Thrones, Chapter IV
Last update for a while.
Originally Posted by Kordo
Very interesting premise, a Christian Spain being forged by an Arab former Muslim! I look forward to reading more!
It's good to know people are interested enough to say something.
--Almost a dozen Taifa kingdoms appear after the fall of Cordoba shatters Abbasid authority in Al-Andalus.
--After conquering Cordoba, Avidus was weds the Basque noble, Munia. Despite his marriage, the former slave girl Lisina is no longer his mistress but remains with him assisting him. The clergy disapproves of the marriage and certain nobles (including Elipando) begin to grumble.
--Musa ibn Fortun declares himself the Emir of Zaragoza after gaining full political control of both Barcelona and Tortosa.
--Deeper communication and trade links are established with the Franks with the principal point of contact being the port of Santander (since lands to the east are controlled by Zaragoza)
--Avidus Arman takes Porto and establishes more definsible borders along the southern fronts. As the Taifas are busily attacking each other, he severely limits raids into their lands causing more grumbling by some of the Christian nobility.
--Karim ibn Ubayd al-Misri and his army reach Kairoun after having to put down several small uprisings on the way west. Informed that the lands to the west are even more lawless he begins a pacification campaign (of the Rustamids) to establish himself as governor.
--Peio son of Avidus and Munia is born.
--Pepin the Short begins to plan an invasion of the Saxons
--King Avidus begins to re-shape the administration of Asturias along more Islamic lines. Since the administration is also inspired by Byzantine (Roman) administration, it is a little familiar but more nobles resent this as it places more power in his hands at their expense
--Jon son of Avidus and Munia is born.
--Invasion of the Taifa of Valencia.
Ahead of the King of Asturias Valencia burned. Not the entire city, fortunately, but the harbor district and the Citadel had caught. Before his eyes one of the towers collapsed in on itself and he ground his teeth. The invasion had proceeded well. Zaragoza had attacked Valencia to the south and taking advantage of the situation he'd invaded from the west and pushed on to the city. Most of Valencia's army had disintegrated after that but a few companies managed to keep together and launch attacks on him, attempting to relieve the city while Zaragoza consolidated it's hold in the north. It hadn't been a simple matter but the outcome had not been in doubt. Due to the flames, most of his men were milling around the out-buildings of the town or fighting the fire, there was comparatively little appetite for looting or rape though he would probably have to parcel out the widows in a few days.
Still he could rebuild the port and have on on the coast of the sea and that was no small gain. Trade with the Franks was increasing at a surprising rate and even a few ships from the island in the northern sea had come, but it could not compare to the trade in the south with the Lombards or the Romans.
All in all, things were going well. The foundation of the changes he planned to makein the administration practices of the Asturians had largely been completed and agricultural and medical techniques were also beginning to improve. In this he was fortunate--in light of who he was it might have been expected that many of the surviving Muslims would hate him--and many did. But not all, more than a few attached themselves to his court for he demonstrated a love of learning and repsect for knowledge that would mark this period of Islam and several of these had come from the east for various reasons bringing with them both knowledge and literacy. While a cutural fusion had already been well underway in the south, even in the northern parts of his land new ideas and modes of thinking were just beginning to emerge even after a few short years.
As he continued the work that night in his tent submerged in an endless pile of parchments, one of his guards informed him that he had a visitor, one he'd not expected. Munatas was a Berber, one of the aspies in relation to the Mahgreb he kept. He bowed quickly before him.
"Speak, you should not be here. What is the meaning of this?" he demanded quietly.
"My lord," Munatas began, "I have confirmation from my own agents. The governor of Ifriqiya is putting together a great armament in the ports to the south. He intends to cross the sea."
"So....," the king said feeling his face go still. "In the end, they came to me." The desire for revenge, submerged these past years as the daily concerns of the kingdom demanded his attetion, burst forth again and flamed inside him. Only his experience kept him from showing reaction.
"It is said, lord, that he has publicly declared you an enemy of Islam and will not return from his expedition without your head in a box." Munatas gestured to a wrapped bundle he placed on the table. My report will detail all we have learned about his movements but he will move soon."
"Hmm... and in the process he will put down the Taifas. What else?"
"35,000 men it is said, and many, many horsemen."
"Very well. Thank you, Munatas. Now I know you would wish to return but you must stay with me at all time, I would ask you more of the details and a human voice is all the better than writing. After all, I prefer my head attached to my body and my body is too large to fit in the small box he has no doubt readied at his side--so I must triumph."
His agents blanched a little, visible even in the dark on his face but nodded. The king smiled inside, best not to let him go, not with the knowledge of that great army that might prey on his mind and argue for defection.
That very night messengers were sent, his most trusted men, men of all tribes or peoples under his crown, men he chose for one reason, their loyalty. Messengers sent to the other parts of his realm, to Zaragoza, the other Taifas, even to the Franks. Those messengers had been found by Lisina, who often coordinated his intelligence reports and he trusted her judgment. The Caliph's governor was a threat to them all. He might not have started a King, but he would end as one, not a prisoner or supplicant.
But not yet, not while an Abbasid Caliph drew breath.
Last edited by MNP; June 10th, 2009 at 04:38 AM..