Part 16: XVI. Anselm II, Laurence II, Baldwin VIII 1475-1515 A.D.
There were still strongholds of false religion in the Kingdom. Orthodoxy flourished in Libya, there were still large numbers of Muslims in the Sini, and the newly conquered territories of central Arabia were rife with those who rejected the mercy and sacrifice of Christ.
Therefore, in early 1477, Anselm II sent two missionary and inquisitorial expeditions out, one to the Sini, and one to north-central Arabia. Monks and priests would covert the willing, while the Inquisitors would make the reluctant willing.
In 1478 the Abbasid Empire to the west asked for a royal marriage to cement good relations between the two Christian kingdoms. Even though the Abbasid followed the Orthodox rites, King Anselm decided to accept their offer and sent one of his nieces off to the west. She was a very clever girl, perhaps she could convert her husband to the true faith.
The King's brilliant cousin, General Gautier, who had so long been known as one of the Kingdom's Great Men proved just what a brilliant mind he had that fall. Not only was his natural technological contribution effectively doubled for the next six years his new fortification designs helped secure the frontiers of the Kingdom and max out its stability. This was truly worth celebrating.
News also came that the Kingdom of Venice continued its conquest spree, stripping the Pope of some of his holdings in northern Italy. While King Anselm II of course sent a diplomatic protest to Venice, he did little else. The Pope's temporal power was not worth involving the Kingdom in a distant war over.
Good news came in early 1479, when many of the inhabitants of north-central Arabia realized that Islam was a dying religion and that the conquering Christian God was truly Lord of both Earth and Heaven.
The inhabitants of the Sini, however, were slightly more… stubborn. It took several regiments of Kingdom soldiers to help them find peace.
Meanwhile, the Scots and Iberians were searching for new trade routes to the Orient. The importance of the old Silk Road through territory held by Jerusalem and her vassals was gradually declining.
In 1482 trouble was brewing in Libya. The local Orthodox populace was demanding more independence from their new Catholic lords. Many there were beginning to regret breaking away from the Abbasid and throwing themselves on the mercy of the Jerusalem.
There was only one choice open to King Anselm. There was only one road to Paradise. That of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Inquisitors were sent to Libya to remove the local Orthodox Patriarch from power. Such brute force from Jerusalem was not popular. For the next fifteen years the risk of revolt would be increased across the Kingdom. But, on the other hand, missionaries would not only be cheaper, but much more effective.
That summer travelers spoke of a great war in Iberia. The Kingdom of Leon was flexing its muscles and smashing their Portuguese neighbors. It was a shame that Catholics were fighting other Catholics.
General Gauthier died that fall, and King Anselm was greatly saddened by the loss of his cousin who had done so much for the defense and stability of the Kingdom. Indeed, he soon followed him. In September of 1483, King Anselm II died while on tour of the Kingdom's eastern defenses in Persia.
The succession was not as smooth as it might have been. As Anslem II lacked any sons, there was some disagreement over who would follow him on the throne. The stability of the Kingdom dropped a level, but a legitimate successor was found before long.
Unfortunately, while he was a talented administrator, King Laurence II was not particularly skilled at diplomacy. It was likely that both Basra and Persia would continue to maintain their independence from central rule for some time. In fact it was difficult and expensive for the King to even raise his relations with either Duchy.
In 1486 it became possible to move the government sliders again, and King Laurence pushed hard to increase the central power of Jerusalem once again. The Kingdom took another hit in stability, but fortunately it was earned back surprisingly quickly.
The next few years were spent on economic and religous matters. By 1487, every province in the Kingdom had a workshop built and began to spend the Kingdom's funds on missionaries.
Amazingly this was enormously successful. His own high administrative skill combined with the bonus from being religiously intolerant converted six provinces over the next four years. All of the Arabian territories conquered from Yemen came to Christ as well as the Orthodox Christians in Libya. It was, frankly, far better results then King Laurence II had expected and he rebuked himself for having lacked, however slightly, faith in the power of the Faith.
In 1492 the Kingdom's level in government technology reached the point where another National Idea could be chosen. Again, there was clearly only one choice for the Kingdom of God.
The ability to build improved local churches and temples also became available not long after, which would help stability even more. Laurence II began a program to build these throughout the Kingdom as well.
In Europe proper, Leon stripped Portugal of much of its land. Venice continued to advance against the Pope. Scotland expanded its holding in France, but the Duchy of Orleans was emerging as a strong contender, holding much of the center of France. Byzantium also continued to reclaim some of its old empire, expanding against Moldavia and further into the Balkins.
New military ideas were sweeping through Europe as well. Byzantine troops were spotted wielding matchlocks that could shoot a lead ball in a cloud of fire and smoke. They were crude and unwieldy, but the promised greater changes yet to come. Jerusalem still lingered some years behind much of Europe, but the military advances slowly trickled into the Kingdom of God nevertheless.
Foundries in Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Kerak began to turn out heavy cast mortars based off a Scottish design. Before long these huge guns were being dragged along with several of the Kingdom's armies.
The Kingdom's choices about how to organize their infantry continued to increase as well. King Laurence II chose to model the Kingdom's troops after the Landsknechten Infantry of the German empires. Defensive morale (the lower green boxes) would help keep the Kingdom's troops on the battlefield longer without breaking.
Wondrous strange news came in 1502. A Dutchman, Nicholas van der Poele of Bruges, had sailed west, under the employ of the King of Scotland, into the unknown reaches of the Atlantic, seeking a new route to the spices and other riches of China and India. Instead he had found a vast new and unknown continent full of strange natives and untamed wilderness. Before long the Scots, the Irish, the Dutch in Flanders, and the Iberians were racing for the riches of the New World.
Jerusalem was far too distant from the Atlantic to mount its own expeditions to the New World, but King Laurence II did see fit to send off a small group of priests to sail with a Flemish expedition and bring the Good News to the heathen of this strange new land, already being called Nicholia or Nicholand after its discoverer.
News was hard to come by in Jerusalem, but there were apparently two great landmasses. North Nicholia, which was covered in endless forests and only lightly inhabited and South Nicholia, full of steaming jungles, stone cities, and rumors of vast mountains of gold.
In 1504, after twenty-one years of prosperous and peaceful rule King Laurence II died and was succeeded by his son, Baldwin VIII. Although nearly as diplomatically inept as his father, Baldwin VIII was just as good an administrator and even more skilled in the military arts.
The technology to build universities became available in 1507.
Universities are one of several kinds of manufactories available in EUIII. They're extremely expensive to build but they have one great bonus. The add to your monthly technology increase. Furthermore, they add quite a bit. Take a look at my monthly investments:
Right now my investments are spread out equally, although you can see my government and land tech levels are higher because of my Great Men and the fact that I shift sliders now and then. In any case, right now I'm investing 15 gold a month into government tech. If I built three universities I'd double my investment and potentially advance twice as fast. Or I could let my universities do my research for me and push that gold into something else like trade or land.
But 1200 gold is far more then the Kingdom can afford right now, but King Baldwin begins to salt away a little money to try to save up for one.
The first few years of King Baldwin's reign are relatively unremarkable. But things begin to change in 1511. In March, Baldwin VIII manages to undermine the position of the Duke of Basra to such an extent that he is able to fully annex the Duchy to Jerusalem.
The other news, coming just before the New Year, is not so positive.
A dreaded new heresy is taking root in Europe. Many are turning away from the authority of the Pope. King Baldwin VIII speaks out against this disgusting new turn of events and fortunately it does not seem popular in the Kingdom. (Actually, I think my two national ideas pretty much guarantee I won't get Protestantism spread events.)
The response of the Pope is rapid. An new order, the Jesuits is founded and Baldwin VIII eagerly allows them into the Kingdom to make sure that Jerusalem remains pure.
Jesuit seminaries are established in several locations.
More importantly, King Baldwin VIII decides to support the Jesuits by helping them found a college. It takes a lot of money and requires the Kingdom to take a loan from Byzantine lenders, but the future of Christianity is worth it. We gain a university.
In the west, the Abbasid Kingdom was collapsing, and the Kingdom of Leon was moving into the power vacuum. There, at least, Catholicism was being spread.
The Protestant heresy was spreading Normandy, eastern France, and the Danish isles. It was also flourishing in Poland. (Dark blue = Protestant)
But there was worse news. Terrible news. While the Catholic faith of the Kingdom of Jerusalem remained pure, the Duchy of Persia had fallen into darkness. The Protestant 'faith' had spread in Persia like wildfire. By 1515 more Persians were Protestant than Catholic. Worse, Duke Guy had abandoned the Pope and the Catholic faith, claiming that could interpret the Bible for himself.
Some men could be bullied. Some men could be pushed. Some men would surrender their principles for a political expediency.
Baldwin VIII, by the Grace of God King of Jerusalem, Syria, Egypt, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Persia was not amongst them.
There would be blood.
DEUS LO VULT!