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Jedrek

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Hello again! :)

Without further ado - welcome to my new AAR. This time I'm taking on perhaps the most inspiring alternative universe world since the release of Kaiserreich - Lux Invicta. For those unfamilliar with it - it's a world where the Roman Empire shaped the history far beyond the 5th century, where Alexander the Great and his successors' empire was as durable as vast, where christianity is but one the great many creeds fighting over souls.

Since I don't really like setting goals or explaining technical details - let's get straight to the point. If there's anything about the setting/world/AAR you'd like to ask - feel free to do so. :)

 
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Jedrek

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Introduction

Who are the Saqaliba?

Basically speaking: Slavic slaves in Arab service. Yet, the complete answer is far more complex.

It is unknown when the Slavic peoples first became parts of caliphs' vast army, or which peoples formed the core of the first Saqaliba corps. The only thing we know for certain is that their name is derived from a corrupted version of Greek Sklavinoi. Arabic travellers - Ibrahim ibn Yaqub or Abu Zayd al-Balkhi - praised Saqaliban bravery and perseverance, calling them "The fiercest of all warriors".

While it is true that Saqaliba formed the core of the Umayyad army - with at least 5000 serving under caliph Mauwiyah in the 660s CE - they were also present in administration, serving practically everywhere - from low officials, through clergy to to diplomacy and even (in women's case) caliphs' alcove. Omnipresent on Umayyad court, they soon became a semi-formal caste within the royal apparatus, replenishing itself not only through slave trade, but internal marriages as well.

Their position became especially strong after the collapse of Umayyad authority in the Middle East and caliph's exile to Qurtubah. Searching for a powerbase in a Vandal-overrun al-Andalus, he turned to his most devout followers - the Saqaliba. They formed the backbone of his forces, creating the warring frontier against the mithratic Romans, wotanist Suevs and christian Goths. Saqaliba-garrisoned strongholds rose all along the Umayyad frontier, and constant clashes marked each passing month with blood. Evenly matches, the muslims and the infidels created a delicate balance of power - one that lasted for over a century. But nothing is permanent, espiecially in remote Iberia...

This balance has been turned upside-down in year 451 AH/1060 CE[SUP]1[/SUP]. The central point of those events was the frontier fortress of Batalyos...

[SUP]1[/SUP] - This AAR uses double, muslim/christian dating system. Muslim (AH) starting year is year 622 of the christian calendar (CE).
 

Jedrek

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I
Abu-Bakr Saburid and the rise of Saqaliba Emirate

The Umayyads of al-Andalus were always a mere shadow of their former strenght. Although their grip over the southern part of the peninsula has never been directly challenged, they never posed any serious threat to the Visigothic kingdoms of the north either. The Severans of Valentia, although vestigious themselves, have also contributed to a standstill. With no power capable of tilting the balance, the politics of Iberia were plain and simple, with constant border clashes preventing either side from mustering the strenght needed to advance - but also failing to deplete them enough for the lines to be broken.

The collapse of Umayyad power in middle of the 10th century CE seemed to be an opportunity for the Visigoths to overrun the scattered muslim forces and retake Andalusia all the way to the Pillars of Hercules. And indeed, the Visigoths did try to use this opportunity. But their advance southwards has been thwarted by Saqaliba, commanded by hitherto unknown Abu-Bakr Saburid. Under his leadership, the Saqalba routed the Visigoths at Batalyos and chased them across the Uadi* Ana. Upon this, Abu-Bakr turned to the wali of Batalyos, asking for shelter and medcal aid for his warriors. The proud wali (whose name was to be soon erased from known records) closed the gates shut, declaring that "slaves should know their place".

Infuriated, Abu-Bakr ordered to take the city by storm - which the Saqaliba accomplshed, despite heavy loses. With the callous wali now cowering at his feet, Abu-Bakr ordered his execution - and declared Batalyos to be new home for him and his men. The population, grateful for fending off the Visigoths, accepted Abu-Bakr's rule.

Of course, news of Saqaliban coup spread to the nearby realms quickly. The caliph in Cordoba sent his emmisary to negotiate with Abu-Bakr (Batalyos was still formally a part of the caliphate), but the Saqaliba refused to even meet with the diplomat, sending him back empty-handed. In the south and west, the splintering emirs of Al-Gharb and Ishbiliya welcomed yet another strike against the caliph's authority. In the north, the Visigothic king of Leon cautiously observed the situation, his men clashing with Saqaliba every now and then.

By 453 AH, the Saqaliba of Caceres have also revolted against their overlord, accepting Abu-Bakr as their sovereign. Styling himself emir, Abu-Bakr slowly emerged as an important player of the rearranged Iberian checkerboard. Still, the situation could hardly be considered good for the young emirate - with the always militiant Visigoths in the north and unstable emirates everywhere else, the future of was by no means certain.


The Saqaliban Emirate, surrounded by (clockwise): Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Toledo, Qurtubah, banu Abbad Emirate, Moazib Emirate, Kingdom of Lusitania
In such situation, Abu-Bakr attempted to reconcile with caliph Abdul-Rahman. In 458 AH/1066 CE, his emmissary arrived in Qurtubah, seeking an audience with the caliph. As the result of this visit, a delicate compromise was reached; in exchange for acknowledging Batalyosian independence and the hand of caliph's daughter Naydia, Abu-Bakr would oblige himself not to act in any way against Qurtuban interests.

The birth of Abu-Bakr's two sons - Layha (28 MuHarram 459 AH/19 XII 1066 CE) and Rus (13 Safar 459 AH/2 I 1067 CE) have been interpreted as a sign of divine help and protection. As a thanksgiving, the emir went on the Hajj, thus fulfilling one of his first promises - that he'd leave Batalyos only once he ensures the emirate's safety. Nevertheless, even on this seemingly spiritual journey, he had to prove his courage - by leading a munity that has taken over the ship carrying them across the Mediterranean once it was revealed that the captain planned to sell the passangers off to Berber slave traders instead of ferrying them to Egypt.

The years following Abu-Bakr's pilgrimage were filled with constant warfare. Expeditions against the banu Abbad emirate of Ishbiliya in 461 AH/1069 CE and 469 AH/1077 CE have resulted in incorporation of the cities of Walbah and Aracena into the emirate. Having an open access to the sea, the Saburid realm could finally get involved in marine trade - although the toll taken at the Pillars of Hercules by Wisimarid Vandals made the enterprise very costly - at times even risky. Still, the money earned has beein invested further in the realm. Realising the increasing supply needs of his army, Abu-Bakr ordered an extensive irrigation project, to provide water for the agriculture, much harder to maintain in the arid Iberian interior.

In 477 AH/1085 CE Abu-Bakr's eldest daughter Bisillah has been married to Abdul-Rahman's son and namesake. During the ceremony, the Saqaliba emir approached the honorific guests - Vandal Sunnegisil of Tingis and Berber sultan Yusuf of Al-Murabitun - with a project of a joint invasion on the only christian country in western Iberia - the Kingdom of Lusitania. The agreement led to two campaigns against the Lusitanians being carried out - in 480 AH/1088 CE and 484 AH/1092 CE - which resulted in the Saqaliba acquiring a strip of land stretching west from Batalyos, all the way to Lisbona on the Atlantic coast.




Still, Abu-Bakr did not see his conquests continue; he died on the 17 Jumaada al-awal 489 AH/13 V 1096 from a sunstroke. Buried in Batalyos, he became the first of the many Iberian rulers who found their ultimate rest in the so-called Tomb of Saqaba[sup]2[/sup] - a majestic mausoleum, which soon dominated Batalyos cityscape. Famous for its sleek minarets, it became an important place for Iberian muslims later on - both as a symbolic monument to the Saqaliban defenders of the faith, as well as a spiritual centre for those who could not afford the costly pilgrimage to Mecca or Qurtubah.

[sup]2[/sup] - Although Saqaliba adapted Arabic as their language, it retained a certain degree of Slavic influence - such us the word "saqaba", derived from Slavic "slava" - glory.
 
Last edited:

Teutonic_Thrash

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I will be following this closely Jedrek. However I am not happy that Sunnegisil had culture-shifted to Maghreb again. Every game I play he does this!
 

Jedrek

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@ DensleyBlair -> Thanks :) I'll do my best to update at least once per week - I get a feeling irregular updates discouraged some people from following my previous AAR...

@ TeutonicTrash -> Didn't even notice that, to be honest ^^'
 

richvh

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No one knows. He just stopped posting one day, around early September.
 

Jedrek

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Looks awesome, shall follow and try to learn more about the amazing world of Lux Invicta!
I hope you won't be disappointed that first world overview screenshots have been made only in 1200 when I finally reminded myself that people may want a peek of what's appening outside Iberia ^^'

Great task under way ! I will certainly support you
Thank you! :)

Interesting, am subscribed, though I have some problems getting your pictures to show :)
Strange... I'm using TinyPic and never had problems watching screens posted via this medium. Does anyone else have a simmilar problem?

As of updating - I'll be posting regular updates on Saturdays, as well as out-of-schedule chapters should I run into some inspiration and write them up in advance. :)
 

Jedrek

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II
Religious reform of Rus ibn Abu-Bakr

With firstborn Layha being poisoned by Abu-Bakr's third wife Naydia in 469 AH/1077 CE, the heir apparent of the emirate became Abu-Bakr's second son, Rus. Brought up by an Andalusian stepmother, Rus was a very different man to Abu-Bakr; and his reign reflected all those differences very sharply.

While we have no written records on Abu-Bakr's ancestry (although it is quite possible that his dynasty name - Saburid - may be derived from Pommeranian Slavic name Sambor), we do know that he was raised in the ghazi variant of the muslim faith. The dual character of the islamic faith on the Iberian Peninsula is a well established fact - while the Ghazis served in the frontiers, protecting Qurtubah and Ishbiliya from infidels, the more peaceful adherents of 'ilm (Arabic for "knowledge") could thrive behind the thick city walls.

Initially, the term 'ilm applied only to theological knowledge; however, following the Umayyad exodus from the Middle East and separation of Qurtubah from the caliphates in Baghdad and Cairo, the definition of 'ilm has been expanded to contain matters outside its religious aspect. In 11th century CE, only the sharpest minds of the Old World could consider themselves true followers of 'ilm. The increasing rift between the creeds gradually led to mutula suspicions and distrust - with ghazis being "brutal" and "primitive" in 'ilms' eyes, who in turn were considered "effeminate" and "naive".


Solomon ibn Gabirol (411 AH/1021 CE - 449 AH/1058 CE) - a Jewish-neoplatonist philosopher of Qurtubah, one of architects of "broad" 'ilm islam
Still, the division was not as durable as it may seem; upon seizing Batalyos, Abu-Bakr invted several Fuqaha, who were appointed to high administrative offices - including the grand vizer. Their efforts greatly assistes Abu-Bakr's effort to consolidate power within his young realm.

Abu-Bakr's third wife Naydia has proven to be most diligent in spreading the principles of 'ilm in Batalyos. Upon her arrival in 458 AH/1066 CE, she brought with her an impressive library, consisting of at least two hundred tomes. Fascnated by the 'ilm, Abu-Bakr decreed that Naydia was to introduce his two eldest sons into the principles of this creed. As soon as the boys reached the age of 5, they were obliged to study a large variety of subjects; Arabic, Persian, Latin, Greek, geography, history, astrology, philosophy, rethorics and so on. Even though such education was cut short with Layha's poisoning in 469 AH/1077 CE and the subsequent execution of Naydia, the seed planted in Rus' soul was to grow into a strong tree.

Soon after his ascencion to the throne, Rus decided to invade the fading banu Abbad emirate. Apart from incorporating the port town of Qadiz, the Saburids plundered Ishbiliya, taking a great amount of tomes, scripts and scrolls to Batalyos. Every courtier In Rus' court was ordered to spend at least two hours a day with the texts, to further his knowledge. The only females allowed to approach what was slowly becoming the most sacred room in the palace were emir's wives and daughters.

Of course, the majority of Saqaliba missed the old ways and were most uneager to adapt to new emir's "extravagances". The informal leader of this group became Abu-Bakr's fourth and fith sons, Barsalib (born 465 AH/1073 CE) - sheik of Evora - and Qayla (born 471 AH/1079 CE) - sheik of Lisbona. In Rajab 490 AH/July 1097 CE, they imprisoned and executed Rus' chief qadi. Hastly called levies marched on towards Batalyos, proclaiming Barsalib to be true emir. Rus met both his half-brothers in Raby' al-awal 491 AH/March 1098 CE, shortly after his return from Ishbiliya. A brief skirmish resulted in both brothers being captured by the rightful emir - and executed at daybreak. Without their leaders, the rebels scattered, no longer posing any threat.

His hands once again free, Rus turned against emir Fath of the Moazin Emirate. The official casus belli was Fath's support for Barsalib and Qayla's coup; in fact, it is also possble that Rus, being a neophyte, decided to purge the Iberia of "primitive" ghazis. Regardless of his true intentions, in late 491 AH/1098 CE Rus stood at the gates of Martulah, having defeated the Moazin army. Still, the fortress refused to surrender, defiant towards the invaders.

According to the legend, Rus declared that a special "bird-machine" was to be constructed to carry his troops behind the walls. Based on ancient Greek texts, plundered from Ishbiliyan library, he designed a machine "large as five eagles, made of wood and tin", which he then tested - by dropping it off a nearby cliff. Needless to say, the contraption plunged, crashing. Miraculously, Rus came out of this accident with just a minor injury. Luck was not on his side, however; the wound got quickly infected, and even an emergency amputation did not prevent gangrene from spreading. The "Philosopher Emir" died in pain on the 4th of Rajab 492 AH/27th of May 1099 CE.
 
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mike the knight

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Sometimes knowledge is dangerous even for eople who possess it ! Very interestng beggining
 

Jedrek

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III
The Sultanate of Lusitania

Rus' untimely death meant that his firstborn son - Zidraq - ascendend to the throne as a child. Luckily, the place behind the throne has been occupied by perhaps the most appropriate man avalible - sheik Muhammad of Walbah.


A witness of Rus' tragic fall and subsequent illness, Muhammad decided to keep the emir's death a secret until the fall of Martulah. Helplessly outnumbered and deprived of any hope of relief, the keep fell in Thw al-Qi`dah 492 AH/October 1099 CE. It was only then when Muhammad announced the death of the emir to the surrendering sheik. According to the tradition, he personally led the defeated landholder to Rus' provisoric makeshift mausoleum - a tent where his body was kept by a team of entrusted embalmers - gloating that "A single, dead emir is worth more than the most valiant man of Martulah".


Upon returning to Batalyos, Muhammad quickly asserted power. Since Zidraq was no infant - eleven at the time of his father's death - the regent decided to slowly introduce the kid into the secrets of ruling a country. Zidraq has proven to be a most potent learner; when Muhammad left Batalyos to campaign against the banu Abbads in 494 AH/1101 CE, Zidraq was left in charge of most day-to-day business in the capital. And the child fared well, taking into account no court faction attempted to imprison or oust him in favour of his older relatives.

In 497 AH/1104 CE, Zidraq was officially proclaimed emir, ending Muhammad's regency. He inherited a state greatly strenghtened by his mentor and regent; not only did Muhammad triumph against banu Abbads, he also defeated the new Moazin emir Abbas ibn Fath, annexing Al Qasr and quashing the rebellion of sheik Fath in Martulah, who hoped to use what he percieved a moment of his new masters' weakness and attempted to break free of their rule. Fulfilling his role, Muhammad retired to his holdings in Walbah, but remained a frequent visitor on Zidraq's court up until his death in 508 AH/1115 CE.


The young emir did not waste time; his first wife became Tahira bint Abbad, Abdul-Rahman's granddaughter. With the alliance with the caliph renewed, Zidraq had free hands to bring his plans into existance.

Unlike his grandfather and father, who treasured more "practcal" areas of 'ilm (law in Abu-Bakr's case and natural philosophy in Rus'), Zidraq displayed much interest in the metaphysical sphere of knowledge. His correspondence with Abdul-Rahman hints that he was a man of vast knowledge of Quran, but of rather unorthodox interpretation. Possibly inspired by saint Augustine's Civitas Dei (which, according to tradition was translated into Arabic by himself), he believed that the muslims of Iberia must be united by a strong ruler, capable of protecting the faithful until the upcoming end of times.

However, it is obvious that he didn't percieve the Umayyads as such unifiers; the well-known decadence of their court led to at least two major uprisings against their rule in the last years of the 11th century CE, and the inability to soldify control over even the closest of lands didn't hold much promise for the future. Instead, Zidraq wanted himself to become such ruler. It is said that during his Hajj in 499 AH/1106 CE, Zidraq had a vision of archangel Jibril, who promised him great fame, fortune and salvation, should he be bold enough to take fate into his hands.

Upon returning from Mecca, Zidraq sent out his envoys, building up popular support for his plans. In Safar 502 AH/October 1108, the two years' effort finally paid off; on a grand assembly of Batalyosian nobles, Zidraq announced his ascencion to the title of sultan, effectively elevating himself somewhere between the Moazin emirs and the caliph himself. Naturally, this put a huge question mark on his alliance with the Umayyads - but Zidraq's belief n the prophecy was strong...


Iberia in the eve of Zidraq's ascencion
 
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Jedrek

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Sometimes knowledge is dangerous even for eople who possess it ! Very interestng beggining
I admit I was quite surprised with the way this event chain played out... But since it fit my idea of the 'ilm perfectly, I decided to leave it as it was :) Actually, I seem to see a pattern emerging in most my LI games - the second ruler enjoys a very short reign, while the third... Well, read up and see for yourself ;)
 

Jedrek

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IV
The reign of sultan Zidraq ibn Rus Saburid, "The Bold"

Upsetting the delicate balance of power soon resulted in the Saqaliba finding themselves once agan at odds with the third power of muslm Iberia - the Moazins. Their attack in 502 AH/1109 CE was however repelled by Saqaliba guards, who then proceeded to invade the emirate. The peace of Al Qasr of 503 AH/1110 CE resulted in the broken Moazins ceding the coastal city of Harun to Zidraq - furthering the Saqaliba grasp over the coast.

Realising the power of Saqaliba, venerable caliph Abdul-Rahman decided to seek reconciliation, restoring the formal alliance between the realms. The strains were completely erased after his death in 513 AH/1120 CE and the ascencion of his youngest son, Raf.

In internal policy, Zadriq continued the string of self-strenghtening reforms. The tax reform of 512 AH/1119 CE (effectively based on plans Muhammad prepared during his regency, but failed to introduce) allowed Zidraq to field a huge army, consisting of Saqaliba troops, Andalusian levy and the elite 'Ilm Muharibun - an elite cavalry corps, consisting mostly of 'ilm neophytes from all over Iberia, regardless of ethnical background. This reformed army has first been used against the Visigoths in 517 AH/1124 CE - 519 AH/1126 CE, when the Saqaliba took advantage over the civil war in the Kingdom of Leon, seizing the disputed border holds of Alcantara and Plasentia.


Duke Iudila, uncle of king Athanagild III and pretendent to the throne of Leon

Athanagild III's realm has been saved by internal strife within the sultanate; Rus II, emir of Lisboa, rebelled with a portion of Andalusian and Lusitan levies in an attempt to force Zidraq to grant the emirs extended powers in their demenses, effectively making them autonomous from Batalyos. The resulting civil war lasted for two years, resulting in a complete defeat of the rebels, even in spite of extensive support provided by the remnants of the Moazin emirate. The punitive expedition of 521 AH/1128 CE resulted in annexation of their lands; Zidraq's firstborn son Rus became the ruler of the newly created emirate of Algarve.


In years 521 AH/1128 CE - 530 AH/1136 CE, the Saqaliba continued their expansion, incorporating the Vandal state of Tingis (which got beaten several years earlier by the Nekorians, who conquered all their African provinces) and the Suevic provinces of Portucale and Coimbra.


The last Vandal ruler of Iberia

In 529 AH/1135 CE caliph Raf died, succeeded by his son Fath. More of a humble scholar than a true ruler, Fath seemed a good person to be used in Zidraq's gamble for hegemony over the peninsula.


On the 5th Thw al-Hijjah 530 AH/4th of September 1136 CE Zidraq and Fath met in Ishbiliya on what seemed to be a ceremony to acknowledge Zidraq's semi-vassal status. The caliph was faced with a bitter surprise, though; the Saqaliba have taken over the palace, which served as the meeting's site, allowing Zidirq to present an ultimatum; complete independence from the Umayyads and a right to designate the next caliph.

The plan was foiled by 'Ilm Muharibun, however; the holy warriors engaged the Saqliba, buying off time for the caliph to escape to Qurtubah. In response, Zidraq assembled his forces - and marched onto the Umayyad capital. The decisive battle was fought at Carmona on the 11th of Jumaada al-Thaany 531 AH/5th of March 1137. The outcome has been once again decided by 'Ilm Muharibun who, under command of master Muhammad, deserted the battlefield, refusing to spill their "spirit brothers'" blood. This way, despite numerically inferior, the Saqaliba opened the way to Qurtubah.


The fate did not seem to favour them, however; in MuHarram 532 AH/October 1137, African sultan Amezwar II of Sanhaja raided the Andalusian coast, laying siege upon Al-Jazira Al-Khadra and Qadiz. The Saqaliba had to abandon the siege of Qurtubah and head south, where they defeated the invaders. The delay was more than enough for the caliph, however, and when Zidraq reappeared under the walls of Qurtubah the following year, the fortress was reinforced, making it impossble for the Saqaliba to take.


The stalemate resulted in a second meeting in Ishbiliya in 534 AH/1139 CE, where Fath and Zidraq achieved a compromise; the beaten caliph would recognise Saqaliba as new masters of Ishbiliya, in exchange for the caliph retaining formal superiority over the sultanate. A combined expedition against the Visigoths was also planned.

The preparations took long four years, and the invasion against the kingdoms of Leon and Suevia was launched in 537 AH/1143 CE. Suevic armies under Pennio II have been defeated at Bregancia, but the scale of victory has seemingly astonished the victors themselves; Zidraq failed to take advantage of the favourable situation, allowing the Leonese to repel the muslim incursion in 538 AH/1144 CE.


The following period was filled with minor border skirmishes, with no side gaining any advantage over the other. Finally, in 543 AH/1148 CE Zidraq and Fath conducted yet another invasion. This time, however, Leonese king Athanagild IV was not alone; his distant cousin, Merovingian king Clotaire managed to rally the petty rulers of Gaul, forming a sizeable crusader force to support the endangered Visigoths.

On the other hand, Saqaliba army has been weakened by political developments in Qurtubah; the sudden death of Fath and ascencion of his son Raf II resulted in the Umayyads quickly withdrawing their support - with their armies following soon enough.


Abandoned, Zidraq realised the key to victory lied in defeating the Visigoths before the crusaders' arrival would sway the tide in christians' favour. The two battles of Bregancia - fought on the 30th of Sha'baan/12th of January and 16th Thw al-Qi'dah 543 AH/28th of March 1149 CE - resulted in great loses on both sides. Even though Zidraq was only barely beaten, his forces have been greatly weakened n the eve of Frankish arrival.


The following years have seen the Saqaliba switch to hit-and-run tactics; small groups of cavalrymen and skirmishers attempted to weaken the powerful, albeit inflexible, Frankish force, foiling its attempts to concentrate on besieging Lusitanian-controlled fortresses. They bought enough time for Zidraq to regroup his forces and meet the crusaders in open field on the 28th Raby al-Thaany 549 AH/11th of July 1154 in the so-called "Battle of the Two Kings" at Coimbra. Clotaire barely avoided capture, and his weary army has been totally beaten. In the peace treaty of Caceres, the christians recognised Saqaliba control over the province of Portucale, ending the eleven years of exhausting warfare.


Zidraq proclaimed the Ramadan of 549 AH a holy month for all Iberian muslims. The celebrations were unprecedented in both scale and form; it was said that in these days even Qurtubah became dwarfed by Batalyos' splendor and glamour. The Tomb of Saqaba became the focal point of the ceremonies. The royal palace (which, thanks to Zidraq's extensive works, encompassed not only Abu-Bakr's old residence, but also Rus' library, huge baths, the Tomb of Saqaba, astronomical observatories, several madaris and much more) bathed in gold and luxury, visited by plgrims from all over the muslim world - including the exotic lands of Hindustan and Khitay.

The celebrations did not end well for the aging sultan, though; strict fasting and pompous ceremonies weakened his health. As soon as the celebrations ended, Zidraq retreated into the silent interiors of his palace, leaving his state to be torn by internal competition between the younger Saburids.

The ten years of apathy and passiveness seemed to be coming to an end in 559 AH/1164 CE. For the first time since the Ramadan of 549, Zidraq emerged from his palace to announce great celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the triumph over the christians. Once again, Batalyos became the capital of Iberia, with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims swarming in the streets, observing the grand furusiyya, taking part in religious ceremonies and other celebrations.

Colourful ceremonies had other purpose as well; Zidraq summoned all his sheiks and emirs, preparing their ranks for a silent purge of those who he deemed unworthy. His plans however never came into being - for his frail body has once again failed to withstand the harships of fast, forcing him to retreat into the silent safety of his palace.

Zidraq ibn Rus, the first sultan of Lusitania, died on the 6th of Sha'baan 560 AH/17th of June 1165 CE, after 66 years of reign. For the third time, Batalyos became a centre of celebrations - this time sad and solemn ones. The Slayer of Goths, Father of Saqaliba and Light of Islam (as the contemporary chronicles styled him) was buried alongside his father and grandfather in the Tomb of Saqaba.


A result of Jibril's prophecy - or Zidraq's genius?
 
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DensleyBlair

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Just to let you know, I've been reading this. It's very good so far - it reads well and I find it intersting. You've inspired me to revisit LI and try a game. I never really got a good look the first time round.
 

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V
The turbulent reign of Baylad ibn Zidraq

Zidraq's successor became his fifth son, Baylad, emir of Ishbiliya. An already aged man, Baylad was never considered a suitable heir by his father - not possessing his father or grandfather's wits, disrespectful towards laws and codes - and it wasn't surprising that his ascencion caused considerable turmoil in Batalyos.


Baylad was aware of his father's plans to purge decadent and incompetent vassals in preparation for yet another war against the infidels. He, however, greatly changed their execution; rather than deal with the clerks and landholders, he directed his blade against his own kinsman, treating them (not quite wrong) as a potential threat to him and his power. His two older brothers - Bardak and Baylahuddin - have at least informaly questioned his right to rule, and it was almost certain they'd challenge Baylad's authority sooner or later.

The first victim of this campaign became Marsalib ibn Bardak - Baylad's youngest nephew. Accused of sodomy, he ended up arrested, tried and swiftly beheaded, all according to the sharia. This move, aimed to weaken Bardak and Baylahuddin's will to resist, quickly backfired - Baylad's brothers contacted their oldest nephew, Sa'il ibn Rus, emir of Portucale.

The resulting civil war initially went according to Baylad's plans; Sa'il's armies have been defeated by the loyalists, and the rebellious emir has been executed, along with his sons Baylahsalib, Rus and Tayyih. The new emir became Sa'il's younger brother Layha, who swore loyalty to Baylad in exchange for securing his claim on Portucale.

However, Baylad's fortune cleary did not favour his plans; on the 17th of Thw al-Hijjah 562 AH/3rd of October 1167, his eldest son and emir of Ishbiliya, Rahid, died in a hunting accident; a misfired arrow hit his knee, causing him to fall off his horse and tubmle down a steep hill, dying at the spot.


Baylad's beloved son
Furthermore, Portucale once again became a focal point for internal opposition; although Baylad managed to capture and behead Bardak and his sons Muhammad and Makhtisalib, his eldest son Bardak managed to overthrow Sa'il and rally the sultans' enemies. His rising reignited the seemingly dying out civil war. However, Baylad did not live to see its apex; he died of old age on the 20th of Safar 565 AH/11th of November 1169 CE.

Realising the unique opportunity, Bardak ibn Bardak proclaimed himself sultan and marched onto Batalyos. His ascencion, however, has not been universally acknowledged, and soon the Saburid sultanate had three pretenders fighting over the title; Bardak of Portucale, Baylad II ibn Rahid of Ishbiliya (eleven years old only son of Rahid ibn Baylad) and Rus II ibn Baylad of Gibraltar (the second son of sultan Baylad).
 
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Jedrek

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  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Divine Wind
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
Just to let you know, I've been reading this. It's very good so far - it reads well and I find it intersting. You've inspired me to revisit LI and try a game. I never really got a good look the first time round.
Thank you :) I must admit the lack of readers' feedback makes me wonder whether my style is hard to read or uniteresting ^^' I realise my Litvian AAR was quite "dry", but that was my plan - to write a "hardcore" historybook AAR. This time, I'm trying a bit lighter approach - but I'm not too sure about the results.

And how is your LI game? :)