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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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To Sir John Hawkwood, Commander of the White Company, Rome

Sire

It pleases me greatly to hear from you. England is and has always been the sworn enemy of France, and the mad Pope in Rome is hardly an appropriate place to start out reconciliation.

However, in the interest of peace and prosperity, and should you be willing to send someone to Savoy, I will be willing to discuss trade between Savoy and England.

Signed

Amadeus of Savoy​
 

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Lord E said:
Windsor with the representative of Albrech von Wittelsbach

Robert de Vere looked at the man, wondering for some moments if what he had heard was true, then look hard into the eyes of the man. But seeing nothing in the eyes of the man to show that he didn’t tell the truth Robert smiled.


”Well this sounds very good sir Jan de Leeuw. Now this way please I will take you to see His Majesty!”



…………​

Entering the court room where the King was sitting on his throne, Robert spoke loud informing the King about who the man enter was and what he had proposed.

“So good sir, welcome to Windsor, We hope you find England to your liking?

We are very interested in the offer of His Grace maybe you could inform Us more about how His Grace intends to get this to work? For if we can make this work it would be great, England is always willing to do as much as possible to hurt the French and make sure we are not depended of the devil worshipper Charles and his allies and friends!”
Jan de Leeuw made a deep bow and then said

"Your Highness, as you know you control the flow of English whool to the continent. At the moment the whool is transported to Flanders after which it will be there manufactured into cloth. As your Highness undoubtly knows Flanders is subject to the Duke of Burgundy which is a vassal of devilish Charles, Every dime they earn on the whool and cloth will strengthen the rule of Charles. For that the mayors of Dordtrecht have a solution for your Highness. You could direct the flow of whool to our fair city. This would also benefit your merchants as our tolls are 10% lower then those in Flanders. We are certain that when the whool goes to Dordtrecht, the Flemish manufacturors will follow, weakening the Burgundians and French even more. What does your Highness think of our proposal?"
 

Lord E

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Windsor with Jan de Leeuw

The King turns to John of Gaunt, and John answers by nodding and smiling, then Richard turns back to Jan

“Well good sir, your proposal is really an answer to all our problems and our dreams for how we should be able to hurt the devil Charles and his evil apprentices. We are very much interested in your proposal, and We would very much be willing to agree to the proposal of the mayors.

So have you got a treaty ready for us sir, We would very much like to sing such a deal as soon as possible to start working against the evil French!”
 

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Rome

Sir John Hawkwood sat in his chambers and look out on the city of Rome, ever since his return from the audience with the Pontiff he had pondered over how he was to handle and understand His Holiness’s words.

My Son of Great Faith, the people of these lands have strayed. It is the job of every able-bodied Christian to bring them back into union with the Body of the Church. My Son, go, tell your King what I have spoken.
Sir John could still see the great man in front of him when he spoke the words, but after having lived a long way waging war it was easy for him to see that the Pontiff was aging, and that he seemed like he had surrendered a little, and put His Holiness’s hands in the hands of the Lords. He seemed like an aging man.

Still Sir John knew what was his duty, and he sat down taking forth some paper, drinking a big sip from his glass of wine, and started writing:



A letter arrives from Rome

Unto His Majesty, Richard, King of England and France


Your Majesty,

I write to Your Majesty today telling that I have had the great honour to see His Holiness, and speak to His Holiness about the troubles with the devil of Avignon and his allies.

His Holiness expressed that He is very glad for Your Majesty’s work against the devils. Also His Holiness told me to inform Your Majesty about that His Holiness said that it is the job of every true Christian to do his duty to bring the straying people back to the true faith.

If I may say Your Majesty, it would seem that His Holiness gave England His Holiness’s blessing for Your Majesty to do whatever Your Majesty see fit to bring back people to the true faith. Even the use of force would be acceptable to turn people away from the devil of Avignon, from what I understand Your Majesty!

Once more His majesty King Richard the second of England extends his best wishes to the Duchy of Savoy and its Duke, and we hope that all is well.
I am, and will stay Your Majesty’s most humble and loyal servant.

Written in Rome, in the year of Our Lord 1383 A.D


Sir John Hawkwood, commander of the White Company and Your Majesty’s ambassador to Rome.
Sir John finished his glass of wine, and poured more from the bottle. Handing the letter to a messenger, Sir John calls for one of his lieutenants to bring in the map of Northern-Italy. Looking at the map Sir John smiles.


”You have to love the possibility for war don’t you lieutenant? He he he
 

Lord E

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East coast of England



The storm had been one of the worst in several years, and the people on the east coast had lived through some hard days. But luckily there had been little loss to the merchant- and fishing vessel along the coast that normally sail on the North Sea. The storm had hit in the evening, and the fact that is was winter and little trade across the sea at this time of year, that had helped so that there had been no loss of vessels, and little damage to the coast villages and the ships in harbour. It seemed like England hadn’t been hit very hard, and that the people on the coast had been lucky.

In some small village close to Ipswich it was as if a new days and a new beginning had started this morning, the storm had gone away during the night, and now the sun was shining down on the villagers as they got outdoors to look for any damage to their houses or the vessels.

Some of the villagers were walking down to the harbour when they saw that it was a lot of timber, crates, bottles and much more goods on the beach alongside a lot of wreckage and as the group got closer they could also see that it was people there as well, most of them seemed dead with their faces down in the sand and no sign of moving. Percy Smith was one of the villagers and he was the first person to walk up to one of the people to look.


” Aye, this fellow won’t be able to walk round any more….”

The other villagers just looked silly at Percy, and started collecting all the different goods they could found on the beach. Percy’s friend William walks over to Percy holding up a box filled with bottles

“Oh shut up Percy, don’t mind them. Look at all these goods. I can’t wait to get back home to drink this… Looks like nice wine don’t you agree?

And wonder what this is…”


Walking around William had found a much smaller box, and when the breaks it up it contains an even smaller box in gold, and when he opens the box it is filled with coins

“Percy… Percy… just look at all this. I am rich!”

Just as Percy is about to walk over to his friend, he sees that the dead man is clutching to something in his left hand, and when Percy opens it he see that is a pouch filled with more money.

”Wow William, there is more money here… These guys seem like some rich bastards!”

“Well they won’t need it now will they… He he he… Oh look here other boxes, wonder what this can be… Oh no, just some ugly clothes… and hey what is this? “

Just as William try to open an other box, the man next to the bows stumbles forward… After some time he raises form the sand looking angry at the villagers standing there looking at him shocked. He tries to address them in.
The old John, that had fought in the wars on the continent, and been in the navy walks forward


“I know that language, I think it is some version of Dutch….”

After speaking a little with the man John turns to the others.



“He says they got the storm right on them, and that they tried to get close to the coast to ride the storm over, but they got in to far and the ship was crushed against the cliffs, and both crew and goods had fallen overboard. He also says that we must return all the goods; it belongs to some German Duke… I think he said the Duke of Bavaria.

“No way… look at all this; we could all get might wealthy. Tell him that we won’t let him says something like this. It is ours now!”

Turning to the man again John speaks, and the argue back and forth in some strange language for some time, before the foreign man grabs for his sword, and quickly launches a strike against John, but although a little old and rusty John had already reacted and crouched. Now the others reach as well, most of the men are wearing knifes and now they walks against the foreigner trying to stab him, but the keeps them away with his sword.

But William had managed to get round the man and now he walks up to him from behind with a stone in his hand.


“It is ours!!!!”

Just as he screams he hits the man in the back of his head with the stone, and as the man falls to the ground the rest of them men are over him and stabs him with their knifes again and again, but it wasn’t very much a point. William’s stroke had crushed the mans skull and the blood poured out of the open back head, as well as from all the wounds the men had inflicted with their knifes.

Standing still for some moments just looking at the dead body they all agree it was self defence, and then they turn back to looting the other bodies and the wreckage. Some minutes alter the beach is once again filled with talk and happy outbursts when they find something valuable.






All in all it was maybe the loss of the Dutch and their German Duke, but it sure was to the benefit of the people along the English east coast, because all over the coast reports came in from the royal officers that wreckage had been found, and that the locals and the officials were looting all along the coast. So the Dutch goods and money didn’t just end up in the houses of the locals, but much of it also ended up in the King’s coffins and storage.
Also as the fishermen returned to their fishing areas in the North Sea there wasn’t as much competition and very few Dutch ships were seen. It seemed like the storm had been much harder to other realms, but for England the storm had been only good.
 
Last edited:

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An envoy arrives to Sir John Hawkwood in Rome...



Unto Sir John Hawkwood
Of the White Company and of the Crown of England


Hail to thee!
A fellow comrade of arms, long have I sat in this Sienese court of pomp and nobles, and much gladdened I am to have received word from another of our kind. To introduce myself I am Gerardino da Lucari of Cortona, and it gives me pleasure to introduce myself to a man of your respects.
In truth, I and my own mercenary captains and men at arms seized power from the Siena Republic, of which my Lordship fiefdom had always been given trouble from. From it’s political confusions in my youth my fiefdom was seized and I was exiled, and thereafter I myself served as a mercenary across Italy, and under Roberto di Geneva against the heretical anti-Papal rebels at Cessena, as of in other endeavours in my lifetime.

It is true that his Holiness has indeed recognized my claim, and is coming on an official visit himself to bless the new Sienese fiefdom, of which he has named me feudal overlord thereof. I owe much to his Holiness, and I truly believe he is the one legitimate Pope, and I have ill feelings for any man of Avignon whom would wish him anything but the highest respects that the true Universal Father of Christiandom deserves. Of course Siena would be most obliged to receive the endeavours of trade and other matters with England, and I myself would warmly welcome you as my guest, unless affairs in Rome or for your liege keep you elsewhere.

You may send your King Richard that I am most gratious for his well wishing, and I pray that God grants him the greatness and lawful lands he is truly destined to rule.​

You are welcome to my lands at any time,
~ Gerardindo da Lucari
Duke of Siena
Count of Cortona
The Church’s Overlord of all Tuscany
 

HJ Tulp

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"Thank you your Majesty, that is splendid news, I have taken the liberty of drafting a treaty in advance. I assume you want to review it?


Anglo-Hollandic Treaty of the Mainland Distribution of Whool


I. The lands subject to his Most Royal Majesty King Richard the Second King of England, King of France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine will cease the exportation of whool to Burgundy within 10 years. In the first year the export of whool to Burgundy must be down with 10%, the next year another 10% and so on and so on until all export of whool to Burgundy is ceased in the Tenth year.

II. Within 10 years all export of whool will be aimed at the lands subject of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Henegouwen with Holland and the city of Delft in particulair.

III. No other nation will receive whool from the lands subject of King Richard the Second before it has gone through the lands of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria.

IV. The Duke of Bavaria will decide which cities will be the port of entry of the whool. However, the city of Dordtrecht will allways receive 50% of the trade.

V. All the lands subject to Duke Albrecht will lower their tolls and taxes on English whool untill they reach 10% below the current tolls and taxes on English whool in Burgundy.

[X] on behalf of his Grace Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Henegouwen, Jan de Leeuw


Would this be satisfactory to you your Majesty?"
 

Lord E

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Windsor with Jan de Leeuw

Richard looked at the treaty before handing it to the Lord high treasures and john of Gaunt. The two med used a long time to read through the treaty, and then they discussed for a while before turning to the King and nodding.

“Yes, it seems like we have agreed mr. de Leeuw. This would seem acceptable to England, and it will work against mad Charles and his evil lackeys. This is a good day, for all days when we can work against the evil French are good!

Now I hope you will join me in a toast to mark the occasion before I sing the treaty?”

Jan de Leeuw is handed a glass, and after they have drunk the toast Richard grabs the treaty and signs.

Anglo-Hollandic Treaty of the Mainland Distribution of Whool


I. The lands subject to his Most Royal Majesty King Richard the Second King of England, King of France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine will cease the exportation of wool to Burgundy within 10 years. In the first year the export of wool to Burgundy must be down with 10%, the next year another 10% and so on and so on until all export of wool to Burgundy is ceased in the Tenth year.

II. Within 10 years all export of wool will be aimed at the lands subject of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Henegouwen with Holland and the city of Delft in particular.

III. No other nation will receive wool from the lands subject of King Richard the Second before it has gone through the lands of Duke Albrecht of Bavaria.

IV. The Duke of Bavaria will decide which cities will be the port of entry of the wool. However, the city of Dordtrecht will always receive 50% of the trade.

V. All the lands subject to Duke Albrecht will lower their tolls and taxes on English wool until they reach 10% below the current tolls and taxes on English wool in Burgundy.

[X] on behalf of his Grace Duke Albrecht of Bavaria, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland and Henegouwen, Jan de Leeuw

[X]. Richard, King of England and France, Lord of Ireland and Aquitaine







Windsor with the Teutonic Knight

When the guard see that the knight have returned to Windsor they immediately takes him to the King, knowing that the King’s order was that the knight had free entrance to the King at all times.
When he is accepted into the courtroom the King smiles and greets the Knight.


“Now good sir knight, what can England do for you?”
 

Mettermrck

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Von Osterna bowed at the King's polite greeting. Perhaps this boded well...

"Ihrer Majestät, I thank you for receiving this humble envoy. Only the urgency of the moment has compelled me to press for such an immediate audience. The pagan Liths have refused the Grandmaster's generous offer of compensation and non-aggression for the lands of Samogitia, perhaps a treaty too good for the likes of these heathens.

Having failed to come to a peace, it is war we turn to. As such, we come to our friends in a time of struggle and ask if there is any boon you may grant our cause, whether material or diplomatic. Funds would be of vital use, English knights would gain immortal glory in the service of the crusade. Your influence can help other kingdoms and nations to join our cause. This is a moment to crown your zeal as a Christian monarch, Ihrer Majestät. Any aid provided would long be remembered with great gratitude."


Von Osterna bowed again as he finished his speech.
 

Lord E

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With the Teutonic knight

Listening with great attention the young king looked a little shocked when the knight told about the war against the pagans, and around the court voices spread the news, and the sound of people talking loudly about the subject could be heard all over the court.

“So I understand it has come to war with the pagans, first allow me to offer England’s best wishes for the coming enterprise, I am sure the armies of Christ will be victorious!

Of course, England can supply both fighting men and founds for the cause. At the moment it seems like the French are willing to talk foe pace, and therefore I am sure we could agree. How much founding does your Order want? And how can English knights do their duty to Christ fighting in Your Holy Order?
In times like this all Christians must rally to the cause of destroying the evil pagans, and it should be good training for English knights. There has been some years since a good campaign was fought in France, and I guess some of the knights are a little rusty and good need the practice, and seeing the field of battle once more…”
 

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Von Osterna exhaled a little at the King's positive respnose.

"2,000 guilders (2 eco) would ensure victory for the Faith in the Baltic. Naturally, any provision of funds would be gratefully received. Perhaps your Majesty could dispatch a contingent of knights consisting of those who wish to fulfill holy vows of Crusade? Even a small number of English lances on the field of battle can turn the tide? Surely the Lord will look favorably upon our struggle then..."
 

Lord E

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With the Teutonic knight

“Most certainly sir. We shall order the Lord Treasurer to see to that the founds are sent to your Order as soon as possible. I hope the founds will aid the struggle against the heathens!

I am sure we should be able to send contingent of knights as well as some lancers. Also if it would be in the interest of the Order we could also send English longbow men. I am sure you know that the longbow men are feared in all of France, and if possible I presume they would do well against the heathens… But if the Order only wants knights and lancers then knights and lancer shall be despatched at once!”
 

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Von Osterna was caught up in the generosity of Richard's words. "Let it not be said that the piety of the King of England is to be doubted. Surely the Lord looks favorably upon your endeavors, Ihre Majestät. English arms of all types would be most welcome, your feared longbowmen and your brave knights."
 

Lord E

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Windsor with the Teutonic Knight

Richard smiled

“I thank you good sir knight! I shall see to that the loading of forces upon the navy is started at once, and then you can go and write to your Grandmaster informing him that English forces should arrive soon. “

Turning to John of Gaunt the King gives some order; the Duke passes the orders on to the Lord Treasurer and the Lord High marshal, both men leaves court immediately to make everything ready for the departure of English troops to fight against the heathens.
 

AugCaesar

Caesar Augustus
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Many Months Ago - Portsmouth, Kingdom of England

"Oh this way Sir, the sites about a five minutes walk."

Spry old Morosini snapped along quickly overtaking his companion. The town was wet and dreary, typical England, and the Venetians felt rather at home.

"Not unlike the city in the winter is it Zeno?" Pietro Morosini said looking about, referring to Venice. Marco had never really thought about, but as he felt the crisp cool air on his face he could not help but agree.

"Indeed Sir Morosini..."

"Pietro," the elder added indifferently as they continued their walk. Fair, Zeno a man of great respect and fealty could not hide a faint smile from his face as they rounded the last turn before the road to the work site which was now visible before them, a simple pile of wood and stone where a few men were busying themselves. It was quickly becoming apparent to Marco that this aged stern looking man was nothing more than a teddy bear. He could not see through the pleasant manner and grandfatherly appearance of Morosini to t he hardened businessman and demanding capitan. In all honesty though if Zeno carried out his duties as faithfully as always he perhaps never would see Pietro Morosini's stronger side, the side that earned him the wealth and position he held in the Republic.

As they came at last to the site of the colony Marco did catch a glimpse of the thoroughness and expertise of his counterpart. Without a second of wasted time Morosini was ordering the men there about to prepare for the imminent arrival of the builders and laborers. There was no time to be wasted and a crude warehouse, along with a dormitory for the Venetians would need to be erected quickly.

"A warehouse already Sir?" Marco looked to the expert quizzically.


Pietro was not critical when he answered, "There are many goods upon those ships, and surely you would not have us sell them all today?" He pointed to a stack of lumber that was setting in a pool of water and barked at some nearby laborer to see it moved immediately. Moving to survey the sight further he noticed Zeno looking on still puzzled.

"Of course we could sell our whole load today and make a nice little profit, I am sure there is plenty of the wool we seek here at market, but by selling all we undercut much of our profit. A bottle of wine, or piece of silk is worth much when there are only a handful to be had, but when one sees a market stall full of them, they lose their luxury, their value," He paused and stopped to get the point across, "their price."

Just as he finished he noticed his mason's approaching and gave them a nod of acknowledgement.

"That is why we do this business Zeno," he continued as the two men approached, "We could just sail our fleets about the seas dropping our cargoes and turn a profit, but it is much wiser that we in our ports of greatest concern build these colonies where it is we, not the markets that control supply and demand, our ships can unload all in one port, and barter some of their supply for a full load for the next port, it is Venice's unique access to bullion that allows us to always find the greatest profit."

Marco could only looked on admirably and nodded knowingly at Morosini's good sense. He felt humble at his lack of knowledge, and glad that such a man was here to see that all would go well. He was about to commend the old Venetian for his wisdom when he was cut short by the taller of the masons.

"Noble Pietro Morosini, it is good to see you again on solid ground, indeed though Venice is of the sea, I am of the land."

The speaker's companion chuckled and nodded as Pietro shook both their hands before motioning to Marco Zeno. "Gentleman, this is Marco Zeno, envoy to the court of England, surely you knows his esteemed family."

The masons bowed lightly with their head, respectful of the two names inscribed upon the Golden Book that stood before them. Marco nodded his head and spoke pleasantly,

"My pleasure good sirs, your services are a bounty to the Most Serene Republic." Finally Pietro concluded the formal exchange of pleasantries as he put forth the names of Aluysio Sanuto and Bartolomeo Vendilini. Shortly the two craftsmen were off to oversee the laborers who were already there and the flow of men and material that followed them from the docks. The two nobles continued their walk about the grounds and chatted pleasantly, Marco exchanging matters of note local to England, and Pietro conveying the latest he knew of Venice. Finally the old man began to show his age and he pointed towards the city.

"It has been a long journey Zeno, and there will be much to do for sometime. Would it trouble you to see me to my quarters now?"

And so the two men who would contribute so much to the wealth and prosperity of Venice set off together, as they would be seen so many times again in Portsmouth, and the great wheels of industry continued to turn and turn around them.
 
Last edited:

Velasco

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Apr 9, 2005
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A letter arrived at the English court, for the reading of the King and his regents.


Charles III d’Anjou, King of Naples and Jerusalem, Prince of Achaea and Durazzo, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, et cetera, to his highness Richard II, King of England and France, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, et cetera, greetings.

I pray you have not forgotten the arrangements for the marriage of my beloved daughter, Joanna, and your young nephew, Edward d’Anjou. However, I am compelled to ask for the immediate return of the princess to Naples. Instead, I propose a marriage between Edward and one of my own nieces, Beatrice of Gravina. I do not seek to anger or dishonour his majesty, but at such a time, a marriage between Joanna and Edward d’Anjou is not thought favourable.

However, I hope that you accept a marriage between Edward d’Anjou and Beatrice of Gravina. Beatrice is a tall and beautiful girl of fourteen, and stands to inherit the counties of Gravina and Morrone. If such a marriage is to your liking, then I promise to make Edward d’Anjou a duke, either of Gravina, or elsewhere (whatever is to your liking). Such a marriage would still tie together the most royal houses of Naples and England, and seal our future friendship.

My apologies,
Charles, King of Naples and Jerusalem, et cetera.
 
Last edited:

Velasco

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Joanna, Queen of Naples

Joanna sat in her chamber, reading and re-reading the letter sent to her by her uncle, the Duke of Gravina. She had cried, she had wept, she had mourned for her mother, her father, and her brother. And then she wept for herself, and the struggles she would face. Composing herself, she read the letter once more. She was Queen of Naples!

At thirteen, she already posssessed the same confidence and polticial savvyness of her father. As a young child Queen, no doubt her uncle, or this Elizabeth of Slavonia, whom her father had supposedly wed and had two sons by...two brothers! Two brothers, she had never met. Two brothers, who might well try to kill her, and make themselves Kings in Naples. She needed a husband.

Edward d'Anjou would not suffice. She needed a strong husband, one who could make good her claims in spite of all the confusion and madness going on in Christendom. Without hesitation, she stole some parchment and ink from adjoining chambers, and began to write.
 

Blade!

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*A letter arrives by merchant ship, in the hands of a royal courier in livery; it is addressed to the Queen of Naples*

Joanna, by God's Grace Queen of Naples,

I write to you on behalf of my brother, John, a pious Prince of the mortal realm.

He understands that your recent loss has placed you upon the title of Queen, and that your predecessor did endanger the stability of your inheritance, such that even the eyes of Rome turn upon it.

My brother seeks to invite you to his field camp, where his armies oversee the defense of Portugal from Satanist rebels who are arising. He invites you to come as a guest and witness the strength of Iberia, and discuss the stability of your inheritance as well as the future of the Mediterranean.

I pray all is well with your person, and your grief does not overwhelm.

Lady Penelope de Coria,

on behalf of:

Juan Trastamara, by God's Grace King of Castille, Toledo, Leon, Galacia, Seville, Cordoba, Murica, Emperor of Granada, et cetera, and Servant of the Catholic Church.
 

Velasco

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Apr 9, 2005
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Joanna did not waste any time after reading the letter. Enlisting the help of Antonio d'Altavilla, Joanna at once arranged to be smuggled out of England, and a few days later was on her way to far-off Portugal. The English only realised when it was too late.

She swore, on the feet and hands of God, she would never, never, return to that wretched place called England. Ergh. The very mention of the name made her feel sick.