Part 16: Dinheiro de Sangue
Dona Maria, looking across the ocean through her telescope at the sight of the Nau being refitted, speaks in a low tone to her underlings.
"We are an empire that spans the entire world, which we discovered before anyone else here."
"Our navy is the mightiest this world knows, and has already defeated a conquering enemy."
"Why is it that you tell me that we can only face one opponent?"
"We have friends who depend on our support, through a true test of our might."
"Let this next conflict be spoken of as the last time this world underestimated the Portuguese."
Senhor Salazar's mouth briefly hangs open at this declaration, and he considers objection briefly before he regains himself and nods solemnly.
"At once, my queen."
Dom João recalls this exchange grimly before he orders the Misericórdia to open fire on the Japanese vessel, the opening statement of the first war to engulf fully half of the world's peoples.
As the Armada rounds the bottom of the cape of Buenos Aires, the admiral briefly considers whether the Portuguese are truly immune to this bloody disease of conflict that has engulfed the world.
Ashurbanipal, his mood softened with time, rekindles the offer that Dona Maria made previously, and all seems forgiven for the time being.
Senhora Oriana, meanwhile, has claimed the head of another spy, this one bearing the coins of a Venetian mint. Though she does not forget, Dona Maria is ready to forgive.
Nossa Senhora executes a Trireme close to the end of its life, and a palpable excitement seems to be building among the men.
Te-Moak is in sight, and from the looks of things the Shoshone were utterly unprepared for battle at sea.
In their haste to remedy the situation, they draw up peace terms with the Brazilians, and turn their forces back west. Meanwhile, the Ponta Delgada detachment (a mixed unit force now calling themselves "the Açores") engages a Barbarian camp hidden away in the north, hoping to rescue Assyrian refugees.
Te-Moak begins to wither under cannon fire, and the trade ship in port is an easy target for the advancing boarding parties.
With reinforcements on the way, the coastal city's fate is sealed.
Blood and gold dust fills the waters surrounding the legendary reefs of the Shoshone coast.
Pedro offers support in word for the actions of his kin.
The news of impending victory spreads like wildfire thanks to an invention whose development is financed by the Casa and Salazar.
They turn their attentions to further means of profiting from the accumulating wealth in Portugal.
Te-Moak attempts retaliation one final time before the coastal catapults are silenced.
Marines sweeping the city catch sight of a giant statue near the gates of the city, and realize that their version of the Colossus is a giant representation of the Shoshones' own leader, a sort of protective figure. Upon reading the report, the incensed captain of the Nossa Senhora directs his gunner to fire a shot at the statue's head. The cannonball strike defaces the statue's visage beyond recognition.
As they race through the streets of the city, the marines loot public buildings for coinage and writings. Dom João directs the assault with a sinking heart, realizing that perhaps he had made a mistake in taking part in military efforts at all.
Here we will take a look at the fine distinct actions one can take upon capturing a city. The tooltip explanations are decent, but the main distinction between city Annexation and Puppeting is relevant in a couple of other ways (we do not want to raze this city as that would remove the Colossus from play). If we Puppet the city and then Annex it later, it becomes unusable for a period of time (Resistance) after each action, meaning the overall amount of time the city is spent in Resistance is longer if we do one then the other. The other consequence of Puppeting is that the city does not count as ours for purposes of determining National Wonder prerequisites, and that is a distinction I should be remembering, but I do not as I choose to simply Annex Te-Moak immediately, thinking that the Portuguese economy will just let me throw money at all my problems.
Also, the game warns you about Warmonger penalties rather annoyingly after it is too late to do anything about them. Once you see that capture screen, you are taking the Warmonger hit no matter what you do.
Victory on one side of the world is paralleled with victory at another, as the Barbarian camp is raided and the refugees released into the care of the Açores.
However, they are determined to be Roman, not Assyrian. Thus, the Açores decide that they are better off with the Portuguese, and offer them coin to relocate to Ponta Delgada.
The Shoshone citizenry offers some significant resistance to the incursions of the Portuguese, but over time the propaganda leaflets prepared by the Casa and Salazar make the case that they were living under a soulless despot, and that their new life in the richest empire in the world will be a tremendous improvement.
As an aside, I could have held off one or two more turns to let those Workers finish that Citrus improvement to the south. Alas...
On orders from the Casa, Faro begins to construct a new trade vessel given the new route offered by Te-Moak's sea lane.
Byzantine support for the war effort shines through in unexpected fashion, as enlightened scholars and holy men travel across the seas from Adrianople to visit the sacred city of Lisboa.
The Portuguese are so well-known at this point that they are considered a natural choice to host a convention of representatives from each nation.
World Congress is a Brave New World-specific advancement, and marks the point at which diplomacy becomes quite a bit more involved. The nation with the most delegates and one other determine, at each convention of Congress, which resolutions to bring up for voting, and each nation present votes on it.
Rather than show off a dozen screenshots for each available resolution, please refer to to the Wiki listings.
We are going for a bit of a hard sell right off the top, but I think this can happen if some of the parties present vote the way I expect them to.
In Lisboa, the aging Great Engineer finally considers something worthy of his time and energy.
He puts forth a tremendous effort to bring his vision to life, and dies shortly after putting the final touches to his grand scheme. All that remains is for its unveiling in the very near future.
The newest Frigate-class ship is named in the spirit of hope for victory.
Shoshone retaliation is on the horizon in the form of an unusual unarmoured unit. Their speed makes them terrifying at close range, but they have some distance to cross before arriving at the gates of Te-Moak.
The Berserker is a Danish Unique Unit. The reason the Shoshone have it is likely that Belgrade gave it to them, as is the wont of a City-State classed as Military.
The Lisboan architect's work is unveiled, and Dona Maria is shocked to see a tower atop a hill built on a deliberate incline. The work is said to inspire greatness for the impossibility of its circumstance, and evokes the sense of a world that exists and thrives in spite of its own seemingly inevitable collapse.
The piece inspires travelers from afar to visit Lisboa in order to see it, and the Casa sees significant opportunities for profit and expansion upon which Senhor Salazar pounces.
A number of Lisboan residents living in the tower's shadow are less impressed, however, and make plans to move out of the city.
The Byzantine prophet discerns a new location for a holy site within a forest near Lisboan crossroads. However, his effort is supported to the extent that Portuguese engineers and builders tear down the entire forest before the site is completed.
In his last hours, the man was said to have told his compatriot from the Universidade: "In this pursuit of earthly gains, we too eagerly rush to our own demise."
This distinctly anti-Sebastianist sentiment was not included among his written legacy.
The Te-Moak front remains promising, as the ships of the line are able to fire their broadside cannons at the assaulting Berserkers with little difficulty.
The practiced ease with which the Frigates are able to strike at ground targets inspires doctrinal improvements among their gunnery crews.
A great writer travels from parts unknown to see the unusual tower built on the Lisboan coast.
In all seriousness, I probably made a poor choice with selecting the Great Writer as the person of choice from the Leaning Tower, as unlike with the Hagia Sophia example, this "free" great person is not free. We have increased the cost of the initial GW from 100 to 200 by selecting this one, so I really should have gone with my first instinct of just getting another Prophet.
My next bad choice is a bit more deliberate, as I do not think we are particularly suited for a Culture victory in our present circumstance and I should therefore go for the Political Treatise, as the Culture boost from the Great Work will not be enough to make up for the amount of raw culture gained all at once from the Treatise.
Yet, I vastly prefer clicking the Great Work button for one simple reason: We actually get to read part of a Great Work for doing so.
The writer from afar gazed upon the tower, and it was said that the view of it inspired a fascinating story, including the above line which was said to reflect the author's sentiment upon seeing its bizarre angle with his own eyes.
Ponta Delgada, meanwhile, began its own pursuit of architectural impossibility, as the myriad workers in the city were directed to start constructing new domiciles atop and within the nearby mountain range.
On the other side of the world, the traveling Nau discovers new opportunities for profit.
The Roman is content to hurl petty insults at his betters.
The peoples of Lisboa displaced by the tower identify in their maps a likely new home, from previous plans drafted by Dona Maria for potential settlement.
Dona Maria, requesting an update to the political circumstances of the rest of the world, is briefly flabbergasted at the sheer number of denunciations issued back and forth between countries. It would seem that there is some potential for a Portuguese-Assyrian-Brazilian-Byzantine alliance bloc, but how realistic such a project would be in the current era remains to be seen. Dandolo's choices of friends who hate each other is also odd to say the least.
In the pursuit of profit, the new Nau discovers other potential targets of opportunity, apparently dispatched to inflict some punishment on Wellington.
Lisboa builds a new weapon, and terms it the Caravela after a particularly noxious type of jellyfish.
Te-Moak holds steady, and it seems as though Shoshone reinforcements are drying up.
Just so, Pocatello offers peace, but his offer is refused as written. Instead, the Casa makes arrangements for the Shoshone to pay war reparations to the Portuguese for several decades henceforth, and the city of Agaidika is allowed to remain in their possession.
Again, probably not the "right" choice, but we only particularly wanted that Colossus.
Nobunaga makes a similar offer once it is made apparent that the full force of the Armada Portuguesa will be focused on him in short order. However, he refuses to consider the release of Constantinople, and negotiations break down.
A new City-State is located nestled close to Shoshone southern borders. However, their hostile attitude towards Portuguese naval and military officials raises some ire right off the bat.
Ponta Delgada continues to burn through Crown funds, only now they are devoted towards constructing the monstrous mountainside settlement.
The Nau of the east offloads some trade goods in Wellington in exchange for weapons and trained mercenary sailors.
Byblos is suspected of harbouring Shoshone sympathizers, and is quickly surrounded by a contingent of Portuguese knights on horseback as well as the ships close to port.
A demand is sent to them to contribute to the reparations sought by the Portuguese under the Treaty of Te-Moak. Despite guarantees from the Shoshone, the people of Byblos are pressured into accepting.
Demanding Tribute from a City State requires you to have an army positioned close to or within their borders whose combined strength results in them becoming "afraid". Whether or not they become afraid depends on whether they have someone guaranteeing their protection, their attitude, and the size of the army surrounding them. Once Tribute is demanded, the City State immediately cancels all active quests and you lose a chunk of Influence with them, meaning it is best used on City-States that you cannot complete quests for or else don't like you to begin with.
Dom João pens a formal protest to the rest of the Admiralty for the behaviour of the troops, but is struck silent when he is informed that the move was sanctioned by Dona Maria herself.
"We live in a new age, Almeida." She wrote back to him. "We cannot afford even the sight of weakness, and must press every advantage we can against the enemies of our nation."
Dom João can barely contain his disgust. Hearing reports of ships assaulting distant Japanese military craft only confirms his fears. This war has been twisted from a genuine effort to help an ally into a warped extension of the likes of Salazar's eternal quest for profits.
The truth can be coated in the veneer of aid or a desire to improve the lives of fellow humans, but the aims of the conflict have never seemed so obvious before now.
Dom João can see with his eyes the rage and despair crossing the face of the Shoshone as he makes a fruitless request of Dona Maria to leave his City-State fellows out of their conflict. The venom with which she rebukes him stings deeper than any caravela.
As if on cue, Salazar announces to the Casa his plan to expand their operations further, preparing counting houses and vaults to manage imperial finances on a significantly larger scale. The chains of debt and ownership are the torture implements of Sebastianists.
Their greed shows no signs of stopping.
Their demand for profit overrides all reason.
It inspires violence to the point of sheer self-destruction.
Dom João has taken his first step towards seeing the world as it truly is.
The Shoshone do well to guard themselves against the future.
An aside, Himeji Castle gives +15% Combat strength inside friendly territory to the Civ, but the Shoshone already have that, so Himeji gives another +15% on top of that, making their units nearly impossible to dislodge from allied territory.
With a disturbingly genuine smile on his face, Salazar informs the people of Te-Moak that they are fortunate to live under the protections and auspices of the Portuguese, and that the resistance movement that plagued the city for years was dedicated to the regime of a delusional, fanatical narcissist who would only lead them to ruin.
The only unfortunate reality of their situation is that they would have to accept that they would no longer be living in the city of Te-Moak.
To best mend the wounds of war, Salazar turns the Shoshone reparations and the new trade opportunities in Shoshone sea lanes into numerous infrastructure improvements for the city of Bissau.
"No!" Dom João screams helplessly in the direction of the Nau chasing a trade vessel into Japanese territorial waters. "São Gabriel! You are out of position! Pull back now before you're shot at by the Constantinople defenders!"
The derisive laughs of the São Gabriel's crew echo across the shorelines as they plunder the Japanese trade vessel, when suddenly a sea of arrows and stones rain from across the southern coast in their direction.
The rest of the fleet watches in sudden, sobering silence as the São Gabriel, the first and greatest ship of the Portuguese Armada, extant since time immemorial, sinks beneath the waves of the Japanese coast, never to return.
The tragic loss of such a historic vessel causes a Genoan condottiero to seek work with the Armada free of charge, but the loss of the São Gabriel is much more than the loss of a single ship. The news reaching Lisboa gives Dona Maria pause, quiets her legendary anger, and causes her to reflect on the events of the past few years.
The Portuguese had lost all semblance of control, and were very nearly the cause of the sort of devastation they had always preached against.
The notion that they alone are blessed and protected is preposterous, as Sebastião's Laws were always meant to ultimately protect all people and all animals, so why should others be any less blessed for it?
The world is still full of unknowns and mysteries, and the Portuguese must vigilantly continue to find answers to those mysteries.
Regaining control over his men, Dom João gives the order to hold position and avoid pressing pursuit any further south until reinforcements arrive.
In the west, Cabo Rachado in founded on the southern cape of Roman territory. The people there dedicate themselves to a quiet life of animal domestication and fishing, far away from the disorganized chaos of the likes of Bissau and Lisboa.
Oriana has not been slowed by the sudden loss of Portuguese artifacts, though, and swiftly executes a spy who confessed to Shoshone allegiance upon capture.
Seemingly blissfully unaware of the world's new and frightening circumstances, Dandolo offers verbal support for a cause long since resolved.
The Order of Lisboa arrives on scene in southern Constantinople, though its ability to wreak havoc is stymied by a lack of available forces to strike from an opportune position.
Dom João hears of reinforcements soon to arrive on scene sent from Lisboa, but he spits out a curse and demands to know who at Arquimedes' shipyards Salazar paid off to have a ship named after him.
Yet, for his objections, Salazar's accomplishments and contributions to the arts and finances of Luanda, and by extension all of Portugal, could not be understated. He was as respected and feared in the domestic sphere as Dom João himself was at sea.
Oriana, however, came forth with a request for a small number of troops in Lisboa to support her efforts in keeping the peace and rooting out spies, and Dona Maria signed off on the new construction order with particular confidence.
In Ponta Delgada, news of the city built within the mountain attracted more trade and bewilderment from across the globe, and the Casa had trouble keeping up with the financial records for all the travel the Portuguese were doing.
Though they ultimately lost another Nau to minor skirmishing, Dom João delivered the final statement on the war that nearly tore apart his country and his soul.
Nossa Senhora da Vitoria delivers one final roar across the coastline.
And the rest is history.
Nobunaga faces Dona Maria once more in a dream, his blade's defeat assured against the Portuguese bow and arrow. Dona Maria provides the terms of surrender Salazar prepared earlier.
The Japanese would dedicate all of their treasury and 100% of their existing profits from trade to Portugal for the next several years, as well as a raw gold reserve that the Casa was able to confirm existed. This, of course, would be on top of the return of Constantinople to the Byzantines.
Nobunaga saw no other option but to accept.
However, this left a problem. To secure some Japanese military vessels claimed by the Caravela in the north, they would have to pass through Japanese territory without being immediately flagged as hostile. Salazar made an allowance of some resources of minor importance to sweeten the deal offered to Nobunaga in exchange for safe passage, and Dona Maria ultimately provided the trade goods he sought.
Dom João is pulled back to Lisboa, ostensibly to receive his reward for a job well done in ending no less than two wars in Portugal's favour. However, the celebratory zeal with which he had left was replaced with quiet contemplation upon his return, and he made no secret of the fact that while Portugal had won two great victories, it was his belief that they had done so at the cost of their souls.
"Your Majesty, now that our work is done in the lands of the Shoshone and the Japanese, I must implore you to think of the future of the people of this nation, I would urge you to reconsider the realities of our domestic situation and avoid such conflicts with neighbouring powers in the future."
He is interrupted by a voice from behind him.
"The reality of our domestic situation, senhor, is that we are far and away the wealthiest, most enlightened, and happiest nation in this world."
He recognizes Salazar's voice, but refuses to even acknowledge him.
"You should see the Leaning Tower that was built in your absence, or perhaps read the stories that the Afghani people are writing about us." Salazar continues, "There is virtually no indulgence or exotic good that the people of Lisboa cannot seek from any of our fine markets, and the nation is only wealthier for your efforts."
"I've seen firsthand the true cost of that wealth, senhor." Dom João retorts, "Our navy was meant to protect the nation and bring stability to the world. Instead we tore down Te-Moak, and robbed the people of Byblos simply for being caught in the crossfire. I am told the Shoshone are even following a new faith whose tenets run deliberately counter to our own, decrying the acquisition of wealth as a sin and deriding us as indulgence-obsessed gluttons.
"The former Shoshone hovel you are talking about is now called Bissau." Salazar tersely replies.
"Constantinople may be back in the hands of the Byzantines, but unless we guarantee them protection as we have with Brazil there is no telling how the Japanese will respond." João continues. "I implore you to offer that protection, and divert our efforts towards maintaining peace rather than profiting from war."
"I should like to suggest something different." Salazar says suddenly. "Venice should be our next target."
At this, João finally wheels to face his enemy.
"You cannot be serious."
"They are attempting to engender friendships but they are diplomatically isolated, neither hot nor cold. They claim to be friends of both the Brazilians and the Shoshone, but take no sides in either conflict and content themselves with buying the governments of City-States. If we decry their expansion efforts and attack them, the diplomatic fallout should be manageable, and we stand to gain their great construction efforts and eliminate a notorious trading rival and heretic."
Dom João faces his queen, his anger growing suddenly.
"My queen, I cannot tolerate what this man is saying any longer. He claims devotion to the Laws of Sebastião but he is single-handedly engineering the very destruction that Sebastião tried to warn our people about."
"I am simply guaranteeing Portugal's prosperity and ability to make good on our promises of protection, senhor."
"Be quiet, both of you." Dona Maria speaks tersely. "I must take the time to think of this nation and what it stands for, since we now have many more Portuguese to think about. Deixa-me em paz."
The two men slowly turn and leave the room, and walk their separate ways through the palace, while Dona Maria returns to her room to pray...
Well, that was quite a longer post than I had anticipated, but the vote for this time will be as follows: Do we keep the peace or add the Venetian capital to our list of spoils of war? Understanding that this is a very narrow question and unlikely to generate much discussion, I would now like to open the floor to any other future suggestions for the nation of Portugal. Whether in terms of research, expansion, diplomacy, or building up in existing territories, I would like to know what your thoughts are on what I should be trying to do next in a more general sense. Any idea that I like enough or gets enough support from your peers I will try to implement as best I can.
For example, my own next scheme involves a little trick I like to call the "Industrial-strength slingshot", in which I start building Oxford University as soon as Bissau becomes Sebastianist and we can faith-buy a University there, so that once Economics finishes we get Industrialization as our free technology and get into the Industrial era early.
Also, I will be out of town for the weekend and unable to provide a update, so suggestions will be accepted until Tuesday, May 24th!