In Aquitania, the beggining of the year 1110 was spent laying in supplies for the long march, pouring over reports from the border regions and finalizing the plans for the campaign. By May, King Zavie was convinced that he was as prepared as he could be and sent the call to his western vassals, the Dukes of Poitou, Aquitaine, Bourbon, to gather along with his own forces at the capital of Bordeaux. At the same time, he ordered the mobilization of the Duke of Toulouse and the Duke of Auvergne, setting to them the task of guarding the Meditterainian coast east of Narbonne.
King Zavie had issued a declaration to the Sheik of Labourd, claiming that his rule over the Christian subjects of the area was intolerable and that he would be removed by force. The sheik mobilized his forces (outlined in black), but they were pitifully small in comparison to Aquitania's force. The king refused several messages attempting to establish a peace, first accompanied by a paltry bribe of ducats and later by nothing at all but the promise of reestablishing the status quo.
Aquitania's duty to allay the suffering of the oppressed masses of Catholic's in Labourd made such offers insults and Zavie pushed for a quick resolution of the issue. He ordered one of his own regiments, headed by one of the refugees he took in from the Barcelona duchies collapse, Ubert de Caumont, to strike ahead of the rest of the army and secure the province. While not a strikingly talented man by any means. Ubert brushed aside all resistance from the Sheik's ragtag army and began to lay siege to the citadel.
As the Aquitanian forces continued to gather, events on the North African coastline would effect the course of the Crusade. King Zavie had already declared war on the Hammadids even when he was still quite a distance from their Spainish holdings. They had mobilized their North African regiments (black) and made as though to embark for Spain or even the position of Zavie's eastern force. However, Genoan troops (red) pursuing their own war against the Hammadids intercepted the force and brought them to battle. Zavie was thankful for the merchant republics indirect assistance to his plans.
The power of Aquitaine was far to much for the small Labourd garrison to handle and after only a few weeks, Christians within the walls opened one of the postern gates to the invading force. The Sheik himself was killed in the last defense of his castle, but Zavie sent orders for the rest of the Muslims in the garrison and castle to be allowed to leave.
With Labourd secured, Zavie now had his foot in the door to Spain. For his part in the campaign so far, Ubert de Caumont was granted the title to the castle he conquered. Several of Zavie's advisors voiced themselves against the move, saying that there had been a multitude of worthy minor nobility in the king's own court that deserved consideration for the spoils. Zavie promised in the future to include Aquitanian nobility when deciding to grant titles.
King Zavie had by now moved his main force, nearly ten thousand strong, into Labourd and contemplated his next move. After a meeting with his Marshall Emmanuel and his Dukes, he could see that there was a way to repay the Geonese for their campaign and sacrifice in North Africa. Genoa had managed to secure the province of Navvare in a previous war with Muslims in the region, but it had recently become controlled by the Hammadids. It lay right in the path of the armies march, so Zavie and his camp advisors decided to liberate the province. The order to march was given.
Again, Ubert de Caumont, the new Count of Labourd was sent ahead of the main force to begin the siege. No organized opposition met him along the way, but lack of supplies, the blistering July heat and darting attacks from irregular Muslim troops were starting to drain the manpower of Aquitania's army. The keep in Navvare was of much sturdier construction that that of Labourd, and Ubert would be criticized heavily for his reckless attempts to take the castle by storm. Nonetheless, the army settled in for a siege.