We follow Queen Joanna of Naples as she goes through three more husbands, ever searching for the right one, but getting ambitious power grabbing insensitive men or total nut jobs until she finally settles on the one who will see her to her end. Meanwhile she will guide the kingdom of Naples through the Sicilian question, rebellions, the plague, warring bandits and the great Western schism.
After seeing the rise of Nicola di Rienzo Gabrini to become ruler of Rome in the name of the pope, we see how power goes to his head, turning him into a despot who would found a new Roman Empire. He is driven out of the city, but is then sent back 5 years later to attempt to save the city again, this time with rather dire consequences for him.
We take a look at what was happening in Rome while the popes were off in Avignon. We quickly see how Clement V dealt with the movement of Fra Dolcino (spoiler: violently) and then how John XXII and his successor, Gregory XII did. We then introduce Clement VI just in time for him to receive a delegation from Rome headed by a charistmatic, handsome young notary called Cola di Rienzo who, with the support of papal authority, got back to Rome and managed to put himself in the driver’s seat quite quickly, even overcoming the resistance of the Roman noble families… for now.
We see how Mastino Della Scala of Verona continues with his father Cangrande’s expansionist policy taking over neighbouring cities in northern Italy. This starts to get on the nerves of some of the bigger players, such as Florence, Venice and Milan who end up forming a coalition against the Della Scala. The coalition wins out and in the aftermath, although the Della Scala are not completely done for, their hopes for expansion are and Milan Florence and Venice can get to consolidating their external and internal situations.
We follow the descent into Italy of Holy Roman Emperor Luis IV to visit with the Visconti in Milan, the Dalla Scala in Verona, the Este of Ferrara, the Castracani in Lucca and the Gonzaga in Mantua. At the same time we see the struggle between emperor and pope and get a reminder fo the situation in Naples and Sicily.
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