• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Secret Master

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“Yes, Grandmaster, the fish is excellent tonight.”

Pluto’s Blood, this man is a moron. What immortal hand or eye dare frame his empty skull?

“I’ve always liked fish. What kind did you say this was?”

“I think it’s called Keilos, Grandmaster.”

“Oh, well, we should order our galleys to conduct more fishing of the Turk’s waters, Connubium. I would hate for them to get their heathen hands on such good food.”

“Grandmaster, you mean our one and only galley?”

“Yes, that one. Send the orders immediately, would you? Make sure Admiral Sebastian has his men row at ramming speed to beat the Turks to the shoals.”

The man the Grandmaster referred to as Connubium had a carefully blank expression.

“Of course, Grandmaster. I will send a messenger to Admiral Saint Sebastian at once. Would you excuse me?”

The Grandmaster noisily smacked his lips as he masticated the boney fish for a moment, his mouth too full to speak. A belch appeared to be on the horizon, but was averted by the merest suggestion of flatulence.

“Sure thing.”

Connubium Frequentia, highly secret and unofficial advisor to The Knights* silently left the grand banquet hall with as much dignity as he could muster. Considering he was a vampire of some 1,400 years, it was quite a lot of dignity. So much dignity, in fact, that those with a discerning eye could actually see it skulking around behind him giving disdainful glances to others. And for all that dignity, it was all the more galling that he was now stationed in Rhodes. Well, no one had ever said being a vampire in service to Novus Ordo Defaeco Frater would be easy. It’s just that he never expected to be put in charge of a crusading religious order.



I, who used to weave plots within plots, conspiracies within conspiracies, am now reduced to this. And all because of a silly misunderstanding…

“Message for you, sir!”

Connubium spun around, almost hitting The Messenger. He had forgotten the lad’s name, but it did not matter. The Knights could only afford one messenger anyway.



One advantage of other knights were their ability to afford things besides their armies, mused the musty mosquito that was Connubium.**

“From who?”

“Someone by the name of Aphippos Kakoikonomos.”

“And to think my night was looking bright. Give it here.”

The Messenger maintained his gaiety in the face of the ancient vampire’s melancholy, handed the missive to him, and departed in a flash of speed. For his part, Connubium retired to his chambers. At least in there, he could order The Knights’ one galley to conducting large scale fishing operations off the coast of Rhodes and read Aphippos’ letter in private. Neither task appealed to his over developed sense of vanity, which was hanging in his closet.

“Dearest Connubium,

Yes, I am sure you are bemoaning your newest assignment on Rhodes. But such a demotion is the price you pay for failing to follow our Mission Statement and Core Values. I even told you beforehand that bathing in the blood of forty virgins was not in line with Core Value #3. Yet, you did it anyway. What did you expect me to do? Come over for a light lunch?

As it stands, I do not want to hear about your lack of finances or manpower. According to this document here, The Nights are more than capable in matters of warfare.



See, the skull and crossbones indicates just how dangerous you are to your enemies.

I expect The Cnights to continue their honorable tradition as the premier Mediterranean Police Force under your guidance. Of course, I will expect monthly status reports detailing why you are behind schedule.

And remember Core Value #8: No use of vampiric powers without the expressed written permission of the International Vice President’s Commission on Psychic Pollution and General Knavery.

With all my love,

Aphippos Kakoikonomos”

“Sod this,” said Connubium, in the general direction of his ink well.***

With as much sarcasm as he could muster, Connubium began his reply to Aphippos. It would take most of the night, owing to the amount of paperwork that he was required to send to his superior in Novus Ordo Defaeco Frater.


*As opposed to the knights, which were any other sword wielding, testosterone sweating group of west European aristocrats with a penchant for warfare and belittling the peasantry.

**Alliteration is a dangerous disease. Don’t let it decide your dodgy dalliances, or it could be your doom.

***This should not be surprising, since it is well known that vampires are not antiquated by nature, but rather are trend setters and generally hip to new things. Thus, Cunnubium was using British slang long before Guy Richie made Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
 
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Secret Master

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Templaric Twits: Mediterranean Police

A silly AAR about The Knights, rated PG-13 (reader discretion is advised).

So, it finally had to happen. With EU3 out, and a year's worth of silently playing Victoria behind me, I have gotten the, erhm, courage to return to the forums and tell a yarn.

This AAR is primarily a way to unwind and have a good time. Thus, I intend to cheat whenever the game gets boring (either boring because of nothing to do or boring because I'm too powerful, or boring because a new patch came out), and I will continue the AAR until it is no longer fun.

As such, do not look to this AAR for gameplay strategies, helpful hints, or historical accuracy. Also, do not look for very many of the elements I post in the AAR in your default set up for EU3, as I have, and will, make full use of modding. You can already tell one thing I've changed if you examine the screenshots.

With all that said, I have posted that the AAR is PG-13, due to my anticipation of slightly sexual humor, language, and of course violence. Just so you know, if I think a post will be R rated, I will warn you before hand. If you are younger than seventeen, and living in the United States, this AAR may be unsuitable for you because it will have content that is mild in comparison to your daily life in high school.

And without further ado, on with the show. (It's good to be back.)
 
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Rensslaer

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Glory be! Now I get to watch the Secret Master in action.

I've heard many stories and ravings about your talent, and now I see your entertaining beginning, I see it is all true! :D

Very glad to keep an eye on this.

Rensslaer
 

kramari

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I am just reading a book about templars and such so I'll be following this. Nice start.
 

Storey

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Good to see you writing SM. :cool: Is there such a thing as a “Crusading Religious Order” type of government or is it something you dreamed up? ;)

Joe
 

Secret Master

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Rensslaer: :eek: I guess I better continue doing a good job. It seems the bar has been set pretty high for me, and I'm only on post #2. ;)

Seriously, I am honored at your remarks. The irony is that I do not recall being well known for humor. I've written wars, battles, political intrigue, and even a very special honeymoon night (rated R ;) ), but aside from a few characters that are silly in the face of the world's seriousness, I've never attempted a funny-based AAR. Let's see what I can accomplish.

kramari: Reading up on the Templars? Good stuff. A couple of modifications I've made to my EU3 had nothing to do with this AAR or jokes. The one thing I sort of hated about the default setup for EU3 is that the Teutonic Knights and The Knights share the same government type as regular bishoprics in Europe. It didn't make any sense, especially since the heads of the two orders were called "archbishop" in the game. Like Connubium, I said "Sod this" and modded in the Crusading Religious Order that you saw in the screenshots. Considering that the various knightly orders recruited from all over Europe, a manpower increase seemed reasonable, along with the title "grandmaster" and a switch in the naming conventions so that you wouldn't have "Grandmaster Johannes IV" and instead " Grandmaster Johannes de Paulus". If you're interested, I could send you my mod (minus the silly stuff) so your knightly orders are more, well, knightly.

J. Passepartout: Connubium will agree with you, as you shall soon see.


Well, I finished reading The Tempest ahead of schedule, so I might as well post another entry. Seeing as how I've played far into the future, I've got to catch the AAR up to the BadBoy Wars of the 1470s, where The Knights managed to get an annual census tax of almost 3 ducats!
 

Secret Master

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Storey: You know, I was posting while you were. That sort of thing violates Core Value #9 in some way, I'm sure. :D

Yes, as you are no doubt reading in my previous post, its a mod. I will be making the non-silly version of my mod available to anyone interested. Hell, I'll make the silly version available too, complete with events that the AI will always refuse.
 

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Connubium put his quill down and reread his letter.

“My most fearless leader Aphippos,

In my defense, just let me reiterate that they were not forty virgins. Don Cass de la Nova can confirm this fact, if you only write to him. Sure, they were virgins the night before, but by the time I got there, well, you know…

But let us let bygones be bygones. I am only interested in achieving our objectives in this region. And I don’t just mean upholding the Mission Statement, although that is always foremost in my mind. No, I am thinking of your secret agenda: the recovery of the Batrachion Kouris, which you still believe to be hidden in the Holy Land somewhere. While I personally think our kindred in the east would have moved such an important artifact to a place where our influence cannot reach, I respect your opinion in this matter, and I will keep an eye out for it. Our kindred should have returned it after we let them borrow it, so they will pay dearly if I find it.

In accordance with your earlier directives, I’ve attached some pie charts that detail my situation here in Rhodes. They are quite complicated, so let me walk you through them.



As you can see, we are a religiously diverse community, consisting of Greek Orthodox Greeks. We produce fish. All of our numerous provinces have installed the most up to date version of CBShield, thus giving us cores on all of them. Upon orders from the current Grandmaster, I will be expanding our fishing. This should produce an increase in our monthly revenue of roughly 0.001 ducats, most of which will go to paying the outrageous salary of the Grandmaster’s one armed, three legged mistress. I also anticipate some tourism from Anatolia which will consist of Janissaries and Spahi cavalrymen. With any luck, they will burn everything to the ground, frightening themselves so much that they drop all of their weapons and money and flee into the ocean. This will generate tourism revenues in excess of three, maybe four ducats, which can be then used to buy me a new, clean set of pants, which I will need after seeing the Turks land on the island.

I hope I have made our position clear. If you have any questions, or you need more pie charts to explicate the particulars of our situation, please do not hesitate to ask.

I grovel beneath the vision of your wisdom as always,

Connubium Frequentia”

The ancient vampire reread the letter one more time, bile rising up in his throat. When he was satisfied that only someone with the intellect of a half-dead cow would be unable to detect the sarcasm, he affixed his seal and strode out of his room.

“Message for you, sir!”

The Messenger smiled warmly at Connubium, appearing out of what could only be thin air.

“Well, what is it?”

“A Venetian merchant by the name of Fredo Corleone has come to the island and seeks an audience. He wants to secure fishing rights in our waters.”

“And what does the Grandmaster say to this?”

“He wants to deny him fishing rights.”

“And his otherwordly, idiotic reason is?”

“Because he’s hungry, sir.”

Rubbing his temples in frustration, Connumbium considered his next move.

“I see. Bring the Venetian here.”

The Messenger disappeared for a moment, reappearing with a short Italian with greasy hair, olive complexion, and a look of wild determination.

“And who are you? I demand to see the grandmaster at once! I want to go fishing!”

“Let’s just say I am the one who can get you on the way to fishing.”

“Oh really? And what sort of bribe will it take this time?”

Connubium’s eyes went wide with maniacal intelligence.

Aha! So this is my chance to turn things around. Damn the Core Values and the Mission Statement! Aphippos won’t notice just this once.

In a mystical voice, Connumbium began to speak, his eyes burrowing deep into the Venetian.

“You want to bribe me to fish here.”

“I want to bribe you to fish here.”

“You think fishing is the greatest thing in the world.”

“Fishing is the greatest thing in the world.”

“You think that four hundred ducats is a small price to pay for a one year fishing license.”

“Can I please pay you for a one-year fishing license? I’ll pay four hundred ducats.”

Connubium considered that he was speaking to a Venetian merchant.

“You want to pay me in unmarked gold bullion.”

“I want to pay you in unmarked gold bullion.”

Connubium waved his hands in front of the Venetian’s face, breaking the spell.

“You drive a hard bargain, but I’ll take the four hundred ducats in gold.”

“Thanks! You have no idea how happy you’ve made me.”

“It was my pleasure, I assure you.”



Connubium was almost skipping with glee as he ran out into the streets of Rhodes. Now that he had the money, he needed the manpower. And how hard would that be with four hundred ducats?

Along the sidewalk there was an old man laying in the gutter. Upon closer inspection, he was not really laying the gutter; he was drawing stick figures on the gutter with a piece of chalk.

“Old man, what are you doing there?”

“Me kids are starvin’, mister. I’m just trying to earn a copper or two.”

“It’s two bells after midnight. I don’t think anyone can see your art without supernatural vision.”

“Times are rough. Could ya spare a copper, good sir?”

“What’s your name?”

“Fra Angelico. Most people just call me ‘Worthless Old Man.’”

“Well, I need a court artist, and it looks like there are no other advisors available in all Christendom. You want a job?”

“Can I still draw with chalk?”

“Sure. You’ll just have to do it inside the fortress. Lots of stone in there to draw on.”

“Bless you, sir! I’ll be your court painter. Bless you!”

Fra began to touch Connubium’s clothing with his gutter-stench covered hands.

“Absolutely not. You can be our court painter, but you are not allowed to touch me. Understood?”

“Of course, sir.”



Without further ado, Connubium was heading towards the nearest, and only, tavern. He had no desire to actually enter the foul establishment, but tonight was his lucky night. There were a group of drunken men standing around outside.

“You there, what’s your name?”

“Huch Middchucton.”

“Huch? What kind of name is that?”

“No, no, no… Hugh…Hugh Middleton.”

“Ah, that sounds better. Do you own a horse?”

“Yessshhh. Thisshh one right here.”

“The run-down nag missing a hoof?”

“Yessir! She’s a beauty.”

Four hundred ducats is going to go further than I thought.

“Alright, well, congratulations. You’re the new general of The Knights’ armies. Isn’t that nice?”

“Well, I…”

Hugh’s speech was cut short by his inability to remain standing. His friends would have helped him, but they could not decide which way was up.

“Do all of you own horses?”

They nodded.

“Well, you’re now five cavalry regiments. Pack your things, you leave for Karaman within the week.”



They nodded, but failed to move. It was just as well they had a week to sober up anyway. As Connubium turned to leave, another man walked out of the tavern. He was dashing, sober, and wore two swords in the same manner as all dueling experts across Europe. His eyes betrayed an uncanny intelligence.

“And who are you?”

“I am called Laertes. I hail from Denmark. Expert swordsman and courtier at the king’s court, at your service.”

“Well met, Laertes. I am Connubium Frequentia. I say, are you a warrior by trade? By that, I mean can I hire one of your talents?”

“Yes. I am out of favor at court for the moment, and I am willing lend my blades to any cause, for the right price.”

“Really? In that case, grab your horse and meet me in the fortress. You could be of some use to me.”

“I will gladly meet you at court, but have no horse.”

“You have no horse?”

“Yes, that is what I said.”

“Yet you claim to be a master swordsmen, courtier, and warrior by trade?”

“Yes, that is true.”

“But how can you fight in wars without a horse?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, how in the Hell do you fight in wars without a horse?”

“I fight as an infantryman.”

If it was possible, Connubium would have turned white as a sheet.

“Infantryman? Back! Back, you fiend! We’ll have no infantrymen on this island while I advise the order!”

“What?”

“Ply your satanic charms elsewhere, whoreson! Infantryman! Bah, raise the alarm! There is an infantryman on the island!”

Church bells began to cry out in alarm as the town’s guard approached the tavern.

“I do not understand. What is the matter?”

“Do you not know the law, Laertes? No infantryman shall ply his trade upon this island or any other land owned by The Knights. So sayeth God, the Pope, and Saint George!”

“But wait, I can explain…”

“Explain it to the Inquisition! Guards, take him away!”

Laertes was screaming as the guards dragged him to prison.

Well, that was a close call. I can only imagine what disaster would have befallen us if we tried to hire infantry. Hmpf, as if infantry had accomplished anything important since the Roman Phalanx had been used in my youth. The youngsters of today, eh? What will they think of next?

The sun was threatening to rise, and so Connubium retired to the fortress. He had a long week ahead of him, with a police action to plan against Karaman and the need to expose and root out any more infantry that were hiding on the island.
 

coz1

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This is great so far, SM! A real treat. Now how did you get such great generals without any tradition, or do the Knights start out with some?

Laughed very hard, especially duiring the letter explaining the pie charts. Excellent. :rofl:
 

Storey

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I could be mistaken but it there an “Oblivion” reference sneaking into the story?

Is it wise to pay for stability investment when you’re so small? Or do I detect a rapid expansion in the near future? I’m psychic you know. Nice leaders, I assume part of your mod. And yes you are wise beyond your years. I made the mistake of using infantry early on and paid a heavy price

Joe
 

kramari

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Secret Master said:
kramari: Reading up on the Templars? Good stuff. A couple of modifications I've made to my EU3 had nothing to do with this AAR or jokes. The one thing I sort of hated about the default setup for EU3 is that the Teutonic Knights and The Knights share the same government type as regular bishoprics in Europe. It didn't make any sense, especially since the heads of the two orders were called "archbishop" in the game. Like Connubium, I said "Sod this" and modded in the Crusading Religious Order that you saw in the screenshots. Considering that the various knightly orders recruited from all over Europe, a manpower increase seemed reasonable, along with the title "grandmaster" and a switch in the naming conventions so that you wouldn't have "Grandmaster Johannes IV" and instead " Grandmaster Johannes de Paulus". If you're interested, I could send you my mod (minus the silly stuff) so your knightly orders are more, well, knightly.
Well if I had the game I would be happy to try it,but no such luck. :(

Great update! Hope to see next one soon!
 

Nikolai

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This is some great and funny work.:) Keep it up!
 

Secret Master

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Some feedback-for-feedback, in no particular order:

J. Passepartout and Strategos' Risk: I decided to play the Grandmaster's mistress for two potentially divergent readings. One the one-hand, the three-legs is a not-so-veiled reference to gender. On the other hand, three legs and one arm is awfully close to four legs, leading us to English language implications regarding female dogs. Neither paints a good picture of her, but I will leave it open as to how you could interpret it.

On a related note, she will become an advisor at some point, thanks to the wonders of MS Paint. I have other ideas in mind for advisors at a later point when Grandmaster Cletus takes over (and yes, the game gave him the name Cletus, not I).

coz1: I'm glad you liked the pie charts. I took a screenshot the moment I looked in my ledger on day 1. I figured those who love Victoria would especially appreciate the absurdity of an EU3 pie chart for a one province minor.

Storey: No Oblivion references yet, Joe, although I am interested in what you think is an Oblivion reference sneaking in. Now that you mention it, I might actually start referencing Oblivion. What you may not know is that the Knight's leader names have an awful lot of Latin surnames and whatnot mixed in. As such, you could see a number of the Knight's leaders as Imperials from Oblivion. That being said, I do wish I could get Sean Bean and Patrick Stewart to voice some of my characters at one point, just like Bethesda got them to voice act the Septims, but alas, they turned down the role. :p

The leaders are not modded. The Knights have them in 1453, which will help fuel my early expansion. However, if you think Hugh Middleton is good, just wait until Paul de Paul and his buddies show up. Thanks to being such a small country, I spend almost two decades at around 100% land tradition. And thanks to my laughable monthly income, new generals start at a price you won't believe until I show the screenshots. Sure, I don't get any research accomplished for the first 60 years of the game, but I have generals that make Robert E. Lee, Alexander the Great, Ulysses, and Napoleon look like small time punks.

Kramari: Don't have the game yet? That's too bad. It runs much more smoothly out of the box than any other Paradox game to date. I've only had a total of 4 CTDs for the month that I've owned it. And if you have a good internet connection, Gamer's Gate is a good way to purchase it. I was hesitant, but after I bought Revolutions, I decided that Paradox could be trusted as an online-download game provider.

Nikolai: Glad you liked it.

Alright, let's get another post up tonight, shall we?
 

Strategos' Risk

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I just thought you meant that she was degenerately deformed, a descendent of Deep Ones beyond the depths.

In other words, quite ugly and genetically inferior.
 

Secret Master

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“What part of this do you not understand, Grandmaster?”

The Grandmaster of The Knights was counting on his fingers while his brow furrowed in deep thought. The Grandmaster’s mistress smiled nonchalantly as her hair, the color of strained peaches, drooped haphazardly over her shoulders. She found the Grandmaster extremely exciting when he counted on his fingers. Given the finances of The Knights, this was an almost daily occurrence. How this strange attraction was played out in the evenings was something that Connubium shrank from as if it were the noonday sun.

“So, Karaman produces wool, right?”

“That is correct, Grandmaster.”

“And wool will generate almost one ducat a year in revenue?”

“Yes.”

“But the people of Karaman are not our religion, correct?”

“Correct, Grandmaster.”

“So, that will cause a, oh what was it, thirty percent loss in tax revenue?”

“Yes.”

“Do we tolerate their culture?”

“No. We generally despise the Turkish people.”

“So that will cause another thirty percent loss in tax revenue?”

“Of course, Grandmaster.”

The Grandmaster started counting on his fingers again.

“And Karaman is overseas, right?”

“Yes, Grandmaster.”

“So, ummm, that is a total of 90% loss of tax revenue?”

“Essentially, yes, but you have to consider…”

“Tell me again why we don’t tax heathens and minorities at the same rate as ourselves?”

“Because we’re multicultural in that regard, Grandmaster.”

“What does multicultural mean, Connubium?”

“Multicultural is a Latin word meaning that we pretend not to be racist and imperialist while still buying cheap products from places where economically disadvantaged people are treated like inmates in a penal colony.”*

“Is that good?”

“It’s trendy, Grandmaster.”

“Well, I’ve always liked being trendy. But I still don’t understand how this will help us. Won’t we make ourselves less stable by declaring a war?”

“Yes, but the court chalk artist will ensure that is not a problem.”

“Ummm, but what happens after we attack Karaman?”

“We attack Cyprus.”

“Isn’t that against our charter as a crusading religious order?”

“Cyprus is the stepping stone to the Holy Land. Nay, it is the very building block of the final crusade to liberate Jersualem.”

The Grandmaster furrowed his brow in deep thought.

“And what happens if we liberate Jersusalem?”

Connubium folded his hands patiently.

“I can’t really tell you, Grandmaster. The Pope told me it was a surprise.”

“Oh, I like surprises.”

The Grandmaster began counting on his fingers while his mistress adjusted her legs.

“I’m sure you do, Grandmaster. Can I be excused so as to give Hugh Middleton his orders?”

“Oh, yes, go ahead.”

Breathing a sigh of relief, Connubium left the banquet hall. Hugh and his band of intrepid adventurers were milling around in the courtyard. They felt rather conspicuous because none of them spoke Spanish or were from any portion of the New World, yet the Society for Creative Aphorism insisted on referring to them as Latin knights.**

“Sir Middleton, the Grandmaster has given the go ahead for Operation: Subjugate More People That Do Not Share Our Culture or Faith and Thus Do Not Pay Taxes. You may proceed onto Saint Sebastion’s fleet and attack Karaman and Cyprus.”

Hugh Middleton looked at his fellow knights for a moment with a cloud hanging over his countenance.

“Well, I mean, I would love to do so, but the lads and I got to thinking about this whole declaring war on sovereign states without a good reason. We don’t have a problem with it if it’s some heathens, but fellow Christians? Seems a bit daft to me.”

“I can see nothing gets by you, Sir Middleton. I didn’t want to bring it up because I don’t believe in scandalizing other countries, but the Kingdom of Cyprus, well, they use infantry. I know, it’s shocking, but there’s the truth of the matter.”

“My God, that is terrible. That a Christian country would stoop to such depravity, I mean, it’s unthinkable.”

“I know. Feel better about landing 5,000 men and horses on their island and looting its wine cellars and ravishing its women?”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Good. Well, have fun. See you in six months?”

“Sure thing, Connubium. Tally ho and all that!”

Connubium retired to his chambers and stayed there for a year as he caught up on his paperwork. There were advisors to recruit, status reports to prepare for Aphippos, and some idiot calling himself Captain Jack Sparrow kept evading capture off the coast of Cyprus.



For a few months, Connubium was sweating the possibility of violating Core Value #27 by not having a full stable of advisors, but the problem was finally solved by creative bookkeeping. Calling the Grandmaster’s mistress “Magnus Larsson” and giving her a stipend of 0.1 ducats a month ensured that the court of The Knights appeared to be fully staffed.



The finances of The Knights improved by over 50%. Now they could almost afford to pay the salary of the military and afford generals to command it. This was good, because Hugh Middleton died before he could return to Rhodes. Connubium barely took notice and bought some nice shiny sabers for his new generals.







Finally, at the close of the year, Connubium had an Idea. Using his firsthand knowledge of Latin, he posted recruiting posters in taverns all over Europe with the copyrighted slogan “Deus Vult!” Recruitment did not go up, but it did not matter as the existing knights found their motivation improve.





What did matter was that Domenico Ghirlandaio sued The Knights on the grounds of copyright infringement. He argued that Connubium stole the idea for the recruiting poster from his new painting "The Slaughter of the Innocents." Ghirlandaio sued in ecclesiastical court, claiming that the recruiting poster was sacrilegious. Through his lawyer, Connubium countered that the Holy Innocents would wholly approve of his poster, on the grounds that they would not have been so holey if they had Templars to defend them from the pagans. The Pope was so impressed with this clever bit of alliteration that he personally had the case thrown out of court and offered The Knights the deal of a lifetime. ***



And so, as Connubium found a new summer coming upon the isle of Rhodes, he began to wonder whether it was time to once again take up the Cross as an excuse to search for the Batrachion Kouris in the Holy Land. He briefly examined manpower reports from his new generals, and decided further conquest would have to wait a few years.





*Connubium is, of course, completely wrong on this point. It’s actually a Greek word meaning “we’ve set our minority policy to Full Citizenship because we want immigration to fill our factories with cheap labor while we give all the middle-class clerk positions to people of our own culture for purposes of research,” but he could not have foreseen the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th Century, the Great Decades of Ridiculous Wealth that followed from 1880 to 1936, and the Great Sleep of 1914.

** The New World had recently been discovered in 1454. The race was on to build an empire in Latin America, but only time would tell if colonization would be complete before Castile and Portugal became too innovative in their policies. As history has taught us, only narrowminded countries were able to colonize because they were able to send all of their people who shared the dominant culture and religion to colonies, while leaving religious dissidents and minorities at home.

***If you’re not as impressed as the Pope was by the alliteration, bear in mind that they did not have cable television in the Renaissance. Without cable, they could not have watched CNN Special Reports that covered the Alliterative Revival taking place in England, which they blamed for global warming, nor could they watch Fox News reports that linked the Alliterative Revival in England to Al-Qaeda terrorist cells operating out of France. Instead, they were stuck with local news specials entitled “Watching the Paint Dry: A Saint Peter’s Basilica Special Report” for the next 150 years.