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IamWhoa

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When Edinburgh was besieged by the Sultan of Egypt in 1443, most sat within their homes and dreaded the coming onslaught. One family: an old man, his daughter and a young girl languished in the dark of a thatched hut. It was near to the walls, so frantic alarms from the defenders were a constant bother. The old mans daughter—mother of the girl—tried to comfort her child, who was quickly falling into despair.

“Pa will tell you a story,” she said. “Wont you?” She looked up to her father to hint at him to play along. The child lifted up her head and asked what Pa would tell them about.

The old man thought for a moment. He rubbed his chin and mumbled: “A story...” After a moment he he held up one finger. “A good story!”

“Really?” the girl asked with excitement.

“Yes, a tale of magnanimous deeds...” His tinny old voice could barely maintain the soaring rhetoric he strove for.

The girl began to smile and wiggled free of her mother.

“Chivalry, the reconquest...”

Then with a dramatic pause by the grandfather, the room was left silent. In a whisper he muttered: “The de Haros!”

The girl sighed and bowed her head.

The mother snarled with agitation and once again held her daughter, running a hand through the child's hair.

The grandfather grunted: "What?"

“Just tell it,” the mother said. She rolled her eyes and grumbled: “For the eighth-” A loud boom interrupted her, followed by a cascade of broken rock to the streets. A wave of cries erupted outward from the epicenter. The mother didn't care to finish.

The old man laughed and rubbed his hands together. “Alright, let me get out the pictures.”


Contents for de Haro-ing Adventures

Book One: A History, by the Grandfather.

Diego Lopez de Haro

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV

Marshal Lope Lopez de Haro
Chapter V
Chapter VI

Sancho de Haro
Chapter VII
Intermission: A Man Arrives.

Book Two: Robert's Testimony, by Robert Pitcox.

Sancho de Haro continued...

Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Intermission: Robert's Departure.

Book Three: King Aznar, by the Mother.

Aznar de Haro
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV

Book Four: Macalister's Wheel, by Bruce Macalister.

Various Rulers of the de Haro
King Berenguer
King Juan: Part One
King Juan: Part Two
King Juan: Part Three

Book Five: Another History, by the Grandfather.

Pedro de Haro
Chapter XX

Miguel de Haro
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII

The end.
 
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IamWhoa

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The grandfather held up a miniature.

“Here he is: Diego Lopez de Haro, Count of Viscaya (Castilian for Biscay.)


“Made it myself.”

The mother glared.



de Haro-ing Adventures
Chapter I: 1187
Wherein our hero moves up in the world.

Count Diego Lopez de Haro was quite short for the time. Although, he was short in the sense of an ape – quite muscular, and quite hairy. He presided over a small table within his castle at Viscaya. Local bishops, town mayors, and others walked in and let loose a torrent of grievances.

“Yes,” “I will see” and “get out” were his common responses. He cared little (though the Bishops he had honest concern for).

As the flood of grievances dried up, he sat alone. The setting sun sent orange rays through the window. Diego recalled two noteworthy “complaints” he had received that day. They were really all he could remember.

The first was brought by Valentina herself:




This made his day worthwhile. The thirty-seven year old Count couldn't shake the immodest smugness.

The second, however, was more strange that Diego was used to, at least in its deliverance. It seemed at first that people had stopped coming to complain, he was overjoyed. Then two knocks hit the door. Amidst severe disappointment, Diego said tepidly: “You may enter.”

The man that walked in was tall. So tall in fact that his head scraped the top of the door frame, leaving little falling columns of dust in his wake. His face was stern and grave. His gut ballooned outward and his gate was a waddle. He carried a sack in one hand and when he came to suitable distance from the Count, he threw it upon the table. There was a pause before a light seemed to shine on his face, and a friendly smile grew:

“'e says I 'ould 'liver 'en I 'ant to. 'ew days 'ate, but 'ats 'e rush, eh?”

The man turned and waddled out.

Diego whispered: “What?”

He opened the sack with timid fingers. There was a letter inside, and something slightly heavy. He read the letter:

Diego Lopez de Haro: Here you are. Tell Alvar de Lara that he is a troglodyte.
Your King --​
Alfonso VIII, King of Castile; [...]
Diego held up one end of the bag and the object rolled out. It fell and wheeled around, tumbling to the floor with a metal clang. Diego fetched it and holding it close to his face, he was overcome with joy, the kind that arises from receiving gifts you didn't think you'd deserved. A two-note laugh pierced the stone walls and startled many.


 
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Teep

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Entertaining so far. Its funny how such things always manage to fall into your lap.
 

IamWhoa

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Entertaining so far. Its funny how such things always manage to fall into your lap.
I'm glad :) I didn't actually notice I'd been given the title until an event showed up with the coat of arms on it.
 

IamWhoa

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“Who was Alvar de Lara?” the girl asked.

“In the lands of the Duchy of Castile, he was the powerful Count of Burgos” the grandfather replied.


“That King Alfonso VIII passed him over and awarded the title to Diego was a great surprise to most. By all reasoning, Diego should have become Alvar's vassal instead.”

“Did he live in a cave?”

“The Castilian Kings—so I hear—had a tradition of such insults, but perhaps.”




de Haro-ing Adventures
Chapter II: 1188-1192
Wherein our hero valiantly fights off a robbery.


Duke Diego was left contented -- for a while. Perhaps from his son, Diego acquired a great illness that he could not be rid of. It persisted so long that it eventually became apart of his personality, and none that came to know him after he became sick could imagine him otherwise. In this time, about 1190, the Third Crusade had begun. But as a hammer falls on one side, the other must move in turn. So it was with the great Muslim powers. The Berbers stormed the borders in January of 1191. They were actually taunted into invasion by the Aragonese, but Castile was drawn to war regardless.


After Diego prepared himself, he set out to meet the levies. Among them was the “tall man.” Imagining that he was strong and perhaps a bit terrifying, Diego took him on as a body guard.

“What's your name?” he asked.

“'ame 'es Don m' 'ord,” the man replied.

Diego stared dumbly.

“Oh, Don. Well then.” He looked down at Don's beleaguered horse, its spine curved under the weight of the massive man astride it. Its legs quivered. Diego was gripped by crippling sympathy before he shrugged it off. “Let's get on with it then.”

An unnamed man blurted: “Southward!”


Though they made good time, it was a long journey made miserable by poor news:


Without a mother, Diego's son Sancho was put under the care of Diego's three siblings. For all his life Diego would not remarry.

The Viscaya regiment reached Molina in May and Toledo in June. Toledo, along with La Mancha, was where the major brunt of the war was. The first great victory for the Castilians came at Toldeo, where the besieging army of Muslihiddin of Valencia was broken. In the midst of the confrontation, Diego managed to route a larger raiding party with his own band, earning him some distinction.

The next battle came at La Mancha, where the first Castilian offensive took place. When La Mancha surrendered tribute, Valencia was soon besieged by an allied army of Castilians and Aragonese, with an agreement that the Castilians would take control of it.

Hearing that a resident of an outlying village could prepare a quick cure for his illness, Diego traveled to meet her alone. She demanded of him a small amount of money and when he payed, he was asked to turn around. At which point a pot was promptly broken over his head. Awake but dazed, Diego moaned in a somewhat drunken voice: “I believe you've mistaken my meaning...” She then struck him with another. “Good Lord,” he blurted incoherently. “I'm being accosted!” His vision a spinning blur, he hurled himself at where he thought the woman to be, only to careen through the door, ripping it clean off its hinges. The woman followed and kicked him in the ribs, yelling: “Lights out already!” Diego drew his sword and startled the woman with a grazing cut to her clothes. She then retreated into her home. Diego wandered off in this dazed fashion, wildly swinging at every perceived enemy.

Just before dawn, Diego wandered into camp. His sinuses were clear for the first time in months.


The Siege of Valencia was won several days later and the Berbers retreated south. Having satisfied the obligations that the king had arranged for him, Diego returned home. The king was not long for this world (his lust for battle was boundless) and the political landscape soon changed dramatically.




There was no rest for poor Diego.


 
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Teep

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So who owns that yellow bit in southern France in the first pic?
 

timetogetaway

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I'll try to follow this one as I want to read more narrative style AARs (my niche being history book).


I've been looking for those shield frames everywhere, where did you find them?
 

Enewald

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And war shall continue...
Who is the next opposer?

Nice beginning!
Keep the updates coming, please... :rolleyes:
 

IamWhoa

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Enewald: Thank you :D The Leon inherited Castile's war, so its still the Almohads.

timetogetaway: Veldmarschaalk linked them somewhere in the CK forums. I could upload them or mail them, perhaps. Richard the Lionheart managed to break free, then get a peace of some sort.

Teep & Specialist290: That's actually a count who's under the king of Castile. The 1187 scenario starts that way.
 

IamWhoa

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de Haro-ing Adventures
Chapter III: 1192-1194
Wherein is recited heroism and grave injury.

Duke Diego went south once more. The King of León moved his forces against the one of the great cultural centers of Muslim Spain: Cordoba. The siege was placed under Diego's command and all seemed to go well.

Astride his horse, he surveyed a small engagement from the top of a hill, south of the city. Farther south was a small stream. A contingent of especially zealous fighters, seeing their own position as hopeless, made a last ditch effort to inflict a devastating blow. They made a pass at Diego and his guard before retreating in the direction of the brook, though they failed to inflict any casualties. Diego the others pursued them until they reached the waters, at which point he had his men turn around. As he brought his horse about, a parting shot pierced the back of his knee. The agony was so great that he had to retire before the small skirmish was concluded.


He was never far from fighting, however. In one instance, a band of raiders descended on the camp he resided in. Two entered his tent and attempted to kill him. He slew one, and was found kicking the other with his one good leg.

Then Cordoba--the fall of which may have been a momentous turning point in the Reconquest--was granted a white peace by Fernando, leaving Diego's several months of work in vain. The king also suggested Diego resign command to another so that he may rest. To avoid a scandal he agreed. Unfortunately, his replacement was a fool. It took several months to get out of the province and into Almansa, as Fernando had demanded.

The battles at Almansa were fierce but Diego was unable to partake. With an infection growing within his knee, he dared not move far from his bed. This did not spare him from the cruelties of chance. He is said to have been talking with another noble outside his tent (standing with the aid of a stick) when, out of hand, he remarked: “If God be with me, I will soon be able to walk by my own means again.”

A seeming manifestation of spite, a stray arrow emerged from the heavens and pierced the knee of his good leg. With a cry of pain he collapsed to the ground.


A Muslim physician (ironically from Cordoba) was arranged to see him before his condition could get any worse. He managed to set Diego on a course that would eventually eliminate the infection, but said that the Duke could never walk on his own again.

Diego returned to his castle at Viscaya and hoped for rest. He was instead alerted to a change in the kingdom: Fernando was killed in battle. His 23 year old heir* was already “complaining” to courtiers about how deeply Berber arrows pierce:


Diego was once more bidden to help. This time he refused to simply follow the plans of the young Alfonso. He summoned a new force and requested that his vassal, Count Alvar Nuñez de Lara of Burgos, summon his forces as well.

This was the reply:
If thee would only walk hither,
I'd give thee sword and quiver.
There are three accounts of Diego's reaction: those of the Castilian-Leónese court, who claimed he roared: “Troglodyte!” Those of the de Lara family, who claim he whimpered and cried, using the parchment to dry his tears; and those of the de Haro family, who claimed he laughed lightly and burned the letter. Whatever the case, Alvar was much more powerful than Diego, and there was nothing the Duke could do.

Alvar then made a startling move by mobilizing his army, but it was not as it was feared. The Count meant to move south to fight the Almohads. His true motives for such a venture are unknown.

Diego followed him (“came to his aid”) with what he could assemble. Though he could not walk, the Duke was determined to retain his honor. He would not be left to wallow in Viscaya.

“Get me Don at once!”







* Alfonso IX ruled less than a year before he succumbed to his many wounds. Taking his place was Garcia II, or the “Infant King,” a child not even a year old. His court was a powerful assemblage of wealthy nobles which became known as the “Court of the Infant King.”
 
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Teep

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I was waiting for the king to screw up your conquest.

Edit: 500th post :D
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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I hope Arabs/Berbers destroy the kingdom.:p
Then you'd be free.
And free of Muslim arrows. :D
 

IamWhoa

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de Haro-ing Adventures
Chapter IV: 1194-1195
Wherein our crippled hero finds his niche(s).


Don apparently had never bathed. Diego was tied to his back, arms wrapped around his neck (tied at the wrists to make it easier for Diego). His eyes peered over one hulking shoulder, just enough for him to be recognizable.

“Over there,” he would say, or: “Stop that.”

Though the operation was purely of Diego's funds, Lope Lopez—his brother—was the architect. He was considerably more professional than Diego in terms of war, but also quite remorseless in his quest for victory. Over the course of his many battles, a great number of captives became weapons with which to assault the enemy's moral.


Alvar was heading for Seville, much beyond the border. Diego's target was the frontier city Badajoz. Those of the Court of the Infant King welcomed Diego's aid but also rushed to thwart his self-interested plans. Thus, as Lope feared, a Leónese army was already in place when they arrived.

It should be noted that Alvar's march on Seville—a city deep within entrenched Almohad territory—was considered borderline madness, and Alvar's entreaties for reinforcements were not responded to.

Lope preferred to head home but Diego was adamant on continuing the siege. His argument being that if he could not acquire land for himself, then protecting the kingdom, especially one in so weak a state, was just as well – if not better.

On several occasions, neighboring sheiks raided Diego's camp. In one of these battles, the duke was still bound to Don when the giant came under assault. Able to turn his head somewhat, Diego gave Don an extra advantage. The success of this one battle led them to seek out more where they were needed and their exploits grew. As it turns out, Don was more peaceful in nature than Diego! And though he was at first reluctant to seek out battle, Diego convinced him otherwise.

“To your right you ass!” Diego would cry. The giant would turn and bring down two fists upon some poor foe, shattering the bones of their face while sending them careening to the ground. Whole groups fell before Don in this way. When Diego took up a sword (with the other arm he clung dearly to Don's neck), Don became even more feared than before. Men simply moved off—either backing or running—instead of face him and his “small companion.”

The stress of these of battles seemed to take their toll on Diego. Despite this, he was always in high spirits. He is said to have remarked to a servant while being carried to his bed: “There is and has never been a fiercer foe to behold than us! (save perhaps Gabriel). I cannot wait for morning, so that I may participate in battles I know to have already been won.”

These were his last words. His heart gave out in the night, or so they say.


When Badajoz finally fell a month and three days later, Diego was entombed in one of the smaller chapels of the city.

 

Teep

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Well, I guess that is regrettable...
 

IamWhoa

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Enewald: Yeah I guess.

Teep: You guess!? :mad: How dare you, a great man has died.
 

IamWhoa

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The girl asked: “What happened to Alvar and Don after that?”

“Alvar captured Seville,” the grandfather replied. “Establishing a small fiefdom within the far south. Then he, along with Don and Lope, went home.


“Now, while Sancho comes of age, we shall see the valorous struggles of Lope.”


de Haro-ing Adventures
Chapter V: 1199-1201
Wherein is told the astounding tales of Lope Lopez de Haro.

Sancho was only seven when he assumed power. From childhood to adulthood he was raised by Lope, Mencia, and Urraca, all siblings of the late Diego.

Sancho had spent a great deal of his early childhood as a student of a group of nearby Bishops. According to his militantly Catholic aunts, these Bishops were much too naive in the realm of Andalusian politic. So it was that the aunts began a long process of educating him about the glorious Spanish past, when the land was entirely Christian. Though Lope was mostly absent, Sancho absorbed a great deal from his aunts and Lope would no doubt have approved of such efforts.


Lope, for his part, spent a tremendous amount of time fighting in the south. From the death of Diego in 1195 to his return home in 1196, little had been accomplished. Called to the service of the Infant King in 1197, his skills as a commander began to show through. Several miles from Calatrava, he led the Leónese to victory. He was replaced as commander by an old veteran named Aznar Perez. He, too, was a successful leader. In April of 1199, near Toledo at Cobisa, Lope lead from the front and inflicted the first casualty against the enemy.


For all the Leónese efforts, the Almohads were gaining the upper hand. Lope returned home in August of 1199. There, with the jubilant and zealous backing of Sancho (he cried: “Go, uncle, kill them all!” before taking a wooden sword in hand and dashing into the dark of some hall. “Nonbelievers!”), Lope acquired funds for his own expedition. He called on Alvar de Lara for soldiers, but the count refused , as was expected. It is said that Lope journeyed alone to the city of Burgos, entered the count's chamber as he slept and threw him from the nearest window. The defenestration left Alvar writhing a pile of garbage and waste. Lope, perhaps somewhat surprised he survived, forced him to join the efforts of the duke. Alvar was not without his own wiles and, through his own rhetorical forays afterward, took virtual command of the army. On June 2, 1200, they met in southern Navarra before heading towards Andalusia.


The early months of the campaign were initially a success. The 3500 man regiment swept through La Mancha and drove out an Almohad force there. They then descended on the city of Alamansa on October 10. Three separate but considerable engagements were fought in and around the town. The first was the initial arrival of Lope and Alvar, who assaulted the local sheik tasked with the garrison. After easily overthrowing him, the Castilians quartered in the city for a month before another force arrived. Equal in number, the besieging force was led by the Almohad Amir Muhammad an-Nasir. Frustrated by the Castilian defense and impatient to get elsewhere, an-Nasir simply abandoned the siege and moved on.

Without forgetting the Christians behind his lines, Muhammad had an army tasked with destroying the defenders. It was not until February of 1201 that they finally arrived. Nearly three times in number, the Berber army completely encircled the town with an array of camps and the fall of the city was thought near. After smashing through several sections of the battlements the leader of the Berbers, an African Amir by the name of Abdul-Fattah, was killed. After the body was captured Lope had it beheaded and skewered with a pike as to make Abdul-Fattah's bloodied parts visible from all directions. It was not enough to slow the tide, however, and Alamansa fell quickly. Around 500 Castilians escaped.


Thoroughly withered as a force, the army of Alvar and Lope retreated to a small Sicilian outpost on the coast. They held up there for several more months before—when it became clear than no reinforcements would be replenishing their ranks—calling it quits. Despite the failure, Alvar had gained considerable respect for Lope and would not take lightly his future requests for mobilization.
 

Enewald

Enewald Enewald Enewald
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Defeat sucks.
You should try to forge independence soon...