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Thread: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 12) On hold

  1. #1

    Default [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 12) On hold

    From the maker of The Greater of Two Evils, From a Viking Heritage, and whatever the hell that last one was (I am indeed inserting shameless self-promotion), comes an all new adventure focusing on the triumphs and travails of the Crown of Aragon, a fledging kingdom in Northern Ibera struggling to establish itself in a dangerous, ever-changing world.

    Here is a table of contents for your convenience (opens in a new window or tab):

    Table of Contents Prologue
    Chapter 1: Status Quo
    Chapter 2: Changing of the Guard
    Chapter 3: An Era of Tension
    Chapter 4: A Rolling Tide
    Chapter 5: Taunts Part 1
    Chapter 5: Taunts Part 2
    Chapter 6: Slowly but Surely
    Chapter 7: The Fall of Granada
    Chapter 8: The Defense of Granada
    Chapter 9: The Best Laid Plans
    Chapter 10: Setbacks
    Chapter 11: The Push for Cordoba
    Chapter 12: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


    Prologue

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Zaragoza, Aragon, 1080 AD

    Meeting bells sounded throughout the city as peasants and noblemen alike congregated at the town hall. Rumors spread through the assembled crowd like a disease on a packed ship, as meetings of this nature had only been called a few times in a man's life. The last, many recall, was when King Sancho IV Ramirez of Aragon ascended the throne almost 10 years ago.

    "I heard the King is getting married!" one peasant said to another.

    "Nah, they wouldn't call us here for that. Maybe he's announcing plans to conquer those damn Catalans?" the other suggested, unsure of himself. A nobleman standing nearby scoffed at them.

    "Ha! Like the King would make such a vicious announcement in public," the nobleman pointed out. "Those Catalans probably have spies everywhere. Whatever this announcement is, it's probably something the King wouldn't mind announcing to the whole world."

    "Shhhhh," the first peasant signaled to the balcony of the town hall. "It's about to start!"

    "Gentleman, ladies of the great city of Zaragoza," the speaker projected with his unnaturally loud voice. "What I am about to announce to you today will shape your lives and that of the Kingdom of Aragon for years to come, maybe even those of the rest of Europe!"

    "Is the king resigning?" the peasant asked. His friend's reply was a quick smack to the back of the head.

    "We all have our enemies in this world. The Kingdom of France looms in the north!" The crowd murmered in disgruntlement as the speaker tried in vain to hush them. Seeing his efforts fail, he raised his voice even further. "The Kingdom of Leon-Castille grows in power to the east and seeks to absorb us into their oppressive imperial dreams!" The statement was met with even more booing from the crowd. The spearmen at the edge of the plaza readied their shields and spears in the event of a riot. "And finally," the speaker boomed, "the heathen Moors seek to threaten all that is Good and Holy!"

    The crowd became volatile, almost to the point of rioting. The noblemen retained their calm composure, looking down in disgust at the rambunctious cries of the peasantry. Some made it a point to stand near the edge of the plaza, so as to escape before it came to swords and spears.



    "What about the Catelonians?!" A man queried from the front of the crowd. The speaker ignored him and continued.

    "Thus, in this dangerous world, the King has saw it fit to protect Aragonese interests. In doing so, he has decided that the best way to preserve our Great Kingdom is to join forces with our neighbors, specifically our bretheren in Barcelona. The plans have been made for King Sancho IV of Aragon and COuntess Isabel of Barcelona to marry and thus unite these people under one banner!"

    The crowd was outraged. The peasants, having grew up on tales of blood-thirsty evil Catalans, were shocked to say the least. Noblemen looked at each otherin disgust. They would have to share the class, and the spoils, with those of another city, another region.

    "Our wise King is aware of this predictably unpopular decision, and as such, it is hereby noted that a curfew is to be put into effect for the good of our nation, effective immediately." From the nearby buildings emerged spear militia, blocking the streets to the rest of the town. "I advise you to return to your houses and think nothign of this. You'll see that your normal lives will not be affected"



    Roars of discontent surged through the crowd, but the suddent advancing of the spear militia quickly hushed the outrage to a dull roar. Slowly, the crowd thinned out until only the most obstinate dissenters remained. The militia returned to their posts, leaving a few to deal with the riotous and the obtuse.

    Out of the marriage of King Sancho IV of Aragon and Countess Isabel of Barcelona was born:

    The Crown of Aragon



    King Sancho IV of Aragon and Queen Isabel of Barcelona focused on uniting the various independent states of Spain, to create a true kingdom for their son, Alfonso Ramirez.

    From the hills and mountains of the stubborn Basque peoples of Navarre...



    ...To the lowlands of Valencia...



    ...And finally to the stormy Balearic Isles...



    The united armies of Aragon and Catalonia were unstoppable. That is, to everyone except themselves. Commanding forces from two rival provinces was not always easy...

    Palma, Baleares, 1113 AD

    "Prince Alfonso! Sir!' The messenger came running through the destroyed ruins of the town hall. "I need to get to Prince Alfonso! Important message for the Prince!" The messenger was routed through rubble and ruin to the Prince's tent. Alfonso Ramirez was holding a meeting with the captain of the militia and another person.

    "Look Sergio," Prince Alfonso said to the well-dressed man who was not the captain. "You've seen what kind of person I am, and what I can do with my own soldiers. I suggest you tell your your countrymen to comply with my orders or face the consequences. The Balearic Islands are under control of the Crown of Aragon."

    The man looked visibly shaken, and exited the tent with a pathetic whimper. The messenger approached the table where Prince Alfonso was working and lightly tapped him on the shoulder.

    "Yes?" The Prince asked as he turned to face the messenger. The messenger almost couldn't speak for a moment. Alfonso Ramirez was well known for his unforgiving nature on the battlefield, something which evidently applied to his administration as well. "I'm waiting, soilder" the Prince said impatiently after the messenger had not spoken for some time.

    "I...I bring a report, sir" trembled the messenger. "We've spotted men disembarking ships on the coast, headed straight for Palma. I didn't recognize the flag, sir, but they looked African."



    "Africans...attacking Baleares? They must be mercenaries of some sort, but the only people in the area with access to African mercenaries are...the Moors" the Prince gnarled as he came to the realization. "Captain!" He barked, now to the sergeant standing in the corner of the tent, "ready the militia. The Aragonese, the Catalans, all of them. Even the Balearics . Tell them to assemble outside the city gates in an hour." The captain nodded and left the tent swiftly. There was a cold efficiency in Prince Alfonso's behavior, as he seem rather unfazed by the looming threat of a Moorish assault, not even bothering to take into account the numbers. From the way the Prince spoke to the well-dressed man earlier, the messenger guessed he was not one for the quagmire of bureaucracy and pleasantries.

    "You, messenger boy." The messenger jerked to startled but rapt attention. "Go to the port and get on the nearest trade ship. Ride straight and hard for Zaragoza and inform the King of this attack." The messenger nodded and ducked under the flap of the tent.

    After the messenger had left, Prince Alfonso stared at his city plans, thankful to be away from them and back into his suit of armor. The last action he saw was almost a year and a half ago, at the gates of Pamplona. Already the adrenaline of battle started to slowly flow through his body. Soon, he thought. Very soon.

    Outside the gates, Prince Alfonso met his body guards next to a small group of militia surrounding the Moorish ram, taking it apart piecemeal.



    The Prince looked at them in a sort of amused awe. "Good soldiers," he started in his commanding voice, "Would you be so kind to explain what you're doing?"

    "We're destroying the ram, sir!" replied one, who seemed to be their unappointed spokesperson. "That way if we lose they'll have nothing to attack us with!"

    "And who gave you permission to do that?" The soldier stood quietly. "I thought so. Where are you from, soldier?"

    "Barcelona, sir."

    "Right. Barcelona. And when you served in Barcelona did you act without recieving orders?"

    The soldier looked down in anger and replied, "No, sir, I did not."

    "Then why is this any different?" Prince Alfonso began to raise his voice. He could already predict the answer.

    "Because," The soldier said out loud, but then quietly, "we didn't serve under a pompous Aragonese..."

    "What did you say??"

    "I said..." The soldier started, but then stopped when noticed the icy eyes of Prince Alfonso glaring at him. He felt as though he would be executed right then and there. "I said nothing, sir."

    "You're damn right you said nothing! Look," the Prince said as he turned to face the rest of the army, "I don't give a damn whether you're Aragonese or Basque or Catalan. Hell you could be German and I wouldn't care. What matters is that you are in MY army, and as such, you follow MY command. Is that understood?"

    A low rumble emerged from the army: "Sir, yes sir."

    "I SAID IS THAT UNDERSTOOD??"

    "SIR, YES SIR!"

    "Good! Now you, Catalan," The Prince turned to the rebellious spearman. "Fall back in line, and charge the Moorish lines like the rest. What's your name soldier?"

    "Ferran, sir. It's Ferran."

    "Right, Ferran. I'll be keeping an eye on you. Now go!"

    Ferran sulked away into his ranks. "My ass you will, Aragonese," He whispered under his breath. His fellow Catalan spearmen in the regiment chipped in, saying how cruel and typically Aragonese the Prince was.

    "All right, men," Prince Alfonso addressed to the army. "Now, we will fight together! If you're unlucky, you'll die together. But remember, you are not fighting for Barcelona, Pamplona, or Zaragoza. You all are fighting for SPAIN! Now CHARGE you bastards!"

    The assembled militia slowly gathered speed, coming closer the some 300 Moorish Africans waiting outside the town. Quickly, though, the tide of Spanish troops began to careen towards the Moorish skirmishing line, the javelinmen readying their hefty projectiles.

    As the neared their enemy, the Spanish army soon felt the sting of the heavy javelins, many a men falling to their relentless barrage. The Moorish javelinmen were only able to throw one volley, however, before the opposing spearmen came too close for comfort.



    "Charge, Spaniards! Charge!" Prince Alfonso cried out. "Let them forever fear the might of a united Spain! For Spain!"

    For Spain. The cry seemed to come naturally to the soldiers as they lifted their spears for the charge. The Moors could not understand the language, but were nevertheless frightened by the sudden unity found amongst their foes.



    The crash between the Aragonese assaulters and the Moorish defenders seemed the happen all at the same time. A moment of silence, followed by the war cries of the fighters and the pitiful moans of the wounded. Ferran, on the front line of the Spanish assault, was pushed into the thicket before he was ready. Bouncing off of an African shield, Ferran rolled on to the floor as his comrades collided above him. Oh God oh God oh God oh GOD I'M GOING TO DIE, he thought.

    Finding a spear amongst the forest of legs, he blindly thrust towards the general direction of the Moors. A scream pierced the rest as an African spearman fell to the ground. The spear had found its mark. I gotta get up, gotta get up!. Ferran pushed himself off the ground to find himself in the middle of a unfamiliar regiment. Must be those damn Aragonese, he though. Letting the better Catalans taking the brunt of the fighting. They're just gonna waltz in behind them and claim victory.

    The Spanish line began advancing more quickly now. The Moors seemed to be thinning out. Ferran looked around and saw Spanish troops not only in front of the Moorish line, but behind it as well. The longer Aragonese line must have overlapped that of the Moors and out flanked them. It would only be a matter of time before they fell.



    Prince Alfonse watched as his lines overtook those of the Moors. The battle was over before it began. The rest would be a cleaning operation.

    "Alright, men," The Prince said, addressing his bodyguards. "Let's finish off these Moorish cowards!" Alfonso led his royal around the main army, and focused on the javelinmen threatening his troops. "Charge, my friends! Charge for the good of the Crown of Aragon!"

    The hooves rattled through the earth, and the Africans stopped in their tracks, staring death straight in the face. Many of them knelt and prayed to whoever their gods were. Prince Alfonso would show no mercy.



    The charge of the royal guards was devastating. Not a soul was left alive in the wake of the armored horses. The Moorish front line, too, began to crumble beneath the Aragonese envelopment. The captain of the spearmen broke off from the spearmen and ran towards Prince Alfonso as he was about to run down the routers.

    "My Prince! Wait! What should we do now?"

    "What do you expect to do? Stop?" Alfonso laughed with his guards. "Run down the lot of them! Leave none alive!" And with that, Prince Alfonso urged on his horse to trample underfoot those who would run away from the battle.



    "Now THAT'S what I like to see!" Prince Alfonso laughed. "Alright, men. Let's count our losses and head back to town for some good ol' fashioned celebration, eh?" The army gave a slight sense of approval, and began to look for their fallen comrades. The Catalans wailed in Catalan while the soldiers from Navarre grieved in Basque.



    "Oi, captain," the Prince called. "Send a messenger to the King on the double. Let him know that Palma is now officially part of the grand Crown of Aragon." The captain nodded and ran off. Prince Alfonso returned to his tent and looked at his map of Aragonese lands. Soon, he thought, soon Spain will be ours.

    Last edited by Theseus1234; September 06, 2010 at 11:21 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  2. #2
    Karnage's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy

    A summer AAR by Theseus, funny, your story is great so far, got to love the humour from within, will be keeping an eye on this
    My work in progress AAR, come and have look.

    L'État c'est moi, The Monarchy of France
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=355826

    Critic Quills review about my AAR.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=365219

  3. #3

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy

    Wow. I seem to write a lot for small things. I guess I'll try to be more broad in the future (My English teacher said I always needed to work on making the reader feel like they're there.)

    As always, any comments would be appreciated!

    Chapter 1: Status Quo

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Zaragoza, Aragon, 1114 AD



    Only kept awake by the incessant marching of the spear militia on the cobblestone roads, King Sancho shifted through mountains of paperwork on his mahogony desk in an effort to maintain his fledgling kingdom. Queen Isabel said she would handle the complaints of the Catalans, but he still dealt with the brunt of the issues. "We want to be fairly represented," they said. "We want to capture lands to the north to protect us," they cried. King Sancho was powerful, but not enough so that he could get them to shut up.



    He could not wait until the crown could be passed on to his son, eliminating the bureaucratic mess the nation was in at the moment. When only one ruler remained, rather than the joint leadership Queen Isabel and himself were in right now, perhaps the Catalans would finally see that they had been annexed into the now greater Kingdom of Aragon.

    For reasons unknown to him, the lands of Spain had bred an especially tenacious breed of Spaniards, fiercely guarding their independence. What fools! the King thought. Divided, the lot of them are sitting ducks. But under the right leadership, they could stand a chance in not only Iberian politics, but perhaps even world politics as well. It would take the right leader to knock into their heads that they are not Catelans or Basque, but Spaniards.

    The King looked at the message on the top of a precipice of papers. Good, the King thought. Prince Alfonso has done well defending the Balearic Isles. Palma will be a great place to send trade ships to the rest of Europe, past these damn Pyrenees. Trade is the essence of political friendship, and friendship is the essence of military alliances. Alliances were hard to come by these days, and King Sancho pounced upon any opportunity to establish himself amongst the northern Europeans and Italians, particularly anybody who could help the Aragonese against the Spanish and Moors.



    Although now, King Sancho was happy with merely keeping hold of his possessions. With his pushes into independent territory, the armies of Aragon were left dangerously undermanned. A recent royal order he signed would train troops across the country, putting an even further strain on the Crown's tight finances. With the Moors pushing up from the south, King Sancho was not sure how long he could keep his nation together.

    Suddenly, the door flew open, slamming against the hard wooden walls. The King jolted in his seat and reached for his sword from its scabbard. The small boy who opened the door crammed into the corner, pleading, and “My liege! It's me, the messenger!"

    King Sancho stared at the boy for several seconds and sheathed his sword. "Sorry, my boy," the King said apologetically. "I'm just a little on edge. What are you doing here at this hour?"

    "Urgent news from Valencia, my King!" The messenger unrolled the piece of parchment, now crinkled and cramped from the scare.



    "The Moors again?" the King asked, snorting in disgust. "Those heathen bastards. How do the odds look for our forces?"

    "Well from what I heard, your son Ramiro is heading a small garrison. More numerous than the Moors, but we have yet to see how well your son does as a commander."

    "My son? General Ramiro? How did he get to Valencia?"

    "Well by my accounts, he arrived shortly after we captured the castle and began working on the reconstruction effort."

    "How long does he have to hold out the siege?"

    "By my guess, maybe 4 or so years. But the Moors may attack before then." King Sancho began pulling out pieces of parchment and began writing furiously. "My Liege? Are you planning something?"

    "Yes, I'm planning something," the King said. "My son is trapped in a castle! I'm writing to Pamplona and Barcelona indicating I want them training troops on the double. This time, we're going to bring the fight to the Moors."

    "As you wish, sir," the messenger said. He waited patiently for King Sancho to finish his letters and then left the town hall, mounting his horse and riding hard for Pamplona.

    The King stared out the window to the south. His son would be facing his first major military battle alone, without his help. Though of a ready age, he had not been taught in the manners of warfare. "God help my son," the King whispered quietly.

    "God help them all"

    Valencia, Conquered Kingdom of Valencia, 1115 AD



    Strangely enough, there was no wind as the sky might have suggested. Whatever this weather was, it was here to stay. In the town square, hungry peasants piled into the streets, jostling and bustling into each other for a place in the line for their food rations. Supplies were not low yet, but careful planning was necessary to stretch out the food stores for as long as possible. Supervising the operation was General Ramiro, ensuring everyone got their fair share of food.

    "Don't you think it's a bit foolish to believe that help will come?" One of Ramiro's advisors asked.

    "I'm almost certain of it," the General replied confidently. "Alfonso is just a few weeks ship ride here, and my father wouldn't let us down. He'll be here in a few weeks, you'll see."

    "I just don't know if we can trust them to come so quickly..."

    "Don't worry, help will come." General Ramiro replied adamantly. "See if it's possible to sneak out scouts. I want word of reinforcements as soon as possible."



    "Of course, my Prince. And what of the Moors at the gates?"

    "Leave them be, they'll soon lift the siege once they see the glorious armies of Aragon converging on them from all directions!"

    The advisor looked as though he were about to complain, though he withheld lashing out. It was difficult to concern the General with anything, but the advisor would subtly keep watch over the Moors, who seemed to be building a variety of wall-scaling equipment. Although out too far out of range to attack, the Aragonese garrison could still be better prepared if they knew what they were up against. The advisor could only hope that his superior was right, and that reinforcements were indeed coming.

    Serranía de Cuenca, Iberian Mountains, Aragon

    The army marched quickly enough to be just short of a jog, as running would kill them in this Spanish heat. They needed to reach Valencia and quickly, before the Moors attacked General Ramiro's modest garrison. King Sancho, on his steed along with his bodyguards, headed the army up through a pass in the Iberian Mountains. It was the fastest way to head south from Zaragoza, where an army could exit the pass in a manner of a few weeks, rather than the months it would take to skirt around the range.

    "Hold!" King Sancho commanded suddenly. The army halted abruptly, some soldiers even caught off guard by the command, suddenly falling forward into their stopped comrades.

    King Sancho dismounted from his horse and looked at the top of the long slope leading to the pass. There, poised amongst the ridges and precipes was an orange flag, with the symbol of the crescent emblazoned on it.

    "The Moors..." one soldier pointed out. The army began to grumble with discontent.



    "How could the beat us here?"

    "Did they know we were coming?"

    "There must be a spy!"

    King Sancho motioned for silence, and the murmur of the army began to quiet down. After some time deliberating, the King spoke. "We'll have to go around."

    "What? Why? Why not take these bastards head on!" The army nodded in agreement.

    "Because Valencia needs all the reinforcements it can get! Think, we'll be fighting an uphill battle against a far better equipped enemy. The only reinforcements Valencia will get will be a ragtag group of routers! What help will that be?"

    The soldier who spoke up before backed down. Although the Aragonese had the numerical advantage, it seemed, the masses of Moorish infantry would easily repel any uphill assault. The army conceded, and the King led the army out of the pass and past the Iberian Mountains. He could only hope that the besieging Moors outside Valencia would hold off on their attack.

    Valencia, 1116 AD

    "The Moors are assaulting! Ready your arms!" The chapel bells were ringing furiously and couriers were scattering around the castle, sending messages to all the militia captains. Archers were running to the barracks to fetch their bows and reload on arrows while spearmen were rushing towards the gate and walls. The moors had indeed begun their assault.



    Ramiro ran to the walls, feet pounding on the stone road. He rounded the staircase and emerged from the wooden tower, gazing over the parapet. Before him lay the farms and small villages outside the castle, and the Moorish camp. The Moors began their chanting and taunting as they approached with their siege equipment, although drowned out by the squeaking of the wooden wheels on the battering ram and wooden siege tower. Their progress was slow, perhaps giving enough time for the peasant archers to cut down part of their forces, but the men carrying the lighter ladders rushed to the wall with reckless abandon.

    "Get some spear militia on that other wall! Rapido!" General Ramiro barked. Shortly, the sound of boots on wood could be felt throughout the entirety of the wall. Thank God they didn't bring any siege engines, the General thought. A catapult would definitely devastate the defenses of the meager garrison.



    The siege tower was approaching, slowly, but surely. Ramiro left the defense of the wall to one of the captains and headed back for his horse.

    "General Ramiro!" a man called from one of the side streets. "We've managed to round up some volunteers. Where should we put them?"

    General Ramiro looked over and saw a sergeant standing with about a hundred or so lightly-clothed men, armed with pitchforks and other farming tools. "Sergeant...could I talk to you over here for a moment?" The sergeant nodded and walked over from his ragtag band of volunteers.

    "What is it, sir?"

    "These men...They're not soldiers at all!" General Ramiro exclaimed in a hushed voice. "How do we expect them to hold out against the Moors?"

    "I don't, but each one of them is willing to defend their homes. I think that's motivation enough."

    Ramiro looked at the sergeant, and then at the motley group of peasants for a time. "Alright," the General said after some silence. "I'll take your word for it. Tell them to get to the gate and reinforce the positions there." The sergeant nodded and called for the volunteers to move out.



    General Ramiro took his place by his bodyguards, along with a group of light Alforrat cavalry to charge the Moors at the gate. Now, he felt his army was ready for the Moorish onslaught.

    "LADDERS!" he heard someone yell. Sure enough, the familiar *thunk* of ladders on the wooden parapets followed shortly. Spear militia lay ready at the top of the wall to force the Moors back, and the peasant archers withdrew their small knives to reinforce their infantry brethren.



    General Ramiro could see the wild swinging of spears on the wall right of the gate. These men were inexperienced, barely trained, but hopefully their passion for the defense of their homes and, with luck, their country would hold off the Moors for quite some time. The ram had reached the gate by now, its Moorish operators pushing the metal-tipped log into the reinforced wooden gates of the castle. Just when the General thought he had had enough to deal with, he became acutely aware of the massive siege tower lowering its ramp on the left side. With the ladders, at least his men could pick off the Moors one-by-one. Now, they had to face a large group of them at once, which might be their undoing.



    "Look!" someone yelled. "The gate is breaking down!"

    The General looked at the gate. Above the yelling and crying of the clashing armies, he could distinctily hear the resonating boom of the ram on wood. Little by little, the metal began to poke through the wood. He yelled, "Ready your spears, men! Hold your ground and give no quarter!"

    Boom, sounded the gate. A few more hits and it would be broken wide open. Then the mettle of his soldiers and his recent volunteers would be put to the test.

    Boom. The soldiers lowered the spears, pitchforks, hoes, whatever they had with them. They looked cautiously at each other and back to the gate. They were afraid, but sought solace in their allies and friends.

    Boom. The chanting of the Arabs reached its climax. Some of the Spanish soldiers began to back away in fear, but were held in position by their comrades. Now was not the time to lose heart.

    CRACK. The gate burst open, and in flooded in hordes of Moorish soldiers, vicious Berbers of Africa, and heavily armored cavalry. The men on the front lines of the Aragonese defense crumbled beneath their swords and spears, and the cavalry surfed through the waves of inferior Aragonese troops.



    Screaming. Screaming was the only thing that followed the deluge of Moorish armies through the Aragonese gates. They held, but Ramiro guessed it wouldn't be for long. Fortunately, the men defending the walls from the ladders had finished off the last of the Moors and began to rush to the aid of their comrades below and across from them. Their effort was in vain, however, as the Moors still cut down man after man.

    General Ramiro looked to his bodyguards, who nodded back. "For the Glory of Aragon! Carga!" He yelled. He kick backed his horse and thrust his sword forward. Now was the time to act and save his men from certain destruction. Hooves pounded all round him as they galloped through the castle towards the mass at the gate. The shock of the cavalry would surely be enough to send his Moorish enemies crying for their mothers.



    Ramiro rode straight into the thicket, brandishing his sword with the finesse his training ingrained in him. A quick swipe lobbed off the head of a Berber soldier, and a stab brought down a horse, the Aragonese infantry quickly dealing with its rider. The General thought his charge would bring an end to the assault, but the Moors continued to push through the defense with a tenacious ferocity. Men from the walls had finally dealt with the men from the siege tower, and descended the staircase to come to the aid of the gate defenders, but the Moors would not relent. After almost an hour of fierce fighting, the Moors were left with their bodyguard and several riders from the desert, but they would not stop their slaughter of the Aragonese militia and volunteers.



    Blocking and stabbing, Ramiro led his troops to one final push to repel the invaders. The men redoubled their efforts and let out a vicious war cry that signaled their last stand. They were either going to win here, or die and lose hold of the land. Spearmen stabbed the horses with their spears, but the cavalry were protected by their barded armor. It seemed almost impossible to bring down a single bodyguard; each armored rider felled was a monumental achievement, but celebrations were cut short when another voraciously aggressive Arabic bodyguard appeared from the carnage.

    The General himself was locked in hand-to-hand combat atop horses with an experienced Moorish guard. Metal pounded against metal as the Saracen scimitar chopped viciously at the European blade. Ramiro tried to gain an advantage, and force the guard to back up against the Aragonese spearmen, but each attack was met with an almost instant counter-attack. The General made one last effort to bring down the bodyguard. He raised his sword high into the air and brought it down with all of his might, every muscle in his body contributing to the downward force of the blade. The Moor rushed his blade upwards to parry it, but the force was so great it knocked the blade from his hand, sending it clattering on the ground. The armored Arab looked down at the blade, and then at the Aragonese General facing him. Even through the helmet which covered most of his face, Ramiro swore he could've seen a bit of sadness in the eyes of his adversary. Nevertheless, he shut his own and thrust his blade forward into the chest of the Moor. The guard looked down at the sword, where only 4 inches of the blade was showing, and then up to the sky before he slowly slid off his mount, the bodies on the ground cushioning his fall.



    There was panic in the Moorish army as they yelled frantically in Arabic. Ramiro looked around as he saw the few survivors of the fight slip through the gates. Several Alforrat cavalrymen rushed through the gate and captured the routing enemy, bringing them back to the castle keep. All around the General men cleaned their weapons and armor and searched for their fallen friends and allies. Women from the houses nearby rushed out to celebrate the victory, only to find their husbands lying dead at their feet. General Ramiro looked around and took stock of his army. It seemed the dead bodies around them outnumbered those who were still standing at the gates. When the militia finally noticed there were no enemies to be found, they did not celebrate, but rather wandered off aimlessly to the barracks, stunned by the loss of life.



    Victory. Victory had come at last. The sun was nearing its final descent behind the mountains, although it was almost impossible to tell by the weather. The men were tired, hungry, and heartbroken at the loss of life, but at least they had fended off their Arabic foes. General Ramiro rushed to the barracks and searched for his captains to inform him of the status of the remaining garrison.

    The General dismounted from his steed and removed his helmet and tabard. He entered the small militia barracks to find it crowded with the wounded and the grieving. It had been turned into an ad hoc hospital.

    "Where is the captain?" Ramiro queried to no one in particular. "Has anyone seen him?"

    "The captain's dead," someone replied. Ramiro moved towards the voice to find a soldier sitting next to one of his sleeping, wounded comrades. "He died on the walls, the one with the siege tower."

    "Are you absolutely sure?" Ramiro asked.

    "You bet your ass I am, Aragonese. I was next to him when he died." The soldier stared off into space, likely recalling the moment his captain had died. Around him were the wails of the wounded and pleas for death for those beyond hope.

    "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend," General Ramiro apologized. He didn't want to start a conflict between the provinces, as the man was obviously Catalan. "Do you happen to know how much of the garrison is left?"

    "I do, actually. We all do." The militiaman racked his head for the information. "There's 142 of us left. 314 had died. 314 good Spanish soldiers fending off 300 Moors. Does that seem fair to you, sir?"



    The General looked at the soldier for a time and replied, "No, I guess it doesn't. I'm sorry for the loss, but we were undermanned and attacked without reinforcements. I lost a lot of my closest friends as well." Several of the Prince's bodyguards, practically his only friends, had fallen to Moorish spears and swords.

    "Vale, it's not your fault." Silence followed, only interrupted by moaning and orders for more bandages. "We have a couple Arabs locked up in the captain's room. What should we do with them?"

    "They're not a threat to us. Not worth our time. Give word to let them free." The militiaman looked surprised, but complied. He slowly got up from his position beside his fellow soldier and headed off to the captain's room. Ramiro looked around at the sorrow of his soldiers. They deserved better than this. He slowly lowered himself to where the militiaman had sat previously, hung his head in his hands, and wept.
    Last edited by Theseus1234; July 17, 2010 at 01:26 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  4. #4

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 1)

    Here's another update for you all. It's a goooood'un!

    As always comments, rep, Hell even criticism, is much appreciated.

    And a question for you all: Which resolution should I use? The pictures in the Prologue and Chapter 2 are in 1280 x 1024 while Chapter 1 is in 1024 x 768 or whatever that resolution is. Personally, I feel like the higher resolution for the campaign images are distorted, so i might stick with 1024 for that. But what do you guys think about the battle shots? I guess it's nice to have them bigger, but smaller resolutions allow me to play a much smoother battle and have more men on the field. What do you guys think?
    EDIT: An additional question: should I spoiler the pictures? They do seem rather large and take up a lot of space, perhaps even ruining the next part of the story. What do you guys think?


    Now, without further ado, I present the 2nd chapter of this (hopefully) thrilling (and totally not boring) saga!


    Chapter 2: Changing of the Guard

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Valencia Plains, August 15th 1119 AD

    Even on the move, King Sancho had to keep up to date with the latest happenings in Iberian and world politics. Messengers regularly tracked him down to inform him of events, alliances, and wars. Forgoing the luxury of a desk that would have to be lugged around in the baggage train, King Sancho spared his men the trouble and the time by working by campfires and small torches. On this particular night, the King had recieved several alarming pieces of news. The first dealing with international politics.



    A Portuguese-Castellan War? That could provide King Sancho the opportunity he needed to finally take a stab at Iberian supremacy. But in order to do so, he'd have to keep the provinces in line.



    Catalans again, this time wanting a secure northern border to deter an invasion to Catalonia. They thought too much land had been claimed in the name of Zaragoza and Aragon, and not enough for Barcelona. The idea of unity was not something that these independent people could not grasp, for some reason. The King wrote off a letter to Prince Alfonso, indicating that he should relocate to Barcelona and "persuade" the population into compliance



    The sun was rising; another sleepless night for the King. It was always the financial charts and reports that kept him awake. It seemed impossible to raise a decent sum of money, with the recent Moorish landings on Palma and the egregious amount spent on the defense of Valencia. Truth be told, the cities were just not making enough money, and any raises in taxes were met with resistance.



    Soon, though, the King hoped to rid his lands of the Moors and establish a ceasefire, so as to work on the development of the cities and cultural unity, which would undoubtedly be helpful when the two nations would go to war again. For now, however, the King focused on the enemy force threatening Castle Valencia. Having secretly exchanged letters for the past few weeks, General Ramiro and his garrison would leave the castle and sneak around, joining the King's forces to launch an attack.



    Valencia Plains, December 2nd 1120 AD

    "Father! Where is my father? I've arrived with the forces he's asked for," General Ramiro said, searching around the camp for his father's tent. A tired man with graying hair emerged from a modest tent.

    "It's good to see you, son!" They embraced, patting each other on the back. “Congratulations on your victory defending Castle Valencia! I received the good news a few weeks after I set out."

    Ramiro looked down at the ground. "You shouldn't be thanking me. I lost too many men in that battle, much more than necessary."

    "It's alright, Ramiro," the King said with understanding. "Every man lost is one too many, but we have to make do with what we have." Ramiro nodded in agreement.

    "Well it's good you showed up when you did, doubtless you've seen that the enemy heading towards the castle is much stronger than the last one."

    "Indeed we have. We plan to pack up camp and head over the plains to meet them in a few days. With our combined armies, we'll be unstoppable!"

    Ramiro looked doubtful. The men in both armies were mainly militia, with barely any of the troops having proper training. Regardless, he had seen what militia could do and trusted them to hold out.

    "Vamanos, men!" King Sancho ordered. "Let's give these Moors what's coming to them! Pack up and head out!" The army gave out a light cheer and began packing up the camp. In a few days, most of them would see their first action.

    Valencia Plains, December 15th 1120 AD

    The Aragonese combined forces march on the Moorish forces, who had been prepared for the attack. Although almost outnumbering the Moorish forces 2 to 1, the Aragonese army was composed almost entirely of militia, far inferior to the mercenaries and desert spearmen the Moors had gathered up for the assault on Valencia.







    Ramiro rode next to his father as they discussed the battle plans while the army was on the move.

    "Mira, hijo, it's important to utilize every aspect of a battle to your disposal." Ramiro nodded and waited for the King to continue. "So, what could we use to our advantage in this battle?"

    "Well, we have twice as many troops as they do..."

    "Exactly! Now, we can't let that go to waste, which is why I've ordered the army to stretch out as long as possible. This will maximize our chance for flanking the enemy." Ramiro nodded, finally getting the grips of command.



    "Now," King Sancho continued, "one important advantage we have is cavalry. Even though much of the enemy infantry are spearmen, we can still use the cavalry to break up wavering troops." King Sancho looked to the horizon. "Looks like our enemy has arrived, and on schedule too. I'm sending you to the right flank with some of our light cavalry. Use them well."



    Ramiro galloped off to the flank with his few bodyguards left from the siege of Valencia and King Sancho focused on the assault that was to come. Unfortunately, the Moors were not going to be content with waiting for the Aragonese forces to surround them as they had begun moving towards the enemy lines.

    "Javelins!" the King called out. "Ready your weapons! Send them to Hell!"

    The javelinmen responded, and drew back their iron-tipped heavy javelins. "Ready!" the captain announced. The enemy marched closer and closer.



    "FIRE!"

    The javelinmen grunted as they hurled their deadly projectiles towards their near-point blank enemy. Rips and tears were heard as the iron-tips easily pierced the light cloth armor of the advancing spearmen. The wounded cried in the universal human language, pain. The javelinmen were getting ready to throw a second volley when they noticed that the central bulk of the army had begun to run up the hill, directly at them.



    "Withdraw! Withdraw!" King Sancho called from the left flank. The message was relayed through the infantry captains until it reached the javelinmen, who were almost too late to escape the deadly teeth of the Moorish spears.

    Behind them, 2 groups of farmers recruited just after the siege of Valencia saw their opportunity to gain glory. "Protect the javelinmen!" one shouted, as they ran a short distance down the hill, absorbing the retreating javelinmen into their ranks and bearing the brunt of the Moorish charge.



    Ramiro, on the right flank of the army, watched the unfolding spectacle with awe. He had never seen such a large scale battle before, and certainly not one with so much at stake. Assembled on this field was almost two thirds of all Aragonese troops, and from every corner of the empire. Catalonian militia stood beside Balearic and Aragonese militia, backed by Basque light Alforrat cavalry. Perhaps this battle was the first step to unity amongst these...

    "Oi! Ramiro, sir!" a rider said in rudimentary spanish. "Look!"

    In front of him, a group of mercenary maceman and spearmen were looking to outflank the Aragonese right wing. The maces of the mercenaries met the shields with unfortunate results for the latter. Many Spanish shields cracked under the swinging might of the macemen, while the spears were ineffective at such short range.



    Mercenary spearmen also charged up the small hill, though not to attack the militia. They were headed straight for the cavalry! Ramiro ordered a swift retreat up the hill, but that only led the spearmen around the backs of the militia, surrounding them.



    The left flank, under King Sancho's control was doing much better, however, as the lines extended to make sure outflanking was impossible. In fact, the Moorish attack stopped short of spreading out over the entire Aragonese line, allowing King Sancho to wheel around some of his disengaged infantry to surround the Moorish spearmen.



    The Aragonese forces on the left side were in a prime position, but the Moorish forces would not budge. The superior quality of Moorish infantry forced a stalemate, a battle of attrition that would invariably erode the morale of the Spanish troops. King Sancho decided to turn the tide of the battle in one fell swoop.

    "Hyah, men! Let's show these heathen Moors what it means to be in Spain!" A chorus of cheering and whooping followed as King Sancho led his royal guard and Alforrats around the edge of the Aragonese line. He picked up his ivory horn and blew a call that soared over the clash and chaos of the infantry. The Moorish line turned around to look at the mysterious call behind them. Their hearts sank. Some wailed in Arabic as they stared death straight in the face. The King lowered his lance, bracing himself for the shock of murder.



    Across the small slope, Ramiro was also preparing his men for a charge, but not to turn the tide. The right flank was collapsing, and fast. The militia couldn't hold out against the money-motivated mercenaries for long, and although facing spearmen, Ramiro felt the urge to save the poor souls fighting for their lives. The charge was initiated without a sound, but soon the riders gained enthusiasm as they rolled down the hill on their steeds. The Alforrats, having faster, smaller horses, reached the spearmen first, knocking some over or brushing them aside. Ramiro followed soon after, the heavier horses of his bodyguard crushing the wounded men below and trampling those who stood in their way.



    On the left flank, the charge was devastating. Although Moorish spearmen comprised the majority of the Moorish army on the left, the sheer force of the Aragonese cavalry was enough to send even the most hardened desert Arab running.



    With the collapse of opposition on the Aragonese left, the spear militia was left with nothing to face them. King Sancho ordered an envelopment of the Moorish center in an attempt to send the enemy running for their lives.



    Ramiro's charge was met with much less success, however. The mercenary spearmen were able to regroup, and the unarmored light horses were helpless against the sharp spears. The cries of horses filled the air and the following dying wails of the riders shook the soul. The mercenary macemen easily punched through the spear militia and wreaked havoc on Ramiro's bodyguards, the maces punching through the thickest armor. The prince quickly turned his remaining guards around and headed behind his own lines, his mission to relieve the spear militia having been a failure.



    King Sancho charged his horses again and again into the backside of the Moorish center, but still they would not run. Their morale had been duly reinforced by the presence of their general, who had begun to harass the Aragonese cavalry. The King diverted his cavalry from the infantry and began pursuing the general's bodyguard, attempting to bring him down. Over rock and hill, the Moorish general fled, leading the Aragonese cavalry further and further away from the main conflict. However the faster Alforrat cavalry soon engaged the general in a fight, allowing King Sancho's heavier bodyguard to catch up. The King yelled and charged into the mass of horses and riders, stabbing his sword into the backs of the already embroiled bodyguards, felling many of them. The last to fall was the Moorish general





    The death of the general was all that was needed to send the Moorish army packing. The last pockets of resistance were surrounded and destroyed, and Ramiro's remaining cavalry took their revenge on the running mercenary spearmen. The Moors were routed off the field, and the day belonged to the Crown of Aragon.





    Ramiro herded off the prisoners to the Aragonese camp, many complaining in Arabic or even in Spanish if they were Andalusian mercenaries. He called out to King Sancho, "Father! What should we do with the prisoners?"



    King Sancho thought for a while. "They look like they're worth a lot of money, money that we could really use right now. Try ransoming them back to the Moors."



    The scene back at Castle Valencia was one of celebration and joy. The small pub was filled to the brim with soldiers and citizens, rejoicing in the defeat of the Moors. Both King Sancho and his son Ramiro distanced themselves from the wanton extravagance and took a stroll outside the castle's walls. Most of it was in silence, as they reflected on the battle of the day. However, King Sancho had a point to make.

    "Ramiro," he began. "When you first attacked by the Moors last year, I..." the words seemed to be held back in his throat. "I was scared. Worried for your safety." Ramiro merely looked at him, thinking he would never see his father show this much compassion. "I don't want that to happen again. I want you to head north, to Barcelona. Prince Alfonso is going to lead a campaign to the north to satisfy the Catalans, and I need you to watch over Barcelona for him. Someone always needs to watch that city," the King chuckled half-heartedly.

    "But father, I want to be here, on the front, with you!" Ramiro protested, although he knew the effort was futile.

    King Sancho waved him off. "You know you like governing cities better than leading armies. I'll be fine on my own, I promise. There's a reason why I'm still alive today," the King laughed.

    Ramiro was silently obedient. The next morning, he and some of the more thinned out regiments of soldiers headed to Zaragoza, and then Barcelona to prepare for the next campaign. King Sancho examined his maps once more. The enemy was converging on the horizon, and if his calls for a ceasefire failed, then he may very well die defending the lands he worked so hard to keep.

    Last edited by Theseus1234; July 17, 2010 at 01:27 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  5. #5
    Aleksander's Avatar Laetus
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Mitchelstown Ireland
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 2 Updated)

    Hey nice AAR you have here Im gonna stay tuned to see what happens

  6. #6
    Karnage's Avatar Centenarius
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Gatineau, Canada
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 2 Updated)

    Slay the Moors...Good job against them, beside, in Iberia, they are the biggest threat beside Leon-Castille
    My work in progress AAR, come and have look.

    L'État c'est moi, The Monarchy of France
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=355826

    Critic Quills review about my AAR.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=365219

  7. #7

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 2 Updated)

    Not much happened in the span of 10 years, so this next update will be kind of short. I did spruce it up a bit and you'll see my attempts at being funny and melodramatic (though not at the same time, of course )

    There will be more battles next update.

    As always, comments, rep, criticism, and suggestions (ooh a new one!) are always appreciated.

    Chapter 3: An Era of Tension

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Gascony, April 18th 1123 AD

    The spring sun, nice and warm, poured through a light forest canopy. Settled in a clearing, Prince Alfonso's army, mostly comprise of Catalan militia, set up camp before moving out. King Sancho had charged him with heading an expedition northwards, and capturing any independent settlements there to strengthen the Aragonese position in Iberia. He had been glad to be given a new position on the mainland, rather than defending the backwater Balearic Islands. He had to fight off 4 Moorish assaults. 4! Within the span of 3 years! The Moors would not stop until they had conquered the quite useless island nation. Although on the upside, the Balearic militia was quickly becoming the most experienced force in the empire.









    The hustle and bustle of Barcelona and the fresh, cool breeze of the Gascony forests were a welcome change for the Prince. The smell of a salty sea has a way of numbing the senses. Alfonso leaned against the tree and took a deep breath of the fresh French air before diving into his weekly administrative work. As the Duque of Zaragoza and Navarre, reports and requests too difficult for the mayors or much out of their jurisdiction.

    Alfonso sorted through the assorted paperwork. "Bills, bills, request for farms we can't afford to plow, bills...Oh! Diplomatic information!" the Prince said interestedly. King Sancho had requested that all worldly developments be sent to all members of the royal family, as they would hardly be in the same city together to share the news.



    "Moving on," the Alfonso continued. "Bills, a letter from that maid girl in Zaragoza." Prince Alfonso chuckled to himself.

    Next in the pile was an envelope unlike the others. The parchment was grainier, unrefined, as if it were homemade. Definitely not any European parchment, at least. Prince Alfonso carefully opened the letter, despite its seeming durability, and examined the piece of parchment inside. It was a standard letter, made of the same material as its outer envelope. On it was a wax seal with the symbol of a fox, not one he recognized from any royal family he had encountered. The Prince broke the seal and began to read.

    To Prince Alfonso II Ramirez of the Crown of Aragon,

    Odd that I will be talking to you for the first time through a letter, though I have known you for a long time. Do not ask who, exactly, I am, just know that my family has been in the employ of the King of Aragon and the Duke of Zaragoza, who just happens to be you, for many many years. Now, enough chit chat. Let's move on to business, shall we?

    You are making a mistake. Turn your army around now. Was that too blunt? I have a feeling that was too blunt. Well, I can't start over now because I'd have to make new parchment, which would take
    forever. Do you like it, by the way? I know it's a bit rough, but I think it's well done for an independent operation.

    Back to business. Right. You should stop going on random tangents, Prince Alfonso.

    Turn your army around, and head back to Aragon. These lands are being taken over by the French and they don't take too kindly to rival armies in their territory, conquered or unconquered. Toulouse is already besieged. I have sent a report to King Sancho detailing the situation. He will understand why you've returned. In the mean time, I will continue to send reports from Zaragoza an undisclosed location.

    The Royal Espía,
    -E

    P.S. This parchment will be destroyed in 5 minutes


    Although struck by the author's seeming incompetence, Alfonso believed it couldn't hurt to send a scout before they committed to a siege. After the necessary arrangements were made, a man clad in a dark green tunic emerged from the trees and took E's message into his hands and ripped it to shreds. The Prince wheeled around, sword singing as it was drawn from its scabbard, only to see the man put another piece of rough parchment onto the Prince's paperwork. The man disappeared before anyone could make a move to catch him. The Prince broke the fox seal once again and read the parchment.

    To Prince Alfonso II Ramirez of the Crown of Aragon,

    Don't doubt my competence.

    P.S. I knew you would doubt me, so I had to make
    another piece of parchment. Do you know how hard that is in Zaragoza this undisclosed location? Damn, I did it again. Anyway, I knew you would doubt

    me so I wrote...


    E's handwriting scrawled on for almost the entire page, and as such, Prince Alfonso crumpled up the paper. "Hey! You there! In the trees!" The man clad in the green tunic peeked out his head from behind a tree a short distance away. The Prince threw the paper at him.

    "Uhh, it hasn't been 5 minutes…" Alfonso glared at the man in green, and he promptly scurried to pick up the parchment and rip it apart.

    Sure enough, Alfonso's scout returned with news of a French force surrounding the castle of Toulouse. Alfonso, surprised but not shocked, gave the general order to pack up the camp and head back to Barcelona.



    Valencia plains, October 17th, 1124 AD

    He would have preferred to speak to a general, or another diplomat, or perhaps even the mayor of a city, but the army captain would have to do. Ordoño Fierro, the Aragonese diplomat, approached the Muslim army, both him and his translator calling for negotiations in their respective languages. The Arabic soldiers understood Fierro's translator, and called for their captain. Respectfully, the Moorish captain brought both Fierro and his translator into the modest commander's tent, where they sat around a small Maplewood table to discuss a possible diplomatic agreement.

    The diplomat had been charged with one objective: negotiate a ceasefire between the Moorish Sultanate and the Crown of Aragon. Fierro had been granted to use the treasury, trade rights, the entirety of the Aragonese treasury, and the city of Palma as possible negotiating tools.

    "We wish there to be no bad blood between our people," Fierro said, his translator translating everything from Fierro's message to his tone into delicate Arabic. The commander listened intently to the translator. "As such, we think it would be in both of our nation's best interests to come to an agreement, a ceasefire of sorts." The Moorish captain leaned in closer.

    "We want to call off this war. Our troops will go back to our lands, and your troops will go back to your lands. In return for this peace, we will open our roads to your caravans to help rebuild both of our nations." Fierro waited for his translator to finish relaying the message, upon which the captain snorted and started to laugh. Seeing his rejection, the Aragonese diplomat continued. "That's not all. We will also give you the Balearic Islands, no strings attached." The captain was taken aback by these words. "Think," Fierro said, leaning closer to his adversary, "of all the men who have died trying to storm those beaches, and besiege the town of Palma. Think of how every time you tried to stage an attack, we sent them to Hell!" After the translation, the captain looked at Fierro confusedly, wondering whether the diplomat was bragging or making a political point.

    "Now, think of the countless Moorish and Muslims lives you'll save by this gift. Your men will love you for it! Palma will love you for it! The glory of your own island nation..." The Moorish commander looked longingly into space. Fierro knew he had hit home.



    "All these lands will be yours! All we ask in return is peace." After the translation, there was nothing but silence in the tent, marred from perfection by the troops milling about outside. The captain got up from his table and paced around, obviously in deep thought. Finally, he broke the silence and began talking in Arabic. Fierro looked at his translator.

    "He says the offer is nice, but he is not qualified to make such a decision." Fierro swore in Catalan, just in case the commander understood a bit of Spanish. The commander continued. "He also says that trying to give him the Balearic Islands is a sign of weakness, and that he and his superiors would do whatever it takes to bring that nation under their control, regardless of the lives lost," the translator said. Fierro realized his mistake was in thinking the captain was the chivalrous type, fighting for his men as well as his country.



    Negotiations were concluded. Feirro and his translator exited the tent. Diplomacy had failed this day, and he would be sure to tell the King as soon as he returned to Valencia. Unfortunately for the King, the war would have to last a bit longer.

    Valencia, July 8th 1125 AD

    Fire cackled through the town, with not even the largest of buildings satisfying its voracious appetite. Buildings buckled, glass shattered, and the screams of the dying and fearful filled the streets. Sancho Ramirez was standing on a box, looking out the window when a man slammed into his window. Sancho fell to the floor and ducked underneath the sill. He didn't hear another noise coming from the man, so he stood up, grasped his blanket with both hands, and inched towards the window. The man wasn't moving; something was wrong, but Sancho couldn't figure out what exactly. Closer and close to the window, he moved, preparing to shield his eyes and cover his head with the blanket should something happen. Sancho was right next to the window now, and he ventured to put one of his hands on the glass, where the other man's was splayed. Suddenly, the man fell to the ground, leaving blood streaking down the window. Sancho shrieked and ran into the corner opposite his small bed, where he curled into ball and began to cry.

    Suddenly, the walls fell away. Sancho found himself in the middle of the Zaragoza plaza, the fires still raging brightly and viciously, although the crying and screaming had stopped. At his side was a small wooden sword, tucked into Sancho's belt. He withdrew it and began to run out of the plaza. Two steps and a crowd emerged from the pitch black smoke that lay before him. Sancho stopped in his tracks and fell backwards, letting out a little high-pitched scream. The crowd began marching towards him, speaking a language he didn't understand, so he picked himself up and ran the other direction, looking behind him the whole way. His little feet carried him straight into the shield of a soldier across the plaza, someone he didn't recognize. Sancho slowly backed up and saw a massive army behind the soldier, touting flags of yellow with red castles. Sancho didn't waste much time before he turned 90 degrees and hurtled himself headlong over the coblestone until he a noise made him stop.

    Before him stood a brown-skinned behemoth, wielding a massive sword, black bearding flowing all the way down to the ground. The monstrosity had pounded his foot on the ground, sending several bricks flying through the air. Sancho could only stand for so long before instinct took over, and he sprinted as fast as his little body would carry him. The men on the other sides of the plaza, the crowd and the foreign soldiers, began to chase the little Sancho, as he headed towards the only exit he hadn't tried. He was close to leaving the plaza, although the giant warrior and the two mobs were gaining quickly.

    Just when he though he was home free, a bowel-shaking earthquake took out Sancho's feet from under him and he fell to the ground, stunned. The earth was still shaking, buildings were crumbling, and a crack shot through the earth at the end of the plaza. From the crack, the earth opened up, revealing the firey pits of Hell beneath. Sancho, on his back from the fall, could only stare as a mountain emerged from the maw, destroying everything that obstructed it's formation. The enemies behind him were not fazed by this Godly act and encircled the poor boy who had been stunned from the earthquake. The massive brown-skinned monster raised his sword high above his head as the crowd and army chanted ritualistically. Sancho Ramirez closed his eyes and prepared himself for the killing blow.

    "Milord? Milord!"

    King Sancho sat up with a start. "Ah!" he yelled quietly. The sun shined brightly through the thick shades. It must've been almost midday

    "Are you okay, my King? You were yelling in your sleep," the boy in his room said.

    Sancho rubbed his eyes and let himself fall onto his pillow. "Yes, yes, I'm fine. It was just a dream."

    The boy breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, good. We all thought you were being attacked." The King looked at his two bodyguards who were standing on either side of the room, swords drawn.

    "Well, thank you for your concern, but I'm fine, really. Now, if you have any business, I'd like to get through it."

    "Of course, of course," the boy said. He ruffled through his bag and fished out several papers which he laid on the King's bedside table. "The first order of business," he began, "is the issue of your diplomatic agreements with the Moors. Diplomat Fierro has returned with bad news, I'm afraid."

    "The Moors rejected our offer?" Sancho said incredulously.

    "Apparently so," the boy answered. "Fierro's official response is in his letter. Next, there have been several shifts in global politics. I thought you might be interested in these specifically." The boy picked out a letter from the table and handed it to Sancho, who held himself up with his elbows.

    King Sancho was amazed. In a few short years, the merchant empire of the Genoese had lost their namesake and their leader. It wouldn't be long before the very existence of a united Genoese people would be a thing of the past. "Who could do this to them?" Sancho asked.





    "Um," the boy hesitated. "We're a bit unsure about that. However, we have more political information that might explain the situation."

    The next list was much more encompassing. There was something new on it, however, something besides the usual wars and alliances. The King widened his eyes when he saw it.

    His allies, the Venetians, and the Kingdom of Leon-Castile had been excommunicated.



    The King was shocked to see his allies go against the Catholic Church like this, but he was also grateful to see an opening, and opportunity. If only his forces weren't tied up in this damn war with the Moors.

    "Boy," Sancho began, "do you know what happened to Prince Alfonso's navy from the Toulouse withdrawal?"

    The boy thought for a minute. "Last I checked, sir, they were in Barcelona awaiting orders. The Prince figured you wanted to let such investments go to waste."

    "Excellent!" King Sancho exclaimed. The messenger boy was taken aback by his lord's sudden enthusiasm. "Now, listen closely. I want you to give word to the shipwrights in Barcelona, Prince Alfonso, and Zaragoza, understand?"

    The boy nodded. "But of what, sir?"

    "Tell the Port of Barcelona to being constructing a fleet immediately. Once the fleet is finished, instruct Prince Alfonso to board the fleet and head south, towards the city of Murcia. Then, order the garrison of Zaragoza to send their best militia to our location." The King was almost babbling as he gained excitement.

    "Okay, milord," the boy said as he finished writing down the instructions. "But, may I ask to what end."

    King Sancho got up from his bed and looked towards the plains lying to the west. "Well, my boy, let's just say we're fighting the wrong people."

    Winter, 1129 AD

    The city of Barcelona complied with King Sancho's orders under the agreement that Murcia would be added to the possessions under control of the Duke of Barcelona. The meager fleet sailed started sailing along the Spanish coast in the fall of 1129, reaching the coast of the Murcia region within a few weeks. Prince Alfonso's army quickly swept aside the small forces of resistance and surrounded the town of Murcia itself, starving out it's weak garrison.



    Meanwhile, King Sancho's army was gathering strength in Valencia, ready to push westward into Moorish territory when the city was surrounded late in 1129 AD. The Moorish army quickly stopped any Aragonese troops from reinforcing the already growing army.

    [



    The next few years would be crucial to King Sancho's plans for Iberia. Success would gain the Crown of Aragon even greater glory, while defeat would all but push the Crown into obscurity.
    Last edited by Theseus1234; July 17, 2010 at 01:27 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  8. #8
    ReD_OcToBeR's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 3 Updated)

    nice aar and balance of pictures and text

  9. #9
    Karnage's Avatar Centenarius
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    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 3 Updated)

    Dont seek peace with the Moors, annihilate them. Take them out so you can gain valuable Florins. Oh and great update
    My work in progress AAR, come and have look.

    L'État c'est moi, The Monarchy of France
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=355826

    Critic Quills review about my AAR.
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=365219

  10. #10

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 3 Updated)

    Nice AAR, +rep to you.
    "In stone halls they burn their great fires,
    in stone halls they forge their sharp spears.
    Whilst I walk alone in the mountains,
    with no true companion but tears.
    They hunt me with dogs in the daylight,
    they hunt me with torches by night."

  11. #11

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 3 Updated)

    Another update for y'all. I apologize if this AAR seems to be going too slowly, but I've been looking for opportunities to expand its scope to include more than just the Moors.

    Comments, feedback, and criticism are, of course, always appreciated.

    Now I present, the next chapter in The Iberian Supremacy:

    Chapter 4: A Rolling Tide

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Murcia, June 4th 1131 AD

    “And the siege equipment? Is it ready for the assault?” Prince Alfonso asked, walking briskly through the army camp.

    “Two rams, ready to go. We should be able to knock down the palisade walls directly,” the captain replied, out of breath from keeping up with Alfonso’s long strides.

    The Prince nodded, and kept on going through his rounds of the camp. Of the soldiers who saw Alfonso, only a few dared to look him in the eye, and not for very long at any case. Suddenly, he stopped in the middle of the camp and surveyed the bustling before him.

    “Gentlemen!” he said, throwing his arms up in the air. The camp was quickly silent. Soldiers stopped their tasks to pay attention to their commander. Those on the outer edges of the field moved in to listen, despite Alfonso’s booming voice.

    “I’m not here to inspire you to bravery beyond mortal means. That’s not what is required of you today. What is required, however, is that I remind you of why we are here, so far away from home. We are here simply because we have been told to. The King, my King, our King, has charged us with wresting the innocent town of Murcia from the wretched Muslims, and I aim to finish that task.”

    “Don’t let the odds lull you into a false sense of security. It’s true, that we outnumber the enemy 10 Spaniards for every Moor. Yet that doesn’t mean I want to see you sleeping under your shields! No, for when the battle is said and done, I expect to see each Moorish corpse brimming with 10 spears! Now let’s to it, men! For Aragon, for Catalonia, for Spain, and for Victory!”

    The army cheered and assembled their large force outside the gates of Murcia.





    The battle ended in the same hour it started, the miniscule Moorish garrison proving to be a mere ant on the path of Aragonese victory. The only significant casualties were of the flaming Muslim arrows arcing over the small wooden palisade.



    From the moment the gate was down, Prince Alfonso charged forth and into the breach, charging the Moorish archers before they could unleash a potentially lethal volley. The spear militia followed through the broken palisade, only to find Prince Alfonso’s bodyguard had already slain most of the Muslim garrison.



    Less than 10 Spanish lives were lost, all were carried away from the battlefield with arrows piercing their padded cloth armor. Such a shame that brave men must be lost to cowardly weapons, Prince Alfonso thought.



    Valencia, November 19th 1132 AD

    King Sancho yawned and stretched out his arms as the morning sun had just peeked through his window in the keep. Another day, another Moorish siege, it seemed. After sipping some of his morning tea and a quick breakfast bagel, he began his daily ritual of surveying the Moorish besiegers from the top of the keep.

    The cool wind breezed past King Sancho’s face as he gazed upon the lands before him. There lay the abandoned farms, farmers working towards the spring harvest. Next to the farms were the blockaded roads, bustling with merchant and farmer activity. Surrounding the farms, the silent woods brimmed with the sound of loggers chopping down trees…Wait, active farms? Bustling roads? Loud forests? Where were the Moors at?

    The King looked searched the lands for the Moorish army, only to find their camp abandoned, the army gone, the siege lifted.



    For whatever reason, the Moors had withdrawn from Valencia and established a position on the coast. Most likely awaiting transport to some other location, like Palma or the North Africa coast, King Sancho surmised. Whatever the reason, it was an opportunity to resupply Valencia’s starving garrison, after that, Sancho would be on the move.

    Valencia Coast, February 9th 1133 AD

    True to his word, King Sancho mobilized the entirety of the Valencia garrison to meet the still entrenched Moorish forces. Though numbers were more even than the last time Sancho faced the Moors, the King felt his troops were mora than ready to face their foes, some for the second time.







    Riding onto the rocky coast, King Sancho surveyed the landscape before him. “Men, form ranks! Javelins, take the lead! Cavalry on the flanks!”

    The orders were quickly obeyed, and the shuffling of soldiers only lasted a moment before the Aragonese army was ready for the assault. Sancho took his place behind the infantry, ready to quickly move to either flank should they require it.



    The two armies stood off for a short time, the Moors revealing a smaller profile to the assaulting Aragonese army. This confounded King Sancho, who was unable to determine a logical reason for presenting such a small front.

    Murmurs abounded in the ranks, with soldiers gossiping about the curious spectacle. King Sancho himself was not exempt from trying to figure out the cryptic strategy of the Moors.

    “Are they trying to protect their flanks?” King Sancho asked one of his bodyguards.

    “I’m…I’m not sure,” the bodyguard replied. “I mean, they have more infantry than we do. I don’t see why they’re not using it to their advantage.”

    More speculation flowed through the army, that is until the orange and white mass of the Moors began to move. Not forward, but sideways.

    “Milord,” the guard said with sudden realization, “Their army is facing the wrong way.”

    King Sancho strained his eyes to see his adversaries. Sure enough, the men were facing the hills to the right of the Aragonese. They must have been expecting an attack from another direction.



    The Moorish army shuffled across the landscape, presenting their vulnerable flank to the Aragonese army. Now is the time to strike, King Sancho thought, but before he could issue the order to attack, Muslim cavalry rode ahead of the main force to screen their movement. They launched a volley of javelins to harass the Spaniards and draw them away from the Moors.



    “Those Moors don’t know who they’re dealing with. Alforrats, charge!”

    Javelins swooped over the heads of the cavalry as they charge forward, headlong into their Muslim foes. Galloping down the small slop, the Alforrats rammed their lances into the horses of the desert cavalry, sending them panicking in a storm of confusion and terror. Many of the Basque Alforrats whipped out their swords, and began cutting through the enemy’s light robes, while the Saracen swords embedded themselves in the Alforrat’s padded armor.



    King Sancho surveyed the small proxy fight on his right flank. The Alforrats and their impending victory was frightening the Moorish cavalry, causing them to flee, but their objective was accomplished. The Moorish army had begun to relocate as soon as their cavalry was off to screen them. Though they had progressed some distance, they were far from safe.



    “Milord,” one of the King’s bodyguards said, “they’re getting away! What are your orders?”

    Sancho sat in silence, deep in thought. He had to choose between giving the enemy a fair fight, and seizing an opportunity. Finally, he made his decision.

    “Men, you know me as gentlemanly fellow. You know very well that I would have given this lot a fair fight had I been given the chance. But no, they gave up that chance when they began to flee! That’s why I say, men, that if they take the time to run, we should take the time to run them down! After them!”

    The Aragonese soldiers were surprised but this seemingly underhanded act. They would expect this of Prince Alfonso, but not their King. Perhaps the realities of leading a budding power were affecting him. But it was no business of the soldiers to question their King’s reasoning. They were all happy to be let at the men who had killed their friends and families. King Sancho himself led a charge into the backs of a lagging group of soldiers.



    Several units of infantry on the left flank turned to face the re-composed skirmisher cavalry that had plagued them earlier. The cavalry’s limited reach was no match for the stabbing power of the spear militia.



    King Sancho himself reveled in the running down of the Moors. He grinned with pleasure as soldier after soldier crumpled beneath his armored steed, while his sword sliced through those who stood in his path.

    “THIS is for Aragon!” yelled the King as his sword pierced the robes of a Nubian spearman. “THIS is for Catalonia!” Sancho’s slashing cut sent a bare-skinned African twirling in the air, blood flying in a spiral. Then, King Sancho held his bloodstained steel forward and pointed until it connected with a Moorish soldier’s neck. His horse still galloping forwards, King Sancho withdrew the blade from his enemy, sending the soldier’s head backwards. The King steered his horse to run down some more enemies and he turned around to survey the damage he had inflicted. There stood the man, staring off into the sunset, unmoving. Sancho was entranced by the curious spectacle and wheeled his horse around to observe the man he had thought he killed. The horse seemed as though it whined with impatience, longing to join his fellow horse friends in running down the enemy, but he reluctantly obeyed his rider. Slowly, the Moorish man dropped to his knees, still staring straight into the sun. His body swayed until it lurched forward, arms splayed on the ground.

    King Sancho was paralyzed in his saddle. Did I not kill him quickly enough? Did he suffer? Was he able to think before he fell on the ground? Was he thinking about a family? Lost in thought, the King almost didn’t notice his bodyguard violently shaking him until he came to.

    “Milord? Milord!”

    “Huh, what?” King Sancho said, dazed and confused. “What’s the matter?”

    “It’s the armies, sir,” the bodyguard replied, pointing towards the small knoll the Moors had established themselves on. “Our lines are forming, but they have the advantage! Not all of our soldiers have returned from fighting the Moors.”

    The King looked around slowly. Their hunt of the running Moorish soldiers had drawn them far away from the battlefield. “Well, then,” Sancho said slowly, “let’s not waste any time. I won’t sit idly by while the Moors threaten my soldiers!” King Sancho raised his sword in the air and ordered his men forward. He took his position at the head of the thundering column, the hooves of the horses packing the loose dirt beneath them. Surely the galloping Aragonese cavalry was sight to behold.



    The cavalry rode hard and fast for their own lines, so as to deter another Moorish attack. Just as they arrived, the infantry who had stayed behind to deal with enemy cavalry had just topped the hill and joined the ranks, forming the familiar javelins-in-front-cavalry-on-the-flanks formation. Both battle lines of the armies were formed, and a proper engagement was sure to begin.



    As the Moors were wont to do, Moorish cavalry sallied forth and began to hurl javelins at the Aragonese javelinmen. King Sancho felt confident with the power of his skirmishers and ordered them to adopt a “loose” formation while giving the Moorish cavalry a taste of their own medicine. Although some javelins hit home on both sides, most of the javelins planted themselves into the ground.



    King Sancho noticed several Moorish soldiers advancing from the enemy lines. They looked too lightly armored to be infantry, but still he was wary. The soldiers stopped, and cocked their arms backwards. They’re skirmisher infantry! The King thought, and their aiming straight for the Valencian peasants! With barely any armor, the peasants were sure to fall en masse underneath a hail of javelins. But before Sancho could lead into action, the peasants themselves made the decision to run up the hill at their enemies, not willing to die underneath the storm of javelins.



    “Oh my God! They’re running in!” a soldier exclaimed.

    “What do we do?”

    “We can’t wait for a plan, now! We have to move in!”

    “Farmers of Valencia! Return to your positions, now!” King Sancho called in vain. The peasants were both too far away and too impetuous to heed their Kings call. “We have no choice, men. Charge up the hill! Face your enemy head on!”

    Cries of “For Valencia”, “For Catalonia”, and “For Aragon” abounded as the militia charged up the hill, straight into the Moorish line.



    The lines clashed, and the force of the Aragonese troops was strong enough to force the Moors back a little, enough to give the Spaniards level ground to fight on. Soldiers in the front of both lines cried as their bodies were pierced by multiple spears, while the soldiers in back grunted as they shoved their comrades into the fray. It was a bloodbath, to say the least, but slowly the army of Aragon was gaining the upper hand. The Moorish troops were ravished by the earlier Aragonese assaults while they were running to the hill, and they were becoming exhausted. Spanish troops pushed and pushed until they were forcing the Moors backwards into the light forest. The peasants themselves, swept up in the fury of battle, became valiant fighters, or at least provided a distraction for the more experienced militia at their backs. Gradually, the Moorish line began to bulge.



    Of course, King Sancho would not leave his troops in the bog for longer than necessary. That half hour was all that was needed to properly arrange his coup de grace, his cavalry. Sancho raised his bull horn to his lips and blew a roaring call that sent most of the birds in the forest flying. The Moors who could afford to step back from the fighting looked around worriedly. Something bad was about to happen.

    Aragonese soldiers fought passionately with their hatred of the Moors. They seemed to have stopped gaining ground as the Moors condensed their lines and fought back tooth and nail for their own survival. But on the edges of the Spanish line, the soldiers saw the glorious charging of orange and yellow cavalry and fought with a renewed vigor. Suddenly, the Aragonese troops dropped back a few steps and locked shields. The Moors were thrown off by this sudden withdrawal, but took the opportunity to charge at their Spanish foes. But before they could reach the Aragonese army, Alforrat cavalry stormed through the ranks, sending men flying through the air. The Spaniards cheered and pushed forward into the confused mass. Shield shattered and spears snapped under the relentless advance of the Aragonese. The Moorish army lost hope and began to run.



    King Sancho was right there with cavalry on the left flank, trampling routers and capturing those who surrendered. The archers behind the main clash lost their heart at the sight of the charge, and melted into the forest. Aragonese troops, seeing the total disappearance of the Moors, knelt on their knees to pray to God or cheered and celebrated with their comrades in the vicinity, whether they were Basque, Catalonian, or Aragonese. The King looked at his troops and couldn’t help but enjoy their victory with them. They were brave on a day where they could have easily been defeated. But no, through their strength and courage, they were able to overcome the odds and win the day for the glory of Aragon.



    Sancho and his army moved back into Valencia as soon as the prisoners were rounded up. Almost 400 had been taken, and there was not enough room in the castle for the prisoners to stay for too long. Under any other circumstances, King Sancho would have released his worthy opponents back into their lands, but these prisoners were worth so much. After living in near perpetual debt, the King was eager for any opportunity to improve his kingdom for his people. Anyone present in the King’s chambers could have sworn his mouth was watering at the sight of the value of his captives.



    A messenger was sent out to negotiate the return of the soldiers for a moderate sum. Meanwhile, the prisoners were fed well and given decent accommodations in the castle keep while the arrangements for their return were discussed. The messenger returned a week later with dire news for the soldiers. Unfortunately, the price the Aragonese asked for the soldiers was too expensive for the Moorish Empire, and thus the only option was to execute the prisoners. At dawn of the next day, the Moorish soldiers were executed with honor, spears driven through their hearts, as was requested by the King. King Sancho himself watched from the top of the keep as the men were executed in the plaza. Not out of a desire to see these men killed, but out of respect for their bravery and fighting ability.



    The next two years were a time of recovery and restoration for the Crown of Aragon. Monuments of victory were erected in cities while more troops and militia were trained to prepare for another Moorish offensive. In the spring of 1134 AD, the Papacy made the grave decision to excommunicate Aragon’s ally, the Kingdom of England for their wars with France and Scotland. King Sancho was feeling more politically isolated than ever.



    In September of 1135, Ordoño Fierro the diplomat on a mission to Cordoba spied a significant Muslim force advancing up past the castle of Granada. The diplomat immediately sent word to both Prince Alfonso in Murcia and King Sancho in Valencia to prepare for a possible Moorish attack. King Sancho was worried, though with his recent victory over the Moors, he felt confident that the armies of Aragon were to become a force to be reckoned with.

    Last edited by Theseus1234; July 17, 2010 at 01:28 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  12. #12

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 4 Updated)

    I've almost never seen the moors invade palma

  13. #13

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 4 Updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by napoleonic View Post
    I've almost never seen the moors invade palma
    Oh man they're landing troops every other year or so. But it's not like they're even trying, since they only have about 150-300 men in each stack. If their goal is to piss me off then I think they're succeeding

    EDIT: I've added spoiler tags to reduce the amount of scrolling needed. It also makes it easier to read.
    EDIT 2: I'll also keep links to chapters in the first post. My hope is that this AAR would last long enough for people to actually need it
    Last edited by Theseus1234; July 17, 2010 at 01:35 AM.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  14. #14
    magraev's Avatar Biarchus
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 4)

    This is an excellent AAR. Good luck keeping the Moorish hordes at bay, and good luck with the inevitable backstab from France, Castille and others...

  15. #15

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 4 Updated)

    Quote Originally Posted by napoleonic View Post
    I've almost never seen the moors invade palma
    in my (so far only aragon campaign) the Moors, Genoa, and I each landed an army on Palma on the same turn! Not wanting to piss the other two off (since they were allies and I would have been outnumbered almost 5:1) I hightailed it out, and a passing ship discovered later that the island had gone to Genoa.

  16. #16

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 4)

    I figured it would be better to post a smaller update rather than waiting to finish the whole thing. Next one is coming soon.

    As always, comments, feedback, criticism, etc. are always appreciated.


    Chapter 5: Taunts Part 1

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Winter, 1138 AD

    The Crown of Aragon was making slow progress against the Moors. The army lacked to offensive capability it needed to dive deeper into Moorish territory. Even if they could muster up the high-quality troops the kingdom needed, they would be outnumbered at every turn. The Moors not only had their Iberian provinces to recruit troops, but the entirety of North Africa as well. Aragon could be caught in a war of attrition, and they would lose because of a lack of manpower. For now, King Sancho relied on opportunities and openings to drive the Moors of Aragonese land, but still the Moors kept pressing onwards.

    King Sancho’s desk was swarming with papers. His quill furiously skated across messages and orders that needed signing. Prince Ramiro wanted approval for increasing the size of the militia, trade agreements with neighboring nations needed renewing, and the budget for the new Valencia barracks needed balancing. But for however many papers Sancho got through, there would always be a stack more. He remained oblivious to the time of day, his meals were brought to his room but were hardly eaten, and he hadn’t ventured outside the keep in days. Suddenly, King Sancho heard a knock. Not on the door, however, but on the stone outside the window.

    “Hello?” King Sancho asked. “Is anyone there?” Sancho reached for his sword next to his desk.

    The man outside the keep grunted as he reached for the windowsill. Unceremoniously, he pulled himself through and landed hard on the floor. The King watched and laughed.

    “You know, E,” Sancho said, “you make a surprisingly awful spy.”

    E stood up and dusted his shoulders off. “Hey, I get the job done don’t I?”

    “That you do, that you do.” King Sancho gave E a pat on the back. “It’s good to see you, my friend. But then again, you always seem to bear the worst news.”

    “That’s what you pay me for, isn’t it?” E laughed and pulled some parchment from his inside his cloak. “I’m afraid I do have some bad news. Well, I suppose it could vary depending on your take of it. One man’s bad news is another man’s opportunity, you know. I remember this one time…”

    “Just give me the information, E,” the King said. E stopped his tangent and complied.

    “Well, it seems the Muslim nations have called a Jihad on some city in the Middle East. I’m not sure how this affects us, though.”



    “Well, the Moors could always call upon religiously-inspires soldiers to invade Spain,” the King suggested.

    “It’s a possibility,” E replied. “Oh, speaking of Moors invading Spain…” Sancho looked at the spy curiously. “Murica may or may not be under siege…”



    “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me…”

    “My liege, I would never kid.”

    King Sancho leaned back in his chair and sighed. “I know, I know. How do things look for the Murcia garrison?”

    “I think Prince Alfonso’s got this one covered. He informed me he was going to sally out soon and try to isolate the attacking force.”

    “Excellent!” the King exclaimed. “These damn Moors are getting on my nerves. We’ll have to move quickly if we want to force the Moors into a ceasefire.” King Sancho turned his chair around to face his desk again. “Well, E, thank you for the information, but I must get back to work. Running a kingdom isn’t easy.” E merely nodded, and climbed out the window, rappelling down the rope he had used to climb up.

    3…2…1.., Sancho thought. He heard the rustling of bushes and a yelp of pain. He chuckled to himself. “You can use the stairs, you know!” the King called out. The only response was a dismissive grunt.

    Murcia, October 8th 1138 AD

    A swift kick opened the door to the garrison’s quarters, where some 10-odd militiamen slept on their bunks. Seeing the kick didn’t wake them, the man who kicked the door open began to bang on the wooden walls.

    “Let’s go! Let’s go! Everyone up and at ‘em! Prince wants everyone in full battle gear by the gates in 30 minutes!”

    Groggy soldiers moaned and covered their eyes with their thin blankets. “What’s going on, sarge? Is this another one of his insane drills?” One asked.

    “On the contrary, soldier. Prince Alfonso’s makin’ a move on the Moors before their reinforcements can respond. We’re gonna sally out and lift the siege!”

    “God damn Aragonese sonofa-” a soldier spouted in Catalan.

    The sergeant halted, and turned to face the Catalan soldier. “Ya think you’d want to say that to the Prince’s face?” he yelled in perfect Catalan. The blasphemer backed down and began to put on his clothes.

    The call for battle rallied the tired soldiers, and they picked up their shields and spears as fast as possible. Riders tried to quietly retrieve their cavalry from the pastures just outside the gate while javelinmen plucked projectiles from makeshift targets made of straw. From his position in the plaza, Prince Alfonso watched his army assemble with a grim excitement. He was glad to punish the Moors for having ever threatened him.





    Prince Alfonso decided it was time to let his presence known to the Moors. “Forward, men! Form a line to face our Muslim foes!” The army let out a cheer and rushed through the gates, shaking the woodwork and sending shockwaves through the ground. The Moorish army camped outside the city was suddenly awaken, and men began to yell out orders in Arabic.



    The Moorish rushed frantically at the Aragonese army, trying to throw them off balance before they could bring in their full numbers. Fortunately, javelinmen positioned to screen the army managed to take down some Moors before they could reach the lines.



    Once the lines met, however, the battle was all over. Prince Alfonso, riding around his army, charged the flanks of the Moors, immediately shattering their morale. They broke ranks and began to run for their lives, only to be run down by the feared Alfonso.



    The battle was a great victory for the Crown of Aragon, and the roads of Murcia were once again free.



    Prince Alfonso rode through the city in the morning after the battle, citizens lining the streets, cheering on the army. His bodyguard directed him to the central plaza, where almost 200 Arabic soldiers were on their knees, hands bound. The Prince dismounted from his horse and walked calmly and slowly towards the first prisoner, drawing out his sword.

    “Kill them all.” Alfonso raised his sword with both hands, and then brought it down, lobbing off the head of the Moorish soldier at his knees. The army cheered and charged at their defenseless enemy, recklessly stabbing and thrusting their spears into the bodies of the prisoners.



    Suddenly, the army became more violent. Men started shoving and pushing and jostling into one another. A yell was heard from within the crowd, followed by more shouting. The mass of orange and red started to ebb and flow until finally a fight sprouted from the midst of the crowd. More yelling and shouting in both Spanish and Catalan erupted as the fight spread from its epicenter towards the outside of the assembled army. Prince Alfonso gazed upon the spectacle wordlessly. He had himself an honest-to-God riot. He waited for a time, merely watching the battle unfold before him until he noticed the first man go down. Alfonso stepped forward.



    “Order,” he started quietly. Only the soldiers closest to him heard and stopped their fighting. The Prince’s command rippled through the less involved soldiers until they revealed the absorbed trouble-makers in the center, still fighting.

    I DEMAND ORDER,” Alfonso roared. His already bellowing voice amplified by the reverb off the buildings surrounding the plaza.

    The soldiers stopped their infighting, and parted to reveal the individual instigators at the center of the mob, hands at each other’s throats. They saw the Prince and stood up immediately. Alfonso, filled with rage, strode forward and gave each of them a hard punch to the face.

    “Ow! What the hell was that for?” one soldier shouted in Spanish. The other swore in Catalan.

    “You know damn well why I did that. You were causing disorder in my army, and that’s something I just won’t tolerate. Now, how did this thing start?”

    The Spanish soldier spat out a tooth. “It was that guy, sir. The Catalan.” Both Spanish and Catalan soldiers nodded in agreement.

    “ ’is name’s Ferran, sir,” one soldier said. Ferran gave him swift elbow to the shin.

    “Ferran? The one from Palma?” Alfonso asked.

    “Aye, that’s me,” Ferran said with a grimacing smile.

    “You just can’t stop causing trouble, can you?”

    “It’s in my blood sir,” Ferran replied. “I tend to get angry when I’m surrounded by Spanish idiots.”

    Alfonso swooped down and wrapped his gauntlet around Ferran’s throat. “You mind saying that again?” he seethed, raising the soldier above his head.

    Through bits of choking, Ferran managed to say, “I said, I get angry around Aragonese scum.” He emphatically spit on the Prince’s face.

    What followed was a mixture of screaming from the Catalan and grunts of exertion from the Aragonese Prince as he mercilessly beat the dissenter. The Aragonese army merely watched as Ferran begged for mercy though Alfonso would give him none. One final strike to the gut, and Alfonso stood up, and addressed the awestruck spectators.

    “Men, I warn you. This is what happens to men who think they’re better than they really are! Remember, all of you are the same. You’re all soldiers of the Crown of Aragon. There is none better among you or none worse. In my eyes, you all serve your role of archer fodder equally well, you ungrateful louts. Watch yourselves, men, for in these times, we don’t have the luxury of taking pride in our cultural heritage. We can only take pride in our leaders under which we serve.” Silence from the crowd. “Everyone get out of my sight. Now” the army quickly left the field, and surgeons gathered up the wounded. Prince Alfonso walked towards the town hall, and sat down against the wall. What am I doing wrong? Can I change these people? he thought. Those questions would have to wait, as he had work to do.

    As the year wound down, Prince Alfonso focused on replenishing his lightly bruised numbers, ensuring that each regiment was at full strength. The Moors however, had other plans. Another force, larger than the last, was brought up from Granada and laid siege once again to the town of Murcia.



    Summer, 1139 AD



    Another siege? Really?” King Sancho exclaimed incredulously.

    “My contacts don’t lie, my liege,” E replied. “And the Moors mean business this time.”

    “How can you tell? Did they bring more than 500 men this time?” The King laughed.

    “Twice that, my liege. We’ve got over 1000 Jihading troops poised to overwhelm the Murcia garrison.”



    “1000!?” King Sancho seemed to be in shock. “That’s the largest army ever assembled in Iberia! We’ve got to do something!”

    “Sir, may I remind you that you tend to have a problem…overreacting to sieges.” E said cautiously. “Remember when Prince Ramiro was besieged right here in Valencia?”

    “I do remember, but remember how many troops he lost when the numbers were even?” The King leaned back and sighed. “Maybe you’re right. But still, whether we win or lose, we’ll have to capitalize on the situation. Send messages to your contacts in all provinces of the Crown of Aragon and tell them to send whatever aid they can to Murcia. Whether we push forward or retake it is in Alfonso’s hands now.”

    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  17. #17

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 5 Part 1)

    Push onwards! Drive the heathens from Iberia. For Aragon!
    On a more serious note, though, maybe you could block the land bridge at Gibraltar? Then the Moors might even send their Jihads in the right direction .
    80% of the people on forums have things in their signature they ask you to copy. If you're sick and tired of this, copy this in your sig
    Fun things to do in Total war:
    1. Trample peasants to death with elephants (optionally with culverins)
    2. Burn peasants with greek fire
    3. Bombard peasants with mangonels
    4. Burn peasants with fire-arrows

    Yes, I like my peasants...
    Fried!!!


  18. #18

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 5 Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by Highi View Post
    Push onwards! Drive the heathens from Iberia. For Aragon!
    On a more serious note, though, maybe you could block the land bridge at Gibraltar? Then the Moors might even send their Jihads in the right direction .
    I would, only my navy consists of about 2 ships . I'd like to let them come through, and block it off once I get Cordoba so I have a challenge, you know? Also I don't have enough money to build up my navy. Not yet, anyway.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  19. #19

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 5 Part 1)

    Didn't know I would finish the next update so soon...There's enough stuff in here for a whole chapter just on its own!

    What's funny is that this is the longest in terms of writing and picture usage, but the shortest in terms of timespan well I hope you like it!

    Comments, feedback, criticism, you know the drill.

    Chapter 5: Taunts Part 2

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    In the fall of 1139 AD, the Moors didn’t allow King Sancho’s reinforcements to come to the garrison’s aid. The army moved quickly, rolling their siege equipment outside the Murcia palisade. The storm clouds gathered overhead. Fittingly ominous. Prince Alfonso had run out of time.







    With starving soldiers at his back, Prince Alfonso led his army from their barracks to the gate to meet the enemy. They feared the coming battle with the Moors, but they feared their leader and his wrath more. Thus, they marched solemnly into battle, only a few marching to defend their homes, the rest marching because they had been ordered to. Several Catalans had grumbled earlier, complaining about how Catalans were dying for the sake of other kingdoms and the cruelty Alfonso had shown towards Ferran, their unofficial leader, but the mere sight of the Prince shut them up. As the army shuffled into the space before the gate, Prince Alfonso stood to one side and began to speak to his men, trying to raise their morale or scare them into fighting. He didn’t much care which one the soldiers decided upon. The Arabs were coming soon, and his men needed to be ready to fight.



    “Men, you are soldiers from many places under the banner of Aragon, and frankly, I don’t give a damn. What matters is that you are under my command, and as my soldiers, I am telling you: You are not fighting for the pride of your nation. You’re not fighting for the glory of the Crown. You’re not even fighting for your friends and family. What you’re fighting for, is something even more important than everything else combined. We are all fighting for our very lives, even me! I’m not obeying King Sancho, I’m fighting to survive! Know that cowardice will receive no reward at the hands of these barbaric Moors. The only way out is to fight! Now let’s go forth, men, and drive these Moors back to the snakes that birthed them! Who’s with me?”

    The army cheered, although somewhat skeptically. Alfonso was now fully aware of the stakes at hand. If he lost, he would disappoint his father, he would allow the Moors to gain ground over the Crown of Aragon, and Alfonso himself would perish. The Prince would not let this happen, and he would throw any of his 700 soldiers to prevent it.

    Alfonso, the budding strategist he was, placed his spears in a wall behind the gate. Behind them were reserve militia and javelinmen, ready to hurl their deadly projectiles into the mass of Moors bound to pool at the gates. He then took his place behind the formation, but not before ordering his Alforrats on either street next to the palisade. When the time was right, the cavalry would charge to deliver the killing blow or to take their last stand.



    The Moors were yelling and roaring, waving their spears and shields as they marched forwards. Alfonso would not be intimidated by this taunting, although he couldn’t vouch for the soldiers at his command. “Steady, men,” he called out. “They’re trying to scare us. But let them know that you are the toughest soldiers in the West, and you are frightened by nothing!”
    Moors were piling up behind the gate, waiting for their battering ram to do its work. Alfonso ordered the javelinmen to save their javelins for the real fight, as many would be wasted hitting the ground or nailing the palisade.

    The Arabic ram began its work, men grunting as they pulled the log backwards and released it, sending the sound of wood cracking pulsing through the air. Aragonese soldiers shifted around, trying to escape the front lines, but Alfonso forced them back. “I’ll be right behind you,” he reassured the soldiers. “Don’t let them know you’re scared.”

    The wooden gate began to give way now, splinters flying through the air as the battering ram slowly but surely broke the pins that kept the gates locked. Prince Alfonso recoiled as a blast of wooden shrapnel struck his helmet, almost speeding through his visor.

    Crack. “The gates are down! The gates are down!” a soldier called. The Spanish soldiers began to panic, taking a few steps backwards as they looked at their comrades.



    “Men, to arms! Hold your ground! Give these Moors a challenge!” The Prince ordered, the last one almost maniacally. The soldiers obeyed, though, and raised their shields and spears, bracing for impact.

    Moors spouting Arabic rushed through the broken gates, their stampede shattering the poor thing off its hinges. The Aragonese soldiers were in shock as wild Arabs swung sword and spear wildly, knocking most of the front line off their feet. Fortunately, their allies in the second line came to their aid and jabbed forward with spear and shield, struggling to save their vulnerable comrades. A few died in the first charge, but the remaining soldiers soon got into a rhythm. Shield, stab, shield, repeat. If the soldier in front dies, step up and take his place.

    Moors pushed one another into the meat grinder of the Aragonese spear militia, although the sheer volume of Muslim troops caused the Spanish defenses to bulge. Alfonso ordered his javelinmen to fire into the growing mass, each javelin quickly finding a target. Not a single missile was wasted.



    Riding above the Moorish infantry was the Arabic general, hacking and slashing his way through the Aragonese defense. The spears were unable to pierce the think armor of his horses and the armor was thin enough for the general and his guard to kill the militia with a single blow. He posed a menace to Prince Alfonso and might have even compromised the Aragonese defense.



    The general opened a gap in the Spanish line, enough for his soldiers to exploit. Trampling on friend and foe alike, the Muslim leader rode straight for the javelinmen behind the main defense, attempting to dishearten his adversaries. Prince Alfonso seethed in his place. He could not allow this fiend to cavort behind his own lines, as it was a threat to both his defense and his honor. But the Prince had to restrain himself. He could not charge until the opportunity was right, and that opportunity had yet to present itself. All the while the line continued to bulge until only a line two soldiers deep stood between the Moors and the city.



    To the layman, the battle would have seemed a scene of complete and utter chaos. But to Prince Alfonso, the ebb and flow of the battle could be coldly observed and evaluated for opportunities and problem. The right flank was secure, as the reserve spearmen had piled in, along with javelinmen who had exhausted the entirety of their javelins. The left, however, was about to cave. The reserve spearmen on the right were preoccupied with the bodyguard while the main defense was breaking apart, robed soldiers slowly poking their heads behind the line.

    But there, in that chaotic mess, Alfonso spotted an opportunity. A small segment of the Moorish army and broken through the line and began to hammer away at the Aragonese. There they were, beautifully exposed and ripe for the picking. Although he could have waited, the small glimpse of opportunity was enough to give him reason to charge into the fray, and drive the Moors out of his city, and out of his land.



    Alfonso focused in on his target, his movements, his position, and drowned out the world around him. The sounds of battle, the clanging of metal, the screaming, the crying, faded into the background as Alfonso narrowed his eyes and ears, only hearing the coarse panting of his horse and his own heavy breathing. The cold steel forged from the fires of the Barcelona smithy, the best in the entire kingdom, was pointed straight forward, the arm bracing it perfectly still, though filled with potential power from years of physical training and experience. Time seemed to slow down for the Prince as his horse galloped closer and closer to his unsuspecting target.

    He was in range. The cries of the dying and the rage-filled battle cries of the impetuous and vengeful filled the air once again. Prince Alfonso’s arm and sword launched forward under the immense power of his trained muscles. The sword nailed its target, entering the Muslim’s body at the ribs, cracking a few of them before being picked up by the Prince’s sword, sticking to it like glue. Alfonso tried to lift his sword for another strike but found it heavier than he thought. He looked at it, only to find it firmly embedded in the body of his first pathetic opponent. With nothing else to do, the Prince swung the sword around in a wide circle, knocking over several Moors before the body flew off the sword at its peak in the circle, landing amongst the crowd. Free of the deadweight, Alfonso began to hack his way through the fray, slaying many a soldier.

    The army was renewed by the Alfonso’s entrance into the battle, and redoubled their efforts to repel the invaders. The Alforrats leapt into the mass as well, horses crushing the poor fools who dared to get in their way. To the Prince’s right, he saw the Moorish general isolated amongst the Aragonese spearmen. “Bring him down!” he called, as several more spearmen and a few of the Prince’s bodyguards rushed off to finally end the menace the general posed.

    At last, a spear had wedged between the horse’s chainmail and pierced the hind leg, causing it to rear. The general lost control of his mount as it fell unceremoniously on the ground, pinning the general’s leg beneath it. The wicked curved blade flew out of his hand during the fall, and he was now defenseless. He tried to put his hand up for mercy calling in rough Spanish for Prince Alfonso. The Prince heard his plea, and called back in rough Arabic, “I don’t take prisoners.” A spear to the throat was all that was needed to end the deadly Moors life.





    “Their general is dead! They have no leader! Press onwards, men, and you might live to tell the tale of your bravery!”

    The general is down? A solder questioned. The news spread through the army like wildfire, reinvigorating the tired soldiers. Likewise, the demise of their general disheartened the Moorish troops, and their fear of the dreaded Prince Alfonso of Aragon got the better of them. Those in the back of the mass of Moorish troops ran first, trying to escape death or capture. Soon, the Moorish bubble began to deflate, and then finally pop as the Moors turned and ran with their tails between their legs.



    Soldiers saw the enemy leaving through the gates and cheered. Prince Alfonso stoically removed himself from the celebrations as he looked towards the retreating column.

    One of Alfonso’s captains approached him and asked, “What should we do, sir?” The tired captain took a moment to pant heavily. “Should we let them run?”

    “Let them run?” Alfonso said incredulously. “No no, I won’t let them get away that easily.”

    “You want us to hunt them down?”

    “You know what they say. A good leader leads by example. Let’s give those Moors something to run from! Hyah!”

    Soon, Alfonso’s men were on the tail of the retreating column, forcing the Moors to kneel and wait for the infantry to take them back to the city.



    “Well, you heard the man,” the captain said. “Let’s go round up those bastards! Give thanks men, to God for getting you through the day, and for Prince Alfonso for giving us some camp followers to go after!” the army yelled in approval and poured out the gates, happy to be alive, and happy to have been under the command of Prince Alfonso, the great general who alone sent more than 500 soldiers running in fear.



    Bodies were piled up outside the city and burned, while the 100 fallen Aragonese soldiers were given individual graves outside the city, their spirits protecting the walls they died defending.

    Prince Alfonso was back from the revelry of hunting down survivors and walked through the city, where citizens came out of their houses to applaud and commend the General Prince. Soldiers, too, came up to Prince Alfonso to give him a pat on the back, a word of thanks, or a simple nod.

    “What’s going on here?” Alfonso asked his guard as he walked through the packed city streets. “I thought they hated me.”

    “They did, sir, until you saved their god damn hides!”

    “What? I didn’t do anything! I was fighting for myself, not this pathetic lot. Good God, I didn’t even kill the general! They should be thanking him, not me.”

    “Doesn’t matter, sir!” the guard claimed jovially. “You gave them some tough love, and it worked! You’re a hero in their eyes.”



    Prince Alfonso almost interrupted his guard, but stopped on the word “Hero”. Hero, he thought, maybe I could get used to this .

    Lost in thought, Alfonso had to be shaken by his guard to be brought back into reality. “Sir, there’s still the matter of the 800 prisoners from the battle.”

    “What cowards.” The Prince said. “We’re outnumbered almost 2 to 1 and more than half their army turn tail and run.”

    “You are getting quite the feared reputation, sir,” the guard pointed out.

    “Right. Speaking of being feared, kill the prisoners.” The guard was taken aback. When he didn’t hear any response, Alfonso turned to his guard to make sure he was still there. “You understood that right. Kill all the prisoners.”

    “But…but the money! The ransom!” the guard stuttered, in shock. “Don’t you want to try and ransom them off?”

    “I’m taking any advantage I can get over these heathens. If there’s even a chance the Moors can gain strength against us, I’ve got to do everything in my power to stop it.”

    “Won’t King Sancho be angry with you?”

    “I’ll deal with that when it comes.” Alfonso replied, waving the guard off. “Right now, this is my war, and I’ll deal with it the way I see fit. Execute all of them. “

    The guard complied, and the mass grave for Moorish soldiers had to be tripled in size. Men we hung, stabbed, drowned, beat up, and suffocated until the last of the Arabic cries stopped in the middle of the next night.

    ***

    A wave of liberation and renewed patriotism spread across the lands of Aragon. Men in the taverns of Zaragoza told of an epic battle, where the Aragonese were outnumbered 5 to 1, while strangers in the streets of Barcelona showed their battle scars supposedly from the battle when in reality all the soldiers in the battle were still stationed in Murcia. There was a sense of triumph, a feeling that the Aragonese could finally push the Moors back and out of Iberia forever. King Sancho capitalized on this feeling and took the opportunity to recruit more soldiers, raise taxes, and construct more military buildings. The war finally seemed to be going his way.

    Although the King had been on a ship for the past year with his new army, ready to reinforce or retake Murcia, he was flooded with reports and messages the moment he stepped off the ship. E must have told them where I was going to be, Sancho surmised.



    The first message concerned diplomacy. Although his Venetian allies had once again embroiled themselves in war, they had been reconciled by the Pope for their piety, a good sign for both Venice and Aragon. However, the reason for this reconciliation was the death of the Venetian Doge, a good friend of the Crown of Aragon. King Sancho was unsure how well the new Doge would get along with the growing Aragonese kingdom.



    It also came to the King’s attention that Sicily and the Moorish empire were now at war with each other. A good opportunity for a potential alliance.



    Several months later, the diplomat Ordoño Fierro initiated negotiations with the Sicilians, offering a basic exchange of information as well as an alliance.



    Although the Sicilians seemed hesitant, they agreed that the enemy of their enemy was their friend, and thus cemented a friendship between the two distant, yet similar nations.



    Grimmer news came from the north, however. Prince Ramiro wrote a message to the King, detailing French troop movements north of Barcelona. As a result, the night watches in both Barcelona and Pamplona, both adjacent to French domains, were doubled and Ramiro authorized the recruitment of new militia in all of the Crown’s core territories.



    The French responded poorly to Ramiro’s actions, however, and sent letter of dissatisfaction to King Sancho, calling for the guards on the border to be reduced.



    Murcia, 1143 AD

    King Sancho rode into the city, his army waiting outside the gates as there was not enough room in the garrison to house them all. Training his troops, Prince Alfonso barely noticed the King’s approach until his horse neighed right in the Prince’s ear.

    “Oh! Father! It’s good to see you!”

    “It’s good to see you too, my son,” Sancho said, smiling. The two embraced for a short time and then held each other at arms distance. “I was afraid I’d see a crescent flying over the city.”

    “If it weren’t for Prince Alfonso, they would have!” A soldier panted. Alfonso glared at him, and the soldier quickly returned to his push-ups.

    “Ah, hero of the city, are you?”

    “Ha, you know me, father. That’s not me.”

    “Here’s a hint for you, Alfonso,” King Sancho leaned in close. “If the people respect you and love you, use it to your advantage.” Prince Alfonso nodded wordlessly, and walked the King back to his horse. The two of them walked towards the town hall, exchanging pleasantries and such, until King Sancho asked, “so, where’s the ransom for those 1000 soldiers you captured? It’s been almost 4 years.”

    “1000?” Prince Alfonso asked, looking at the King. He turned back to the road. “It was hardly 1000. More like 800. Where’d you get that number from?”

    Seeing it wasn’t true, King Sancho looked away from the Prince. “Oh…just some guy I know…I suppose the 1000 other Moors that were killed and the 200 you killed personally were exaggerations as well?”

    Prince Alfonso burst out laughing. “You think my army defeated 2000 Moors?” Alfonso wiped a tear from his eye. “Oh that’s a good one, although I’ve heard better. I caught one of my soldiers bragging to a milkmaid that our garrison of 200 men valiantly prevented 4000 Moors from storming the city. I would’ve let him get away with it if he didn’t suggest that he had killed more than me.” Both Sancho and Alfonso had themselves a good laugh, but the King brought the conversation back on track.”

    “Seriously, Alfonso. Where’s the ransom for the prisoners?”

    Alfonso stopped for a minute and took a big breath before continuing. “I…I executed them, father. I killed them.”

    “Alfonso, now’s not the time for jokes. Did the Moors reject the ransom offer?”

    “No, father. I’m serious. I had them executed.”

    King Sancho stared at Alfonso. He ordered his guard to stop and he dismounted. “You mean to tell me you executed 800 Moorish prisoners, without even considering ransoming them?”

    “They threatened me and my men with annihilation! What did you expect me to do?”

    “At least offer them back! I’m sure the Moors would have rejected the offer anyway!”

    “And what if they hadn’t?” Alfonso yelled, roaring even. Villagers and soldiers gathered to watch the Aragonese royal dynasty argue. “What if the Moors had accepted? Then there would be 800 Moors surrounding the city again!”

    “Those 800 soldiers could have fetched at least 5000 florins! Do you know how much we have in our treasury? 1000. We have 1000 paltry florins.”

    “Please, I saved us money in the long run. With those soldiers gone, we’ll spend less on defending this godforsaken place and gain more when we bring the fight to the Moors!”

    King Sancho was taken aback by his son’s logic and suggestion. “Bring the fight to the Moors? We barely have enough money to keep this nation going! Where do you think you’ll find the funds for that sort of campaign?”

    Prince Alfonso walked turned around, walked a short distance, and turned back again. “What about that huge army you have at your back?”

    “Well,” King Sancho seemed to back off and hesitate for a moment. “I was going to either take back this city or relieve the siege, then disband the army…”

    Prince Alfonso found a new weak spot in his father’s defense. “You would force the dissolution of a perfectly good army? To what end? Money?”

    “That army is expensive! You wouldn’t believe the lengths I went through to recruit it!”

    Prince Alfonso calmed down, eager to find a compromise. “Let me take the army to Granada,” Alfonso requested. “Let me push back the Moors even further from this defeat. You wouldn’t know how to lead them anyway…” he murmured.

    King Sancho seemed ready to explode. Veins throbbed in his forehead. Villagers and soldiers took a step backwards in case it came to swords. “Alfonso, I forged this kingdom with my bare hands! I am its God-ordained leader and I will not have my will subverted” the King seethed with anger. “NOW I COMMAND YOU AS BOTH YOUR KING AND FATHER TO STAND DOWN OR GOD-HELP-ME I WILL FORCE YOU TO BY THE EDGE OF MY SWORD.”

    The world seemed to stop for just a moment. The birds ceased scattered from the nearby trees and the dogs stopped barking. Even the church bells had stopped ringing. Prince Alfonso met his father’s steely gaze for what seemed like minutes on end. Finally, Prince Alfonso broke off and stormed towards the town hall. King Sancho leaned on his horse to relax and take stock of what just happened. He had never been opposed like this before, and by his own son! The world was different from when he grew up, but that’s a fact he would have to deal with.

    Back in the town hall, Alfonso’s argument with his father was far from over. He checked his armor and weapons, and began packing a small bag to be carried by the baggage train. His guard stepped in, looking at his Prince’s angry actions. He politely knocked on the door before asking, “Um, sir, what exactly are you doing?”

    “I’m packing my bags. What does it look like?” Prince Alfonso kneeled on one knee and checked under his bed for some belongings. “Actually I’m glad you’re here. I need you to deliver a message for me.”

    “To whom, sir?”

    “To any soldier who is willing to follow me,” Alfonso answered. “Tell them we leave at nightfall for Granada. Move silently and gather outside the west gate.”

    “What about the King’s army, sir?”

    “I’m sure the professionals and the impetuous would welcome a chance to fight the enemy. Send the message to them too.” The guard nodded, and left the room.

    I’ll show my father what running a kingdom is really about, Prince Alfonso though as he led his horse through the quiet city streets. Outside the west gate, he was surprised to find a force of over 700 soldiers, professionals and militia, waiting for the Prince. He expected 600 at most, and mostly the militia who had survived the 2nd Siege of Murcia. Nevertheless, Alfonso mounted his horse and called to his men, “Onwards! To Granada and victory!” The army let out a muffled but still audible “huzzah!” and the army began their long march to Granada.


    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

  20. #20

    Default Re: [SS AAR] The Crown of Aragon - The Iberian Supremacy (Chapter 5 Part 2)

    I'm gonna try a little experiment. I'm downloading the 6.2 RR/RC patch and I'm gonna mess around with it some. Then, I'm gonna see if I can recreate the current campaign I'm playing. I'm not gonna completely overwrite it because I'm gonna make a backup of the Stainless Steel folder, and I've already gotten pictures of the next update. It's just the 1 turn per year thing is bugging me . I'll see how it goes.
    --- Theseus1234
    Suum cique (To each their own) -Motto of the Kingdom of Prussia

    The Crown of Aragon AAR- The Iberian Supremacy
    Quote Originally Posted by Justice and Mercy View Post
    My opinion is 100% objective. That's how I'm so right all the time.
    ^Human hubris knows no bounds.

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