Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

The arrival of the printing press is going to be the nail in the coffin, with any priest with a bone to pick with the local Catholic church to just post a list of complaints that will set off a powder keg in somewhere like the Holy Roman Empire, not to mention translations of the Bible will lead to wildly different interpretations of Christianity.
So how will the introduction of the printing press work in this timeline? Will it still be first introduced in Christian Europe? If so will we still see a severe backlash against its use in Muslim kingdoms as occurred in OTL?
 
So how will the introduction of the printing press work in this timeline? Will it still be first introduced in Christian Europe? If so will we still see a severe backlash against its use in Muslim kingdoms as occurred in OTL?
Seems Either Italian(or romanian)state copying it from the Andalusi? that might be interested if luddites burn it as 'muslim thing¿
 
On the one hand, I think this could be a good thing for the church in that maybe there'll be less corruption than OTL. On the other hand, though, this helps to further divide the Christian world, at a time when it needs unity more than ever.
 
Bataids are are a threat to andalusia as well. They are ottoman empire in alot of ways. I would bet they are are not trady as the ottomans so they wish to instead control the trade routes. Moreover they are the top islamic doggy, unlike Andalusia they can produce big armies comparative to their size. Harabids are literal place holders they don't even get info in the map updates. So egypt will likely fall. So a north african move by them is a possibility. They also have a good enough navy both Cyprus and krete fell to them and have not fallen to italian cities.
This is the big reason I see little Andalusian power projection north of the Pyrenees- unlike the Christian powers, the Bataids are expansionist, aggressive and are actively looking to ramp up their Mediterranean power projection. This dynamic could also lead to some fun cross religious alliances as say Romania flits between the two Muslim powers it's sandwiched between based on whichever is strongest at the moment.
 
This is the big reason I see little Andalusian power projection north of the Pyrenees- unlike the Christian powers, the Bataids are expansionist, aggressive and are actively looking to ramp up their Mediterranean power projection. This dynamic could also lead to some fun cross religious alliances as say Romania flits between the two Muslim powers it's sandwiched between based on whichever is strongest at the moment.
I think the great beneficiary of this would be andora, thus they become the Pyrenne Kingdom between two co masters(Andalus,vs Romania), a European Khazahistan border... :v
 
Bataids are are a threat to andalusia as well. They are ottoman empire in alot of ways. I would bet they are are not trady as the ottomans so they wish to instead control the trade routes. Moreover they are the top islamic doggy, unlike Andalusia they can produce big armies comparative to their size. Harabids are literal place holders they don't even get info in the map updates. So egypt will likely fall. So a north african move by them is a possibility. They also have a good enough navy both Cyprus and krete fell to them and have not fallen to italian cities.
The Bataids/Romans are undoubtedly the Ottoman Empire ITTL. An empire that is aggressive, expansionist, militant, and are probably closing in on an halcyon age before trade is going to shift away from Constantinople and Amalfi/Genoa/Venice, given they are blessed with vigorous and competent leadership. Egypt and Arabia are undoubtedly going to fall to the Roman Empire, with Mezinid Iran being at risk of being eaten alive if they ever get an incompetent military ruler at such a critical time. Getting the title of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques would give them a massive prestige boost and would legimize their claims as the strongest Muslim power to the Arabs, and an insult to the Umayyad Caliphs. They're pretty much the top dogs of Dar-al-Islam, as all things should be. However, any military expedition into Ifriqiya will not be easy, because North Africa is led by a strong Al-Andalus that will not give the Romans an inch of territory past Libya. It's the same as Italy (especially Rome) or Central Europe as long as Hungary, Romania, and the HRE have anything to say about it.

The legacy of Justinian and their Greek/Roman forebears of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Augustus casts a big shadow on these Bataid Kaysars in 16th Century Europe.
This is the big reason I see little Andalusian power projection north of the Pyrenees- unlike the Christian powers, the Bataids are expansionist, aggressive and are actively looking to ramp up their Mediterranean power projection. This dynamic could also lead to some fun cross religious alliances as say Romania flits between the two Muslim powers it's sandwiched between based on whichever is strongest at the moment.
I absolutely agree with you there. Cross-religious alliances are probably going to be huge right now, once people realize that Andalusian or Bataid help is awfully useful against opposing Christian or Muslim powers. It'll be insanely ironic if say the Bataids are knocking on Vienna or Rome's gate and then the Andalusians save the day with their gunpowder troops and a massive cavalry charge from their faris knightly cavalry.

EDIT: Reply to Madhav Deval and the potential rise of Christian-Muslim alliances in 16th Century Europe.
 
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I do find it hilarious that Romania's great leader is named Guy the Great, which made me think of someone calling himself Dude the Awesome or some hilarious joke like that.

I honestly can't imagine the Italian city-states reaching it's Renaissance level wealth, influence, and prestige tbh. Venice managed to make themselves the Ottoman's middleman but not ITTL. The Italian city-states managed to get wealthy by trading with the Ottomans and connecting to the Silk Road that way. With Al-Andalus with it's Caribbean and round trip of Africa route, the Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Anglish would have the position to become Europe's middleman as well at least before it becomes a colonizing power, and with a different selection of products from the new world.
 
do find it hilarious that Romania's great leader is named Guy the Great, which made me think of someone calling himself Dude the Awesome or some hilarious joke like that
Guy did was a french name at the time...Still not surpass the semi-historically correct Guillermo del Toro.
 
Recently read this, which traces a history of Portuguese thinking about messianic kings-- from the popularization of the Arthurian legends preserved in Wales, which partly inspired the Iberian legends of the Hidden King; to the tentative declarations of Portugal's Reconquista kings as this redeeming Hidden King; and finally the very popular idea that King Sebastian was, or would become, the Hidden King.

King Sebastian was the last heir of the House of Avis and really his only job was to just stay alive and have a kid, but he threw that away by leading a Crusade to Morocco (itself an attempt to fulfill popular literary prophecies) and getting himself and much of his army killed. Thoughts of a redeeming king were already popular by this time-- responding to a sense of discontent with the daily conditions of life in Portugal, the poet Bandarra wrote a prophetic poem first criticizing society and then discussing a dream he had about a king who would end this immoral chaos (the Inquisition put him on trial, but his poem, the Trovas, became popular despite being banned). But after the death of Sebastian-- killed so tragically, while trying to do something so commendable-- Portugal became the junior partner in a personal union with Spain, and that really popularized the redeemer-king idea. The legend then became that Sebastian was alive, but hidden away on a misty island in the Atlantic where he was atoning for his foolishness, and that someday he would return on a white horse, etc etc. And popular clerics were willing to write about this idea and popularize it a lot, in particular it played a part in the acceptance of Joao IV as the new king of an independent Portugal-- a number of the less extreme Sebastianists interpreted the legend as being one of Sebastian's figurative return, and his atonement as Portugal's national atonement, and now with Joao IV the prophecies had been fulfilled. But even then some insisted on Sebastian's literal return, while others like Antonio Vieira refocused the cult around Joao IV to the extent of not even accepting his death. It's certainly a weird story given the Messiah is supposed to be Jesus, but well the Spanish worship Jesus too. Sebastian became the promised redeemer of the Portuguese specifically, which could justify enmity against the very Catholic Spaniards.

Santiago is a tragic story, in that the Normando story of renovation and conquest has been totally exploded. The high-water mark under Guillermo will never be equaled. The conditions are ripe for a new flourishing of redeemer-king stories, but possibly with different versions among the Anicetians and Catholics. Many Catholics will flee the imposition of direct rule or a stringent vassalage over the Iberian north, but may feel bitter enough about the ineptitude and infighting of Europe, and of France and Romania in particular (if they fight over Gascony, who's going to use Gascony as a staging ground for another go at Andalus?) to set themselves apart through some totemic story like a belief in the return of whoever the last king of Santiago ends up being, someone who will care about Santiago more than any foreign king or Pope. Meanwhile the Anicetians might end up either fleeing Iberia or using it as a base of expansion, infiltrating Europe under the guise of Catholics.

And there's still the possibility of something exciting happening with the Jews-- sure, there's not very many of them, but they're so spread out and interconnected that when Sabbatai Zevi began his campaign to be recognized as Messiah in Smyrna, even Amsterdam's Jews heard about it and England's Christians got in a stir over end-time prophecies. Then again, as a consequence of Andalus still existing the entire Sephardi community, which previously spread from Amsterdam to Libya, is fairly contained within Iberia itself; but still, there's probably enough (and intensifying) contact with the Jewish communities still in Europe (and which may not have been forced to flee east into Poland by the Rhineland massacres, so they're still concentrated in France and western Germany) for some news to spread this way and that.

EDIT: Oh no, I just had a crazy idea: As Anicetian-Catholic warfare is being waged over the future of Europe, but both sides are discrediting themselves through atrocities, a wish for a third way emerges... a German Jew claims to be the messiah and begins to attract the dispossessed of all faiths... he flees to Iberia for refuge... alarmed by his popularity among Iberian Jews the Andalusis decide to send his following away... on an all-expenses paid trip to the Bataid Empire to go and conquer the Holy Land while the Andalusis focus their armies on more realistic targets like Egypt or Arabia :evilsmile:
 
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Great chapter like always
So I'm the only one who is hyped to se how the unification of Iberia will turn out and may be the fall of the 2 kingdoms will lead to the spread of technology to other European countries like a Renaissance otl stared by the fall of Constantinople
 
However, any military expedition into Ifriqiya will not be easy, because North Africa is led by a strong Al-Andalus that will not give the Romans an inch of territory past Libya
Andalusia simply lacks the manpower to keep such war going, Bataids only need to raise egyptian, levantine and Bedouin tribes to fight the war while andalusia needs iberian troops along with berber to fight.
 
Great chapter like always
So I'm the only one who is hyped to se how the unification of Iberia will turn out and may be the fall of the 2 kingdoms will lead to the spread of technology to other European countries like a Renaissance otl stared by the fall of Constantinople
I don't think that the fall of Christian Iberia will cause a Renaissance, because Santiago and Navarre are no Byzantine Empire. They're relatively isolated and poor Christian kingdoms that detest Al-Andalus and their technology, despite their proximity. In fact, I think the flight of Christians from Al-Andalus to Christian Europe will be more destructive to Christendom overall, since they will export heterodox or even heretical ideas like Anicietanism as they try to rally people to reconquer Iberia for Christendom, causing chaos across the whole of Europe.

If there was a Renaissance, it would be an organic process as religious affiliations break down and European nations, both Muslim and Christian, trade with each other and disseminate ideas. Al-Andalus already has an extensive collection of books from Antiquity dating back to Abd ar-Rahman III and Al-Hakam II (No Almanzor or Almohads to burn it all down), while also possessing original texts like Ibn al-Layth or Ibn Sajr's works, and potentially the knowledge that was gained from Algarvian nations in the Great Exchange (All of that Mesoamerican technology, books, and culture that Spain burned OTL? Al-Andalus has those....). All it takes is some adventurous Christian monk or merchant to delve into the bottomless well of knowledge that is Al-Andalus or a Christian Andalusi to spread their knowledge across Christendom.
 
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Recently read this, which traces a history of Portuguese thinking about messianic kings-- from the popularization of the Arthurian legends preserved in Wales, which partly inspired the Iberian legends of the Hidden King; to the tentative declarations of Portugal's Reconquista kings as this redeeming Hidden King; and finally the very popular idea that King Sebastian was, or would become, the Hidden King.

King Sebastian was the last heir of the House of Avis and really his only job was to just stay alive and have a kid, but he threw that away by leading a Crusade to Morocco (itself an attempt to fulfill popular literary prophecies) and getting himself and much of his army killed. Thoughts of a redeeming king were already popular by this time-- responding to a sense of discontent with the daily conditions of life in Portugal, the poet Bandarra wrote a prophetic poem first criticizing society and then discussing a dream he had about a king who would end this immoral chaos (the Inquisition put him on trial, but his poem, the Trovas, became popular despite being banned). But after the death of Sebastian-- killed so tragically, while trying to do something so commendable-- Portugal became the junior partner in a personal union with Spain, and that really popularized the redeemer-king idea. The legend then became that Sebastian was alive, but hidden away on a misty island in the Atlantic where he was atoning for his foolishness, and that someday he would return on a white horse, etc etc. And popular clerics were willing to write about this idea and popularize it a lot, in particular it played a part in the acceptance of Joao IV as the new king of an independent Portugal-- a number of the less extreme Sebastianists interpreted the legend as being one of Sebastian's figurative return, and his atonement as Portugal's national atonement, and now with Joao IV the prophecies had been fulfilled. But even then some insisted on Sebastian's literal return, while others like Antonio Vieira refocused the cult around Joao IV to the extent of not even accepting his death. It's certainly a weird story given the Messiah is supposed to be Jesus, but well the Spanish worship Jesus too. Sebastian became the promised redeemer of the Portuguese specifically, which could justify enmity against the very Catholic Spaniards.

Santiago is a tragic story, in that the Normando story of renovation and conquest has been totally exploded. The high-water mark under Guillermo will never be equaled. The conditions are ripe for a new flourishing of redeemer-king stories, but possibly with different versions among the Anicetians and Catholics. Many Catholics will flee the imposition of direct rule or a stringent vassalage over the Iberian north, but may feel bitter enough about the ineptitude and infighting of Europe, and of France and Romania in particular (if they fight over Gascony, who's going to use Gascony as a staging ground for another go at Andalus?) to set themselves apart through some totemic story like a belief in the return of whoever the last king of Santiago ends up being, someone who will care about Santiago more than any foreign king or Pope. Meanwhile the Anicetians might end up either fleeing Iberia or using it as a base of expansion, infiltrating Europe under the guise of Catholics.

And there's still the possibility of something exciting happening with the Jews-- sure, there's not very many of them, but they're so spread out and interconnected that when Sabbatai Zevi began his campaign to be recognized as Messiah in Smyrna, even Amsterdam's Jews heard about it and England's Christians got in a stir over end-time prophecies. Then again, as a consequence of Andalus still existing the entire Sephardi community, which previously spread from Amsterdam to Libya, is fairly contained within Iberia itself; but still, there's probably enough (and intensifying) contact with the Jewish communities still in Europe (and which may not have been forced to flee east into Poland by the Rhineland massacres, so they're still concentrated in France and western Germany) for some news to spread this way and that.

EDIT: Oh no, I just had a crazy idea: As Anicetian-Catholic warfare is being waged over the future of Europe, but both sides are discrediting themselves through atrocities, a wish for a third way emerges... a German Jew claims to be the messiah and begins to attract the dispossessed of all faiths... he flees to Iberia for refuge... alarmed by his popularity among Iberian Jews the Andalusis decide to send his following away... on an all-expenses paid trip to the Bataid Empire to go and conquer the Holy Land while the Andalusis focus their armies on more realistic targets like Egypt or Arabia :evilsmile:
This can be used to flesh out the Christian terrorists we heard about in this world's future.
 
All it takes is some adventurous Christian monk or merchant to delve into the bottomless well of knowledge that is Al-Andalus or a Christian Andalusi to spread their knowledge across Christendom.
I'm thinking more merchant, there a reason why is libro and not book, they might have took the Andalusi word when people started to sell them?
 
All it takes is some adventurous Christian monk or merchant to delve into the bottomless well of knowledge that is Al-Andalus or a Christian Andalusi to spread their knowledge across Christendom.
These monks might even be Spanish. As the Normando vision for what Spanish Christians should strive for collapses, there may be a new ethic of making the most out of the fifteen minutes of fame they get in Europe. Becoming a purveyor of knowledge is as good and profitable a trade as any.

If anything, Iberians might even briefly be the most radical thinkers in Europe-- armed with new ideas on Hellenistic/Arab science, not particularly local to any monarch or Pope, and some might have the charisma for their millenarian and/or heretical ideas to gain a popular audience...
 
To add to my previous post about the wealth of Andalusian knowledge, pertaining to the Algarves, it blows my mind as to how much knowledge was lost because of how thorough Spaniards like Bishop Diego de Landa were in burning literally every source of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan knowledge in existence.

The people that have the most impact out of Al-Andalus colonizing the New World is the Maya in Cawania, since they were already an existing culture before people from the Old World started arriving in the 1300s. They had an existing writing system before the Spanish/Andalusians arrived and recorded everything onto their buildings, as well as codices that functioned like books. As a result, the Maya scribes wrote down and collected hundreds or thousands of these codices lying around that held a lot of information about astronomy, astrology, religion, culture, etc. ONLY 4 REMAIN OTL. On top of that, the Maya people forgot how to read their own writing system, requiring linguists to slowly decipher the script piece by piece and they still haven't fully deciphered it today. An Andalusi/Maghrebi scholar that lives in Cawania probably knows more about the Maya script and language than the top linguists and anthropologists in OTL.

While the Inca do not exist in this timeline, Iskantisuyu does and they are a Quechua nation, so that means they know about quipu. Quechuans used quipu as a pseudo-writing system to record stories, accounts, transactions, and etc. Luckily, the Quechua still use quipu, although much of the knowledge is still lost from the pre-Columbian era. With a strong and independent Quechuan culture in the Southern Algarves, wayward travelers from the Old World could record quite a lot down from oral storytellers that can decipher quipu from memory.

Lastly there is Anawak, and there are no Aztecs in this timeline. But there are Nahua, and they might be able to record things on their own codices, and there are other peoples like the Mixtec that might have their own codices/writing systems before Old World contact. The Otomi might not have a writing system, but they are adopting Arabic pretty quickly, and it won't be long before Otomi leaders and scribes begin writing down things for themselves.

It might not be immediately relevant to the Renaissance/Blossoming, but I think the infusion of Algarvian ideas is what makes the Blossoming truly special and not just a normal awakening of previous Greco-Roman or Chinese/Indian works. There are a lot of creative liberties that could be done with this ocean of unknown knowledge, although I can't fault Hats for just ignoring the implications of this altogether, given how vast this is. At least modern anthropologists and historians know more about Mayan Star Wars in MiaJ than our own timeline.

1f95accd04d8e9f873bb77c7d14bb46fa.jpg

ok...ok...I am joking about this...but Maya Star Wars do exist.

Also, imagine if the Andalusi discover the fertilizing properties of bird poop from Iskantisuyu and use that to drive a massive population explosion across Europe 300 years before OTL? Food for thought.....

EDIT: I cannot avoid this reference. Forgive me God/Allah for my sins.
 
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ACT VIII Part XXIV: The Cantabrian Wars
Excerpt: Christianity in the Crossing Age - Mark Magnuson, Epic Libropress, AD 1999


The events of the mid-15th century put a rapidly-ticking clock into motion for the kingdoms of northern Iberia - a situation much to the reverse of centuries past.

Prior to the Crossing Period, a delicate balance of power had existed between Al-Andalus and the northern kingdoms. While a unified Andalusian polity was powerful enough to stand against them following Guillermo del Toro's death centuries prior, internal squabbling and structural factors made conquering the north impractical. By the 1470s, however, factors had changed: The rise of the Asmarids combined both Maghrebi manpower and Andalusian prosperity under the same banner, technology from China had given Islamic militaries and navies strong advantages over the less-developed Christian kingdoms, and the Asmarid overseas empire left the realm flush with wealth. Further, the weakening of France deprived Santiago of allies, and the Treaty of Xavier in the 1390s had substantially weakened both it and Navarre, the latter essentially existing mostly because the Hizamids had valued a buffer against France.

In particular, the situation in Santiago had deteriorated steadily in the 15th century. The kingdom's coffers were depleted by the loss of productive revenue-producing lands ceded to the Hizamids under the terms of the Treaty of Xavier, as well as by the need to pay an annual tribute to Isbili. Further, the post-war coup of Bermudo III had led to a steady weakening of central authority, exacerbated by religious differences between lords friendly to the growing Anicetian population and those rigorously following the mainline Latin Catholic rite.

Tensions with the Asmarids had been quick to emerge: Santiago ceased to forward on tribute by that point, but Christian lords in the north launched occasional raids to try and "rescue" communities now living under Muslim lordship. Further, Santiagonian ports became useful jumping-off points for Atlantic pirates as Christian kingdoms began to nose into the Crossing Age. While Anglish pirates were by far the most far-reaching early pests on the high seas, and some of them were known to use ports like Coruna, or to lurk in the many deep rias lining the Gallaecian coast. But some Santiagonians had also adopted ships analogous to the Anglish skene - locally, the scaena - and reached Andalusian ports in the Maghurin Islands, giving them the capability and reach to raid Andalusian shipping.

Asmarid reprisals against Santiago had begun on a small scale almost immediately following Al-Nasr's takeover, mainly consisting of police actions against Santiagonian ships and local walis sponsoring spring raids into the mountains. Steadily, the consensus of the Treaty of Xavier began to fray.

By 1466, the kingship of Santiago had fallen to Bermudo V, a weak man with little ability to project power beyond the walls of Santiago de Compostela itself. He found himself lord of a divided kingdom, unable to fund much of an army and with many of his vassals against him.

Bermudo, a staunch Catholic, had enjoyed the support of the Roman Pope during the Tripartite Schism. The steady rise of Anicetian sentiment had been viewed by the Church in great consternation: As early as 1437, a papal legate had been sent to try and arrest their progress, with poor results. Peaceful conversion attempts proved unsuccessful, leading several bishops to be defrocked in the 1450s for their supposed Anicetian sympathies. Latin-aligned bishops launched local pogroms against those viewed as heretics, encouraging the faithful to turn Anicetians over to either repent or be dispossessed - or worse, put to death. Unknown thousands of suspected Anicetians were burned at the stake in the ensuing Anicetian Purges. However, the anti-heretic sentiment also targeted other religious minorities: In 1464 the lord of Leon ordered the city's Jews to either convert to Christianity or leave under threat of summary execution, and more than a few Muslim merchants were murdered.

In some areas of Santiago, however, Anicetians held most of the power - particularly in areas such as the Duchy of Sanabria and in other mountainous regions more remote from the capital. Anicetian sympathizers under threat from the Church threatened to flee to these areas, where they would find protection from nobles who either were themselves Anicetians or otherwise sympathetic to the sect. As one noble put it when approached by a churchmen, "These men and women are kin to us, and we could no more turn them away as we could cut off one of our own limbs."

*​

Traditional scholarship traces the outbreak of the Cantabrian Wars to an incident in 1473, when contemporary accounts report a group of Santiagonian clerics and armed peasants pursuing fleeing Anicetians across the border to a farming village in Asmarid territory. The mob is reported to have burned the village and slaughtered the population of about 500 people in search of the heretics they believed they were harbouring. The response from Asmarid hajib Al-Nasr was swift and decisive: He declared the reopening of jihad against Santiago and began to mass forces for a series of spring and summer campaigns that would steadily grind down what remained of the mountain kingdom.

A more in-depth look at the situation provides more nuance. Indeed, spring raids had resumed even before the fall of the Hizamids, mostly undertaken on a small scale by local landlords seeking to assert their authority over restive Christian populations in the Duero Valley, or looking to keep imported Berber populations occupied. As well, Andalusian police actions against piracy in Santiago had seen combat along the Gallaecian coast. A low-level conflict had existed for about a quarter of a century prior to the incident of 1473, and it appears that Al-Nasr's emergence into affairs was simply the first instance in which the central authority in the Umayyad-recognizing world had chosen to abrogate the Treaty of Xavier and move against the north.

Al-Nasr couched his campaign as a jihad in defense of the faithful, but he may have had more practical considerations in mind as well.

The Andalusi shipbuilding industry was growing rapidly in the mid-15th century as the Asmarid overseas empire blossomed. Much of the shipbuilding wood controlled by the Asmarids came from the island of Liwaril, where a mercantile cartel of wealthy walis monopolized the supply and dictated prices. This timber cartel drove up the price of shipbuilding, taking advantage of southern Iberia's relatively lesser tree cover to control a prime source of good forestry. This power bloc was one Al-Nasr sought to break.

To this day, Gallaecia is the most forested region of the Iberian peninsula. Much of this forest consists of oak and maritime pines - the former particularly useful for building ship frames and keels, the latter for outer planking. Gaining control of Santiago's forests would open up a vast supply of new hardwood and softwood to Asmarid control, allowing Al-Nasr to break the power of the Liwaril timber cartel and drive down the price of new ships.

Further, the timing was likely dictated by the geopolitical ramifications of the Fourth Romanian War. The threat of war with France had loomed for a long time, with the War of the Navarrese Succession representing a lucky break for then-Hizamid fortunes. But with France no longer sharing a border with Andalusia and left badly weakened by its defeat at Romanian hands, French intervention seemed a distant possibility. Romania was a perilous neighbour in and of itself, but one on slightly better terms with Isbili: Moorish merchants traded informally but somewhat regularly with Provencal counterparts, and both powers shared a mutual antipathy for France, though Romanian closeness with perennial Andalusian gadfly Genoa remained a sore point.

The timing, in other words, could not be better for Al-Nasr. He looked north and saw a golden opportunity to gain an economic and political advantage with little risk, and all that stood in his way was a weak, divided kingdom.

*​

The spring campaign of 1473 saw Andalusian regulars barrel across the Duero and lay siege to the city of Zamora, on the border recognized by the Treaty of Xavier. Much to the shock of Christian chroniclers, the city fell in a matter of days.

The technology available on both sides of the conflict had advanced significantly in the 80 years since the Treaty, but the bulk of the wealth and knowledge lay on the Andalusian side. The Andalusian general Miswar ibn Gharsiya al-Tulaytuli Al-Thagri rolled up to the city armed not with the early tanins of the War of Navarrese Succession, but with contemporary blackpowder weapons capable of tearing down city walls.

Al-Thagri's force came equipped with a number of heavy bombards suitable for laying siege to the city. Beyond that, the core of his force consisted of 1000 members of the Black Guard, each carrying a new hand weapon - the jazail.[1] This weapon was a long-barreled descendant of the hand tanin, but with a remarkable innovation: The snake latch, which used a curving lever and a match to ignite the blackpowder in the weapon. A typical early jazail resembled a marriage between a crossbow and a blackpowder weapon, with a crossbow-style butt and trigger, and featured a hook on the barrel for mounting the gun on a forkrest.[2]

While the typical Asmarid army still consisted primarily of a mix of crossbowmen, mounted Berbers, heavy cavalry and elite Black Guard units, the proliferation of blackpowder weapons - jazails for those on foot, fireballs thrown from horseback, bombards for reducing cities or even other armies - ensured their technological edge would be prohibitive. This proved true even in the face of blackpowder weapons falling into Christian hands over the past 80 years. Santiagonian troops had begun to employ limited numbers of dragons and fireballs of their own, but with the kingdom's revenue base gutted, these tools were considered luxuries of the rich, not staples of what army the Kingdom was able to muster. Indeed, the Santiagonians were fortunate to be able to gather more than a couple of thousand troops into individual armies, in the face of much larger ones barreling in from the Asmarid south.

The fall of Zamora kicked off a series of battles over that spring, with territory gradually falling into Asmarid hands. The fate of Santiago would be drawn out mainly by the leisurely pace with which Al-Nasr prosecuted his jihad, choosing to launch a series of spring campaigns in the style of those which took place before the Treaty of Xavier. It is this lackadaisical approach which allowed the conflict to spiral.

By 1474, Santiago had begun pleading with its few contacts for help. The King of France sent a missive denouncing the Andalusians for their abrogation of the treaty, but sent only a token aid of gold coins. Angland - preoccupied with putting down a revolt by their Scottish tributaries - didn't respond at all, while Romania remained steadfastly neutral, wary of committing to their south while France remained a hostile party to the north. Some volunteers from Italy did eventually make their way to the north at the urgings of various high churchmen, but for the most part, Santiago was left to its own devices.

The only ally to eventually come to Santiago's aid was its fellow northern kingdom: Once an ally to the Hizamids in the 1390s, Navarre, fearing for its independence, would throw in with Santiago in 1475 and begin to launch summer raids of their own. Once again the northern border of the Andalusian realm erupted into back-and-forth campaigns.

This time, however, the campaigns were destined to be final, one way or the other.


[1] The name parallels the OTL Afghan long gun, the jezail, but its origins aren't quite the same.
[2] The Andalusian jazail is, basically, the early arquebus. Denliner is not wrong in saying the Asmarids are on their way to becoming a blackpowder empire.


SUMMARY:
1473: The Cantabrian Wars begin when Asmarid hajib Al-Nasr takes advantage of a border attack by a Santiagonian peasant mob to restart the summer campaigns against Santiago. His objective is to capture Santiago's rich oak and pine forests to fuel Asmarid shipbuilding ambitions.
1475: Navarre resumes summer hostilities against Al-Andalus.
 
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Two updates so fast, you are spoiling us Hats! Jokes aside, great update as always. For the future, as I’m loving the focus back on the Northern Kingdoms, who were my favorite creation back during Norman times, but as others have noted the vast differences this crossing has with the Mesoamericans - will we perhaps see the first noble hajj?

Thinking of the grand stories that would told about that, a la Mansa Musa but without the devastating economic effects.
 
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