Several wars later, the Byzantine Empire (“New Rome” didn’t test well, according to our marketing department) secured the Balkans, wrapped around the Eastern Mediterranean coast, and stretched to Tunisia. I settled in to assimilating these new provinces and contentedly watching Europe devour its children. Spain thrashed Aragon and, unsurprisingly, Portugal. England tamed Scotland, Eire and Brittany. France pushed into Central Europe. Sweden conquered Scandinavia.
In previous years, I had sent out colonists to small Atlantic islands. The Canaries. The Azores. Doing this early gave me a launching pad into the Caribbean when I’d had enough funds to do so. Although Spain repeated history in Central America, I kept them out of the Caribbean.
Strangely, I got a message that I (or my surrogate Emperor at the time, to be accurate) had been elected the Holy Roman Emperor. I say ‘strange’ because I wasn’t aware I was even a member of the Holy Roman Empire. It gave me the ability to recruit tens of thousands more troops. But against who? North Africa was a bitch to tame. I was dealing with new rebellions almost monthly, while my missionaries worked furiously to convert the population to Christianity. I didn’t want to press eastward, because, frankly, an empire of desert was not among my aspirations. I also didn’t want to swagger into Europe for the silly reason that I wanted to compete with the big powers for colonial endeavors. What’s the fun without England, France and Spain at full throat? So mostly I sat around colonizing the Caribbean.
The HRE Emperorship turned out to be a colossal pain in the ass. Suddenly, I was called into all these pointless little Euro-skirmishes that I’d intended to avoid in the first place. No matter what I did, my relations with the HRE Electors tanked. If I responded to the HRE member’s call for aid, the Electors hated me. If I ignored it and let the minor states slug it out, the Electors hated me. Soon enough, the title of Holy Roman Emperor was placed in a new pair of hands far away from mine. “People,” I said in my annual State of the Empire address, “fuck it, who cares.” It was my best received speech to date.
Next, “The Conclusion: Lessons in catastrophic inflation in imperial economies,” or, “Poopie Pants.” Part 7.