God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 1

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

A World of Indulgences
There was a time when the Word of God was unquestioned, when all Christian faithful were united in resolve and theology, with no boundaries separating us. A time when the heart of every follower was pure and every Christian obeyed the Lord's command without hesitation.

This time was, of course, roughly five minutes following the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but still, wouldn't it be great if we had that again?

The Papacy is not what it once was. The representative of god on earth, his Holiness Pope Gregory XVI, no longer wields the same control over the world's Christians. Schism after schism, excommunication after excommunication, Christendom has shattered into a million pieces. The original message and word of god, whatever it was, has been lost as a result of countless biased translations and Catholic unwanted gospel burning - er, I mean, heresy purifying.

Which is why the Pope is now all we have left to guide us, for he receives his instructions directly from God, and a combination of several hundred Councils. But mostly God.

Gregory XVI is a staunch opponent to leftism - God, after all, hates liberals. It is as Jesus said - "Love thy neighbor, unless he's a dirty commie"

Under his reign, and the reign of many more Popes to come, the Kingdom of God on Earth shall be restored.
Philosophers! Phisolophize!
Whilst the Pope may be staunchly against liberal thought, the clergy sees benefit in inviting over important thinkers, who being to study and elaborate on various ideologies. The clergy then pays them to ensure that their interpretations of these ideologies somehow involve praising God and the Pope.
France after a nasty case of liberals
Only a few decades ago, the devil sent one of his agents, Napoleon he was called, to wreak havoc upon our world. The wars he started caused an incredible number of death and suffering - and after all, the Church cannot condone an ideology that causes death and suffering!

Hence we are pleased to know that the Ancien Regime has been restored in France, and we have fallen under their influence.

Remember, children, God promised a Kingdom of Heaven, not a Republic of Heaven. Voting is a sin against God, as by doing so you claim to have a better system of administration than the Creator himself!
Administrative challenges
Much of the Papal states is ruled in a decentralized manner, with the theocracy having direct control only over Rome. If we are to defeat the enemies of Christ, this cannot do!
Give unto Caesar what Caesar demands, you peasant
The land held by the Papacy is rich, and high taxation allows us to fund our state education programs, where students are taught numerous important subjects, such as basic math and the evils of hugging before marriage.
Come on over, fat cats
We begin to train some of the local peasantry in the art of management and try to set up a functional bureaucracy. As Mark said - if a Kingdom is divided against himself, then that Kingdom cannot stand.

Or was that Abraham Lincoln?
We cannot let this go!
The Pope hires several generals to craft an Army of God, and instructs them to plan for an invasion of Sardinia. For too long, the men in Sardinia-Piedmonte have committed the cardinal sin of not being controlled by the Papacy.

We instruct the French to prepare to march in the Name of God. We also hand their generals some cash, as a little extra.
We are rich!
The Papacy's Economic Advisory committee begins a policy of export subsidies, which proves to be successful. The budget still runs on a surplus and the citizens are happy as can be.
Of course, think of the risk!
Italian Nationalism has risen since Napoleon's armies conquered the peninsula. By the sheer act of being Italian, Sardinia-Piedmonte poses an existential threat to the Papacy - what if they try to unite Italy and steal the land God himself granted to the Pope?

It is hence essential we strike first, and remove their capacity to wage war.
Time for some re-education
Gregory XVI is horrified to learn that 0.29% of his population professes heretical beliefs. He orders for them to be shown the light, or the gates of heaven.
The international community is not pleased
Our casus belli of "God wills it" is less than satisfactory to the Great Powers. France, seeing opportunity to expand her control of the Italian Peninsula as well as grant her King a spot in heaven, shield us from criticism.
God Loves Coal
The Pope explains how essential Sardinia is to God's plan, stating that he had a dream where several cloaked figures gathered around him and tosses black rocks at him. This, hence, proves that God wants black gold.

Critics suggest it may have more to do with reliving a childhood bullying incident.
State Capitalism is for you and me
Laissez Faire and Interventionism are both one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
More people in Sicily have been making arguments based on morality, rather than devilish methods such as using rationality or logic. Remember! God did not want Adam to eat the Fruit of Knowledge - educating yourself is defying His will.

(but I need the research points so all aboard the education train)
A blessing to the King of France
Louis Philippe, the King of the French, is visited by the Pope where the two discuss the expansion of the Papal states. The two affirm that such a move would be a great service to God and their bank accounts.
Teach them values!
The Economic Advisory takes cues from the growing German industry, and proposes to the Pope to establish a cement factory in Rome - profits from which could be used to fund military expeditions.

This idea is then expanded, with the decision to use child labour in the factory so as to teach kids lessons of life.

The Advisory Committee also establishes a set of guidelines for all future state factories, requiring that they teach theological lessons for one hour every day so as to bring the farm folk who send their kids to the factories closer to God.

Such an altruistic initiative cannot go to waste!
Don't scare me like that, babe
Pope Gregory nearly dies of a heart attack after hearing the French broke their alliance, only to learn that they broke *an* alliance. France will continue to prop up the Papal states!
What is balance of powers?
The Concert of Europe falls apart as France allies Russia. It was a good 20 years, folks.
They're heretics as well!
The Pope excommunicates Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, and he threatens "consequences". This is clearly a sign of Sardinian aggression!
Perhaps putting the reactionaries in power wasn't the wisest decision
Despite the Pope's enthusiasm regarding an expansion of the Papacy, the reactionaries in his Chamber of Advisors appear to impede his progress, not wanting to 'tarnish' the Papal reputation.
Ah! Liberals!
There appears to be a surge in forward thinkers in the Papacy. The Pope is most displeased, but is told he is apparently not allowed to "execute all those fuckers".
Spreading Catholicism far and wide!
The Crusaders in France save several souls in Africa by annexing a primitive kingdom. God truly is on our side - perhaps one day we will bring Christianity to all of Africa!
Death to Savoy
Charles Albert espouses a heretical belief - that Sardinia does not belong to the Pope. Onwards, to conquest!
Declaration of War
Despite us only commanding a meagre army, God is on our side.

And by God, I mean France.
The French honour their call
Always looking for an excuse to spread their sphere of influence, the French join the war. The Pope concocts a grand battle plan consisting of "hunker down until the French arrive".
We need guns
Whilst the risk of a Sardinian army crossing into the Papal States is low, we do not want to risk anything. We begin obtaining guns so that the starving children making up our force are capable of defending themselves should the heretics march upon Rome.
Go France!
Within several months, God grants France the strength to overwhelm the significantly smaller foe.

Truly a sign that this was exactly what the Lord intended. If Deus didn't Vult, why did he let us win? Think about that.
Sardinia surrenders
Administrators loyal to the Pope land on Sardinia, and claim it in the name of God. King Charles surrenders control of his homeland.

Besides expanding Papal control, the Pope hopes to put the Italian nationalists in their place. Ever since the days of Napoleon, curse that foul man, the idea of a unified Italy has been planted in the hearts of idealistic youth across the peninsula. A unified Italy implies a destroyed Papal States - and the Pope will not stand for that.

The Papal High Command, established to manage military affairs in the wake of rising threats against the integrity of the Papal States, suggests a conquest of swathes of the Italian Peninsula in order to establish a unified Italy, but in God's name, not in the name of some pathetic nationalistic ideal.

Also, money.
Mmm... population
With the fall of Sardinia, the number of government officials at our bidding has increased - we now can conduct bureaucrat-promoting activities in two regions at once.
Industrialization, ho!
The Economic Advisory expands their industrial activities, opening yet another state-owned factory, this time in the newly captured island of Sardinia.
The Army of God
High Command begins recruiting people from Sardinia to create two new units in the Army of God. Pope Gregory listens to a briefing on potential expansion possibilities on the Peninsula.
King of the Islands
The Papacy does not wield a powerful army, but our neighbor to the south, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, wields the mightiest force in all of the Peninsula. If we are to stop the nationalistic hordes maintain the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, then we are to disable them wherever we can.

The Pope begins to appeal for a Papal expansion to the island of Sicily.
Someone's not in a good mood
The international community, already surprised by a Papal expansion beyond Lazio, does not buy the invasion of Sicily. France, however, is at odds with the Two Sicilies, and will not mind a subversion of their power.

Once again, the Crusaders from France will assist us in spreading the Will of God and the Pope's Coffers.
The Dark Continent gets blue-er
The Algerians are driven from the coast of the Mediterranean as the French seize more land from natives who cannot resist.

Just like Jesus!

Oh I'm sorry I was reading the Koran there by accident.
In High Demand
The Pope asks his advisors as to why his guns are taking so long to get, but it appears that "Invade and conquer shit" is an idea every other state also happened to have, driving up demand for military goods.
Join the Light, Sardinia
The mainland has now been largely centralized and brought under direct Papal Administration. Now its time to integrate Sardinia into the States. A governorship is created and the Pope begins to tax the population 10%, as the Bible says. And another 10% for administrative region. And another 10% for his slush fu- missionary work.
Several Papal agents are caught spray painting buildings in Sicily with phrases such as "God is Dead" and "The Pope Sucks Child Dick". This leads to a bizzare accusation that we might be framing Sicilians for being Godless people. The Sicilian authorities crack down on people travelling between Rome and Sicily.

The Pope breathes a sigh of relief as he realizes that his child prostitution ring was not actually discovered.
Nationalism is root of all evil!
Jesus did not live in a nation-state, neither should you! Nationalism drives men to do crazy things, and start massive wars that result in the deaths of thousands! God-loving people would never do such a thing.

The Two Sicilies are a threat to the Papacy, and by extension a threat to all of Catholicism. It's time to knock them down a Sicily.
Summer Vacation
It appears that numerous French troops are still stuck in Algeria, civilizing the natives. This is slightly worrying to the Papal administration, as there is a fear of the troops not understanding the concept of boats when the time comes to invade Sicily.
Reading yo Bibles
The Pope invites numerous academics to the Papal States to run courses teaching adults to read and write, in order for them to be able to read the bible and come closer to god.

Unexpectedly, this leads to rising levels of Protestantism and Atheism.
Flavor of the month vocations
With demand for administrators no longer as high as before, the Pope slashes their pay in half. Thousands of Accounting students cry out as they feel the burden of their unpayable student debt piling up on them.

Kidding! The education of accountants is a state program. What kind of country would let their students get into tens of thousands of dollars of unpayable debt over their education?
The end is nigh
The fires of nationalism burn hot, and it up to us to douse them and pacify the threats to the Seat of the Bishop of Rome. Furthermore, the current King of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand II, is a disgusting Liberal, and probably an Atheist as well.
Where to? As far away from here as possible
In order to boost morale, the Pope and his army flee Rome as war looms.
To Arms, Citizens! For your Battalions!
God Wills It!
France Wills It!
The Frenchmen continue their long and proud tradition of standing up to their enemies and honor their call. Truly, they will forever be remembered as great warriors who never stood down from a fight.
The Siege of Rome
The Sicilians commit a cardinal sin by sieging Rome. Or, if it isn't a cardinal sin, it is now.
The French Are Coming! Really slowly
The French Navy takes its time sailing around Iberia to Algeria to pick up men to siege Sicily. Meanwhile, Rome burns.
Alcohol is at fault
In the midst of the States being overrun by our enemies, the Pope, wise as ever in his judgement, outlaws alcohol.

You will now die at the hands of the Sicilians sober.
Uh... France, could you help out here
Lazio falls to the Kingdom as the Pope flees to Modena and then takes a boat to Corsica. The remnants of the Papal army is engaged in Romagna.
Yeah, guys, give up, its over
The Army of God scatters after retreating from the Battle of Bologna. The Pope arrives in Corsica and learns of the Papal collapse.
That's nice France BUT ROME IS BURNING
The French arrive to take Sicily, despite Pope Gregory's plea to retake Rome.

The Popes less than stellar performance incurs the wrath of several liberal authors now living under an occupied Rome.
Ideological Thought
Philosophers in the Papal States begin the contemplate the downfall of their state and become increasingly radicalized.
We gonna let it burn, burn, burn
The fragile economy in the Papal states collapses as the French take their sweet time seizing Sicily.
Sicily falls
As the remainder of the Papal States is lost, the French take all of Sicily. They threaten to destroy the Kingdom if Rome is annexed.
Ferdinand II stands down
The Kingdom of One Sicily surrenders, lifting the occupation of Rome and allowing the Pope to return to a rather grumpy population.
The States Recover
Whilst the level of prosperity is not where it was before (largely because the artisans were trapped in perpetual poverty), the hardships of the brief occupation come to an end as the Pope returns in victorious fashion.

The occupation was merely a test of our faith to God, Gregory proclaims, for in the end he guided France's hand and defeated the Liberal King.
The Oriental Crisis
To the east, a crisis breaks out involving Orients of some sort. Muhammad Ali attempts to establish an Egyptian Empire, which insults the Ottomans because they enjoyed pretending their ruled over Egypt.

The Pope learns that there are Coptic Christians in Egypt, and a few ideas enter his mind.
Come... back
The Pope attempts to piece back the Army of God. Numerous of our top generals and members of High Command were killed in the violence of the occupation, and hence we struggle to re-establish the military wing of the Papal states.

The restoration of the Kingdom of God does not end here!
Damn SJWs
University students begin protesting about some absurd ideas, such as voting rights, extended to women! And they seem to take offense to the slightest of things, such as slavery and institutionalized racism against minorities! Hilarious, I know. They're called Social Justice Warriors and told to screw off. Several gentlemen now begin to complain about how the university students are making society more "Politically Correct", and how they can't even complain in public about the blacks obstructing their view anymore!

Truly, the PC police are out to get them! To further their arguments, these gentlemen point to a satirical cartoon, truly the bastion of intellectual arguments.
Muhammad Ali rides forth
Float like a Turk, sting like an Egyptian.

Prince Ali - mighty is he - Ali of Cairo, marches deep into Turkish territory, potentially turning the Oriental Crisis in his favor.
The French Occupation of Lazio
Seeing the collapse of the Army of God, the French establish a military position in Lazio and station troops to prop up the Papacy.
Losing a large number of people in the war, the Kingdom of Naples is now no longer amongst the Secondary Powers of this world. Their military, however, poses a grave danger to the Papacy, a further miltiary expedition must be considered in the future.
An Empire Exhausted
The French Regime has largely exhausted itself in numerous wars, and is now on the verge of slipping beyond the standards of a Great Power. Luckily, they still maintain an alliance with Russia, hence keep them save from any potential Prussian aggression.
The Idealists Rise
Intellectuals in Rome begin to question the notion of reality, pointing out that everything we know is mentally constructed. This sounds vaguely heretical to the Pope, but he can't understand. And if he can't understand it, neither can the peasants, and the Papacy is safe.

He is told that in order to become strong enough to expel the nationalists from Italy, he needs a strong academia, and hence he probably should not yet execute all the intellectuals.
Military good, heretics bad
Whilst the Pope had long courted the far-right part of the political establishment, their views on his creation of the Army of God hamper his efforts. Hence, he decides to begin boosting the influence of the moderates within the state.
Crawling up there
Educational programs make slow progress in the Papal States, largely due to hostility towards academics that exist throughout society.
Status Quo, Go!
A prominent cleric praises the Papal States for standing firm in the face of reckless liberal waves sweeping across Europe, and comments on its stability for decades to come. The Pope will never fall.
Egypt Surrenders
Prince Ali - Mighty is He - returns to being nominally under Ottoman rule, despite French attempts to assist him in his war.
Well that's awkward
In a reactionary response to the SJWs, part of our population grows neckbeards.

Furthermore, the notion of there being no god seems to become somewhat popular amongst academics, who discuss it underground. Such thoughts will not be tolerated in the Papal States.
Death to the Saracens
The Pope has a devious plot. He contacts the French with a plan to free the remnants of Prince Ali - Mighty is He - 's Egypt from Ottoman rule, under the guise of a Pope-sanctioned crusade meant to liberate the oppressed Coptic Christians.
The World is Somewhat Okay With This
Despite having previously fought a massive war over keeping Egypt within the Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers do not react with much hostility to the French-Papal expedition to liberate Egypt.
Oppression at its finest
Several French colonial governors are executed for drinking a British drink.
Academia everywhere!
We begin to encourage the education of the population in the islands we seized. It appears their former masters did not care much for their education. The Academic Advisory suggests that creating a strong, local, academic community could be dangerous to Papal interests, especially with atheism reportedly spreading amongst the academia.

This information is hidden from the Pope by the more liberal members of the administration, who see the rise in plurality of the Papal States an excellent way to reform catholicism. These people are also known as "insane".
The Turkish Sultan is pissed
Now with Papal support, the French can attempt to remove Ottoman influence from Egypt.
The French Expedition
The French begin preparing an expeditionary force to take Egypt. The Ottoman armies are weak and deflated from the Oriental Crisis, and a token army should be enough.
The French clash with Tunis
The first battle of war happens not far off the coast of Sicily, where the French advance is aided by supplies from the Papal States. The Expeditionary force attack a Tunisian army.
Calm their tits
The Pope is informed of growing anger and opposition to theocratic rule within the States, primarily in the conquered territories. He decides to alleviate the suffering of laborers in Sardinia who work in mines, extracting coal and precious metals, by forming the state-controlled Coal Miners' Union.

He posits that unions, whilst slightly liberal, are something God would approve of, and urges other totalitarian states to adopt such a system to protect their workers and lower militancy - I mean, become closer to god.
Marginal advance
The Expedition in North Africa is having trouble supplying its advance, slowing the process down.
The Bosnian Attack
The French launch an invasion from the Balkans to take Bosnia and hopefully convince the Ottomans that Egypt is not worth fighting for.

The Army of God continues to not fight. Remember, Jesus loved peace. Also, it's an excellent ad for the Army.

"Join us, some Frenchman will die in your name!"
Perhaps amputating the head was not a wise decision
The Papal States begin to copy innovations in modern medicine seen in other European states. A medical community grows, with numerous individuals coming to cause not in the name of money but rather Christianity. The Pope capitalizes on this, stating that doctor's are doing God's work, and will find themselves in heaven. The initial medical practitioners in the Papal States are nuns and monks who are educated in modern methods.
The Battle of Bosnia
Ottoman troops, alarmed by both the Egyptian Expedition that now threatens to march on Cairo, as well as the occupation of Bosnia, attempt to attack the French located in Bosnia.

The French, however stand their ground
Victory for Christendom
With the defeat of the Ottoman counter-attack, the Sultan sees little value in maintaining their effectively nominal control over Egypt, and agrees to French demands for the release of Prince Ali's state.

With this, the way is open for Papal expansion into Africa. Join us next time for a new Pope and the continued expansion of the Kingdom of Heaven.

God wills it.

Next chapter:

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 2

Images: 77, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

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