After the foudation of the fifth iberic cty, Soupalognon called for another Hisapanic council meeting. He felt that, with many civilization growing into empires across the world, it was time to choose a consistent foreign policy. He gave that speech :
Dear ministers, our civilization shall now be considered as a growing empire. We still have a lot of internal developpment to do, land to settle and technologies to research. But we are now a relevant power in the world. However, our rivals are many ! Besides our friends, Gauls and Brittons we have to deal with Romans, Vikings, Greeks and likely many other unknown civilization. Not all of them will play the same role and we have to find out which ones have peacefull intentions towards us and which would rather invade Hispania at the first opportunity. Therefore I ask our minister of foreign policy, Charles, what kind of relationship we should try to build towards our neighbours.
First, I think no one is a direct military threat to our civ. Only Romans have a border with us, but their city of Antium has a very light garrison. So I suggest, we try to builld cordial relationship in the purpose of technology sharing. Those kind of trade has to be done prioritarly with our celtic ethnic brothers. Especially Cassillevauno, has done some useful scientific progresses suchs the art of working the new metal of iron. He is, however, unwilling to share any scientific advances for the moment as well as every other known leader. Moreover it appears that our science is not as flourish as one may think so we definitely need to please some people and share our research. Indeed, I red the masterpiece of Machiavle and he rated us in sixth position. However I am pleased that our celtic friends seem quit relevant in this competition.
Armande, then, gave her advice : I think we should stay without state religion for the moment, in order to stay kind towards the Brittons. Brennus seems to like us anyways. Then, after having done useful trades, we could convert to Boudhism to enjoy more happiness and diplomatic points with our true friend.
Suddendly, Joseph made his speech : Actually, we need to find a way to learn the secrets of iron. This new metal is probably very useful for military point of view. Our army, is currently enough to deal with sparse barbarians soldiers. However, at some point we will need to conquer more territory through figting and for this we need more efficient weapon and probably some siege engines as well.
Charles replied : I agree with Joseph, we have room for more cities in Hispania but not enough for being a world power. I suggest sending a few divisions of soldier in Africa to explore the land and see if it is worth settling there. However, this woulb be logistically not convenient as lot of barbs are surely wandering in this wild region. Therefore I suggest we should in a distant future plann for war of expansion. I think, the first one should be declared agains Julius Ceasar, we shoud conquer the Azur coast and the fertile Po valley. This would grant us an easy access to central Europa. After this we could decide whether we should conquer Roma itself of focus on other spots. Ragnar should not be considered a friend but he is far away, so no need to be hostile to him. Pyrrhus may become a valuable trading partner but overall he must not be trusted. And I am not sure what to think about Hannibal. My guess is that Carthage is having though fight with barbs so it won't be relevant. Actually, I would prefer not to see a superpower emerging in northern Africa.
This concluded the second Hispanic council. So Hispania would not trust their rivals beyond the friendly celtic civilizations. But Soupalognon would not declare any hostile intentions as he was looking for some opportunistic trade. Julius, however, was declared harmful to Hispania. And Soupalognon would look for any occasion to hurt him. No military action was on the table currently though.
After this, Hispania experienced years of properity as barbrians threats were now officially over. The upcoming projects were : exploiting the gold in the mines of Sevilla and sending an exploratory force in Morrocco. Whil these were progressing, in 430 BC, Ragnar sent a diplomatic embassy to Carthagène.
Dear Soupalognon, you know how respectful are the Vikings towards your iberic peoples. We think friendship between our civilization is a goal to be achieve. Our leader, Ragnar, think we sould establish solid trade relations. For example, we could start with the following deal : as an acknowledgement for our visit, you could teach us the secrets of writing. What do you think ?
I have some respect for Vikings indeed. However, I do not like the fact that you declared Cassillevauno your worts ennemy, he is a true friend of Hispania. Relationship with your peoples are going to be hard to establish as long as you persist considering Brittany as an ennemy. Plus, may I ask you where is my interrest in giving you a tech without nothing in return.
Sir, please do not let Cassillevauno interfer in our relations. About your interrest, I am sure you don't want to uspet vikings citizen who consider pillaging coastal cities as an hobby.
Here we are, you are threatening me ! So this is an Ultimatum ?
You could call it that way I suppose. So what do you say ?
Hispania wil never be afraid of puny warriors with horns helmet. Go away !
Those Viking emissaries never went back in Carthagène. However, they may have formented a bad complot as ten years later some starnge and suspicious herbal medicine were discovered. There were actually some voices who wanted to try those and to do a test on second class citizens to see whether it could be useful. But Soupalogno believed it was Viking poison and did not want to upset his population by considering them guinea pigs. Hispanic citizens were actually happy with this state decision :
Morover, there were some more important project going on. A new settling expedition was ready. Armande had some crazy dreams about willing to claim the Burdigala spot, to gain access to Gaul territory. But obviously Brennus had had the same idea before.
Instead, Soupalognon said he wanted to found a very fertile new city where many people could live and which should become the center for the elite specialists of the empire. Hopefully, this would inspire some Great People along the time. Therefore, the new city of Lisboa was founded in 400BC on Atlantic coast in a food rich spot.
Nothing, worthwile really happened during the few decades, until one day in 330BC when Bernhard, an Evariste's student, came to the palace.
My lord, I have bothering news...
Let me guess : your last project with Evariste, which has alreary taken forever, has led to nothing. I have spent centuries of funding an useless project.
Not exactly, Evariste had a lot of fruitful ideas. However she was not willing to explain them to peoples, so a lot of her work remained ununderstanable.
Well, result is the same. This is useless work for our empire.
But everything changed yersteday !
Could you be more specific ?
She felt in love with a nice looking guy.
Wow ! I would never have expected that to happen ! But how is she going now ?
Actually, another women was in love with the same guy. Evariste was really upset about it and the two rivals agreed to settle this by duel. So, what was expected happened, Evariste was killed this morning on the duel field.
But we have some good news in our misfortune. Last night, Evariste who was aware of the risk, decided to note all her current work in some book. We have red this book and it is full of very bright results. It actually led us to a complete new science called the Mathematics.
She would have better to sleep and survived the duel. But tell me what are new maths good for ?
Well this is such a beautful science, we can study a lot of thing with them. For example, did you know that not every number is a quotient of two integer ? Let consider the diagonal of a square...
ENOUGH of this , how can Hispania take advantage of. Show me concret results !
Well, complex computations could allow our architects to build aquaducts in our cities. More important. Lumberjacks are now able to take count of every trees cut down when chopping a forest. Therefore, the wood is used more efficiently, so we got 50% more production material when clearing a forest.
This does not make a lot of sense to me, but I am pleased with the results. Well, so you shall replace Evariste in the ministry of science. For your first new project, you should work on some siege weapon. It would be useful for our eventual upcoming war with Romans.
I will do my best. But I need to learn the art of masonry and then the one of construction, we are talking about a work of 3 centuries or about.
All right, proceed now !
This chapter of iberic History has led to the most intriguing legend of the known world. The above dialog is transcripted words by worlds in the royal archivs, so there is very few doubt to have about the truth. How such a great scientist could have died for a random guy, no one really knows. Soupalognon was indeed very dispaointed and decided to retire in his palace for decades without speaking to anyone. Hispania was without leader for half a century until Soupalognon finally decided to welcome Cassillevauno who was in diplomatic journey himself in Carthagène.
Dear Soupalognon, I am looking forwards to establish solid friendship with our three celtic civilizations and I think we shall become the major powers in the world. I wanted to discuss the terms of our three-side alliance with Brennus. However, this last fellow refused to travelled with me and even declared Brittany as the worst ennemy of Gaul. I wish you can bring him back to reason.
This is very annoying news, why isn't Brennus more annoyed with the Romans who are settling aggressively in our frontier and are definitely a threat for the celtic civilization ? Unfortunately, I am not sure I could intervene in your favor with Brennus, and I wouldn't betray him for any reason. The most simple solution would be you to convert to Buddha as Brennus is really convinced this religion has to be spread across the entire world.
I am sorry but we are not going to deny our gods for a cowards who declared us as perfides. Whatever, let us forget about this annoying point and proceed fair trade between us. What do you think of this deal : you teach us Alphabet and we give you the secrets of iron ?
I think this is fair and useful for our two peoples. I agree to your terms.
After this fruitful agreement, Soupalognon came back to business and asked to look for the precious metal across Hispania. There were two valuable sites : one in the southwest of Carthagène near the unexploited cows, which made it a decent settling spot. The second source of Iron was located near Lisbon but not workable by the city :
Soupalognon ordered to prepare another settler to claim the first iron site. This would be useful for forging iron swords if we have to fight the Romans in a foreseable future, as he explained to his government. Ten years later, Brittons came back with another requirement.
Dear Soupalognon, you know we have high respect for iberic peoples...
Please Cassillevauno, don't we have done enough for you. We even refused to convert to the Buddha faith as Brennus would like us to do.
I know; I know, but you see, you have an open border agreement with the vile Vikings. We are not happy about this. I mean every one in Brittany knows that Vikings are perfide, not trustable and must be combatted at the first occasion. They are actually the official worst ennemy of our civilization. I formally ask you to cancel your deals with them.
Why everyone cannot live in peace ? Well, I could gain advantages from trading with Ragnar. However, you are trustable, Cassillevauno and as a sign of good will, I will agree to your request.'
Thank you very much, I knew you would be kind to us.
The same year, a small exploratory force crossed the Gibraltar straight and landed in Morocco to see whether this land was worth settling and how far the carthaginians had expanded.
During the following decades, Iberic peoples learnt the art of masonry and Bernhard decided to work on a project allowing construction of bigger buildings such as colloseums and was confident, such a technology could also be applied to build siege weapons. Indeed, Soupalognon was becoming more and more worried about Romans intentions and he asked Joseph to establish defences.
My lord, I suggest we start training axemen, waiting for the amazing destruction weapons Bernard promised us and for avaibility of Iron to train sworsmen. Moreover, I think we should send a spy towards the Romans to see, what we have to fear. And maybe he could even do some kind of sabotage.
Joseph, you should know that we do not fear anything except the sky may be falling on our heads. Julius is definitely puny and irrelevant compared to us. However, I will follow your advice.
So Hispania switched in war preparation mode and prepared another settling expedition to claim the iron near Carthagène. A spy was sent in Antium and he reported the garrison was ligth, only two division of archers. But then we did not get anymore news, so Soupalognon assumed the spy was caught by the Roman counterespionnage service. The iberic leadre ordered to send another one. During these events Hispania was growing and in 200 BC Armande officially declared the powerful Iberic empire counted 500 000 citizens.
Some time after, in 60 BC, the seventh hispanic city of Valencia was founded. And 60 years later, Bernhard came to the palace :
Sir, I made complex calculations and I have found out that this year should become the reference year for our calendar. This is written in the stars.
This is completely meaningless but I can agree to all your fantasy as long as you are progressing on siege weapons project.
Well, I calculated this as well. We would be able to build some in exactly 40 year, I swear it on the grave of Evariste.
All right. And do you think we could do some technological exchange with our neighbours ?
Charles is back form a diplomatic journey across the known world and he said, unfortunately, no one is willing to share any tech with us for some reason.
In that case, please try to find a way to spread religions. I guess we will shortly need the happiness of a state religion but our ancient cities still refuse to follow the true faith of Buddha.
So with any kind of diplomatic exchanges unavailable, Soupalognon decided, military should be the way to develop his empire. With the new catapults available and iron hooked up, he decrete mobilization of his army and was about to declare war on Ceasar. But before crossing the Rubicon, he got news from the northern africans explorators : they have mapped a sizeable part of land and hadn't see any Carthaginians.They also were speaking about exotic ressources like marble and wheat, unknown at that time in Hispania. They also focused mainly about strange animals living in the plains near an hill region. They had call it horses, and while their meat was rather tasty, they said that they could easily be used as military force. Soupalognon decided that after the Roman war, they may try to settle that land.
Before, irreversible military actions occurs, Soupalognon deceided to publish a state of the world.
Iberic peoples were proud of their scientific advances even if they lacked some religious technologies. They also were pleased that theirs celtic friends appeared to be the better contenders behind them. (Remind that some heavy antic power were still unknown from Hispania). The relative backwardness of Hannibal and its absence in Morocco suggested, that barbs wer raging in Africa.