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The Story Thus Far;
- Joan escapes from her prison in Rouën before her heresy trial has ended, and, with the help of sympathetic townsfolk and her ever-present voices, makes it back to the French camp within days, convincing much of the French nobles she had the help of God. She was put back into the army, where her reputation, military skill, and unorthodox tactics (including forcing captured longbowmen to fire on their countrymen) won her battle after battle; three victories of note were the Second Siege of Orleans, the dramatic Siege of Paris, and the Battle of Calais, which ended the Century War altogether. Church bells rang throughout France, and Joan was given the nickname "Julia Caesar" by her contemporaries. She settled down as Countess of Arc, where she was to live out the rest of her years.
- This peace, however, could not last.
- The Church had long since grown wary of Joan, and of those who named her a saint. With news of her victories in Aquitaine and Normandy spreading across Europe, many began to think she was favored by God, not by the Devil as the English had claimed. Threatened, the Pope made his decision. Joan of Arc was a heretic, abandoned by Jesus and sponsored by Satan. She was jailed once again, and now by her own people; but later, her own people came back to save her. An army of soldiers and civilians who idolized her stormed the prison, freed her from her cell, and escaped to the countryside.
- Over the next year, a civil war raged throughout France, as the famously indecisive French King Charles VII tried to decide where to throw his forces. But as time passed, it became apparent; despite Joan's smaller forces, her popular support, excellent leadership, and unreal luck proved more powerful than the vast, organized armies funded from London and from Rome. In November, 1433, Charles declared his support for Joan of Arc; and with their combined forces under her command, she drove the Roman Church out of France at last. She met with the Pope himself, and though she could not lift her excommunication, he was so convinced of her virtue that he vowed no crusade would be declared on France for the remainder of his papacy. And there was no crusade, though this might have been due to the Council of Florence, which grew into a small-scale rebellion against the beleaguered Eugene IV. In France, a new clergy settled down and began to hammer out the principles of their new religion; Arcism. Though Joan would not accept the cries of those who called her an angel descended to earth, she settled on being called a saint. It was only afterwards that she was elevated to the right hand of Christ.
- But the story does not end here.
- With the affairs of France under control, Charles began to look north, eager not to let the English destroy France once again. And, for once, he had good timing; the British Isles were rocking under constant Celtic and Arcist rebellion, and the English were hardly able to field their armies when Joan led the Arcists against Cornwall. Within a year, the Norman court, forced back into York, was slaughtered to the last man when Scots bearing French arms stormed that last castle.
- The British Isles were now very strange, little resembling the islands we know. In what once was called England, French lords, including Dutchess Joan D'Arc of Anglia, try to convert their reluctant serfs to Arcism. Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, Scotland: all these Celtic lands, formerly under English domination, were now free; but they found themselves weakened and unstable, with Arcism and Romanism dueling throughout their lands. With the help of France, a new Arcist state came into being; centered on an ancient line of Irish royals, the United Kingdom of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales was declared.
- For the next fifty years or so, Arcism rocked the leaky, mutiny-ridden boat that was Europe. France continued to convert its British serfs, while the UKISW continued to build itself up. In Germany and Spain, various Arcist preachers emerged to revolt against their leaders - or, worse, convert them, as happened with the royal line of Aragon, by which the rulers of Castile were not amused. In fact, Queen Isabella was married to an Austrian noble, a weak man who submitted to her completely, rather than Ferdinand, the prince of Aragon. Nevertheless, she still financed the expedition of one Columbus, which found her endless riches in a new world, later called Occidentalia. Delighted, she devoted all her attention to the conquest of this distant land.
- In 1515, King Ferdinand used his last words to give Aragon, the homeland of his body, to France, the homeland of his faith. Of course, this ignited a flurry of indignation throughout Romanist Europe, as Aragonese Naples was within a few day's distance of Rome. Italy was already in upheaval, especially in the north where the Continents major powers jockeyed for influence, and this could only stir the mix. In a shocking move, Venice signed an alliance treaty with France and Ireland, even as the Pope called for all of the Catholic powers in Europe to destroy both nations. The clock began to tick, and the sudden explosion of war would come only in a matter of time...
- Castile's forces were annihilated by the French and their navy humiliated by the Irish, Hispaniola seized by the French, but much more demanding German and Italian fronts prevented its destruction. With these early victories the Arcist powers managed to create a standoff between them and Catholic Europe. Portugal, which had divided loyalties in the beginning, is the first to ask for peace, and the war soon ends, with Venice in control of Northern Italy.
- But Portugal is not finished, and it invades Castile before their longtime enemy can recover. As Portuguese armies speed through Leon, the Castilian royal family, using all of their remaining navy, evacuate to newly formed New Castile (OTL New Spain with the exclusion of Peru (Portuguese) and California (French)). Portugal (despite having Peru, Argentina and Brazil) make peace, and New Castile expand to conquer Central Occidentalia.
- Another huge war stirs up in the Mediterranean. The Barbary pirates attack in 1519 is considered intolerable by the French, and, after securing the other Catholic's help, they begin the Ottoman War. Portuguese troops flood into Morocco after capturing Granada but can only stop the Ottomans, and HRE/Austrian troops in the Balkans make advances. The French launch some amphibious assaults across the Adriatic, but these are unsuccessful. In an attempt to break the stalemate a French/Irish/Portuguese fleet attacks the Ottomans in the Mediteranian and the Adriatic but this also turns a stalemate.
- This page is under construction. Please look at the talk page and make every comment you can think of.