Part 15: Sem Amigos
Music: Saudades de Coimbra (War)
The Roman responded with some incredulity to Dona Maria's declaration of war, claiming that she did not know what she was getting herself into.
Considering what was about to transpire at sea, Dona Maria made a point of declaring that the feeling was mutual.
Ordinarily the smart play would be to position Dom João first and then take shots, but as you can see here we obliterate the Roman UU in one shot anyway, so no big deal there.
Nossas Senhoras both wreak havoc from the coastline, and the Roman soldiers are scattered without being given any opportunity to retaliate.
The cogs of Luanda commerce continue to turn.
Lisboa and Faro begin to conscript knightly orders to assist with amphibious assault against the Roman.
Ponta Delgada makes further developments as the local Worker corps join forces with their counterparts from Lisboa in creating a salt mine.
Salt mines are great because Salt counts as a Luxury Resource, adds +1 base food to the tile and mining it adds +1 Food and Production. It's a pretty nice thing to start next to and its presence made the Ponta Delgada spot one of the best one in the end.
Senhoras rain wrath upon the Roman forces stationed in and around Kabul.
However, it is up to the Barco-de-Guerra to send its raiding parties into the city proper to finish the job. The fire patterns and coastal raids are coordinated with Dom João's expert support, and the city's capture is only a matter of time.
São Gabriel, meanwhile, seeks a similar glory, and decides to assault the Sydneysider Trireme and sinks it immediately, thus ensuring that Nossas Senhoras are safe from reprisals from the Roman's allies.
Ponta Delgada enjoys further mainland investments and a group of mercenary troops are sought among Assyrian refugees. They are armed with an invention that Senhor Salazar had apparently commissioned that enables even untrained soldiers to launch arrows like expert bowmen.
Portuguese military research steps up to meet the demands of the war.
The new Knightly orders, meanwhile, undergo their inaugural climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro so that they may pray for success on their mission.
That said, their efforts are hardly needed for the likes of Kabul, as the city's walls are on the verge of collapse and the Legionnaires therein are scattered by cannon and arrow fire.
The Barco dislodges the last of the remaining forces with another amphibious assault, and the city is taken by the Portuguese. The marine corps pillage Roman encampments for tools, fineries and weapons, and the collected goods are sold back to the people of Kabul for a small profit. In accordance with Dona Maria's directive, Dom João informs the people of Kabul that a new election for Lord Mayor is to take place and that the Portuguese wish to see the City-State regain full autonomy.
This reversal, which has cut off Roman reinforcements at the southern valley to the front at Nineveh, causes Caesar to immediately seek peace with Ashurbanipal. The miracle of La Venta repeats itself, and Nineveh is spared despite the Assyrian defenders being pushed to the brink of annihilation.
Though, rather than commit further resources to the war effort, Dona Maria suddenly devotes Portuguese building efforts to public works and artistic endeavours. When questioned, she simply asserts that the loss of Kabul represents the death knell for the Roman forces.
Kabul, upon restoring some semblance of order, demonstrates their appreciation of the Portuguese liberation effort by signing an Alliance treaty, promising to join the war effort against their former oppressors. A widely-known class of artists, musicians and writers also contribute tales of the Portuguese exploits to the halls of the Universidade.
A new experimental weapon is commissioned in Ponta Delgada, in order to support a push for Assur proper. The Universidade, meanwhile, begins to look into means of more quickly reproducing and distributing the texts contributed by the Kabul authors in order to serve as propaganda.
Ashurbanipal, meanwhile, provides some support in the form of a formal denouncement of the Roman's actions, though it remains to be seen how effective such a measure is on a global stage.
Thanks to its exploits against Sydney's navy, the São Gabriel develops further tactical acumen for its boarding parties, and consequently develops a reputation as a terrifying opponent to meet at sea.
The line of Nossas Senhoras rain devastation upon the Roman forces attempting to retake Kabul from the coastline.
The Swordsmen of Lisboa make an exploratory strike against a Roman Ballista out of position.
The Barco-de-Guerra recovers in Ponta Delgada from its efforts in Kabul's liberation.
This is kind of an unusual consequence of using a naval vessel to liberate a City-State on a coastline. Since military units cannot occupy the same tile as a City that does not belong to us, the game automatically teleported our Privateer to Ponta Delgada.
In Lisboa, Dona Maria is inspired enough by the example presented by the Kabul people to begin developing public spaces for their performance.
Ponta Delgada, meanwhile, finishes an acceptable fortification before beginning to develop a means of better exploiting the extreme sheep population.
The new Crossbow unit has little trouble finishing the Ballista at range.
The progress of the war can be measured as a function of how much its participants are capable of producing, and in this Dona Maria has a clear lead.
The odd thing about this metric is that it does not calculate total production, just average production. This is why Ashurbanipal is higher on the list than us despite having only his second City available, since it has a higher average production than the total average of our 4 cities.
Elsewhere, Dom Pedro sends word that Rio de Janeiro holds up despite assault from two factions, and that the massive walls that surround Brazilian territory are particularly effective against incursions from Japan and the Shoshone.
The forces coming in from Ponta Delgada explore and see the devastation around Assur, and see that the Romans have sacrificed so much in their assault that the city itself is quite vulnerable to attack from even the token Portuguese land force. The Portuguese Golden Age draws to a close as the glories of war begin to fade into memory for the mainlanders.
The people of Faro, however, think in the long term, and decide to dedicate part of their production efforts towards the development of an effective weapons manufactory for future use.
Lisboa, however, concerns itself with similarly important public projects.
The Barco, repaired and replenished with capable marines, sees an interesting opportunity near Zanzibar to capture a Barbarian vessel.
This is one of the unique skills of the Privateer ship. If it engages an enemy sea vessel it has a chance to capture it in the event of a successful destruction. Since this Barbarian ship is outclassed and at the end of its lifespan, our capture chance is fairly high, and when we do capture it, it will more than likely travel to Ponta Delgada to be upgraded to a Nau.
The Roman, his armies defeated, and his plans for conquest slipping away, makes an offer of peace to Dona Maria, writing off the Assyrian capital as a lost cause. Having decided that her objective to save her fellow Sebastianists had been accomplished, Dona Maria accepts the conditional surrender as written.
The city is returned promptly to the control of Ashurbanipal, who is led back to his home Palace by a contingent of Assyrian mercenaries under Portuguese employ.
Before this is done, however, Senhor Salazar gets in touch with an old contact of Senhora Oriana's, and gets a look at the profile of the Assyrian capital. It turns out that it houses a statue of an Assyrian war god that is said to bless soldiers in battle with a particular ferocity, and as such it was likely contributing to Roman efforts to claim Nineveh. Salazar informs Dona Maria of this, and cautions her that Ashurbanipal's expansion efforts may make Ponta Delgada a target.
In order to salve Salazar's concerns, Dona Maria contacts Ashurbanipal directly. Though his words are disconcerting, his attitude and graciousness as a fellow Sebastianist and liberated ally suggests that the two of them can work together towards better things.
To that end, Dona Maria asks him formally if he would consider her as a friend and ally in the future.
When Dona Maria awakens, she is confused and irritated, and convenes Dom João and Senhor Salazar for a meeting to discuss the future.
Dom João is delayed, as he was providing some guidance to the crews of the Barco for establishing greater supply line support while at sea or in hostile waters, but he arrives at the meeting ready to discuss future politics.
Senhor Salazar presents his findings on the matter at hand, gleamed from records and reports that the Casa de Luanda has made through trade with City-States. The Brazilian subjugation war was proceeding without much success for either the Shoshone or the Japanese, and there was reason to believe that it would continue as such since both parties seemed generally more interested in trying to get some concession out of Brazil rather than relent in order to make military or social advancements.
"Then our course is clear!" Dom João says suddenly. "We denounce the aggressors and engage the Japanese first. Using the support of our allies in an existing war, we can use our existing navy to assault the occupying forces in Constantinople, and accomplish our dual objective of guaranteeing Brazil and returning the Byzantines their city, restoring the Eastern lands to statu quo ante bellum."
Senhor Salazar arches an eyebrow.
"I think you have been spending too much time in the company of Romans, meu amigo."
Dona Maria frowns and asks the Sebastianist merchant whether he has anything else to contribute.
"My Queen, with respect to my esteemed colleague, I think one facet of the report I have created should capture your attention."
He indicates a line in the report more closely, and Dona Maria sees red.
"Do you remember, that day when the people of Portugal gave up hope for the icon of their Saviour? Do you remember that we believed ourselves to be cursed? Now we know who is ultimately responsible. While I can only speculate, I have reason to believe that the statue is housed in the Shoshone city of Te-Moak, and if we denounce and invade the Shoshone, capturing their coast city for ourselves we can remedy a grievous wrong inflicted upon us and still serve the purpose of defending our fellows abroad."
"Such a move will earn us no favour amongst our allies, who will wonder why our might was directed towards our own profit in times of crisis for others." Dom João counters. "It will be the Casa that profits most from the new trade opportunities afforded by such a city."
"I cannot dispute this, senhor," Salazar responds flatly, "but where the Casa profits, Portugal profits as well. In this, so too does our Sebastião's Law find opportunities to save this world from devastation."
Dona Maria regards the two great men as they affix their cold stares upon one another, but one proposal must be prioritized over another, and so she begins to pray for an answer as to what must be done next.
Voting will close on Tuesday, May 17th.