Part 6: Sebastião
Portuguese religious history, like in most of Western Europe, has deep Catholic roots. This continuous and consistent religious thread influenced much of its cultural practice in its days of trade and colonial growth, and one might say that Catholicism was Portugal's most common export throughout history. However, the relatively stable religion in a relatively stable part of the world at one time coexisted with a strange local mythology known as "Sebastianism."
Sebastianism is the story of King Sebastian I of the House of Aviz, a charismatic young king beloved by his people who, determined to recapture the glory days of the Crusades for his nation, led a troupe of his countrymen and Holy Roman Imperial mercenaries into Morocco in 1578. However, he was routed and killed in battle almost immediately by a significantly larger force, yet in the chaos of the battle no one was able to confirm his death or retrieve his body. Thus, his admirers back home determined that he must have lived and that he would someday return to lead the nation to greatness in the vein of a King Arthur or Frederick Barbarossa. Though it never eclipsed the popularity of Catholicism, this particular myth enjoyed a long lifespan that extended as long and far as Brazil in the early 1900s, and there is still a chance that if you ask a devout older Catholic in Portugal about Sebastian, you may be told that he will someday come back...
When we select a destination for our Trade Ship, we have to confirm it with this option as, like with Social Policies, it is a move that cannot be taken back.
Trade units are not directly controlled, but rather move autonomously from origin to destination and back at a consistent rate. This lack of control means that they may be susceptible to enemy attack at an inopportune moment, and as such may require some early defensive considerations to ensure that it is not plundered by Barbarians. However, given Riga's proximity and our sweep of nearby land and sea for Barbarians, there is little risk that this trade ship will be damaged.
As to Lisboa, the choice has been made, and as far as Wonder construction goes, 12 turns is a quick pace so I am fairly confident that this one will be ours. As others in the thread pointed out, +1 movement and sight range will be fantastic for a naval power like Portugal in the short and long term, so this is worth trying to ensure we get.
On the next turn, we learn the secrets of proper training and use of horses as mounts, rather than just engines for chariots and carts.
In Luanda, the Huntress' shrine is completed, and the Workers move to seek out the buffalo of the eastern plains. In order to better spread the teachings and words of hunters past and present, and ensure some greater linguistic consistency between Lisboa and Luanda, Dona Maria orders the construction of a library.
The Trireme, meanwhile, continues its circumnavigation of the mainland in search of neighbours. There is some promise to the east...
...but it is unrealized.
The unusual news gives people in Lisboa pause, and they take the time to think. What if the world around them is all that exists? What if they, alongside their compatriots in Riga and Vancouver, are the only creatures of their kind? The apex predators of the world? Or, is there someone or something beyond our reckoning that exists to hunt humans?
Difficult questions such as these demand more thorough contemplation of their faith, and this intellectual practice is one that Dona Maria believe will lead her people to a better understanding of all things, including their fellow man and elephant.
With the passage of time, Luanda's borders expand to cover the new potential hunting ground, and Dona Maria commissions the construction of a new camp/tax assessor, though she is decidedly less than impressed with the unruly buffaloes' attempts to gore her people.
The Warrior brigade, never idle, moves back towards Vancouver's lands to see if they can oversee the travel of the trade ships that they may be forewarned of nearby enemies.
The Trireme continues its journey east...
...and further east it will have to go in order to find hope.
The Warriors continue their scouting mission.
The Trireme chases its dream.
Hope springs eternal, as this shows signs of promise further eastwards.
Warriors travel west to the shore...
...and Trireme east to oblivion. The sea's cruelty seems truly limitless.
The Warriors meet their former comrades close to Vancouver, where they learn a bit about the situation. The Vancouver government displayed annoyance that Portugal's trade mission was so quickly re-routed to a rival City-State, and though cordiality and cooperation remains the order of the day, the Vancouverian impression of Portugal degrades quickly.
The Trireme, all but given up, determines that there is only a slim possibility that there are lands further south that can be explored.
Yet hope remains fleeting.
...and seems to have been dashed upon the rocks.
One final push...
...and we are at the end of the story.
The Warriors, however, are content to remain near their fellows in the city of Vancouver. There, the sea is but a source of bountiful fish and the sound of peaceful waves, not an abyss of deafening silence which swallows up the world.
The people of Portugal cling to their roots and their joys in times of difficulty.
Though they may not be renowned for their learning, they understand that the world around them is ultimately what they make of it.
The Trireme returns to Lisboa, and the maddening words of its captain and crew quickly spread discontent in the capital.
(Note that we are now at negative Happiness. As mentioned before, this bears food, production, gold and combat penalties, and we can see that Lisboa and Luanda will not gain any more population.)
The people wonder what will happen if they should run short of space to grow and hunt. Will they be forsaken by the Huntress if there are no elephants left for them to hunt?
The Warriors are recalled to Lisboa in a hurry, and their counterparts in Vancouver keep their bows and blades at the ready as they await the news.
Dona Maria, having been sequestered in Luanda for her own safety, matter-of-factly informs the Worker's brigade that she is in need of sweets.
She then guarantees huge portions of the royal treasury to landowners willing to provide sweets for her. The sheer amount of money spent causes a panic amongst the staff of the provisional government once they learn what she has done.
Yet, in the midst of the chaos, something miraculous occurs:
A reclusive and aged provisional government minister in charge of hunting and shrine maintenance emerges from his home and takes to the streets. Identifying himself only as "Sebastião", he rouses a large crowd in front of the shrine.
He describes a vivid dream he had in which the people of Portugal, Vancouver and Riga hunted every single animal in the known world to extinction, and amidst the barren elephant graveyards, humanity ultimately turned spear, bow and tooth upon each other. To avoid this calamity, he proposed a series of changes in the laws of the hunters of Portugal, to ensure that they could never completely destroy the natural order of the island with their actions, but rather be a part of it, as their Huntress demands.
Sebastião's Laws are seen as overbearing and unpopular by many, limiting the hunting season each year and forbidding any one man, woman, or child from hunting for more than they themselves can eat, but just as many are swept up in his horrifying vision of the future, and swear to follow them, as well as teach their children and peers to do the same.
However, these are but a few of Sebastião's Laws, and it will be your duty to determine which laws we have by customizing our Religion.
Religion customization expands on the Pantheon bonus we picked earlier. When we create a Religion, we have a Founder Belief and a Follower Belief that is added to any city that follows the Religion. The Founder Belief affects the Civ that first founded the Religion, and usually increases as a greater number of cities or citizens follow the Religion in question. The Follower Belief affects the City that follows the Religion, and this means that it can be given to other Civs or City-States intentionally or unintentionally.
The list above features Founder Beliefs, and while I encourage you to select any of them, I will recommend my top 2:
Tithe: This gives very good gold in the long term and makes the spreading of religion an advantageous economic aspect of trade, since trade vessels also transfer Religions to their destinations.
Papal Primacy: the base +15 to Influence makes it worth spreading to City States, especially if we end up picking Patronage later.
This list features Follower Beliefs, and my top 2 are:
Pagodas: This is widely considered the top-tier bonus, as +2 Happiness especially is worth every point of Faith you put into it. The boosts to Faith and Culture per turn are also appreciated.
Religious Community: Additional Production is always good, especially when it scales with City size. However, this can be dangerous to give to enemy Civs as it will be used against us in a big way.
Also worth noting, when we get a second Great Prophet, we can enhance the Religion further with a second Follower Belief and an Enhancer. The Enhancer affects the religion's rate of spread or resilience. Also, as people mentioned, once we reach the bottom of the Piety tree, we will get a Reformation bonus which will further modify our Religion to our advantage.
With that in mind, please cast your votes and I will close the voting on Sunday night.