OOC: First timeline and story, be gentle but firm. The timeline is a mixture of story scenes and broad overview.
POD: Abd ar-Rahman I becomes a Christian.
Also, to be clear the POD is actually 731, Abd ar-Rahman's Christian mother has a greater influence on him to end result of his eventual conversion to Christianity.
RAPTOR OF SPAIN
"They call it Al-Andalus," Bedr said.
"Did we name it that? Well no matter. I have never seen it before," Abd ar-Rahman admitted. "But with luck, I will see more of it soon. I will await your return."
It was too long to wait standing there of course, but he did see Bedr leave in the Dhow, with a handful of Berber tribesmen to crew the vessel. He straightened his long frame silhouetted against the night and hoped Allah would see fit to grant him success. Returning to his tent through the Roman ruins of the city, he walked alone in the dark, all alone truly even among the other tribesmen. Closing his eyes he saw again the scenes of carnage, the rivers of blood as his family were massacred to the last. He'd run then, but here he was in the uttermost west and he was out of room--thus the risk.
The ruins he was surrounded by formed a building, with its dome open to the sky. He placed his hand on one of the walls and noted a cross made of stone and broken. It had been a church then, this green place. He could remember very well his mother telling him about the faith she practised. He'd been fascinated, listened to her stories as often as he could as a child and despite everything he'd never forgotten them just as he'd never forgotten her. His family had tried he knew, to get him to forget about the stories but he was never to have been Caliph, so there was no need.
It was as he stood quietly in the dark pondering his mother and her Christian stories that they found him.
"There he is," a voice said behind him.
He turned and in the darkness made out Tashfin the chieftan. A handful of armed men advanced toward him.
"What is the meaning of this?" he demanded though he knew, and even as he set his hand on his sword he let it go.
At start of the year, Abd ar-Rahman was captured by berber tribesmen while his servant laid the seeds for his arrival in Al-Andalus. A chance encounter with bandits had resulted in the loss of almost all the dinars he had managed to accumulate in his flight from Damascus and he could not afford to buy his way free. Angered, his captors sent messengers to the Abbasid authorities. They began to mistreat him, cursing him as being a fool, for being weak, for being impious as all his family were. And so the days passed. What the berbers wanted was money or favor from the ruling Abbasid authorities. What they got was neither as they were told to wait while officials were sent.
Ar-Rahman brooded. These berbers were terrible Muslims he knew. Following a debased form that they perhaps did not bother to practice as well as they might. But this was the fault of the Abbasids, not theirs. The true fault lay with al'Abbas. The young man hoped, waited, that Bedr would return and somehow set him free but as the days passed he sunk into depression but that hope was dashed too when Bedr was thrown into the cell with him. But the news was not all abd.
"Your arrival will be like a wild fire," Bedr explained. "Things there are in chaos with so few of them and so many Christians and if you bring them order they will be yours."
So how to escape?
In end, the Berbers provided the way. Word that the arrival of the Abbasid envoy was imminent put them into a distracted mood and they celebrated the good forture to have a captive. But this distracted them enough. Bedr and ar-Rahman slew the drunken guards and made their way down to the harbor. Their escape was noticed but it was too late. A few berbers tried to stop them but he and Bedr cut off some hands and the rest retreated.
"Like a hero in a story!" ar-Rahman had laughed.
And so, after over a year in captivity, in the early Spring of AD 752, Abd ar-Rahman reached Spain, one step ahead of the Abbasids.