An Age of Miracles Continues: The Empire of Rhomania

Vince

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So there's 150k men from the Triunes advancing on the Rhine and another 25k of Romans burning the southern HRE. The Wittlesbachs are heavily in debt, their best armies destroyed, their best lands looted and the Emperor in no shape to lead. Even worse if they push too hard their strongest vassal (Ottokar) could turn on them. Yeah barring D3 changing his mind on the HRE and/or the Spanish/Arletian/Swiss alliance hitting Henry from behind, Germany is going to lose badly.
 
At this stage, doesn’t the Accord have no choice but to hit Henry from behind? If the Triunes take the Rhine, what’s to stop them from turning south to complete the conquest of France?
 
The Romans could just force the election of Elisabeth as HRE as the ultimate humiliation. Not only is the one true Rhome not under the control of the Latins; but they'd be forced to take the widow of a Rhoman emperor as their ruler as well, at gunpoint, on Rhome's terms.
Even moreso, wasn't the whole thing with Charlemagne being crowned emperor in 800 because supposedly a woman shouldn't be reigning as an emperor in Constantinople? I doubt this would happen but that would make for some ultimate, delicious levels of irony.
 
Even moreso, wasn't the whole thing with Charlemagne being crowned emperor in 800 because supposedly a woman shouldn't be reigning as an emperor in Constantinople? I doubt this would happen but that would make for some ultimate, delicious levels of irony.
I quite agree, nothing like giving Charlemagne's legacy, the Salic law and the Germans the finger by doing unto them what was done to the Rhomans centuries ago. It'd be just like the payback at the second battle of Yarmouk a couple of updates ago. Too bad this will be just wishful thinking since there is no way the Germans will accept such terms, unless Henri involves himself.
 
I quite agree, nothing like giving Charlemagne's legacy, the Salic law and the Germans the finger by doing unto them what was done to the Rhomans centuries ago. It'd be just like the payback at the second battle of Yarmouk a couple of updates ago. Too bad this will be just wishful thinking since there is no way the Germans will accept such terms, unless Henri involves himself.
Hence the at gunpoint part. "Don't accept our terms, Duke Rando V? We'll just apply lead poisoning until we find someone who does!"
 
I have asked before how people IOTL would react to Rhomania, now what would Rhomania think of countries IOTL? I believe that Rhomania would be crying seeing how much in debt Greece is to the fuckin Latins, and would be pretty dismayed by the chaos in the Middle East. Wonder what they would think of China? I'm guessing that they seem pretty similar if you look at them for a bit, though we don't know much about modern Rhomania.
OTL Middle East would appall them. Western democracy probably wouldn’t impress them that much, given the lack of educational requirements for voting and office. At this point ITTL entrance and advancement in the civil service already requires passing exams, and that mentality will continue in Roman governance to the present day. Also far too much in the pockets of the rich for Roman government liking. Russia and Georgia would be a major let-down. OTL China would be the one with which the Romans can most relate.

All this is based on my fuzzy ideas that I have about how 2019 Rhomania will be.

Now that the roman-German war is close to its end, can we get the real interpretation of Nistrodamus prophecy?
I don't think it has concluded yet. There's still Henri's attack on Rhomania still. Athens is due for a naval invasion by the Triune when Henri crows about the world being in his grasp.
It is a prophecy - it can mean whatever you want it to mean. That's what makes prophecies fun!
But explaining it takes away all the fun…

Although it seems, based on lack of response, nobody got a hint I dropped a few updates back.

The Romans could just force the election of Elisabeth as HRE as the ultimate humiliation. Not only is the one true Rhome not under the control of the Latins; but they'd be forced to take the widow of a Rhoman emperor as their ruler as well, at gunpoint, on Rhome's terms.
Even moreso, wasn't the whole thing with Charlemagne being crowned emperor in 800 because supposedly a woman shouldn't be reigning as an emperor in Constantinople? I doubt this would happen but that would make for some ultimate, delicious levels of irony.
I quite agree, nothing like giving Charlemagne's legacy, the Salic law and the Germans the finger by doing unto them what was done to the Rhomans centuries ago. It'd be just like the payback at the second battle of Yarmouk a couple of updates ago. Too bad this will be just wishful thinking since there is no way the Germans will accept such terms, unless Henri involves himself.
Hence the at gunpoint part. "Don't accept our terms, Duke Rando V? We'll just apply lead poisoning until we find someone who does!"
The Romans could pull a gunpoint election/coronation if they really wanted to. The problem is that as soon as the Roman army left, it’d be repudiated immediately as it would lack any support on the ground. And then Henri II could come riding in as the “legitimate protector of German liberties”.

So there's 150k men from the Triunes advancing on the Rhine and another 25k of Romans burning the southern HRE. The Wittlesbachs are heavily in debt, their best armies destroyed, their best lands looted and the Emperor in no shape to lead. Even worse if they push too hard their strongest vassal (Ottokar) could turn on them. Yeah barring D3 changing his mind on the HRE and/or the Spanish/Arletian/Swiss alliance hitting Henry from behind, Germany is going to lose badly.
Yeah, Germany is in for a rough time, and is going to look different when the dust clears.

At this stage, doesn’t the Accord have no choice but to hit Henry from behind? If the Triunes take the Rhine, what’s to stop them from turning south to complete the conquest of France?
Hold that thought, because that’s going to be a major part of the upcoming update.
 
1635: The Watch on the Rhine
1635 (Western Europe): The Lower Rhine is the main goal of the Triune offensive, but the defense of the Lower Rhine depends, in many ways, on the Upper Rhine. Southwest Germany, through the offices of the Prince-Elector of the Palatine and the Duke of Württemberg, is still mostly loyal to the House of Wittelsbach.

Furthermore, Southwest Germany is still capable of fielding a respectable army. While the German states here provided some men and money for Theodor’s assault on Rhomania, because of their strategic position vis-à-vis the Triple Monarchy, their contributions were comparatively limited. While allied with Henri, there were limits to how far Theodor trusted him. As a result, Prince-Elector Otto Henry II and Duke Eberhard III can, between them and the other states of the Upper Rhenish and Swabian Circles, field an army close to 40000 strong come summer 1635. Many formations are green though and while they are decently equipped, ironically with a strong string of Triune-made cannons, the Reichsarmee they’ve assembled is quite weak in cavalry. The war in Rhomania had been even bloodier on German mounts than on men, meaning even these territories had to contribute huge quantities of horseflesh.

Nevertheless that is nowhere near enough to confront the Triune juggernaut. However King Albrecht III and the two German rulers have a plan; the reason that the Upper Rhine is crucial is that it is key to gaining more men. When Elizabeth rides into Stuttgart, her husband’s capital, she meets with representatives of the Bernese League who pledge 15000 more men against the Triunes. The very-welcome Bernese offer comes with two conditions. Firstly, in any combined army they must be posted on the opposite side from any contingents from the Swiss Confederation. In the words of Maximilian VI von Habsburg, Count of Aargau (and therefore the head of the House of Habsburg in the League because of his control of the ancestral seat) “in the course of battle, the Bernese will, out of force of habit, begin killing Swiss if they see them”.

That is an expected and easily-granted condition. The other is more difficult. While the League army will mobilize, it will not move outside of League territory until it has been reinforced by at least 20000 Spanish troops.

Lotharingia has a long practice of hiring Spanish soldiers to bolster its armies, a practice encouraged by the then-Kings of Castile as a way of gaining some extra money while returning officers brought back useful knowledge regarding engineering and technology to Castile. Spanish soldiers have been a mainstay in Lotharingian defense against Triune attacks, to the point that the route from Italy north over the Alps and along the Rhine to the Lotharingian heartland is typically known as the Spanish Road. Henri II is well aware of that history and the key mission of the Army of Burgundy is to cut said Spanish Road.

King Ferdinand is most willing to enter the war, alarmed by the growth of Triune power and desiring to curb it. His preferred solution is one presented by the Duke of Seville, Ferdinand de Seville, formerly Yusuf ibn Ibrahim, the Emir of Seville. Since he switched allegiances, he has converted to Catholicism, the Spanish monarch himself becoming his godfather. Known as the Wolf Duke both because of his descent from the Wolf King [1] and his military exploits against the Marinids in the Granada War, he is one of the richest and most prominent grandees in the Kingdom.

Duke Ferdinand proposes a grand army, comprised of Spanish, Arletian, Aragonese, and Bernese troops, at least a hundred thousand strong, massing and marching straight on Paris. With the Reichsarmee in southwest Germany and the Lotharingian army on the Lower Rhine, they can smash the Triunes between them.

It is a bold and ambitious plan and one that has certainly kept Henri II awake at night. But there are several factors making said plan impossible, unfortunately for the foes of the Triunes.

Firstly, Ferdinand is broke. The Granada War, while militarily successful, has practically bankrupted the Spanish monarchy. Interest rates have tripled since 1630, several royal properties have been mortgaged, and even hikes in the cruzada tax haven’t kept up. There is no more capital to borrow from Germany or Italy for obvious reasons, and the Romans, also tight on money because of their own wartime expenses, are not being very cooperative.

To finance the war, Ferdinand needs the support of the wealthy Lisbon merchants and financiers. They are open to war, but war against the Romans. While Spanish vessels carry Terranovan and eastern wares to Lisbon, Lotharingian merchants dominate the carrying trade from Iberia to the Low Countries, meaning that the Triunes pounding the Lotharingians there does nothing to Spanish businesses; they’re already locked out. Furthermore as neutral carriers, that may give them the edge to open said locked door.

Meanwhile the Portuguese element of the Spanish Kingdom has a long-standing tradition of viewing the Romans as rivals. They were battling in eastern waters before a Triune galleon ever rounded the Cape of Storms. Roman inroads on Java and their recent conquest of the Banda Islands have made serious inroads in Spanish trade in eastern Island Asia, while a proxy war using Malay allies between the Viceroyalty of Malacca and Katepanate of Pahang is becoming increasingly nasty, with Spanish and Roman “advisors” directly firing on each other on at least two recorded occasions with resulting fatalities on both sides. The cooperation against their mutual foe Aceh at the battle of the Lingga Islands in 1633 briefly warmed the air, but the temperature plummeted after the battles off the Sunda Kingdom in 1634.

However, even if King Ferdinand could get the money for a great army to invade France, he wouldn’t be able to deploy it. The Wolf Duke’s plan had hinged on using the Roussillon Accord as a framework, but that is a defensive, not an offensive, alliance. That could be worked around, but annoyingly in January 1635 old King Basil II Komnenos decided to die.

Basil II had been a strong monarch in his prime, but as is typical of the dynastic difficulties of the Arletian royal house, his successor is his grandson Leo (II), who is not quite ten years old at the time of his grandfather’s death. His mother, now Dowager Queen Joan, is supposed to be his regent until he comes of age, but Joan is no Queen Alexandra. Not particularly powerful or administratively experienced, most of her strength comes from her brother, Duke Raymond X of Toulouse. [2]

However there are other notable figures who desire the Regency. The most significant is Melchior II de Polignac, the Duke of Valentinois. As a young man, he served as a volunteer in the Imperial Wittelsbach armies during the Brothers’ and Second Rhine Wars, earning accolades for his military valor and skill from no less of a figure than Marshal Blucher.

Still retaining his rakish charm into middle-age, although his steadily expanding belly is cutting into that, he is also well-known for his cultural patronage, subsidizing artists and playwrights and architects. His famous chateau near Montélimar, which is still mostly original construction and houses an art museum with many of the works of his patronized artists, is a popular tourist attraction to this day.

However as Basil II’s grip slackened in his dotage, Duke Melchior has grown more ambitious, and despite his earlier military career, for the last three years he has been in the pay of Henri II. He has become the leader of what is colloquially known as the ‘Ocean’ faction, which favors warm relations with the Triunes fueled by trade, such as the thriving export of Gascon wines to England and Normandy, accompanied by expansion overseas in Terranova and the east. Many in this group are wary of the Roussillon Accord, fearful that in the event of an Accord-Triune War that Arles will bear the brunt of it. Considering the geography, that is a very reasonable concern. They believe that keeping peace with their northern neighbor combined with overseas growth is the best recipe for Arletian security and prosperity. Melchior shares these beliefs, but his Triune stipend makes him especially devoted to said beliefs.

Opposing the Ocean faction is the ‘Europe’ faction, which shared the viewpoint of the late King Basil II. They strongly support the Accord, are interested in landward expansion including in Northern Italy (hence the pushback of the Three Johns against the Romans), and had been ascendant until the King’s death. They are aligned with the Spanish, many members having commercial ties and even marriage alliances with important Spanish houses.

The Europe faction argues that the Triunes cannot be trusted, and that after expansion to the east they will turn southward against Arles, which will now have fewer allies. To this the Ocean faction counters that while the Triunes have repeatedly made threats and invaded Lotharingia three times in the past seventy five years, they’ve shown no signs of aggression against Arles in several decades. Furthermore in the east, the Triunes and Arletians have often acted as allies against the established Romans and Spanish and the equally new and rather pushy Lotharingians.

This last point is particularly important as the Ocean faction includes many of the great and good of the Kingdom of Arles, including powerful mercantile elements whose support would be crucial to financing a large land war. Queen Joan lacks the political strength to prevent the factional bickering, with the result that Arles is effectively stalled.

So the ‘great army’ is out. But Ferdinand can still send a ‘small army’, twenty thousand strong; that he can afford. That will help the foes of the Triunes and give him time to work on the Lisbon financiers and support the ‘Europe’ faction in Arles. The Spanish army has long practice with provisioning troops for the Spanish Road.

Except that the Spanish Road is already partially closed, without the Triunes even firing a shot. The southern terminus is Genoa, still blockaded by the Roman fleet. Even if the Romans were to stand aside, which they are not, Genoa is one spark away from exploding into revolt and Liguria has no provisions to support an army. Plus, the rest of northern Italy is busy sustaining the armies of the Dukes of Verona and Parma as they battle. Trying to march a Spanish army through there would be a nightmare.

So rather than marching to Barcelona to board transports for Genoa, the usual route, the twenty thousand Spaniards will have to march overland to Bern, a substantially slower process. But it is the only option, Queen Regent Joan giving her assent despite the protests of the Duke of Valentinois and the Ocean faction who fear provoking Henri. The Duke of Toulouse counters that Henri is too busy being provocative to be provoked himself.

The Spanish force, euphemistically named the Army of Observation (there is no official state of war between Spain and the Triple Monarchy), is commanded by the Wolf Duke. His second is Alfonso de Talavera, King Ferdinand’s favorite son, born of his Basque mistress. Popular at court and amidst the Spanish soldiery, the Roman ambassador notes that the Duke of Aveiro, to give Alfonso his title, is the spitting image of portraits of his great-great-grandfather, Andreas II Drakos. King Ferdinand is a grandson of Empress Helena I via her second-youngest daughter Anna.

As the tercios [3] begin their long march to the Rhine, the other armies already extant are trading blows. The Bernese army is mustering at Pontarlier, a member of the League. While stationery, the Triune commander of the Army of Burgundy, Gaspar de Rochechouart, Duke of Nemours, has to take its existence into account. As a result, rather than focusing on overrunning the Franche-Comte, he switches his advance through southern Lorraine with his main target being the strategic city of Strasbourg on the left bank of the Rhine.

He faces little opposition as he advances. While northern Lotharingia is studded with modern fortresses, they have sucked up the money leaving little for fortifying these southern regions. Furthermore, as the center of gravity in Lotharingia pivoted north and the court became more Dutch, these areas have been more and more estranged from their Lotharingian overlords. In addition, Bohmanism has been spreading with the support of King’s Harbor and fueled by dissatisfaction with corrupt clergy. Without the tools and the will to fight, the Lorrainers largely capitulate to Nemours once he promises to respect their privileges.

Strasbourg, on the other hand, is well-fortified with a garrison recruited from Brabant. But while the garrison is defiant, expecting support from the Reichsarmee that Otto Henry and Eberhard are assembling as Nemours marches through Lorraine, the burghers are less sanguine. After all, it will be their homes bombed and their wives and children butchered if the city is stormed. The city also has one of the biggest Bohmanist communities outside the Triple Monarchy, and one persecuted by Lotharingian authorities due to their suspect loyalties.

Whether the Bohmanist burghers were suspect beforehand, after a series of harsh taxes and business restrictions imposed on them, they certainly are now. It is also noticed by even their Catholic neighbors who are not directly targeted that the restrictions also tend to boost outsider manufactures to the detriment of native wares. By outsider, they mean goods from the Dutch lands.

Thus the burghers are most ready to listen to the Duke of Nemours, who has express permission from Henri II to make any concessions necessary in order to get Strasbourg to flip quickly. It is vital to cutting the Spanish Road. After promising the removal of all anti-Bohmanist regulation, the promise to respect Catholic worship in the city, and certain tax exemptions, the city of Strasbourg agrees to put itself under Triune control.

The garrison is a different matter but they recognize that resistance is hopeless without the support of the townspeople, especially after Nemours lets a delegation take a thorough tour of his fine artillery train. They agree to withdraw, being allowed to take out all their personal equipment and weapons and banners, plus one cannon. After they march out on their way to Antwerp, Nemours moves in and garrisons Strasbourg.

Three days later the Reichsarmee arrives, too late to bolster the Strasbourg garrison as had been the hope, but the Germans bloody the probes Nemours has sent to the east-bank, driving them back. While Nemours has a numerical edge of close to 5000 troops after leaving garrisons in the conquests, that’s not nearly enough for the Duke to gamble crossing the Rhine in the face of the foe.

However if he pivots north, he makes it easier for the Reichsarmee, Bernese, and Spanish forces to combine, and if they do they will comfortably outnumber him. So it won’t matter if he’s on the east bank by that point. If he swings south though there are other dangers. The Bernese army has shifted from Pontarlier to Mulhouse, the northernmost member of the League. While the League army by itself is too small to be a threat, if it piles into his flank while he’s forcing his way across the Rhine it could inflict damage far out of proportion to its size. He could attack the Bernese army at Mulhouse, but he doesn’t have permission to violate League territory from Henri II, and then there’s the risk that while doing so, the Reichsarmee might cross over into the west-bank. While Nemours sends missives to Henri II and reinforcements from the Army of the Center start to arrive, for the moment it seems to be a stalemate here at least.

Enter the Romans. Otto Henry and Eberhard cannot allow their German territories to be ravaged; they are the larder and pay-chest of the Reichsarmee. With the Imperial Wittelsbachs and most of the great financiers of the Holy Roman Empire no longer able to provide capital, they are dependent strictly on what they can draw from their own estates. If the Romans burn said estates down, the army will collapse without even a proper battle.

Fortunately the Roman army is a small one, just half the size of the Reichsarmee even after they leave a few thousand men to hopefully bluff Nemours. If they can kill it quickly, their absence might not matter. So while the Romans march west across the Bavarian-Augsburg border, the Reichsarmee of Prince-Elector Otto Henry II and Duke Eberhard III begins marching east.


[1] The Wolf King, Mohammed ibn-Sa’d ibn Mardanish, was the ruler of Murcia and Valencia between 1152 and 1172, an ally of the Christians against their common foe the Almohads.

[2] The Dukes of Toulouse are a different family from the Counts of Toulouse, who were destroyed like IOTL by the Albigensian Crusade. When Valois loyalists fled southward and eventually established the Kingdom of Arles at the end of the Ninety Years War, the former Counts of Brienne were enfeoffed with the titles ‘Dukes of Toulouse’. They claim descent from the original comital family, although such claims are diplomatically described as ‘genealogically creative’.

[3] The Spanish army uses the tercio as its standard unit of organization. Originally they were mixed pike-firearm formations that mirrored the OTL unit, but at this point ITTL they have dropped the pike for the musket-ambrolar combination. However the designation remains.
 
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I'll have to read it more thoroughly on my computer (as opposed to my phone) but at first glance it seems the astonishing string of amazing luck combined with great leadership the Triunes have been blessed with pretty much since their inception shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. They've been rolling Natural 20s over and over for decades.

Henri's plans go off without a hitch...again. The guy is a flawless chessmaster of the first order. Hopefully unlike Iskander he lives long enough to see the fruits of his labor go up in smoke.
 
I'll have to read it more thoroughly on my computer (as opposed to my phone) but at first glance it seems the astonishing string of amazing luck combined with great leadership the Triunes have been blessed with pretty much since their inception shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. They've been rolling Natural 20s over and over for decades.

Henri's plans go off without a hitch...again. The guy is a flawless chessmaster of the first order. Hopefully unlike Iskander he lives long enough to see the fruits of his labor go up in smoke.
I think that @Basileus444 is setting them up for a Imperial Germany type of situation one day, in that they rise so high they fly into the sun, or in layman's terms, has a stick shoved so far up their asses that watching them fail miserably would be so much more satisfying.
 
What's happening....am I rooting for the Germans to win this battle vs the Romans?

In the long term it'll probably be better for everyone (except the Triunes) if the Roman raiding force is decisively defeated, with the Triunes on the Rhine there's probably no credible force left to prevent the Roman-Hungarian force from taking Munich anyway.
 
What's happening....am I rooting for the Germans to win this battle vs the Romans?
I certainly am if only to thwart the Triunes ambitions. I really don't like the Triunes. They're like the worst parts of the British Empire had an unholy offspring with the French Ancien Regime. Truly a force of evil that must be stopped at all costs.
 
I think it's time for the Romans to be bloodily repulsed from Germany. After all their luck and streak of victories become harder to maintain the farther they go from the Balkan core.
 
Lotharingia has a long practice of hiring Spanish soldiers to bolster its armies, a practice encouraged by the then-Kings of Castile as a way of gaining some extra money while returning officers brought back useful knowledge regarding engineering and technology to Castile.
So the ‘great army’ is out. But Ferdinand can still send a ‘small army’, twenty thousand strong; that he can afford.
Maybe Lotharingia could pay for the whole expedition and maybe even refill Castile's coffers? After all, gold loses its glitter when your survival is at stake. Is any contingent from Aragon making its way to Bern too?

Opposing the Ocean faction is the ‘Europe’ faction, which shared the viewpoint of the late King Basil II. They strongly support the Accord, are interested in landward expansion including in Northern Italy (hence the pushback of the Three Johns against the Romans), and had been ascendant until the King’s death. They are aligned with the Spanish, many members having commercial ties and even marriage alliances with important Spanish houses.
Is there a third 'Mediterranean' faction arguing for closer ties with Rhomania?

With Basil’s agreement, come the summer the Romans will provide 25 tourmai and the Sicilians and Egyptians one tagma each, sea lift to be provided by combined Roman-Arletian-Egyptian-Sicilian-Hospitalier efforts. It’s five tourmai more than Basil originally insisted upon, which makes for the fact that two of the tagmata are Despotic, not Roman proper. And Ferdinand strongly suggests that despite the Marinid war, if the Romans were to send that many troops to Arles he would reinforce them with twenty thousand or more of his own soldiers. That would mean Henri would find a combined army of at least a hundred thousand on his doorstep.
Maybe Operation Arles could be revived after Italy is secured with tourma fresh from Thessaloniki. Perhaps even a joint campaign crossing the Alps. Any dissenters will think twice of questioning the authority of the queen when 100k men could be nudged to take a detour to secure expedition supplies.

So rather than marching to Barcelona to board transports for Genoa, the usual route, the twenty thousand Spaniards will have to march overland to Bern, a substantially slower process. But it is the only option, Queen Regent Joan giving her assent despite the protests of the Duke of Valentinois and the Ocean faction who fear provoking Henri. The Duke of Toulouse counters that Henri is too busy being provocative to be provoked himself.
Is the route from Marseille/Toulon/Nice a viable option? (a mere 50km/30 miles longer)

Regarding Romans in Germany: the rise of the Triunes is no longer a question of if, but when. The resources saved from Roman raiding would go towards funding the next Triune campaign against the Romans, so isn't it better that the Romans strengthen themselves first? Wouldn't making southwestern Germany not worthwhile for Henri to take be better than Henri taking everything? Besides Rhomania has barely anything to show for its efforts so far. Unless the Wittlesbach capitulates to the lesser threat and agrees to Rhomania's demands, Rhomania stands to gain little by just rolling over like it has been doing for the past half of a decade.

PS is the Roman-Vlach army heading home now as the peace treaty has been signed? The empire is less than two hundred miles away and the opening of a new front with fresh Russian troops could bring Elizabeth back to the negotiating table with haste.
 
Arletian strategic position is very, very poor. It has no significant natural defences against the Triple Monarchy, its greatest rival, and has large mountain ranges separating it from its Accord allies. Its economy depends on the merchant navy, and yet it doesn't have large forests in any part of the realm with which to support ships. Economy of scale means that Triunes are constantly outstripping Arletians, and that gap is only going to get larger as time passes. Arles' only real export is sugar, and that's a contested commodity that isn't worth as much as spices anyhow.

On top of all that, Arletian nationalistic foundation is weaker than the Triune one. What's there to differentiate the Arletians from the Triune French? Their identity as Avignon Catholics is shaky due to the corruption within the Papacy, and that Papacy is weaker than the other Papacy as well. They can't claim to champion their respective religion as the Romans or the Triunes do, since the Spaniards are right there. Geographic identity isn't suited, since any map tells you that Arles is on the wrong side of the Alps and Pyrenees for that. Linguistics isn't enough, since each town, village and hamlet effectively speaks its own language. There is no national mythos to tie things together since the survival of Provence during the 90YW was contingent on English exhaustion and foreign mercenaries under a foreign legendary general. At this point the only real distinction is that the Arletians aren't Triune French, which is at its heart a distinction for the sake of a distinction.

If the Arletians can't find an answer to this issue then they might get annexed into the Triunes from within. Economics alone will drive them so.
 
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Interesting to see the effects of the Roman Strategoi's loose interpretation of Imperial orders really gifting the Triunes. If Demetrios' pragmatism wins out can we except his Strategoi to actually follow orders properly? Or are they too blood thirsty for revenge?
 
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