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Deamon

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Great to see this AAR again always reminds me of the perished RTR forums.

Once more i will follow.
 

czam2007

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A fine update to get this show back on the road
Your battle depictions are always superb
If the Germany problem doesnt persist, finish off England, make Ranald King of the Gaels and Britons

Alba Abú !!
 

Lord Valentine

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Hi folks! Unfortunatly the next update is temporarly postponed. My Laptop has some technical problems and I had to send it in. Thus I won't have access to my AAR files until I've got it back which hopefully shouldn't be too long.
Blasted maschines always let you down when you need them most.:mad:

Anyway some feedback:

Deamon: Yea that board was great. A lot of interesting people, yet not to crowded and kind of cosy. You had interesting discussions, AARs of all sorts of mods and games. A wonderful place. I hope something similar develops once again when someday RTR VII is done. But until then I'm glad to have you onboard once more.:)

czam2007: Thank you very much.:) There will be some interesting developements on the British Isles in the next few decades, that I can promise...

asd21593: Indeed! And I am glad that you are too.:D

~Lord Valentine~
 

Lord Valentine

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Hi folks my laptop arrived just this morning so I am once again ready to rumble! I might have the next update ready as early as today! So stay tuned!:)

~Lord Valentine~
 

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Am always tuned when it comes to following the High Kings of Alba (although i don't talk a lot, i know)... :cool:
 

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Sorry folks about the delay of the update but my mothers of for 4 weeks on recreation after a serious illness which means our household has a new structure: I do the household., father earns the money to pay the bills.:D Thus I have been a lot more busy lately than I would have hoped.

gigau: I was hoping that you were somewhere out there. Good to have confirmation that your back.:) By the way two reigns down the road you will see a detail that you will probably find most interesting...

Sophisto: God it's allready an entire month! Well in that case this update is indeed overdue. Hope you enjoy it.

Ranald I "the Conquerer"​
Born 1135 - Died 1183
Ruled 1140-1183


4-3.jpg

Part Six:On to new Frontiers!


The Cast:


Ranald I, King of Scotland, Ireland and Wales
The Infidels of Iberia

After the grand clash with the Holy Roman Empire the Scottish monarchy got a short period of peace and regeneration after all. Emperor Henry V realized that continuing the war after such a disaster could be calamitous for his prestige and power and therefore proposed a ten year truce which Ranald accepted.
The majority of townspeople and lords in Scotland hoped that the gigantic bloodletting of the recent war might have moderated their kings lust for war, glory and conquest. But with a man who by the standards of his day was almost of Alexandrian greatness, this was a vain and idle hope. Having humbled the mightiest men in Christendom he now turned to challenging the infidels. Ever since the fall of the Spanish kingdoms to a renewed Moorish onslaught Europe's courts had been packed with Iberian refugees some notable, some obscure. Especially France and the British kingdoms had thousands of emigrants. Some adopted the customs of their host country and tried to make a new fortune while others insisted on returning to Spain and reclaiming what was rightfully theirs. For many decades this had been a vain hope as many a Spaniard fell in a foreign country, fighting under their new lieges in conflicts that meant nothing to them. The most notable of them all was probably Berenguer Ramon Jimenez, claimant to the thrones of Castile, Leon and Aragon and selfstyled "Lord of all Spaniards" who fought with distinction under Malcolm IV and Ranalds regent Lord Roger fell in the battle of Oxford.

But now in Ranald these men had at last found a patron strong enough and willing to initiate the return of the cross to Iberia. Ranald however was no idealistic fool. Before committing himself to waging war on the peninsula he forced the Spanish nobles not only to fight under his banner but also to pay homage to him for all territories that they might conquer or reclaim in Spain. As a further safeguard he sougth and got the official backing of the pope for the venture. Ranald would receive a papal banner, to be displayed next to the royal banner for the duration of the crusade, showing every man that this was a venture for God.

The crusade set out in 1175 and set sail for the southern Coast of Portugal. Although most of his advisers had recommended an invasion over the Pyrenees this would have meant marching through France, and the king wished to avoid anything that might be looked upon as meddling in his son and heirs kingdom. Iberia at that point was divided between four greater emirates and a greater number of semi-autonomos sheikdoms. The emirates where those of Burgos and Catalonia in the North, the emirate of Valencia in the East and the by far most mighty, the emirate of Sevilla, which controlled the entire south of the Island. And on this last one Ranald had set his sight. In the first phase of the campaign he attacked the city of Lisbon by land and by sea, quickly capturing it. With a strong base of operations now secured the king now continued to conquer the rest of southern Portugal. With the arrival of Ranald the remaining emirs at once saw the chance to destroy their dangerous rival. The emir of Burgos at once sent an alliance proposal to the Scottish monarch. Ranald however did not think of making common cause with infidels. Nevertheless he realized that it was in his best interest to at least keep the emir from joining his college in Seville. Thus Ranald sent him a long list of demands and conditions for an alliance which ensure that the emir would be busy for months negotiating conditions and giving himself enough reasons to eventually break of the talks altogether.
The emir of Valencia wasn't as thoughtful and simply started an invasion of Sevillian territory himself, in the end seizing the important city of Murcia and lands in central Spain.

This left the emir of Sevilla in the unenviable position of having to respond to multiple threats at the same time. At this he was totally unsuccessful. At first he made half hearted attempts to contain the crusaders in Portugal, only to turn against the emir of Valencia after a few setbacks. Having been soundly defeated by him and with Ranald invading his heartlands in 1176 he finally realized the gravity of the situation and mobilized all his forces. The forces met just 30 miles from Seville on the 18th of July 1176. The emir had brought together a force of 17.000 men, mostly light infantry and cavalry. Although the crusaders numbered only some 10.000 men they where confident in victory since they knew that individually and equipementwise they where the far superior warriors. Also the Spanish troops where in a state of fervor, their hour of revenge finally being there. However the Europeans where not equipped to handle the merciless Spanish summer heat and this the Moors knew. Whenever the Crusaders tried to close for battle the emirs lighter troops swiftly retreated, some of their most flexible troops throwing javelins or shooting arrows at the Christians at the same time. Heat and attrition where threatening to destroy the battelworthyness of the Christian host. Ranald reacted to this in typical way. He took his 800 men of heavy cavalry and lead them in a direct charge against the enemies centre. Even the lightest of infantry could not outrun a mounted man! At the same time he ordered his 1.200 light riders to pick up a crack force of swordsmen and ride them to the front line and thus force contact.


6-4.jpg

Ranald and his knights smash into the Moorish lines

The first half hour was hard and savage as Ranald and his few men stood against almost the entire Muslim host, with casualty rates that may have been as high as 60%, until the rest of the Christian army made contact with the enemy. After this it was a swift affair as superior Christian weaponry cut through the rows of infidels. The emir was among the first to flee for Seville and soon the entire host was in flight, many being cut down by the still fairly rested Scottish light cavalry.
But Ranald realized that the coming siege of Seville would be far more challenging. Seville at that point was a gigantic city with perhaps as many as 75.000 inhabitants, easily dwarfing any city in Latin Europe. The cities rich coffers had been filled through trade and a considerable part of its wealth had been reinvested in an impressive set of walls and fortifications. Nevertheless Ranald went about the task with his usual vigor. Within a month a considerable amount of siege towers and other weapons had been built. Ranald knew that it would be hard to keep his forces in being in a state of siege for a long time and therefore opted for an aggressive attack from several sides. Just before the first morning light on the 30th of August he commanded two detachments of 2.000 men to attack two different sections of the wall. They where meant to be divisionary attacks, luring the Muslims into committing their reserves to quickly and at the wrong place. An hour into the fighting Ranald himself lead the main force of 3.500 men against the center of the fortification near the town gate.
Fighting was hard and for a moment it seemed as if the crusaders might succeed. But the commander of the Seville citizens militia Ahmed Ibin Nasul, a man of considerable experience in war, had kept his cool and waited for Ranalds attack to commit his crack forces. Lead by the mighty Muslim warrior they closed any hole Ranalds forces knocked into the cities defenses, inflicting heavy casualties.


16.jpg

The failed Christian assault on Seville was perhaps the bitterest moment in Ranalds military career.

In the end the king had to see that it was to no avail. He called off the attack himself holding the line with his most trusted retainers so that the remainder of his men could retreat back to the armies camp unmolested. Many a man whose invincibility myth had just been destroyed would perhaps have been shattered by an event like this. But Ranalds willpower to overcome was an essential part of his greatness. The next day he orderd the city to be sealed of with parties of riders being sent out over the entire country to loot supplies for the army while denying potential sources of food for the besieged. At the same time he sent letters for the Christian fleet to move down from Portugal and cut of Seville completely from the seaside. A master of psychologic warfare he also set the rumor about that Frankish and English Crusaders would soon arrive to enable an assault on the city from the sea and the land.

Over the next two months the people in the city became increasingly desperate as food became scarce and several sallies where defeated by the crusaders. The emir himself had contributed nothing to the defense of his capital, having fallen into a deep depression and locked himself up in his palace since the beginning of the siege. A considerable amount of the wealthier citizents feared the total destruction of their hometown if the siege where to continue and many of them, among them even Ahmed Ibin Nasul, began to think that it might be better to try to come to terms with Ranald, who after all had the reputation of being a chivalrous and honorable man. And thus without asking permission from their lord they offered Ranald the submission of their city, on the condition that their faith be respected and that there would be no looting. Ranald insisted that the property which had once belonged to the church be returned but otherwise agreed to the terms, to the great consternation of his fellow crusaders. But in the end the king was happy that his bluff had not been called, since he would hardly have been able to hold up the siege over the winter, let alone take it by force.

Thus Seville opened its gate to its conqueror on November 4th. In the city center the king was greated by the leading citizents whom he treated with great respect and renewed his promise that their faith would be respected. Then he went on to consecrate the ground for the "Church of Gods Victory", the first Church in centuries in Seville. The emir meanwhile had burned down himself and his most valuable belongings in his throne roome, thus ending his miserable existence.

After this Ranald campaigned for another year, pacifying the remainder of the emirate. Finally in 1177 he was able to establish a new order. 20% of the lands of the Muslims lords who had fought against the Christians was confiscated and awarded to Crusaders, both Spanish exiles and Scots. The rule over the newly created "Grand Duchy of Andalusia" was given to Sean MacLulloch, a proven and just man, whom Ranald trusted to keep the peace between the Muslims and Christians. The Spaniards where furious that the Muslims had not been completely ousted but Ranalds measures enshured that the Cristian conquest would not be quickly swept away since the Muslim populace had reason to cooperate.

Thus ended Ranalds first Crusade...


map2.png

Iberia after Ranalds crusade. Note that most of the Emirates exercised only nominal control over many of their territories and where therefore fairly fragile states. This however would change radically in the next 30 years...

~Lord Valentine~
 

Enewald

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No, not Iberian Muslims! :(:eek:
Everyone always conquers them.
Leave the moors alone!
Kill the Persians!
 

General_BT

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And at the same time I wonder how would Ranald fare against realm duress trait, should it appear...

Ranald would charge it with his knights, and it'd disappear in a flurry of dust, hooves, and lances...
 

Lord Valentine

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Thanks for the comments folks!

Enewald: Well that's what happens when you decide to settle on the border of Christian Europe. Should have stayed in Mooristan or wherever.:D
Persia? Hell that's a long way but who knows what Ranald might get up to when he gets bored.

Spothisto: Well I think Ranald has already shown in the past (I think Part Five) how he deals with traitors. But Iberia will be among the most dynamic places in Europe in the coming century.

General_BT: Yep, he's quite the guy isn't he.:D

asd21593: Thanks! Well Iberia definitely is an apple ripe for a plucking. But if Ranald is the guy to pluck it remains to be seen.
 

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gigau: I was hoping that you were somewhere out there. Good to have confirmation that your back.:) By the way two reigns down the road you will see a detail that you will probably find most interesting...

As i said, i'm always here, following... i just savour your wonderfull AAR in silence.

Once again, a well-written update. I remember you saying, among your objectives, you wanted "perhaps" a foothold on the continent... i guess you have a leghold now :p

*Continues to be longing for the following update...* :D
 

Lord Valentine

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gigau: Jolly good! I'll simply be assuming your around from now on.:) And you are right it's quite an empire that's taking form now. Mind you I wouldn't have dreamed about the possibility of inheriting France when I started the game.

Spothisto: Fidgety? What a nasty word! You are perhaps my most committed reader! Hard to say when the next update will be around. I'm quite busy at the moment since I'll start studying in October and still have to find a place to live in...

Nonetheless through divine providence no doubt :D I have been I have been canonized!. Go check it out people.:cool: And of course once again a big thanks to canonized, author of Timelines for having me!
 
Last edited:

Lord Valentine

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Good update! Crusading in Iberia is always fun. I ended up doing that in my Scottish AAR. Clearly it's a fine Scottish tradition!

Oh yes always nice to pick on the Moors. And quite often simply necessary since they have a tendency of swapping over the Pyrennes into France in which I of course have an interest in preserving (at least this time).:D

Ok folks I'm off for a few days to look for some lodging in my new university city. So It'll be at least until the end of the following week before the next update.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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Free Catalonia from the Muslims, for Peti's sake! :D