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Subject: AAR Phillippe de Valois Marriage Bureau XV rss

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Philip Jelley
United Kingdom
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Well it's now 1580 and Charles IX is all grown up, but with Salic Law being what it is his childless marriage to Elisabeth of Austria and the murder of his bros Henri d'Anjou and Francis de Alencon means his pushy Protestant cousin Henri de Navarre is heir very presumtive. He is leading a Huguenot Rebellion and the Duc de Guise is leading a Ultra-Catholic Rebellion in alliance with the Duke of Palma and his Spanish hordes and all diplomacy is forbidden things look a bit fraught in Paris. With the five children of Catherine de' Medici were all married, assassinated or murdered I was given a new remit. I was made Abbé de St Dizier, the new greasy éminence of France. Now all In had to do was restore the authority of the witless Charles IX and the Gallic Church across France.

We still had some diplomatic leverage, the Knights of St John offered their services to fight the Turkish Terror, there was an Irish Rebellion I could use to confound Perfideous Albion and even the Sea Beggars of the Netherlands were knocking at my door. I finally caved into Catherine's demands and chose to use the Black Queen Finishing School for Lady Assassins, which I later regretted. There was little diplomacy as the other powers jockeyed for position across a prostrate France. I just made sure the garrisons of Paris and Rouen were well stocked for a siege. Though no Lynch Mob was gathered there was an ugly atmosphere abroad with the many-headed monster ready to turn on anyone who threatened the fragile balance of power. The Duc de Guise revealed that he was planning St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. It was going to be a rough ride...

Now I was in the chuch I didn't dance at the ball and the Ottomans, English and Protestants failed to show. Instead Spain led the way; announcing that the Dreaded Double Headed Eagle would be reunited by an alliance, Spain would send two galleons of treasure to Vienna and the Empire 4,000 mercenaries to Milan. There was one surprise condition, the Emperor Rudolf must marry the Infanta Isabella Clara of Spain...

The armies marched; Mehmet and 9,000 Jasinaries and 10,000 harem girls piled into the Vista Cruiser and drove down to Coron; Spain sent 4,000 mercenaries to Messina and recalled his galleon fleet from escort duty; England sent Hawkins to London, Frobisher to Plymouth and Norrey and 4,000 regulars to Portsmouth; Maurice of Nassau took command in Amsterdam; and Henri de Navarre with 5,000 regulars and 3,000 mercenaries to Orléans. Guise was already at Reims with 4,000 fantics and I stood on the walls of Paris I wondering if we would survive the onslaught....

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