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The Number 9

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Sicily is already independent. But with many powerful enemies at her sides.
So like others before me, I'm really curious to know how you will evolve between them.
 

Z-Z-Z

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Sicily is already independent. But with many powerful enemies at her sides.
So like others before me, I'm really curious to know how you will evolve between them.
Graeco-Berber would be cool. Use that to make some foothold and build a fortress. I don't know what I'm saying.
 

iisbroke

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Nearly all of Italy? Isn't that an overstatement of his position? o_O
It's called motivational lying :p

. . . or I just mistyped Italy instead of Sicily. . . >.>
 
Last edited:

Asantahene

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A good effort to start but Sicily is strategically and geographically vulnerable-you will need to shore up your power base with alliances and statecraft-very interested to see how this goes and a good start

Love the pics by the way-excellent
 

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A bit sad to know that the Scottish Megacampaign will not be continued but it's great you came back anyway.

The emirate of Sicily will have a hard time holding up with all the Christians surrounding it. Although if you survive it will be surely a sign that God is on your side :p
 

MrWilis

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Nice, a Sicily AAR! Always found Sicily an interesting place to do a campaign on. Especially an Islamic one!
 

Tommy4ever

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Chapter Two
The Lombard Wars and Agafay the Whisperer, 917-960

The Sicilian Emirate had gained its independence at an opportune moment in at the beginning of the 10th century, in which the two main Christian powers that had loomed over Southern Italy for generations were distracted. The Kingdom of Italy had experienced a series of civil wars at the beginning of the century, the most important outcome of which was the independence of the Duchy of Spoleto – which established a state stretching along the Apennine Mountains and Adriatic Sea from Ravenna in the North to the borders of Benevento, cutting the Italian Kingdom off from the South. Meanwhile, the Byzantines spent most of the century embroiled in conflicts with the Islamic Empires on their Eastern border, and focussed on internal dynastic rivalries to place more than passing thought to extending their influence beyond their existing footholds in Calabria and Lecce. It was this international context that allowed the Sicilians to launch themselves into the Lombard Wars, during which they would attempt to establish their hegemony over the divided realms of Southern Italy.


The wars began with a brief conflict between 920 and 922 against the Lombard County of Salerno and the Greek ruled city of Naples. The war began in somewhat spectacular fashion at the Battle of Sarno within weeks of the arrival of the Sicilian army on the Italian mainland. There Emir Hotha was killed in the midst of battle while Count Pandulf of Salerno was captured. As the Emir’s son, Hotha the Younger, seamlessly took leadership of the expedition, the Count agreed to surrender his lands in exchange for his freedom and the contents of his treasury. The Muslim army then proceeded to Naples, bringing the Greek city under a lengthy siege which ended in 922 in Sicilian victory.



The ease of victory, and the wealth of their newly seized lands, ignited a hunger for conquest amongst the Sicilian elite, creating unstoppable momentum towards new wars. Between 923 and 924 the Sicilians initiated conflicts against almost all their neighbours in Southern Italy as they attacked the Muslim Sheikdom of Taranto for control of Amalfi, which separated Naples from Salerno, the Lombard Count of Capua and Duke of Benevento. As these wars raged, Palermo’s enemies in Africa eyed an opportunity for advantage. In 925 the Emir of Tunis, a powerful vassal of the Aghlabid Sultan, stormed into Sicilian ruled Bizerte before initiating an invasion of Sicily itself. While troops were diverted to ensure that Palermo itself was not threatened, the bulk of the Sicilian army remained in Italy in order to see out the Emirate’s wars to a victorious conclusion for two further years. At that point it returned to the island, expelled Tunis’ typhoid stricken army and secured a peace treaty in 928.


While the Sicilians had ended their wars against opposing states, they struggled to retain a grip over the largely Christian realm that they had created. Both Greeks and Lombards despised their new rulers and even before 928 sporadic rebellions had begun. These movements grew more serious as radical clerics whipped the peasantry into a religious fervour which united both denominations on both peninsular Italy and Sicily itself. By 930 the Southern Italian provinces were ungovernable beyond the major cities, while the East of Sicily was descending into the same fate. In that year, in response to Papal urgings, Duke Theobald of Spoleto invaded Southern Italy – posing as the Christians’ liberator. With popular support and a well drilled army, the Spoletans overwhelmed the Sicilian army within a year – forcing it to withdraw to the island.


At this moment Palermo found salvation from the unlikely source of its former masters – the Aghlabid Sultanate. Expressing religious solidarity, provoked by Africa’s fears of Frankish expansionism, the Alghabids forged an alliance and sent a sizable army to aid the Sicilians in reconquering Southern Italy. Hotha the Younger led this combined army across the sea and defeated the Spoletans at two major battles at Amalfi in 931 and Caltagirone the following year. After this second victory, and with his enemies beginning to fade, he proclaimed himself to be the first Sultan of Sicily. He would not enjoy his enhanced title for long, as the new Sultan died of dysentery while still on campaign less than a year later in 933.


The next Sultan, Hotha III, was just a three year old child. Power in Sicily therefore fell to his enigmatic regent – Agafay ibn Abdul-Azeem Tegamid. Better known as Agafay the Whisperer. The new regent was a grandson of the original Sheik Tegama, and was a distant cousin of the reigning dynasty. He possessed no lands of his own, and had never taken part in a military campaign. But by 933 he had risen to a dominant position within the Sicilian state, having outmanoeuvred his rivals to dominate palace politics in Palermo.


By Hotha II’s death the war with Spoleto was already reaching towards a conclusion. With peasant rebellions causing instability in the Christian realms to the North, peace was agreed in 935, with Sicily retaining control over all of its new provinces. At this stage much of the recently conquered territory had not been distributed among the Sicilian nobility, offering Agafay a golden opportunity to cement his authority. The Whisperer himself seized vast estates around Benevento and Capua, making him one of the Sultanate’s richest landowners overnight, while rewarding his allies with territory throughout the region and shunning his opponents. The regent secured something of a diplomatic coup in 940 in agreeing a treaty with the Aghlabids which saw the two realms exchange the Sicilian ruled African city of Bizerte for the African controlled Sicilian city of Messina. With relations between the two strong, they fought together to repulse a Frankish invasion of Tunis in 941-943.

When Hotha III reached his maturity in 946 many within the Sicilian nobility, frustrated by more than a decade of Agafay’s rule, hoped to leverage the young Sultan against his kinsman. Rather than enter into direct confrontation, Agafay agreed to scale back his power – disbanding his regency and adopting a less prominent administrative position in Palermo’s government. The Whisperer was able to manipulate his youthful liege, playing upon his desires to prove himself in battles as his forebears had done – encouraging Hotha III to sail to Italy to make war against the King of Lotharingia, the Frankish ruler of Taranto, Bari and much of the Western Mediterranean.


The teenage Hotha thrust himself into battle, defeating the Frankish troops in Italy, storming Taranto and laying siege to Bari. Yet the war quickly escalated. Although the Byzantine imperial government remained neutral, the military governor of Calabria led a large army into Sicilian territory, seeking to take Taranto for the Empire and push back the boundaries of Muslim power. At the same time Frankish reinforcements arrived in Italy from elsewhere in the Lotharingian Empire to provide an additional threat. Filled with confidence from his early victories, Hotha thrust himself into battle against these foes – leading his armies from the frontline. Somewhat predictably, the reckless young man’s luck ran out in a battle against the Greeks near Bari in 949. There his horse was cut down and he received serious injuries. Within a few weeks he had passed away at the tender age of 19 and his realm was thrust into political crisis.

Hotha III had no siblings, no uncles or close relatives with a cast-iron claim to the throne, only a scattering of distant cousins. Agafay was the only one of these relations with serious political power of his own, and promptly declared himself Sultan of Sicily as soon as news reached Palermo of Hotha’s death. This power grab was did not go uncontested, the Aghlabids tore up their alliance with Palermo and deployed at army to Sicily in support of the claim of Massiva Tegama, Sheik of Kerkent, who had promised to provide substantial compensation upon his victory. Agafay was forced to rely heavily on mercenaries, hired form bands of Norse warriors that had begun to appear in the Mediterranean world in recent decades, to defeat both the Aghlabids and their Sicilian allies and ensure that the conflict in Italy reached towards a victorious conclusion. Yet the dangers of relying upon these barbarian soldiers was made abundantly clear when one mercenary band, sacked the city of Messina before fleeing Sicily and reneging on its contract.


Nonetheless, by 953 Sicily had concluded peace with all its neighbours and expanded its territories in Italy substantially. Just as the Sicilians had been fighting the wars initiated by Hotha III, the Kingdom of Italy had brought the Duchy of Spoleto back into the fold – giving it a direct land border with the Muslim Sultanate. Frictions between the two realms were so serious that a conflict was seen as inevitable by both sides, correspondingly they both search searched for allies. Agafay was able to score something of a political coup in arranging for the marriage of his daughter to the Prince of Egypt, winning the precious support of one of the Islamic world’s most powerful states. The Italians launched their invasion in 957 in alliance with the Venetians. The citystate defeated a Sicilian fleet near Foggia in the Adriatic before brining Syracuse, in South-Eastern Sicily, under siege. A larger Italian army then proceeded over the Apennine mountains to defeat a Sicilian army at Capua and establish a camp around Naples.

Agafay’s troops struggled to hold the line, managing to force the Venetians to withdraw by finding the Italian army to large and powerful to dislodge. The tide turned in 959 when the Egyptians finally sent the troops they had promised Palermo at the onset of the war. Combined with Sicily’s own army, the Muslim alliance easily forced the King of Italy to flee back over the mountains and agree to a truce in early 960. With his lands safe from invasion Agafay died six months later at advanced age of 64. His son and successor, Agellid, was little more than a boy at 18 years of age, but over the course of his four decades in power would become one of the greatest figures of the middle ages, earning the title Agellid the Magnificent.
 

Tommy4ever

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So the dynasty is established, a foundation upon which - perhaps - a great thing may be built
Lets hope so!

Great to see you back and writing again Tommy! This looks to be a very interesting game. Hopefully you can take control so Italy never knows the name De Hauteville, right? :)
Indeed. Good to see someone who has been around even longer than me still about in AAR land. :)

A new Tommy4ever AAR? Hell yeah!
Glad to have you along.

This looks like it should be interesting. Can't wait to see where it heads from here.
Right in the middle of the Med, Sicily has lots of potential routes for expansion (although the need to get a King level title draws you into Southern Italy at least initially), but also lots of potential enemies.

Looks interesting (and very difficult).
I was pretty lucky that Southern Italy was so divided and none of the major powers around me was up for a fight in the first few decades after my independence.

I remember you! Subscribing!
Glad I wasn't forgotten, hope I can live up to your memories. As long as they were good ones :p.

Sicily has achieved political independence for now, but the geographic location of it makes it vulnerable so I'm inclined to think it will have to rely on external allies to maintain it. That said out of a such diverse population a lasting realm could also be built if there is tolerance.

I will also say that I'm very happy to see you back with another AAR and sad that the Scottish adventure ended, but this tale looks equally promising.
Lots of potential enemies, and while I only mentioned Christian rebellions once - they were a lot more frequent in game.

I don't like how fast cultures and religions spread in normal rules, so I set their spread to go to the slowest setting (IIRC about 1/3 of the speed of the standard rate). At this stage I have 4 Muslim and Berber provinces, 3 Greek and Orthodox provinces and about half a dozen Lombard/Italian (Lombard provinces are gradually flipping to Italian at this point, but Southern Italy hold out as Lombard a bit longer) and Catholic provinces. Very diverse!

In the Scotland one I had actually played the whole Vicki2 game, but whenever I sat down to write the next update I couldn't find the motivation - was no point in continuing if it was no fun anymore.

Jumping on this bandwagon. :)
Welcome aboard.

You nearly own all of Italy. The question is will you try to take the weaker city states of Napoli, Capua, and Beneveto. They would most likely have to be holy war causa belli that could draw Lombardic Italy into the fray. You could try to take other Mediterranean isles such as Sardinia, the Baleares, or even Corsica too. Maybe you'll just try to take land from the Ibadi states in north Africa, if any are still left seeing how Lotheringia is buttressed against the Kingdom of Africa.

In other words I'm curious to see what you do.
Nearly all of Italy? Isn't that an overstatement of his position? o_O
It's called motivational lying :p

. . . or I just mistyped Italy instead of Sicily. . . >.>
I had didn't have a single mainland Italian province at this point haha :p. I'll take it you are motivating me to act as a large Empire for the get go!

Sicily is already independent. But with many powerful enemies at her sides.
So like others before me, I'm really curious to know how you will evolve between them.
We're now established as a middle-ranking realm. But most of the powers around us can raise more levies in the event of war (although Sicily is very rich, so I usually have some money for mercenaries if necessary). So even now we aren't secure.

Graeco-Berber would be cool. Use that to make some foothold and build a fortress. I don't know what I'm saying.
The melting pot culture that would emerge out of this Greek, Italian and Berber mix definitely would be interesting. Will have to be explored in future updates. Whenever I do a CK2 AAR there always seems to be some people who want to imagine what the language would be like (I remember it going very in depth in the Egypto-Norse one), so I'm sure there will be a bit of that in future comments :p.

A good effort to start but Sicily is strategically and geographically vulnerable-you will need to shore up your power base with alliances and statecraft-very interested to see how this goes and a good start

Love the pics by the way-excellent
A lot of the nearby Muslim states were quite keen to make marriage alliances with me at this point. And dispite frequent wars the Aghlabids almost always seemed to want to support me when Christians declared Holy Wars - so that certainly helped.

A bit sad to know that the Scottish Megacampaign will not be continued but it's great you came back anyway.

The emirate of Sicily will have a hard time holding up with all the Christians surrounding it. Although if you survive it will be surely a sign that God is on your side :p
The island will be the most powerful in the world! Allah vult! :p

Glad to see you back in action, @Tommy4ever :) Following with interest.
Glad to have you along.

Nice, a Sicily AAR! Always found Sicily an interesting place to do a campaign on. Especially an Islamic one!
Hope it lives up to your expectations :).
 

stnylan

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A further expansion, but fragile still. One cannot rely forever on religious "friends" who may yet prove fickle.
 

blitzthedragon

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That foreshadowing at the end has me excited.
 

Attalus

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Well there are some mods that propose Sicilian mixings, be it Norman Sicilian, Graeco-Sicilian or Arab Sicilian so I think it could be easy to add it unless you already played it or it's on ironman.

Anyway the victories of the Sicilians must be worrying for the Pope, I hope you pillage Rome from time to times :p
 

MrWilis

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It is awesome you are playing with slower religious conversion. Makes blobbing much rarer, with rebellions much more likely.

Moments like these make me wish my new notebook was strong enough to run CKII!
 

Z-Z-Z

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It is awesome you are playing with slower religious conversion. Makes blobbing much rarer, with rebellions much more likely.

Moments like these make me wish my new notebook was strong enough to run CKII!
Plug in radial potatoes!
 

coz1

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Nice expansion in that update. Good work with your allies as well. Andalusia might be one to consider going forward. I foresee no end in sight of issues between you and both Italy and Byzantium.
 

loup99

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Africa is invaded by conquering Christians while Italy is overtaken by a victorious Sicilian Sultanate, all indicating that religious conflict will continue shape the early parts of the story. The lesser coup in which Agafay took power seems to have been relatively smooth after the initial struggle, and the title earned by his young indicates that there are incoming successes for the nascent realm.
 

Specialist290

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I can see Hotha III becoming a romantic hero to later generations, much like Richard the Lionheart or Don Giovanni. He appears to have had that balance between high ambition and impulsive risk-taking that people love to see in a tragic figure.
 

Alex Borhild

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Sicily has done well, and the foreshadowing about Agellid is intriguing. It will be interesting to see what happens next!
 

Tommy4ever

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Chapter Three
The Conquests of Agellid the Magnificent, 960-1000


Agellid the Magnificent looms over European history. A heroic figure in the Islamic world and a despised despoiler to Christians, his conquest turned the world history and dealt Latin Christendom a blow from which it would never truly recover. When he first ascended to the Sicilian throne in 960 as an eighteen year old he struggled to earn the respect of his nobility, was faced by a substantial Lombard revolt to the West and East of Naples and was threatened by a small scale Italian invasion of Benevento. Facing down these threats, Agellid gained valuable lessons in generalship and statecraft – eliminating his enemies at both court and the field of battle within a few short years.


It was events overseas that launched Agellid’s conquests. In the early 960s the Aghlabid Sultanate collapsed. From the Libyan Desert the Baddid tribe conquered Tripoli and sought to destroy the Sultan’s power. At the same time the Lotharingians launched a bloody campaign against Tunis itself – ultimately capturing the city and destroying the Aghlabid realm once and for all. The fall of Tunis, the greatest city in Islamic Africa, West of Alexandria, and strategically vital to the island of Sicily’s security to a Latin Christian power was a deeply troubling prospect in Palermo. The Lotharingians made matters worse as they ransacked the mercantile quarter of the city in the aftermath of their victory – an area with a very large Sicilian presence.


After a few years of tense peace, the Sicilians invaded Lotharingian Africa in 968. To their surprise, they found the Frankish Kingdom’s defences to be utterly hollow. Exhausted by years of war, facing rebellion in its core territories along the Rhine and close to bankruptcy, the Lotharingian Empire in the Mediterranean was remarkably poorly defended. Tunis fell in 969, and although a truce was agreed that ceded the city and its surrounds to Sicily, the Frankish realm’s territories were not left unmolested. Piracy, raids and border skirmished afflicted the ailing Empire, while the Sicilians dismantled their territories piece by piece in a series of short engagements. Bari was captured in 1972, Kabila – to the West of Tunis – fell in 976, while Sardinia was placed under Sicilian rule in 979.


Having acquired vast new territories, Agellid sought to make common cause with the other great Islamic power of the Western Mediterranean – Spain. The Umayyads had ruled Muslim Spain for centuries, yet it was only during the 10th century that they advanced Northwards and crushed the Latin Kingdoms of Asturias once and for all. Upon the capture of Bilbao in 975 the reigning monarch in Corbuba, Abdullah I, had adopted a new title – Badshah, henceforth being known interchangeably as the Emperor of Spain or Andalusia. With the fall of Christian power in Southern Italy and Northern Spain coming in quick succession, the Latin world was growing deeply concerned by Muslim expansionism. When Spanish forces crossed the Pyrenees to invade Aquitanian ruled Gascony in 978, the neighbouring Frankish Kingdoms sent armies to aid their religious brethren in repulsing the Muslims. It was in this context that Agellid forged his alliance with the Badshah in 980, promising to attack Aquitanian ruled Algiers in an effort to draw Frankish troops across the Sea and relieve pressure of the Spanish.


Agellid’s ambitions were much grander than to act as an adjunct to the Spanish. In 984 he embarked upon a war from which he would never fully escape, crossing over the Apennines to invade the Kingdom of Italy. The Sicilians were initially successful, defeating a number of smaller Italian armies before reaching Ancona and settling into a siege. However, the Christians had moved with unexpected unity and urgency to counter the Sicilian threat. The Pope in Rome had declared the fight in Italy, alongside the battle against the Spanish to the West, to be a great Holy War and called upon all Christian fighting men to defend their brethren. In practical terms, the Papacy encouraged a series of Frankish states to commit men to Italy’s defence and ensured that its own coffers, and those of Venice, were used to recruit mercenary armies that bolstered the King of Italy. With overwhelming numerical superiority, the King Manfred of Italy led a Christian army towards Ancona – forcing Agellid to flee back to the South. Flush with victory the Latins poured into Sicilian ruled peninsular Italy – capturing Capua, Naples, Amalfi, Foggia and Bari by 986. The Christian armies were large and in the few battles in which the Sicilians allowed their forces to be committed to they were defeated.


With the Latins’ ambitions turning towards conquest, they began to divide. The Italians and Venetians moved towards the Adriatic coastline, where they sought to establish their power permanently. Meanwhile, the Franks – under direct Papal leadership – consolidated their grip to the South-West in Capua and around the Bay of Naples. With his enemy divided, Agellid began to make more aggressive manoeuvres – holding both wings of the Christian armies at bay.


The decisive turning point came in 986 at the Battle of Gaeta. Having surprised the Papal led army by bypassing the Bay of Naples and moving towards Rome itself – Agellid met the Latins near Capua. There he won a crushing victory, routing a larger Christian army and seeing Pope Leo VI killed in battle. With their figurehead gone, the defeated Franks began to scatter – either withdrawing from Italy or being hunted down by Muslim forces. Subsequently, the Papacy found itself incapable of restoring itself as a centre of military authority in the conflict. Following this victory, the Sultan wheeled Northwards and defeated the Italians and Venetians at an equally important engagement at Foggia. Although the Italians were not so utterly broken as the Franks had been – they were forced to withdraw back into the Kingdom of Italy itself.

The Sicilians followed in pursuit and cut off the largest part of the Italian army in Tuscany – forcing it into the walled city of Florence and bringing it under siege. From 986 until 988 the Italians in Florence held out, desperately waiting for reinforcements to arrive from the North. They never came. At the onset of Winter in 988 a 10,000 strong Italian army surrendered Florence to Agellid’s army – and with it gave the Sicilians unchallenged authority over central Italy.


With the Kingdom of Italy creaking towards total collapse, Agellid swung Northwards to the begin the siege of Pavia, its capital city. With defeat appearing certain, King Manfred of Italy received news of an unexpected source of potential salvation. The Bavarians, who had fought a series of wars with Italy in previous decades and had thus far refused to lift a finger to aid them, had crossed the alps with a large army – agreeing to make common cause against the Muslim invaders. At the Battle of Bobbio in 989, Agellid led a Sicilian host against a combined Bavarian-Italian army – and won another crushing victory. The Bavarians suffered heavy losses and chose to flee back across the Alps, meanwhile, King Manfred of Italy was killed on the field of battle alongside much of the cream of Kingdom’s nobility. Following Bobbio, Agellid marched unmolested into Pavia and the leaderless Kingdom collapsed.

Agellid claimed sovereignty over the entire peninsula, and was able to reach agreements with much of the Italian nobility – allowing them to retain their lands, wealth, privileges and even religion in exchange for their loyalty to his authority. This led to most of Lombardy, Piedmont, Tuscany and Liguria accepting Sicilian power whilst the areas around the Adriatic, supported by Venice, and Latinum, supported by the Papacy in Rome, fought on. Battles against these holdout territories, and periodic Christian rebellions, would absorb Agellid’s attentions for years. However, in the early 990s it appeared as if the conflict was beginning to wind down. Following the defeat of the Adriatic Italian lords the Venetians agreed to a truce in 991, the following year the long running conflict between Spain and Aquitaine ended with Spain’s annexation of Gascony, finally in 993 the Sicilians stormed into Rome itself.


While the mighty Byzantine Empire had remained neutral in the battle for Italy to this point, the Islamic conquest of the eternal city, and resulting expulsion of the Roman Pontiff, proved too much for the Greeks to accept. Following an ultimatum that demanded that Rome be ceded to them, the Byzantines declared war in late 993 and invaded Southern Italy with some 20,000 men – tearing through the defences of Agellid’s war weary state. The fall of Rome caused an even greater uproar in the Latin West. With the Papacy relocating to the city of Aachen along the Rhine, he called for a Crusade to liberate Italy from the Muslim rule. Despite the exhaustion from the wars in Italy and Gascony, this call was answered widely in Europe and a large army under the leadership of the King of Aquitaine crossed the Alps and began to overwhelm the Po Valley.


With large armies threatening Sicily’s Empire from both North and South, the state came dangerously close to collapse as it took on large debts to continue to finance a seemingly endless war effort. However, fate favoured the Muslims as the defeated the Latins in very fortuitous circumstances. In the summer of 995 the Sicilians and Crusaders fought a series of indecisive battles in Lombardy, yet at the Battle of Bergamo King Ogier of Aquitaine was captured by the Muslims. The King then reached an agreement with the Sicilians, withdrawing his armies from Italy in exchange for his freedom. With Ogier’s general ship, authority as a leader and the strength of his armies – the Crusade petered out before the end of the year.

The battle against the Byzantines was much lengthier and more costly. A series of cities and fortresses in the South were lost in the first three years of the war. Only with victory in the North was Agellid able to bring the full force of his armies to bear against them – turning the tide and beginning the slow process of pushing the Greeks back to their Italian footholds in Calabria and Lecce. After much loss of life and treasure, the Byzantines agreed to a truce in 998. Following this treaty, which brought peace to Sicily for the first time in fourteen years, Agellid had himself crowned Emperor in an elaborate ceremony in Palermo.


Yet just two years later his life was cut to a premature end. The eldest son of Manfred of Italy had managed to escape from the chaos that followed his father’s death at the Battle of Bobbio and avoid conquest by the Sicilians – establishing a realm with Venetian support in Carinthia. In 999 Prince Cuccio launched an invasion of Italy, hoping the nobility would rise up to support him. He was to be disappointed. The nobles remained unmoved and Agellid led his army North to crush Cuccio. Yet the great conqueror was cut down in the midst of the very battle that defeated the Prince’s invasion – bringing the greatest reign in Sicilian history to an abrupt end.


Agellid’s victories had upturned the balance of the European and Mediterranean worlds. One of Christendom’s strongest Kingdoms had been destroyed, the Papacy expelled from his home for half a millennium and a new Empire had been created in the heart of the Mediterranean that could rival any other in its size, wealth and power.
 

Tommy4ever

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I usually take a decent amount of dramatic license with wars - but the Invasion of Italy itself happened pretty much exactly as described. I invaded at first, (with the Spanish fighitng in Gascony), but had to flee after the Italians starting getting allied armies form the rest of Europe in their thousands. The Christians then occupied about 4 or 5 of my provinces - taking me very close to having to surrender with -100 warscore (got passed -90 at one point) before they started to spread out and I started winning a few battles. After a while I managed to cross over into Italy - captured Florence and then started sieging Pavia. The Bavarians joined the war and sent a big army to Pavia, which very nearly beat me - and the King of Italy did actually die in that same battle. Sometimes the updates write themselves! :p

A further expansion, but fragile still. One cannot rely forever on religious "friends" who may yet prove fickle.
True, but there is no way I could have got this far without them!

That foreshadowing at the end has me excited.
Hope AGellid lived up to your expectations :)

Well there are some mods that propose Sicilian mixings, be it Norman Sicilian, Graeco-Sicilian or Arab Sicilian so I think it could be easy to add it unless you already played it or it's on ironman.

Anyway the victories of the Sicilians must be worrying for the Pope, I hope you pillage Rome from time to times :p
I'll just consider any Berber culture in Sicily and Italy to be the sort of melting pot culture you describe - without having to change the game mechanics.

And we got to Rome in the end ;). The Pope never does forgive Sicily for this one :p.

It is awesome you are playing with slower religious conversion. Makes blobbing much rarer, with rebellions much more likely.

Moments like these make me wish my new notebook was strong enough to run CKII!
Yeah, that was the hope. At this stage in the game even Southern Italy (which has been Muslim ruled for more than half a century) has barely any Muslim provinces. And definately makes it less stable.

Nice expansion in that update. Good work with your allies as well. Andalusia might be one to consider going forward. I foresee no end in sight of issues between you and both Italy and Byzantium.
You called Andalucia well! They become extremely powerful, extremely fast here - they clearly outmatch me at this stage. The Byzantines seemed happy to leave me alone when I was most vulnerable (at the tail end of the initial invasion of Italy) - only attacking after I'd had time to recover slightly. I was lucky.

Africa is invaded by conquering Christians while Italy is overtaken by a victorious Sicilian Sultanate, all indicating that religious conflict will continue shape the early parts of the story. The lesser coup in which Agafay took power seems to have been relatively smooth after the initial struggle, and the title earned by his young indicates that there are incoming successes for the nascent realm.
Indeed. Its very strange to have a Christian North-West Africa and Islamic Spain and Italy - but thats what we've got! And Agellid's successes exceeded all expectations! Even his initial conquests in Sardinia and North Africa were pretty significant, never mind Italy.

I can see Hotha III becoming a romantic hero to later generations, much like Richard the Lionheart or Don Giovanni. He appears to have had that balance between high ambition and impulsive risk-taking that people love to see in a tragic figure.
These sort of figures do have their appeal. I prefer an Agafay the Whispherer style schemer myself though :p.

Sicily has done well, and the foreshadowing about Agellid is intriguing. It will be interesting to see what happens next!
Hope you enjoyed it :).