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  #881  
Old September 6th, 2012, 06:41 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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2.74 - Into Catalonia

In late summer of 1186 the United Spañan Free Companies burst onto the plains of northern Italy. They arrived by way the Lucomagno pass near Lake Como. Their passage through the southern Alps was remarkably polite. Pillaging of residents and settlements was localized, brief and--about one time in three--paid for. As was the way of things at the time, a marching army attracts or abducts recruits. An accurate count of their numbers does not exist but surviving reports indicate somewhere approaching three thousand by the time they departed Como.

Never possessed of many Spaniards--their name came about because of their origins and similar command structure--the Companies were veterans of fighting in south-east and central Europe. They were born when the mercenary forces in service to Constantinople defected instead of being sent to the east in breech of their original agreement. As the most capable, Spañan units and officers formed the original nucleus of the group as they marched through the Balkans to escape.

The Companies were hired by the Republic of Zara to help defend their borders against Bavarian aggression and to defeat their great rivals within the larger Dalmatian Republican league, Reka. The Companies accomplished this in 1179 with a notoriously brutal sack of the city. After Reka, the Zarans united the rest of the league against the Companies, achieving their aims. The Companies engineered a bloody escape from Republican territory with the help of the Duke of Carenthia[1] where they fought against their former masters.

Their effectiveness caused their contract to be purchased by the King of Bavaria. Under the royal banner they fought in northern campaigns against the Magyars and Normans. Their most famous action under the Bavarians was their conduct of the siege of Augsbirge, which they wrested from Francia in 1185. At the time King Frankez[2] was occupied elsewhere. Unable to send any help to the city, he swore to avenge the loss but settled for making an immediate demand the Companies be turned over to him. When the king agreed to hand them over, the company voted to flee over the mountains where Francian power was traditionally circumscribed.

For decades western Italy was held by the Kingdom of Provence with Milan as allied vassal. By 1186, Provencal strength was concentrated against the Spaniards in the west. Milan and its territories revolted, this time proclaiming themselves a republic. Rich in funds but poor in troops, they hired the Companies and put them across the Po at Valenza.[3] The fortress built on the flood plain south of the river[4] put up strong resistance, but was overcome after a month. Named simply Domicia or “Home” by the Companies, it was treated gently so they could make it their base of operations.

From Domicia they proceeded to attack the Piedmont cities to the east. Astra was their first major target; it was sacked after a seven day siege. Alba held out for twenty days before it followed the fate of Astra. An attempt by the Count of Torino to to cut off the Companies was easily defeated and they were able to march back into Domicia with all of their booty. While they wintered at Domicia, the Companies ranged across region to both loot and subdue it for themselves and technically, for Milan. Under Gian deArco, they proved themselves highly capable and reliable as mercenaries went. It was these qualities that brought them to the notice of the Spaniards in Genova when their situation became desperate.

* * * * *

In the traditional style, Rolando reorganized his new southern border into the Moorish[5] Commandery[6]. At its heart was the massive citadel that was built over the Torres in the following decade, renamed El Atalaya (The Overlook). Rule of the region was given over to a nobleman as a gesture of goodwill, one who had military experience, but like most of these posts in Spaña, was intended to be temporary. The Genaya were not destroyed, but the king had bought enough time to prevent further losses in Africa.

King Rolando and his nephew stayed in Sevilla while preparing a formal settlement while the other rebel lords were sent to their home estates. Count Gaspar was instrumental in obtaining their cooperation but both king and nephew were wary of his influence. Rolando hoped that by treating his nephew as the undisputed leader of the rebellion he could make it so and end the unrest. Without Pedro, they would lack a symbol of legitimate resistance and the law excluding bastards from the succession was upheld. The only problem was what to do with him.

Allowing him to remain in the city was impossible. The tradition of Sevilla as the seat of the heir was centuries old. Neither did Rolando wish to give up royal lands to what would surely become a junior branch of the ruling family in a few generations. It was not common knowledge, but Rolando was aware the House of Araman were descended from bastards. Nor did he forget the House of Baiona was one of their most junior branches, and that he had three sons and a daughter to provide for. Pedro would need more security to truly feel safe, but perhaps he could take a page from the Francians and their distributions.[7]

The offer the king presented to Pedro was simple. As Rolando II became the Prince of Crete after the conquest of that land, Pedro would become a Prince after the reconquests in Godosa. That some of the province was under Provencal occupation and some had in fact never been under firm Spañan rule was, the king asserted, merely a minor setback.

“Anything you can take you can keep,” the king added. As if he were conferring some great gift.

Pedro was not immediately enthusiastic. It sounded too much like a way to get him conveniently out of the way. He did have a few ooints in favor of continued survival. Those loyal to him would become exceedingly wary of the king after his death. Beating back the Genaya however satisfying the method was only one of many challenges facing the realm and the king could not afford to have to campaign in the peninsula again. If Pedro somehow succeeded, he would have considerable independence, a way to expand his power, and probably, possibly, have defensive support from the state. It was not unlike what was envisioned with the Moorish Commandery.

“You’re forgetting El Rosellón, Uncle Rolando.”

The Rosellón district was, except for the Commission of Cerdaña in the east, under control of the Provencals. It made bringing up reinforcements an expansive and time consuming process, but it also drained the purse of Provence as they struggled to hold it as a bargaining chip.

“How am I supposed to get any of the help you promise, if they’re sitting there like Algarvian cork in a bottle? Don’t worry uncle, I want to leave Sevilla. I intend to leave, but first let me present to you a few thoughts of my own on the matter...”

* * * * *

When the nobility returned to their estates, they discovered a problem. Except for a few like Count Gaspar, the nobility could not afford to pay their military forces without raids against the Crown. There was only so many attacks that could be blamed on bandits and degraded security. Punishment for violating the peace was severe as the case of Sartagino[8] reveals. After discovering the alcadiz there authorizing further raids, Prince Juan and Ludiz Gelmirez de Alagón attacked Sartagino. After the alcadiz’s mercenaries were dispersed, the town threw itself on the mercy of the prince. The prince destroyed the family. Their women were dispatched to separate convents while the men’s heads went up on pikes, the alcadiz first among them. Sartagino’s ultimate superior, the Count of Obrantes, was fined 200 coronas and forced to gift the town to the Count of Coimbra, a rival.

After letting the nobility stew for a while, Rolando announced a great expedition to recover the Rosellón--and demanded the rebel nobility accompany him as a show of their new loyalty. They tried to stall but Pedro was solidly against them. Then the king’s nephew “prevailed” upon the king to relax the requirement for attendance if they turned over their mercenary forces to him instead. These were gifted to Pedro for his use in regaining the Rosellón with the support of the regular army under Duke Alesso and Count Gaspar, who had enough money for his troops thanks to his looting of the Genaya camp.

Recapturing Ordón, the capital of the Rosellón was not an easy task, but neither did it prove as difficult as feared. Despite controlling the city, they did not have the numbers to hold most of the countryside against Spañan armies both experienced, and without a threat in their heartland. There were a few sharp fights against the enemy led by Count Gaspar or Duke Alesso’s men but by and large the countryside was content to return to its traditional allegiance. The king of Provence attempted to negotiate some sort of peace in return for abandoning Ordón but the terms presented by Pedro to the commander of the city on behalf of the state were simple: return of the city in exchange for safe passage back to Provencal territory allowing them to keep weapons and horses once they crossed over.



Weighing his options, the King of Provence gambled and threw his forces at Ortiz Almagre and the Spaniards in Beziers. For 42 days in 1187 the Provencals attacked or attempted to undermine the city’s defenses by any means possible. The assault was remarkable for its intensity and caused great loss of life on both sides as well as great ruin to the city. At least half of it burned to the ground. Several times the attackers got into the city but each time the Spaniards were able to rally and evict them. The siege ended when Duke Alesso marched north in relief. The Provencals retreated without a battle, so badly were they hurt by the city’s defenders. The victory was not without cost, Ortiz Almagre, died in the last days of the fighting though this fact was kept from the soldiers by means of fastening him to a horse.


The loss of such a prominent man, a reminder of the past and a force for stability and security north of the mountains was great. By a heroic effort--particularly by his widow Leonora--the victories at Ordón and Beziers were consolidated. Duke Alesso made Ordón his head quarters but Pedro waited in the ruins of Beziers. It appeared about 4,000 of the inhabitants survived the siege and Pedro did his best to see them cared for. After all they would soon be his subjects. Count Gaspar was set to building a series of fortifications along the river line, particularly at the bridge where Ortiz denied him the crossing two years before. Gaspar’s attitude degraded when he was restricted to small raids across the river.

Later that year King Rolando himself came north. With him came more reinforcements under Duke Saloman de Alvarez. Duke Saloman was an example of the compromise Rolando would end up striking with the nobility as he possessed a high pedigree but little military experience. The new duke seemed willing to learn though he often looked troubled. He was under immense pressure from his social peers not to squander the opportunity.

Rolando took a tour of Godosa to assure his subjects they were once again under his strong protection. He achieved popularity by remitting a great part of the taxes of the Rossellón for five years, and of the rest of the province for as long as the fighting lasted as long as they did their best to support the armies on the territory. With the two dukes at his side he summoned Raimundo of Tolosa and Pedro to Narbona, the provincial capital that had served as the military headquarters for Ortiz when he was not in Beziers.

In a ceremony devised as much for its pageantry as its legal authority, Pedro was invested with ultimate authority under the king for all of the land north of the Rossellón and east of the mountains. He was proclaimed Prince of Maritime Catalonia[9] for him and his male line descendants until the line failed or he gave it up, similarly to how Rolando himself was the Prince of Crete for a time. He swore to facilitate the will of the monarch in the lands around him and to defend and rule his lands justly to the benefit of the people as was customary.

Rolando was satisfied. With Prince Pedro out of the way, he was looking forward to a final settlement with the rebels and the upcoming marriage of his eldest son, Radolfo. Unfortunately no sooner had he returned to the capital after sending Duke Alesso to escort Count Gaspar back to Córdoba when another crisis reared again. This one of a less immediate nature but with more devastating consequences. The loss of Rome.

___________________________
[1]Originating in the Carinthian March of the Frankish Kingdom, came under Bavarian control after the Consulate War, then upgraded to a Duchy when Bavaria became a kingdom.
[2]First use of a “Franks" derived first name of any importance. Given by Selver to his son for political and egoist reasons.
[3]Because of the similar name as the Spañan city, the Spaniards call it Novalencia or “Not-Valencia." This may become corrupted into “New-Valencia" via folk etymology.
[4]Alessandria, Italy. The city was built on ruins and named Alessandria in honor of the pope. Here it was rebuilt as a fortress and obviously there is no Alexander III.
[5]The first recorded use of the term. It means “Mauritanians/Berbers (who are not Spaniards)” and applies to enemies with a connotation of “uncivilized/anti-order” in the same way as bandits or criminals. It may evolve into a racist term.
[6]La Encomienda Morisco. Encomienda means “entrusted.” I have translated it as Commandery, a word that shares its etymological origins. Its ruler has a right to extract rents/resources for personal use. The abbreviation “EnC.” that has appeared on my maps before denotes this term. A lordship is similar but has no economic extraction rights. A military march/district is formally under the control of the army as an institution, not a particular noble but in practice there may not be much difference.
[7]Non-inheriting royal children are traditionally granted a money-type appanage (Spaña) as opposed to outright land (Francia).
[8]Serta
[9]Catalonia del Mar. Non-Mediterranean Catalonia consists largely of the provinces of Tolosa and Castile.

A/N: Thanks for the kind words Geordie, and to Scipio Africanus for his excellent suggestion!
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The Raptor of Spain #2.83 - Deceptive Appearances (Last Updated 19 Feb.)
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  #882  
Old September 6th, 2012, 07:06 PM
Arrix85 Arrix85 is offline
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Awesome update! Now I have to know about Rome!
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  #883  
Old September 7th, 2012, 01:45 PM
Julius Vogel Julius Vogel is offline
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Hmm, a cadet branch on the border with Franca/Italy etc?

Interesting!
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  #884  
Old September 7th, 2012, 02:31 PM
Scipio Africanus Scipio Africanus is offline
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Great update!
There's nothing I love to see more than a good princely apanage. Just to be clear -- the borders of Pedro's new principality are the blue line, right? I'm happy I could help with you with this timeline in a small way.
The formation of the Free Company is very interesting. It reminds me of the free companies that sprang out of the Hundred Years War. Except it is better organized. Also, since it is larger than the Gascon companies of the HYW (a few hundred) but smaller than the Great Companies, it can move around easily, serve as an effective fighting force and still be able to feed itself in one spot for a while. It wonder if it will have as dramatic an effect on warfare as the 14th routiers did? These companies were defeated OTL by pooling resources across large large areas to fight them and by channeling them to a region with constant legitimate need for them (Spain). I'm sure you have an awesome plan for them here, I can't wait to see it!
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  #885  
Old September 7th, 2012, 04:31 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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For some reason I've felt a creative burst this week. Already working on 2.75.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scipio Africanus View Post
Great update!
There's nothing I love to see more than a good princely apanage. Just to be clear -- the borders of Pedro's new principality are the blue line, right? I'm happy I could help with you with this timeline in a small way.

The formation of the Free Company is very interesting. It reminds me of the free companies that sprang out of the Hundred Years War. Except it is better organized. Also, since it is larger than the Gascon companies of the HYW (a few hundred) but smaller than the Great Companies, it can move around easily, serve as an effective fighting force and still be able to feed itself in one spot for a while. It wonder if it will have as dramatic an effect on warfare as the 14th routiers did? These companies were defeated OTL by pooling resources across large large areas to fight them and by channeling them to a region with constant legitimate need for them (Spain). I'm sure you have an awesome plan for them here, I can't wait to see it!
Scipio
The borders in blue were the formal extent of the Province of Godosa. Anything beyond that is officially under the Kingdom of Provence. That border has been the same for about a century if not a little longer which is why the Spaniards see it as a sort of "occupied territory." Everything north-east of the pink within the blue line has been conquered by Provence. If Rolando wants it back, he'll have to take it by force/trickery/negotiation or whatnot.

I recently read The Black Company series so it's not entirely uninspired. I'm not entirely sure of the effect that my Companies will have, having large numbers of paid soldiers has been the standard for a while as has having lots of pikemen. But they do serve as a rather chaotic element! Lots of opportunity!
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Last edited by MNP; September 7th, 2012 at 04:36 PM..
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  #886  
Old September 15th, 2012, 09:22 PM
Grouchio Grouchio is online now
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Excuse me

I have read up to the mid 10th century with this ATL, and I was wondering if I could draw all of the Kings of Spana up to where you are now?
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  #887  
Old September 15th, 2012, 10:21 PM
jycee jycee is offline
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Excuse me

I have read up to the mid 10th century with this ATL, and I was wondering if I could draw all of the Kings of Spaña up to where you are now?
I think that would be awesome and hope MNP doesn't have a problem with that.

Btw, MNP just read this update must have missed it when it first came up. Man... Spaña has been ridled with so problems - between the civil war and these pesky border issues and now you have hinted at it loosing Rome - that I am starting to wonder if its heyday is over.

It be surprising to see a TL where its main "character" doesn't end up at the top by the end. I'm really looking forward to the next few updates; to see what happens with Rome, see what will develop in Ultramar now that the rest of Europe has realized it is not just a few islands, and perhaps that reverse Marco-Polo that has been talked about (if you plan on doing it).

(BTW is there a "Europe" identity by now in TTL it would be too early for OTL, but since social development for the most part happens sooner in TTL it might just be).

Keep up the good work!!!
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Old October 12th, 2012, 06:16 AM
MNP MNP is offline
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2.75 Beyond Rome

2.75 -- Beyond Rome

The tent was silk with a layer of treated canvas over the roof to repel any rain and spacious enough to divide into rooms. Behind the dividing curtain occasional scratching could be heard as the scribe worked furiously. Elias understood the custom--absolutely trustworthy scribes with a clear hand were valuable--but he found it strange to rely on a wife. They were not usually present in actual battles but... If Zoe is here, just who’s running things at home?

When Aris Torresoni emerged from the back room a moment later Elias caught a glimpse of a his wife’s blonde head bent over a book. He quickly averted his eyes while Aris went to a small desk set up along the wall and rifled through the papers there. These were quite soft but strong, they made quality paper in central Italy.

“Sorry for the delay, Ornos,” he said. “A few things have come up since you returned.”

Elias could guess. His trip south proved frustrating. King Rolando’s reorganization reduced costs and increased military competency but fostered something like regionalism. The southerners saw little point to help the north. The threat was far, the Spaniards there. Alusiano was trying, but in southern Italy two generations of prestige did not a patrician make and two centuries of easy Spañan dominion created overconfidence.

“Intractable bastards,” Aris muttered down at his notes. “How could Alusiano fail to impress upon them the concept of fighting the enemy somewhere other than at home?”

“They have a problem with complex thought,” Elias said by way of explanation. “It wasn’t a complete loss. We should get some real help next year at least.”

Aris shook his head. He was only about five years older than Elias, but looked more than ten. The fighting on the western peninsula left them short handed, but lack of leadership was the real problem. North of Naples, Italy was administered by Duke Bartolomé but advanced age and a quiet post robbed him of initiative. He was not in his dotage, but wasn’t far from it. Officers both ambitious and skilled tried to get posted to the Spañan peninsula where they could impress the hierarchy and circumstances could lead to quick advancement. Those remaining were more lazy, less competent or had personal ties. Aris was something like the duke’s personal aide[1] but was doing a job with no authority or staff to do so. Everyone wanted direction, but everyone had more freedom of action. Aris was obeyed but spent a lot of energy on internal politics.

Elias rather liked him despite having lost out in pursuit of Zoe. Well now she was doomed to paperwork, served her right. “You have my report. What do you have for me?”

“I hear Siena is nice this time of year.”

He sighed. “They’re a head strong group over there. What poor bastard will I be helping tame them?”

Aris smiled at him and tossed him a note with the ribbon of a commission on it.

Elias said something nasty in Greek, but Aris just laughed.

* * * * *

For Pedro of Catolonia[2] the Fall of Rome was something far away and of less concern. His immediate concerns were the arrival of the Prince Subordinate[3] to escort the woman Dorotea Sonet to marriage to the Heir. Sonet had a colorful history[4] to match their name, but their close ties to the Marques of Tolosa and their wealth made them respectable for half a century. A Baiona marriage to the Sonets would tie the province even more to Toledo. He was puzzled over a northern marriage however advantageous until Prince Juan explained the bargain struck with the rebels. A Curia Regia of top nobility and a few clergy issuing and enforcing joint decrees with the king. It was a title ripped from Asturian history.

“He certainly bought off those back-biting rabbits,” Pedro laughed. The great nobles who wanted more power were in the open, showing their wealth and tearing each other down. They would be under the king’s eye and serve as scapegoats.

Juan saw it as beneath the dignity of the crown and Pedro had to endure several tirades. The only way to distract the prince was with military matters. Juan was young and skilled but had evidenced a taste for violent methods. He wasn’t cruel by instinct but he could lose his head in the field. While he prepared to send Lady Dorotea south Juan got lead the army at Beziers. With Constantino de Lacon advising him, that summer Juan captured 14 walled towns and exterminated only one. By the time everything was ready, Pedro was in position to retake Pina and Juan would be going on the latest Italian expedition.

* * * * *

In 1184 Duke Milo of Ferrara finally invaded what maps labeled Hispanica Toscana. Prior forays were raids but the duke was now openly supporting Tuscan dissidents. They went from vandalizing property to attacking small garrisons and by the time Duke Milo arrived the Spaniards were all but gone from the province. That winter adroit diplomacy brought Areddo over to his side. Of the great cities, only Perugia and Siena remained loyal to Toledo.

For 1185, Duke Milo split his forces. The western army under Constable[5] Renaldo de Rocca attacked Siena while Milo took the eastern to secure Areddo against any Spañan counterattack. At Sinalonga Duke Milo won a major battle against the Spaniards, inflicting significant losses. The Constable Rocca had a more difficult time. Nothing put heart in the Sienese like the betrayal committed by their eternal rivals, Areddo. Bogged down at the siege of Montamina the constable could neither over come nor ignore them. When he tried the Sienese raided all over Tuscany disrupting supplies even for Duke Milo. Despite their success they sent word to Aris Torresoni that without more help they would have to negotiate with the Duke.

Torresoni’s response was to send Elias Ornos with over a thousand men under his command the next year. The arrival of the United Free Companies bought the Spaniards time to prepare. Duke Milo had to assure himself the Companies would not be used against him. While Elias fortified Siena and point north, Torresoni had to deal with the loss of Roman and central Italian patience. He was forced to plan a confrontation to check Milo.

He and Duke Bartolomé planned a march on Areddo but Duke Milo outmaneuvered him. Once again Milo used diplomacy and negotiation, this time to gain neutrality from Perugia and passage for his arms. By the time Torresoni discovered the move he was three days north of Orvieto and the duke was already marching south from Perugia. Perhaps due to the pressure he turned and hurried south to intercept the duke before he could descend upon a defenseless Latium.

The two armies met between Orvieto and Viterbo in what is generally called the Battle at Cimini. From the start Duke Milo was better prepared than Torresoni and the Spaniards. The duke’s forces were already in battle formation when the first elements of Torresoni’s infantry companies made contact. Because Torresoni was rushing south to intercept them, the Italian infantry was able to engage the Spaniards piecemeal for some time. Meanwhile to the west the Spañan cavalry skirmished with the Italian horsemen and successfully drove them back. The Italian captains had strict orders not to enter a pitched battle with the Spañan cavalry if at all possible. As the Spaniards tried to come to grips with them, a gap opened between the cavalry and the infantry.



Phase 1: the Spañan infantry makes staggered contact with the Italians

By mid morning the Spañan banner[6] in center was in retreat, and Torresoni ordered half the reserves to reinforce the front line. At the same time Renaldo de Rocca became aware of how far out of position the Spañan cavalry were and he mounted a major charge into the gap with his horsemen and the Hungarian Band, a mercenary unit out of Central Europe hired in 1186. While Rocca attacked the cavalry with his men, the Hungarians descended on the infantry, firing arrows and closing with a sudden charge. Their headlong assault threw the tired Spañan infantry into chaos and at least another banner fled the field.



Phase 2: Italo-Hungarian cavalry attacks, some of the Spañan infantry retreat

Realizing the danger, Torresoni led the elite cavalry units in a charge to the right. Their attack forced the Hungarians back and they went on to try and keep the rest of the Spañan horse from being surrounded. Torresoni left orders for the last reserve unit to follow behind if he was successful and keep him from being surrounded, but after he left Duke Bartolomé collapsed of either illness of injury and had to be carried from the field. The collapse of the duke and the flight of another banner meant there was no one to order in the reserves until it was too late. The rest of the tired Spañan infantry began to flee the field and Rocca attacked Torresoni again. Torresoni tried to retreat but found himself blocked by the Cimini Hills. With the Spañan footmen in flight, the Ferraran infantry made a weary turn west and descended on the trapped cavalry along a broad front. Most of the Spañan horsemen were killed, including Aris Torresoni who was identified by his badges and ribbons of rank.



Phase 3: Torresoni relieves the cavalry, but the Spanan infantry flees and the cavalry is trapped

Elias Ornos arrived too late to be of any use, but he collected many of the fleeing infantry and took them back into Sienese territory. In Rome, Pope Alexander summoned the Spañan garrison commander. After a short discussion he asked the Spaniards to leave the city peacefully. When Renaldo de Rocca reached the city with an advance force, he was welcomed without resistance. There was little loss of life in Rome but the departing Spaniards calmly pillaged the city. Valuables were seized from the populace and many works from the churches, but decorative and ecclesiastical. Most of the later would go on to decorate Neapolitan churches.

Duke Milo made a triumphal entry into Rome on September 7, 1187 ending 215 years of Spañan domination. The new owners of Rome made few drastic changes. Under the Spaniards Rome achieved a respectful impotence. It was noted for its religious architecture as wealthy Christians across the continent lavished money of projects (though the most prestigious buildings were reserved for the Spaniards). There were few changes in church spiritual policy. Both the eastern emperor and Francian king were pleased with the idea of the king as vicar of their kingdom.[7] They found Rome a useful stick when it was needed, and when not it could be put away. Changes to this system by its new owners would be watches carefully. Duke Milo was conciliatory. He did not even take the title of King of Italy which had been in abeyance since the Roman Wars of the tenth century.

* * * * *

When King Rolando and the Royal Council were informed as to the magnitude of the disaster, they found they had no stomach to launch what argued to be a bloody and costly campaign of reconquest. The Italian expedition was scaled back and focused on securing the territory of the two islands (Corsega and Serdenia) and fortifying southern Italy. Duke Alesso de Verada was placed in command of the later. Other troops were diverted to Siena and Genova. Envoys were sent to Milo to seek accommodation. Rolando was able to deflect criticism on the loss to the royal council, popular sentiment had them dissuading the king from further war. The plain truth was the state needed to rebuild. They were strong enough to sustain the conflicts against Provence or Italy, but not both. Italy had simply been too much trouble to hold on to.

Prince Juan was predictably angry that his chance for glory was gone. He successfully petitioned his father to allow him to return to action somewhere. Either in the north against Provence, or in Africa where the Kahanid kingdom was having factional struggles of its own. In the end Juan returned to Catalonia to help Pedro. He did not even wait to attend the wedding of his brother with the Sonet girl.

The wedding itself was noted for the use of reds and yellows. Both of these colors were derived from dye originating from the wood of a tree from the west. The discovery of that land was something of an accident. Ships exploring the African coast and its coastal islands had suffered from storms and due to certain winds and currents made landfall on what was taken to be an island. However some exploration quickly revealed it to be part of a much larger and previously unknown landmass. A few might have suspected they’d landed in Ultramar but the land and its people were different than those described by the Irish.

The dye was a match for those that could only imported from distant India and proved to be a sensation in the luxury textile market. The importation of the dye and the wood it came from had been limited during the years of war but by 1188 trade was returning to normal and greater amounts could be had. The journey was not an easy one, but it was more than worth it. The new factories set up in Zaragosa and north of the mountains thus received a major boost in their formative years from this source that no one else could match, not even the eastern empire or the Islamic states.

As the vast size of the place began to become apparent, it was first referred to as “a new world” but that soon fell out of favor and was forgotten in preference to a name based on its main product, the emberwood tree--Brasil.
___________________________
[1]edecondestable, command/administration of the elite ducal cavalry units.
[2]Officially Maritime Catalonia. This is the short version. It makes the people west of Godosa a bit touchy however so the long version is used in most documents.
[3]subalterno, what non-heir princes are currently called.
[4]Sonet means “little song." Family originated from a bard. Through some heroic deeds (with a mix of creative lies) they won their way into the ranks of the upper class. At least that’s the popular legend.
[5]In Italy, Constables are usually the top military official whether of a noble like the duke, or in the service of the elected city council.
[6]Banners are units with a strength of 1000-1500 infantry or 800-1200 cavalry. They can be mixed if the need arises as with Elias's reinforcement army.
[7]The eastern emperor is technically considered God’s vice-regent on Earth but in practice is essentially first among equals with Francia and Spaña.

Note: It’s probably closer to “Brasalas” (Brasilias?) but it means the same damn thing anyway.
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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; October 12th, 2012 at 06:23 AM..
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  #889  
Old October 12th, 2012, 09:20 AM
Julius Vogel Julius Vogel is offline
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So, Rome has fallen! The retreat and reorganisation continues apace.

Very good to see this back btw
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  #890  
Old October 12th, 2012, 08:06 PM
Scipio Africanus Scipio Africanus is offline
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What a great update! A Spanan colonization of the new world would be awesome.
Pity that they lost so much of Italy. Has the Duke of Ferrara taken a new title? You said he does not call himself King of Italy, but since he has gained so much territory and power, I could see him taking another title besides Duke of Ferrara.
I hope Spana will be able to recover its strength in the coming decades after this defeat.
Scipio
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  #891  
Old October 12th, 2012, 08:08 PM
rldragon rldragon is offline
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Tremendous work, as always.

However, how much of Italy did they (Spana) exactly lose?
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  #892  
Old October 12th, 2012, 10:20 PM
MNP MNP is offline
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I'm not entirely sure of what title. The impression I tried to give is that it's still being worked out. Prince is the obvious standby but maybe something like a consul? Or King of Romans? Keeping in mind the eastern empire is seen as more a direct successor to Rome relative OTL.
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Tremendous work, as always.

However, how much of Italy did they (Spana) exactly lose?
Central Italy with the exception of Siena, which is an allied state/republic. I have a map that should be set to go tomorrow.

ED: I ended up redoing the map and my internet situation has changed. Map will be up with next update, shouldn't be much longer.
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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; October 23rd, 2012 at 10:26 PM..
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  #893  
Old October 13th, 2012, 01:19 AM
FDW FDW is offline
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Nice update MNP.
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  #894  
Old October 13th, 2012, 07:48 AM
Arrix85 Arrix85 is offline
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Awesome, I don't think Spana will miss out that much over Rome, Central Italy has mostly been a costant headache.

And yay for Brasil! the good from the fall of Rome is that Spana can concentrate more on it.
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  #895  
Old October 14th, 2012, 08:12 AM
jycee jycee is offline
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Awesome update MNP!!

I do have to agree with the comments above, that Rome/Italy, always seemed more of a burden on Spaña than a gain. And I like the fact that now that they have lost them they will be able to focus on more important stuff, like Ultramar and Brazil (I kinda like the name Brasala or Brazala for the continent if Brazil/Brasilia seem uninspired).

The Rome stuff is pretty straight forward, but I do have a question on the New World (to consider with the replay I messaged you on you questions), has a Spañan explored Ultramar? at the very least the Irish parts. And what is Toledo's interest in the region, regarding exploration and settlement?

For Brazil/Brazalas; in TTL West Africa has been part of Christendom for a while now - unless I am mistaken - have they learned or adopted any shipbuilding/navigation from Spaña and Ireland? If they have, is it possible that some West African state has already been exploring, or trading with, the Brazilian coast for a while?

And how about China, or Asia in general, with the West Coast? All in all, it seems TTL has always been about balancing and smoothing out the transitions that wrecked havoc in OTL. It would be interesting to see the exploration of the Americas - along with the survival of native states - from other continents and in many ways befitting of TTL.

Also, "West African" America is something that hasn't been seen in many (or any) TLs, it is not ASB, and will definitively seem in place in TTL.

Anyways man, keep up the good work. I sent you a long pm to answer your previous question - I hope I helped in some way.

Keep up the good work. This TL continues to be awesome and surprising in every way.
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  #896  
Old October 15th, 2012, 12:09 AM
Archangel Archangel is offline
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The New World may provide good revenue for Spana and help increase their territories in Europe.
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  #897  
Old November 14th, 2012, 07:55 PM
FleetMac FleetMac is offline
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I'm gonna go ahead and BUMP this thread; I can't wait to see what happens next in the New World (I'll echo the "African colonization=COOL" sentiment ).
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  #898  
Old December 31st, 2012, 11:27 PM
Hecatee Hecatee is offline
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I had been some two years without coming back to this message board and this particular story, and I find it well advanced ! I spent the last two evening reading all that I had missed and I'm still amazed at the scale of your achievement, at least on a scale with "the year of rice and salt" but much more detailled. Exceptional work !
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  #899  
Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:20 AM
Julius Vogel Julius Vogel is offline
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It is a thing of glory, certainly, although a little bit quiet of late, unfortunately.

Are you still looking at redoing the older posts MNP?
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  #900  
Old February 27th, 2013, 05:33 AM
MNP MNP is offline
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So... I want to write this again. I'm starting to have more ideas.

What do you want to read about?
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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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