The Ottomans were one city away from total domination and with England and France also close to victory the 1593 Eurovision Song Contest would soon be decided. To stop the Sultan a Christian Alliance was created; Philip II and Rudolf II realised they could not win themselves, but gallantly offered to rescue Europe from the crushed-velvet heel of the dainty Ottoman slipper. If they attacked together in the Balkans they could recover key cities quicker than the Ottomans could take them. The still-virgin-but-not-getting-anything-for-it-Queen offered to use her agents in the Sultan's Harem to entrice the Ottomans from a military victory and I offered to send the latest graduates of the Black Queen's Finishing School for Assasssination and Flower Arranging to scout out the Ottomans high council and force them to discard one of their plans. I also offered Spain Peace and an Alliance to aid his troop movements in the Spring.
My Northern Kingdom was unsettled, with Scottish Lords Rebel and Border Reivers. More fruitfull was Genoese Bankers, which would give me two cards for the loss of a card next turn, as if there would be a next turn. If added to Black Queen I could lose two and gain four cards this turn, and take one from England. Or I could use the Reivers to keep control of Scotland, though that would not win me the game. Christian IX was still King of France, after 25 years and his continued survival could win me the game. Perhaps. Anyway the English and French colonies were both smited and by co-incidence the Protestant colony produced a treasure trove of Anglo-French colonial goods.
We edged over to the Diplomatic Ball. The Ottomans failed to show, knowning they were not loved. Philip II offered me peace and an alliance, which I accepted, and gave the Habsburgs gold and treasure for 4,000 mercenaries and another alliance, which was also accepted. He had nothing for the Ottomans, England and the Protestants "You guys are going to have to claw your way to victory without help from me, hopefully by tearing at each other a bit."
With Christmas here and no sign of the Turk there was a truce in the siege lines as mercenaries forgot the differences of their leaders, swopping carols and booze between the lines while officers revived the wars and intrigues of the last quarter century.