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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TheButterflyComposer

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The rise and rise of the sultanate, but can't keep a monarch for very long.
 
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Egypt is still Christian, and the Sultan is dead!

Does this death automatically end the war for Aragon?

Also, those Mongols are probably more threatening than you think. And with the Seljuks so weak, they might be able to sweep to the Holy Land and Egypt. If the Crusaders ally with them rather than resisting... well, North Africa isn’t that large. And if North Africa is overrun, the Hayyids are next...
 
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Killed in the moments of triumph...
 
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Egypt is still Christian, and the Sultan is dead!

Does this death automatically end the war for Aragon?

Also, those Mongols are probably more threatening than you think. And with the Seljuks so weak, they might be able to sweep to the Holy Land and Egypt. If the Crusaders ally with them rather than resisting... well, North Africa isn’t that large. And if North Africa is overrun, the Hayyids are next...
Nope, the war with Aragon will continue. But with 98% warscore I can't see it lasting much longer...
The Mongols certainly have the potential to be a major threat, only time will tell how far they get though.
 
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Chapter XI - Choosing your Battles

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Chapter XI - Choosing your Battles (1156-1167)

With the death of Sultan Ali in 1156, his 11-year-old son and heir Abu-Bakr was to take the throne. With the boy nowhere near the age of maturity, it was to Emir Mubashir III of Mallorca to rule in Abu-Bakr’s stead as regent. A trusted vassal of the Hayyids, unlike his father, Mubashir would surely be able to maintain stability within the realm until the Sultan is of age to rule personally. There was, of course, the slight issue of the Aragonese war. Sultan Ali had been so close to victory before his death, surely there was absolutely no way that this conflict could end in anything but a victory for the Hayyids? With King Juan on the verge of conceding defeat, one last battle would be the final nail in the coffin of this war. Under the command of Captain Amellal, the Hayyid army descended from the Pyrenees to crush the Aragonese army besieging Zaragoza in a last-ditch attempt to turn the tide against the Hayyids.

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But to the horror of regent Mubashir, the battle was lost. Despite outnumbering the enemy and engaging them from a superior position the Hayyids were driven back having lost a third of their army in the melee. Clearly the news of the death of Sultan Ali had affected the morale of the men. No matter, the Hayyid army would simply return once it had regrouped and reinforced. The long siege would sap the Aragonese of their strength, and news of the war’s progress was sure to lead to desertion. By June of 1157, Captain Amellal returned, this time more than outnumbering the Aragonese. Clearly now the war would come to its end.

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But no. The Aragonese once more held off against the Hayyids, killing nearly 5,000 loyal soldiers in the process. This was an absolute disaster. The loss of their Sultan clearly weighed on the minds of the men. Even worse, Captain Amellal had been killed in the onslaught. This great victory stirred the hearts and minds of the Christians. A counter-offensive was on. The French and Castilians would soon be back as well, whilst the Hayyid army lay in tatters.

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Discontent was brewing at court. Many called for regent Mubashir to be stripped of his position. A small few even whispered that the boy Abu-Bakr be deposed. One night a cloaked man slipped into the room of the boy-Sultan armed with a knife. It was only Abu-Bakr’s nightmares keeping him awake that alerted him to the man. The guards soon came rushing in to save the Sultan. No-one knew who the man was, or who had sent him, but the experience had scarred Abu-Bakr for life. The boy was now inseparable from his mother who constantly lectured the boy on keeping safe and ‘trusting in no-one but yourself’.



For regent Mubashir however, it was his own position on the line that caused him the most anguish. With the war effort collapsing, discontentment growing, and an assassination attempt on the Sultan; the regent hadn’t exactly endeared himself to either the court or the royal family. It was clear the regent couldn’t fight a battle on two fronts, and so Mubashir chose to fight the one at home. Peace was made with the Aragonese. A white peace may have been a humiliation for the Hayyids, but it bought Mubashir the stability he needed to control the situation at home.

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Though factions at court continued to whisper of plots to depose both regent and Sultan, Mubashir proved able to deftly manoeuvre the realm into a position of stability. A close eye was kept on Abu-Bakr, guards would never let the Sultan out their sight and so it came to be that the boy began his personal rule in 1161. His childhood experiences and the tutelage of his mother had led him to embrace a cold, shadowy personality. Abu-Bakr would rule through intrigue and fear.

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At the Sultan’s first official meeting of the great council, a number of matters were brought to the new ruler’s attention. In England, a Saxon rebellion had succeeded in deposing the House of Capet, installing Aelfstan II as the new ruler. In the process the Kingdom of León was also fully separated from the English crown, greatly weakening the Hayyid Sultanate’s immediate neighbours.

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There was also the matter of the pretenders to the throne, Isma’il and Mundir. Uncle Mundir had already been locked away in the dungeons under Sultan Ali during his final days due to his scheming against the crown, whilst Prince Ism’ail, the Sultan’s brother, was still far too young to pose any tangible threat towards Abu-Bakr’s rule. Though the council was quick to downplay the threat posed by the pretenders, so long as both lived they could be used against Abu-Bakr. Despite being in prison, Prince Mundir allegedly had many connections around court, particularly to the powerful Emir of Toledo. He had to go.

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A plot was hatched for an ‘escape attempt’ to take place within the dungeons, during which time Mundir would suffer a very unfortunate accident. A courtier named Raf, posing as one of Mundir’s supporters was planted inside the Prince’s cell, along with a key ‘stolen’ from the guards. On the night of May 6th, both men broke out of their cell but the guards just so happened to have overheard the two break out, slaughtering Mundir as he attempted to leave the castle.

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Though few suspected foul play, Abu-Bakr was not one to trust lightly. Whispers around court suggested that Raf had played a role in the Prince's demise. Without hesitation, Abu-Bakr ordered the man’s imprisonment and by the next day Raf had disappeared from sight having ‘left the court to return to his family in Murcia’. Unbeknownst to many Raf had now become the Sultan’s plaything regularly enduring beatings and torture whenever the Sultan desired to relieve some stress. Ultimately, the pain proved too much for the man, though at least Abu-Bakr’s secret was safe.

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Building upon his father’s work in botany and medicinal education, Sultan Abu-Bakr orders the creation of a grand university within the city of Córdoba. It was hoped that the site would attract many learned men from across the Islamic world, greatly benefiting the Hayyid realm through both prestige and technological research. Though it would take some time for the site to be completed, and a considerable sum of money.

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Efforts to fund the new site put a considerable strain on the realm’s budget leading the Sultan to raise taxes within the crownlands. The peasantry of Córdoba proved particularly resistant to these measures. Very few of them would be able to gain access to the new university so they saw no reason why they should be paying for it.

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In an effort to distract the peasantry from the increased tax burden, Abu-Bakr elected to start a holy war with the Kingdom of Galicia over the Emirate of Beja.
“These new taxes will go towards aiding the liberation of our brothers under the rule of the Kafir!” Belted the preachers the Sultan had sent across the provinces. That part of their money was being used in a righteous religious struggle proved convincing to at least part of the peasantry. Talk of open revolt had begun to die down since the announcement of war.

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Once more the Spanish kingdoms joined their brethren in an attempt to protect their land. In response, Abu-Bakr launched a spearhead campaign to quickly defeat the Galician army in the field before reinforcements from their allies could arrive.

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Though the small Galician army was quickly defeated, Castilian and Aragonese reinforcements were soon on the scene. Whilst the Castilians hit the Hayyid army at Coimbra the leadership of the Sultan proved enough to turn the tide of battle.

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The Sultan was proving to be a strong leader of men in the field of battle. The hours spent on battlefield drills with the mounted retinues was turning Abu-Bakr into quite the cavalry leader.

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With the aid of their Marrakshi allies, the final Aragonese army fell, marking the end of the war for Beja.

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With the capture of Beja, the Sheikh of Almada swears fealty to Sultan Abu-Bakr. The Hayyids were now the truly undisputed rulers of all Al-Andalus, no other independent Moorish realms existed.

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However, discontent was rising among the Christian rulers. The powerful and expanding Hayyid realm had become an object of considerable concern, threatening the borders of the Christian realm.

Led by the Grandmaster of the Knights Templar, Nicolas Dandolo, a number of Christian Kingdoms and Holy Orders had formed a coalition aimed at curtailing Hayyid expansion. Though this new alliance stated that its aim was to prevent expansion, the Sultan held a suspicion the bloc aimed to attack and divide his realm as soon as their strength allowed. In order to prevent this, the Sultan entered into diplomatic negotiations with his enemies.

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Though initially hostile to any talks, the necessity of security for both realms ultimately prevailed. The result was the Treaty of the Pyrenees, a landmark in Hayyid diplomacy and negotiation. The treaty stipulated that the Hayyid Sultan agreed not to attack the Christian Kingdoms of Iberia: Galicia, León, Castile, and Aragon. The Kingdom of France would act as the guarantor of the independence of these realms. Furthermore, the Hayyid Sultan would recognise their territorial integrity based upon the current boundaries as defined by the Sistema Central and Sistema Ibérico mountain ranges. In return the Christian realms agreed not to attack the Hayyid realm, though stopped short of recognising its territorial integrity. Though at face value the new treaty gave considerable concessions to the Christian Kingdoms it crucially provided Abu-Bakr with the security he needed to pursue his ambitions elsewhere without having to look over his shoulder at the new coalition.

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Modern textbook image depicting the boundaries following the Treaty of the Pyrenees

Despite this diplomatic victory, very bad news was about to reach the Sultan of two new major threats to the realm. The first was internal. A massive epidemic of consumption had begun to take hold in Andalusia. There was not a settlement or family left unaffected by the epidemic. The gates of the Sultan’s palace swung shut when reports suggested the airborne plague had reached Córdoba. The peasants would be on their own, but for how long would this last before the violence started?



A second threat had also appeared across the Pyrenees or rather re-appeared. The short-lived Saxon revival in England had been crushed and the Capets had regained control. King Gauthier of House Capet now ruled over both France and England, reuniting the Capetian Empire. But this time it was different. Seeing how the Capetian realm had been torn apart after the death of Archambaud, Gauthier was not about to let the same thing happen to him. The succession laws of England were rewritten, forcibly bonding it to its southern neighbour through Salic law. The Dual Monarchy of France and England was born and the balance of power in Europe would never be the same again...

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Map of the known world circa 1167:

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France-England looks threatening.

The war in Aragon was a disaster!

It seems as if Abu-Bake plans on focusing on the Muslims in North Africa once his realm is secure once more...
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Hmm. Dual monarchy probably won't die unless killed now. And presumably, England still have claims on leon as well? Not good.
 
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That is a warning surely the Christians are definitely not to under-estimated.
 
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Chapter XII - On the Trail to Tripoli

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Chapter XII - On the Trail to Tripoli (1167-1183)

With the Treaty of the Pyrenees now securing the Hayyid’s northern borders, Sultan Abu-Bakr was now well placed to pursue his designs within North Africa. The powerful Almoravid Sultanate dominated much of the Maghreb and even controlled the Iberian provinces of Sévilla and Algeciras, but no matter how many marriage proposals or alliance offers Abu-Bakr sent to the Sultan in Marrakesh they were always turned down. Something about ‘political considerations’ always turned the Almoravids off greater ties to the Hayyids. No matter though, Abu-Bakr would not need Almoravid aid for what he had planned.

But first, an opportunity to get one over the Almoravids, whilst also improving the realm’s trading power had appeared. A recent rebellion in Al Djazaïr led by a Yazidi warlord named H’emmu had recently freed the region from Almoravid tyranny. If the Hayyids were to control this province it would not only provide them with a north-African base from which to strike at their southern neighbour, but the north African coast would also provide the realm with a port from which to ship goods from Africa to Iberia. War was declared on the heretics and the troops sent in.

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H’emmu’s troops had largely been decimated in their independence war against the Almoravids, allowing for an easy Hayyid victory. Allied troops poured into Al Djazaïr and Beni Yanni and the coast was quickly annexed into Abu-Bakr’s domain. This was easy. Too easy…

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But with the province’s annexation, it did not take long for the fanatical Yazidis to strike back. With H’emmu’s defeat, another warlord had taken his place, declaring his intent to wage jihad against Hayyid rule.

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An army of around 7,000 had mustered in Beni Yanni, a mix of former soldiers, mercenaries and peasants. It took some time for an army strong enough to put down the rebels to be mustered. Though the Yazidis were eventually crushed this was but a sign of the growing strength and militancy of Islam’s heretical movements.

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Meanwhile back in Iberia, the consumption epidemic was going absolutely nowhere. Thousands had died of the disease, families had lost loved ones, crops went unpicked due to a lack of labour, and now the masses were baying for blood. Whilst some spoke ill of the royal family and nobility who had locked themselves away in their castles and estates, the bulk of their ire had been reserved for the realm’s Jewish population.

Whilst Jews had found themselves the subject of considerable marginalisation in a number of Christian realms, leading them to be banished from a number of kingdoms. By contrast, a number of Jews had found a sort of refuge within the Hayyid realm, provided they paid the jizya or religious tax. Though much of the population still treated the realm’s Jewish subjects with suspicion, the Jewish population had become integral to the realm’s financial institutions and many had even gained positions of great importance and renown within the Hayyid court.

But now their presence had become all too apparent to the lay population of the realm. In their minds, they were responsible for the recent epidemic. Incidents of violence against Jews increased tenfold, the provinces were in open revolt. The council demanded action. Not wanting to incite further religious violence, but in looking to pacify the population the Sultan issued a number of vague statements about how “something must be done” and how the crown was “working to resolve the issues at hand”.

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But that was not enough for the peasantry. In their minds, the Sultan’s words called for action. Nowhere had that become clearer than in Córdoba where a bread riot turned into a pogrom against the city’s Jewish population. Angry mobs burned Jewish businesses and homes forcing families to flee, severed heads hung from the city’s bridge and bodies on stakes lined the roads into town. With similar episodes reported across the Hayyid realm and violence against Hayyid officials breaking out in some areas, Abu-Bakr reluctantly signed an order expelling the Jews from the realm. Many of their businesses were seized by the crown and handed out to friends of the royal family. Over the next few months, the Jewish population of Andalusia fled either to Africa or Christian Europe in hope of some, or any form of security or solitude.

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In the coming months, the epidemic seemed to subside. The laity praised the Sultan for his decisive action in expelling the cause of the disease, but deep down Abu-Bakr knew his actions had nothing to do with it. He would have to hope that the realm’s financial institutions could cope without their original stewards.

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With the situation having subsided, Abu-Bakr was now free to finally pursue his goals. The Christian crusades had brought shame upon the Islamic world. The attempts to reverse the conquest through the Jihads called by the Sunni Caliph were equally embarrassing. The powerful Kingdoms of Jerusalem and Egypt now grew from strength to strength, with Egypt recently conquering much of the north Africa coast. With the Almoravids refusing to indulge a united front to retake Tripolitania, it was now time for the Hayyids to take matters into their own hands. They would be the protectors of Islam. Abu-Bakr announced his intentions to invade Africa and reclaim the region for the Islamic world.

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With the news of an impending invasion, King Uffe of Egypt sought to catch the Hayyid off guard. The Swedish King, allied to the Egyptians joined the Christian cause whilst a skirmishing force of around 3,000 men was sent to Iberia in an attempt to slow preparations. Though the Hayyid armies were able to mobilise quickly and drive the Egyptians and Swedes back north.

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Rather than sail to Tripolitania, Abu-Bakr ordered his troops to march through North Africa in an effort to throw off the Egyptian scouts who would likely be preparing for a naval invasion. By August of 1181, the Hayyid armies were nearing their destination. Though some men had been lost on their treacherous journey across North Africa, Hayyid forces still outnumbered the Egyptians. Abu-Bakr’s armies pounced upon the advanced Egyptian force at Medenine forcing their retreat back to the land of the Nile.

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As Hayyid forces made their way across Tripolitania religious riots engulfed the region’s cities, the pious Muslim population attempted to overthrow their Christian oppressors, opening the doors of their settlements to Abu-Bakr’s armies. Their liberators were here. By October of the following year, much of Tripolitania was under Hayyid control and the final Egyptian army at Houmt Souk was about to be driven out of the area.

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Inspired by the Hayyid successes the Shia Caliph Agathos II announced his intentions to wage a religious war to reclaim Jerusalem for the Fatimids. But surely the weakened Fatimids stood no chance at conquering an entire Crusader state?

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But the Fatimids had clearly recognised the same weakness that Abu-Bakr had spotted in the Crusader states. Perhaps they could use this to their advantage? Hoping to strike up good relations with the Hayyids should both of their reconquests succeed, a marriage proposal was sent to Abu-Bakr for him to marry Princess Halima. Despite being Shia heathens, good relations with the Fatimids would be necessary to prevent further Christian expansion within the region. The proposal was accepted.

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By May of 1183 with Tripolitania firmly under Hayyid rule, the Christian Kingdom of Egypt conceded defeat. Abu-Bakr had succeeded in pushing back the infidel. This was but the first step in Islam’s revival!

ck2_62.png
 
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Ah, but the Hayyids forget one key thing... they have rivals everywhere. And the larger the realm, the easier it collapses...

Is a confrontation with the Almoravids coming up? And, if it does, how will the Hayyids ensure that the Christians don’t take advantage of the Muslim World’s internal strife?
 
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Is a confrontation with the Almoravids coming up? And, if it does, how will the Hayyids ensure that the Christians don’t take advantage of the Muslim World’s internal strife?
Potentially. The main threat for now is the Christian crusader states and the iberian Christians. Though with the peace treaty in place the northern threat has diminished a little.

Slight apology to all readers. Today was meant to be a further reading article on the Dual Monarchy. Unfortunately due to some technical issues it has been postponed until Wednesday.
 
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They're building an impressive realm, but they need to link it all together in africa, and ultimately push the Christians from iberia if they want a peaceful northern border. So lots of wars left to do, especially harder ones against Muslim brother realms.
 
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FR: The Franco-English Union: Creation of the Dual Monarchy

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Further reading Title card.png

The Franco-English Union: Creation of the Dual Monarchy

The story of the union of the French and English crowns can be traced back to the English succession crisis of 1066. Though William of Normandy’s victory proved fleeting, his legacy lived on, playing a pivotal role in the formation of a new English identity.

The plantation of Norman nobles not only helped to shift England from its Anglo-Saxon origins but also made Norwegian rule over the Kingdom doomed within the long term. Though Harald Hardrada may have won the war, the Normans won the peace. That had become abundantly clear by 1087 as Robert’s rebellion deposed King Magnus, placing the House of Normandy back on the English throne.

The House of Normandy had long-held dynastic ties to the French Capetian dynasty, Muriella de Normandy, daughter to William, was the mother of Philippe II of France; but the Norman victory in England had moved the Kingdom into France’s area of interest. And so when another English succession crisis reared its head in the early 1100s, the King of France found his reason to invade.

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Despite Robert of Normandy’s victory in 1087, the stresses of rule evidently took their toll on the new king. In 1103 the new king chose to abdicate in favour of his son. Robert I would now spend his days as a man of God, devoting himself to faith until his death in 1134.

Robert II would rule England from 1103 until 1122 when he too would abdicate, but not by choice. Significant wounds sustained on the battlefield had left the king an infirm and incapable ruler. Seeing their ruler as a puppet of the powerful Duke of Warwick, much of the nobility plotted to place the King’s son also named Robert onto the throne. This was done with little bloodshed and in 1122 Robert III took the throne of England, whilst Robert II was ushered out of the country and into safety by his supporters.

However, this would not be the end of it, support for Robert II remained high, particularly among the more northerly lords of the realm and several years later England would devolve into a civil war beginning the War of Two Roberts.



Meanwhile, back in France, King Archambaud viewed the situation across the Channel with concern. As Norman England tore itself apart, there was every chance that the Norwegians could once again reassert their dominance over Britain, creating a powerful enemy to the north. Intervention was necessary.

As the great-grandson of William ‘the Bastard’ Archambaud held a claim to the Kingdom of England and given the divided nature of the realm, now was the time to press it. Though having a friendly Norman England to the north was the aim of French diplomacy at the time, this did not compare to the prospect of having England as part of the French realm.

After a gruelling four-year campaign, King Archambaud had defeated all opposition and had himself crowned as King of England in 1126 at Westminster Abbey. The Kingdom’s of England and France had been united under the rule of one man.


The knights of the realm swear fealty to their new King Archambaud

Whilst this coronation had set a precedent for the union of the two crowns, Archamaud’s original kingdom was short-lived. In 1134 the King of France and England died of rabies at the age of only 25, leading his realm to be divided. Owing to the different succession laws used in both realms, Archamaud’s eldest daughter Béatrix took England, whilst his brother Orson took France as the King had no living male child to satisfy French Salic law.

Early Capetian rule in England was unstable, to say the least. Unpopular with the nobility, and with only females to rule, crises became commonplace. Queen Béatrix would ‘go missing’ in 1138 at the age of only 8, to be replaced by her sister Héolise, who would, in turn, be replaced by her sister Mafalda in 1154. All this squabbling between the English Capetians had made them blind to outside threats to their rule. The last remaining Anglo-Saxon lords in particular had not taken kindly to the Capetians, and so in 1159, the northern lords rebelled, installing Aelfstan II as the first Anglo-Saxon King of England since Harold Godwinson, ending 72 years of Norman-French rule.

Across the Channel King Gauthier of France had seen the English line of his family burn themselves out, defeated by Anglo-Saxons who were now baying for blood against both the Normans and French. As such, in 1160 King Gauthier sought to emulate his uncle Archambaud, launching an invasion to bring England under the French heel once more. Two years later, the divided and weakened realm surrendered to the French once more.

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Yet, King Gauthier knew that French rule over the English could not be secured through conquest alone. Serious reforms would be needed to secure the succession and to provide stability. The answer would present itself through the union of the crowns. The creation of a Franco-English Dual Monarchy. Never again would the two realms be separated.

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Firstly the new union sought to create a stable succession system, initially by implementing Salic law in England, and later by abolishing the two independent Kingdoms of France and England in favour of one crown for the Dual Monarchy. Under the new succession system, both realms would go to the eldest male heir. Females could not inherit and the two realms could never be separated.

Secondly, the Union of the Crowns sought to present the new realm as a union of equals. Both French and English vassals would possess the same rights and liberties. Whilst this commitment to equality existed within the Dual Monarchy’s foundational document the Magna Carta, in reality, the French lords soon began to assert their supremacy. French remained the official language in both courts, angering the remaining Saxon lords, whilst the court and capital would remain in Paris. This division between the claims and the reality of the Dual Monarchy would continue throughout the years, only perpetuating French domination over England. In the centuries to come, the status-quo of the new realm would be tested to their breaking point, giving the rulers of the Dual Monarchy the choice between reform, or revolt.



Very close eyes will be kept on the Dual Monarchy in the coming decades. One wonders what the future may have in store for this young realm...
 
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The development of a Dual Monarchy is not really a positive development - unless it proves so unstable as to be so :)
 
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Is that a base ckii event? Literally never seen that before and interested?
 
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Is that a base ckii event? Literally never seen that before and interested?
Nope, I modded it in as a flavour event and title. The title itself is only titular so it gives no de jure claims, but I thought the french ai conquering england on its own was enough to warrant it. Also by keeping the realm together it will make northward expansion into europe just a little more difficult.

I hope to add a few more flavour events and decisions as the campaign progresses, but I'll probably saving most for eu4.
 
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Interesting! This Duel Monarchy looks threatening.

Of course, France-England-Leon looked threatening, and that quickly perished.

I doubt the Duel Monarchy will last. The Normans and Norwegians probably still want the English crown, and then there are the Leonese Capetians to consider...
 
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Chapter XIII - Sicilian Offense

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Chapter XIII - Sicilian Offense (1183-1191)

The recent successes in north Africa had brought great prestige to house Hayyid and Abu-Bakr himself. Bards, poets and the commoners alike spoke of the Sultan’s great deeds. One day Isma’il invited a bard to court who sang of Abu-Bakr’s great victory over the infidel bringing delight onto the face of the Sultan. Perhaps the man even surpassed the great Mundir himself in his achievements?

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Of course, it was only right for Abu-Bakr to dedicate his victory to Allah and so it was important to display this faith in a holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

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But the world did not wait for the Sultan to return from his pilgrimage. In the Eurasian steppe, the Mongols had finally fulfilled their goal of uniting the horse lords of Eurasia under one banner; though perhaps they hadn’t envisioned it would happen quite like this. A huge alliance of nomads and kingdoms across the east had joined forces in an effort to resist the Mongol Khan. Only time would tell whether the horse lords of Karakorum could defeat the mighty coalition.

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In the Baltic when the pagans long maintained a stronghold, the question was now for how much longer can the Romuva hold out? The Christians had succeeded in establishing the Kingdom of Lithuania as a new crusader state in the region in an effort to convert the populace from one ungodly religion to another.

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And back in the Hayyid Sultanate, discontent was brewing in Syrte. A number of former Christian nobles, priests, and warriors from Egyptian rule had raised their banners in rebellion.

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With the Sultan still in Mecca, it would be up to his commanders to quench the flames of rebellion. Fortunately, Sheikh Abdul-Hakam of Calatrava proved more than able to muster the requisite number of troops and put down the Christian traitors. The rebel leaders would be executed as an example to any who would oppose Hayyid rule.

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Meanwhile, in Iberia, the Abbadid Emir of Valencia had expanded his holdings at the expense of Aragon. Though the Christian kings of Iberia saw this as a blatant violation of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the Hayyid council countered, suggesting that the agreement had been with the Sultan, not his vassals or the realm as a whole. Surely this agreement could not last long-term.

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With Abu-Bakr’s return from pilgrimage, there was more news from the Levant. Somehow, the long-suffering Fatimids had managed to turn the tide against their decline, retaking Jerusalem from the Christians. This, along with the recent victories in Iberia and Daylam were sure signs that Islam was undergoing a resurgence against the Christian menace!

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With the Sultan’s recent conquests filling the realm’s coffers with the spoils of war, it was only right that a portion of this be reinvested into the realm’s subjects in some form. With the first phase of work on the new University of Córdoba reaching its conclusion, the Sultan elects to greenlight the next phase of expansion way ahead of schedule.

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Meanwhile, Abu-Bakr’s attention turned to the fringe areas of his realm. The Canary Islands had long maintained their independence and primitive religion. But now it was time for them to see the light of Islam. Several preachers were sent over to the island in the hopes of converting the population peacefully and adding the island’s to the Hayyid realm through vassalization. But when the Chief of the island’s tribes refused, exiling the preachers, the only recourse was of course war.

But while the Hayyid troops were still preparing for the naval invasion, the tribesmen got the jump on Abu-Bakr’s forces landing 1500 warriors in Malaga.

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A foolish move on their half, surely their only hope was to sit tight and defend their homeland? Instead, Hayyid forces resoundingly defeated the Warriors at Algeciras and then moved in on their undefended homeland. It did not take long for the islands to fall, becoming just another part of the Hayyid realm.

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But Abu-Bakr had much grander designs than simply the conquest of the Canaries. In his mind, Tripolitania was but the start of his wider reconquest of Islam’s lost lands. Though his eyes were fixed on defeating Egypt both realms continued to hold a truce, and it seemed the Fatimids, perhaps overconfident from their conquest of Jerusalem had launched an invasion of Egypt themselves. With the Shia focused on Egypt Abu-Bakr would have to aim his conquests elsewhere.

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And that target soon reared its head. A civil war had broken out in the Byzantine Empire over the succession to the throne. Now would be the perfect opportunity for Abu-Bakr to recapture Sicily for the Islamic world.

This would be a war the likes of which the Hayyid realm had not seen before. Tens of thousands of troops would need to be ferried to the island if there was to be any hope of wrestling control away from the Byzantine rebels who currently held it.

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10,000 troops landed on Marsala, with 10,000 more landing in Palermo several days later.

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Though the island’s defenders proved few, a large rebel army numbering nearly 20,000 soon crossed over from Italy.

Both sides met at Monreale near Palermo with the battle raging on for nearly a month. Ultimately, the Hayyids proved to get the better of the Romans, sending their adversaries on a long march home back to Greece. Nevertheless, the battle had seen significant Hayyid losses. Being so far from home and with no easy access reinforcements would be few if any.

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A year later and Hayyid forces had much of the island under their control, but the Byzantines were not going to take it lying down. A further force of 15,000 men crossed the strait of Messina, but this time the Hayyids were waiting for them. The crossing had taken its toll on the attackers. Disorganised and unruly, one-by-one the rebels fell to the sword against the similarly-sized Hayyid force. By May of 1191, it had become clear that Hayyid victory was assured. Sicily was in Muslim hands, and with it, the Byzantine civil war had ended with the capture of the rebel stronghold.

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In Egypt against all the odds, the Fatimids had succeeded, crushing the Christian Kingdom of Egypt. But now the Shia Caliph had the unenviable task of quelling a series of Christian rebellions which had taken hold in the region. The Fatimids may have been able to retake their lost lands, but keeping them would be another matter.

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Map of the known world circa 1191:

ck2_map_1.png
 
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A very nice snagging of Sicily
 
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  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
Well, Islam is doing very well. That won’t last. After all, the Mongols are a threat, and the Christians might ally with them against Islam. If that happens, Islam is screwed.
 
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