important battle was fought near Cuneo. French and Savoyard forces suffered a defeat. The casualties were high on both sides. 20.000 men died. Meanwhile, a small siege party sacked the city of Ferrara. War Score, however, was still negative. Austrian troops were too ambitious and made a move on Languedoc were they were utterly defeated. Venetian and Papal forces positioned themselves in the mountains to make the most of the hostile terrain.


After three and a half years of fighting no side had many any real progress. War Score still slightly favored Ferrara. Hungarian forces had occupied the majority of Austria and it was possible to make a peace with Ferrara if Pope Eugenius was going to make his allies give up some territory. But he had other plans - at least for now he was aiming for a white peace.
Bavaria then declared war on Austria and once again call to arms was sent to Pope Eugenius. This time he could not decline, even though he was losing that punitive war. The moment the Pope honored the call to arms, Emperor Friedrich III peaced out of the punitive war! "What a backstabber!" yelled the Pope who had only recently declined Venice's call to arms.


To end this war, a delegation was sent to Ferrara delivering the following offer. Venice was going to release Croatia as an independent state and the Papal state was going to pay 32 ducats. Leonoello II d'Este debated with his advisors whether he should accept or not and eventually he did. The punitive war lasted for more than five years and ended in defeat and on top of that the Pope's manpower pool was depleted, his treasury empty.


New spread through Western Europe that in Castile a strong pretender named Carlos Gomez had risen up. The land was in chaos. Gomez was funded by the Aragonese Crown.
In order to strengthen diplomacy, Eugenius established a new diplomatic corps. Such a diplomatic disaster as the one which led to the punitive war had to be avoided in the future at all costs.
Diplomats were also sent to the free country of Croatia. It owned just one province, Dalmatia and was friendly towards the Papal State. Maybe it was possible to diplomatically offer them vassalization.


In July of 1461, a quick war was declared on Athens to reconquer the province for Byzantium. This was safe as Athens had no allies and a tiny army of only 4.000 men.
There was a tradition to appoint relatives like cousins and nephews to the prestigious College of Cardinals. This was highly beneficial because it ensured that family members were well-cared for. The cardinal of Chios had recently passed away and the position was no vacant. Eugenius V sent a messenger to ask his ally and friend Doge Adorno to accept his nephew as cardinal.
Emperor Friedrich III was still fighting the Bavarians who had managed to occury Salzburg and Tirol but after forming an alliance with Hungary the situation started to look better for Austria. How ironic though that out of all countries, Austria allied Hungary. Wasn't it Hungary that had beaten down the Austrians less than a year ago?!


The College of Cardinals met with Pope Eugenius to discuss the construction of a new chapel within the Vatican City. It was going to cost a lot of ducats but such a magnificent chapel would sure please God. Therefore, a loan of 59 ducats was taken from Florentien bankers, this was now possible given that the city was part of the Papal State. The chapel was named Sistine Chapel.
Friedrich III died in battle. A tragic day for the Empire. The Prince-Electors met in Worms to elect a new Emperor. Four votes went to Johan Karl I of Austria, two votes to Jiri of Bohemia and and one vote to Phillipp II of Nassau. Johan Karl I was officially crowned Emperor within a couple of months.
As a first action, Johan Karl I ended the war with Bavaria. No provinces were exchanged. Finally, after 8 years the Papal State was completely at peace! 1462 was considered a particularly good harvest. These generated higher incomes than ever before.
The newly founded diplomat corps was very effective and leading diplomats suggested to integrate Urbino into the realm. This process was estimated to last for a little over two years.



The Castilian Civil War came to an end in 1464 when the pretender Carlos Gomez conquer the Iron Throne in Toledo. The remaining de Trastámara family members fled the country. Some escaped to Aragon where Joan II of House Trastámara was King. A few also escaped to Navarra, Others found refuge in monastic societies. Eugenius was quite happy that the Papal State was never going to have to deal with pretenders. The benefits of being a theocratic state were sweet.
More relatives were appointed as cardinals in Italy which greatly benefited Eugenius's family. Rumors claimed that the next Papal Controller could very well be the Papal State! Wonderful, if it was true. Only time could tell but the appointment of loyal cardinals surly increased the odds.
After a truce with Florence had expired, Eugenius seized the opportunity to conquer the last Florentine city: Pisa. Once again, Provence sided with them. It seemed like Eugenius had not learned from previous mistakes. Conquering Florentine possessions was exactly what had led to the devastating Ferraranese-Papal Punitive War!


Eugenius did not bother sending a call to arms to Genoa. He was confident that victory could be achieved without them. Only a couple of months later, the integrating of Urbino was complete.
Scholars of the Vatican Library researched new unit models. The preferred infantry men became the so-called Longbow, a highly effective archer with superior shock levels compared to the previously used units. Mercenaries were rarely hired because they were simply too expensive.
Bankers from Firenze delivered bad news to his Holiness: Johan Karl I of Austria owed them more than 900 ducats! It was going to be highly unlikely that they'd honor any sort of call to arms in the near future. Bad news indeed.
More bad news shocked the Pope when a scout arrived in Roma that informed him that Ragusa had conquered Croatia! Any sort of plans to offer Croatia vassalization had to be abandoned with immediate effect.


In 1467, the construction of the Sistine Chapel was finally completed. Now a decision had to be made on who was going to declare it Many artists offered the Papal State their services from Sandro Botticelli to Pietro Perugino. It was a difficult decision, as each of them possessed unique traits. Botticelli was one of the Renaissance most renewed painters. Botticelli was born in Firenze but worked for many of the Italian states. Eugenius felt comfortable in giving him the job but the then suddenly Botticelli changed his mind! He was no longer interested in working for the Papal State. Consequently, he was expelled from Firenze. Eugenius then asked one of his advisors to just find someone to decorate the chapel. He was losing his patience with this project.

Aix-en-Provence, Pisa and Dragignan were all occupied by October, 1467. Time for separate peace negotiations. 52 ducats plus monthly war reparations were demanded from Provence; the city of Pisa fell to the Papal State. Eugenius could have annexed the Provençal provinces along the French Riviera but he feared another mighty coalition could target him if he did. At last, the hated Medici family was extinct!


Central Italy in 1467



Comments


I was really surprised that a coalition this strong formed after conquering only two provinces. Also strange is that in the peace deal says 'The Papal State will release Croatia as sovereign state'. Given that Vencie was the owner of the Croatian provinces it should really say 'Venice will release Croatia as ...'.
Punitive Wars are not very effective. I "lost" the war by ceding territory which belonged to my allies. I
Chapter II went far from planned. We made little to no progress; lost too much manpower and had to betray our ally Venice. But hey, at least the annoying Medici are gone!
As you can see from the last screenshot, my Italian holdings only have two forts: One in Roma and one in Firenze. Maybe I should spend some money on building a fort in Romagna or Urbino but these forts are so expensive!
 

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Chapter III - The Ottomans
Eugenius V traveled at the age of 71 to the Milanese city Cremona where he met with Duke Ermes I Visconti. The Papal State was looking for an alliance and Duke Ermes I was a pious man. An alliance between the two states was therefore very likely. Eugenius stayed in Cremona for a week or so and then headed to Milano, the Lombard capital, to sign the alliance treaty.
Duke Ermes I commanded the third largest army in Italy with 15.000 men. Venice was said to have the largest army within Italy with about 20.000 men. The Papal forces consisted of 16.000 soldiers.
When the Duke agreed to the alliance he promised the Pope to join him on one of his next campaign against Lucca or Ferrara. The city of Ferrara which had been lost in 1317 to House Este. More than 150 years later, House Este was with Francesco I still ruling over Ferrara and now also over Modena. Italian politics were complicated and they became even more complicated when the Crown of Aragon lost its claim over Naples. The Neapolitan people no longer accepted Aragon as their rightful overlord. Instead, they were being ruled by a local noble family: The Grimaldis.
Even though the Pope had claimed some of the Neapolitan territory, he felt it was best to befriend the Grimalids instead of going to war with them. This is why after he formed the alliance with Duke Ernest I, het met with Achille I Grimaldi in Napoli where both parties proclaimed a sacred alliance between the two states.
Next to Milan and Naples, the Papal State was still allied with Emperor Johan Karl I of Austria, the Doge of Genoa and Queen Candela of Aragon.


However, the alliance with Aragon quickly came to an end in the June of 1468 when Queen Candela married Carlos I of Castile. Their wedding became known as The Iberian Wedding. Queen Candela suggested to her new husband to form an alliance with the Pope. Thereby, Castile replaced Aragon as Papal ally.
Meanwhile in Rome, treasurerer were arguing about the need of monetary reforms. Some said these reforms were crucial for the Papal economic policies. Eugenius V entrusted this matter to his advisors who agreed to enact them.
Once the truce with Ferrara had expired, war was immediately declared before they had the chance to form a new coalition. Pay back time!
Nobody sided with Ferrara; House Grimaldi backstabbed the Estes by not honor their defensive call to arms. This showed the true nature of the Grimaldis. They could not be trusted. The war was short and ended with full annexation.


Now the focus shifted to Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire: Eugenius V convinced both Castile and Naples that a war against the infidels was going to please God. Byzantine spies had fabricated seven claims on Ottoman provinces. These claims had to be pressed. Now. Tunis, Tlemcen and Crimea came to defend the Turks. While allied troops were on their way to the coast of Greece to land their troops, Eugenius ordered his forces to stay back. The manpower reserves had to recover. Spies were working tirelessly on forging documents which gave the Pope claims on the provinces in the so-called Terra Ferma.
Even though economic reforms had been enacted, the artisans were still unhappy. To better their situation, lots of ducats were spent and a loan had to be taken in order to afford these reforms.


Once given the opportunity, separate peaces were made with Tlemcen and Tunis. Tlemcen paid some gold as war compensation; Tunis was forced to release Tripoli as an independent nation.
Pope Eugenius V led two regiments of mercenaries as well as 24.000 Aragonese troops to Ankara. A Turkish archerer shot him while conducting the siege. Bonificaius IX became his successor. Because Eugenius had died in battle, the country suffered a stability hit. Bonificaius IX was a superb administrator and was also familiar with the art of war and diplomatic means. The Papal State also became Papal Controller
Generally speaking, war is a seldom without brutality and The Papal Conquest of Tarnovo was no exception to the rule. Papal soldiers weree feared and stories of their atrocities spread beyond the borders of war. Some bishops urged Bonificiaius to prevent war cruelties from happening in the future but he replied to the clergy: "Bellum se ipsum alet! Let them take what they want!"


Naples once again showed their nasty side when they accepted a white peace offer from the Ottomans. The alliance had to be thoroughly reviewed after the war. That was for sure!
Johan Karl I fought a Holy Roman Intervention War against Pomerania and called Bonificaius into the war. He accepted, reluctantly. Even worse was that Castile, and therefore also Aragon, peaced out, too!
Lots of mercenaries were hired to ensure a Papal victory. But the situation looked bad: The Ottman forces had occupied every single Byzantine province, including Constantinople. What a disaster!
The alliance with Genoa also came to an end.


Once things start getting worse they continued getting worse - at least so it seemed. But then tings started getting better when the Armata del Papa arrived. First they began occupying the Ottman holdings in Anatolia and blockaded the straits in the Sea of Marmara. Then they slowly started to make a move on the Byzantine provinces to liberate them from Ottoman oppression.
Bonificaius left the military matters to his general. He had to deal with more urgent matters like the veneration of relics and whether this practice should be disallowed or not. He was convinced that the Church was going to get richer if the veneration of relics was allowed.
Bonificaius also ensured that the realm stayed religious by focus on religious ideas.


The war was in its 10th year when things started to finally looked good and victory was near. The mercenaries fought bravely and were crucial in the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. Once again, Constantiniople was the city in which the peace treaty between the Ottomans and Pope Bonificaius was signed. Six provinces went from the Ottomans to Byzantium. At peace, a diplomat was sent to Constaninople to begin integrating them into the realm.
In an effort to conquer the Terra Ferma, Bonifcaius formed an alliance with Ladislaus Postumus von Habsburg, King of Hungary. The Habsburgs had managed to spreads their dynasty on the Hungarian throne! Both Habsburg allies, Hungary and Austria joined forces with the Pope to conquer the Terra Ferma held by Venice.
After having dealt with the veneration of relics, Bonificaius had to make another important decision: The question was whether the selling of spiritual things such as church offices and roles should be allowed or not. Especially, the selling of bishop seats was common. Bonificaius decided that this practice should not be disallowed. He also allowed the selling of indulgences for money. Rich people paid lots of ducats so that their soul may be saved. This practice generate a good amount of money.
A nasty Peasents' War broke out in Byzantium, replacing the ruling dynasty after they enforced their demands. Byzantium was also bankrupt and highly unstable.


In the Winter of 1483, Venice was defeated ceding Venezia, Treviso and Verona to the Papal State, as well as Albania and Naxos to Byzantium. The Terra Ferma was now under Papal control!
About seven months later, military engineers developed a bronze canon. One of the first of its kind. Highly useful to tare down walls.


The Papal diplomatic corps suggested to install a vassal in Northern Italy. Lucca was an ideal target they pointed out. Lucca had no allies, was a one-province-minor and had claims on Genoa, Albenga and even Corsica! The problem was that Lucca did not want to peacefully became a vassal of the Pope. Not too bad though because the Armata del Papa needed some target practice. The siege lasted less than 300 days and the Lords of Lucca became Bonificaius's subjects. Everything was set for a campaign against the Doge of Genoa.


Europe in 1485


 
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Chapter IV - The Bloodthirsty Pope


Lucca was now a vassal of the Papal State much to the displease of Siena and Switzerland. They formed a coalition against the Pope. Dejavu? No. This time, the coalition stayed small. The establishment of a diplomatic corps had definitely been a wise idea. The majority of the world was convinced that the actions and claims from Pope Bonifacius were fair and just. Fair were not only the claims of Pope Bonifacius but also those of his subject Lucca.
The Pope did not really like his ally Naples. They had backstabbed him more than once and now they were also allied with Genoa! It became clear that the alliance was not going to hold much longer when Papal forces were preparing an attack on the Ligurian merchant republic. The Duke of Milan, as promised many years ago, promised to side with Bonifacius.
The Duke of Milan, he recently took Brescia from Venice, fielded an army of 18.000 men, the Papal forces were about the same size. Naples had an estimate of 20.000 men. The strength of Genoa was unknown because they were embroiled in a war with France. Punching the weak was a most-holy gesture, or not?


The Alpine Republic of Switzerland also sided with Genoa and contributed more than 15.000 soldiers. On August 1, 1486, the war commenced. At the Battle of Genoa, 11.000 Genose men went on a suicide mission when they attacked the Papal forces that were besieging the province. The rumors that the Genoese army had not yet discovered bronze canons were all true. The city guards were frightened when they saw the large canons that shot down their walls.
Ambitions to improve the heavy had come to an halt when shipbuilders reported that they lacked supplies. France sold shipbuilding material and even though Bonifacius had recently excommunicated the French King, it was decided to import shipbuilding materials from France.


While the Armata del Papa was busy in Genoa, Neapolitan built a camp outside of Roma! They were trying to sack the Holy City and managed to breach the walls! A disaster if the garrison surrendered. Lesson learned: Never leave your capital undefended when it borders a hostile country.
The Pope’s forces immediately marched homewards after occupying Genoa but it was too late! Naples had sacked the capital but in no time it was reconquered.
Venetian separatists became annoying when they revolted in Verona and Venezia with two armies of about 18.000 men each but they were no threat; just an annoyance.


In 1490, the Italian countries, including the Papal State, left the Holy Roman Empire for good. Italy was stronger alone. Emperor Johan Karl I was most angered when he was informed that his ally left the Holy Roman Empire. Bonifacius said: „The Holy Roman Empire is neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire!“
Holy was the Church but not Johan Karl’s „Empire’. The Pope established missionary schools to train missionaries to spread the true faith. In these specialist school it was ensured that the Papal State had some of the most effective missionaries there were. A church attendance day was also established. This emphasized religious beliefs and minimized the cost of maintaining law and order.


The realm had to deal with corrupt bankers who stole money from the Papal treasury. The Pope created a task force to eradicate the problem. Was it successful? Only time could tell.
On August 5, 1491, Genoa ceased to exist. Its italian provinces went to Lucca, Chios to the Papal State.It took 40 long months to turn Chios into a core province.
With the HRE no longer existing, aggressive expansion had become less of an issue in Italy and the Pope started a hunt on Italian minors. Next on his target list was Siena and their ally Savoy. This war was with a length of less than 2 years rather short, especially compared to the long wars against the Ottoman Empire. Siena was annexed by the Papal State; Lucca conquered Nice and Cuneo. The Pope was sure that this was going to create a rather strong coalition but he was confident that together with his allies he could beat a coalition.


To the Pope’s surprise no countries had joined a coalition against the Papal State as of now.
A wave of obscurantism hit the Papal State. These waves were frequent and annoying. There was not much the Pope or any of his advisors could do to prevent them.
Hungary declared a war on Wallachia. Bonifacius sided with the Habsurgs. After all, Ladislaus von Habsburg has helped the Pope before, too, and when it was clear that Venice was fighting alongside Wallachia then the incentive was even greater to join.


After the Pope’s forces occupied all Venetian provinces, Hungary made peace with them. And as a fair ally, they ensured that the Pope was well compensated for joining the war. Friuli and Istria became part of the Papal State at the cost of a ton of aggressive expansion. Shortly after, Hungary annexed a Wallachian province and the war came to an end.


The Pope’s interests now shifted to the ever-expanding Mamluks. They had conquered provinces along the Anatolian coast as well as Crete. A Holy Crusade was necessary to convince fellow Christians to join him against the Infidels! A month later, a Holy War was proclaimed against the Mamluks. Hungary and Castile supported the Pope. The Mamluks were joined by Tlemcen, Karaman and Hejaz.
At the beginning, it was an open war with both sides winning battles. Crete and the Mamluks two Anatolian coastal provinces that bordered Byzantium were the first provinces to be occupied. The next one was Cyprus. Only then did the Armata del Papa make a move against the Mamlukian mainland provinces.


The Mamluks had a superior navy which sunk the entire Papal trading fleet. It forgot to return home in time! But no problem. Ships could be rebuilt; the treasury was full with shiny ducats.
On New Year’s Day of 1498, the integration of Byzantium was completed and Greek became an accepted culture of the realm.
Suddenly, foreign countries turned more hostile towards the Papacy again and while the Pope was fighting a war in the Name of God, Bavaria and Naples, among others formed a coalition against the Pope out of nowhere! What a surprise.
Shortly after, the Emperor declared war on Memmingen, Bavaria and Nuremberg. This was a war that Johan Karl I dragged Bonifacius in, unfortunately.


The Armata del Papa was making excellent progress in Syria, conquering province after province. Antioch, Aleppo and Hama had already fallen into the Hands of the Pope when his troops were knocking on the doors of Damascus. By now, the Mamluks feared Bonifacius and titled him The Bloodthirsty Pope.
Waldensian Heretics were just as annoying as the rebellious population of Verona. Waldenesian Hersey was popular in Firenze and Urbino. The militia had to deal with them.


Bonifacius suffered an unexpected death. He was found dead in his bed on a cold Winter’s day. The prestigious Papal Conclave elected the rather incompetent Paulus II as Bonifacius’s successor. The death was followed by disorder in the realm. People were complaint about the narrow-minded approach to new ideas that the Papal State had. Some citizens claimed that the Pope was running roughshod over ancient philosophical liberties and similar nonsense. Consequently, the realm became less stabile.


It was time to end the war. Christianity defeated the Sunni infidels! Six provinces, including the trade port Alexandria, and 385 ducats were gained in this war. The Papal State had managed to establish a presence in Egypt and by controlling the prosperous harbor of Alexandria, trade was going to flourish even more. This is why especially the merchants of the realm were happy with this conquest.


Europe in 1500


Comments
The event to leave the Empire is really useful for the Papal State because it allows us to conquer Italian provinces without suffering ridicoilous amounts of aggressive expansion.
Our diplomatic tech level is awful (still stuck at 4..) because we spent all of our DIP on annexing Byzantium (and Urbino). In the foreseeable future we will have to spend more DIP on annexing Lucca. Luckily, diplomatic tech matters only very little.
In order to declare the Kingdom of God we will sooner or later have to fight the Austrians to conquer Trent but we are not (yet) in a position to do so. The Austrians are quite strong and have powerful allies.

Our campaign in Egypt against the Mamluks was much easier than anticipated. God was on our side!
 
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Mini Chapter: European Politics at the Dawn of the 16th Century
Europe had suffered a century full of war, intrigues and backstabbing with hundreds and thousands of deaths and in the Middle of that a bloodthirsty Pope. In this chapter, we will take a closer look at the political situation in Europe.

Iberian Region
Portugal did a whole lot of nothing in Europe but eventually they conquered a few provinces in Morocco. Namely Tangiers, Ceuta, Charb and Meknes. They are allied to Castile and probably have established colonies in the New World.
Castile conquered Granada and Navarra and was lucky to get the Iberian Wedding which allows them to rule over Aragon. Castile has also established a presence in Northern Africa by conquering Melilla. Castile is allied to France, Portugal and the Papal State


French Region
Brittany annexed Maine and Anjou, two provinces which used to be long to Provence. They call the English and Austria their allies.
France is quite the warmonger. Their King is of the same dynasty as the Castilian one, House Gómez. François I has been excommunicated by the Pope. The French Crown conquered most of what used to be Savoy including Savoie, Piedmont and Wallis.They also reconquered the provinces held by the English. in Aquitaine and Normandy. Feance is allied with Castile and Scotland.
France is definitely the strongest force in Europe at the dawn of the 16th Century. Highly problematic for the Papal State because in order to declare the Kingdom of God, the Pope needs to own Piedmont. This means a war against France is necessary.
Burgundy is still around. They lost their starting PUs but now lead a PU over Lüneburg. Burgundy is not that powerful anymore and lost Calais and Vlaanderen to the English.They are currently embroiled in a war against England in The English Conquest of Artois which they are losing.


Italian Region
Italy is still an unified mess. Naples controls the South; Sicily and Sardinia are ruled by Aragon. The Papal State is the key force in Italy, controlling a large portion of Central and Northern Italy. The Pope rules over Lucca which annexed some provinces along the Italian Riviera. Milan is a strong force in Northern Italy.


The Holy Roman Empire
Austria has been the Emperor since the start of the campaign. Johan Karl I von Habsburg is the current Emperor and he has managed to pass one Imperial Reform. Currently though, none of the Prince-Electors are voting for Austria. Karel VI z Podebrad of Bohemia seems to be the most likely successor of 52-year-old Johan Karl I.
Austria has conquered quite a bit of provinces in the HRE and has connected its province Sundgau with the rest of its realm by annexing Breisgau, Oberschwaben, Memingen, the Free City of Ulm (which the Emperor is sworn to protect!), Ansbach and Salzburg. Austria is allied with five nations.
Austria has also established a presence in Northern Germany by conquering Stralsund. This province is not connecting to the rest of their realm.


The second major force in the Holy Roman Empire is a highly expansionistic Bohemia. Bohemia has reduced the Prince-Elector of Brandenburg to a single province in Altmark. They conquered also Anhalt and Magdeburg and annexed Silesia. Bohemia is a power House.
Brabant owns most of Holland and the Hansa is a strong force in Northern Germany


Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a boring place. Denmark lost both of its PUs and is the weakest of the three Scandinavian nations. They even lost a few provinces to the Hansa. Norway is having problems with pretender Rebels. They still own Iceland.
Sweden is the Power House of Scandinavia. They also pushed into Denmark and annexed former provinces of the Livonian Order like Ösel and Reval. The Swedish have powerful allies with England, Scotland, Muscovy and the Hansa. Scandinavia does not concern the Papal State.


Eastern Europe
In Eastern Europe, Poland still rules over Lithuania. The threat of the Commonwealth forming is ever-present. The Polish annexed the Teutonic Order. Interestingly, Poland also conquered 7 provinces in Crimea. Novgorod and Muscovy are both of similar size.
Hungary is also around. They don't do much but they are ruled by a von Habsburg. Hungary is a loyal ally of the Papal State but also one of Austria so in a potential offensive war against Austria, the Hungarians would side with them and not with the Pope.


Greece & Balkans
Serbia annexed Bosnia; but the majority of the region is owned by the Papal State.


British Isles
England has conquered most of the British Isles and is about to form Great Britain. Ireland is already under British control. The English are allied to Sweden and Naples.

 
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nice update.

The overview mini chapter is a nice touch.
 

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nice update.

The overview mini chapter is a nice touch.
Thanks for reading!
Because there was so much going on in Europe, I thought adding this small mini chapter would be nice :) and I also hadn't covered the rest of Europe much in the AAR.
 

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Chapter V - A New Religion

Pope Paulus II gave strict orders to his armies not to start any new wars for the next couple of years. He came to this decision after he had been informed by one of the leading administrators that the realm needed more time to integrate all the newly-gained provinces. Overextension was quite an issue, he said.
Furthermore, the Pope was advised to fortify Alexandria before integrating said province. Muslims were the largest denomination in Alexandria and its neighboring provinces. It was better to secure this trading port with a fort in case of an uprising. 11.000 mercenaries from Europe were also stationed in Alexandria.
Bulgarian nationalists seized the opportunity to start a revolt because all Papal forces were either in Italy or in Egypt. A month later, a large uprising took place in the realm's Anatolian provinces. Paulus II sent the Armata del Papa, composed of 28.000 fierce soldiers, to end the rebellions. The Pope's army triumphed against the rebels at the high cost of completely depleting all manpower reserves. Maybe it would have been better to send the mercenaries, the Pope wondered.
Paulus II was a weird man and the people of the realm missed their old Pope, Bonifacius pretty much every day. He was the more competent ruler, the wiser man, the better diplomatic. Paulus was an introvert and he only spoke to a handful of advisors. The Pope traveled to Alexandria and rumor had it that he started to learn Arabic during his stay. His advisors wondered what his motives were. Arabic was the language of the infidels after all.
The Pope noticed that the Mamluks had sunken in pure chaos after their recent war: Peasents revolted everywhere and even occupied the capital, Cairo. Paulus stayed in Alexandria for almost two years before he eventually returned to Rome. There he continued to study the Arabic language.


Back in Italy, the Pope was told that the birds were whispering that Castile was making a move against Provence. Even though Paulus II was allied with the Crown of Castile, he preferred to control the French Riviera himself. That's why he declared war on them, too. He called in Austria; Provence was allied with the Papal ally Hungary which at the end sided with Provence. The Venetians also sided with Provence. Castile had started their own war against Provence and so it was a race between the two allies: Who was going to be faster at occupying the two provinces?


It was a close race: Aragonese troops arrived first in Aix-en-Provence but the Papal mercenaries, which had been stationed in Alexandria, occupied Draguigan. It looked like both sides were going to gain one province each. Not ideal but also not toobad but the war was not over yet.
In 1503, the unexpected happened! After many decades, the Habsburgs finally lost the Emperorship over the Holy Roman Empire! Karel IV of Bohemia was chosen to become Emperor by the Prince-Elecotrs. A diplomat was sent to Prague to improve relations with the new Emperor. Maybe an alliance could be formed later with Boehmia? Bohemia hated the Austrians and sooner or later Paulus II knew that he had to backstab his Austrian ally.
The Longbow had been established as the preferred infantry unit by Pope Eugenius V in the 1460s. It had become time to abandoned the bow. The Condotta Infantry was more efficient and powerful.


Surprisingly, Castile had not demanded Aix-en-Provence when they made peace! This opened the door for Paulus II to claim both provinces for his subject Lucca. But before the the Papal troops arrived in Aix-en-Provence, the full annexation of Venice, which only owned Euboea, was demanded in a separate peace treaty.
In 1506, the war against Provence had been in its fourth year, Hungary had to accept unconditional surrender but the Pope was merciful to his old ally. He only demanded that they rereleased Croatia as a sovereign state and a few ducats. The following week, Provence was annexed by Lucca. The French Riviera was now under Papal control.
Paulus II had invited some of the cardinals to join him in studying the Arabic way of life. Some refused his offer; others travelled to the Vatican Library and took him up on his offer. Paulus II did that to increase the possibility that his successor was going to continue exploring Arabic traditions and customs.


Thanks to an excellent diplomatic corps, an alliance with Bohemia was formed once the war with Provence had come to an end. Even though, Pope Paulus II had started to have a deep interest in the Arabic way of life, he commissioned the Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City in order not to arouse any suspicion among the population. A few people claimed that the Pope was secretly reading the Quran.
The Pope had debated with himself if he should turn on Austria or Milan first. The decision wasn't easy but he felt the easier target were the Milanese and so the alliance was canceled and a claim on Parma had been fabricated.
Portugal was heavily involved in the colonization of the New World. White men were enslaving entire populations. These slaves where shipped from Africa to the Colonies where they worked in horrible conditions, mostly on plantations. The Pope was asked to condemn slavery but didn't. The purpose of these civilizations was to be enslaved, he said.



Manpower was still very, very low which is why the Pope relied on his mercenary regiments and the forces of Lucca to conquer Milan. He issued no call to arms to any of his allies even though Burgundy sided with Milan. It was a short war because Mantua and their ally Austria also declared war on Milan, taking care of Burgundy. Papal forces had already occupied three Milanese provinces. These were then annexed by Lucca. Lucca had grown from a tiny city-state to the second largest force in Italy. It was time to begin their integration into the realm. It was said, that the Lords of Lucca were suspicious about the Pope studying not only the Arabic language but also their culture and maybe even their religion?!
Mantua annexed the remaining two Milanese provinces, Cremona and Brescia.
The latest military campaign in Italy was too much for many neighboring states and a rather large coalition formed led by the French. That's why Paulus II secured another ally with England. Better be safe than sorry. He also felt that it was now the time to focus once again on the Mamluks. In order to study more of their culture, it was necessary to conquer more Araboc provinces. Wars in Arabia also rarely bothered fellow European nations and so there was little risk involved.


The College of Cardinals met in March to elect a new Pope: Paulus II had tragically died on a ship while sailing to Alexandria! In Alexandria, Paulus II wanted to lead the army to conquer Mamluk provinces. The war was postponed The question now was if dead Paulus was going to met God or Allah! Nobody knew for sure.
The Conclave decided that 52-year-old Innocentius VIII should be Pope. He was a fierce militarist who was sure going to bring military success to the realm. When Innocentius VIIIstill used to be a cardinal, he studied with Paulus II the Arabic way of life. A cult about their traditions and religion was soon created.
Meanwhile in the Balkans, the Republic of Ragusa had declared war on their former ally Serbia. They conquered a very large portion of Serbia thanks to support from Hungary.


Innocentius wanted to continue Paulus II's idea of conquering more Mamluks provinces but he stayed in Rome, for now. In charge of the mercenaries were General Livenza and General Brenta. The war commended in June of 1513. Castile and Aragon sided with the Papal State, just like in the last campaign against the Mamluks. Yemne, Karaman and Hejaz supported the enemy. War taxes were raised in order to pay the mercenaries' wages.
The Pope wanted to also further increase his presence in Anatolia. Candar seemed like a good target. Maybe it was possible to force them into vassalage?


In the Livonian Order, the Protestant Reformation had broken out. Mostly for disapproval against the Catholic Church. More and more people disliked that the Catholic Church adopted Arabic traditions. Interesting times laid ahead! The Pope did not care much for this hersey. He didn't believe that the news were true.
Combined forces of Aragon, the Pope and Castile crushed the Mamluk armies and soon they had time to start besieging enemy provinces. But in Greece and the Balkans heavy rebellions broke out. These rebellions once again consumed all manpower reserves. It was like the rebels were stronger than the enemy! How absurd.
When Emperor Karel died, the Prince-Electors felt that his heir was an ideal successor and so Josef I of Bohemia was elected Emperor. An insult to the Habsburgs which were deeply offended by their decision.
General Livenza tragically died in battle when he was laying siege on Cairo. An unfortunate loss. Candar was now able to call allies in their war against the Papal State. This was going to prolong and complicate the matter.


Norway and England were among the first nations to adopt Protestanism as their official state religion. Religious turmoil stroke Europe. Now Innocentius realized that the Protestant threat was real! But he was too busy with his two military campaigns. The Protestants had to be dealt with later.
In 1517, the Mamluks were defeated and forced to cede a large portion of their coastline to the Papal State. They also paid a good sum of gold as war compensation.
Two years later, the war with Candar, which was supposed to be quick and easy, came to an end. It ended with the vassalization of Candar. The Pope received reports that the Protestant Reformation was only slowly spreading from England and Scandinavia to elsewhere. But even if it was a slow movement, the Catholic World was displeased by how ignorant he was toward this dangerous hersey!


Papal Overseas Holdings in 1520



Comments:
The Castilian Conquest of Provence was a really silly AI war. The AI occupied the province, which had a fort, was able to make peace and could have taken the province but instead did not. Everyone in Rome was really surprised by this silliness!
We have been lucky with being Papal Controller so often. Our new Pope, Innocentius, is also much more competent than our last ruler which was 1/3/3.

We made excellent progress against the Mamluks. Our overseas holdings are getting stronger and stronger. We will continue to conquer overseas provinces in that area before connecting them to our capital because that way we can core them for half the price. Yes, the provinces don't contribute much income because of a minimum 75% autonomy level but we are still very rich and so this is practically a non-issue and furthermore, saving ADM is always good.
The Protestant Reformation has been quite boring so far. No religious wars between AI countries.

As always, thanks for reading!


 
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Chapter VI - Fleeing the City


Rumors spread through the Papal State that Sunni zealots could rise up any moment. In particular in the city of Bursa they had a strong desire to revolt and to spread their religion. Pope Innocentius VIII enjoyed good relations with many Arabs, most of them were Muslims. The Catholic Church suffered a strong Protestant Reformation and the Pope sympathized with the Muslim faith. Was Catholicism in decline? Only time could tell.
England was converting province after province to the new Protestant faith; Norway had already fully converted every one of their provinces to Protestanism. The first Protestant provinces within the Holy Roman Empire were found in Bohemia’s large realm. Some believed the Emperor could convert to the Protestant hersey.


The Papal State had only recently forced Candar into vassalage but Pope Innocentius wanted to create another vassal; a European vassal. His realm enjoyed particular good relations with Croatia, a Catholic Theocracy bordering giants like Austria and Hungary. They were the perfect target for a peaceful vassalization. Archbishop Kresimir VI accepted Innocentius’s offer without hesitation and swore loyalty to him.
Candar was weak and small, owning just two provinces. They were neighboring to what was left of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans had recently gone to war with the Mamluks in an effort to reclaim some of their lost core provinces. Was this the opportunity to strike agains them? It was said Innocentius to his generals and gave them a green light to make a move against them under one condition: Only mercenary regiments were allowed to fight. Manpower was still very, very low and had to recover. Austria joined the Papal forces in this war because the four Ottomans allies sided with them.
Instead of fighting Protestant heretics, the Papal forces were far away in Anatolia. Many Catholic bishops and rulers were at loss and wondered why the Papacy was so ignorant towards this dangerous new faith.


More and more members of the Holy Roman Empire reported religious uprisings and sometimes even religious civil wars. Dangerous times within the Empire! Catholic fishermen were especially displeased that the Pope did nothing against the heretics. The Protestants did not observe lent and therefore the demand for fish was decreasing and with less demand the prices for fish fell too.
The Pope realized that his forces could be needed to deal with potential revolts and therefore ordered them back. In Constantinople, the Ottomans accepted defeat and ceded two provinces to the Pope; three to his vassal Candar which finally wasn’t so small anymore.
Hungary was one of those Catholic countries in which witch trials were still fairly common. Hungarian farmers claimd that witchcraft was behind their misery. The clergy asked Innocentius to condemn witchcraft because in Hungary even children were accused of witchcraft! Some accused witched had been lynched without a proper trial. Innocentius felt it was best not to interfere in this matter.
New spread through Europe that Castile had formed a personal union with Portugal! How horrible!


In July of 1526, the integration of Lucca had been completed. Their territory was now part of the Papal State.
Six months later, a rebellion of Sunni zealots rose in Biga and Hüdavendigar! The Pope had given orders to mothball all forts in the area in an effort to let the Sunni Zealots occupy the territory! Was the Pope mad, many wondered. His Muslim friends were more important to him than worshipers of the true Catholic faith. Unbelievable. From Biga the rebellion spread to Bulgaria and Greece where former Orthodox provinces were force-converted to Islam by Muslim rebels. The Pope’s armies had been given strict orders not to intervene.
The Catholic faith continued to suffer when the Reformation branched out in one of the most Catholic nations ever: The Knights! The former crusader basin was now a religious center for the reformed faith! Rhodes suffered from religious civil disorder. The Pope did not want to be bothered with these news. He was busy making sure that the Muslim rebels stayed unharmed.
The Pope also called for a war against Karaman. His vassal Candar was indeed for some more provinces.
A second war was declared on the Mamluks - The Papal forces had to fighting on two fronts! However, the general assured the Pope that they could handle two wars at once.


Albert I von Habsburg, King of Hungary, travelled all the way from Budapest to Rome to meet with Pope Innocentius. He asked the Pope for advice regarding the witch hunts. The Pope himself had not yet condemned the trails and Albert wondered if he should condemn the trails or not. The Pope said that condemning the trails was important because burning people alive was too cruel. The trials were condemned at last. Albert disrespected the Pope’s advice and did not outlaw the witch trails. The Pope felt disrespected by King Albert and his behavior.
Shortly after the declarations of war, Innocentius embarked on a ship and sailed to Alexandria, fleeing Rome. Once he arrived in Alexandria, he informed the world of his intention to convert to Islam! Christian matters like witchcraft or the Reformation were boring anyways..


Innocentius had secretly studied the Quran for years and was convinced that there was only one god and his name was Allah! On December 31, 1532, the Papal officially converted to the Sunni faith. Innocentius was no longer a Pope but a spiritual Imam. Consequently, all alliances with Christian nations were canceled.
Missionaries were sent to Italy to convert the population to Sunni faith! They were sent on a dangerous journey. Nobody in Italy followed the Sunni faith (yet!) but Innocentius was sure that this was going to change soon; very soon.


Twelve months after the missionaries arrived in Italy, the first provinces had been converted to the true faith. Imam Innocentius was highly pleased with the quick progress his missionaries were doing. Soon he knew he could return to Rome!
In order to strengthen the military against a potential Christian invasion, Innocentius gave the orders to establish a military academy specialized which specialized in defensive ideas.
The war against the Mamluks ended in a superb victory. Among the conquered cities were Cairo and the sacred city of Jerusalem.
Karaman stood not much chance against Imam’s mercenaries and their full annexation was demanded. The province ownerships were all transferred to Candar.
Reports reached the Imam in Alexandria that the population in some of the realm’s provinces refused to convert and was about to rebel. That’s exactly why Innocentius had fled the capital! Especially, in Rome the population was very Catholic and a scout informed him that his residence in Rome had been put on fire! Only a few citizens of Rome wanted Innocentius back in the capital.


Meanwhile in Cleves, a new technique for fabric production had been developed which required less wool. Consequently, wool prices were dropping.
Back at peace, Innocentius realized that he had no allies. He re-allied Bohemia and Castile. In Tripoli he found a new ally, too. Castile had continued their expansion into Northern Africa and now controlled a few cities in Morocco. They also conquered much of the Tlemcen coast.



Religious Map; March 1536



Comments:

The most challenging part about converting to Islam was to make sure that neither vassals nor allies did not destroy the rebels’ armies. The only way to convert to the Sunni faith is by accepting Sunni rebels demands and this can only be done if Sunni is the dominant faith in the realm. That’s why we had the rebels convert the former Byzantine provinces to Sunni.

The Reformation is quite weak. So far of the big powers only England converted to Protestant. We hope this will change soon so that Europe will sink in a religious Chaos.
We were really surprised that the Reformation breached out in one of the most Catholic countries ever: The Knights. Silly, silly.
We were even more surprised that we automatically lost all our allies when converting to Islam. No tooltip informed us that this was going to happen. Luckily, we were able to re-ally a few of our allies.
So far, we haven't really had any good use for our vassal Croatia.. We really should be hitting on Hungary but there was no opportunity yet.
Starting with the next chapter, the adjective "Roman" will be used instead of "Papal" when referring to the Papal State, that is because the realm is no longer ruled by a Pope.
 
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ThePatriotOfDreumel

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Great AAR, Will you restore the roman empire and convert it to Sunni?
 

delpiero1234

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Great AAR, Will you restore the roman empire and convert it to Sunni?
Thanks for reading! Restoring the Roman Empire would be great but I don't know if I can do it. Maybe in the late game I am strong enough to conquer France and Iberia. Right now, I have to admit, I would not be able to beat neither the Spanish nor the French. Both regions were part of the Roman Empire.. I'll also need a big navy to invade the British Isles but maybe I'll get there :) I won't give up!
 

delpiero1234

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Chapter VII - Italian Mission


Innocentius stationed the Armata Romana, which used to be the Armata del Papa when the realm was still Cahtolic, in Italy near the Roman-Mantuan border. It was time to spread the true Sunni Faith to Europe!
The Hansa was the only country that sided with Mantua. They were the Defender of the Catholic Faith. Innocentius had to laugh when he heard that there was a defender of faith which was suffering from so many setbacks!
Portuguese merchants supplied Europe with many riches. One of them was beaver fur which was perfectly suited for hat-making. It kept people warmth even in poor weather conditions. Portugal had a healthy hat-making sector in its economy. Something which the Roman economy entirely lacked but then it rarely got that cold in the majority of the realm. These portuguese hats were nevertheless sold in trade centers like Venezia and Genoa, especially during the Winter months.



The war with Mantua was stalled. The Hanseatic forces made no effort in helping Mantua but also refused to peace out. War exhaustion in Mantua was soon going to be sky high but they refused to cede any of their provinces.
Imam Innocentius, he was already 77 years old, did not want to waste time and therefore sent 23.000 mercenaries to Anatolia. The mercenaries declared war on the Ottoman Empire in the Spring of 1539.
The conversion of the Roman provinces in Italy went as planned. A small revolt here and there but nothing to worry about. Innocentius wanted to return to Rome once more during his lifetime. But given that he was a very old man the chances were not high for this to happen.



A year later, Mantua ceded one of its two provinces and the war was over. The Defender of the Catholic Faith had to concede defeat and the Hansa lost the title but not even a week later, the Hansa reclaimed the title! “How silly and unfair“ yelled Innocentius when he was told about this ‘joke’.
The Ottoman Empire was annexed by the Roman vassal Candar in 1541. Shortly after, a diplomat traveled to their capital, Sinop, and began integrating them into the realm.
Poland had already begun to integrate Lithuania and the threat of a Commonwealth was becoming more real every day. Therefore something had to be done. In an effort to break the personal union, Innocentius declared war on their ally Naples and called in Castile, Austria and Bohemia. This promised to be a massive war because England and Hungary also sided with Naples, as well as The Hansa which was the Defender of the Catholic faith.



And a massive war it was indeed! Almost 250.000 soldiers on the attacking side vs about 200.000 defending forces.
Innocentius felt that the Sunni Faith needed a Defender of the Faith, too and who else should that be than he?
At the battle of Vienna, more than 25.000 Roman mercenaries died a horrible death against Polish and Lithuanian forces. New mercenaries had to be recruited immediately. At the same time, the battle of Napoli took place which the Roman forces won. It was an even war.


Roman forces quickly occupied Naples but the hidden war goal was to actually break the union between Lithuania and their overlord Poland. Interestingly, the King of Poland and Lithuania was a von Habsburg! The Habsburgs populated really well, at least so it seemed.. Austria, Hungary, Poland, Lithuania..
Innocentius never got to see Rome again after he had fled the city. Alexander VI became his successor. He was elected by a group of devout Muslims from all over the realm. Alexander was an excellent administrator, a decent diplomat and he knew the military arts quite well.



By 1544, religious unity was over 100% and only five provinces still followed a Christian faith. One of those provinces was Rome which was Catholic. The other four provinces had been converted by a religious center of the Reformed faith.
Castile integrated Aragon in 1545 and now shared a border with Rome. Something had to be done before they integrate Portugal but the realm was too weak to attack Castile and their super strong ally France…
The War was in its fifth year and the Polish prestige was finally negative. Now upon their ruler’s death the personal union with Lithuania was going to break! Everybody hoped that King August II of Poland was going to die soon!
News spread to Imam Alexander that Tripoli had annexed all of Tunisiand then they reformed into…Tunis Oh that absurdity!
Castile peaced out of the war against Naples in order to form Spain. After all these Christians should not be trusted for important matters.
In 1550, Poland was forced to release Moldavia as a sovereign state and then in a second peace deal, Naples ceded five of its nine provinces to Alexander and his Sunni empire. Surprisingly, the manpower pool was not as depleted as it was anticipated to be. The use of mercenaries really paid off.


Alexander’s plan to stop Poland from forming the Commonwealth failed miserably because even with negative Prestige they managed to form it! How disappointing. Maybe it would have been better to demand in the peace deal that they break the Union.. Oh well!

The birthplace of the Reformed Faith, Rhodes, had to be conquered. It was too close to the Roman border. The Hansa once again sided with them as they reclaimed the title of the Defender of the Faith for the third time. But this time over 30.000 mercenaries attacked the Hansa and demanded monthly war reparations for their annoying behavior. After that, Rhodes was annexed. The old crusaders’ bastion was finally under Roman control!
After the Hansa had been multiple times in a row as Defender of the Catholic Faith, they abounded Catholicism to become Protestant. Switzerland had converted to the Reformed Faith.
The Mamluks were weak and small; they lost lots of territory to an ever-expanding Qara Qoyunlu. These Steppe Nomads created a large Shia empire. Before they were going to annex more of the Mamluks, Alexander sent word to attack them.




It was a very short war and the Mamluks ceded Cyoprus and five other provinces to Alexander.
A couple of months later, the integration of Candar was complete. They were now an integral part of the realm!



The Papal States in 1554:


Comments:

Qara Qoyunlu is quite a massive blob. Hopefully, they turn out to be a paper tiger given that they are Nomads!

Novgorod is about to eat Muscovy. It looks like they will form Russia.
The Hansa has eaten Denmark.
We make more points per month than any other country. We are first in military and administrative rating but our diplomatic rank is only 51st.
We made crucial mistakes by letting Castile form Spain and Polan form the Commonwealth. Let's hope these won't come back and hunt us. But honestly, there was nothing we could have done to prevent Spain from being formed because Castile was allied to super-stronk France. However, we could have prevent the Commonwealth from being formed. Such a silly mistake to not force Poland during the peace negotiations to cancel the union. Oh well! There is still hope, or not?
 

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Croatia is your vassal, right? Give Ragusa and Serbia to them, sans Kosovo since it's a gold mine. And you next step should definitely be destroying Qara Qoyunlu.
 
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