Part 17: XVII. Baldwin VIII, Baldwin IX, Guiraud II, Martin III 1515-1552 A.D.
It took time to prepare for the war with Persia. For one thing, Duke Guy was hopelessly idealistic and remained a vassal of Jerusalem. None of the treaties were violated, and indeed, the Duke seemed to think that he could bring King Baldwin VIII and the rest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem into the Protestant fold.
Privately, King Baldwin was incredulous at such naiveté, publicly he deplored Duke Guy's 'confusion' but did not do anything overtly hostile. Time was needed to build the armies of the Kingdom. The Duchy of Persia was rich, and as they still shared a military alliance and military access treaty, King Baldwin was able to see the forces of Persia quite clearly. They had over 50,000 troops, nearly equal to the entire army of the Kingdom!
A crash program was started to recruit more troops. The forges of Jerusalem worked day and night turning out mortar and cannon. Cavalry and infantry was called up from across Egypt, Arabia, and the heartland of Jerusalem. Baldwin VIII readied his armor to take the field in personal command of an army and recruited several more generals to aid him.
The skill of our leaders depends on our military tradition. The more we fight in battle the higher our military tradition gets, and the better the leaders we generate. Ours are pretty poor, but they're better then nothing. It's tricky to get a high military tradition as it decays each year. Fighting a lot will help and some National Ideas will too.
By the spring of 1518 the armies of the Kingdom were ready and moved towards the border with Persia. Over the next few months, Baldwin worked to dissolve the ties binding the Kingdom to its heretical duchy. At last, in July, a message was sent to Duke Guy declaring that unless he acknowledged the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Church all feudal ties between the Duchy of Persia and the Kingdom of Jerusalem would be dissolved.
Most men would understand this as a declaration of war. But Duke Guy was an idealist and a true believer. Instead of bracing for war with Jerusalem he promptly declared a personal crusade on the massive Timurid Empire to his east and marched off to bring Christ to the infidel.
Flabbergasted, Baldwin VIII temporarily withheld his invasion, and watched Duke Guy's 'crusade' with some interest. The Timurids, despite their size had no appreciable military technology and were knocked around by the Persian armies. But the Timurid did have very large numbers of troops, and managed to contain their losses to a few provinces, stalemating Persia.
The next year, while resting and training his armies, King Baldwin VIII created an engineer corps which was attached to the armies of the Kingdom. These engineers, along with the Kingdom's new cannons would hopefully make short work of Persia's fortifications.
We advance to a new level of government technology, which lets us pick a third idea. I thought about going for Quest for the New World, but that can wait a while. I've never taken Engineer Corps before, but an extra point of siege for all our armies should be quite useful.
Finally, in October of 1520, with Persia's war against the Timurid Empire still dragging on, Baldwin had enough. He declared war on the Protestant heretics and invaded with massive force.
The Kingdom's invasion force consisted of over 80,000 soldiers. Persia's home garrison was less then 3,000. Baldwin VIII smasheed through Persia. Every provincial fortress was immediately assaulted and was shattered by the Kingdom's cannons and sappers of the engineer corps.
Persia desperately tried to bring its troops back, but bled white by their war with the Timurid, it was too little, too late. Duke Guy was said to be stricken with melancholy at being 'stabbed in the back' by a fellow Christian during his so-called Crusade. King Baldwin, he said, was the anti-christ and a puppet of the Pope. His lies received little sympathy in Jerusalem.
In December, after encountering the heretical books and tracts written by the Persian Protestants, Baldwin VIII created an index of banned books. A few prominent Protestant authors were captured and burned alive as an example to rest.
In January of 1521, Duke Guy signed a white peace with the Timurid, who were only too happy to have the war brought to a close. Persian armies continued to straggle back toward their duchy, but Jerusalem's armies met them on the border. There were a few sharp clashes, but the war was functionally over.
In July a peace treaty was signed. Duke Guy was sent into exile in Protestant Poland, and ceded his Ducal crown to his four-year-old son Reynaud. The boy was taken to Jerusalem where he was informed he was now a Catholic and made to participate in Mass. Then he was returned to 'rule' Persia with a contingent of Catholic advisors and soldiers. Peace returns to Persia.
We've got six points of inflation now, which is more then I'd like, but supporting a huge army at full upkeep is extremely expensive. Except for the AI, who functionally supports their army for free and thus will always have a huge number of troops. Inflation in EUIII just means that everything is that much more expensive. Everything I buy is now 6% more expensive. Tech, troop upkeep, buildings etc. It's okay as long as I keep increasing my income, though.
During the war, news of events in Europe have also been trickling in. Over the last ten years or so, the Scots have been engaged in a series of wars with England and their Norman vassals. By 1524 only London and a handful of rumored colonies in the New World remain free of the Scottish yoke. Truly, the Scottish star is ascendant in the west.
In 1525, with the Kingdom's finances in a bit better shape, King Baldwin begins to send missionaries to convert the Protestants and Muslims remaining in Persia. There are a few successes and a few revolts that are quickly suppressed.
It's also been fifty years since our war with Yemen. That means we finally gain cores on the provinces we took from them, which mean they give us full tax income and are officially considered a legitimate part of our country by both the provinces themselves and the international community.
In 1526, a new way of organizing regimental camps in the Scottish style becomes popular and one is built in Jerusalem. They're too expensive to build very many right now, though.
Pirates and spies from Yemen continue to harass the Kingdom, and Baldwin VIII begins to drawn plans against them. The first thing he does is to commission four brand new caravels to join the galleys of the Red Sea fleet. The galleys are doing fine against the pirates, but in case war breaks out with Yemen, the Kingdom navy needs to be strong.
In April of 1531, the Kingdom of Venice annexes Hungary. In July they annex the Papal States. Except for the territory still held by Milan, Venice now rules the Italian peninsula.
Not long after this, though, Venice agrees to reinstitute the Pope as an independent nation in Rome. A small hole in Venice's Empire, but a sop to the rest of the Catholic world.
In February of 1532, old King Baldwin VIII takes a chill while walking in the Palace garden and catches pneumonia. A week later he is dead. His nephew, also named Baldwin becomes the next King of Jerusalem.
Days after Baldwin IX takes the throne, news comes that the English, defeated in yet another war, have sworn fealty to Scotland. It seems it will only be a matter of time now until the isle is united.
As a boy, Baldwin IX spent several years in Constantinople with his father. He was awed and impressed by the Byzantine matchlock guns and for many years has been a proponent of increasing their use in the armies of the Kingdom. During the fall of 1532 he begins a program of converting and reorganizing the armies of the Kingdom to use imported and homemade matchlocks.
We've reached military tech level 10!
Special orders were also made to Flanders for stylish hats for the troops of Jerusalem to wear. The newly organized units were quickly sent to guard the frontiers of the Kingdom.
Particular care was paid to the border with Byzantium. Relations had slowly decayed with the Kingdom's northern neighbor, and while they were hardly considered an enemy, they did have nearly 50,000 troops on the border. It wouldn't be wise to let them think Jerusalem was weak.
In 1535, having moved our Centralization slider past the midpoint, we decide to push towards better Quality troops this time. This increases the cost and upkeep of our soldiers, but boosts their morale.
Having finished reorganizing the army, Baldwin IX decides to use it. He moves several large detachments south into the Arabian desert, leading the largest one himself.
For too long, King Baldwin felt, Jerusalem had suffered the piracy and harassment of Yemen. Worse, they had recently annexed the Orthodox Kingdom of Ethiopia, and were suppressing the Christians there. It was clearly time to teach them another lesson. They were allied with Oman and a distant nation in India called Gujarat, which Baldwin knew only through rumor. Baldwin did not expect much interference from distant Gujarat, and arranged his armies to invade Oman, Yemen, and Ethiopia.
In March of 1536 he attacked:
The Muslim armies could not stand up to the new technology of Jerusalem, and by the end of the year things looked well in hand.
Tragedy struck in the spring of 1537. Bitten by a mosquito in Yemen, bold young Baldwin IX contracted malaria and promptly died. He was succeeded by his 14 year old son, Guirad II.
The war took several more years to settle, mostly due to chaotic fighting in the wild interior of Ethiopia, but by 1539 it was over.
Jerusalem again faced a period of decline in the importance of its trade routes. Wealth from the New World was pouring into Scotland, Flanders, and Iberia. The rest of Europe was, in some senses, leaving Jerusalem behind.
Missionaries were sent to Ethiopia in order to educate them on the difference between the foolish, Orthodox rites and the correct, Catholic ones. They did not appreciate the message as much as King Guirad II had hoped.
Revolts were also common in the newly conquered territories taken from Oman and Yemen, but the Kingdom garrisons left behind were more then able to deal with them.
In 1547 another loan was taken out to gain another University with the help of the Jesuits, this time in one of the provinces taken from Persia. In November of that year news came that England's story in world history was over. Interestingly, the Duke of Orleans, newly made King by the Pope, inherited the throne of the Kingdom of Portugal. Not that there was much of Portugal left, by this point. Leon also finished off the Abbasids, and now controlled almost all of western North Africa.
After fourteen years on the throne, King Guirad II died and was succeeded by Martin III, a brilliant diplomat.
The very first act of King Martin III was to dissolve the puppet regime in Persia and fold the duchy into Jerusalem. The eastern empire wrested long ago from the Mongols by St. Louis the Great was now fully under the control of Jerusalem.
King Martin was walking a delicate diplomatic line. The recent conquests in the south and the annexation of Persia had drawn the attention of Jerusalem's neighbors. Only Martin's great diplomatic skill kept Jerusalem from being seen as a disruption to the balance of power.
King Martin III was young, handsome, vigorous, and incredibly charming. He would work hard to improve the reputation of the Kingdom and before long the aggression in Yemen and Persia would be forgotten and the minor crisis would be over.
What could possibly go wrong?
King Martin could choke to death on a chicken bone fourteen months into his reign, for one thing.