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Thread: Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona

  1. #21
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Ermengol is going to be a dangerous man. If he manages to live so long.
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  2. #22
    What is up with emotionless, evil 12 year olds? There was one in the Austria AAR, and now one in this..

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Ermengol is going to be a dangerous man. If he manages to live so long.
    Every story needs its villain, but I can assure you that he will hang around for some time.

    Quote Originally Posted by SplendidTuesday View Post
    What is up with emotionless, evil 12 year olds? There was one in the Austria AAR, and now one in this..
    Guess everyone just likes Rome. Also, I decided to introduce him early, as he will be a major annoyance to the Barcelonids later-on. Like I said before, every story needs some villains. Be assured, the next evil-enemy-to-the-dynasty, will not be an evil boy, but a more realistic character.
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  4. #24
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter V: Like a game of chess...


    March 9, 1069 Anno Domini – Albarracin mountains, near Albarracin

    Once again Bernat was marching towards Albarracin. Once again he would have to take it from the Moors. Once again he just hated this cold, damp corner of the world. He pitied the man that once would rule this place. The last few months had seen both victory and defeat for the brave Barcelonese. The Duke, Ramon Berenguer, had concluded the siege of Zaragoza, bringing the rich city in Christian hands once again. The Emir had fled for the fortres of Qal’ad Ayyub, known to the Barcelonese as Calatayud, and had signed a humiliating peace with the Duke, giving up Zaragoza itself. Near the same time the Duke’s son, Bernats good friend and brother-in-law Pedro, had won a great victory over the Sheikh of Valencia near Lleira, saving Barcelona. However, this victory was followed by the defeat of the Count of Rosello near Albarracin, leaving the strategic town in Moorish hands once again. The Emir of Toledo seemed determined to wipe the Duchy of Barcelona of the map.
    With both the Duke and his son busy defending Zaragoza and Lleira respectively, it was Bernat who was tasked with retaking Albarracin once again. Independent military command, most nobles would kill for such a chance, not Bernat though. Going on campaign meant leaving all the people he held dear. His sister Estefania, Pedro’s wife, was six moths pregnant and all alone with both her husband and brother off to fight. It also meant leaving Agnes, his beloved. Thinking of young Agnes made him smile. Before the campaign against Zaragoza started she had been just a girl, usually fussing over her younger sister Sancha or berating her brother for missing church. Now she was a woman, graceful and kind. He just reminded himself not to tell her brother how kind she had been to him, such remarks would probably cost him his neck. If all went well he would see her again by Christmas. But in a war like this you never knew if such expectations would come true. Like a game of chess, war had the nasty tendency to last longer than expected.


    The Aljafera, the palace of the Emirs of Zaragoza, now the temporary palace of Duke Ramon Berenguer.

    ##############


    King Alfonso of Léon, sixth of that name, was a man of great power. He was recognised as the mightiest of the four Christian kings. Yet unlike most men of great power, he knew that he had no reason to remain complacent. He had always regarded it as his fathers biggest mistake to split his kingdom between himself and that lout Sancho, who inherited Castille. Both of them had fought over the inheritance before, with his incompetent brother only being saved by the marshall of his forces, the man known as El Cid. Simply invading the lands of his simpleton-brother would lead to a protracted war, leaving both Castille and Léon exhausted. After such a war anyone could march in to claim both kingdoms: the Moors, Navarrese, Aragonese, hell, even those Catalan misfits from Barcelona. However, Alfonso knew there was no reason to rush things, afterall he was still a young man of 29. With the Moors busy fighting the Catalans he had all the time he needed to ensure his sons would rule all of Iberia one day. Taking Iberia would be like playing chess, he just needed to get his pieces in the right place. The first moves had been made already…


    A painting of Alfonso VI of Léon from the 11th century. Alfonso was regarded as the greatest of the kings of Léon.
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  5. #25
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    You should be fine against the Moors, I think your large enough now to survive Toledo, or in the worst case scenario you could just give up a prov or two.

    I hope El Cid will become a major player

    Also I loved the line ''let us not forget that peasants are born to suffer anyway''

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    I hope El Cid will become a major player
    Make him to see the light and discover that, in the end, he's a Catalan in his very soul and all will be fine.
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    You should be fine against the Moors, I think your large enough now to survive Toledo, or in the worst case scenario you could just give up a prov or two.

    I hope El Cid will become a major player

    Also I loved the line ''let us not forget that peasants are born to suffer anyway''
    Iberia is heavily Balkanised at the moment, the Moors are no different. El Cid will return, he's just too interesting not to use . Also, glad you like Ermengol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Make him to see the light and discover that, in the end, he's a Catalan in his very soul and all will be fine.
    Making El Cid Catalan might be a bit too much, but the chap will feature again after 1072 or so.
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  8. #28
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter VI: dreams of the future


    13 June 1070 Anno Domini, Barcelona

    Bernat looked at his soon-to-be-wife and could not hide his smile, even if the priest was talking about the eternal damnation that faced the wicked and sinful. He had the permission of the Duke himself to wed his daughter Agnes after his victory near Albarracin. To be true, the battle hadn’t exactly been that impressive: he had routed a small force near the village, nothing compared to the battle of Lleira, and sieged the fortifications. The inhabitants of Albarracin, tired of the war, quickly surrendered once again to the forces of the Duchy. However, his actions made him a hero and heroes where entitled to some privileges. Like marrying the daughters of the higher nobility. Agnes seemed to have noticed his smile. She gave a small kick to his shin, a sign that he should pay more attention to the sermon. However, she gave him a small smile too. Bernat counted himself lucky to be able to marry the women he loved. Not many men could afford such things these days. He just hoped to be able to build a future together with her. The Moors had to be defeated first.

    ##############


    Pedro Berenguer was happy to see his son for the first time. Little Alfons was born while he was patrolling the southern border of the Duchy. The last few months had been uneventful, with the Moors only sending some small raidingparties across the Ebro. Rumour had it Emir Yahya was keeping most of his forces to deter the Emir of Badajoz from invading his lands. Nevertheless, Pedro knew he had to be wary of the Emir. His forces where many times larger than the force the Barcelonese could muster, especially with the Counts of Empuries and Urgell pulling back their forces. Ponç, the old count of Empuries, had finally died of old age and his son Hug had pulled back his soldiers to keep any dissenting nobles in line. Ermengol had made a weak excuse of needing his men to fight bandits in the Pyrenees. It was more likely that Ermengol wished to let the rest of the Duchy bleed before Urgell would bleed. Pedro just knew that the boy could be a fierce opponent one day.
    Young Alfonso started to cry, it was probably time for his mother to feed him. One day this tiny creature would rule over thousands of men, a strange thought indeed. Pedro Berenguer decided that his son deserved a safe future. His Barcelona would be a proud and strong Duchy, not bowing for Moor or Jimenid alike.

    ##############


    “Have our ships arrived yet on that godforsaken isle?”

    “Yes my king. The ships from Ireland have arrived this morning. According to the latest news most of our forces have landed without interference. The Duke of Leinster seemed to appreciate your gift too.”

    “Let just hope that Irish barbarian doesn’t spends my money on a new sheep to fornicate with. You may leave Gonzalo.”

    Alfonso VI, king of Léon, was happy to finally receive a message from Ireland. Even if he had just send some ill-tempered nobles and some excess gold, he just disliked wasting resources. The Irish barbarians had arrived sometime last year with an offer he just couldn’t refuse, to be named High King of Ireland if he would support them in their struggle for independence. Even if Alfonso didn’t care about their fate, when presented with such a chance, one should grasp it with both hands.

    The British Isles where turning into the latest battleground between the king of France and his many disloyal vassals. William, Duke of Normandie was now King William of England, also known as William the Conqueror. In an efford to prevent his former vassal from growing too powerful, King Philipe had send men and gold to Scotland, to stop Williams advance on the island. The nobles supported by Philip used these resources to deposte the Dunkeld-dynasty and had proclaimed Philipe king of all Scotland, probably in the hope that a distant king would let them fight out their petty rivalries. In a reaction several Irish counts had looked southwards, looking for a mighty king to protect them.



    Alfonso had gladly taken them up on their offer. His presence in Ireland would keep the French kings eyes on the British Isles and off the Iberian peninsula. As such the Catalans where free to beat some of the pathetic Taifa to a pulp, which made sure the Emir of Toledo would intervene. Any actions by the Emir of Toledo made sure his nemesis, the Emir of Badajoz, would take actions against Toledo. In the end Barcelona, Toledo and Badajoz would all be weakened by warfare, making them unable to interfere with his own plans. Alfonso smiled, if all went as he predicted, and things always went as he predicted, Léon would dominate the Iberian peninsula within a decade. First of all would be Castille, that joke of an older brother of his was not worthy to rule anyway. His plans would also rid him of that worrysome Rodrigo Vivar, also known as El Cid.
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  9. #29
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    Question to the readers: I like to switch the story around a bit, giving three or more short segments of bigger stories at a time. Which do you all prefer? This switch between stories, like the switches in the above update, switching between Bernat, Pedro Berenguer and Alfonso. Or do you prefer it when I feature just one of these chaps per update?
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  10. #30
    Earl of Groan Tufto's Avatar
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    I would prefer it if you did 1 person per update, so more can be written about each person.

    BtW, when can we next expect an update?
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  11. #31
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    I hope to have an updater ready tomorrow. It will deal with the rest of the current war against Zaragoza and Toledo.
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  12. #32
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter VII: Peace at last?


    November 1072 AD, Albarracin, Duchy of Barcelona

    Bernat de Besalu overlooked his new domain, the blasted hamlet of Albarracin. It was like fate toyed with him these years. First he had lost his beloved Agnes in childbirth, afterwards he was appointed as the Count of Albarracin as a ‘reward’ for his services during the Reconquista. He had defended the area tooth and nail against the frequent incursions by troops from the Emir of Toledo, while the Duke defended Zaragoza and Pedro defended Barcelona. A few months ago an emissary of the Emir came asking for peace. Apparently the Emirs of Badajoz and Seville had used the war as an opportunity to expand their own domains. Since the Duchy itself had been ravaged the Duke had accepted the offer of peace.
    However, Bernat knew it only was a matter of time before Barcelona would be at war again. The Jimenids where vying for power as usual, with Castille, Navarre and Aragon at war with eachother. Many called the war the ‘War of the three Sancho’s’ as all three monarchs shared that name. Also, the Duke’s dream of reconquering Spain for Christianity would mean war sooner than later.


    Contemporaty picture of Albarracin. Very little has changed since 1072.

    Bernat didn’t really care, after Agnes death nothing really seemed to matter. At first he had found some solace at the field of battle, often leading his patrols against Moorish raiders in person. Now, with peace returning to the land even that distraction was impossible. Not a day passed that he didn’t think of Agnes. The priest had told him she would be in heaven, and that her death was part of the Fathers plan. He had punched the Holy Man in his face for those words. Any institution declaring his angelic Agnes death part of some plan was not worth his time.

    #########################


    10 December 1072 AD, Burgos, Kingdom of Castille

    It had been a long time since Carlos had received a letter from his master, but last week he had received his instructions. Carlos was happy that he finally could furfill his masters plan and leave Castille. He had lived here for more than a year now, but he still longed to return to his native Léon. He was looking forward to returning after furfilling his set task. He was sure his liege would reward him handsomely, perhaps even knighting him.

    “Carlos you lazy dog, where are you! His Majesty is waiting for his wine!”

    As usual the cook mistook a loud voice for authority. Perhaps he could silence that man too after finishing his task. He had run with the lowest of the low before, but none had irritated him as much as that lazy fat cook. Usually he was all business, but that kill would be pure pleasure.
    Carlos had the job all thought out. King Sancho II was a paranoid man, scared of his little brother Alphonso’s plans. Every morsel he ate and every drop he drunk passed his taster first, therefore poison was out of the question. A blade would end the mans life. He would strike before banquet, planting a knife in his back when the hall was full of other people. Surely none of the nobles would notice a lowly servant simply passing by. While the nobles would accuse eachother of the deed he would slip out of the castle. Today would be the last day of King Sancho’s life…
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  13. #33
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    Not a Bellido Dolfos this time, I see...
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  14. #34
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter VIII: Betrayal in Burgos


    Burgos – December 10, 1072

    Rodrigo Diaz de Vilar, better known as El Cid, really couldn’t understand his liege some times. Even now, at war with both Navarre and Aragon in a confusing threeway war, he preferred his favorite general at court instead of leading his troops. Probably to remind some wayward nobles that the king held the allegiance of one of the best generals in Christianity. The Cid sighed, giving his king victories would be a better way to impress his enemies.
    Nevertheless, he moved towards the great hall, where all the nobles of the realm where gathering for the banquet. The hall was already filled with nobles, wellwishers and other sychophants, while servants where crawling around trying to supply all of them with large supplies of wine. In the centre of the hall stood his king, receiving the best wishes of everyone. Deep inside, the Cid was disgusted with all these ‘men’ present. Weak nobles, all afraid of losing favour or that their neighbour might gain a bit more favour than them. All while the few nobles with backbone where actually fighting for the realm. It would be a very, very long day amongst these people indeed.
    Suddenly the Cid noticed something odd. One of the servants was emptyhanded and walking towards the king rather quickly. Why would such a man not carry a mug of wine amidst these thirsty nobles? Perhaps because he had other things to do with his hands: like carying a dagger? What should he do? The man was dangerously close to the king too.
    El Cid knew the safety of his liege was paramount. He drew his blade, the famed sword Tizona, and knocked some nobles out of his way. He saw the ‘servant drawing a blade, almost cloe enough to stab the king in the back. In this crown nobody would notice a skilled assasin. The screamed out to the king trying to reach him in the crowded hall. Would he reach his liege in time?

    A flash of steel, a spray of blood. All was over.

    The would-be assasin lay dead on the floor at the hall. El Cid saw the king looking at him in disbelief.

    “You Rodrigo, of all people. You tried to kill me, didn’t you…”
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  15. #35
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Sancho, as clever as usual...
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Sancho, as clever as usual...
    Even alternative history has its limits. An effective Sancho would be one of those . He will be repayed for his insight by his brother later on.
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    Assorted trophies: - Fan of the week (4-4-2010) - WritAAR of the week (18-10-2009) - Character writer of the week, (25-10-2009), - Character writer of the week (23-5-2010) - Joined first place AARland choice Favorite Comedy AAR 2009 (Q4) - Character writer of the week (11-4-2010) - Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomenesss

  17. #37
    Roi-Chevalier Drake Rlugia's Avatar
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    Wonderful AAR, I love the pictures, and Barcelona is one of my favorite dynasties to play. Who can resist the Catalans? I'll be following.

  18. #38
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter IX: All in the family

    Zaragoza - Februari 4, 1074

    It had been a while since Pedro Berenguer had seen his father, the Duke Ramon Berenguer. Ever since the end of the war almost two years ago his father had taken residence in the newly conquered Zaragoza. Pedro immediately noticed the obvious Moorish character of the city, when he heard the Moorish call for prayer. Even if some of the largest Mosques had been converted to churches, the Duke had allowed the Moors in the city their creed, if they argeed to swear fealty to him. The pragmatic Pedro saw the wisdom of this move, denying the Moors the right to worship would mean trouble.
    However, Pedro was not here for sightseeing. His father had called the most important nobles of the county to Zaragoza. Pedro knew his father would only call them for one reason only, to continue the reconquista of Iberia.

    Pedro was greeted at the Aljafería, the former palace of the Emir, by his father himself. Their relation had been rocky, especially after his father divorcing his mother to marry that French witch Almodis.


    Contemporary photo of the Aljafería, the palace used by the Duke of Barcelona

    “Pedro, welcome to Zaragoza.”

    “Greetings father, I came as fast I could.”

    “And I thank you for it. You probably know why I asked you to come.”

    “I guess so father. With the Emirs of Toledo and Badajoz tearing eachother apart, we have a chance to finish of Zaragoza.”

    “Indeed Pedro, especially with the Jimenids distracted for the moment. Sancho of Navarre has conquered Aragon, claiming himsellf king of both, reducing the king of Aragon to count of Jaca. His cousin Sancho of Castille has been a paranoid wreck after El Cid tried to assasinate him. He distrusts both his brother Alfonso and Sancho of Navarre-Aragon.”

    “Speaking of the Cid, is it true the Emir of Zaragoza employs him now?”

    “Aye, the infidel harbours the traitor ever since his escape from Burgos. He is the only reason Zaragoza still is an independent Emirate. But that’s why I have summoned you here Pedro. Only the victor of Lleira would stand a chance against him.”

    Pedro didn’t know what to thing of these words. Was his father trying to flatter him? No matter what, as Alférez of Barcelona he would beat anyone for the Duchy. Even if it was the legendary Cid.

    #####################


    Who's who in Barcelona?

    Besides Pedro, Duke Ramon Berenguer had twin sons with his second wife Almodis. Ramon Berenguer had developed in an incompetent fat good-for-nothing, wasting the money their father allotted to him. His marriage to Uracca Jimenez, the chronically depressed daughter of the former king of Aragon, meant that the fat slob had a claim to a throne too.

    The other twin Berenguer Ramon was even worse. He was a vicious little man vying for power. No act was too low for him to gain more power. His wife, Anna Doukas, added a Byzantine touch to his petty plots.

    Besides his three sons the four Counts of the Duchy each wielded quite some influence:

    The most influential of these counts wasBernat de Besalu, the Count of Albarracin. Bernats a and well respected military leader as well as a friend and brother-in-law of the Dukes eldest son. However, the death of his wife Agnes, the daughter of the Duke of had changed him. The once aimable and easygoing Bernat had become a thoroughly bitter man. Strange rumours of heresy had started to surround him too.

    Hug d’Empuries, Count of Empuries and son of old man Ponç, and Guislabert, the new Count of Rosello are both rather unremarkable and inexperienced rulers. The only thing worth noting is the feud both men develloped with Ermengol od Urgell.

    Ermengol de Barcelona-Urgell, Count of Urgell is the rising star among the nobles of Barcelona. The boy has just turned 18, but his quick wit and sharp tongue had made him many enemies already.


    Ermengol de Barcelona-Urgell, Count of Urgell

    These where the men that would lead Barcelona in the coming wars…

    #####################
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

    Some old (and sadly abandoned) works:
    The plot against Britain - a Kaiserreich mystery,Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona ,A Short History of the German Empire
    Assorted trophies: - Fan of the week (4-4-2010) - WritAAR of the week (18-10-2009) - Character writer of the week, (25-10-2009), - Character writer of the week (23-5-2010) - Joined first place AARland choice Favorite Comedy AAR 2009 (Q4) - Character writer of the week (11-4-2010) - Lord Strange Cookie of British Awesomenesss

  19. #39
    Earl of Groan Tufto's Avatar
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    That is one psycopathic kid.
    The Iron Horde: A Kirghiz Narrative AAR My Inkwell.

    "There is nowhere else. You will only tread a circle, Titus Groan. There's not a road, not a track, but it will lead you home. For everything comes to Gormenghast."

  20. #40
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    Just wanted to comment that I've been following this story pretty closely, if anonymously.

    1) Hey, use the pics that fit your AAR. If I've used them, you're using them in your own way for your own characters. Go Bernat!

    2) You have lovely pic selection...me like Ermengol <3
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