Part 27, Trouble in Spain Late February: On its way south, a contingent breaks off the Portuguese war Armada to address reports of Barbary Pirates currently raiding the town of Faro. The rest of the force will rendezvous with the Portuguese fort at Anfa in North Africa for any news from the Indian Ocean. The two will regroup at Anfa and continue their mission to India. Both detachments are met with surprise at both their intended stops. At Faro, the smaller brigade is met with a small force of Barbary ships that extracts a toll on the Portuguese before finally retreating. At Anfa, the rest of the Portuguese find a fresh force of Turkish soldiers sent by the Ottoman Sultan and headed by Beylerbey Hayreddin Barbarossa, formerly Khizr Reis. Given a large force of feared janissaries, mighty canons, and many galleys by the Sultan thanks to the death of his feared brother Aruj, the equally ferocious Hayreddin lays siege to the fort at Anfa. As the engagement between the two sides draws to an end, Barbarossa is the clear victor, sinking two Portuguese ships and capturing nine others. Mid April: Unrest in Spain over a myriad of different issues has finally reached a tipping point. The foremost these grievances being the increase in taxes required to cover the luxurious bribes Charles made to the German Electors for his position as Emperor. The situation erupts when a radical city councilor is summoned away from Toledo by the royal government, resulting in the locals rioting against the departure and driving out the royal administrators instead. A citizen’s committee is elected under local leadership as a Comunidad. Similar incidents begin occurring in multiple other Spanish cities, spreading like wildfire with the intent to dethrone the Flemish born Charles and replace him with his mother, Queen Joanna, or his Castilian born brother, Ferdinand. May: Venetian merchants from Massaua enter the court of Lebna Dengel. They keep the meeting highly formal, addressing him as Emperor Anbasa Segad, which he was enthroned as. Here the merchants negotiate an initial trade agreement with Ethiopian officials for the procurement of the café been. The Ethiopian officials seem to be quite willing partners, excited to be playing the same commercial game as the two European nations that have landed on their shores. The shrewd Emperor Segad looks at this deal from the vantage point of gaining a political bargaining tool with the Venetians, for their aid in any future war Ethiopia may engage in against the rival Adals. Late May: Another wave of Portuguese naus leaves the port of Lisbon. This force, much larger than the defeated first group, departs expecting fierce Barbary resistance and is ready to repel such an onslaught when encountered. Despite the fall of Anfa to Barbarossa, the convoy’s mission is to head straight for the vitally important India. The effects in Portugal felt from Venice’s nearly yearlong and counting assault on its oceanic trade have been harsher to its economy than the effects felt in Venice from the Portuguese intrusion. When Portugal encroached on Venice’s trade, the trade route was not totally severed, allowing for Venice to operate to some extent though with vastly reduced margins. The Portuguese are currently experiencing a complete breach in their eastern trade system, leading quickly to economic hardship as revenues in the last year have plummeted. June 7: King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France meet near Calais to increase the bond of friendship between the two kings following the peace made between them in 1514. The meeting is one of utter extravagance; one official in attendance states that the meeting is “on a scale of such lavish opulence that even the Venetians would find it difficult to contend.” Each king attempts to outdo the other with dazzling tents, huge feasts, music, and jousting matches. In reality, the affair is purely political, set up by the English Cardinal Thomas Wolsey to display English wealth and power to the rest of Europe. Also, it allows for Wolsey to decide on which nation, France or Spain, to hold as an ally that suits future English policy. In fact, England will host Spain in a similar manner in Calais in just two weeks. June 10: The Comuneros blockade the economically booming city of Segovia in Spain, a blow to the royal government’s coffers. Citing a maliciously wonderful opportunity to decry the enemy thanks to rebel advances in the country, Venetian ambassadors in Spain begin to tap into the republic’s mysterious espionage network… June 15: Pope Leo X issues EXSURGE DOMINE (Arise O Lord), a bull threatening the heretic Martin Luther with excommunication if he resists the church further in not recanting his position on indulgences and other Catholic doctrines.