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Thread: Reconquista! - the exploits of the House Barcelona

  1. #41
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tufto View Post
    That is one psycopathic kid.
    Well, you will be hearing from him quite a bit for a while. And indeed, Ermengol is not a nice man.

    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    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
    Thanks General_BT. I must admit that it was your excellent AAR that made me try CK myself. I liked the idea of using pictures from well known media to capture the feel and personality of a character.

    Poor Bernat is getting a little attention at the moment, but he will return as an important character. He will set something in motion lateron... Gotta love spoilers .
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  2. #42
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter X: Zaragoza delendam est, part one

    Qal'at Ayyub (Calatayud) - November 9, 1074

    It had been since Ramon Berenguer, Duke of Barcelona, had received his last dream. However, this night he had received a dream once more. It it he had seen a magnificent cathedral, fallen to ruin but slowly being rebuild by a man clad in red and yellow. Red and yellow where the colours of his House. He had seen this image before in his first dream, the dream that made his start his reconquista of Spain for the church. However, this time things where a bit different. A young girl, not older that 13 years or so, approached and spoke to him directly.

    “Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona, the rebuilding of the cathedral will be continued, rest assured. Just remember, the easy path is not always without its costs.”

    After speaking these words the girl disappeared in a flash of light, leaving a dove behind. What did this dream mean? Who was she? Suddenly the Duke remembered. A young girl, a dove, could it be? Was it Saint Eulalia?


    Saint Eulalia, a young girl tortured to death for refusing to renounce her faith. After her beheading a dove flew from her neck. She is the patronsaint of the city of Barcelona.


    The Duke’s contemplation was broken when Bernat de Besalu entered his tent, probably to bring him the dailly updates on the siege. The Count of Albarracin assisted him in the war against Emir Ahmad abu Dja’far al-Muqtadi of Zaragoza. After losing his capital the Emir had fled into the mountains, to the mighty fortress of Calatayud. The fort and the city of Tarragona where all that was left of the Emirate of Zaragoza. The Emirs Toledan allies weren’t of much help either, being at war with the Emirates of Badajoz and Seville. Just a small force was assisting the traitorous El Cid in the defence of Tarragona. Yet a man of his skill just needed a small force anyway. The Duke just hoped that his son Pedro and Count Ermengol where up to the task of defeating this man.

    Bernat had started his reports, even while the Dukes mind was still elsewhere. He had heard the same reports for many months. The baggagetrain was raided again by Moorish cavalry, the troops where growing a bit more restless with the day, being mostly bored with sieging. However, the last part of the report was interesting. Apparently Bernat had been approached by a man representing a powerful Moorish noble. The man offered to open the citygates in exchange for him keeping his position, an offer almost too good to be true.

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

    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 10, 1074

    The Ebro was glistening in the morning sun, Pedro Berenguer could see the river clear as day from where his troops had set up camp. Only the city of Tarragona and the troops of El Cid stood between them and the majestic river. The realm had come a long way since the desperate war against Toledo a few years ago. Pedro’s thought of his wife Estefania in Barcelona, and of his son Alfons, five years old by now. One day little Alfons would be Duke of this realm, so Pedro had to work hard for his sake too. He knew for sure the little boy would be a fine ruler someday. He was already speaking better than most five-year olds and his mother swore that her son would learn to read.
    Pedro’s peaceful thoughts of his family where disturbed by the arrival of Count Ermengol. Normally Pedro didn’t care about the people who we worked with, mostly because he disliked the vast majority of them anyway, but he held a special dislike for this boy. Howevver, few could deny the boy’s skill and insight. It had been Ermengol who had suggested to leave some of the Duchies best troops and cruelest barons in Zaragoza, to remind the Moorish levies fighting for the Duchy where their loyalties should lie.

    “Greetings, Lord Alférez. Looking at the battlefield are we?”

    “Just gazing at the river Ermengol. I have prepared for battle a long time ago.”

    “Perhaps I might suggest you update your plans a bit, mylord. El Cid will not fall for the same trick you normally use in the field.”

    Pedro didn’t like the condecending tone of the boy, eleven years his junior, but he knew what he meant. His favourite tactic on the battlefield was to engage and pin down the enemy infantry with his own, and then exploit his superior cavalry to smash into the enemies exposed flank. The Cid would know this and would try to prevent him from doing so.


    Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, the legendary El Cid. Even in Moorish service he remained a legendary figure among Castilians and Catalans alike.


    Pedro gave a gruff answer, not wishing to waste words on the boy, “I am working on it, Ermengol. Rest assured, I do not plan to lose anytime soon. I will find a way to beat him.”

    Ermengol rolled his eyes, “Of course mylord, I just hope you will at least hear me out.”

    “And why should I suddenly take advice from a man who has never had a command? Or been in a fight for that matter?”

    “Some of us prefer to rely on our brains. Reading the old Roman writings can be quite enlightening.”

    The boy sounded annoyed at Pedro questioning his skill, and pointed out that he could read while Pedro, as most nobles, was illiterate. Most man wouldn’t dare use such language against the next Duke, but Ermengol didn’t hold back one bit. It was this kind of behavior that had led to the feud between him and the Counts of Empuries and Rosello. Pedro however tolerated the boys impudence, knowing that sometimes the boy spewed brilliance instead of muck from his foul mouth.

    “What would a learned man like you suggest then?”

    A thin smile formed on the lips of Ermengol, “Ever heard of a battle called Cannae?”
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  3. #43
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    Mmmh, that looks like an incoming slaughter of the el Cid's army. Interesting.
    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Mmmh, that looks like an incoming slaughter of the el Cid's army. Interesting.
    Don't underestimate the Cid just yet. He too has heard of Cannae.

    I hope to have an update tonight.
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  5. #45
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    Book I: Ramon Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter XI: Zaragoza delendam est, part two


    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 09.00

    Pedro watched the sun rise over banks the mighty Ebro, a magnificent sight. Too bad that this peaceful morning would be shattered by violence and bloodshed very soon. Today he would face Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeador, himself. Young Ermengol stood beside him, looking even more displeased than normal. Pedro knew why. Yesterday the boy had explained the battleplan of the great Hannibal at Cannae to him, fully expecting Pedro to copy this plan. The plan was to stretch the light Moorish levies into a long line, deceptively weak in the centre. The opponent would try to take advantage of this ‘weakness’. The lines would then cuve back, overwhelming the opponents from all sides and negating the opponents superiority in infantry. While the infantry was caught up like this the cavalry would beat of the lighter cavalry of the opponent, and could prepare a devastating charge in the back.
    If the plan was succesful, Ermengol could claim praise for his stratagem. Pedro was sure the boy hoped to prove that his brains where superior to Pedro’s brawn. However, even if he wasn’t as well schooled in the exploits of the ancient Romans as Ermengol was, he had the experience and knowledge Ermengol lacked. For example, he knew the Cid himself was a student of ancient Rome and as such would see through the trap. Therefore he had changed Ermengols plan significantly, a trap in a trap.

    **********



    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 10.00

    Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar overlooked the field of battle. The Catalans had already entered the field. From the look of it most of the troops where Moorish levies, forced to fight for their new overlord. The Cid spotted some Christian heavy infantry too. There was just one thing that bothered him, where was the formidable Catalan cavalry? Decades of warfare had given rise to plenty of skilled knights and horsemen among the Christian states in the North. He knew Pedro Berenguer wouldn’t enter the field without a large contignent of them. But wherever they where, the Cid had prepared himself. A band of Castillian knights, forced into exile by that idiot Sancho too, had joined him for the battle. He would fight fire with fire.
    A Moorish officer approached his position: “Sayyid, the infantry is ready to advance. The enemies center is looking particulary weak. Should we strike there?”.


    Rodrigo smiled, so that was the Catalans plan. “Certainly not, we wouldn’t want our opponent to succeed, do we? Strike at their right flank, at the Christian infantry. When the Catalans break, your Moorish brothers are free to stop fighting for them.”

    “As you command Sayyid. If God wilst it, we shall be victorious today.”


    **********


    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 10.30

    Pedro saw the Moorish infantry moving towards his right flank, as he expected. The double lureof a clumsily weakened center and the heavy infantry was succesfull. It also meant the Cid was underestimating him, seeing him as a one-trick pony. It was the same mistake Ermengol made when suggesting the plan to him.

    “Ermengol, prepare to move your horsemen to the left. Make sure the Cid sees you.”

    The boy looked even more displeased now. His men had to act as a decoy, while Pedro’s knights would gain all the glory. However, that was not Pedro’s intention, th humiliation of the boy was just a bonus. His horsemen from Urgell where simply too green to give the important task he had in mind for his cavalry.


    A Jinete, light cavalryman. Lightly armored an carrying a javelin. The Northern Christian states made extensive use of these men to bolster their forces.

    **********


    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 10.40

    The Cid saw his troops marching towards the Catalan lines. Obviously the troops where too stretched out to truly hold the line, especially the center looked weak. However, Pedro Berenguer wouldn’t been the kind of fool to leave such holes. Instead he was the kind of fool who hoped his opponent would fall for a simple trick. The Cid knew better than that. However, even attacking a flank meant that his forces would be vulnerable for Pedro’s trademark timed charge. The Cid knew too that his own cavalry would be no match for the Catalan knights. His Castillians simply had to harrass them long enough to buy the infantry time to win the battle. He had noticed a cloud of dust on the Catalan leftflank. Smart move, to let them take the long way around the battlelines since nobody would expect that.

    “To the left flank! Keep them away from our infantry!”


    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 11.00

    The battle was in full swing. Pedro saw his heavy infantry, all hardy veterans from Lleira, hold of the tides of Moors. As expected the levies from Zaragoza held the flanks of his men, but lacked the enthousiasm to truly turn the tide in the battle against his brethren. Men from all sides fell as the battle raged on, Catalan, Arab, Christian, Muslim, in death hey where all equal. Pedro hoped his men could hold the lines a bit longer.

    **********


    Bank of the Ebro, near Tarragona - November 11, 1074 - 16.00

    It all happened like in a dream, a very bad dream, a horrible nightmare in fact. He should have known, he really should have known. He, the great Cid Campeador made the mistakes of a simple squire. The weak center, the apparent lack of cavalry, the not-so very well hidden cloud of dust. Cheap tricks, all of them, but he had fallen for them. The battle had gone so well too.
    The Catalans where about to break, being overwhelmed by his brave men, while his opponents Moorish levies had fought without any true conviction. His cavalry had held the Catalan horsemen away too. The battle was almost his, untill THAT moment. The moment when he heard the trample of horses behind him. Obviously the men had marched from before dawn, to attack him in the rear without him seeing them before. He had to moun his horse and run for his very life. With both his infantry and cavalry engaged, there was noone to stop these knights. No one.

    Now he, El Cid himself stood before the Catalan commanders, being caught while trying to rally his troops. A knight had caught him offguard, knocking him out with the broad side of his sword. He was sure the man could retire off the sum his liege would pay him for this feat. The Cid knew this could be his last our. He didn’t expect any mercy. He bowed to his knee and presented his sword to the man that had defeated him. That fool Sancho might have destroyed his good name, atleast the world would now of his horourable surrender.

    “Lord Pedro Ramon, Alférez of Barcelona. Hereby, I, Rodrigo, lord of Vivar present my sword to you. As you are the first man to best me in battle. May it serve you better than it served me.”

    “Please stand, Lord Rodrigo de Vivar. Only the truly vanquished bow to the victor. This battle knows neither. I failed in my plans, losing too many man to your assault. You have successfully defended your city, as I lack the men to siege it.”

    “Still, please accept this sword. Even if your victory was Pyrrhic, it is a victory still.”

    “Then I will not insult your honour by refusing your gift, lord Vivar and I hope to wield it with the same skill and audacity as its owner. Now lord Vivar, you and your men are free to go, as long as you swear to never hold a sword against my House again.”

    The Cid was stunned, this man not only rejected the glory of victory, but he would let him go too?

    “Mylord, as you know I am wanted for attempting to slay the king of Castille. Why let me go?”

    A smile formed on the face of the Alférez: “The men of Barcelona know better than to trust Jimenid slander. Rest assured lord Vivar, history will know the true version of your accomplishments.”



    Tizona, the sword once held by both El Cid Campeador and Pedro Berenguer. It is now a national treasure.

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


    The city of Calatayud was Moorish no longer. Duke Ramon Berenguer couldn’t believe the ease with which the city had fallen after the month long siege. Just yesterday , the same day he had a dream send by St Eulalia, a Moorish noble had offered to open the gates of the cityfortress, in exchange for keeping his wealth and position. It was an offer too good to be true, yet here he was standing in the city that had defied him for so long. The noble had opened the gates in the early morning. His troops quickly used their numbers to secure the city. The Moors fought bravely, but the city fell soon. Only a handfull of soldiers and citizens where still resisting. The fall of the city had to be divine interference, no other scenario was possible. The Duke walked proudly through the fortress that was his now, even if Bernat had warned him not to. Many people. The Duke had dismissed these words. The heavens had given him this city, surely he would be safe.

    Suddenly the Dukes thoughts drove off, to the dream he had yesterday. The grand cathedral, the man clad in Barcelonid heraldry, the little girl that happened to be Saint Eulelia. The words the girl had spoken:

    “Just remember, the easy path is not always without its costs.”

    The rest all happened in a flash. The Duke saw an old woman in Moorish garb on a rooftop, he had heard Bernat scream out to him, he saw the Moor throwing a rooftile from the rooftop. He had been unable to dodge it. Some soldiers tried to reach the woman, while the Duke saw Bernat running to his side.

    “Tell Pedro, the easy path is not without its costs…”

    Then all turned black. Calatayuds capture had been costly indeed.

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


    And so ends the rule of Duke Ramon Berenguer. Will Pedro follow in his fathers footsteps, trying to reconquer Spain for the Church, or will he choose his own path? Find out in Book II soon.
    A cookie to anyone who knows whose death inspired me for the Dukes end.

    Also, I tried to make the battlefield passage look more dynamic by switching viewpoints. Do you all like it, or is it a bit too chaotic? Please let me know.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  6. #46
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    The battle narration was very good, so don't worry.

    Let's hope that the next duke manage to swing El Cid to his side...
    Last edited by Kurt_Steiner; 03-04-2010 at 09:50.
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  7. #47
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    El Cid seems popular these days. Two El Cid AARs at the same time in CK? Anyway, I hadn't really looked at your AAR before, except diagonally on occasion, but I must say it is a well written piece.


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  8. #48
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    The battle narration was very good, so don't worry.

    Let's hope that the next duke manage to swing El Cid to his side...
    Thanks, really worrie the scene was a bit too chaotic this way. The Cid fighting for greater Catalunya? That would cause quite a stirr...

    Quote Originally Posted by Qorten View Post
    El Cid seems popular these days. Two El Cid AARs at the same time in CK? Anyway, I hadn't really looked at your AAR before, except diagonally on occasion, but I must say it is a well written piece.
    Thanks Qorten and welcome aboard. Also, you can't really ignore the Cid when writing a 1066 AAR set in Spain. That would be inexcusable .
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  9. #49
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    Im Memoriam Duke Ramon Berenguer




    Excerpt from the Oxford Encyclopedia of Iberian History

    Ramon Berenguer ‘the Old’ de Barcelona, (1023-1074).

    Ramon Berenguer was born in 1023 as the son of Berenguer Ramon, Count of Barcelona and Sancha Sanchez. He became the Count of Barcelona after the death of his father in 1035. He married Isabelle Trencavel from this union his heir Pedro Ramon was born. Until the events of 1066 his reign remained uneventful with the exception of two events. First of them was changing his official title from Comitus Barcinonenses to Dux Barcinonenses, making him a Duke effectively. Second was causing a scandal by abducting and marrying Almodis de la Manche in 1053, while both he and Almodis where still legally married. In reaction the pope excommunicated both untill 1056. Almodis would give birth to the twins Ramon Berenguer, Berenguer Ramon and daughters Agnes and Sancha.

    The Dukes life took a major turn after 1066, when the Duke claimed to receive the Divine assignment to start war against the remaining Muslim states in Iberia. The Dukes campaign against the Sheikhdom of Albarracin led to the 1st Zaragozan War. The War ended after the victory of the Barcelonid forces over those of the Toledan Emir and the succesful siege of Zaragoza in 1068. The conquest of the large and prosperous city of Zaragoza laid the foundation for the future successes of the House of Barcelona. Ramon Berenguer provoked the 2nd Zaragozan War in early 1074, by marching on the Emirs stronghold at Calatayud. It was during the capture of this city on 10 october of that year that the Duke suffered a fatal headwound after parading through the captured stronghold. Ironically, the Duke died on the same day as his son and heir Pedro Berenguer won the legendary battle at the Ebro, thus ending the 2nd Zaragozan War.
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  10. #50
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    Book II: Pedro Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter I: The new Duke.


    Barcelona 1076

    Somehow Pedro found himself in the chapel of his keep again. He still remembered how his sister would scold him for missing church when he was young. These days he would go to the chapel voluntarily. He had to come to enjoy the calm of the small chapel, especially in these hectic days. Every day he was beset by nobles, merchants, familymembers and others who hoped to profit from the Duke. Luckily for him Estefania took care of most of the financial matters, leaving Pedro to deal with mainly his family and the restless nobles. Especially Ermengol was troublesome, often ‘forgetting’ to attend meetings or to forget paying his tithe to him. Pedro suspected that him questioning the boys intelligence at the Ebro was the root of the problem. He sighed, Ermengol would surely be trouble in the future, especially after Guislabert d’Empuries, Count of Rosello’s convenient demise. Officially Guislabert died after falling drunk from his castlewall. A strange case since Pedro knew Guislabert detested alcohol. This meant both Empuries and Rosello where now in the hands of inexperienced and incompetent hands.
    The only nobleman he could rely on was Bernat de Besalu, now Count of both Albarracin and Calatayud. However, Bernat had been struck with several tragedy’s in his personal life. Bernat had almost found happiness again after the death of his beloved Agnes, by remarrying a local noblewoman named Justa. However, the loss of their infant son had devastated the couple. Justa had totally lost her mind, while dark rumours started to surround Bernat. He had started to surround himself with strange advisors, possibly Cathar apostates. Sometimes he would lock himself in his chapel for days. Pedro hoped his friend would recover, but the loss of two wives and a son looked to be too heavy a blow for his friend.


    Bernat de Besalu, Count of Albarracin and Calatayud. Pedro Berenguer was deeply troubled about the news of his friends great personal loss and slipping grip on his sanity.


    “Lord father, mother asks for your presence.”

    Young Alfons had entered the chapel. The boy was just seven years old, but already showing great promise. Pedro was especially proud that his son was able to read and write, something he himself was unable to. Estefania was even starting to teach the boy Latin.

    “No need to be so formal around your father in private boy.”

    “But mother told me to always be polite. People might think bad of you otherwise.”

    Pedro smiled, that was Estefania for you. Always thinking of the little things he forgot. His son would become a good diplomat, the talent he lacked most.

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


    To say that Anna Doukas, wife of Berenguer Ramon, disliked Barcelona was an understatement. She absolutely hated the cesspool that was Barcelona. Compared to the beauty of Constantinople the city was just a pathetic little hamlet. She still remembered the day that she was sentenced to living on the edge of civilisation by her brother, emperor Michael. She had only spoken the truth, calling her brother a stuttering fool who was destroying the Empire. Her brother responded by telling her that he had accepted a request for marriage by the Duke of Barcelona. The insult was even greater when she found out that she was not to marry the Duke or his heir, but the Duke’s second son! She, the sister of the Emperor marry a pathetic Latin nobleman!


    Anna Doukas, sister of Emperor Michael VII Doukas and wife of Berenguer Ramon de Barcelona.


    However, Anna knew she would get nowhere just lamenting her miserable fate. If she had to stay in this little Latin Duchy, she would do so by holding some power at the least. She, an Imperial Princess would not be cheated out of her rightfull place in this world. At first she had hoped to drive a wedge between the Duke, one of the few competent Latins, and his wife. However, that fool chose to remain faithful to a low noble over having an Imperial princess! Angered at this insult she decided that then her husband would have to gain a position of power. Her first step was a meeting with the Cardinal send by the Pope to build up the church in the reconquered areas of Iberia. Knowing those cardinals she had best wear a low cut dress…
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  11. #51
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Anna, Anna, why wasting time and energy lamenting if there is a handsome...

    Wait, there is still nine centuries for me to be born...

    Keep lamenting Anna. Sorry...


    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
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  12. #52
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Anna, Anna, why wasting time and energy lamenting if there is a handsome...

    Wait, there is still nine centuries for me to be born...

    Keep lamenting Anna. Sorry...


    Don't worry Kurt. Her genes will live on in the region, just wait a few centuries .

    On a more serious note, I will be away next week so the next update will be the week thereafter. It can either feature Anna Doukas weaving her web or old favourite Ermengol being pissed off and backstabbing people. There's also a new character I'm thinking to include, who will feature in some old fashioned court intruige later-on. Just take your pick.

    Just too many people with high intruige in this game . For those preferring battle, don't worry. Pedro Berenguer preferrs to settle things with steel instead of petty plots...
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  13. #53

  14. #54
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    I have just caught up with the last page and a half.

    I hope El Cid returns later on.

    Also I want Anna in the next update.
    Anna is quite popular, wonder why . Because I'm in a good mood she will feature in the following update. Even threw in a pic...

    I have some plans with the Cid, just don't expect him to find an evil hoarde of doom to take revenge...
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  15. #55
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Book II: Pedro Berenguer de Barcelona

    Chapter II: Of scheming at present and of days to come.


    1077 - Barcelona

    She didn’t think it was possible, but she still could learn to hate Barcelona more and more with time. The stink of the fish being sold at the markets, the mud of the unpaved roads, the undignified sound of the Latin rabble and their crude language. Yet she knew she couldn’t return to the beauty of Constantinople as long as her brother ruled there. She would have to work hard for her status in this Latin cesspool. After the birth of her son Jaume, or Ioannis as she called him, she knew that she had to double her effords. The boy carried Imperial blood, he should have a better fate than just being a minor noble.
    Her first steps had been to gain some support with the church. The conquests of the late Duke needed to be integrated in the Latin church of the apostate Bishop of Rome. This meant that there was a chance to gain influence with that church. She had met with the cardinal in charge of setting up the new bishoprics and had found the man less than resistant to one of the seven sins. She smiled, the man had been more experienced than she expected from a clergyman. Nevertheless, her husband Berenguer Ramon would be the nobleman the church would ask to oversee the missionary work in the newly conquered area’s. She was sure plenty of the rich Moorish families in Zaragoza where more than willing to pay for some leniency. Even in backward Latin countries money made the world go round.


    Anna Doukas, a woman determined to do anything to gain power for her family.


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


    1077 - Léon, Capital of the Kingdom of Léon

    King Alfonso of Léon was studying news his informants sended to him from all around Europe. Most of the news was beneficial for him. The Irish barbarians had chosen him as their High King in exchange for sending a handfull of knights and some alms to them. He doubted these men ever could be of use to him, but one never knew for certain. At the very least an extra crown would give him some more status.
    The news from Iberia was to his advantage too. The Duke of Galicia, his brother Garcia, had offered him vassalage. Something he would accept after a properly humiliating ceremony. The Moors of Badajoz where trashing the Duchy of Porto, making it probable for the proud Duke to bend his knee too very soon. The ‘War of the Three Sancho’s’ ended too, with his idiot brother Sancho of Castille losing many experienced men and gaining nothing. King Sancho of Navarre was crowned king of Aragon too. Two crowns for a kingdom smaller than the Catalan Duchy.
    It where the Catalans that worried the king the most. They had doubled their Duchy in size in only a few years time. Even the death of Duke Ramon Berenguer hadn’t weakened their position, as the new Duke had proven himself as able as a ruler as on the battlefield. The fact that the man was the most respected commander in Christendom didn’t help either. Something had to be done about those damned Catalans. Fortunately Alfonso kne just what to do. He would destroy them from the inside out…

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


    1077 - Barcelona, Chapel of the Ducal Palace

    Duke Pedro Berenguer found himself in the chapel once again. Sometimes he came there to pray, moreoften he used this quiet place to find solace from the rigors of politics. A steady stream of ambassadors from all around Iberia, France and Italy had taken residence in the city. Each of them hoping to gain the favour of the Hero of the Ebro. The sudden rise to prominence of his Duchy, as well as his own military reputation, made Barcelona everyone’s favourite new friend. He had met most of them in person, giving vague promises of friendship in exchange for empty offers to assist in the reconquista of Iberia. Only the French ambassador had overstayed his welcome, by suggesting that the Spanish Marches still owed vassalage to the King of France. Feh, what had that fool of a Philippe ever done for them? If the King of France wished for his friendship, he was better of sending some less ill-tempered servants. The time Barcelona bowed to such men was long passed.

    Pedro suddenly heard a soft tapping sound in the chapel. He looked over his shoulder, but saw nothing. Did someone enter the chapel? Pedro looked back at the altar, only to suddenly notice a young woman standing near the altar. The woman was young, about 15 or 16 or so. She was dressed in obviously foreign clothing. Her eyes where black as coals and her skin tinted, suggesting Moorish descent.

    “Who are you girl. I specifically forbde anyone from entering this chapel. Explain yourself!”

    “Excuse me mylord, I didn’t mean to intrude. My name is Busilla, servant of the ambassador send by Robert, Duke of Apulia.”

    Pedro remembered the ambassador. A tall and blonde Norman, hoping to gain his aide for some campaign in Sicily from a fellow crusader against the Moor. Pedro knew a man as shrewd as Robert Guiscard wouldn’t expect him to fall for that thin ruse, so the ambassador was most likely send to find out some information that sly fox could use. However, knowing who the girl was didn’t explain her presence here, in a well guarded private chapel.

    “I apologise for my rudeness trespassing here. It’s just that I heard that a magnificent altarpiece of Saint Eulelia was present in this chapel. I merely wished to see it."

    “Curiousity can be quite dangerous girl. My guards had the orders to leave none through, and they are good at their job. How did you enter anyway?”

    The look on the girls face changed. Pedro saw a spark of fire in her dark eyes, and even noticed a small smirk on her face. She obviously knew the chapel would be guarded.

    “You probably noticed my parentage from the colour of my skin mylord. My father was a Moorish knight, and my mother a Norman noblewomen who died giving birth to me, or so I am told. My Moorish decent made me an outcast at court. Having to hide my presence constantly made me very good at being unsees when I wish to be so.”

    “I didn’t ask for your life story girl. What do you do here?”

    “My talents make me adept at finding secrets of sorts, mylord. That fool of an ambassador thought to find out some by letting me follow you. However, I chose to reveal myself.”

    “So you are you a spy or a thief, girl?”

    “I prefer to call myself a scholar of sorts. Since like the scholar I only strive towards knowing the truth. However, just as the scholar I require patronage for my work. Some lords are better patrons than others.”

    Pedro didn’t know what to think of the woman before him. She dryly talked about being a spy like a priest would talk about the Lord. Not only that, she even offered to work for him? Pedro was completely lost for words. The young woman noticed her forwardness had baffled the Duke.

    “I see you are reluctant to take me up on my offer. A smart choice, seeing as you have no way to assess either my skills or my loyalty towards you. Therefore let me offer this. My current master, the ambassador, will stay in Barcelona untill he is called back by the Duke. Untill then I will gather information on your behalf. Should your lordship values the information, please leave some coins on the altar. When you are assured of my loyalty, we can perhaps discuss a more permanent partnership. I you will excuse me.”

    The girl graciously slipped passed Pedro without as much as making a sound. When Pedro followed her into the hallway she was already gone. The next day Pedro found a small parchment with a message on the altar. He left a few coins on the altar as payment.

    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
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  16. #56

  17. #57
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Alfonso is asking for suffering an accident...
    Fan número uno de Ailee para el resto de la eternidad y un poco más.
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  18. #58
    Blasted Conniving Roman General_BT's Avatar
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    DAmn Doukids! Always scheming and plotting and...
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  19. #59
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    El Cid is one of my favourite historical figures and I approve of this AAR. Well written, well portrayed and well done!
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  20. #60
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy4ever View Post
    Being bribed with sex by attractive Greek noblewomen. Life is good when your a Medieval Cardinal.
    The man has certainly received an interesting post. I'm sure he thanks the Holy Father dailly .

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Alfonso is asking for suffering an accident...
    What would be the fun in that? Believe me, providence (the game) has bestowed a fate worse than a quick death on a proud man like Alfonso. Keep reading this AAR to find out .

    Quote Originally Posted by General_BT View Post
    DAmn Doukids! Always scheming and plotting and...
    Well, a Greek by any different name will still doublecross everyone he or she needs to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    El Cid is one of my favourite historical figures and I approve of this AAR. Well written, well portrayed and well done!
    I am glad you like my AAR. I do not consider myself to be a particularly talented writer, but I try to present an interesting an historically plausible tale. Glad many people seem to like my effords.

    About the Cid: I must admit to finding it hard to handle well known historical figures like the Cid, or Alfonso for that matter. They are both too well known to simply ignore their historical impact.

    I hope to have an update ready this friday. It will deal with:
    - Busilla working hard to earn the trust of the Duke.
    - Tensions are rising on the southern border.
    - Bernat de Besalu returns.
    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:
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