*enters through the window and takes tea* Thank you!

You always ace it!

Your chapters are Masterpieces!

@BlueFlowwer and @eliamartin65 i hope there's room For one more in that tea party because i'm thirsty!

Of course there is!

Yay! It warms My hearth si much!
Looks like there will be a whole gang in my place soon. *brings out the big teapot*
Juan got so many realms here. Castile, Leon, Aragon, Navarre, Sicily, Sardinia, Majorca, Granada. It's no wonder why Infante Ferdinand (his son, not brother) won't want a slice of that cake eventually. I got the idea of a rebellious second son from @FalconHonour and her A Queen Twice Over TL.
I can See Ferdinand getting Sicily, For the sake of letting the dream of a truly unified spain be realized
I see what I got. ;)
I can See Ferdinand getting Sicily, For the sake of letting the dream of a truly unified spain be realized
I can't see Juan or his heir being willing to part with Sicily, as it was part of the Crown of Aragon. But he could be governor perhaps.

Ooh yay, seems to be some rather interesting dynamics shaping up in Spain, especially with Ferdinand, the Duke of Cadiz.
Someone has to be the slightly black sheep to his nephew's even blacker sheep.
Ooh the update is very good indeed! Thanks bkueflowwer!
I can't see Juan or his heir being willing to part with Sicily, as it was part of the Crown of Aragon. But he could be governor perhaps.
Tbf I'd like to see the Spanish rule Sicily and Naples well ittl and keep it as part of Spain and the such. It'd be interesting to see how things would change when they're actually ruled properly.
Ooh the update is very good indeed! Thanks bkueflowwer!

Tbf I'd like to see the Spanish rule Sicily and Naples well ittl and keep it as part of Spain and the such. It'd be interesting to see how things would change when they're actually ruled properly.
The wife I have in mind for Juan, Prince of Viana does have a claim to Naples, just keep that in mind.
Chapter 19 - Brabant from January to December in 1500
Chapter 19 – Brabant from January to December 1500

Part One: Of Loans, Liege and Loon

In summer of 1500, the Prince-Bishop of Liège passed away. Louis de Bourbon had served in that position since 1456 but had not proven to be a strong leader in his own right. The Prince-Bishopric and the Dukes of Burgundy had a turbulent past, with Philip the Good and Charles the Bold facing several uprisings. The destruction of Liège and Dinant in the 1460s had been brutal with the cities burned to the ground and mass murder of its citizens. To maintain the order in the bishopric, the prince-bishop had relied heavily on the Duke. When Louis died it had been heavily in debt, and in disorder. Grand Duke Philip decided to appoint Adriaan Florensz Boeyens, a Doctor of Theology who served as vice-chancellor of the University of Leuven since 1493 and a Dean of Saint Peter’s Church since 1498. However, as the Bishopric was in disarray, Philip used Adriaan’s appointment to leverage his authority. Philip offered to forgive the loans Liège owed him, in return for acquiring the County of Loon and for the duke to become protector over the Bishopric, vastly increasing the power of the duchy over the Prince-Bishop. The appointment of Adriaan marked the end of the independence for the Bishopric, as they began to fall under the control of the grand dukes. While Adriaan did successfully restore order and made Liège prosper, with the restoration of the Archiepiscopal Palace and churches and monuments across the bishopric, he frequently yielded authority to Philip and his heirs until his death in 1530.

Philip spent much of the year traveling frequently in Liége, Namur and up northeast to Guelders to shore up his authority in the areas. With him came Charles of Guelders, as usual the duke’s right-hand man.

the archiepiscopal Palace of Liege.jpg

Archiepiscopal Palace of Liège

Part Two: Egmont Castle, November 1500

The fireplace in the chamber had died down to scarlet embers glowing hot. The draperies had been closed to ward of the chill brought on by the cold wind and rain smattering across the glass panels of the windows. The room was comfortably warm, with pieces of scented wood spreading a pleasant scent from the fireplace. Trays of eaten food had been placed upon the table near the fireplace, with half empty cups of wine besides it. The large bed in the room was occupied by two men curled between the sheets and covers. Charles pulled away from Philip, pushing his damp curls way from his temples. His brother-in law stretched his arms out, wringing out the kinks. The Grand Duke reclined across the pillows and tipped his head back, leaving Charles with a pleasant view of his long suntanned throat. He had always been careful to leave marks on Philip during their lovemaking. Nothing strange that could lead to speculations. Unlike several of his predecessors, the current duke had no mistresses, being faithful to the duchess Philippa. Charles’s twin sister. Only a handful of people knew about their relationship, including her. An agreement that suited all three. Philippa was currently in Mons, while her sixth baby resided in the nursery of Malines. Little Cecilia was a healthy infant, named for her great-grandmother Cecily Neville. So far, the ducal couple had been very lucky with their children, their five first children had survived past the cradle. Charles hoped nothing would happen to his newest niece, she was a funny little baby with a mass of dark curls, freckles and wide grey eyes that always made her look rather surprised.

It had been fifteen years since Philippa married the love of both her and Charles’s life. Fifteen years since he had gone down on his knees before Philip and pleaded with him to join the church and signed away his ancestor’s inheritance without hesitation before the whole assembled court and estates. Given it all away freely as Philippa’s dowry for the marriage all three had desired. Fifteen years as a man of the cloth, all while frequently breaking his sworn vows of chastity with his sister’s husband. Charles would never tell either one of them about the secret thoughts occasionally sneaking into his head in the dark hours of the night. Regret about giving his duchy to Philip. Regret about giving up everything that could rightfully belong to him for the man he loved. Worries about whether the duke used him for his land. Guilt about violating his oat to God. Those dark thoughts always perished upon seeing Philip, of his nieces and nephews and Philippa’s laughing dark eyes.

Charles must have been lost in thinking for longer than he though. Philip’s hand caressing his cheek startled him back to reality. “A livre for your thought?” Philip asked. Charles shook his head, his mind clearing like mist in the sunlight. Philip settled back against the pillows, resting his head upon his folded hands. “Liège is firmly in mine and Adriaan’s hand now. So is Rethel, Guise, and the Bishopric of Utrecht. Thanks to you, Guelders and all the realms northeast are mine.” Charles nodded, feeling somewhat dazed. “You have given me an empire, my love. You and Philippa have given me the whole world.” Charles can’t do anything other than to stare at him, heart soaring like a kite in the spring wind. “Never think I am anything but grateful for everything you do. Without you both, I would be utterly lost.”

Charles could not think of a response that would not result in a blubbering, so instead he leaned down and kissed Philip on the lips as answer. What other answer could he give than to pull the covers down, entangle their limbs and give all of himself to him over again? And so, Charles did.

He must have fallen asleep afterwards, for Philip had left the bed for the armchair by the fire, pouring over a map of Europe. Charles quietly snorted to himself. His brother-in law rarely lounged around. He was too impatient to enjoy leisure for long. Philippa had learned to wrangle him over the years, but Charles had less success.

“Philippe’s engagement with Princess Beatrijs is set in stone. She will arrive in two years’ time. It is time they marry in proxy. We need England for an ally. Jean is two years away from marrying age, but Rethel is ours. Margaretha’s betrothal to Denmark safeguards the North and gives us a springboard to Frisia in the future. Our Katherine is to go west to Brittany. We need another alliance to guard the south-east. The Duke of Savoy’s heir is three years old now. Philippe Adriano for my daughter, Cecilia.”

Philip looked at Charles for the first time since he’s finished speaking. “Not Lorraine and your nephew’s son?” Charles and Elizabeth of Austria had been blessed with an infant boy, John, four years ago and she due with another child any day now.

“My uncle, King Richard is negotiating with Nicholas and my sister for his second daughter, Princess Cecily to wed John. That marriage will benefit us all. Our sister, Isabelle only has two living children to show for in sixteen years. The dauphin will marry the Infanta of Portugal later this year. His sister Marie will go to either Scotland or Austria to marry when she comes of age.

Philip’s last memory of his sister was of a solemn girl sent to his late father’s enemies; golden brown hair braided underneath a red cap and pale face, worried about being separated from their mother and siblings. The French ambassadors frequently brought him news since then, Isabelle had become a luminous and beloved queen. She had always been prone to cheerfulness and quickly filled the court of France with music, art and light. Her sister-in-law, Anne had educated her very well, and there was few people who could stand up to the queen’s strategical charm defence. Philip often thanked the almighty for her innate strength, as she had lost four infants to the cradle and one before birth.

isabella of burgundy as queen of France.jpg

Isabelle of Burgundy, Queen of France

His other siblings had been luckier. John and Marie of Luxembourg had four children in their marriage, three still living. Marguerite, Peter and Jacquetta. Archduchess Anne had given birth to twin sons in 1497 and despite the long and hard labour that almost killed her, she had recovered after a year. But she and Frederick had decided to wait for a long while before trying again. It was only a month ago she had announced her second pregnancy. Her father and mother-in-law had no more children after 1487 when their stillborn son had arrived. Thus Anne had found herself under pressure when she arrived in Vienna after weeks of traveling from Aachen. The marriage had been celebrated in grand style in St Stephen’s Cathedral, with jousts and banquets following. Anne had sent many letters home about the way court ladies eyed her waist every month, about the looks of disapprovals Empress Elizabeth had sent her. Frederick on the other hand cherished his wife regardless from the start. Since his two eldest sisters had left for their own marriages in 1490 and 93, the only sibling remaining was archduchess Hedwig, now fifteen years old. Fortunately, Anne had made several friends from the circle of noblewomen in Austria and Tyrol.

Philip looked at his map again. Cecilia to Savoy.

His house was flourishing.

Frisia was next.

Philip of Burgundy 1500.jpg

Grand Duke Philip of Brabant in 1500

Author's Note: Dedicated to @Parma for setting the plotbunny of the County of Loon in my head. I hope you like this chapter. Thanks to you and @Quinkana amongst others, I found a new wind to take this new tl. Credit to you guys who keep giving me ideas. Adriaan Florensz isn't gonna become pope in this tl, but I figured Prince-Bishop of Liege was a rather good option.
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