The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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  The Dance of Death - Gameplay Thread (1215)
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DKrol
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« Reply #75 on: August 02, 2019, 11:55:21 PM »

Quote
Pact between the Mongol Empire and the Qara Khitai
I. The Great Khan Genghis of the Mongols and Emperor Kuchlug of the Qara Khitai hereby agree to engage in no armed attacks, nor in any subversive activities, upon the lands or peoples of the other.
II. The nomadic Turkmen under the rule of Emperor Kuchlug shall be granted autonomy to manage their own affairs. They shall not be obligated to provide levies to wars led by the Qara Khitai, and shall regulate their own titles and matters of succession.
III. Merchants of both empires shall be allowed to move freely between each other, and shall be granted the regular privileges of merchants in either realm.
IV. The Shah of Khwarazmian shall act as a guarantor of this agreement and its terms among the Qara Khitai.
xShah Mohammed II

x Genghis Khan
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« Reply #76 on: August 03, 2019, 03:51:44 PM »
« Edited: August 03, 2019, 05:15:21 PM by Garlan Gunter »

Brother Bertran, once known as Bertran de Brorn, sieur d'Hautefort and troubadour, Cistercian monk, is hereby advanced to the see of Toulouse.
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« Reply #77 on: August 04, 2019, 03:33:31 PM »
« Edited: August 04, 2019, 03:59:42 PM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

TREATY OF ANCONA

Whereby the terms of the Emperor Otto IV's reconciliation to Holy Church are agreed thus:

Quote
I The Emperor Otto shall enter Rome alone and on foot for a papal audience, be shriven clean and do penance at the hands of the Holy Father.

II The Emperor will yield up the Imperial crown, the German and the Italian kingdoms back into the Pope's hands. He shall receive them all back again upon all customary conditions, after a vow no longer to interfere in Italian affairs against the Pope's word.

III The Emperor Otto shall receive the ancient Tuscan lands and honours appertaining to the House of Welf, to hold in fief from the Holy See. King Frederick and his cousins, including the future Empress Beatrice, shall receive their ancestral rights in Swabia, to hold from the Emperor Otto.

IV The Emperor Otto shall pay to Holy Church a feudal relief worthy of empire.

V The Emperor Otto shall exchange with King Frederick the Kiss of Peace and marry his kinswoman Beatrice without delay.

VI The Emperor Otto shall pledge to depart speedily upon Crusade, first in Spain, and subsequently in the Holy Land.

VII The Emperor Otto shall support the declared intention his uncle of England to release the Pope's beloved daughter in Christ Eleanor, Duchess of Brittany, to her rightful domain, and allow her Breton vassals liberty of which crown, England or France, to pay homage, or whether to stand wholly independent.

VIII Agnes of the Palatinate shall be betrothed and in time married to the Pope's kinsman Rinaldo di Jenne.

IX The Emperor Otto shall lead his forces out of Italy in good order, bound for Spain, and without intimidation or politicking among the princes of northern Italy. In Spain the Emperor is to respect the rights of all existing Christian sovereigns, especially the Papacy's beloved son the King of Aragon.

X The Emperor Otto shall understand that if he agrees to all of these terms wholly and faithfully, we shall be as amiable as we have ever been, and the Papacy will support his reforms and rights as a sovereign under God.

XI The Emperor Otto will vow to respect the existing rights of the Electors and other princes and bishops, and to consult them upon great matters. This clause is advised by the Pope in good faith as the best way to achieving the reforms desired by the Emperor.

XII The Emperor will support the King of Denmark in godly and just wars against the heathen, but not against his fellow Christians of Scandinavia. Nor shall the Emperor grant aid, comfort or sympathy to the false Bishop of Bremen.

XIII The King of Sicily or his nominee will be rewarded for his part in assisting this peaceful state of affairs by becoming Papal Vicar in Lombardy.

x Innocenzo

***

Papal Bull, Fructas Fidelis

The Republic of Venice is immediately awarded absolute possession of the presently schismatic island of Rhodes. Additionally the Doge of Venice, in the person of his podesta if required, is endowed with Papal authority by proxy to mediate in the troubles between the Emperor Henry and his vassals, in the hope that a complete peace may soon be accomplished.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus

***

The Holy Father's University at Rome

The Holy Father announces the foundation of a new university at the Vatican, under its Chancellor Cardinal Robert of Curzon. Any gifts in wealth or wisdom, silver or scholars by good Christian rulers will be eternally remembered. The institution is to flourish according to the precepts of similar seats of learning at Bologna and Paris, both remembered fondly by His Holiness.

"Needless to say, I condemn this vile "treaty" and pray that it is but a forgery spread by the pagan peddlers of deceit who seek to undermine confidence in His Holiness.  It is our hope that The Holy See would never believe that this document could have been drafted with my support.  Indeed, the so-called "Emperor" Otto has no authority to make such an agreement when he has yet to establish that the imperial crown is his to give up.  In light of these recent events and in an effort to wipe away the stain they have left upon European Christendom, I shall soon make a more detailed announcement so that the good Christians of the Holy Roman Empire may rest easy knowing that not all men are so spineless and weak-willed as the so-called "Emperor" Otto has proven himself to be.  Or mayhaps it is simply a forgery as all decent men surely pray will be proven to be the case." - King Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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« Reply #78 on: August 05, 2019, 02:20:35 AM »

The King of Sicily is strongly urged to retract both his pretense upon the imperial title and his ludicrous accusations regarding a forged treaty forthwith, on pain of his membership of the Italian League and, if he persists, of severer and more spiritual penalties.

Should he show proper contrition, the Holy Father, once his fond protector in this world and ever his friend, shall be sure to make it well worth his while.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, etc
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« Reply #79 on: August 05, 2019, 02:05:24 PM »
« Edited: August 05, 2019, 03:20:20 PM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

Royal Proclaim (Part 1 of 2): On the Troubling Rumors and Reports Emerging from the Holy See

"As many of you are no doubt aware, a deeply disturbing message has recently been sent from the Holy See.  Indeed, but for the source, it could have easily been mistaken for any other lie wicked men so oft spread to discredit those among us who have truly accepted Christ - who died on the cross for our sins - as our Savior.   Like any Christian, I would never presume to doubt the word of His Holiness...would that we could only be certain these were his words written by his own free will.  Indeed, for some time there have been troubling reports from the Holy See suggesting with increasing certainty that His Holiness has been replaced with a wicked, war-mongering double conjured up by some black fiend using the most infamous sort of black magic.  

And yet, I know all too well that one must be weary about such rumors, lest one fall for the cunning lies wicked men so oft spread about His Holiness in an effort to undermine faith in the Church.  Even now, I do not say that every rumor is true.  

Like any reasonable man, I was skeptical of the stories that a coven of witches absconded with His Holiness and have been acting in his name through a pig that has served as their leader's familiar.  Like most of European Christendom, I too have my doubts about the ever increasing number of rumors that His Holiness is being held prisoner after being replaced with a talking jackass sired by a warlock's wicked fornication with a she-goat; a despicable demon whose true form has been cloaked using the vilest blood magic performed using the blood of Christian children.  Indeed, credible as some such reports may initially appear in light of recent events, caution remains a vital part of wisdom and I remain steadfast in my prayers that they are false.  

Tempting as it may be to believe the rumors that a pack of common apes have abducted His Holiness and replaced him with one of their number who was granted the power of speech by Satan himself, I will not have it said that I lent credence to such tales without proof.  And yet, His Holiness may well be in the gravest of danger as it defies belief that he could have truly approved of the fallacious forgery as the latest letter from the Holy See would have us believe.  

Indeed, while His Holiness is doubtless alive, I fear there is cause to believe he may not have truly written the letter in question.  Let me be clear, for I would hate to think that I lend credence to sensationalism - even of a plausible sort - with my words.  I do not say that the man who sent the aforementioned letter is secretly a stubborn and arrogant jackass in human guise seeking to crack the skulls of righteous men with the hooves of its hind legs.  I do not say that he is actually a Paganistic pig who seeks to turn the Holy See into his private pen that he may role around in the mud, muck, and manure of Mammon whilst the true Pope is subjected to constant humiliations.  I do not even attribute such foolishness to the antics of a common ape set to some devilish purpose after sending others of his kind to abscond with His Holiness from the Holy See, plausible though some men may find such an explanation.  I will not have it said that I lent further credence to such rumors and thus ensured their entry into public discourse and pray that these rumors - credible though some may appear - are but a mere cacophony of calumnies for this would mean His Holiness is safe.    

And yet, it has become all too plain that His Holiness is potentially being subjected to the torments of a cunning pack of wicked, scheming counselors who whisper in his ear and inflict endless humiliations upon his Holiness in an effort to thwart any resistance.  Indeed, neither a Pope nor a King can make a mistake, such is the divine guidance stemming from their divine rights.  And yet the wicked words of a black and infamous fiend in wise man's robes may bring ruin to the wisest king's realm.  While I shall continue to monitor developments closely, I shudder to think of the catastrophic consequences of reckless action at a time like this.  

And so, while the times call for decisive leadership by courageous men of faith, so too do they call for prudence. I ask that all of European Christendom join me in praying that His Holiness is in good health and otherwise unmolested by the wicked advisors who plainly forged portions of the so-called treaty of which this latest letter speaks.  And yet, if events prove that this is not the case, then let every devil-worshiping heretic who has done His Holiness harm quake in their boots for they will soon learn that His Judgement cometh speedily.  

Perhaps if the Holy See were to formally request that the Kingdom of Sicily send a special delegation to conduct a fact-finding mission and root out any wicked influences that might've taken hold, then it would enable us to bring clarity to the situation.  The Kingdom of Sicily would certainly be happy to provide such a service upon request.  For now though, I pray that God will hear this humble prayer for peace and deliver His Holiness from whatever evil may be have infiltrated the Holy See.  And to those who think it impossible that such a thing could happen in so blessed a place as the Holy See, let us remember that God thought Satan beautiful mere minutes before The Fall and it took but one Judas Iscariot to betray Christ who died on the cross for our sins.  

No doubt there will be weak, wicked men who condemn my words with vulgar tongues and some may even seek to do me harm for saying that which must be said.  For them, I have but one reply: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me.’  In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  Amen.
" - King Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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Garlan Gunter
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« Reply #80 on: August 06, 2019, 02:33:16 AM »

Papal Bull, Haeresium infernorum

Any Christian ruler who repeats the vile libels spread privately lately and just now publicly by the King of Sicily, to the effect that His Holiness or any person among his counsel is incapable, kidnapped, bewitched, demonically possessed, or fallen to paganism shall be considered guilty of the very charges they spew.

Frederick of Sicily shall be given one chance to relent. The Emperor Otto has pledged to enter Rome alone and be shriven clean. If Frederick dares to follow suit he shall find in the Holy Father the same lovingkindedness and truth he once knew well.

If he refuses this invitation, I shall be forced to remind Christendom that it is the King of Sicily, not myself, who has taken to aping the sleights and crafts of paganism.

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, etc
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« Reply #81 on: August 06, 2019, 02:33:23 PM »
« Edited: August 06, 2019, 08:14:41 PM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

Royal Proclaim (Part 2 of 2): On the Troubling Rumors and Reports Emerging from the Holy See

"It is with a heavy heart that I say that this latest Papal Bull has lent credence to the fears of which I've no doubt are shared by all good men throughout European Christendom.  Neither a king nor a Pope can be wrong, so what is one to conclude when a Papal Bull contains a madman's multitude of crudely contrived calumnies against a righteous man?  I fear the answer is all too plain: it is the work not of His Holiness, but of wicked men of a very precise nature.  Indeed, this Papal Bull may well be a carefully coded message.  After much careful study and prayer, I believe I have been able to discern His Holiness' true meaning.  

And yet, logic dictates that His Holiness could not have meant all he said literally.  After all, if a man were to repeat a credible report that His Holiness was kidnapped by a wicked counselor, are we to then conclude that His Holiness was instead kidnapped and replaced by the very person making that charge?  Nay, for only a half-wit would make such an absurd assertion.  And surely, His Holiness is neither a half-wit nor means to imply anything of the sort about himself.  

Moreover, you will all recall that I expressed a healthy skepticism and urged caution during these uncertain and dangerous times in which in has become so difficult to know what documents are real and which are but forgeries crafted by the cunning jackal pack that nips at the heels of European Christendom in the dead of night.  If His Holiness was unaware of this fact, he'd have to be an illiterate simpleton and we all know that His Holiness is not an illiterate simpleton.  Thus, there must be a coded message in his Papal Bull.  I can only conclude that he directed it at me because his trust in my judgement was so great that he knew I would see the truth rather than reacting impulsively to that which appeared at the surface.  

Let us first eliminate the impossible.  We may safely discard every rumor of which His Holiness has explicitly forbidden us to speak.  And yet there were some rumors that His Holiness did not discount and as such, one must conclude that these were the true ones, else His Holiness would have discounted them as well.  

While His Holiness is, thankfully, capable of continuing to preform his duties and has not been kidnapped, he did not deny that there is some evil lurking about the Holy See which has persuaded some black and infamous fiends among his advisors to sign their names in the devil's book of their own wicked accord.  Indeed, His Holiness did not deny the rumors that an elephant-headed hyena-swine was recently seen whispering in the ear of one of His Holiness' advisors after the man approached the vulgar, licentious fiend of his own accord.  After all, is it not all too well known that neither witchcraft nor demonic possession has ever been required to convince weak and wicked men to sign their names in the Devil's book?  

Moreover, His Holiness made no mention of the tales that some of his advisors have been - acting of their own free will and in accordance with their infamously sinful natures - fornicating with a three-legged cow whose belly bares not an utter but the bloody lipped head of a common toad.  From his silence, one can only conclude that he took no issue with this charge.  Aye, else why would he ever permit such words to stand?  Worst of all, he did not deny that one of his advisors has gotten the beast with child after being seduced by the toad-head's promises of worldly riches delivered to be hand-delivered by some heathen horde.  

And what of the talk that one of His Holiness' advisors has of his own accord been sending messages in His Holiness' name...messages dictated by a bear-pig demon that walks upright like a man.  Some may quibble and assert that it was merely a pig-bear demon walking upright like a man, but His Holiness' steadfast refusal to deny this claim is deeply disturbing.  I fear the only logical conclusion one can draw is that His Holiness - while alive and well - is surrounded with wicked advisors and that these black, infamous fiends are acting strictly in accordance with their own sinful natures.  There is indeed a higher power that His Holiness was able to warn European Christendom thus in time.  And yet even still, I say we must weigh all option carefully for haste is a fool's favorite folly.  

In light of these troubling times in which we find ourselves and way the so-called Emperor Otto has sulked and simpered like a sniveling sycophant rather than speak truth as I have done, I shall - with the consent of all the fine, loyal, and devout Christians whom we may proudly call Electors and Princes within the Holy Roman Empire - seek to reclaim the Imperial Crown for European Christendom.  I say to you that the so-called Emperor Otto is not a man, but an Octopus.  After all, what man could be so spineless as Otto the Octopus has recently proven himself.  

As Christ who died on the cross for our sins taught us all, a house divided cannot stand.  Indeed, I pray European Christendom will unite both for the sake of Rome and to come together to aid our Christian brethren who toil under the yolk of barbarian oppression in the Iberian Peninsula.  What has been done for them?  We have seen Papal Bulls denouncing one Christian nation after the next and yet what of the Christians been subjected to endless torments in Iberia by heathen hordes?  Has His Holiness forgotten them?  Surely not and so, it must be a wicked advisor who has withheld his Papal Bulls promising material support for their cause as actions speak far louder than empty words from toothless men.  And surely His Holiness is not a toothless man whose empty words underscore his indifference to the suffering of Iberian Christendom.  

And now I shall do something which no demon, heathen, wicked man, or demonic host could do: I shall recite The Lord's Prayer: 'Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'  In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  Amen."
- King Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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« Reply #82 on: August 07, 2019, 01:44:53 AM »
« Edited: August 07, 2019, 09:36:21 AM by Lumine »

Mid-1213 Update

Franco-Papal Conflict?
Flemish nobility revolts against Pope,
Breton Regent dies, Brittany declares independence,
Dominic of Guzman uncovers French plot?

Seemingly angered at the open defiance of the Flemish nobility towards one of the proposed "Papal marriages" between the Conti family and one of the heirs to the region, Pope Innocent III took immediate and harsh action through the mass excommunication of the regional nobility and the open threat of an interdict. Perhaps hoping that such a measure would force the hand of the reluctant nobles news soon came to Rome of the extremely negative reaction within Flanders itself, the nobles angrily refusing to acknowledge the papal command and asserting their outright refusal to accept the papal marriage. Soon afterwards - and as tales of the Pope being possessed or kidnapped spread like wildfire - the Flemish nobility sent an urgent petition to King Philip, asking for protection and offering immediate acceptance of the proposed royal marriage.

Another critical development took place in Brittany, as despite the lack of clarity on the exact future of Lady Eleanor - still in England - the Breton nobility has become incredibly enthusiastic about the notion of independence and of being free from either the English or French yoke. Amidst scenes of great enthusiasm and pro-independence fervor, the dying regent Guy of Thouars sent duchess (or former duchess) Alix and the rest of his family to Paris to live under Philip's protection, his grave illness claiming his life soon afterwards. With the regent and the former duchess gone the Breton lords have gathered to declare the unilateral independence of the Duchy of Brittany, asserting its full autonomy from King John and King Philip and recognizing Eleanor as sole duchess. Despite the efforts of papal ambassadors the Bretons have also refused to yield to a papal marriage for Eleanor, arguing the duchess should marry a suitable consort from the Breton nobility.

Finally, a key development has taken place in Occitania and spread across Western Europe due to the nature of the news. Assigned by the Pope to interrogate several of the preachers which formed part of the so-called "Children's Crusade", brother Dominic of Guzman had a significant group of individuals arrested and upon a lengthy and detailed investigation Guzman concluded - in a public finding - that several of them were guilty of heresy and even of demonic possession. Even more dramatic, he also concluded some had been corrupted and bribed by King Philip of France in a still confusing conspiracy of sorts. Although the unofficial leaders of the peasant and children crusaders have denied these findings the confusing situation in Occitania has grown more chaotic, some gangs already attacking each other.

The Imperial Struggle
Otto submits to Papal authority, regains Church support,
Frederick revives imperial claim, survives assassination attempt,
German Electors seemingly up for grabs

After a confusing year in the Holy Roman Empire and the failure of the proposed "Co-Emperors" solution, many wondered whether the struggle for the imperial crown would result in open warfare once again, or whether a negotiated solution was on the works. The first of the candidates to move was Otto, who in a stunning development managed to negotiate with the Pope and seemingly restore the alliance both men had before falling out into a dangerous rivalry. The result of this compromise was the newly signed Treaty of Ancona, upon which Otto won formal papal support for his imperial bid at a significant high cost, becoming a vassal of the Pope after doing penance and agreeing to several concessions.

Frederick pursued a more controversial road, openly moving away from his former mentor and ally by denouncing the Treaty of Ancona as a fabrication and engaging in a dangerous challenge towards the Pope, uttering extremely controversial - but also damaging to Innocent - rhetoric and giving credibility to rumors which have circulated about the Pope and greatly worried Rome since last year. Under an open threat by the Pope on account of the bull Haeresium infernorum Frederick nonetheless resolved to re-claim the Imperial crown and revive his bid, an act that would seemingly bring an immediate consequence. At a feast in Naples several of Frederick's food tasters fell violently ill upon eating some of the food destined to their lord, and died of severe poisoning. Sicily has been stunned at this turn of events, many whispering against Otto or Pope Innocent as likely culprits.

Though damaging for his prestige and his standing among some electors, Otto's reconciliation with the Pope has won him the critical support of the clergy and the Bishop-Electors - outraged at Frederick's rhetoric -, and reinforced himself with the backing of a Pope which, while increasingly divisive and controversial, still commands much respect within the HRE. Frederick, on the other hand, has lost much Church support on account of his actions (even within Sicily), but has revived his claim for the Empire and won back some of the respect the Electors had before feeling betrayed. Seemingly back into the struggle as credible claimants to the Empire, it appears most electors are now open and up for grabs for Frederick or Otto to win over.

Maria of Jerusalem dies!
Complications after giving birth result in death,
Prince Jean crowned King of Jerusalem under vigilance of his father,
Turmoil in Jerusalem as enemies move against the new regent

Weakened by a complicated birth, Queen Maria of Jerusalem nonetheless decided to exert herself whilst trying to fulfill her royal duties, a fateful decision that soon made her health problems far worse and sent her directly towards a dance with death herself. Within a few days the fever had claimed the life of the Queen, her infant son John being the last direct heir to the Kingdom left alive. With the entire kingdom in mourning due to the sudden and unexpected loss of their young Queen the more prominent figures in Jerusalem - with the support of the Military Orders - gathered to declare King Consort Jean of Brienne the new regent of the kingdom until his infant son Jean (King Jean I of Jerusalem) comes of age.

However, this decision has not been free of controversy. A group of noblemen opposed to Jean and his personal supporters has openly challenged the new regent's right to rule, arguing he is both the wrong person to lead and has no actual links to the kingdom on account of having arrived only three years ago. Seemingly led by prominent noblemen John of Ibelin, the powerful and wealthy lord of Beirut (and the late Queen's half-uncle), these would-be rebels argue the old nobility of Jerusalem are the only ones who can properly lead the kingdom in Jean I's name, and it is believed both the regent and Ibelin will be sending emissaries to the Pope in the hopes of being recognized as the rightful regent of Jerusalem.
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« Reply #83 on: August 07, 2019, 05:40:22 AM »

The King of France formally recognizes Britanny's independence from the Kingdom of England. Whoever ends up being the duchess and the duchess' consort will still has to be negotiated between the bretons nobles, the Pope and the King of France himself.
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« Reply #84 on: August 07, 2019, 09:33:00 AM »

THE VISIONS OF POPE INNOCENT

"St Peter, Prince of Apostles, erred when he struck against the Roman soldier against Our Lord's word, then thrice betrayed our saviour, yet he was forgiven.

"I, too, have erred in pride, and Our Lord has shown me that I sought to raise up the Papacy as the first among Christian principalities, to the glory of my worldly house.

"The seat of the Fisherman is of quite another and a higher order than the powers of thrones. The great worldly power I have been bidden to wield must come with holy duties most manifest.

"I hereby accept the will of the Bretons and the Flemings, and rescind the excommunications of Flanders. Furthermore I proclaim the Papacy's unconditional support of Britanny's absolute independence from the neighbouring crowns of England or of France. My two nephews I shall urge to join me in the work of the Church or the military orders, should they consent.

"As the Papacy is set apart from the pride of princes, so it is incumbent upon it to chide them when they err. The King of France is commanded to make monetary compensation for his manifest interferences in the Languedoc, whereupon absolute peace and friendship between him and the papacy shall be restored, as has ever been France's and the Holy See's right and custom.

"The crimes of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, king of Sicily, once our most singularly beloved ward, are of another and deeply distressing nature, and shall require a more solemn and encompassing remedy, imminently to be established."


Innocent III, Holy Father in the Church, humble sinner upon earth, repentant yet undaunted Vicar of Christ
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« Reply #85 on: August 07, 2019, 10:01:40 AM »

JUDGEMENTS REGARDING FREDERICK OF HOHENSTAUFEN, LATELY KING OF SICILY

I When King Frederick was a minor and his mother Queen Constance deceased, Pope Innocent acted as Regent of Sicily and guarded the honour of that realm justly and well.

II Frederick grew up a promising and pious prince and pupil, and was accordingly trusted as an Imperial candidate during certain of the former malefactions of the Emperor Otto.

III Against the Holy Father's advice, young Frederick strayed from the straight and narrow path and in conspiracy with the Emperor Otto thought to share power in defiance of the electors, citing worm-eaten and pagan precedents.

IV Both imperial rivals were shortly after brought to the light, and Frederick signalled his entire willingness to relinquish his imperial title in exchange for the future Papal Vicariate of Lombardy and the negotiations that culminated in the Italian League. At this time King Frederick was virtuously forward also in avouching his support for the Spanish Crusade.

V Alas for the wiles of Lucifer, this year congealed in Frederick's veins the black blood of the Staufen kind which had appeared to be staunched away. He repeated vile and ridiculous libels against the Papacy, refused a final chance to be shriven clean alongside the true Emperor and in the love of the Holy Father, and privately lodged impossible and risible demands to the Holy See.

VI Pope Innocent yet remembers with much tenderness and weeping a youth of affection, gratitude, honour, and ability. His only conclusion is that that youth's mind has been altogether overthrown by inherited Staufen madness and impiety.

VII His Holiness finds himself obliged to take the following steps -

The Kingdom of Sicily is expelled from the Italian League until Frederick or other authorities therein submit to Papal authority;

The Pope claims the Kingdom's Regency, as if the maddened Frederick is become once again a minor, until he returns to obedience or a more suitable monarch stands forth (the Papacy here notes the possible rights of the House of Brienne);

While an unrepentant Frederick reigns, commerce by sea or by finance with the Kingdom is forbidden to Christian realms on pain of Interdict;

The Pope invokes his alliances with Venice, the League of San Pietro and the Latin Empire, and invites the Emperor Otto to defend Holy Church from the madman Frederick, as well as the duty to defend the Papacy of all pious Christians;

The Pope remits the Vicariate of Lombardy into the trusted joint appointment of Simon, Count of Toulouse, and of the Archbishop of Milan;

Frederick is spared excommunication as an innocent lunatic, and Sicily Interdict as a kingdom blameless for its poor prince's insanity, but the prelates and nobles of the kingdom are urged to restrain their prince and deliver him into the loving arms of the Papacy, for his good, their own, and Christendom's;

No harm is to be done to the mad King's person on pain of excommunication.

Ordained in the light of Christ,

Innocent III, Holy Father, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, Successor to the Prince of Apostles, Pontifex Maximus
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« Reply #86 on: August 07, 2019, 10:51:29 AM »

Regarding the Spanish Crusade

The mad King speaks fewer more diabolical hypocrisies than those regarding Spain. Had he possessed any remaining care for Christendom there and elsewhere, he would have swallowed his pride and relinquished his pretended imperial title. It is his outrageous conduct towards his spiritual father and feudal sovereign that has thrown the Crusade into doubt. We implore the Kings of Christian Spain to join the Church in the erring monarch's restraint, for while Frederick the Loon rules no Crusade will be safe from wayward corruption.

Innocent III
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« Reply #87 on: August 12, 2019, 04:35:16 PM »

The Caliph is proud to announce the creation of a series of forts, watchtowers, and castles throughout the Sierra Morena mountains. The fortifications, built around a great central focal point overlooking the battlefield of the Despeñaperros and guarding the pass, will be named for the great heroes of the campaign in which God has felt fit to grant us victory. The fortifications will act as a permanent bulwark to protect the people of Al-Andalus and will serve to forever show the awesome might of the Faithful and to commemorate the sacrifices made for victory in the name of God and his true Caliph.
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« Reply #88 on: August 12, 2019, 09:22:26 PM »

Quote
Treaty of Peace between the Christian Iberian Coalition and the Almohad Caliphate:

1. The Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Leon, Portugal, and Navarre agree to establish a state of peace with the Almohad Caliphate, with the territories occupied by the Caliph serving as the line of demarcation.

2. The Caliph pledges to respect the Christian holy places and right to worship within the reconquered areas of his domain.

x King Alfonso VIII
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« Reply #89 on: August 12, 2019, 09:25:22 PM »

Quote
Treaty of Peace between the Christian Iberian Coalition and the Almohad Caliphate:

1. The Kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Leon, Portugal, and Navarre agree to establish a state of peace with the Almohad Caliphate, with the territories occupied by the Caliph serving as the line of demarcation.

2. The Caliph pledges to respect the Christian holy places and right to worship within the reconquered areas of his domain.

x King Alfonso VIII

x an-Nāṣir li-dīn Allah Muḥammad ibn al-Manṣūr, Caliph in Morocco
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« Reply #90 on: August 12, 2019, 10:33:21 PM »

Statement of Support and Felicity
Tsar Boril I Asen, first of his name, wishes to extend his support and felicity to Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen, who is considered to be an upstanding ruler and a credit to his people. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for his hospitality and candor. As emissaries of the Bulgarian Empire, we hope that our relationship may grow stronger in the years to come. May Frederick's years be prosperous and plentiful.

X Tsar Boril I Asen
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« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2019, 04:33:23 AM »

The Pope welcomes the establishment of peace and wisdom in Spain.

His Holiness also acknowledges the Sultan of Egypt as a private individual of knightly renown and good faith, whose word as a king may soundly be trusted, just as was that of his fabled brother Saladin.

Alas that paynim princes in these days set so gleaming an example to the poor mad prince in Sicily!
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« Reply #92 on: August 13, 2019, 06:53:09 AM »

The Khwarazm-Shah is bemused but gladdened to see the Catholic Pope's praise of Muslim realms. We would encourage him to continue to investigate why all of this world's most justly-administered realms abide by the principles of shari'a, and pray that he will soon join us in accepting the light of Islam into his heart.
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« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2019, 08:55:22 AM »

His Holiness, quite upon the contrary, hopes that such obviously distinguished and peace-loving souls as the Caliph of Andalusia and the Sultan of Egypt may yet rejoice in the lovingkindness of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Pope also in all affection warns his son the King of Denmark that any further action against the Swedes and the Norwegians will not be ignored at Rome. A Livonian crusade against pagan tribesmen instead is however welcomed.
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« Reply #94 on: August 13, 2019, 01:46:35 PM »
« Edited: August 13, 2019, 03:07:42 PM by Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen »

Royal Proclaim: On the Recent Papal Temptation and the Attempt on My Life

"It is a sad day indeed when His Holiness has been so led astray by those around him that he would give so little care to his words that he would make a muddled endorsement of the false faith of the Muhammadinians who are always looking for an excuse to invade and molest the holy city of Jerusalem.  I thank our Father in heaven for guiding His Holiness away from the shadow of heathen hordes and their false prophet and back towards the light of Christ who died on the cross for our sins.  All men are but weak sinners and yet one cannot say that the heart of the wicked is of so little worth that it may be written off as beyond forgiveness whilst that soul has time left to welcome Christ into his heart.  If even the most vulgar, licentious, imbecilic, sinful madman in Europe may yet be saved, is it any wonder that His Holiness was so doubtless welcomed back into the loving arms of Christendom despite briefly led astray by the burning desire for power which has turned the men around him to sin?  

And yet I urge His Holiness to look inward for there are ever more serpents slithering about in the Holy See not unlike the snake which led Adam and Eve astray in the Garden of Eden.  While His Holiness doubtless knew not of the attempt upon mine own life by the heathens who feared the truth of my words, after much prayer and thorough investigation, it has been discovered that those advisors whom His Holiness hath entrusted with oversight of the Papal banks deliberately c
onspired with a foreign power to send a payment to the would-be assassin whilst disguising the funds by laundering them through various unwitting Papal bankers.  While my investigation has determined that His Holiness himself had no knowledge of these plans nor did he in any way encourage them, I urge His Holiness to at least conduct his own investigation that he may see the truth of my words.  In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.  Amen." - Emperor Frederick II Hohenstaufen
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« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2019, 03:24:08 AM »

End of 1213 Update


Papal-Hohenstaufen Conflict
Innocent and Frederick trade insults, Papal Interdict
Rome and Sicily mobilize their armies, remain on the defense
Imperial Electors remain undecided

A PERSONAL STRUGGLE - Once wise mentor and dutiful student, the relationship between Pope Innocent and King Frederick became even more violent, threatening to split Italy apart in a violent war as the rhetorical struggle only grows in intensity. This has led to extreme situations, such as King Frederick asserting the assassination attempt on his person was planned by papal advisors and Pope Innocent dramatically declaring an interdict on the Kingdom of Sicily and calling for the Sicilian clergy and nobility to remove the King from power. This last decision has led to extreme tension across the Kingdom of Sicily as the local clergy denounces Frederick, but the nobility is yet to take any direct action on the matter. Weakened by the interdict the Hohenstaufen King has nonetheless secured the sympathies of Genoa, Pisa and powerful Venetian merchants, Pope Innocent III angering the trading cities by refusing to back down on his banking and trade efforts.

IMPERIAL DEADLOCK - Both Frederick and Innocent have also started to mobilize new forces, both recruiting and training new armies and placing them at defensive positions in fear of an attack by the other. Alas, the imperial deadlock has failed to swing in a decisive direction or show much movement, a lack of action by Emperor Otto after signing a treaty with the Pope doing harm to his cause and preventing electors from backing him; and the interdict preventing electors from backing Frederick as well, leaving the imperial struggle open once again as it is expected the electors and other important regions/cities will demand key concessions and gains in order to back a candidate. Crucially, rumors of all sorts continue to fly across Italy and the Empire, telling continued tales of Frederick’s heresy, of Otto being involved in Frederick’s attempted assassination, and of the Pope being a hostage.

The Albigensian Crusade
Crusaders win costly victory, Toulouse under siege
Simon of Montfort rises in power and influence
Children's Crusade crushed by French armies

BATTLE OF TOULOUSE - 1213 was the year in which the Crusaders resumed their offensive in Occitania, the successful collaboration between the Montfort crusaders and the vast French army making a push against Raymond of Toulouse possible. The combined crusader force took immediate action against the Children’s Crusaders and hoped to demoralize them by presenting the attack as having full Papal support, leading to dramatic scenes as hundreds of peasant crusaders were slaughtered, pushed into Aquitaine – which is yet to receive relief against the raids – or turned into gangs of embittered men, who have started to strike against the French and their supply lines whenever possible. The successful cleaning operation led to a pitched battle against Raymond near Toulouse, a terribly bloody and costly battle which resulted in a Crusader victory despite leaving hundreds dead in the field.

MONTFORT'S POWER - Thus Raymond and his also mauled armies were forced to take refuge into the heavily fortified Toulouse, now under a French-Crusader siege which promises to last for several months barring attempts to storm the city. Despite the failure of an operation to expand into Raymond’s territory in the West – leading to his other vassals to mobilize their own retinues – Simon of Montfort drastically expanded his personal power as some parts of Occitania reached a minor level of stabilitzation. Although several crusaders have expressed their wish to return home or resented Montfort’s tactics to test their loyalty, Montfort has been further bolstered by the decision of King John to fully restore his English titles and by holding onto the heir to Aragon now that King Peter has been captured by Castile.


The Mongol Wars
Genghis Khan wins a new victory, besieges Zhongdu
Khitans face success, but Goryeo raid leads to Korean intervention
Prince Wanyan murdered by his Generals

SIEGE OF ZHONGDU - Having been defeated at Zhongdu during the 1212 campaign, Genghis Khan made a conscious decision to make another push for the Jin capital with a recalibrated strategy, pursuing a more cautious approach with significant support on his flanks to avoid any encirclements. His more methodical push to the capital found remarkably success as Jin armies were unable to stop his forces, the Jin Empire itself being paralyzed due to Wanyan’s inability to issue further orders – some argue he may have been traumatized by the damage done to Zhongdu. Genghis finally faced the main Jin army for the second time, this time winning a crushing – but costly – victory and fully surrounding the Jin capital for a new siege. This was followed by a general offensive on the other different fronts by the Mongol armies and their allies, with drastically different results.

THE MONGOL OFFENSIVES - By far the greatest Mongol success came thanks to the Khitans and Prince Liu-Ke, the Khitan rebellion drastically expanding and winning several key battles against the increasingly collapsing Jin armies of Manchuria. This success was also followed by a successful campaign in the West by the armies guarding the Great Khan’s flank, ensuring the strength of the operation against Zhongdu. In contrast, the Tanguts suffered a mild defeat at the hands of the Jin on the South and were forced to withdraw; and the greatest setback came when the Great Khan – despite having secured an arrangement with the Goryeo – nonetheless ordered a Mongol raid into Korea under Hachiun and a small force in a show of power. The raid proved to be a disaster against the heavily fortified Kingdom of Goryeo and its fresh forces, Hachiun dying in battle as the Goryeo – felling betrayed – declared war against the Khan and wowed to take revenge for the unexpected raid.

DEATH OF A PRINCE - For his part, Prince Wanyan would not survive his latest defeat for long. Having had enough of the lack of success in the battlefield, the surviving Jin generals were persuaded by Heshilie Zhizhong to search for new leadership, Wanyan being cornered and slaughtered at his luxurious tent by a group of soldiers. Increasingly weakened but still able to continue waging war against the hated Mongol enemy, the Jin Empire now prepares for a change in leadership and hopes the situation can still be turned around.

The Northern War
Valdemar marches on Norway, besieges Oslo
Financial efforts replenish Danish treasury at great cost
Controversial policy leads to revolts

THE TAX REVOLTS - Resolving to continue his Scandinavian campaign despite warnings from the Papacy, King Valdemar decided to undertake ambitious and unexpectedly bold actions to replenish the near depleted Danish treasury, with grave consecuences for his reign. Efforts to secure foreign financing from Bohemia and from an additional friendly ruler proved successful and fairly uncontroversial, but soon King Valdemar would stun his kingdom by forcing every noble to swear loyalty to the crown once again in order to receive benefits in terms of taxation and levies, and ordering that anyone who did not would have his lands raided and seized. Although most of the nobility swore loyalty again despite serious concerns nobles who did not found themselves attacked, sparing a large-scale rebellion across Pomerania – unwilling to fund the war – and isolated revolts in Denmark proper, a situation which has officers in Copenhagen deeply worried.

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN - The Scandinavian campaign would continue in an unexpected direction, King Valdemar failing to secure the assistance of Livonian crusaders due to their own difficulties in fighting heretics in Livonia. Postponing the Swedish campaign, the Danish armies were sent into Norway to knock out the kingdom in one swift blow, successfully marching their war into Oslo but facing a bloody stalemate after a failure to seize the Norwegian capital and fully destroy the enemy forces there. As a result, the Danish armies are now locked in what might be a decisive – if potentially painful – siege to capture Oslo and with it the Norwegian King. 

Latin Civil War
Latin revolts drastically weaken Empire
Bulgaria, Nicea profit from Imperial weaknesses
Emperor Henry commits suicide, Philip of Namur emperor

THE CIVIL WAR - With the Latin Empire drawn into civil war after the massacre of Constantinople, Emperor Henry decided to attempt a reconciliation as the way to end the war by keeping the still mobilized Imperial Army in Constantinople, thus withdrawing his forces while formally offering religious tolerance and attempting to negotiate help from his allies. Foreign help, however, failed to fully materialize as several regions and ports saw a large influx of funds and arms being funneled to different rebel groups and noblemen. The situation was made even worse when the Orthodox Patriarch in Nicaea issued an Encyclical against the Emperor, bolstering local Greek resistance and crippling the proposed compromise. Even further, the evident weakness of the Emperor’s position led to Alexius’s Slav declaring his independence under pretext of becoming a Bulgarian vassal, further compromising the strategic situation of the empire.

DEATH OF AN EMPEROR - Although Emperor Henry did face a significant success in light of the refusal of his largest vassals in Thessaloniki, Athens and Achaea to formally abandon the Empire – the proud noblemen or regents rejecting and then revealing attempts by the Bulgarians and the Niceans to secure their defection -, the support given to different rebel groups and the lack of action in the field led to the continued expansion of the revolt across imperial territory, with riots taking place in Constantinople as well. Sensing the situation to be beyond repair, Emperor Henry had his brother Philip of Namur proclaimed as his heir, then committed suicide after locking himself up on his quarters. The death of the Emperor has led to further confusion within the weakened Empire, as although officers have carried out Henry’s instructions and proclaimed Philip emperor their new monarch is at his territories in France, and may require a significant amount of time for him to travel to Constantinople.

RISE OF NICEA, BULGARIA - With the Empire thus undermined by the continued civil war observers have reported of a strengthening of the position of the Niceans and the Bulgarians, both having seen significant domestic developments – with varied results – and having avoided a resumption of hostilities with the Latins, though the discovery of their separate offers to Latin vassals may change this. Nicea and Emperor Theodore was seen as having benefitted the most from the latest developments despite a significant popularity loss, having both averted war with the Kingdom of Georgia by ending his struggle against Trebizond and having finally secured the allegiance of Rhodes after grating significant concessions.

The Spanish Wars
Almohads and Christians sign peace
Al-Nasir poisoned in Seville, Almohad regency?
Castile and Sicily invade Aragon!

DEATH OF A CALIPH - Following the Battle of the Despeñaperros and the clear Almohad victory many Christians feared a further successful offensive by the Caliph and the possible loss of Toledo, an event which might constitute a crippling blow to the Christian alliance. Despite a remarkably tense standoff at the border it was diplomacy that won the day on the conflict as the Caliph and the Christian alliance finally reached a truce and then a peace treaty, ending the war with a clear victory for the Caliphate which nonetheless spared Castile and its neighbors from risking further losses in the conflict. This victory significantly bolstered the position of the Caliph, who resolved to march his victorious army back to Marrakech on a victory tour designed to further bolster his hold over his territories. Having successfully marched across Cordoba to the cheering adoration of the crowds, a banquet in Seville ended in tragedy when the Sultan was poisoned with a mysterious substance, dying in a most unpleasant manner alongside several of his food tasters. This unexpected turn of events – which has led some of the Almohad generals to suspect Christian or Ayyubid treachery - has led to significant confusion across the Caliphate due to the young age of his son and heir, which will necessarily lead to a regency.

INVASION OF ARAGON - Unrelated to the Almohad-Christian wars, another unexpected conflict has exploded in the Iberian Peninsula with dramatic results. Seen as a consequence of the growing conflict between Sicily and the Papacy, the Kingdom of Aragon was the subject of two surprise attacks by the Kingdom of Castile and by the Hohenstaufens, two offensive efforts which manage to fully exploit the element of surprise to deliver a crushing blow to the Aragonese. At the east, and taking a significant risk, the Sicilians sailed part of their armies for a surprise landing in Barcelona, storming and capturing the city despite substantial casualties. At the west, the Castilian army attacked the Aragonese capital of Zaragoza and won an important victory despite most of the Aragonese army remaining intact, Peter II of Aragon being captured by the Castilians in an operation which has left Aragon headless and indirectly crushed the hopes of Raymond of Toulouse to get relief from the outside.

Rise of Ayyubids?
Sultan successfully invades Cyprus
Egypt expands naval and economic efforts
Jean of Brienne wins power struggle in Jerusalem

THE AYYUBID POWER - Seemingly determined to expand his influence and powers the Ayyubid Sultan – who had already secured several alliances last year – took crucial and effective steps to develop trade and economic development within Alexandria itself (whose increased trade is efficiently funding the Ayyubid war machine) as well to expand the Ayyubid fleet, which is rapidly growing into a formidable force. This was followed by more dramatic and aggressive steps, a tense standoff in the Almohad-Ayyubid border resulting in the mobilization of garrisons and, decisively, the start of intense and somewhat damaging Bedouin raids against the Almohads. And even further, a decision to invade the island of Cyprus after the steadfast refusal of King Hugh to become an Ayyubid vassal, the invasion force successfully winning the first few battles and occupying half the island as Hugh dramatically begs Jerusalem and Europe for urgent support to repel the invaders.

ANTIOCH AND JERUSALEM - Meanwhile, the neighboring states in the Near East would also have significant developments. Having been challenged by a group of powerful feudal barons determined to stop his regency from taking control over Jerusalem, Regent Jean of Brienne was nonetheless successful in winning over the power struggle with the direct support of the Papacy – which decisively swung the Military orders behind the Regent – and arguably thanks to the unexpected invasion of Cyprus, John of Ibelin’s links to the island pressing him to refocus on aiding the local barons against the Ayyubids. In Antioch the war for the succession continues as the siege of Antioch drags on, King Leo nonetheless taking the decisive step of disavowing and ending the Ayyubid alliance after claiming to have received evidence of duplicity from the Papacy.

Rome attacked!
Ayyubid forces stage surprise attack on Rome
Pope almost captured, support for the Papacy multiples
Christendom outraged, calls for Crusade against Egypt

ROME ATTACKED - The most unexpected event of the fateful year of 1213 was to take place at Rome. A rather large number of merchant ships from Egypt would arrive during a particularly calm night to the vicinity of Rome, landing a few merchants and officers at dawn asserting to be trade representatives from Alexandria, who then expressed their keen desire to establish more formal trading links between both cities and to seek an audience with the Pope. As greater numbers of “merchants” emerged from the ships and not having secured a papal audience out of their suspicious nature, the different groups of envoys launched their attack and took the local guards by surprise, hundreds and hundreds of men landing from the merchant ships to support a direct move against the Pope. His Holiness, however, had moved into a fortified – and heavily guarded - position months ago, and was now surrounded by his new Papal Guard of Honor, formed with young members of the Roman nobility.

BATTLE FOR THE POPE - A fiery struggle ensued across the streets of Rome and towards the papal fortress, the Muslim warriors fighting their way through amidst complete chaos and reaching the location of the Pope as papal troops and the Roman families prepared their counterattack. Lacking the necessary numbers and weaponry to strike the attackers nonetheless fought fanatically and killed several of the defenders, coming close to entering the fortress before increasing numbers of defenders began to eventually outnumber and overwhelm them. After hours of battle most of the attackers were surrounded and for the most part killed, only a few of them being captured. Some of the invading ships would be captured on land and others burnt down by an infuriated Roman mob, the majority of them escaping back to Alexandria at the highest possible speed.

AFTERMATH - As night dawned the incident finally came to an end, thousands of dead civilians and soldiers littering the blood-soaked streets of Rome all the way to the papal fortress in which Pope Innocent had come close to being captured or killed. Most of his Papal Guard of Honor had died protecting the Pontiff, leading to untold grief among the noble Roman families as they learned of the deaths of their sons in battle against the heathens; and the people of Rome soon clamored after the blood of any suspected Muslim or heretics they could get their hands on by killing them on sight. It was soon identified through interrogation and context that the attack had been launched from the Ayyubid Sultanate, and as the news of the event spread the whole of Christendom was both enraged and shocked to the core at this unexpected attack on the Holy City.

AFTERMATH - Though the reaction to this event is on its early stages shockwaves have already led to an enormous surge in support for Pope Innocent and the Papacy itself after the attack, not only through the fury of Rome and its nobility but through sheer, unrelenting outrage even in regions like Flanders and Brittany, which had previously – and successfully – defied the Pope. Several prominent clergymen and knights have urged for a Crusade to cleanse Egypt from heathens – as the Templar and Hospitaller knights report a surge in volunteers and the German Children’s Crusade enters Italy- and strike down the Sultan, whose effigy has been alleged burned in several cities by furious mobs. Furthermore, several Christian cities or kingdoms who had been diplomatically engaged by Muslim rulers either suspended such talks or broke ties directly, and within the Near East itself early backlash – outside from more fanatical Muslim rulers that have praised the Sultan for this blow - has taken place in the form of dozens of Europeans at the service of the Ayyubids having allegedly resigned and attempted to flee the Sultanate in protest.
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« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2019, 10:27:47 AM »
« Edited: August 17, 2019, 02:10:39 PM by HenryWallaceVP »

Proclamation from King Alfonso VIII

It was with great sadness and heaviness of heart that circumstances compelled us to take up arms against the King of Aragon. He is a noble Christian Prince, and I do not doubt that he had only good intentions in mind when he made the regrettable errors that forced our hand. By agreeing to lend military support to the Pope in his war against the King of Sicily, however, the King of Aragon's actions threatened to spread the war to Iberia. This was made evident by the Sicilian King's attack on Barcelona, which was unfortunately brought on upon by aggressive actions taken by certain councilors of the Aragonese King. Thus our intervention in Aragon was not aimed at the good King Peter II himself, as he was not responsible for the destructive course taken by his Kingdom. It was evil councilors, secretly disloyal to the King, who had misled him into risking the neutrality of Spain. By liberating him from these bad councilors, we sought to free Aragon from those internal enemies of the state who sought to corrupt the King.
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« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2019, 11:17:55 AM »

Proclamation from the Sultan Al-Adil, Sword of the Faith, of Knightly Renown and Good Faith

“The events in Rome against the pagan Pope are not of my doing. These ships, when they return, will be seized with the remaining few dozen of these assassins. I intend to lead a full investigation into what powers have caused such a dastardly, dishonorable act and respond accordingly. Now, I understand the truth will be hard to accept when I have been so thoroughly framed, so I will outline a few things.

“Firstly, the Pope has publicly recognized me for what I am - a ruler of knightly renown and good faith. He does not threaten me. Why would I march against Rome? Secondly, it seems strange to my ears and that of the world that a handful of men would kill the Pope. Instead, they killed many others in Rome - the enemies in the Church of many Christian powers have been slain, benefitting many supposed followers of the Pope, not Egypt.

“Thirdly, recognizing the senselessness, incompetence, and obviousness of this attack, it is nothing more nor less than foolish if any man alive believes the Ayyubids, the public, newest friends of Rome, was behind this attack. There are forces in Europe that wish the eyes of the world turn upon Egypt, not them, who shall remain nameless.

“As Sultan of Egypt and Syria, Protector of Jerusalem, the Sword of the Faith, and, in the Pope’s words, the Renowned Knight of Egypt, I firmly and fully deny these attacks are my doing. Furthermore, an investigation shall commence at once to find the cowardly culprit country.”
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« Reply #98 on: August 23, 2019, 02:26:49 AM »
« Edited: August 23, 2019, 07:23:15 PM by Lumine »

Turn III: 1214


The Cast:

In Western Europe:
Kingdom of France: King Philip II Capet (Windjammer)
Kingdom of England: King John I Plantagenet (GoTfan)
Holy Roman Empire (Welf): Emperor Otto IV Welf (Dr. Novella)
Holy Roman Empire (Hohenstaufen): King Frederick II Hohenstaufen (Mr. X)
The Papacy: Pope Innocent III (Garlan Gunter)
Kingdom of Denmark: King Valdemar II Estridsen (JacksonHitchcock)
Republic of Venice: Doge Pietro Ziani (Gorguf)
Kingdom of Aragon: Ferdinand, Cardinal of Montearagon (S019)
Kingdom of Castile: King Alfonso VIII Ivrea (Henry Wallace)
Kingdom of Hungary: King Andrew II Árpad (Dereich)
Albigensian Crusade: Count Simon of Montfort (Bacon King)

In the former Empire:
Empire of Nicea: Emperor Theodore I Laskaris (YPestis)
Bulgarian Empire: Tsar Boril I Asen (Devout Centrist)

In the Near East:
Kingdom of Jerusalem: King Regent Jean of Brienne (King Saul)
Ayyubid Sultanate: Sultan Al-Adil I (Kingpoleon)
Sultanate of Rum: Sultan Kaykaus I (NyIndy)

Across Asia:
Mongol Empire: Genghis Khan (Dkrol)
Khwarezmian Empire: Shah Mohammed II (SJoyce)

Player Crisis:

Philip II Capet:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: Medium

-Although your popularity has decreased on account of the financial dispositions taken to fund the French campaigns, you have gathered enough resources to keep the war in Occitania going on for the time being. Still, significant dangers await there despite recent successes. Raymond of Toulouse fights to the death on his stronghold of Toulouse, surviving Children Crusader gangs still pose a problem in the countryside – and in Aquitaine -, and the Occitanian nobility is as hostile as ever – if not more – to the notion of becoming vassals and subjects of the French crown. Your relationship with the increasingly powerful and wealthy Simon of Montfort may well prove decisive for French ambitions in the South. Should the same strategies be maintained when it comes to Occitania?

-After much controversy the latest marriage between one of your sons and the heir to Flanders has strengthened the bond between the unruly Flemish nobility and the Crown, seemingly closing what might have been a most troublesome affair. And yet news from the region could well create an interesting dilemma to be solved, for the sudden suicide of the Latin Emperor has left the powerful Margrave Philip of Namur – guardian to the Flemish heirs - as the new designated emperor. Philip is likely to be searching for a way to reach his new Empire, which for your advisers leads to the very interesting question of what should be done about this newest would-be emperor. Should Philip be left to march uninterrupted? Should he receive French support? Should he be pressured in some way?

-Many have come to believed your relationship with the Papacy to be a particularly troublesome one after the latest papal investigation and the issues surrounding the Treaty of Dover and the situation in Flanders and Brittany. This has taken further relevance after the attack on Rome, several furious nobles asking either for your permission to go on a Crusade against the Ayyubid sultan – to the detriment of efforts in Occitania – or asking you yourself to once again lead an effort towards the Holy Land to take revenge on the heathen for this “insult on Christendom”. For your more religious-minded courtiers this might be an excellent opportunity to mend any tensions with the Papacy, whereas more cynical ones point out France is already busy fighting the Cathars. What will you do?

John I Plantagenet:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Medium
-Economy: High

-Although it is generally believed the Anglo-Papal feud is over, and most of the priests and prelates in England have considered the previous interdict to no longer be valid, there is still confusion regarding the Treaty of Dover and the future relationship of England with Brittany, the lack of clarity proving detrimental to your prestige among the nobility. The Breton nobles in particular send missive after missive requesting you to send Eleanor to the region so she can formally assume her role as an independent Duchess, and Eleanor herself appears to be most-keen to depart from England as soon as it is humanly possible. Will you seek to clarify the current status of the Treaty and of the Brittany situation?

-After great efforts new forces have been raised for a Crusade, and your new army stands ready for deployment. There is, however, much discussion as to where should English forces fight. With the war in Spain against the Almohads seemingly over, supporters of a Crusade are most enthusiastic in calling you to follow late King Richard’s example and travel to the Holy Land to fight the Ayyubid Sultan and avenge Rome. Others, skeptical of the large distance and effort involved in fighting Egypt, argue Aquitaine is still ravaged by the Children Crusaders – and its nobility is furious at the lack of reinforcements -, or that some degree of intervention in the war in Aragon might be desirable, or outright warn the King of France could hardly be trusted if the English army departs the British islands. What should be done?

-The appointment of Langton as your adviser on spiritual matters has been well received by the clergy and the nobility, a gesture of reconciliation which, while weakening royal prestige, has nonetheless been interpreted by some courtiers are having a positive effect on the previous climate of distrust. And yet there are some issues which raise concern among those most supportive of royal authority, for Langton has seemingly started to advocate to go beyond the Charter of Liberties in terms of dispositions that regulate royal power and feudal rights. He has also been seen in the company of nobles like Robert Fitzwalter, a known enemy of yours and who is allegedly keeping mysterious or undesirable company. Should Langton’s ideas or Fitzwalter’s companies be a matter for concern?

Otto IV Welf:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Low

-After years of conflict you have seemingly put the rivalry with Pope Innocent behind, if at a very high price. This new papal support might prove crucial in securing support from the Bishop-Electors and other relevant figures, but the latest controversies and backlash over past decisions mean an active effort will be necessary for you to sway the imperial Princes and obtain their formal support, the only way for your rule as Emperor to become truly recognized and effective. Having formally submitted to the Pope may also bring its own complications in light of the danger of not following papal guidelines in the future, though that may be a long-term concern. How should the fight for the empire continue?

-After a long trip thousands of participants of the Children’s Crusade have crossed the Alps to install themselves in Genoa and Northern Italy, all outraged at the news coming from Rome and demanding passage to the Holy Land from the trading cities despite lacking the resources to pay for any vessels, a prospect many merchants dread. There are some who wonder whether you might seek to intervene on this matter or interact with the “crusaders” at all, particularly since the Papacy has seemingly disavowed their French counterparts which are now the victims of Montfort’s veteran and battle-hardened crusaders. Will you take action regarding these gangs?

-Several months having passed, the issue of your marriage and the continued betrothal to Beatrice of Swabia remains unresolved still despite the formal promise of marriage certified by the newest papal treaty. With most of the obstacles having been surpassed your close allies and friends wonder if it might not be wise to finally secure the long-awaited wedding, assuming, of course, another potential candidate for a bride has not attracted your attention.mWhat will you do?

Frederick II Hohenstaufen:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-Great uncertainty seems to grapple the Kingdom of Sicily, your current vassals placed under enormous political pressure after the Pope’s open call for the Sicilian nobility and clergy to overthrow you and end your rule. Instinctive loyalty and open respect to your family has prevented any major defections to the papal camp thus far, but the Papal pressure is most noticeable and has some worried internal unity might fracture without a favorable resolution or an end to uncertainty in the coming time. Although you and the Pope have avoided direct military confrontation, the personal feud that has developed is greatly talked about across the Empire, and many wonder just how will it be resolved now that the Papacy has swung behind the Welfs. What are your intentions?

-A part of your armies has successfully broken though the Aragonese defenses at Barcelona, though it is the Castilians who have walked away with the greatest price by capturing King Peter. Still, the war is far from over, the Aragonese army being still strong and a clear danger depending on the actions undertaken by the Cardinal of Montearagon. The cost of the campaign – added to other expenses – is also a strain to be taken into account, particularly given the significant distances involved. Your officers now wonder what the long-term strategy might be, whether it is by seeking an advantageous arrangement or fighting a war to seize the entire kingdom. How should the war in Aragon continue?

-Despite your attempts at rallying support for the Hohenstaufen cause, it appears the Electors and other neutral regions remain skeptical, being either unconvinced by rhetoric or somewhat reluctant to fully side against Pope Innocent barring significant advantages in taking sides. Some advisers suggest the road to receiving support from the Electors must be paved with concessions or a clear demonstration of why Hohenstaufen rule would be preferable, pointing out towards Bavaria, Austria and Bohemia as three Princes that would potentially swing the balance in a decisive manner, but who were previously disappointed by past decisions from Sicily. How will you continue efforts to win over the Empire?

Innocent III:
-Popularity: Very High
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: High

-In the aftermath of the grievous and bloody assault on Rome the Roman population and nobility has been up in arms daily, raging against the Ayyubid Sultan and burning his effigy on the streets as they clamor for revenge. Even in the previously skeptical College of Cardinals internal infighting has temporarily ceased as the Cardinals demand blood and urge you to pursue a decisive crusade, delivering the full weight of Christendom against the Ayyubid Sultanate and saving Cyprus as well. Despite the thus far great enthusiasm in Rome and among other regions and rulers for such an enterprise, many note the Sultanate is strong and possesses a powerful fleet, making it a potential enemy that would pose a major challenge. What should be done?

-The attack on Rome has temporarily quelled much of the previous criticism against the Papacy and some of your political decisions, bringing a temporary sense of unity both in Rome itself – where the nobility has lost many sons in the struggle – and in other areas that had been growing hostile. This has caused some of your family members to press for an aggressive agenda now that the means are there, whether through further crusaders, Church reform, measures against former or current rivals or something of the sort, with only a handful cautioning this surge in support could prove short-lived if not handled correctly despite the sheer shock caused by the latest events.

-Your rivalry with Frederick remains as alive as ever, though thus far both the Sicilian and Papal armies have managed to refrain from engaging each other and entering into a formal war. Efforts to get the Kingdom of Sicily to rise against its monarch have thus far failed, and Frederick himself has taken the bold decision to attack Aragon – also under attack by the King of Castile – in what seems like yet another defiance of Papal authority. Another concerning front has been opened by the sudden death of the Latin Emperor, throwing his domains into chaos and putting one of the few successful “papal marriages” at risk. What should be done on this front, and how should Frederick be dealt with?

Valdemar II Estridsen:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: High

-Despite failing to obtain a decisive victory against the Norwegian forces, your armies have nonetheless managed to besieged Oslo and trap the Norwegian king there, opening the prospect of a relevant victory should the siege prove successful. Still, despite clear numerical superiority securing the surrender of the enemy city promises to be a tough endeavor unless a creative solution can be found, and while your armies fight in Norway the Swedish may get enough time to rebuild their own mauled armies to one day go into the offensive. How should the war in Scandinavia continue?

-Significant efforts at securing a financial base that could fund the war have been extraordinarily successful in purely monetary terms, foreign investment or the seizing of property turning the deficit into a large base of resources that dwarves the current reserves of most rulers in Western Europe. Alas, not only have the methods sparked backlash and a dramatic popularity loss, they have outright pushed several Pomeranian and Danish nobles into a revolt against the Crown that reminds many of the unfortunate collapse of the Latin Empire. With this revolt posing a clear danger despite a foreign intervention from the Holy Roman Empire appearing unlikely, how will you address it?

-Despite attempts to bring the Livonian Crusaders into the Scandinavian war the local leaders have turned you down, allegedly being under heavy pressure from heathen counterattacks in the area that have proved to be strong enough to warrant requests for reinforcements from Denmark itself. The whole situation has led a small group of clergymen to protest the fact that the current war appears to be opposed by the Papacy as opposed to the Livonian crusade, and several bishops have asked the court to clarify just how supportive or antagonistic the Papacy is of your current efforts. How should this issue be handled?
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Lumine
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« Reply #99 on: August 23, 2019, 02:28:09 AM »
« Edited: August 23, 2019, 07:23:10 PM by Lumine »

Player Crisis:
Ferdinand, Cardinal of Montearagon:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-The surprise invasion of Aragon at the hands of the treacherous Castilians and the mischievous Sicilians has dealt a crushing blow to the Kingdom, resulting in the loss of Zaragoza and Barcelona and the arrest of King Peter at the hands of the Castilians. The kingdom faces a huge danger, but most of the army remains intact and determined to fight to release the king from enemy custody. With the King’s heir in the hands of Montfort you are know the sole member of the royal family present in the Kingdom, and the army has approached you for orders. How should the war against the Sicilians and Castilians be pursued?

-Having been recently made a Cardinal by the Pope you can now wield significant ecclesiastical authority, though the bishops of Aragon – who were supportive of Peter’s reluctant to intervene in Occitania - do not know you enough to be aware of what you stand for or what your actual ambitions are. Still, your appointment is a factor that leads your friends to urge you to fully side with Pope Innocent and secure his crucial support in liberating Aragon, as well as to seek friends elsewhere that could provide reinforcements and help turn the tide. What should be done regarding potential allies and with the Church in Aragon?

-The issue of succession is also one to be taken into account, due to the fact that the only son of Peter is in the hands of Montfort – who, depending on your decisions, may or may not be considered a close ally – and the Kingdom officially lacks a ruler as the King languishes under Castilian custody. Some wonder if you will attempt to wield power on a temporary basis as regent until the King’s return can be secured or if Montfort can be persuaded to hand over the prince, and others are curious as to whether you might ambition the Aragonese crown yourself as a member of the royal family. Which title and powers will you seek to wield?

Alfonso VIII Ivrea:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-Through the element of surprise a strong victory against the King of Aragon has been obtained, Peter being now a prisoner of your forces as Castilian troops occupy Zaragoza. Still, even when accounting for the fall of Barcelona to the Hohenstaufen forces it appears Aragon is far from defeated, the armies of Peter potentially rallying behind the Cardinal of Montearagon in what could be a prolonged resistance depending on what is done next, and on what happens with the imprisoned king. Indeed, there are those who urge you to force Peter to sign a treaty on favorable terms, and others that urge for him to be kept confined in Castile itself or used as a bargaining chip of sorts. How will the Aragon situation be dealt with?

-The invasion has not been devoid of controversy, with the rulers of other kingdoms in the Peninsula – even those with marriage or family ties – being critical of the invasion of Aragon and very much uncertain on its precise motivations or justifications, particularly right after the peace treaty with the Almohads. Another issue to be considered is the likely opposition of the Papacy to the invasion of Aragon, Pope Innocent being seemingly empowered by the attack on Rome – several military orders in Castile pledging to go to a crusade – and a dangerous enemy to face. How will you deal with the political consequences or effects of the war on Aragon?

-Despite the Christian kingdoms having lost the war against the Almohads, the enemy Caliph has suddenly perished in a most surprising manner, and the Rome attack has crushed any attempts by the Almohads to be perceived in a positive manner by the Christian kings. Furthermore, reports indicate there could well be a succession crisis in the Caliphate itself given the youth of Al-Nasir’s heir and the significant number of would-be regents or viziers. Some urge you to scrap the previous treaty and resume the war on potentially favorable terms, and others consider this too much of a risk to be considered or attempted, particularly when also fighting the previously allied Aragonese. What will you do regarding the Almohads?

Simon of Montfort:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: Low
-Economy: Medium

-The heretics have been defeated in the field, Raymond nonetheless managing to take refuge behind the walls of Toulouse with his mauled forces. It has been a costly victory though, one which has taken the lives of many French and Crusader troops at a time in which your military campaigns depend more and more on the French forces giving the limited number of Crusaders – now even more scarce after the successful destruction of countless gangs of “Children Crusaders”. Toulouse itself promises to be a particularly troublesome challenge, the city and its walls being strong enough to necessitate a prolonged and difficult siege – or very creative solutions – before you can finally capture Raymond and deliver the Cathars a crippling blow. How will you handle the siege?

-The aftermath of the Castilian and Sicilian invasion of Aragon has left you in a very interesting position, as with the King a prisoner of his enemies and the Cardinal of Montearagon yet to reveal his actual potential, you are in the possession of the young crown prince, your potential son-in-law through the betrothal to your daughter. Despite the urgency of defeating Raymond for good, a few of your family members – increasingly satisfied as the growth of the family’s power – have pressed you to intervene in Aragon and seek an advantageous arrangement, particularly in light of the Occitanian nobility’s continued loyalty towards Aragon.

-Despite attempts at securing areas currently not occupied by your forces, it appears as if the proud  nobles of Occitania are most unwilling to surrender or yield, being remarkably hostile to any mention of becoming vassals to King Philip and still seeing the crusaders as foreign invaders given the nature of the Albigensian Crusade. It is feared by some officers the nobles to the west and east could organize yet to support Raymond and save him from the siege, or barring that, that their continued resistance would make pacification of Occitania impossible without a major years-long effort. How should they be dealt with?

Andrew II Árpad:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-For the past few years you have taken a keen and persistent interest on the Principality of Halych after your brief rule in the principality resulted in a defeat, leading to several bloody and difficult campaigns within Halych and a brief restoration of Hungarian rule four years ago which resulted in another defeat. Still, the prestige of the Hungarian crown – which has led you to claim the title of “King of Galicia and Lodomeria” – demands action now that your enemy Mstislav Mstislavich (the former prince of Zvenigorod) has expelled the nominally pro-Hungarian Daniel Romanovich and his family from the principality, thus placing Halych into enemy control. What should be done regarding Halych?

-Having been a close and influential adviser, Queen Gertrude has nonetheless become the source of a serious controversy with the nobility due to her large political influence and her perceived ambition regarding herself, her family, and her allies from Merania, with her brother Berthold having been recently appointed Voivode of Transylvania – along other key titles – to the annoyance and criticism of most of the Hungarian nobility. This has posed a difficult dilemma for you, as Gertrude’s advice and support has been invaluable (and her family links to the Empire remain relevant), and yet her actions have upset the nobility enough to result in constant consultations and mysterious talks among prominent nobles. What should be done about the Queen?

-The attack on Rome and against Pope Innocent has the priests and bishops in Hungary incensed and infuriated, talk of a crusade becoming a prominent topic of conversation even among knights who either desire glory or to take revenge for the attack on the Holy City. Such talk has even led to open calls to you regarding the necessity of a Crusade against Egypt and the Ayyubids, arguing the Sultan must be punished by the attack and that Hungary could potentially profit from leading the charge of Christendom against the infidels in the Holy Land. Still, the distances – which require passing through territories such as Bulgaria, Nicea or the Latin Empire – are nothing to scoff at, same as the cost of a crusade. How will you approach this issue?

 Pietro Ziani:
-Popularity: Low
-Legitimacy: Very High
-Economy: High

-The Latin Emperor has committed suicide after the continued collapse of his Empire, leading to the proclamation of Philip of Namur as his successor. Philip, however, is months away from reaching his new domains, and the Podesta has expressed his continued frustration at the general lack of action from Venice. It is believed the Podesta could well take dramatic actions of his own alongside other Venetian merchants who have invested much on the Latin Empire, and thus your officers and advisers press you to make a firm decision regarding the future of the Empire. What should the Venetian policy regarding the Empire be?

-Following successful negotiations between Nicea and Rhodes the island has technically become a vassal of Emperor Theodore, adding an extra complication to Venetian plans to acquire the island despite the continued interest of many on expansion. And yet, with the attack on Rome the debate on expansion has become even more spirited as some merchants defend the advantages of maintaining trade with the Ayyubids, whereas others push Venice to support a Crusade and profit from expansion of the Republic on Egypt or in Cyprus. Should Venice take part in any crusade against the Sultan?

-With the Papacy’s decision to maintain their current trade and banking policies you have come under sustained criticism over a perceived inactivity on the matter, merchants and bankers arguing such policies are directly affecting the Venetian economy and will only pose a greater threat against profits as time goes by. As delegation after delegation visits your palace to urge you to take action to protect the Venetian entrepreneurs from Papal competition, what will you do?

Theodore I Laskaris:
-Popularity: Medium
-Legitimacy: High
-Economy: Medium

-In unexpected fashion, the Latin Empire appears to be rapidly collapsing after the suicide of Henry and the proclamation of Philip, posing an interesting challenge to be solved. Even after the latest battles of the civil war the Latin vassals themselves remain strong and have proudly rejected any foreign overtures, and the “Imperial Army” remains a force to be reckoned with in Constantinople itself. And yet local Orthodox revolts have proven to be strong enough to merit attention as local leaders write missives urging you to liberate the Greeks from the Latin yoke, and formally reestablish the Byzantine Empire. Will you take a risk by intervening directly?

-Following their successful treaty with the Latins and now the undermining of the northern borders of the Empire through the limited defection of Alexius Slav and his armies, Bulgaria and Tsar Boril have significantly grown in influence and strategic relevance, to the point in some wonder whether they would not become a direct threat should Nicea ever be able to retake Constantinople or absorb large parts of the Latin Empire. Others assert Bulgaria should be considered a partner even at the risk of the Tsar holding large influence over Northern Greece, leading to some tension as to what the approach towards Bulgaria should be. What would you have to say on the matter?

-The new Themes continue to slowly consolidate as new sources of funding start to finally replenish the Nicean treasury, though at the cost of a loss of popularity due to tax collection efforts being less than welcomed on several cities and communities. To these domestic news one must add the sudden and regrettable death of Empress Anna, taken by a sudden bout of fever that leaves you a widow. Although most of the court is respectful of the necessary period of mourning there is already talk of a second marriage in the near future among some less than discreet courtiers, speculation mounting on potential new brides. Will you seek to remarry after Anna’s death?
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