After the formation of the Lombard League of the communes of northern Italy a clash with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa had become almost inevitable. Both sides now started to prepare for the confrontation that would decide the future of Italy.
We see how, after sorting out Milan, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa also goes on to try and deal with pope Alexander III. Meanwhile, the communes start to learn that there can be strength in numbers, with the League of Verona in 1164 and the Lombard and Italic Leagues in 1167.
After the diet of Roncaglia, we follow Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa as he tries to deal with a papal schism between Victor IV and Alexander III and then goes on to deal with the communes, particularly the ever obstinate Milan.