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Old February 6th, 2011, 02:13 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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Extra #7: What She Knew

Brecanta, Province of Portugal, AD 1112

Even the servants were still moving slowly. Amina stifled a yawn and stared hard at the Viejito. Shuffling her feet a little, she noticed a small tear in her sock that she would fix herself. Big repairs were done by a seamstress, but he always made her do small ones herself.

“Thank you for being so prompt small lady,” he said without looking up, giving her the usual title she hated. He relieved anger at being exiled by annoying her. “You have had an evening to reflect and consider what you learned and your tutor has a day off. I’m sure he’s cherishing a morning free of willfulness.

“I am not willful!” she protested. “I know what I know and it’s his job to show me I’m wrong. I’m not going to pretend for a tutor. It‘s disrespectful to his scholarship.”

“I see we must talk later about appropriate use of the term respect, but for now tell me about Francia… Start with the current dynasty,” he added quickly. He knew the ways she struck back at him too. Caught with her mouth open the short girl turned it into a deep breath.

“There are two names for the kings of Fransa,” she recited in the common language. “The Conradins or Robertines. Conrad was the first king but only ruled three years. Robert tried to take over Brittany but we stopped him. Then there was Hugh who loved the Church, and Lutis who was clever but grandfather León outsmarted him. His son is another Hugh, who spends time building roads and wells and ports. Viejito why don’t we build things anymore?” She’d started talking faster at the end because she was running out of breath.

“We do. But we’ve been building much longer than they so we usually repair what we’ve built. Now go on.”

She sighed. “His son is another Robert and I don‘t like him.”

“Really?” he said in a tone that said he was prepared to laugh at her.

“He thinks we shouldn’t have any land north of the mountains. When an embassy came to visit father, I spied on them and his own ambassadors said so.”

Amina wriggled a little with happiness as she saw his face change. It wasn’t often she could surprise him. Rodrigo de la Vega knew as Amina did not, the embassy was sent by Hugh II to confer with Alejandro IV to see if Spañan medicine--which took much from the Arab and the Jewish--could stop the plague.

“What High Prince Robert thinks is matters little now as he is barely a man. For now, think about the kingdom. Why are the Robertines so important compared to the Aldrians that came before them?”

“The Conradins,” she said to annoy him, “are important because they changed how Fransa worked. The Aldrians used family alliances like us but left people alone except when they needed to fight. Everyone pretty much did as they liked. They didn’t ask for much because they were afraid they wouldn‘t be obeyed--but doesn‘t that get people into the habit of ignoring you?”

“Then you remind them why they obeyed you in the first place.”

“But fighting just destroys things and what if you’re not strong enough--you might lose!”

“Ah, you see kings were originally named by agreement so everyone knew who was in charge when danger came. Strong kings could command, but even they had to ask or keep winning to reward their followers. The Raptor, Abd ar-Rahman, was like that.”

“Asking doesn't work,” she said wrinkling her nose. “It’s hard to get everyone to agree and by the time you do, you have to give up things or it's too late. We don‘t do that! Or at least not much.”

“Our nobles spend time and money on things like art and buildings and poets and get prestige and praise for it. They send the rest to the capital so the king defends them and they don’t have to. He gets praised for that. Sometimes their own children help. It appeals to the inherent human weakness of sloth, gives them an outlet for their resources, and a reason to leave war alone. They can say to themselves 'without our money and our sons the king could not fulfill his duties' and feel important. That’s true but not the way in Francia. So stop sliding away from the topic and tell me how things are done there.”

Cornered, Amina abandoned her attempt to shift the conversation over to the way Spaña worked.

“Their big problem is half their kingdom is wild compared to the other half. The western parts were Roman, have bigger cities and depend on peace for trade and food. They have councils but the big cities are controlled by the relatives or people the king likes. They have enough troops to keep the town quiet but not to do more unless the king trusts them. If that happens he lends them some of his own army but never for too long. Because the west has been peaceful so much longer, there aren't as many castles in the countryside and they look more like big houses. There are a lot of small forts that are bases for the king’s police to keep the roads open and the bandits down, these are the barons. Once you get past the border so as long the king keeps up his army it would be stupid to try and rebel in the country. I think the western part is where they get most of their power.”

“Ah, but it didn’t start that way. How did that change?”

“Um… oh! It took a long time. A lot of the old counts died or got moved to cities. Others were removed after rebelling against taxes or other reasons. Whenever there was free land the king took it over and put his Royal Service in control when he could or his close family. Other counts work for the king and the civil war let Duke Hugh get rid of people he didn’t like.”

“Rebellions are useful for reordering things if you can manage to stamp them out,” the Viejito admitted. “But as you said, fighting is destructive. Take advantage of them if they appear but make very sure they are stamped out for good. Doing things by half measures only means you will have to do them over and over again. But tell me about the east.”

Amina nodded very fast, his words finding the approval of her bold nature.

“Uh-huh. The east is where the trouble always is. There were a lot of tribes and a lot of forests and not a lot of cities. The king isn’t able to control the east like the west, because things are too far apart or too broken up by the land. He has to depend on the dukes.”

“There are dukes in the west, how are they different?”

“Oh. Dukes are strange up there. Our dukes lead armies, but their dukes lead places and armies. I think that’s confusing. Western dukes are usually relatives. They get put in the big cities to keep taxes and stuff going to the king and they‘re the ones that usually have parts of the king‘s army. I kind of like that idea. If they rebel it’s a big problem but the king’s army usually won’t follow them. In the east the dukes have private armies because there isn’t time for the king to respond as fast. Also they’re based around the old tribal borders, so there are some differences between dukedoms there. They don’t have to pay nearly as many taxes. That’s how the first Duke Hugh got powerful, he was on the east border so he had a much bigger army.”

“Very good. How does King Hugh try to keep the easterners from disobeying?”

“The church. The bishops have a lot of influence and run cities or sit on the king’s councils with the dukes and the royal service that run the kingdom. They are like our agencies.. But what would a lord or even a priest know about running things? I think they're slower than us,” she said with a conspiratorial wink that made Rodrigo crack a smile.

“It depends on who is selected,” Rodrigo admitted. “King Aldric began the councils. They changed over time to be in charge of the administration and they have help, advisers who are trained in their schools or sometimes in ours or in Italy. One thing you should remember in regards to taxes also, the Francians don‘t have as many coins as we do--we usually take silver from them. They spend a lot of time working on how to get more, they’re much more experienced at mining, metals, and engineering than we are. We have Darimessa but there are places all across their kingdom that do the same. We've started to employ Francians ourselves actually. Regardless, they sometimes pay their taxes in soldiers or food. Most of the positions in the kingdom are given to those who are loyal or who are good at leading armies.”

“Oh, but isn’t that really hard to make work?”

“In practice it is, but when the response comes it’s very big and fierce--though you have time to prepare for it. Their roads are much better these days than even a hundred years ago so they move more quickly now. In fact it takes them less time to build a road than it does us. What they don’t have is ships. Before you ask, this is because it has been a very long time since they had a western or southern coastline. In the north they used to count on the Irish but right now they use Albaney.

“You’re looking a bit bored,” he said and Amina blushed a bit. “You’ve done very well, and I know that you actually know this instead of just memorizing it because you put it in your own words for the most part. It will be time to eat soon so if you indulge me until then I will let you have some free time in the east garden after.” The girl perked up a bit at that, for the east garden was the one that had the lemon trees she thought were pretty.

“What do you want to know?” she asked with more than a little pride.

“Hmm,” he mused. “Architecture based on mathematics and old forms[1]is a bit too advanced even for you. Ah, what makes a good lord in Francia? How is it different than Spaña?”

“Obey God and the king and defend them!” she said, quoting a common Francian saying. “Our nobles spend a lot of money on hiring poets, artists and scholars or building things that look good.[2] They do some of that too--I kind of like their music--but their lords spend a lot more time fighting on the borders or rebels, and sometimes each other though the king tries to stop that when he can by letting the towns have more power. Basically if you’re working for the king you can do a lot of things. Our ruling lords just stay quiet and entertain themselves and should let us run things the right way.” By the end she sounded contemptuous of the nobility of Spaña.

“Well you may be a little prejudiced against our nobility.”

“They disinherited me!” she shouted, her temper flaring. “They can’t do that! Araman was my ancestor!” She was so angry she quivered a little and Rodrigo could see how deeply Amina had been hurt. If she clung to her lineage and position it wasn’t because she was spoiled, but because her world had collapsed and she needed something to hold on to. He saw her suck in a ragged breath and immediately left his desk. “He worked hard to keep them safe when everyone was sick. He died because of it! How could they betray my father like that?!” Amina burst into tears.

“Little princess,” he said as she clung to him sobbing, “…being a king makes it your fault, even when it’s not.” A heavy burden the Gracious One has placed on her family, he thought. May He be praised that her shoulders will never have to bear it now.
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[1]That is, Roman style symmetry, proportion, regular clean lines in a very heavy Romanesque style with a fondness for squares or polygonal towers, chiaroscuro effects, with somewhat helmet-shaped domes. Essentially some defining non-structural features of baroque with some of Roman (like lots of columns). With Russian hats.
[2]As was pointed out earlier, this is a way to get them to expend their energies and set aspirations on things other than rebellion but also owes a great deal to the Muslim traditions on what makes a good ruler.

Author's Note: A little clumsy, but I think it works a bit better than just dry exposition. So we've covered government, a little culture, the role of towns, which scientific areas the Francians excel in, and a bit of architecture. I'd hoped to cover more about social stuff but I don't think it would quite fit. There are also hints about how much contact and similarity actually exists between the two countries. Incidentally, Amina is 11 here.
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Last edited by MNP; February 6th, 2011 at 02:22 PM..
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  #542  
Old February 7th, 2011, 10:38 AM
Julius Vogel Julius Vogel is offline
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So they build roads faster up north do they? Why is that?

Seems like you've set the scene for a long discussion about planning law and local community consultation requirements!
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  #543  
Old February 7th, 2011, 11:28 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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Originally Posted by Julius Vogel View Post
So they build roads faster up north do they? Why is that?

Seems like you've set the scene for a long discussion about planning law and local community consultation requirements!
They have more ready labor to draw on, and recently, flanged wheels on iron-shod rails so they can transport materials more efficiently, even across country in some instances (as opposed to simply downhill).

As for discussions, Amina has always been essentially a workaholic. She loves ruling things and started early so when she gets a little older that will happen! Remember she was described as mixing with the townspeople regularly in #386 to run the town better.
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  #544  
Old February 8th, 2011, 01:37 AM
jycee jycee is offline
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Loved the update. Would love to know more about the social stuff, if you can't fit it on an official update maybe just a brief responce to hw Francia looks like now. My guess is that it is very similar to medieval France and the HRE of OTL.
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  #545  
Old February 9th, 2011, 01:30 AM
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Extra #7b: Life in Francia

Originally, the Carolingians attempted to obtain money from subordinates to fund a central army. This system proved complicated to administer because of lack of security and loot once conquests slowed. Instead land was let to commanders in return for military service.[1] After the Consulate War with large regions like Aquitania, Septimania, Tolosa and Provence lost, a new system that used the institutional strength of the Church began. Sorbia provides an example.

The Sorbs were a wendish people living between the Elbe and the tributaries of the Oder. Their lands consisted of a northern plain and southern hills. In 829, Duke Aldric was sent to deal with their incursions on behalf of Martinus (r.810-849) and conquered their country by 832. He established a number of small strongholds across the plain and in the foothills then with the help of the church began the construction of small abbeys. Rectangular compounds with a bell tower, they were located in areas considered secure or near the strong points. Given land directly around them for support, their mission was to spread Christianity in the region.

Christianity became a ticket to advancement and more local autonomy, giving local leaders an interest in converting and spreading the faith. Abbeys became centers of religious life and administrative points because of the literacy of the monks. Most records were kept in Latin. As part of their mission they became local centers of education for elites who learned both Latin and the Frankish language which opened up avenues to advancement. These educational centers would evolve into the Francian universities when urban growth exploded in the tenth century.

The Frankish language is primarily a West Germanic language with Latin influences primarily seen in the way certain verbs are conjugated. An example of the modern Frankish language is: Abridotet da vocala dacbracen, which translates to: Killed you did, the bird at daybreak.

Revenues obtained by abbeys not required for subsistence were split with the king in return for protection and authority. This relationship became a model for extending royal power. The traditional counts often became dependent on the abbeys for their officials leading to an interest in supporting and protecting them. It was because of the control of the abbeys that the Robertine dynasty could plant baronies of royal police across the state without facing opposition from the counts who were beholden to the abbeys. Earlier attempts had touched off revolts in the reigns of Lutis II (r.899-909) and Lutis III (r.935-955) that forced them to abandon the process.

After the Reclamation, agricultural advances like the four field system and irrigation techniques spread north from Spaña. They combined with native innovations such as horse-drawn plows and cross furrows to create a population boom. Abbeys were natural places for new towns to form and facilitated the spread of literacy to the population. Pre-Carolingian era towns were usually held by birghravos or birghravi (lit. “city-counts”) but news ones were usually led by councils with abbots or bishops presiding. Major towns are led by a marquis (in Frankish: margbirch) to recognize their greater authority. The revival of trade brought by peace after 892 made direct rule of cities very attractive.

Greater population enabled the Francian kings to plant large colonies in their eastern territories disrupting the power of the old tribal boundaries that had been the cause of some dissent in the previous century. Greater autonomy with less chance of revolt drew various capable men to take a chance in the eastern territories even if they were to be menaced first by the native Slavs and later the great steppe powers. It was thus that brought the family of Duke Hugh to Thuringia. In contrast, during the Francian invasion of the north, traditionally minded warrior counts took the opportunity to obtain lands in territories where they had more independence and eventually became assimilated into the local cultures while remaining Christians.

In most towns and larger villages, small church schools taught children of both sexes basic literacy[2] and elementary concepts of math and geography along with religious instruction. Advanced education was available from private tutors and this pool began to feed universities with students eager to become lawyers and doctors which were lucrative positions.

The universities were originally theological but added secular subjects as the need arose. By the reign of Hugh II (r.1094-1123), private secular universities emerged to fill the need for educated officials in the royal service. The most important is the Royal University of Metz that is funded by the monarchy and founded by Lutis IV (r.1072-1094) in 1075. Education is one of the few methods of advancement by the lower class. It is not unheard of for a wealthy individual to sponsor a student in exchange for future service and even a handful of rural laborers have entered the system.

In general women do not receive education beyond the basic level. Exceptions are women who are involved in a family trade, or widows and upper-class women. The latter two groups are permitted in the secular universities provided they adhere to strict dress codes and remain silent during lectures. Of particular note is Duanda of Parein, who is attempting to gain entry to the University of Paris as the first female faculty member.[3]

Because the early life revolved around the church, children’s choirs developed and became a regular part of services via the singing of hymns. Early choirs were male but by 950 all girl choirs formed and sang a complementary melody to the boys. By the eleventh century certain boys with particularly beautiful voices were encouraged to become castrato and sent to the choirs in larger cities. A small amount of opium was used in the procedure. Girls did not sing in church after the age of twelve[4] in accordance with Pauline dictum. Services themselves are orthodox Roman Catholic but local saints and traditions are recognized in most places in addition to the major holidays and periods like lent or advent.

Because of the primacy of church life and their administrative functions, courts were generally located near the churches and judicial panels usually contained at least one priest or monk both to decide and authenticate the evidence of the church archives. These experienced a significant increase in detail and completeness as a result of the spread of paper-making from Spaña. Currently it is no surprise to see priests summoned to be witnesses to contracts and they are regarded as authoritative witnesses in court.

Cities in general are beginning to struggle. Owing to massive increases in population, rural land is increasingly valuable and deforestation and land reclamation cannot keep up with demand. Mass migrations have given rise to large slums of urban poor outside city walls never designed to house so many. Increasing outbreaks of disease lead to a greater demand for medical knowledge from the south.[5] This has led to the repair of Roman aqueducts and even construction of new ones which is an arduous process. In Metz, a new sewer system was completed in 1123 that utilized direct, paved channels to the river controlled and cleaned via sluice gates. In other towns less efficient methods are used such as hiring private contractors to remove garbage, however only wealthy individuals can afford this night-soil service.

Rural life in Francia is dominated by manorialism. Large houses with a first floor of stone and subsequent floors made of wood surrounded by low stone walls, they are residences of gravos or gravi (lit. “counts”) who did not move to cities and remained independent of abbeys. Security is maintained by county forces working with the king’s baronies. Each manor is expected to provide a small contingent of footmen usually crossbowmen and pikemen. The main duty of the counts is the running of the manor. Land is held communally for the king by its residents. Laborers are freemen paid in wages with the resulting surplus sold to the towns or stockpiled in the barony strongholds to supply the royal armies marching through. Workers are free to leave the manor but the growth of rural population has led to an employer’s market and in practice workers rarely leave except to go to towns or lately, long term military service in any number of growing mercenary companies.

At the eastern borders, manors tend to be much larger and the protection of rural populations and towns more in the hands of local forces leading to the rise of powerful ducal families that contend with the king. In the west towns are the main avenue to resistance to the monarchy.
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[1]This system and the reasons why it was unworkable are actual history.
[2]Probably just above what we think of as functional illiteracy.
[3]And is being prevented by Robert’s political quarrel with Amina.
[4]Marriageable age
[5]From the Greeks, Spaniards and Arabs who share a common medical knowledge base.

Author's Note: Okay, I found all my Francia notes and put them together and updated them into this. Also because the border with Brittany is considered "hostile" you also have more powerful local rulers. Also I forgot to point out that the big cities like Metz, Toledo etc. can employ Roman concrete reinforcement on their walls since ~ AD 1000 which makes it a lot harder to knock them down though their construction is ruinously expensive making cities more powerful relative to OTL.
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Last edited by MNP; February 9th, 2011 at 10:14 AM..
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  #546  
Old February 9th, 2011, 01:31 AM
Cuāuhtemōc Cuāuhtemōc is offline
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Excellent update as always, MNP.
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  #547  
Old February 9th, 2011, 03:36 AM
jycee jycee is offline
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That was a great update MNP!! Honestly it is things like the last two updates that make this TTL so good. You have really fleshed out the world; it clearly different from OTLs but you've explored it enough to make it tangible. I think you have given enough of Spaña, Francia and Ireland as protagonists of the TL.

I'm certainly looking forward to see how the world grows as Europe reaches out.

BTW what is the Irish and Spañan names for Ireland ITTL. It can't be Ireland because that is OTL's English.

Like Francia and Fransa (in Francian and Spañan)
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  #548  
Old February 9th, 2011, 04:16 AM
Scipio Africanus Scipio Africanus is offline
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Wow, awesome updates! Thanks you so much for answering all my Francia questions, and then some. This world is awesome, I am reading (almost done with) a book on France in the middle ages, and the differences are even more striking! Much, much more centralized states (the French king had very little power outside île de France in the early 1100s, and it was mostly religious) more much advanced economics, more developed cities and urbanization, less abusive feudalism (the peasants have more rights) and also religious power (relatively, although still very high). The French king's position was almost more religious than secular at this time in otl. The main reason I would conjecture for these differences:
-The break up of the Frankish state caused a huge amount of decentralization in otl, which was avoided ittl resulting in an earlier drive to centralization.
-More knowledge filtering through from Spana, instead of it being rejected as it was in otl.
-Much weaker church, which took power from the states for itself. The church is much more decentralized ittl (yay), leading to stronger states.
Also, I loved the bit about Francian language, very interesting, according to my translator its fairly similar to Dutch, which makes sense because the Dutch are descended from Franks who lost their Frankish identity. Also, which eastern parts are less developed (where is the dividing line) and what language do the people on the eastern marches speak? How about the other non-Francian/Frankish speaking parts? Will Francia develop a stronger navy later on, they do have the low-countries and much of the channel coast of europe, which all have a lot of great ports, thus Francia a lot does comprise the land of otl great maritime powers, but with a larger population base.
Scipio

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  #549  
Old February 9th, 2011, 04:43 AM
SavoyTruffle SavoyTruffle is offline
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I'm thinking Francia will be a much better place than its OTL counterparts.
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  #550  
Old February 9th, 2011, 05:31 AM
jycee jycee is offline
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I'm thinking Francia will be a much better place than its OTL counterparts.
Agree, I reckon it basically the best parts of France and the HRE combined at this point. In the long haul it would probably have the equivalent potential to the German Empire iOTL (in term of land population and industry) but with much better naval capabilities. But that is a long time from where the TL is at right now. Although at the development rate of TTL, late 19th century level of industry should be achieved at least 100 years earlier if not sooner.
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  #551  
Old February 9th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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Nice update MNP.
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  #552  
Old February 9th, 2011, 10:07 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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Heh, apparently the way to get comments is to post an info-dump. I guess my talents are world building which makes sense. Thanks guys. Anyhow,

@jycee: I'll go check on Ireland, I have it somewhere... and the TL will go 1000 years, so in 1753. Will that be soon enough for industrialization? Will recognizable industrialization even happen? We'll see.
@Scipio Africanus: In broad strokes, that's what my thought process was. Also they had more specie compared to our timeline. (God! I hate that word!) And yes, it's supposed to be recall a somewhat more Latinized version of Old Dutch.
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  #553  
Old February 11th, 2011, 01:04 AM
Scipio Africanus Scipio Africanus is offline
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It has been very interesting to watch the progression of Francia in this tl. I think the recent war is a response to Francia's loss of power after the Breton Was of Succession. You've made it clear that Francia will gain territory in the south after the war, but what will be the status of the small states around Francia, Brittany, Ancolissa and Provence. It seems they will all lose territory to Francia, but after the war will they be Francia vassal, Francian aligned princedoms or Spanan aligned princedoms (which seems very unlikely for Brittany and Ancolissa at least due to their position and Francia's performance in the war)? Also, does Francia have a flag/emblem? You've mentioned before that they use the oriflamme, does that continue? And last, but not least, what is Francia in Frankish? Frankia?
Sorry for all the questions and comments, there is something about this timeline I simply adore.
Scipio
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  #554  
Old February 14th, 2011, 06:20 PM
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...Synopsis reposted!

VOLUME II: EASTWARD ROADS
1026-1136

The Ecumenical Reconquista

In 1026 the Kingdom of Spaña in combination with the Makanid Empire and the Byzantine Empire launched an assault on the Holy Land known to later historians as the Ecumenical Reconquista. The invasion was directed against the Qarmatians, a millenarian sect with slight proto-atheist leanings. Initially they were opposed by Al-Aswad, the Qarmatian governor of Antioch and Aleppo who invaded Byzantine Cilicia in 1026, captured Caesera the following year and laid siege to Iconium. The westerners seized Antioch and Aleppo through the efforts of the Royal Cavalesos, an elite cavalry force of Spaniard created by Ortiz Araman and first deployed during the War of Breton Succession (1002-1023). This caused the Emir of Mosul convert to Sufri Islam and throw in with the invaders. An army led by the Qarmatian Emir of Damascus Al-Hasi was defeated by Alejandro III at Yahmur and Al-Aswad was murdered throwing his domains into civil war from which Bahram ibn Al-Aswad emerged victorious and sided with the invaders to secure his rule in 1032.

In response the Qarmatians paid the Kimek Khagan to invade the Caucasus and Emperor Nicholas of Byzantium was slain at the Battle of Vanand that same year. It was not until the Battle of Manzikert (1034) that the Kimeks were driven out of the Byzantine Empire and finally crushed in 1036 by Alejandro III at the Battle of the Jabbul Salt Flats. This was thanks to the conversion of the Quichats (Kipchaks) a large tribe in the Kimek confederation to Christianity. The Quichats went on to found a kingdom in the Caucasus mountains and the Kimeks retreated north beyond the mountains. The departure of their enemies the Kimeks from the war led the Persians to invade Iraq.

In Spaña, the Spañan queen and daughter of Emperor Nicholas, Sophia, had a difficult relationship with Alejandro’s brother King Miguel despite the birth of León Araman in 1030. With the help of Eva of Iria and Grand Duke Sanzo an intelligence network and national police force known as the State Guard was created. Thanks to efforts by Sophia and the pope, religious fervor led thousands of volunteers to pledge to the expedition and Miguel led these forces east in 1034, leaving the first Vizrey (lit. 'vice-king') Fernan Araman to exercise executive power.

Unable to control his army of zealots and falling out with his brother, Miguel was defeated and killed at the Siege of Acre in 1037. Later Alejandro III consolidated his control over the western forces and seized the cities along the coast while Al-Hasi began a civil war to seize the leadership of the Qarmatians to better resist the invaders. While he was gone, Alejandro III captured Damascus and killed Al-Hasi when he tried to take it back in 1040. After this defeat the Qarmatians lacked an effective leader and were swept out of Egypt by the Makanids of North Africa. Converting to Islam, Alejandro III--a male line descendant of Marwan I--restored Umayyad rule to Damascus 290 years after the Battle of the Zab ended the Umayyad Caliphate.

The Lion of Spaña

The death of Miguel led to the arrest and exile of Sophia for attempting to usurp the state against her son León. This plan was conceived by Lucas Almaghreb the Master of the State Guard and Virón Fernandez the son of the Vizrey. León escaped their custody and sought refuge in Granada, emerging in 1046 and igniting a civil war against Virón and Lucas. León proved victorious when Alejandro III returned and defeated Lucas in battle, ruling until 1050. The war was observed by Chola adventurer and trader Hirajaraya, a friend of Alejandro’s who presented him with a khanda sword, he obtained from the Chola Emperor after an expedition to north India. Alejandro later gave this sword to León and it became associated with the Spañan monarchy.

While León spent the first part of his reign reestablishing Spañan control of the Maghreb, the Irish Empire was in decline. After losing the Baltic War of 1036-1048 against the Scandinavian Commonwealth of Nidaros, difficulties of food and finance led to the accidental discovery of the Grand Banks fisheries and the new world by Brian Chaisil, an Irish merchant. Interest in the new world increased after the disastrous Battle of Bathumgate in 1066 ended Irish influence on the great island of Albaney.

León had not yet fully regained the Maghreb when the Republic of Ravenna invaded Spañan lands in Italy. Under the brilliant Duke Francisco Cesaro, Ravenna developed offensive pike tactics and conquered the Aar Confederation in northern Italy before turning south and launching the Adriatic War of 1057-1060. At the Battle of the Tableland in 1058, León crushed armies of Ravenna at a high cost and solidified Spañan control of south Italy. To restrain future incursions by Ravenna, he married Arvasa of Zara and allied with the Republic of Dalmatia, a league of trading cities along the eastern coast of the Adriatic of semi-Italicized Croats. After returning home, León campaigned in Provence and Ancolissa in the early 1060s to enforce agreements between Spaña and the Kingdom of Francia.

It was not until mid-decade that León returned his attention to the Maghreb and allied with the Christian Takrur Empire. Supplying them with weapons and helping them improve their government administration, Takrur conquered the Ghanas and with Spañan help, secured the Saharan trade routes over the course of the 11th Century. Meanwhile León settled a number of Spañan military veterans around Naples in Italy and invested a great deal of money and effort to drain the marshes and irrigate the southern lands until they became productive. His son and heir Alejandro was born in 1071.

In the east, Alejandro III died in 1067 and his sons Miguel and Imato fought a civil war over his lands. Miguel lost and founded a Christian lordship in Cyprus while Imato went on to become the powerful Emir of Damascus, ruling from Acre to Masiaf under the Makanids. When Byzantium and the Makanids fought over Cyprus, León sent a small expedition that seized the island and hold it as a neutral meeting place between the powers as a Spañan possession. Shortly thereafter, the Banu Hilal invaded the Maghreb. Sunni Bedouins driven from Egypt by the Sufri Makanids, they slew, converted or expelled the Sufris. Most fled east but some sought León’s protection. Never the less this event is generally seen as cementing the decline of Islam and ascendance of Christianity in the western Maghreb.

At the time León was occupied with revising the law codes under Rodrigo de la Vega, and combating the Bernardian Heresey that extolled the virtues of lay clergy and individual interpretation instead of corrupt priests and state controlled churches. It was a direct threat to church power and only suppressed in 1086. It was here that Guillen de Tolosa, the chief Spañan negotiator, introduced Prince Alejandro to Havisa of Rozen and they were married in 1087.

While Alejandro took on the duties of running the state for his aging father, his younger brother Saloman discovered a talent for military command and with the help of Duke Mejed de Terita, defeated the Banu Hilal in the Maghreb--in the process acquiring a bodyguard of Senhaja Berbers, the Sandstorm Cavalry. It was Saloman who assisted the Bebers of the Kabylie who founded the Christian Kahanid Kingdom of Ifriqiya.

Brothers In Arms

León died in 1101 shortly after the death of Havisa during the birth of her daughter, Amina Araman. Alejandro IV and his heir, Prince Rodrigo ran the state with the help of Guillen de Tolosa as Vizrey. His reign was marked by early investments in infrastructure, growing tension with his brother Grand Duke Saloman, and the Perinthian Plague, a virulent form of influenza. It raged from 1108-1111 and took the life of Rodrigo along with over 300,000 other Spaniards and a total death toll of about 2,000,000 across Europe. When the king fell ill, Saloman and Guillen ran the state and Saloman infuriated the merchants by his actions to quarantine the disease, the first time the practice was used on a large scale. When Alejandro died in 1110, Saloman disinherited his brother’s heir, Amina, on the grounds of her sex and the needs of the times. With Rodrigo de la Vega her protector, she was banished to the village of Brecanta where she learned governance and perfected her lemonade recipe.

Saloman II spent his reign at war. Unable to manage the state politically he resorted to military force campaigning in the Maghreb (1110-1111), Cyprus (1113-1114), Italy (1115), against rebellious merchants in Barcelona (1116) and on the northern border (1118) during the War of the Stallions in Ireland (1112-1142). To prevent challenges to his rule, he violated his coronation agreement with the Royal Assembly and betrothed Amina against her will to the High Prince of Austria, Robert, the son and Heir of King Hugh II of Francia.

On her way to Francia, Amina was abducted by enemies of Saloman and allies of Rodrigo de la Vega, led by Enrigo of Lejón. Her cousin Prince Tajer led the search for her and became obsessed, using torture to obtain information but failing to find her. Abandoning the betrothal after a falling out with Hugh, Saloman approved Tajer’s marriage to Amina once he received a dispensation from the Pope in 1119. Using Amina’s devotion to the state, he convinced her to agree to the marriage only to find that his niece had potential to be a far more able ruler than his son.

Tajer and Amina were betrothed in 1120, but the wedding was postponed when Saloman II intervened in the Makanid civil war to strengthen the Spañan-supported claimant. Returning from the capture of Corfu, he stopped in the Maghreb to negotiate a peace between the Kahanids and the Kingdom of Sicily, a Spañan client state. After a successful negotiation, Saloman was stung by a scorpion and died, leaving Tajer to discover he secretly named Amina as a co-heir with Tajer in his will. They were crowned together.

Tajer was in love with all things Francian and suffered from a fear of inadequacy. Amina along with Garcia Maurez and Marcus of Granada sought to use this to control him and prevent him from subordinating the state to the King of Francia. Amina also built up his confidence to resist domination from Garcia. This backfired when Tajer became arrogant and proposed to set Amina aside when she could not provide him with an heir in favor of his bastard son Juan and his mother Iohanna. At last Amina was convinced to depose him and he was killed in captivity while Juan was taken to Francia.

Save the Queen

During Tajer’s reign Italy had once again revolted and Amina had to send an army to retake parts of that peninsula. During this time, the new King Robert had Pope Michael I proclaim Juan the King of Spaña because Amina as a woman, could not rule before God. In 1129 the Francians attacked beginning the War of Spañan Succession.

Amina sent her lover Enrigo to Italy to assist in brokering a political settlement and allow her armies to return home. This was done and a great battle was fought at Auscita in 1132 where the Spaniards were routed. All of Aquitania fell to the Francians and Garcia Maurez’s attempts to root out Roman Catholic dissidents in the Ebro valley backfired when his methods touched off a general revolt for which he was exiled back to the Maghreb. In desperation, Amina held a Councillarium in 1133-1134 with the rich and powerful of the kingdom. They agreed to a poll tax to fund the war for seven years. Afterwards Amina defended the Meseta, her generals winning a victory at Daressina in 1134 against the rebels and regaining Riebro and Tudela by the end of the year.

In the summer of 1134 Enrigo returned to Toledo and Amina discovered she was pregnant by him and married him, making him Prince-Consort. Going into seclusion at Caldas and later Brecanta, her son Rodrigo Gregorio Enriguez was born in 1135. That summer a great army went north to battle the Francians at the Siege of Zaragoza. To help break the stalemate, Enrigo left for the Kingdom of Provence which had already suffered from Francian incursions. At this vulnerable moment, the disgraced Vizrey Garcia Maurez attacked the capital with 10,000 men to depose the queen and place Juan on the throne with himself as his regent and vizrey, beginning the Siege of Toledo. The siege continued throughout the year until in 1136 Garcia’s forces attacked the Royal Palace, breaching the walls. When we last left Amina, she was being held at sword point by a Senhaja mercenary, one of the Morabitun…
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Author's Note: Stand Pt. 3 will be posted tomorrow--we are switching to Tuesday updates!
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The Raptor of Spain #2.83 - Deceptive Appearances (Last Updated 19 Feb.)
"The greatest tool for narrative is the world you create for it to exist in."

Last edited by MNP; February 14th, 2011 at 11:29 PM..
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Old February 14th, 2011, 07:03 PM
Malta Malta is offline
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Crazy, Crazy Religious Wars! Soap Opera Intrigues! Coups! Bring it on!
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"A one-party state? Are you loco in the coco? Why would anypony just want one party?"-Pinkie Pie
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Old February 14th, 2011, 07:31 PM
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Crazy, Crazy Religious Wars! Soap Opera Intrigues! Coups! Bring it on!
That means a lot to me coming from someone like yourself.
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The Raptor of Spain #2.83 - Deceptive Appearances (Last Updated 19 Feb.)
"The greatest tool for narrative is the world you create for it to exist in."
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Old February 14th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Haaki Haaki is online now
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And so the hiatus finally comes to an end. Happy to see it continuing again.
Although I had actually been hoping for an update on the monotheistic buddhism, honestly.
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Old February 14th, 2011, 08:53 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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And so the hiatus finally comes to an end. Happy to see it continuing again.
Although I had actually been hoping for an update on the monotheistic buddhism, honestly.
Recently someone asked a question about Zen Buddhism mixing with Christianity that made me think about the details of the Great State of the White and Lofty and their Wonderful Path Buddhism. Politically they're in a huge war with Shu which is going to have a galvanizing affect on their religious policies so we will definitely examine them in more detail. Thankfully I took a course on Buddhism and Hinduism taught by a Korean Buddhist a few years back so I have some good reference materials at hand plus my old notes.

My problem is: Do I write an "omniscient" narrator update on them sooner, or wait until I can get a person from the west over there ala Marco Polo, later so they have some relevance to the "protagonist" countries in the west.
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The Raptor of Spain #2.83 - Deceptive Appearances (Last Updated 19 Feb.)
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Old February 15th, 2011, 04:12 AM
jycee jycee is offline
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My problem is: Do I write an "omniscient" narrator update on them sooner, or wait until I can get a person from the west over there ala Marco Polo, later so they have some relevance to the "protagonist" countries in the west.
It would actually be really cool if you had both. A brief omniscient overview so the overall historical frame is established beforehand followed by a narrative revolving a western explorer ala Marco Polo. You could get into more detail in that one although since everything is viewed from a western POV there could be certain inaccuracies.

Also it shouldn't be too long before a European makes the trip. Marco Polo's father and uncle made the trip about 100 years from where the TL is set right now. The TL does tend to have events happening before OTL so it might not be too long. Should it be a Spañan merchant or someone of another nation?
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Old February 15th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jycee View Post
It would actually be really cool if you had both. A brief omniscient overview so the overall historical frame is established beforehand followed by a narrative revolving a western explorer ala Marco Polo. You could get into more detail in that one although since everything is viewed from a western POV there could be certain inaccuracies.

Also it shouldn't be too long before a European makes the trip. Marco Polo's father and uncle made the trip about 100 years from where the TL is set right now. The TL does tend to have events happening before OTL so it might not be too long. Should it be a Spañan merchant or someone of another nation?
Ditto in regards to the introductions/overveiew of Asia.
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