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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

kadvael56

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An alternate history of the house of Canarias.
I would like to welcome whoever might read my very first AAR. As English is not my native language I have to apologise in advance for any mistake you may find in the grammar or in the spelling.

I play the chiefdom of Canarias in the DVIP 1066 scenario. I have not received the gift of writing but I hope you will like this story despite my lack of literary skills. I may not be able to provide updates frequently as I do not have a lot of time to play and writing a story is also time consuming.
 

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Prologue: Guanarigato chief of Canarias
While he was sailing to Erbania (Fuerteventura), a bright shooting star passed above his head. Guanarigato wondered whether it foreboded some happy future or a great disaster. He was there, under the golden moon that shone a silver light, and the glittering ripples did not prevent his small boat from going smoothly.


He had already left behind the volcanic island called either Titerogakaet or Titeroigatra (Lanzarote), at this time he had prayed the spirits of the earth to ask their protection because sometimes when they became angry an earthquake would happen and the spirits of fire and sea sometimes helped them in their work of destruction.



But now as he did not know if the omen was good or evil, he was praying and he thought he heard an answer. He stood listening to the spirits of the wind and he began to sing softly: “There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air, if you listen carefully now you will hear...”. This song was later known even in some far western islands. He made up his mind, he would rely on their guidance and following the shooting star he decided to steer his boat to the island known as Tamarán (Gran Canaria) instead of going to his own land.


It seemed to him that his ship did not move but instead that the island was sailing to meet him, as he drew alongside he noticed many people coming to the shore. He was surprised to see that they were coming from all the islands in the area. The people from the great lands in the north or in the east saw them as one people, one thing they were not unfortunately. They used to call them guanches (from Wa n Achinech), the name was only used for the men from Achinech (Tenerife) but they did not know the differences between all the tribes in each island and used this name for every man coming from the Canary islands.

It was now the seventh lunar month, the month of the old sun, there should not be any festival at this time. Then the crowd made way for someone, 7 men were coming and more followed. The Guañameñes, the high priests were going to him!

First came a man from Titerogakaet he shouted so that any man in the area was able to listen: “You have been chosen by the gods of fire”. Then a second man he knew, the high priest of Erbania said: “The gods of the wind made the same choice”. After that came a third man, Guanarigato noticed that he was from Tamaran by the way he was dressed. The man went to him and said: “The gods of the earth add their voice in the song, you are the promised prince”. A dark man who seemed to be from Achinech by his way of speaking said with a dark voice: “The gods of shadows whispered the same words”. The fifth man was from Gomera and he told the spirits of water had come to him in the waves for the same purpose. The sixth priest was given a vision of him in the leaves of the trees, he explained they only talked by the rustle of their leaves. For the last one, the stars and the sun could not have spoken more clearly, he should be the high king of the isles.

Then came the seven Menceys (kings) and countless Achimenceys (governors) and they bowed low before him. Thus began Guanarigato’s reign.

 
Last edited:

Alfred Packer

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The writing seems just fine to me...I'm intriqued...I've never seen a Canary Islands AAR before...please update when you can!
 

unmerged(75409)

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very cool! I spent my last vacation on teneriffa and would like to see them taken to glory.

Although you really have to wonder how you would achieve anything with a stone-age society once the Spaniards or Almoravids come a-knocking...
 
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Wow! The Canary Islands - what an outlandish choice for an AAR! :) Super, just super!

The best of luck for your writing - and a warning: AAR writing is deceptively addictive. Take care. :)
 

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Welcome ! And thank you for taking some time to post a comment.

Alfred Packer: Welcome Great LibrAARian, I hope I will be able to provide interesting updates.

Leviathan07: Without vacations in these islands I think few people would know there had been people on these rocks before the Spanish came. You are right about the threatening neighbours. But "Survival is the game":D

The_Guiscard: Thank you for your comment and your warning, I think there are worse addictions :).
 

kadvael56

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Chapter One: A dream come true
Guanarigato had been chosen by the gods, therefore his power kept on increasing while the Guañameñes’ influence decreased. He could make the laws he wanted without having to take into account the Achimenceys who used to be involved in the government’s decision before. The Tagoreros (magistrates), the Achicaxna (People who were dedicated to livestock raising and agriculture) and the Achicaxnais (Those dedicated to domestic duties like millers, fishermen, potters…) could ask to see him but in the end the decision always belonged to him.

Guanarigato felt alone however, neither wife nor children were there to break the silence of his house. Among the Guanches the strongest child or male relative usually inherited the estate, and he sadly thought that he could not foresee what legacy would be left when he would leave this world. He knew he had to do something about it but the only women in his court were too old to bear children and he wondered if he could take a lowborn wife.


He was praying to get answers about the way he had to follow when the greatest priest among the Kankus came to him. He was responsible for the worship of the ancestors’ spirits and the Paredros gods, he told him that the dead ones might be able to show him a part of the future. “How do the dead ones speak?” was Guanarigato’s immediate reaction. “In visions during the night.” was the reply given to him by the strange man. Following his advice Guanarigato decided to go to sleep in his ancestor’s sepulchral cave. He did not feel uncomfortable among the embalmed corpses as he knew some day his body would be in this cave with them while their souls would be together.

Sleep came quickly and as the beach became less hazy he saw a woman unlike any other he had yet seen. She seemed tall and white, and it made him a little afraid. When he woke he wondered about the meaning of this. In the following nights the same dream came again and Guanarigato was surprised to hear his own voice singing: “Dream on! Dream on! Dream on! Dream until your dreams come true”.

One bright morning as he went to the sea his heart stopped beating, she was there! Now he went to her and she told him she was a priestess of the sun god in lands far away. She had set sail months ago to find the man she had seen in the setting sun and smiling she said he had been found now. She had been waylaid by the storm gods and her ship had foundered during the night. Guanarigato asked her how she could speak the Berber language, to this she replied the sun god gave her words she had never heard before and understanding.

Suddenly Guanarigato heard his voice singing these words:

“I'm alone
Yeah, I don't know if I can face the night
I'm in tears and the cryin' that I do is for you
I want your love - Let's break the walls between us
Don't make it tough - I'll put away my pride
Enough's enough I've suffered and I've seen the light
Baby
You're my angel
Come and save me tonight
You're my angel
Come and make it all right”
And at the end of the day Guanarigato wedded Anna.



 
Last edited:

Vesimir

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Interesting idea for a AAR. I'm really intrigued about Anna... She couldn't sail from Russia to Canarias alone now could she? Good luck with it.
 

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I'm definitely interested... never seen a Canaries AAR. Hmmm... perhaps a pagan reconquest of North Africa?
 

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The next update should be written before the end of the week. Thank you for your comments. Luck may be needed in order to survive during the first years.

Lord Blekinge: Welcome, I do not want to become a part of an empire, I want to create the empire :). On a more serious tone I will try to avoid being a vassal of some greater power (if possible).

Vesimir: Anna was not alone and at least Khodota survived to accept the marriage proposal. May the sea gods have mercy on the dead sailors :(.

General_BT: Well in January 1067 it is too early to dream of conquering North Africa, but I think it may be a good goal later.
 

unmerged(90994)

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Soooo…

Guanarigato is battling a cocaine addiction? (That's what "Dream On" is about, if you didn't know.)

Seriously, this is an interesting choice for an AAR; small base, and lacking in easily accessible neighbors to conquer. I wish Guanarigato luck and further inspiration from the Gods of Music. (Given his name, "Mr. Roboto" seems a natural, doesn't it?)

Keep up the good work!
 

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Alfred Packer: The "Big Book of Blushing Pagan Brides-To-Be" is unavailable unfortunately :(.

It's Amazing: Welcome, I was wondering if someone would notice what where these songs. I knew "Dream on" could have more than one meaning :D. When I wanted to find something about a dream come true I quickly thought about it. I had forgotten Mr Roboto, maybe I should have used it in the prologue but other songs may appear later.
 

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Chapter Two: On the way to knowledge
Eight days later Guanarigato spent some time with Khodota, when the King of Vyatichs told him that the people in Canarias did not seem to have much knowledge about warfare, agriculture and trade Guanarigato told him that he was sadly well aware of that, the few men who had ever heard about the Guanches referred to them as primitive savages. His house was made of wood on the top of a small hill, they had hunting bows and they wore leather garments. They could defend themselves with wooden lances with sharp obsidian tips but otherwise they could not hope to win a war against any other nation in the area.

Guanarigato had asked his wisest men to focus their researches on the way they could take a fortress quickly. They should also be able to hand down their know-how and find how he could rule his kingdom with more efficiency. He had also sent some of his sailors to the main lands in the east. One of them had told him that things were not too bad for the Berbers who kept on worshipping the old gods in Tangiers or in Fes, most of the people now had the Muslim faith but some of them swore by “the old gods and the new”. However in the lands ruled by the Almoravids the pagans suffered. They had a more stringent religion. So Guanarigato decided to offer safety, wealth and honour to the men who would bring with them new devices or knowledge.


Then Guanarigato told him: “As we said earlier, I shall provide the crew and the ships to ferry you home, I will also send a shaman with you, so that the wind spirits will not harm you on your return. You asked me what I wanted for this service. I needed a wife and a steward, I have both now. I also need someone who will inherit the chiefdom but the gods will see to this.” Khodota replied: “They have already, I feel a new spirit is born today, your wife is pregnant.” Guanarigato’s heart was filled with joy: “Then I will ask you this: If there are some farmers, craftsmen, lore masters you could spare please send them to me.” Khodota agreed though he warned him that they may not be here before at least a year. And when the tide allowed it the King of Vyatichs sailed away.


During the next month, one man from Ifni came and he was willing to teach them how they could have a better income. Business contracts were widely used afterwards. Another month later a priest from Infa, the only other place in the area where the people were still worshipping the old gods ,came and he was bringing the relics of godly men, as a consequence the loyalty of the religious men in Canarias increased. During the fruits month, the twelfth of the lunar year, a farmer from Tangiers made a demonstration of how they could prevent the seed from being eaten by birds by using wood ploughs before sowing.


During the pasture month (the fourth one), a Faykan (religious and spiritual leader) arrived from Infa, he reminded the working class people that they had a divine duty, the loyalty of the peasants was improved. In the tenth month, one of the wisest Sigoñes (captains) discovered that a fortress could be broken with a battering ram, the time required for the sieges would be greatly decreased. Two months later he taught his Cichiciquitzos (warriors) how they could make a good use of the terrain to defend themselves. Then during the next week, a farmer from Massat told the Achicaxna that they could use one field for the culture and the other would be a fallow and they should change each year. By doing this they would have a better production. Only a few suns were dead and reborn when one great warrior discovered that if they threw javelins on their enemies fewer would be able to reach them.


One month later a mason from Cebta came, he was an expert in the construction and the basilican structures. Two years after Guanarigato’s coronation, the wise men had finished their researches on the seven liberal arts. And at last during this same month, a lord from Russia settled in Canarias, he taught the Achimenceys the rights the gods had granted them. His smith arrived only six months later, bringing with him the know-how needed to make shortswords.


This night as he went to sleep, Guanarigato sang these words:

“You live, you learn.
You love, you learn.
You cry, you learn.
You lose, you learn.
You bleed, you learn.
You scream, you learn.
You grieve, you learn.
You choke, you learn.
You laugh, you learn.
You choose, you learn.
You pray, you learn.
You ask, you learn.
You live, you learn…”​
 

kadvael56

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Chapter Three: Family life
Anna was working hard to improve the chiefdom’s income and she was successful but after a few months she told her husband she wanted the latest fashion fad. Guanarigato replied gently that there was no end to the heart’s desires and with a soft voice he asked her to remember why she had come. Anna thought he was right, she wondered how she could have been blinded. Together they went to the shrine where the Guanches worshipped the gods of wisdom and their voices joined in a fervent prayer.


Guanarigato and Anna saw the reward for their work, he had managed to get a better control of the islands and she had enhanced the realm’s income. The chiefdom was now prosperous and stable. The people were rejoicing when Mennad was born. As the heir of Canarias was baptised by the oldest Kanku, the man seemed to be in a state of trance, through his voice Magec the sun god gave his blessing to the newborn child and foretold that he would be even greater than his father.


Two months later Anna was expecting a child again. At the end of the third lunar month a small girl was born, she was given the name Lunja. During her baptism, the Maguadas gave her the blessing of Chaxiraxi the mother-goddess and wished her a long life. One year later another son was born. Anna thought Br’ir’uc was an odd name but as her husband seemed to think it important she decided she would not argue over a child’s name.


A soldier coming from Marrakech went to warn him that the Almoravids were looking at the islands with greedy eyes, his prowess in battle was known and Guanarigato gave him the command of his soldiers. He also gave heed to this warning and he accepted an alliance proposal made by the king of Tlemcen. When the king of Tlemcen died, another alliance was made, this time it was with the emir of Tangiers. This strategy seemed to work as no one had yet declared war against him.


One morning as Guanarigato kissed his wife he noticed that she looked sad. When he asked her what was wrong she replied he would soon leave her. “Why should I ever want to leave you?” asked Guanarigato and then he sang these words:

“I wanna love you and treat you right!
I wanna love you every day and every night!
We'll be together with a roof right over our heads,
We'll share the shelter of my single bed.
We'll share the same room, yeah!”​

Anna replied dolefully: “It is not a question of wish, a man agrees with the gods as a raindrop with the storm. And now the gods of war are rising…”
 

kadvael56

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Chapter Four: War in the North
In the past Niebla's army had allied itself with the kingdoms of Mértola, Silves, and Badajoz and together they had fought the kingdom of Sevilla. The battle was lost and the town became part of the kingdom of Sevilla in 1051. Eighteen years later the sheik of Niebla was foolish enough to start a rebellion. Guanarigato thought that if Niebla belonged to him he would have more money and troops for other wars. He would not miss the boat, war had begun.

Guanarigato’s court was small, therefore a claimholder of the enemy called Muhammad was welcome. Niebla was besieged by armies coming from Canarias, Silves and Faro. When the city was nearly taken, during a moonless night Muhammad met the city leaders and managed to be acknowledged as the rightful chief of Niebla. The Emir of Sevilla would not start a war against him so the armies from Silves and Faro were disbanded.

Guanarigato’s anger was fierce in the morning. He had not foreseen the treason. He felt music would help him to calm down. And with the tune he sang these words:

“Man to man is so unjust, children:
Ya don't know who to trust.
Your worst enemy could be your best friend,
And your best friend your worst enemy.
Some will eat and drink with you,
Then behind them su-su 'pon you.
Some will hate you, pretend they love you now,
Then behind they try to eliminate you.
But who [the gods] bless, no one curse;
Thank [them], we're past the worst.”
After that he gathered his councillors. “What should I do now?” His chancellor replied he should go home, otherwise is reputation would be tarnished and he would lose the respect of other rulers. “Can we lose something we never had?” Asked his spy master. She pursued: “Did we waste our money and some of our men only to return empty-handed? Now we should fulfil the gods’ will and take these lands.” Guanarigato was pondering this matter and for a few minutes no one spoke. Then Guanarigato sighed: “The gods of fair-play forgive me, let the siege begin.”

With the few troops he had brought with him, this siege would probably last many years. But his marshal had somehow found 850 soldiers to help them. Hotha's fame was already great but now his prestige was increased again.


A few months later the walls were cast down and Muhammad and the city leaders had no choice but to give him the throne. Now Guanarigato was crowned chief of Niebla. He replaced the former rulers with his own men. Muhammad’s trial was held and his plea for mercy was heard. In order to avoid a rebellion Guanarigato thought he had better be merciful enough so that his people would not call him a monster but he could not accept his service again or he might be seen as a weak man. Banishment was a fair punishment.


When his boat reached Erbania Guanarigato worried about how things could have changed during his long absence. Fortunately he had a good wife and Anna had done a great work. He was surprised to see only Lunja, Anna noticed that and she told him Mennad was now raised by the Kankus. She did not want that but the gods talked to him and he should learn how to listen to them and be able to understand their thoughts, the priests would help him. Br’ir’uc seemed to have stewardship skills so Anna had decided it would be good for him to be raised by the Mencey of Tamaran. Everything was fine until one day his marshal passed away. When Hotha died Guanarigato wept, he had been a great warrior, a good man, a loyal councillor and a true friend. Thank the gods Anna was there, she was his comfort in his troubles, and he was deeply in love with her now.

 

Alfred Packer

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You know what this makes me think of? (especially when the characters breaking into song/poetry) is the Icelandic Sagas. They're a great touch to a great narrative.