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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

vyshan

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The Light of Al-Andalus
Hello and welcome, as can surmize from the title this shall be an AAR of Granada using MEIOU and Taxes. This AAR will be a mixture of Narrative and Historical Book styles. Some chapters will be more historical style narrating the overview of politics, explaining the legacy of men and women while others will follow the various rulers and advisers and their schemes as they try to guide Granada to prominence.

I do admit that I am not the greatest EU4 or MEIOU and Taxes Player but I do aim to at least well. I do welcome feed back of course both in gameplay and in story.

Notes:
->Islamic Calendar: I will be for the most part using the Islamic Hijri calendar as this will be more of a Narrative AAR I am hoping anyways. I am using this converter, unless someone has a better converter. and naturally if anyone has any questions about the date, just ask. That said I will also be using the Gregorian Calendar dates when it makes sense.

->Culture modification: There is one minor Modification to MEIOU and Taxes I did for this AAR, and that is to split christian Andalucian culture from Islamic Andalusi culture. The Andalusi culture is in the Maghreb group. If the province converts to Islam the culture will change to Andalusi and vice versa. This likely will make things a bit harder but I am fine with that.

Table of Contents
Book 1 - The Emirate of Granada
Chapter 1 -
Meeting and Plans
Chapter 2 - A Return to Traditional Tolerance
Chapter 3 - Dealing with the Plague
Chapter 4 - The Treaty with the Sultan
Chapter 5 - Throwing off the Castilian Yoke
Chapter 6 - Brotherly Plans
Chapter 7 - The end of the Castilian Civil War
Chapter 8 - Looking to the Next War
Chapter 9 - Taking Cordoba
 
Last edited:

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Subscribed!
 

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Subbed. I have always wanted to see a full restoration of Al-Andalus on here.
 

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Haven't seen much of M&T on the forums, should be a fun ride.
 

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Plans and Meetings

Setting out for Fez
The Gardens of the Alhambra, an oasis of calm in the valleys of Granada. The Foliage and Greenery allowed Muhammad the fifth to relax a little bit despite the dangers of being the Emir. He found it much easier to deal with people by walking through the gardens together. He was awaiting one of his courtiers, Jabbar ibn Hakkan. One of the men he trusted with such an important role that he had for planned if his dreams for Granada were to be more then just dreams.

As Muhammad walked through the gardens while he waited for Jabbar to arrive, his mind turned to the fact that today was the start of the new year as well as nearly the end of the Old. He knew that to his christian subjects today was December 25th 1356. Yet for him, it was the first of Muharram 758. A new year to allow for his plans to be pushed forward.

His thoughts were broken as Jabbar had arrived. Jabbar was a tall, and slender and with a bookish figure. Jabbar was a man that Muhammad knew that he could trust. “Your preparations for the trip to the Sultanate of Fez is proceeding along well, I presume?”

That is correct.” Jabbar said calmly in response.

Good. We need the Sultan of Fez on our side. If he is not then our plans for independence from the Castilians will be next to impossible to Achieve. I want you to get him on our side,” Muhammad said and paused briefly before speaking again. “I do not care how you get him on our side but he must be on our side.”

To which I agree. Do not worry my lord, I will make sure that he is on our side. He may take some time to convince though...”Jabbar said and then spoke more clearly to emphases his point, “But he will be on our side.”

Good. I want him on our side. This is why I have a gift for the Sultan. My servants will make sure that you have it available for your trip. This gift should assist the Sultan in seeing reason.” Muhammad replied to Jabbar.

He will receive it. Is there anything else you require of me, my lord?” Jabbar asked in return.

No. You have your duties. May Allah bless you on your path.” The emir said as both men left the Gardens of the Alhambra to attend for their own duties.

Planning for war
The following day following noon prayers, Muhammad was leaving his study which he had occupied his time. He found it good to read in order to plan for the future. As he walked down the halls of the Alhambra he ran into his half-brother Yusef. As always Yusef had his sword on his person.

Ah Brother, shame you missed the hunt today.” Yusef said in a friendly and familial tone as he embraced his brother. The two brothers continued to talk quietly as they walked down the hall.

Well perhaps next time.” Said Muhammad with a small laugh in return.

I saw Jabbar leaving earlier, I trust that everything with the Sultan of Fez is proceeding well.” Yusef said his tone becoming more serious though still retaining his friendly tone.

Indeed. That part of the plan is starting” Muhammad said in response.

Good. Though we need our own force of men to be prepared to oppose the Castilians. We do not want this to be a repeat of Tarifa. Moreover a sizable force of men will help convince the Sultan of Fez to join with us.” Yusef paused before speaking with a chuckle, “Besides we do not want the Sultan to get all the glory in battle.”

There is something we can agree on. We can begin the preparation of training and drawing up more men but with the size of our realm we do not have that much to draw on compared to the Castilians.” Muhammad replied and then paused before speaking again. “What of the Caliph in Cairo? My delegate to the Caliph to pay him respect, and if he is able is to ask for any men.”

The Prisoner of Cairo?” he said with a laugh before continuing in a more serious tone, “No, We are not living in the days of the Rashidun or the Umayyad anymore. That will not happen Brother. We also can not rely on any Ghazis coming over here. Most here prefer to go and fight for one of the Turks in Anatolia. No, Brother no aid will be coming from the Caliph. We are not living in the days of the Rashidun or the Umayyad anymore.”

A pity. Despite being stuck in Cairo, his word still holds great weight and if we could have the Ghazi come here that would be a boon. We shall prepare our own troops without his aid.” Muhammad said briefly sighing before continuing, “Very well, I leave the preparation of our troops in your hands, brother.”

Do enjoy your work brother. I do recommend to enjoy me on a hunt next time. It would do good to do some ridding out in the country.” Yusef said in a friendly tone as both brothers turned down the hall and headed into separate directions.

A meeting in the Moonlight Gardens
Safiyya kept a close eye as she crept through the halls of the Alhambra to the Gardens. She was meeting with her husband and brother, and a new man that she did not know but was informed that he would be of importance to their schemes. She was careful as she had no desire to be caught by her other Brother, her half-brother, Muhammad. Though he was naïve and generous, he would deal with her harshly if he caught wind of her plans to remove him from power and if not her then the bloodthirsty Yusef would see to it.

As she entered into the gardens, she panicked briefly as she disturbed a flock of birds that flew off and hoped that no one was following her. There was relief when her suspicions were proven false. She made her way to where the meeting was to take place.

Ah my beloved sister finally arrives.” Ismail said with a familial and quiet tone as Safiyya came to the meeting area in the Gardens.

Ah, your husband speaks truly of your beauty” Said a man that she did not know.

Yes, that is true but we are not here to speak of my beauty but to deal with my naïve brother who holds the throne.” Safiyya said. While she did not mind flattery, she found it annoying that people would just speak of her beauty and not her intelligence.

I also told you had a bit of fire in her.” Said her husband with a soft chuckle, also named Muhammad.

Safiyya took another look around to make sure that no guards or passer-byes were passing by before she spoke. “So Ismail do introduce me to your new companion and what his role in all of this is.”

Ah. Of course dear sister. This is Ibrahim ibn Qasim, a well respected jurist among the legal community.” Ismail said as he gestured to Ibrahim.

Pleasure to meet you, Ibrahim. So what do you plan on doing to helping us.” Safiyya said as she studied the man carefully. Even in the darkness of the night she wanted to make sure she knew the nature of the man she was dealing with.

The Emir will need to appoint someone to the office of Sheik Ul-Islam. If I have such a position, then I will have the ear of the Emir.” Ibrahim said with the tone of implying that the other three should know how that would be of use to them.

You are sure that the Emir will pick you? You are respected in the Legal community, but you are unknown here in the Palace.” Muhammad asked Ibrahim.

That is what my sister is here for. She has the ear to some of the more prominent women in the court. A word to the right one can get back to the Emir. Moreover, I am not without agents of my own.” Ismail said with a knowing tone and smile. Safiyya returned the smile to confirm what he had said.

I will make sure that the word gets to the Emir's ear do not worry brother, Ibrahim. If that is all I believe we are done here?” Safiyya said to the other three conspirators. With a small nod the four of them dispersed and left the gardens.
 
Last edited:

vyshan

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Thanks to everyone who has subscribed so far. It is appreciated. :)

I also welcome feedback particularly on the narrative sections as those are probably the weakest IMO. As I haven't really tried a narrative style that much before so it will be the weakest of my styles. Still I do hope you all will like the AAR. :)
 

vyshan

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Excerpt from: The history of Islam in Al-Andalus
By Fatima bint Hakim al-Hassan
Published by the Jāmi`at al-Qurtubah Press in 1406 AH.


A Return to Traditional Tolerance

With the collapse of the Almohads in 609 AH and the rise of Nasrids in Granada, the return to traditional tolerance began. The Nasrids made quite sure to support the people of the book. There were two broad reasons as to why the Nasrids returned to the famous tradition of tolerance that had been the rule in Al Andalus then and now: Tradition and Politics.

From the Umayyad to the Various Taifas that arose, Tolerance was built into the culture of Al Andalus. The Custom of Al Taayasa, the Coexistence, was a strong part of the general culture. Drawing on the religious custom of the People of the Book, they encouraged tolerance between all Abrahamic faiths.

During the various Taifa periods and the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordoba this was the practice and the norm. Jews, Christians and Muslims worked and lived together and helped build a tolerant society. This tolerance allowed the Umayyad Caliphate to thrive. The Nasrids particularly starting with Muhammad the 5th started to look back to the Umayyad Caliphate. They saw the Umayyad and their tolerance as reason for their success, while blaming the previous ruling Almohads for persecuting the Jews and Christians as reasons for their fall. Thus the Nasrids encouraged supported a toleration of all people of the Book.

Of course beyond custom and religious rhetoric was politics. One of the principal reasons for encouraging the toleration meant that more people would have to pay the Jizya tax. The various Emirs and later Sultans of Granada, sought to have the money in order to supply their wars of reconquest against the Christian Kingdoms.

The other political issue was dealing with unrest. As the Christian kingdoms conquered parts of Al Andalus and converted the region to Christianity, the dominate religion of Al-Andalus was slowly replaced for a time by Catholicism. In order to keep order in the provinces that the Nasrids rule they had to support freedom of religion to some degree anyways. This was especially notably during the days when Granada had to pay an annual tribute to the King of Castile.

Now it should be mentioned that though they brought returned to the custom of the coexistence. They did largely restrict the positions in court to those of Sunni Muslims. Notably non-Sunni Muslims were not allowed to hold a court position. A number of Ibadi tried from time to time to enter into the halls of power but were denied by the Emirs. This rule did have exceptions as from to time there were some exceptional Christians or Jews who were able to hold positions in the Royal Court.

Maliki and State law
As mentioned the Nasrids sought to look back to the Umayyad Caliphate to build their realm. This also applies to Sharia jurisprudence. The Almohads had promoted the school of Zahiri and had strongly opposed the Maliki school of thought that had long been the dominate school of Sharia in Al Andalus. When the Almohads collapsed and fell from power in Al-Andalus so did their patronage of the Zahiri fall.

The Zahiri school were able to hold prominence but as the Nasrids gained strength and looked back to the Umayyad Caliphate as a source of power they turned away from the Zahiri school and towards the Maliki school again. By the time that Muhammad the 5th came to power in Granada the Maliki school was the predominate school of Sharia jurisprudence. It should be noted that the Nasrids tended to prefer a more liberal application of Sharia Law. To many who became rulers of Granada, the law was a tool for their power or to get rid of an enemy to themselves.

One of the most significant signs of the dominance of the Maliki school was that starting with Muhammad the 5th that the Sheikh ul-Islam was required to follow the Maliki school of Jurisprudence. The Sheikh Ul-Islam was one of the most powerful people in Granada. Though he would vie for power and influence with the Grand Vizier. In Granada these power struggles between the Sheik and the Vizier often turned bloody as they did with most power struggles in Granada. More then a few who held either position or people connected to either men in the History of Granada were killed on orders of their rival.

The Nasrids generally preferred this set up. While the feuds could include them it often meant that the two powerful men focused on each other instead of working together to fight the ruling Emir or Sultan. The more successful rulers were able to play off the natural infighting to their own advantage. Which was the intended goal.
 

Mettaray

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Howdy,
I really was interested in this AAR because (although I'm fairly new) I haven't seen very many AARs as Granada. At first I didn't know if I would like the historical parts of the AAR but I am actually really invested in reading them, I think you are doing a great job with them. As far as narrative goes, I am no expert by any means, but I feel like structuring the quotes from characters so that they have their own separate lines of text would make it easier to read.

For example: (Dialogue between 2 characters)
(character 1) "Hello."
(character 2) "Howdy."
(character 1) "How are you doing today?"
(character 2) "ect. ect ect."

Overall I'm really interested in how this will turn out and I hope for the best!
 

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I am glad to read a little bit about the history of Granada before the game actually starts. It makes me respect Granada even more for what it was trying to do.
 

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Howdy,
I really was interested in this AAR because (although I'm fairly new) I haven't seen very many AARs as Granada. At first I didn't know if I would like the historical parts of the AAR but I am actually really invested in reading them, I think you are doing a great job with them. As far as narrative goes, I am no expert by any means, but I feel like structuring the quotes from characters so that they have their own separate lines of text would make it easier to read.

For example: (Dialogue between 2 characters)
(character 1) "Hello."
(character 2) "Howdy."
(character 1) "How are you doing today?"
(character 2) "ect. ect ect."

Overall I'm really interested in how this will turn out and I hope for the best!
Thanks for the advice,I have updated my first narrative section with that advice. As well as added another section to show more of the intrigue going on.

Also Thanks. :)

I am glad to read a little bit about the history of Granada before the game actually starts. It makes me respect Granada even more for what it was trying to do.
Thanks. And I agree Granada is neat. It might have survived longer if the Nasrids weren't so prone to infighting with each other. :)
 
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volksmarschall

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Nice to see a Granada AAR. I love playing as them, for obvious reasons--somewhat challenging in the beginning, but at the same time, stave off defeat and you have endless possibilities!

Keep up the great work. I always enjoy narrative or text driven AARs.

Cheers!
 

Tom D.

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As others have said above, Granada AAR's are rare to find, making this extra interesting. The prologue before the game begins is also well written.

Consider me subbed :).
 

vyshan

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Nice to see a Granada AAR. I love playing as them, for obvious reasons--somewhat challenging in the beginning, but at the same time, stave off defeat and you have endless possibilities!

Keep up the great work. I always enjoy narrative or text driven AARs.

Cheers!
Thanks. and welcome :)

As others have said above, Granada AAR's are rare to find, making this extra interesting. The prologue before the game begins is also well written.

Consider me subbed :).
Thanks. and welcome :)
 

The Number 9

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I join my voice with the other. This is a very well written and very interesting AAR so far. And the game is not started !

Subbed ! :)
 

vyshan

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Dealing with the Plague
Muhammad walked into his study. He had gathered several of three advisers here including: his brother Yusef, his grand vizier Lisan ad-Din ibn al-Khatib, and Salim ibn Walid al-Jilawi his Barid or his spymaster. He needed their advice for a plague had broken out in the Emirate and he needed as much knowledge on how to counter it that he could.

I want this vile affliction resolved. Is there anything we can do to stop such a cursed affliction from spreading throughout the land.” Muhammad asked looking to his advisers.

Well yes, actually.” The Grand Vizier ibn al-Khatib said pausing before he spoke again. “aside from having more Bimaristans throughout the realm. Closing the ports and keeping the affected quarantined can help mitigate the damage of the plague.”

You sure that would work?” Muhammad asked, his tone indicating that he wanted something that works.

Yes, My lord, it will work. I did write the a treatise on my studies of previous outbreaks and I have been trained as a physician. The only thing is that the cost to defeat the plague will be great” Ibn al-Khatib said.

Can we afford such a cost? Would it not cut into the expenses for the Army. Not to mention leaving us with less money after the bloody tribute to the Castilians.” Salim asked. Muhammad could tell by his brother's expression that he had the same concern.

Yes we can afford it. I will not let my people suffer and I will not let my army be a haven for disease.” Muhammad said firmly. The other three men nodded not to disagree with Muhammad on the matter.

Though if we are going to war, has this plague reached the Castilians?” Yusef asked.

Yes, My contacts in Qadis have mentioned that the plague did reach the Castilians. Which is confirmed by other contacts in parts of that kingdom. Though I am not sure of how the King of Castile will respond. I likely suspect he will not be as willing to fight it with everything he has.” Salim responded in his usual calm voice.

Well we should wait till the plague subsides before any action is taken then. Of course we are awaiting word from Jabbar regarding the Sultan in Fez before we can even consider action.” Yusef said.

To which I agree. Wars naturally spread disease in addition to the moral of our soldiers who have to fight in such difficult conditions.” Ibn al-Khatib said.

Then we are agreed. I want this dealt with. Hire all the physicians that you can for the Bimaristans, and quarantine the ports till the plague subsides. If the Castilians wish to let it in their land, there is little I can do about that though make sure word gets to the faithful in Castile about our efforts to fight the plague, Salim.” Muhammad said to his council and then stood up to leave as he considered things done. The other three men nodded and started to leave themselves.

Oh, Al-Khatib. Your work on the plague. May I take a look at it? I am curious to see what you have written on combating the plague.” Salim asked to the Grand Vizier as Muhammad and Yusef left the room.

You may. It is some of my better work. Hopefully the knowledge can be used to stopping further outbreaks of plague in the future.” the Grand Vizier said and handed him a copy of his treatise before leaving himself.

Intrigue between wives
Safiyya lounged in her room within the Harem with a poetry book as her serving girl placed down a small bowl of dates, flatbread and chickpea paste. The Servant poured her glass of lemon water that Safiyya quite loved. As the servant finished, she bowed and she left leaving behind a glass pitcher of lemon water and an empty cup. Safiyya sipped her lemon water as she waited for Yusef's wife, Fatima, to arrive. She had quite a few things to discuss with Fatima. Plots and plans that she wish to speak on.

She sipped her lemon water as she read a poem when Fatima entered her room. Fatima was a Safiyya gave her a friendly smile to which Fatima gave her own. “Ah, Fatima glad you could make it. Feel free to have some of the lemon water.”

Might as well. So what is that you wish to speak about Safiyya.” Fatima said as she poured some of the lemon water into the glass that was left for her.

I suppose you have heard the news regarding Jariya by now?” Safiyya asked as she put her book down as she plopped some of the dates into mouth as she studied Fatima.

Who hasn't heard about Jariya?” Fatima said with a laugh before she continued, “Of course I have heard about her. She has given our Emir yet another child.” She then took a sip of her lemon water, before placing the glass down.

True. Though it will not be long till one of them is of age to rule in his own stead. I wonder will it happen to you and Yusef. Or for that matter the rest of us.” Safiyya said as she sipped some lemon water leaving that statement in the air before speaking again. “Though that is not why I have asked to speak with you.”

Of course. Nothing is ever simple with you, Safiyya. So what did you really want?” Asked Fatima as she went for some of the dates to eat.

Well you should know by know that the Emir has yet to appoint someone to the office of Sheik Ul-Islam. It is high time that he appoint some one.” Safiyya said, again sipping her lemon water.

I agree. Though why not speak to Jariya about this. She is after all the Emira.” Fatima said and then after ate some of the dates as she waited for Safiyya's reply.

Perhaps. Though your husband has the ear of the Emir as well.” Safiyya said as she took another sip of the lemon water finishing her glass and placing it down.

Fine. So I assume you have a someone in mind?” Fatima said and took another sip of her lemon water.

Yes. Ibrahim ibn Qasim. Quite a highly and respected man.” Safiyya said as she watched Fatima.

Ah, yes, Ibrahim. I believe I heard of him. I suppose I can mention him to my husband. I do expect you to repay the favor. Is there anything else you had to say?” Fatima said as she finished her lemon water.

No. though I do thank you for your time. We should speak more often.” Safiyya said.

I thank you for the talk, and for the Lemon water. Do not forget that you will owe me for this.” Fatima said as she rose and left the room. After which Safiyya left out sigh, here was hoping that yet another part of her schemes is put in place.
 

vyshan

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I join my voice with the other. This is a very well written and very interesting AAR so far. And the game is not started !

Subbed ! :)
Welcome :)

Though correction: the game has started actually. The events were all starting since the Game began in 1356. As in MEIOU and Taxes the earliest start date is in 1356. The last update with the plague was 1359, specifically
May 11th 1359.

This does bring up a question though. For the narrative sections what is a good way of going about saying what the date that the event is on? :)
 

Dohaeris

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Welcome :)

Though correction: the game has started actually. The events were all starting since the Game began in 1356. As in MEIOU and Taxes the earliest start date is in 1356. The last update with the plague was 1359, specifically
May 11th 1359.

This does bring up a question though. For the narrative sections what is a good way of going about saying what the date that the event is on? :)
People usually post a picture of the event with the date cropped and inserted onto it, though that isn't really necessary. You could just post the date at the heading of every chapter, or somehow insert it into the narrative, if you like.
 
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Sheik Ul-Islam
Muhammad let out a sigh. There was pressure on him to appoint a Sheik Ul-Islam. More specifically, there was pressure to appoint a specific man to that position, Ibrahim ibn Qasim. Muhammad had gathered his council to get an evaluation about Ibrahim. He had brought his brother Yusef, His grand Vizier ibn al-Khatib and his Barid Salim al-Jilawi for such a meeting.

So what do you know of Ibrahim?” Muhammad asked his councilors.

He is well respected among the legal community. He has served under a number of highly respected teachers.” Salim said.

If he was not respected among the legal community, he wouldn't be considered for the position.” Yusef said in response to Salim.

“Indeed, moreover I am concerned with his character. What sort of man is he?” Muhammad said to his advisers.

From what I seen of him; there is no doubt about his skill with the Law and his understanding of the Law. There is also little of doubt about his own self-interest. He is an ambitious man, and a power hungry man.” ibn al-Khatib replied.

Will he be loyal to us?” Yusef asked.

Honestly? No. Ibrahim will be loyal to Ibrahim. He is out for himself first and foremost. However if we can make him think that allying with us is his best move then, yes, he will be loyal to us.” The Grand Vizier Answered.

I concur. Moreover, you do need to appoint a Sheik Ul-Islam. The people are already starting to speak. It will not due to be without one much longer.” Salim said.

Very well. He shall have that position. Should he become disloyal, he will be dealt with.” Muhammad said rising. The trio nodded and waited for Muhammad to leave before leaving themselves.

Later in the day, Muhammad was waiting for Ibrahim to come to his study to appoint him. The emir wished to get this taken care of sooner rather then later. Especially as he was preparing to meet with the Sultan of Fez. Muhammad didn't trust him but he did trust his self-interest.

You called for me, My Lord?”Ibrahim said as he entered the study.

Ah. Yes. I did. Come in. I had something to disucss with you.” Muhammad said and gestured for him to come in.

Indeed. It is high time that we have a Sheik Ul-Islam.” Muhammad said.

Ah. You wish for my advice as scholar, my lord?” Ibrahim asked.

No. I want you to be my Sheik Ul-Islam. You record as a Maliki scholar speaks highly of you.” Muhammad said.

You honor me, My lord.” Ibrahim said and bowed before Muhammad and kissed his hand.

Good. If it turns out that this faith in you is misplaced then, I am sure you will know what shall happen.” Muhammad replied.

You can trust me. I will make sure that your loyalty is not misplaced.” Ibrahim said.

Good. Now then it is best that I get prepared for my Journey to Fez.” Muhammad said.

Of course I shall leave you be then. I thank you again for this honor.” Ibrahim said and then left the room to allow Muhammad time to think about his new Sheik Ul-Islam.

Treaty with the Sultan
The trip to Fez took several months of planning and traveling to finalize; and, on the 12th of Rajab 762 AH or 18th of may 1361, Muhammad and his travelling companions had arrived in Fez. Fez was in the middle of the Marinid realm in the Maghreb.

Muhammad had come to Fez to negotiate a treaty between himself and the Sultan of Fez. He needed their support for his war. His brother had prepared his armies. Now he need the diplomacy. He arrived with his brother, Yusef and met Jabbar Ibn Hakkan in Fez. The Sultanate of Fez had just recently signed a peace treaty with the other Berber realms in the Maghreb as the Sultan sought to dominate the Maghreb.

Muhammad and his entourage rode through the city towards the Palace. The city was a buzz with activity. While Muhammad and his brother smiled to the crowd as the walked through busy streets of Fez, their focus was the Sultan. This was pure politics.

As they approached the Palace, they got off their horses as servants took them to the stables. The walked the stairs of the palace and entered into the palace where they were greeted by Sultan Abu Inan Faris himself and his men. “Ah. As-salamu alaykum, Muhammad. We welcome you to Fez.” Muhammad said with pleasant tone, though there was an edge to it.

Waʿalaykumu s-salam, Inan Faris. I thank you for your hospitality in Inviting us.” Muhammad said respectfully knowing that he need Inan Faris's aid, and Faris knew that as well.

Of course. We have much to discuss later. Though I imagine that you are tired from the long journey. I have made up the guest rooms for you and your brother.” The Sultan said towards Muhammad and Yusef.

Indeed and we again thank you for your hospitality.” Muhammad replied

Of course. I will have a servant lead you to your quarters.” The Sultan said and clapped his hands and the guards and servants escorted them down the hall towards the guest quarters that the Sultan set up for Yusef and Muhammad.

About an hour or two later, jabbar ibn Hakkan entered the guest quarters to great relief to the two brothers.

Ah, Jabbar. Good you are here. So what can you tell us about the Sultan and what he desires? Your letter was rather evasive on that.” Muhammad asked his diplomat.

Meeting with Jabbar
Ah, yes. I do apologize for that. However, I had little desire to have it be intercepted by Ismail or his agents. Anyways, yes, they are willing to agree to a treaty of support.” Jabbar replied.

What do they wish in return for this support.” Yusef asked.

The principal desire is that he wishes for us to renounce our claims to Sabtah. He is desiring to control the Maghreb. As such he does not wish for us to have claims on his lands that we can push for. Particularly as the Hafsids and the Tlemcens are preparing to fight back once the truce is over.” Jabbar explained to the two brothers.

I see. That is agreeable. Is there anything else he desires?” Muhammad stated.

He wishes for us to not agree to any alliances with Hafsids or the Tlemcens. Again, his desire is to dominate the Maghreb. Moreover, he wishes for a one time payment of dinars” Jabbar said.

Agreed. Even if we had desire on the Maghreb, we need to focus on dealing with the Castilians first.” Said Muhammad.

What about him personally? What sort of man is he?” Yusef asked.

Ambitious and cunning. He is like a tiger in human skin. He is not a man to be trifled with.” Jabbar replied.

Yet he is a man that we have to deal with. Very well. Thank you for your advice, Jabbar. ” Muhammad said.

It is best that you get some rest my lord. The sultan will wish to go hunting with you in the morning, and then in the afternoon, following prayers, to discuss the plans of the upcoming war over food.” Jabbar replied. Muhammad and Yusef nodded in agreement. Like it or not, they were tired from the long trip to Fez. He wanted to make sure that the Sultan did not make this trip a waste.

Making Plans
The following day Muhammad, Yusef and Jabbar, entered the court of Sultan Inan Faris where he wished to discuss the treaty between his realm and Granada. The servants had placed out roasted lamb with lemon and honey. With it were grape leaves stuffed with a variety of raisins, onions, mushrooms, and fiery peppers stuffed with cheese. The servants left out several glasses of mint green tea.

So you agree to the terms of the agreement?” Sultan Inan Faris asked.

Yes. I agree to the terms of the alliance.” Muhammad answered.

Wonderful. Though what of this plague I have heard about going on in your realm. That will not be an issue?” The sultan asked.

No. I have taken care of it. The plague will not last much longer, just a couple more months.” Muhammad said and then went to eat some of the peppers.

I do not want this being a repeat of Tarifa. With the Hafsids and the Tlemcens just waiting to bite at my heels, I don't want this to be a mistake.” the Sultan replied.

The situation is much different from that battle. For one the christian kingdoms are divided. The ruler of Castile, Pedro the Cruel has lived up to his name by being cruel to his nobles who are rallying behind the house of Trastámara. Trastámara seeks to cause a civil war soon” Muhammad said as he took a bit of the lamb.

What of the kingdom of Aragon or Portugal, will they be an issue?” The sultan said as he drank some of the tears.

No.” Yusef said before explaining more “The Castilians have been fighting with the Aragonese for the throne of Aragon constantly in the past several years. The Aragonese will have bigger issues to deal with then us”

And Portugal?” Inan Faris asked.

Not as much of an issue. While Pedro hasn't gone after them. They do not wish to get dragged into his chaos if they can avoid it.” Yusef said as he sipped his tea.

Are there any other powers connected to Castile.” The sultan asked.

While they have ties to the French, the French are in their own conflict as the king of England is claiming the Throne of France. They are not going to risk much fighting us as they will have to wait for an English counter-attack.” Muhammad said pausing before he spoke again. “There is the Genoese. They don't have a large army. However their navy is something to keep in mind.” After which Muhammad went to eat one of the stuffed grape leaves.

Very well. Once the plague ends and chaos begins in Castile, we will come to your aid.” The sultan said.

Good.” Yusef Said in return.

The rest of the evening was taken up by small talk as they finished the food that the Sultan had prepared for them. Though the small talk did not last much longer as they left the courtyard shortly later. The following day, Muhammad and his entourage began to make their way back to Granada with war on his mind.