James Webb
United Kingdom
Canterbury
Kent
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Link to Part One - here

Link to Part Two - here

Link to Part Three - here

Link to Part Four - here



Turn Five

“Right. We're in trouble. We need...hey, who are you? Where's Clement VII?” Charles V began.

“Clem's dead, baby. I'm Pope Paul III. I'm the Popiest of all Popes.”

“Oh, OK. Well, what we need to do is...” Charles V continued.

“Whoa! Hold up there, Charlie. You've had your chance, and you blew it. I'm calling the shots now. Here's the plan. Don't worry too much about the Ottomans. You just need to delay them really – hold Prague, if nothing else. Keep an eye on the English and help out the French if you can, but what you really need to do is get in there and give the Protestants a swift kick right in the Electorates. Leave the rest to me.”

“The rest? What's left? Sounds like I've got to do all the dirty work.”

“Boy, there ain't no work dirtier than the work of the Church.” barked the pontiff.

“May I interrupt?” enquired Suleiman.

“What do you want?”

“I could't help but notice that you're having some problems with our Protestant friends. I have a card that could help out with that, but I need something from you,” the Turk suggested.

“Like what?”

“May I suggest that you and I, my Hapsburg counterpart, sign a peace deal, and you, my fine Papal fellow, gift me a card. In return, I will play an event that will greatly hinder the Protestants.”

“That guarantees Prague and frees me up to focus on the Protestants and the English,” whispered Charles V to the Pope, who nodded.

------------------------------------

The French, with their leaders imprisoned, didn't seem to be in the mood for negotiating with anybody, and the English and Protestants lined up another alliance. Other than that, the mood was sullen at the negotiating table. The Ottomans drew Sebastian Cabot from the Papacy, which was probably the best result that the Pope could have hoped for, and the usual fleet loaning and alliance occurred between the Hapsburgs and the Papacy.

“Would you like to sue for peace?” grinned Henry VIII to his French captives.

“There can never be peace between us. You remember what I said last turn, right?” Francis I answered.

“Then kiss goodbye to all your stuff,” the Englishman laughed.

“Right, I declare war on England,” said Charles V.

“What?” Henry VIII visibly paled while Francis I cackled.

“Yeah, well, you divorced my aunt, so I need to teach you some manners.”

“Is it just me, or is medieval Europe a lot like the Jerry Springer Show?” Luther mused.

------------------------------------

The Protestant cause was set back instantly when Charles V lay siege to Augsburg and the French played Pilgrimage of Grace to sow unrest in England.

Things looked like they would get worse for Team Luther when Eck faced up to Olivetan for a debate.

“...so, as I have expertly proved, the authority of the One True Church is clearly outlined in Scripture!” concluded the Papal scholar.

“A good point, well made. But on the other hand, your mother is so fat, she has her own symbol on Mercator's Map.” came Olivetan's rebuttal, to cheers of wild approval.

A tear came to the recently-blackened eye of Andreas Carlstadt.

“There's nothing more I can teach him. I'm so proud.”

The judges were split, so the debate proceeded to the less-interesting second round, where Calvin defeated Cardinal Pole, and more French towns embraced the Protestant faith.

“Do something!” Charles V screamed at Pope Paul III, who shushed him and winked at the Ottoman leader.

“No-one expects this!” said Suleiman, as he played the Papal Inquisition event.

“Aha!” Luther played The Wartburg and sent the Inquisition packing.

The Hapsburg, Papal and Ottoman looked at each other.

“I hope you have something else up your sleeve...” Charles V muttered to the swearing Pope.

The English besieged Rouen while the Hapsburgs turned their attention to Metz and the Ottomans finished their War in Persia.

Philip of Hesse rode out to meet Charles V on the field of battle at Worms, but there was nothing that he could do against a roll of five hits on six dice, and so was captured by the Hapsburgs. Charles V, deciding that the Protestants were reeled in enough, used his mystical powers to teleport to Antwerp to give the English something to think about. As it happened, Henry VIII already had enough to think about. His troops had been forced back from Rouen, and he was behind the walls of Paris as the French led a countersiege.

“Brandon, get over here and help me!” the English monarch yelled to his army in Calais.

“I'd really would love to, your Highness, but I'm a little busy over here right now. Charles V has a sizeable force in Antwerp, and I can't leave Calais open. Now, if you'd taken my advice and used Turn Three to build up troops...” the English noble replied, while polishing his nails.

“My lord! Treachery!” yelled an English solider to Henry VIII.

“You're telling me.” Henry VIII moaned.

“No, not from Brandon! From the French!”

Despite the capture of Philip of Hesse, the Protestants had enough troops to mount an attempt to recapture Augsburg.

“They'd better not succeed...” the Pope glared at Charles V.

Suddenly, Ibrahim sent Suleiman a text from Vienna.

lost 1/2 our forces 2 City State Rebels :(

“What! Who would dare?” the Turkish ruler bellowed.

The Hapsburg leader just smirked.

In England, a debate ended badly for the Protestants when Aleander was able to convince the baying crowd that Latimer weighed exactly the same as a duck, and the English Reformer was sent to the stake. The Protestant cause was beginning to falter, even more so as Augsburg held out until the end of the turn. It was a small comfort that the Hapsburgs had also been kept outside the gates of Metz, but small comfort wasn't enough.

“How go things in Paris?” Brandon asked his king.

“Fine, no thanks to you! We've managed to hold the city – but for how long?”

“You'd better get your diplomacy head on then, sire.” the English noble advised.

“All in all, not a bad turn,” the Pope said, smugly, viewing the new VP totals.

“For you, maybe,” Charles V responded, “but I've got a bad feeling about Turn Six...”


TO BE CONTINUED...
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Murray Fish
Australia
Canberra
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They explained everything in detail and at great length. After they finished I sat, despondent, contemplating a bleak and empty future. "I’m glad you’re depressed" said one. "It means you’ve understood the situation.”
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Hilarious!

This is a fantastic series of session reports.
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James Webb
United Kingdom
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Kent
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Next part - here.
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João Menezes
Brazil
Rio de Janeiro
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Awesomely loaded with Monty Python references
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