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Thread: The Kingdom of Aarquitania- Alternate History with DVIP

  1. #101
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Perhpas it's time to expand along the Mediterranean coast, to gather strenght and money and to leave Toledo for a bit later...
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  2. #102
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Somber Return


    The mood was somber as King Zavie led the Aquitanian army back through his conquered Spanish lands. Entering Burgos he found the city half prepared for siege, since many had thought the Toledoan force that had captured Soria would press their attack on the other recently liberated Christian cities. Zavie’s signing of the peace treaty had avoided that calamity, but the sting of defeat still hung over him with significant weight. Even the announcement that the Pope had issued a bull declaring the Crusade a success did little to lift the disposition of the King.


    Even now, Zavie thought, Christians and Moors battle. The other burden on the Aquitanian King’s conscience was his failure to assist his ally Brittany in their conflict with the Emir of Almeria. His vassals had waged a successful campaign against the Emir’s vassals to the north, netting the province of Urgell as a prize, but the war still raged to the south. Each side had made gains on the other but a stalemate had developed as more Breton (black) and Almerian (red) reinforcements arrived in theatre. Zavie earnestly prayed that Brittany would be able to hold on despite the lack of Aquitanian assistance.


    The march continued through the late fall and early winter of 1111 with no events of note to mark the army’s slow movement. Peasants in their fields turned out to watch the force continue toward the port of Viscaya, some even cheered heartily in a tongue his scribes identified for him as Castillian. Looking out over the fields, groves and hills of the land, glancing at the faces of those that watched his army’s passage, King Zavie’s mind turned to wondering if the whole Crusade had been worth the undertaking. Were these common laborers, the meadows and cropland, the cities themselves worth the sacrifice Aquitania had laid down for them. Thousands of men would never see their homes again, families would be left destitute with no providers, land would lay fallow for want of men to plow it, children would starve. Some districts would stand as much more afflicted than others and be left in poverty, migration would kick in and people would be forced off the land they had settled generations ago. Zavie’s mind was afloat on a see of confusion, trying to comprehend how his choice to go on this Crusade would in turn effect every aspect of the Aquitania he ruled and loved.

    The Aquitanians reached Viscaya in November of 1111. The city seemd little different than when Zavie first entered it a year before, it would seem daily life went on regardless of whether Christian or Muslim ruled. King Zavie received an update on the North African situation just as he was about to embark on a coastal barge back to his capital in Bordeaux. Genoa, after a five year war, had finally gotten the upper hand on the Hammadid forces in the region and forced a peace upon them. Three provinces, one Breton (black) and two Genoan (red) provinces now stood on the continent that had been lost to the forces of Islam centuries before. While Zavie was pleased at the progress, he knew that it would likely be only in centuries ahead that Christian power would be fully reconstructed in the region.


    The King's return to Bordeaux was a generally muted affair. The army itself was still in transit and Zavie had sent word ahead that he did not wish for any festivities to be planned for his homecoming. His wife Rosa warmly greeted him as he entered the castle and proceeded to inform him of the running of the estate and shifts in local politics in his absence. Truthfully, Zavie considered his return to the company of Rosa as the highlight of the entire episode.

    Zavie looked in on the playtime of his oldest son, three year old Guitard as he romped with other noble children in one of the side courtyards. He wasn't surprised when the child didn't recognize him as he moved to converse with the adult overseers. His child was energetic in play, they said, and had the begginings of a bright mind. Guitard's prize possession was a small pennon-kite his mother had purchased and that he let loose from the castle's battlements, asking his supervisors about how it accomplished flight. The King was encouraged by their report on his son's character and promised to visit the child more later.

    Zavie also visited with his daughters Dolca and Azalais. The reunion went well and set the wheels of the King's mind in motion. Dolca had grown into a fair and conservative minded maid since he left for campaign he knew it was time for him to find her a husband. Rosa had already drawn up a list of possible matches that would be politically expedient. Zavie set down with his wife and a close group of advisors to discuss the issue later that week. At the top of the list was Karlz Kerne, brother of Marc Kerne King of Brittany. As a match, it was everything that Rosa considered beneficial. Dolca would be marrying into a prestigious royal family, their ages were the same, and it would solidify the alliance between Aquitania and the Breton Knigdom that had been recently tested by events in Spain. A white peace had broken the Almerian-Breton conflict and it was perhaps the perfect time to celebrate peace in both kingdom's by marriage. Zavie himself gave the approval to send a messenger to the Breton court.

    Only a few short weeks later, Zavie was preparing to see his daughter off to Brittany's capital at Rennes for her marriage to Karlz. Marc, fresh from the battlefields of south Spain, had been very much in favor of the match, seeing significant benefits for his own Kingdom in closer relations with Aquitania. Loaded down with wedding gifts and her entourage, the coastal barge needed only its last item of cargo to depart. Dolca embraced her father at the foot of the docks, thanking him for her upraising and the match he had made for her. Zavie promised his own undying love for his daughter and barely kept a dry eye as his oldest child left on a voyage that would likely take her away from him for years at the least and quite possibly forver.


    Dolca's marriage brought advantages at home to the King as well. The major nobles of the Kingdom all sent gifts for the bride's father in celebration of the event, ranging from masterfully worked furniture to rare and unique books. Zavie thanked each for their generosity, but quietly informed the castle steward to convert the various presents into disposable income to alleviate the King's finances. This was done quickly enough for Zavie to save several of his tax producing holdings from sale or complete disrepair.


    With his daughter married well, King Zavie turned to other domestic issues. His wife reported that several of her informants at court had overheared complaints from minor nobles over the King's choice of keeping nearly all of the lands he had conquered as personal fiefs. Surely, they were said to mutter, there had been enough heroes in the campaign to justify granting them title over some of the territory. His wife recommended picking one of the courtmembers to rule over one of the conquered provinces. Zavie himself, still bitter over the entire affair and eager to maintain his reputation as a fair ruler, decided to grant all of the new Aquitanian lands to members of the former ruling families in the region. They would still be nominally his vassals, but the former elites of the land would return. Rosa and the majority of the advisors spoke out against the drastic action, but Zavie would brook no argument on the issue. The King called for scribes to draw up the needed documents and to contact the Spanish refugees.

    Isabel de Barcelona, a refugee from that dynasty's last stand on Minorca, was granted the title to Urgell. As her title was announced, she broke down in tears and pledged her bloodline's unwavering commitment to the Aquitanian throne.



    Always eager to reward devoted service, Zavie also granted his Marshal a title to the province of Viscaya. Emmanuel de Caumont was so shocked at the announcement that his sixty year old legs nearly collapsed as he made his way to the throne, thanking the King profusely.



    Urraca Jiminez was granted title over the Crusade's target of Burgos, her family's former capital. This was perhaps the least surprising of all Zavie's appointments, since the Jimenez dynasty in exile had been pressuring for such a move ever since that city's liberation. Still, Urraca swore fealty to the Aquitanian King and promised to never forget the personal kindness of the monarch.



    Months passed and life settled to a calm across the land of Aquitania and the court of its King. Zavie was enjoying the company of his wife, the pleasure of watching his son grow and eagerly overseeing the maintainance of prosperity across his domain. His days were long, but no crises threathened to overthrow his happiness. Taxes flowed to the court at Bordeaux in amounts never dreamed of by even the most optimistic stewards. The seasons turned, snows gave way to spring blossoms. Zavie considered the future. He was no longer the young, energetic and ambitious man that had ruled a mere duchy in service to the French Capets. In the past five years, he had broken from their rule, watched vigilantly for threats to his new kingdom, experienced both the heights of victory and the pains of defeat in his grand Iberian campaign. He now ruled a powerful, rich and expanding kingdom, his succession was secure, he was married to a woman he loved and peace was the rule of the times.

    The Emirate of Badajoz attacked Burgos in April of 1112
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 16:16.

  3. #103
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Evil muslims. Trying to steal your lands.

  4. #104
    Lord Protector of Britain Lord Valentine's Avatar
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    Ah it's always the same pain with vassals that share a border with heathens. Somewhat the AI seems to be more aggressive towards them than to a human player.
    I hope yo will give them a thrashing that they won't forget in a century.

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  5. #105
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    With an intrigue of 16, I bet she burst into tears.

    And then she promptly got into a war with Badajoz.

    I mean, look at her face. She's obviously a Moor in drag.

  6. #106
    Crazy Crusader Kings Creator jordarkelf's Avatar
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    Never trust a Jimenez! A lesson I learnt the heard way when playing as Barcelona...

    It has been almost a year... hopefully enough for your coffers and army to recover some. The Infidel seems to have infite strength.

  7. #107
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by jordarkelf
    Never trust a Jimenez! A lesson I learnt the heard way when playing as Barcelona...
    Never trust a Castillian or a Leonese, more easy and simple
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
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  8. #108
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Enewald- Those Muslims are trying to take my lands... I need to teach them to stay on their side of the fence. I am better prepared this time (I think) and hopefully we won't have a repeat of the Toledo disaster! Thanks for your continued readership!

    Lord Valentine- Giving them a thrashing is just what I have planned! I'm just happy that France still hasn't decided to take me on, since I sincerely doubt that I could withstand both a major Emirate attacking me and France at the same time. All I can do is try my best to carve out a bit of a "cushion area" in this war to protect my vassals in the region. Thanks again for the comment and your interest in the aar.

    Phargle- You may be on to something here.... To be fair to Miss de Barcelona, she only declared war after Badajoz declared war on Burgos, I guess I didn't make that clear in my post. She is a vicious one though and I'm sure that the Emir of Badajoz is shaking in his sandals at the thought of facing Urgell's uncountable legions! Thank you for keeping up with me and commenting!

    Jordarkelf- The main family that gives me trouble in most of my games (I normally play in France/Germany) is the de Bourgone's. I recall taking all their lands as the Duchy of Savoy once, only to have them attack me twenty years later as the counts of Mallorca and vassals of a well established Aragon. They never stay down once I beat them and always are the first to rebel if I do have them as vassals.

    I will be on the lookout for Jiminez's in the future though, but only to give them back lands in Castille! They are one of my favorite families and, as I stated before, my goal is to create a fairly balance game without an uberkingdom stretching from Gibraltar to the Loire. If I gain enough of Castille/Aragon/Portugal back, I will likely give the title to a close relative with a number of former rulers of the area (like the Jiminez's) as their vassals.

    We shall soon see how this next war goes! Thanks for the comments and for reading my aar!

    Kurt_Steiner- Thanks for reading and the advice! But my plan remains unchanged, Keep Burgos occupied and expand outward from the territories I have. Urgell gave me a nice starting point for further attacks into the former Duchy of Barcelona, so be on the lookout for that as well. My plan really is to beat off this latest attack, then try to determine which of the major sheikdoms in Spain is weakest. Then attack again with my own personal crusade! Thank you for the comments and stay tuned to the channel, more Kingdom of Aaquitania is up soon!

    Snugglie- Capturing more of Catalonia is almost surely in the works. I believe that it was Jordarkelf that mentioned that the Catalonians were very close cousins to the Occitans in terms of culture, so it would make sense that Zavie or Guitard would mount a serious campaign to free them from the infidel yoke! Thanks so much for your interest in my story and keep it tuned here for more exciting updates!

  9. #109
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    OK, some of you might be wondering what happened to this AAR... The truth is that it was put on hold for a little while as I made my move to Leiden in the Netherlands. I had all sorts of trouble with the internet over the past weeks and I apologize for not being able to alert you to the situation earlier. Trying to register for classes, looking like a fool with my horrible Dutch, missing trains; it has been a trial.

    Anyways, the story is far from finished, with an update planned for the middle of this coming week, would you like that? I am glad to be back and hope to entertain you with the further adventures of Zavie.

  10. #110
    Zealous Firebrand Snugglie's Avatar
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    The start of school sure does have a tendency to disrupt both one and two things in a very short time.
    Stand up, all victims of oppression,
    For the tyrants fear your might!
    Don't cling so hard to your possessions,
    For you have nothing if you have no rights!
    Let racist ignorance be ended,
    For respect makes the empires fall!
    Freedom is merely privilege extended,
    Unless enjoyed by one and all.

  11. #111
    Hand over the update, man!

    And enjoy your time in one of Europe's foremost academic centers.

  12. #112
    Lord Protector of Britain Lord Valentine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snugglie
    The start of school sure does have a tendency to disrupt both one and two things in a very short time.
    So true, so true!
    Take your time to settle into good ol' Europe Count Lake! Believe me your readers will still be around when you resume this. I myself have put quite a strain on my readers patinence all to often and they have proven themselves more loyal and committed than I deserve.

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  13. #113
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Interlude 1- King Zavie and the Letter

    The news of the Badajoz declaration reached King Zavie as he was discussing the state of the realm with a few of the monastery trained scribes that oversaw the bureaucracy of Aquitania. A minor steward of his interrupted during one of the lulls in the conversation, saying that an accredited messenger had arrived at the Bordeaux royal post earlier today and was asking for a special audience with the Aquitanian monarch. Hurriedly dismissing the scribes and steward to investigate some of the problems the functionaries had identified during the meeting, he urged that the messenger be brought before him. The man his guards escorted in seemed quite disheveled in his dusty riding cloak and mud spattered leggings, but his bow was perfect as he began to deliver his news in a thick Castilian accent.

    He had been the last in a relay of riders from Viscaya that brought him news from Burgos. Finding no fast boats to take him in that southern port, he had ridden three horses to death in his nonstop journey through Genoan Navarre and into Aquitania proper. He had been told that the importance of the news he carried necessitated such determination and sacrifice. Urraca Jimenez’s seal marked the envelope he presented to the king. After thanking the man and instructing the closest steward that the messenger have a bed made up in the barracks to rest, Zavie retreated to one of his chambers to read the note in private.

    The Countess of Burgos had plenty of bad news to report to her liege. Zavie skimmed past the perfunctory opening, wherein Urraca or her scribes had listed the many untouchable virtues of the magnificent King Zavie. His peerless valor, his keen wisdom, his humble piety; each was given fawning attention. Wading through this gristle, he soon got to the meat of the letter and his blood chilled as he began to understand the rider’s haste.

    Urraca wrote of how the Moselmen of Badajoz had been seen gathering for war recently by her border scouts. The diplomats of that Emir had answered her queries and assured her months before that the army was to be used to attack an enclave of North African pirates that had been harassing their merchants. She had not been convinced and ordered any travelers questioned and security on the border and in the court tightened. When one of her local commandants had authorized a probe into Badajoz territory in order to gather more information, the situations had exploded when the horsemen encountered a Badajoz patrol. Three of the Aquitanian company were ridden down before the survivors managed to return to their station.

    Urraca had received another visit from the Emir’s diplomats as soon as the news had filtered back to his court. The most high Emir, his ambassadors said, was greatly insulted by the intrusion of her soldiers onto his land. He had wished only to be a friendly neighbor, but her ambitious grasp threatened the peace of his land and he was forced to consider their realms as being at war.

    Urraca elaborated on the matter. The defenses of Burgos were strong, but she lacked the manpower to hold the countryside. The army under her marshal’s command had not recovered from the previous years of violent campaigning. Reinforcements could arrive quickly from Viscaya, but again manpower would not be enough to bolster the defenses of the towns and villages of the province. Her situation was desperate, with the majority of Badajoz’s army having a clear path to her seat of power and it was clear that Burgos would fall without the immediate assistance of her liege.

    King Zavie left the note next to the chair he had settled in, thinking of the best way to go about the latest misfortune to affect his realm. Burgos could not be abandoned, that much was absolutely clear in Zavie’s mind. Too much blood had been split in the Crusade to liberate the Castilian capital and there would be no way to remove the stain of his dishonor should another province of Aquitania fall so soon after the disaster of Soria.

    The logistics of the campaign he was sure Aquitania could handle, but taxes would have to be raised in the short term to ensure that the debt that had recently been erased would not return. Manpower would also be less of a worry, since half of his kingdom had seen almost no combat in the previous years. Time was the factor that worried Zavie, Burgos was hundreds of miles away from the southern edge of Aquitania proper and it would be months before any sizeable relief force could march to the city. The travel would have to be by land again, since Zavie could not hope to afford the transport cost for his force. Genoan Navarre would see columns of Aquitanian troops again soon and Urgell itself would have to be defended against the vassals of Badajoz that bordered it.

    Zavie wasted little time in dispatching riders himself, tasking them with bringing the mobilization order to most of the counts and dukes of his kingdom. There would be no time for a general war council this time, every second lost was a bit of time giving the Muslims a head start on the march to Burgos. After making plans to discuss the situation with his local barons and courtiers, dispatching another rider to the governor of Genoan Navarre informing him of the plan to march through that territory and seeing to the last substantial business of the day, Zavie retired once more to his private quarters.

    Zavie’s wife Rosa had heard the news of course. She was the leader of his informant network and it wouldn’t have surprised him to learn that her own sources had picked up the information from the Burgos court. He had come to realize how much he needed her during his last war against the forces of Toledo, in the darkest moment as he was leading his ragged army against the encircling forces of Islam at Soria. He had only been back in Bordeaux for what seemed like moments, with state business cutting into the little private time he was able to spend with his wife and the lost time pained him in a way that he could not express.

    A short discussion told her all she needed to know. He would be departing as soon as the local levies could be mustered, and he needed to have her stay behind to steward the castle and kingdom while he was away as in previous campaigns. She offered no complaint to being left alone again and she seemed to have accepted the situation for what it was, another absence to be weathered in a relationship already full of them. Could a man ask for a better companion in life, Zavie thought, one that would hurdle these obstacles without a word of grievance, one that would be true till the ends of time?

    He was leaving again, leaving the woman who held captive his heart. Leaving his son Guitard, who despite the time Zavie had spent with him in the last weeks knew little of his father and looked on him as a stranger. Leaving once again the country his will and political maneuverings had created, the land his military successes had seen expanded, the land he loved and would always protect. These thoughts plagued Zavie through a sleepless night, his mind contortioned over every detail of the place in life he now found himself.

    He was old now, older than he ever imagined being in the prime of his life. He had been positive that his life would be a strong and furious flame snuffed out early by the fighting he always found himself embroiled in. One could only dodge so many arrows or lances, billhooks and spears. Death, especially some heroic doom to be sung for generations, had not seemed like much of a spectre worth fearing.

    But now he had a life that he could not imagine letting go of. He wanted to see his son grow to a man. He wanted to spend as many years as he could with Rosa, the flower of his life. He wanted to see his crippled son Guiges become a respected scholar. He wanted to have Aquitania at peace, a Christian Spain restored, an hour of calm in what seemed to be a lifetime of turmoil.

    He wanted all these things and knew that he would have to fight to have them.



    Hello everyone, just a quick text part to the aar today. I plan on udating with a nice big gameplay one of the weekend, as I am still wading through paperwork and other commitments at school. Thanks and see you all soon.
    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 16:17.

  14. #114
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    Love is for fools, not for warriors.

  15. #115
    Crazy Crusader Kings Creator jordarkelf's Avatar
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    Yay, an update!

    Take your time, school is important.


    As always excellent characterization. Urraca is no fool, she makes a good case in her defense... such as it is.

  16. #116
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Treason Most Foul part 1



    The lands over which the Emir of Badajoz ruled (black) were the product of the previous decade of overwhelming Muslim expansion. Three separate parts of the realm stood apart from one another, divided by the newer Aquitanian (red) Spanish possessions to the north and the Toledoan faction to the south. To King Zavie’s eye, the isolation of Burgos and Viscaya was never easier to spot. It would take a miracle for his force to pass through the Pyrenees and reach the city before it fell to Badajoz.




    Zavie’s messengers delivered orders to several of the southern lords to march immediately for the Badajozian vassal state of Jaca (gold star). This mountainous area was once the seat of the Kingdom of Aragon, swallowed whole by the rampaging forces of Islam fifteen years past. Christian refugees had descended their homeland’s peaks and sought refuge in the neighboring realm of Aquitania and many in the south longed to liberate their cousins held under Muslim suzerainty. Additionally, if the campaign was successful enough, a new route might be opened to Burgos and Viscaya, easing pressure on the passes through Navarre.




    Zavie had the majority of his western nobility march along with his personal force to the Genoan controlled province of Navarre (gold star). The governor of the area had responded to King Zavie’s askance for passage in the affirmative, he had not forgotten that it was the Aquitanian King that had restored the province to his control only a few years previous, and it was the only economical way to transport his army to the fighting in Spain.



    The Emir took little time in organizing his own plan of attack. He mobilized the forces of the disparate corners of his realm (red) with the goal of attacking Burgos, seat of Urraca Jimenez and jewel of the Spanish Crusade. The province would soon be beset from all sides as the Badajozian armies marched to her borders.

    Resting along a road in Bordeaux after a hard march and nearly two weeks after the letter he received from Spain, Aquitania’s King received troubling news from a late night messenger. The young Duke of Bourbon, Jaume de Cadoine, had refused the order to render his forces to the service of his liege. No specific excuse was even given in the response, which had been written by the Duke’s chancellor in a tone that verged on insolent. The Duke, read the parchment, was too far away to make any contribution to the campaign and would instead be keeping his levies behind. Another crusade into the heathen lands would come to nothing but unplowed fields and grieving families in his territory.



    The King was nearly incandescent with fury over the impertinent Duke’s move, but kept his anger bottled within himself, presenting a straight face to the rider chosen to take his hastily scrolled answer to the vassal. It basically stated how the boy had either keep his liege’s favor by leading his men to Navarre or answer personally for the slight he had offered the King.

    As the messenger departed, Zavie recalled a snippet of intelligence his wife had presented at a council meeting last month. An agent known to be in the employ of the French Capetian kings had been identified by one of Rosa’s representatives in the Bourbon court. Zavie had marked it for further investigation, but had not heard of any further developments in the matter. Perhaps this reluctance of the Duke to assemble was a result of French interference, it would not surprise King Zavie since he had his own agents worming their way through the courts of his northern neighbors.

    King Zavie’s messenger was not well received by the Bourbon Duke. The last campaign into Spain, the long marches, the constant defeats at the end, the disappointment of his spectacular ideal of war had turned Jaume to bitterness against his lord. Still impetuous in his youth, He had privately sworn to escape his vassalage and create a strong and independent Bourbon duchy. His disobedience of the call to arms had been a move forced by circumstance, his preparations were nearly complete and the back room negotiations he engaged in with his Capet contact gave him the hope of French support. He was at the point of no return now and he could only hope that the emerging conflict in Spain would overshadow his rebellion in importance and give him time to receive the promised aid of the French throne. He announced his break with Aquitania in front of the stunned messenger and a packed court, a chorus of cheers and an unpleasant amount of pained groans washing over him.



    Aquitania’s monarch could hardly believe his ears when the report of this new disaster struck him. He had never needed to go to war with his own vassals before and he considered himself a tolerant and truly fair ruler. Zavie had ridden hundreds of miles with the Duke, poked fun at his youth at the meal table, tutored him in some aspects of field command and now this. The betrayal cut deep, Zavie thought, and it could not be assuaged by anything other than a complete crushing of the insurgency. His rule must be strong as well as fair, and Jaume had maneuvered in such a way that King Zavie could do nothing but deliver more orders to his northern lords, to strike down the upstart and not to quit until the Duke (red) was reduced to a worm groveling at his feet.








    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 16:17.

  17. #117
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for their comments and compliments! More updates are in the works as I type! Thanks again for your patience and for sticking with this aar.

  18. #118
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  19. #119
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    Treason Most Foul part 2

    With matters in the north causing no small amount of stress, good news from the south was a welcome relief to the beleaguered King as he continued his march. Raouf Duke of Gascony was the greatest of the southern lords tasked with occupying Jaca and had sent a report of the latest action there. The Duke’s troops had been guided by Catalan refugees living in the Gascon demesne and the march had gone very well. The defenders were caught off guard by the rapid advance and the Aquitanian forces had managed to isolate the Sheik of Jaca and his personal army from other Badajozian forces.



    The fight was quickly finished, with the numerically superior Aquitanians breaking the Muslim line in the first charge. The survivors broke and ran, the logical choice given the alternative. The Sheik himself tried to form a rearguard action, but was injured by a fall from his horse. All semblance of order soon vanished and the retreat became a rout with the Badajozians scattering to the winds. The city itself was well supplied and the Duke was making the beginning preparations for a long siege.



    Another battle was brought to the King’s attention as he met with several of the nobles that had caught up with the King’s force on the road. The armies of Viscaya, headed by their count and his old marshal Emanuel, had rendezvoused with the army of Burgos and met the first forces of Badajoz in a battle on the border of Burgos province. Zavie cursed the rapid movement of the Muslim armies. As he had feared, the distance between Aquitania proper and the Spanish possessions had been too far for the relief to properly be deployed.



    Details were still sketchy, but the rumors told that the outnumbered Aquitanians had fought bravely, only giving way in the face of Badajozian reinforcements and retreating from the field in good order. Emanuel kept the main portion of the combined force headed towards Viscaya to await the relief force being assembled on the other side of the mountains while Urraca remained in Burgos to command the siege defense with her council. The lines would only tighten around the former Castilian capital and Zavie ordered new urgency in the camp, knowing that the city would not hold forever. More and more of the Aquitanian army was assmbling every day and it would not be long before the march through Navarre would begin.



    In the middle of April 1112, nearly two months after the initial blossoming of the conflict, Zavie received a diplomat from Badajoz while encamped below the foothills of the Pyrenees. To call the offer a farce was to give it too much credence. At the head of the delegation was a fool dressed in bright orange motley, bells attached to every part of his person, tumbling into the reception tent in front of more somberly dressed Muslim ambassadors. It seemed that the Emir had taken to the European institution of keeping jesters and had decided to send his as an emissary on a lark. The assembled nobles were speechless in anger and mortified in spirit, loudly denouncing the sham and calling for their King to evict the delegation. King Zavie called for silence in the pavilion, knowing that his handling of this insult would reflect on the prestige of his person and the realm.

    After presenting the King with the gift of a mud pie he had formed on the road, the fool/ambassador got straight to the business of negotiating the matter at hand. He pulled out a large sack from his oversized sleeve and held it open eagerly, informing the Aquitanian king that he had been told that peace could be secured by having Zavie place the kingdom’s treasury in the cloth bag. It would be so much better that the war was resolved this way instead of having his soldiers cut down like so much wheat to the threshing. Zavie listened calmly to the fool/ambassador then asked that the delegation carry a message back to his Emir. Peace could be brought about if the Emir himself would dress as the fool and eat the mud pie Zavie had been presented with. The Badajozians left later that evening promising to deliver the message.



    Last edited by Count Lake; 21-10-2008 at 16:18. Reason: wrong date

  20. #120
    Game Over Man! Count Lake's Avatar
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    One more to come today! Stay tuned! And sorry I haven't gotten to any exciting "end of the world" style battles or anything. The chess pieces are still in motion.

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