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Thread: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

  1. #21
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    A great update! I must say I really enjoyed this one, the way you described the battle and its outcome in particular. I like the dry way of recounting mixed with tiny personal aspects coming from the writer, the scholar in this case. Your Author's note indeed contains some food for thought, which is a good thing in my opinion.

  2. #22
    Welsh Dragon's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    A really interesting read. I have fond memories of playing King Alfonso and the Spanish in Medieval 2, so it's fun to go back to those days through your story.

    I particularly love the framing device you're using of Napoleon (the audience) looking to history to help him with his problems in the 19th Century, and how King Alfonso in the Medieval period is in turn looking to even earlier history in the form of the Roman roads to help build his own empire. Plus a biased and perhaps a little unreliable narrator in the form of your Islamic scholar makes for a fun read, as you can never quite be sure you're getting the whole story.

    All in all, great stuff!

    EDIT: Sorry, I just realised I forgot to wish you good luck for MAARC LXXX. Good luck, and I look forward to reading more of this story in future.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.
    Last edited by Welsh Dragon; February 07, 2019 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #23
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    I agree with Turkafinwë and Welsh Dragon. The build-up to the moment of contact between the armies at the bridge is well done and I also enjoy the idea of historians from Napoleon's era using this record to learn lessons. Good update!

  4. #24
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. Ironic that I have not posted the Napoleon era update yet. I thought it would be difficult, but the problem is there is so much wrong with Napoleon's entry into the peninsula that there is a great deal that needs careful selection or I will end up on a soap box.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The Alfonso Papers
    Chapter 5 – Marshal Murat is interested in the Alfonso Papers


    by Norse Thing



    Marshal Murat was just getting settled in his official offices in Madrid when the archaeologists made the announcement. They had uncovered a scholar's library in Valencia that had been lost for hundreds of years. Among the works was the discovery of the scholar's own personal writings. One such writing was titled the King Alfonso Papers.

    This was exciting. More documentation about medieval Spain. This was before the unification, so it was a truly important find. The Marshall wondered if this could be important for the current situation. He sent a message out for the senior archaeologist and whomever the chief archaeologist thought might be important to contribute to the findings to him personally in Madrid. A meeting with Marshall Murat was important. There might be clues to help the Marshal in the current mess.

    A week passes...

    Senior Archaeologist Francois de Paul and his assistant arrive in Madrid at the military governor's administrative offices. De Paul to the guards at the doors, “We are here by request of Marshal Murat.”

    The two door guards are both alert and well groomed. One responds, “The Marshal is expecting you. Please enter and present your identity papers with the soldier inside. He will escort you to the senior staff officer for Marshal Murat's offices.”

    The two archaeologists then proceeded as directed until they were at an open door flanked by, again, two guards. These guards were even more alert and better groomed than the outside guards. Beyond the open door and the guards sat the Marshal at a large oak carved desk with gold trim. De Paul thought to himself (French oak from Paris, perhaps.) The room was bright with sunlight from the large windows that reached up almost to the two story ceiling. The room was devoid of unneeded decor and no chairs other than the one occupied by the Marshal behind the desk. A very large portrait of General Napoleon was the only ornamentation for this space. The portrait was on the wall behind the Marshall's desk between the two large windows.

    Francois de Paul, “We are here at your request to discuss our findings in the Valencia project. Do you want us to begin or do you have some concerns you wish to state before we begin our presentation?”

    Marshal Murat, “Just as my time is valuable, I know yours has value as well. Please begin though I may interrupt from time to time.”

    Francois de Paul, “My chief assistant, M. Daudet will begin.”

    Daudet, “The scholar of these papers is unknown to us, so this could be a very old forgery. We think it is legitimate since facts that we can corroborate are not found to be lacking. We have found nothing in conflict with known facts either. We still have much more work to do. It takes time translating from Arabic to French and then to analyze what has been translated. What may be of interest to you would be his initial actions against the Moors without offending rival independent duchies. The sweep of unification happens later in the texts. We are still processing a great deal. King Alfonso did not lead the thrust against Cordoba. He left this to his staff generals. He did use his family for his royal objectives. His key tactic was diplomatic wedges between the Moors and the various Spanish duchies. Religion was the primary wedge he used. This was performed before and during any military actions that were authorized.

    Marshal Murat, “I do not see how this wedge of religion can be used here. Both the French and Spanish of of the same faith.”

    Francois de Paul, “The wedge today would be between Spain and England. England is your goal. The wedge is meant to pull potential allies and friends from England. This wedge tactic only worked because of a comfortable relationship between King Alfonso and the Pope in Rome.”

    Marshal Murat, “This is a problem. There is already public comment from Napoleon himself about the differences between the Church and the French state. The French have occupied the Papal States to maintain a line of communication between the French controlled northern Italian provinces and Naples. This was easily accomplished, but it is a source of friction with the Pope. Then the issue of converting the legal system of the northern Italian provinces to the French system of justice. The pope has publicly disapproved of this as well.”

    Murat then added, “Then there is the issue of a request to honor a petition for divorce. Pope Pius has inconveniently refused to annul the marriage of Jerome Bonaparte to the American, Miss Patterson. Napoleon spoke out strongly when that occurred.”

    Francois de Paul, “This is what I mean by King Alfonso nurtured the relationship and did nothing to force any neutral duchy or portion of the population from having to make a decision either in favor of the king or to oppose his wishes. Religion is not the only wedge available to use, but it was the wedge that King Alfonso used with great effect. It seems Napoleon has not done so for reasons that may indeed be valid, but erodes any effect of a religious wedge between the Spanish and the Pope versus the English. The Spanish are very religious, The Spanish are less likely to move to support the French on their own volition with such Papal problems open for the public viewing.”

    Marshal Murat, “Our current problem is the result of the Spanish common soldier Godoy who is in our pay but is simply not trusted by Napoleon and seems to hold more direct power by his relationship to the Spanish King's consort than either the King or his heir. He is not royalty, but effectively used his position to gain power over the Spanish royalty. The system is corrupt from the king down but it is also the Spanish system. Our attempts to unravel it by playing one corrupt player against another in the public eye has not gone well. The general population seems to prefer local corruption over French efficiency. Is there any part of the papers that can help me on this problem? It has not come yet to open defiance, but I fear that time may be short.”

    Daudet, “The method of using the wedge tactic is lost if you throw your own alliances out for expediency, King Alfonso had issues with the Kingdom of Portugal and still allowed a royal marriage by his daughter to the Portuguese heir. The scholar notes this Christian or perhaps European attitude is not present within the Islamic culture, but such alliances by marriage have been useful. For Napoleon to not use marriage as a part of his diplomatic weapons is an unfortunate waste of a valuable resource.”

    Marshal Murat, “Once again, this is unfortunate. There was even a potential marriage between the Bonaparte family and the royal family ruling Spain, but such a marriage did not take place. Perhaps there were reasons I do not know about, but it did seem it was the wish of the General for the marriage to not take place.”

    Francois de Paul, “We have much more of the text to research. The answers may be there. I shall keep my staff working hard to get the answers you seek. If the answers are there, we shall find them and relay the results to your offices.”

    So ended the first meeting between the chief archaeologist, Francois de Paul, and Marshal Murat.



    Author's Note
    Author's Note: For those who find this period of interest, I could suggest beginning with The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G Chandler. A good start for general interest. Of interest for this chapter would be Part 11, The Peninsular Intrigues. The information in this chapter is not precisely as Chandler presents. I have take the liberty of a fiction author in how this is portrayed.

  6. #26
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The Papers of King Alfonso

    Chapter 6 - Rebels are active!


    by Norse Thing


    The Prince was indeed laying siege against the independent duchy of Pamplona at the stone castle. But was this a real siege or simply a show for the remaining duchies on the Iberian peninsula not yet unified under King Alfonso?

    Arias Telles sent back a messenger tothe Prince and his encampment outside of Pamplona's castle.

    The messenger, “Sire I have been proceeding to my goal of meeting with the Papal States. I think it important to inform you of some French activity that I had noticed while on my journey. The French are assembling an army near their great castle at Toulouse. I think it to be 6 or as many as 9 units of unknown capabilities. This is addition to the well garrisoned force within the castle.”

    Arias Telles continued via the messenger, “ I have not heard of any complaints from the people of the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) controlled Duchy of Provence. War may be about to break out. Sicily has sent a modest force that is approaching Marseille. The HRE has split their garrison at Marseille with a family member establishing a fortification on the provincial border with France. Perhaps you should send a trusted spy to look into the matter. This army is not for the defense of Toulouse.Should I pause to make inquiries or perhaps be available to offer assistance? I will wait in the hills north of Marseille for further orders.”

    Prince Rodrigo responded to the messenger, “Return to Arias Telles and advise the noble to wait and offer to establish relations to any aggrieved parties if war breaks out. Do not establish relations with any aggressor. Be aware of whether France is the aggressor or the aggrieved or simply preparing for actions of their own choosing. Then make haste and proceed on to make contact with the Papal States.”

    It is now 1090.

    The Spanish army at Pamplona was under the Prince's leadership. They had not yet constructed ladders or rams. This was either to be a siege of many years or a show.

    While on this extended picnic near Pamplona, the Prince and also the designated heir to the Spanish throne was wed with Margrida el Valiente.

    The Prince had received an urgent request from Roy de Castile by messenger.

    The messenger from Roy de Castile, “My Prince, I have sent on to Toledo two regiments of cavalry for reinforcements and refitting. I myself and my heavy cavalry regiment proceeded on to establish a fortification in the northern portion of Cordoba Province, on the road toward Leon. While constructing the fort, I have discovered a large band on rebels. I believe this band to be composed of 6 units led by a captain from some spear militia that remains active since the fall of the minor city of Cordoba. General Vaasco has provided me with some units. They are all veterans of the heroic battle at the bridge. They are brave but not enough for offensive actions against the rebels. I will need further reinforcements before I can proceed to put down the rebel force and still garrison the new fortification.”

    Author's Note
    Author's note: With the Lands to Conquer modification, fortifications can be constructed that allow for two units free of upkeep. In this case, the Jinetes and the general's heavy cavalry regiments are now free of upkeep. This seems to be a big step in paying for the cost of the construction of the fort as well as adding to strengthening the provincial defenses. Too bad the computer builds the fortifications for the computer controlled factions but cannot seem to take advantage of the free upkeep provision. For the computer this seems to be excess money to burn.


    Prince Rodrigo now officially leaves the army besieging Pamplona. It is now in the untested leadership of Captain Diago. He and his heavy cavalry regiment joined up with 4 companies of various militia from Leon to aid in putting down the rebellion in the north of Cordoba's Province. As the Prince was leaving the Pampalona Province, he spotted a small army landing on the beaches north of Pamplona. The company flags indicated this was an advance force from Lisbon, the minor city in the duchy of Portugal that broke off from Leon a generation ago. Portugal is still an ally of Spain by both treaty and royal marriage. No time to assess this development. Captain Diago would have his first test in command.

    A guard has approached the provincial governor of Cordoba, General Vaasco. “Sire, a diplomat has approached the city gates. I believe this to be a diplomat from the Moors. He states his name is Shakir Al-Fayyoumi”

    General Vaasco, “That is fine. Let him stand outside of the gates. This is no longer a city of the Moors. If he has business with the Spanish, I will meet with him. If he does not have business with the Spanish, he as well as the rebel band to the north can enjoy the Iberian summer sun.”


    The situation at the end of 1090

    Summer of 1092

    The siege of Pamplona was broken. The garrison did not break out. Captain Diago could not handle the pressure of command or perhaps he was offered enough by the citizens of the Duchy to be a traitor to his people in Leon under the rationale they were all people of Iberia. The Captain had many months of success in command before he became the traitor we know today. It is not known how many men turned with the captain, but the Portuguese advance team did indeed retreat before the rebels into the safety of their allies of Spain. Perhaps the contact with Portugal initiated Captain Diago's turn to rebellion. It is not known if there were losses in the engagement.

    Prince Rodrigo and the 4 companies of spears did not wait to to examine the incident or to seek revenge against Diago. Mercenary units were available. They could be some remainder of the Prince's original siege force now too scared to rejoin Spain and too scared to remain in Pamplona. The Prince did not trust these mercenary forces even under his direct command. Once loyal and now looking for hire. Another general can take the chance. Serve King Alfonso with distinction. Promote onlyfor serious accomplishments. This should have been true from the Prince's training but Captain Diago was promoted out of expediency of the moment. This would be the last chance the Prince would take in his military career to promote men simply because the need was present. Such mistakes can mar two men. The Prince can learn or be scarred by the decision. Captain Diago's future is most certainly darker than before the promotion to command.

    The rebellion in Cordoba's northern most territory was more serious. A fellow family member by marriage has asked the Prince personally for assistance. The Prince's small force as joined by the two cavalry regiments in Toledo. Now the cavalry regiments were once again at full strength.Together with the Prince's heavy cavalry regiment and the 4 companies of militia, they headed to the bridge where the rebel band was last known to be.

    The Prince sent a messenger via the Toledo to Cordoba road to advise General Roy de Castile of his intentions. “Our joint target is the bridge north of your fort where you last sight the rebel band. This will be a simple envelopment of the rebels with the my army heading south while your army would meet us at the bridge. Hold the bridge if it is available. With care and good timing, this could be a success with few casualties.”

    The message continued, “I am counting on you being in position to act when my force arrives.Then it will be necessary for of our forces to move on to get Spain's revenge on Captain Diago in Pamplona. The captain will discover his new masters are not in the best of positions.”


    -to be continued -





  7. #27
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    Two great updates! I especially loved the way you parallelled the choices made by King Alfonso and Napoleon in their endeavors.

    Rebellions and traitors are all around it seems. I wouldn't want to be in Diago's shoes right now. I fear a storm that is going to swallow him whole is coming to get him. Not undeserved of course.

  8. #28
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    I agree with Turkafinwë!

    As well as enjoying your story, I'm interested in the additional information in the author's notes. I like the connections you're making with real history (the book recommendation in an author's note is a nice touch) and your comments on features of the mod Lands to Conquer - it's a shame when the AI factions don't take advantage of them.)

  9. #29
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Icon12 Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The Papers of King Alfonso

    Chapter 7 - Revenge??


    by Norse Thing


    From the previous chapter:

    This would be a simple envelopment of the rebels with the Prince's army heading south while General Roy de Castile army would meet at the bridge from the fort just south of the bridge. With care and good timing, this could be a success with few casualties. Then it would be to move on to get Spain's revenge on the captain in Pamplona.

    We now continue with the scholar's tale from the Alfonso Papers:

    It was going to take a bit of time to organize the armies of King Alfonso before the revenge of Diago could take place. Rather than allow his loyal soldiers to do what came natural after such traitorous rebellion, the King wanted all his subjects to return to their regular routines,

    Prince Rodrigo boosted his spear based army with the reinforcements of cavalry regiments from Toledo before ordering the army forward to deal with his first priority. The submission of rebellion within Cordoba's outer regions was the highest priority. If these rebels were given time to organize.... Then even the gains within the stone walled minor city of Cordoba could be lost. This was not an acceptable risk. Time was on the King's side. Time would eventually run out for the disorganized rebel bands.

    Even Pope Gregory was in greater support of King Alfonso's efforts. Diplomacy had not yet established an alliance, but the Pope had already made a small token of florins toward the King's treasury. The Pope recognized that even with the turmoil against the Moors, the king was continuing to support the church by building more churches and recruiting more priests.

    Ares Telles, King Alsonso's diplomat on a special mission to the Papal States sent back a message from his travels into Italy:

    documented message from the diplomat to Toledo's offices
    Sire,

    I am making good progress towards Rome. There is a great deal of turmoil within Italy. The Kingdom of Milan is at war with Venice. Even as I am sending this message to your offices in Toledo, the Milanese are besieging Bologna. The Kingdom of Sicily has been denounced by Pope Gregory and is continuing their wars with the Byzantine Empire. Even a small band of Sicilians was seen by me in the vicinity of Marseille which is still controlled by the Holy Roman Empire. With the Sicilian alliance with Venice, the whole of Italy may soon be at war with all of Europe's Christian kingdoms. It is rumored that the Pope may try and unite all Christian kingdoms against an external enemy. Who that enemy will be, I have no clue from my Italian sources. There may be an opportunity here to bring in more of Europe to your cause of uniting all of the Iberian peninsula under your rule.

    The opportunity referred to by the diplomat could bring even more turmoil to Iberia, but would this in the end be to King Alfonso's advantage? Would a united Christian effort resolve the problem with Portugal? Would a united Christian effort resolve the problem of uniting the independent duchies under Spain or perhaps simply lead to more European control on the towns in Iberia? In the end, King Alfonso had no faith in any coalition of European Kingdoms. He wanted sole control of Spain.s future prospects. Even Pope Gregory's friendship was less important to King Alfonso than a Spanish united Iberia.

    Another message was sent to King Alfonso's offices in Toledo by Arias Telles:

    documented message fro a diplomat to the Toledo offices
    Sire,

    I am close to Rome. Princess Ingrid of Denmark is also making here way to seek out Papal support for her Denmark. I am taking my mission seriously and have not attempted any diplomatic activities that my interfere with my primary mission. The result of my mission is now a partial success. We do not have an alliance with the Papal States perhaps because I have failed to personally meet with Pope Gregory. I have promised the offices of Pope Gregory your support for Papal affairs, but I have made no commitments beyond such a promise. I have offered some florins today and a promise of some florins in the future. We do have a trade treaty and our relations have improved. Perhaps a treaty cannot be rushed. I shall remain in Rome and await the Popes return. I have faith that all will be resolved with a personal meeting.


    With that message, Toledo's offices made haste to inform all of King Alfonso's generals that the suppression of the the rebellions must now proceed and proceed with haste. Circumstances beyond the control of Spain may overtake our mission if we delay in the unification of the peninsula.

    Prince Rodrigo was the first general to act. He took his growing army into Cordoba and without waiting for another general to surround the rebels, he first held the bridge. He waited to meet General Roy de Castile. He waited. He waited.

    The Prince had lost patience. This band of rebels was only a handful of companies and a single regiment of cavalry. Prince Rodrigo ordered his army forward to engage the rebels on whatever ground the rebels would choose to hold before they would die by Spanish spears. Where General Roy de Castile was no longer mattered.

    Roy de Castile never did arrive to envelope the rebels, but he did send two companies of peasant archers and a regiment of Jinetes to aid the Prince. The prince thought that this half measure was not a sufficient response to his messages, but perhaps there other reasons unknown to the Prince for General Roy de Castile's absence. No matter. The Prince now had a good force of both missiles and spears to rout even the most stubborn and well equipped rebellion. The rebellion was no doubt stubborn, but it was clearly not well equipped. Six units, mostly companies of peasants and militia were no match for the Prince and his balanced army of 14 units. In the end, General Roy de Castile did arrive before the forces closed for battle, but Roy de Castile did not suffer any losses since he never engaged. The prince's army suffer some minor losses. About a half a company of spear militia were lost spread out over the army.

    The Prince was pleased and thanked his army for their glorious service to their king. The regiment of Jinetes and the peasant archer companies were now a part of Prince Rodrigo's army. They proved their worth in battle. The Jinetes regiment even had the honor of breaking the last of the rebel units. There were so few remaining rebels, that even committing the cavalry to round up the prisoners seemed a waste of time. The Prince ordered the army to continue south past Roy de Castle's fort, past Cordoba, and into the the frontier regions approaching Grenada. There was no longer even any thoughts of the traitorous Diago. There were only thoughts of ending the Moors as a power in Iberia.

    News reached Toledo that Pope Gregory had made a decision to unite the Christian kingdoms by calling for a Crusade against the independent duchy of Antioch. Not Christian by any means, but under siege by the Islamic led armies of the Kingdom of Egypt. It was expected to fall into Egyptian control in a very short time. Soon, Pope Gregory would have his unification of at least some of the Christian Kingdoms. There was still no alliance between Rome and Spain though Arias Telles had made repeated attempts over the years. The irony was that Spain was at war against the Moors. How could the Pope be allied with any Kingdom at while they were at war?

    King Alfonso now had to make a decision that could decide his place in history. Would he answer the call to support the Crusade against Antioch? Would he continue with his own private crusade against the Moors? Would other European kingdoms begin to pick away at the independent duchies that divided the Spanish from the rest of Europe? Even at this moment, Venice had a small force scouting out the defenses near Zaragoza.

  10. #30
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    A good chapter NorseThing!

    Good of you to add a small summary of the previous chapter, it helped me greatly. Diago got what was his due for his treachery, swiftly and without mercy. I'm also interested in what Alfonso's next move is concerning the Crusade.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The Papers of King Alfonso

    Chapter 8 - Crusade??


    by Norse Thing

    From the previous chapter:

    King Alfonso now had to make a decision that could decide his place in history. Would he answer the call to support the Crusade against Antioch? Would he continue with his own private crusade against the Moors? Would other European kingdoms begin to pick away at the independent duchies that divided the Spanish from the rest of Europe? Even at this moment, Venice had a small force scouting out the defenses near Zaragoza.

    We now continue with the Papers of King Alfonso as told by the Islamic scholar:

    Because of the activity near Zaragoza, the Council of Nobles advised King Alfonso to send an emissary to meet with this faction and begin diplomatic relations. With war with Antioch and possibly with Egypt looming and several European factions being denounced by Pope Gregory, King Alfonso had to proceed with some care in all relations with all factions. Even Portugal had a navy outside Leon's port facilities. King Alfonso thought it was now time to begin the Spanish navy. Perhaps to even prepare for a Crusade. Perhaps to even delay the unification of Iberia. Perils were all around the Spanish and there was a risk of losing control. The king asked Prince Rodrigo to continue to proceed against the Moors at the wooden castle at Grenada, but to be prepared to change plans.

    The king was used to a need to hedge his bets. To bet all of the Kingdom's future on a single course of action might be unwise, but a disaster for the treasury. That was a correct precaution. The treasury was at it's lowest levels in a decade. The financial stress of raising an army against both the Moors and against the resulting rebellions spreading through what had been Moors controlled lands was too much for such a modest kingdom as King Alfonso actually ruled. Even getting support form the Spanish barons to support Pope Gregory's Crusade could be a huge help.

    Now a diplomat from the Moors has appeared to actually ask for entrance into Cordoba. Previously General Vaasco felt it appropriate for the diplomat to enjoy the Iberian sun by waiting outside the city gates. Now he would meet with the mission and perhaps also end the war against the Moors. But there had to be a price not just a vassalage to the Moors, but a price from the Moors to leave the Iberian peninsula by releasing Grenada to the Spanish. Unfortunate that the Moors accepted counter offer. But General Vaasco neglected on insisting on Grenada. The war ended. Grenada is still a Moors province. And the Pope is still calling on all to his cause. Egypt completed its submission of Antioch. This would now be a war against the power of Egypt.

    Prince Rodrigo accepted the call for Spain and pledged his army to Pope Gregory. The Barons even provided 3 companies to join the Crusade. The Prince began the process of loading the the navy near the border between Cordoba and Portugal. Even a mercenary fleet wanted to join the 2 newly constructed Spanish fleets. The Crusade had begun.

    King Alfonso disliked the vassalage arrangements. How to break the vassalage was not the problem, but this could wait. He began a building program. If there was no profit for the Moors, perhaps the Moors would lose interest in a Spanish vassal and seek to regain Cordoba. The treasury was now almost without a single florin. The Barons were supporting Prince Rodrigo's army and navy as it proceeding into the western Mediterranean along the southern shores. The Prince could even see the night lights of Moorish settlements as the fleet moved to the east and towards Egypt, the new enemy of Spain. It was tempting for Prince Rodrigo to break the vassalage agreement. A raid against the Moors would end the fiction of peace. He proceeded on with his mission for Pope Gregory. He did authorize the cooking fires aboard the fleet to be visible to the Moors as they passed each settlement. He wanted the Moors to know that Spain was present near their shores.

    Arias Telles knew of the Council of Nobles request for diplomatic relations with Venice. This would be easy to achieve, but first he thought it best to head south to Naples. This was a proud city. It also was in the hands of the Byzantine Empire and adjacent to Rome. This could be of use as a port for trade and to resupply the the Crusading army headed by Prince Rodrigo. There was potential here. This may be an opening for a diplomat. It could also be a means to further his standing with King Alfonso. He was less concerned about the Council of Nobles and their interests since the king paid well for his service to the kingdom. The nobles had no interest other than to advise the king. Arias Telles had no problem with where his loyalty should reside.

    Spain had answered the call to Antioch. Spain made peace with the Moors. The Papal offices found it appropriate to a treaty of alliance with Spain. So was it essential for war to end against the Moors? Why was it then acceptable for Spain now to be at war with Egypt? This lowly scholar cannot answer such perplexing questions.

  12. #32
    Derc's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    Now this is really interesting. One would think the pope would be understanding and the Spanish are busy enough with their own front agains the infidel.
    Participating in the crusade could weaken your own country, leaving it free for the backstabbing Moors or even the shady Portuguese.
    Let's see if a early colonizing Spain will have success with fighting the infidel at two sides of the Mediterranean. God's with you.

    To sum it up:
    Nice interweaving of ingame events you put into the story. Always like it when a player is open for experiments, such as playing a crusading Spaniard.

  13. #33
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Soulforged
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    I agree with Derc, a really interesting development. I wonder how long this false peace will last, surely the Spanish will not remain a vassal for long under the Moors. Like Derc said, a very experimental way of playing. Interested to see if Prince Rodrigo will carry on with the Crusade or use it as a pretence to assault the Moors where they least expect it.

    To use an overused meme:

    DEUS VULT!

  14. #34
    NorseThing's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The problem of a false peace is always an interesting dilemma. Now to add more fuel to the fire, but I need more time to reorganize my thoughts. I had a few chapters in the bin so to speak, but a rewrite urge has struck.

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    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    It sounds like King Alfonso is in a difficult situation, with different demands and needs to meet, and a limited treasury and resources to meet them with. It sounds like breaking the vassalage agreement is attractive, but will this get Spain into a war that King Alfonso's treasury cannot support?

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    Default Re: [LTC] The Papers of King Alfonso

    The Papers of King Alfonso

    Chapter 9 – Taking another step to now unite Iberia as Spain


    by Norse Thing



    We continue with the Papers of King Alfonso as told by the Islamic scholar:


    King Alfonso had enough of the unfinished business regarding Captain Diago. He made some administrative changes. Roy de Castile was ordered to Cordoba with his remaining spear militia garrison troops from the fort guarding the north road to Leon. Two companies of spear militia can now be retrained.

    Also, a more chivalrous governor meant a higher tax rate on the remaining Moorish Nobles choosing to remain in the town of Cordoba and within the region. No conquest ever means the complete elimination of the previous elite. Some displacement always takes place, but the elite administer the trade and the crops needed for the region to prosper. Over time, the elite become more like the rulers or they indeed get replaced.

    General Vaasco, the hero of the bridge battle, and a company of town militia were his outpost replacement. General Vaasco had orders that went beyond this fort though. He was then to proceed on to Toledo and begin a series of training programs for more cavalry as well as infantry that also could throw the javelin.

    Some of the defensive army in Cordoba was to meet the king on the road to Toledo. Now the king had the first of the troops needed to dispose of the Captain Diago problem and occupy the independent provinces that separated Spain from the established major powers in western Europe, England and France. Two companies of town militia, a company of peasant archers,2 regiments of Jinetes, and his personal body guard were a good beginning to his army. More units could be added in route from the mercenaries that were plaguing the kingdom daily. For a price they can be loyal if closely watched. The treasury needed to be empty in any case. The Moors would simply scoop up the residual florins for their own purposes based upon the vassalage agreement. The king saw no reason for florins to be wasted on the Moors' personal desires. King Alfonso saw no reason to not spend the florins regarding the Captain Diago problem.

    So the King now had the beginnings of his army to calm the eastern stretches of the Iberian peninsula. Now to proceed on to the stone castle at Pamplona and the small town of Zaragoza. And General Vassco would soon command the training in Toledo. As long as Spain was at peace in western Iberia,then the King was free to move to eastern Iberia to return to his goal of unification on the peninsula.

    King Alfonso was now on the march. He was determined to bring the independent duchies on the eastern edge of the Iberian peninsula into the Spanish Kingdom to quell the rebellious brigands that were disrupting trade and the personal safety of his subjects. King Alfonso was still within the Castille region when he came near an allied Portuguese army led by the heir and another family member. This was a great army that had suffered terribly against Pamplona. Prince Alfonso, a distant cousin to the king told a tale of struggle. They had even crossed swords with Captain Diago. The King asked about his daughter. Prince Alfonso was wed to his daughter, but he had been on campaign in the field for several years and knew nothing about affairs back in Lisbon.

    This Portuguese army seemed to have lost up 90% of their effective strength in the infantry companies. The 8 companies no longer had the strength of 2 fresh companies. If not for the replenishment of the bodyguard regiments of the 2 family members, this army would have ceased to exist in the field. King Alfonso knew that this alone meant that Portugal as anally was a spent force. They were of no long term value to Spain. Portugal was neither a threat from the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula nor an ally to be counted upon against the Moors. Even the King did not have the heart to ask the Portuguese to continue the fight with his army to calm the duchies that Portugal had been fighting on their own.

    The Council of Nobles had concerns about Venice. The situation involved the independent duchy centered on the small town of Zargoza. Naval activity by Venice in the western Mediterranean had no purpose other than to gather information preceding ground operations. King Alfonso had thought the priority should be on the stone castle at Pamplona, but after seeing the state of readiness in Prince Alfonso of Portugal's army,the King decided to follow the Council's advice and march on Zaragoza.

    After a few months, the region was becoming more like the rest of Spain. Areas de Fereyrra was adopted into the family by Roy de Castile. This young general held potential. Most important was relief of Vaasco at the fort. General Vaasco had more important duties to perform at Toledo,Castille's castle and administrative capital of the kingdom. The training had already started with 2 companies of javelin armed infantry men and 2 regiments of mounted men armed with javelins(Jinetes) being prepared to meet General Vaasco in the field. This was Spain's strength for fighting in the field.

    King Alfonso now regrets taking the Council of Nobles advice to capture the town of Zaragoza in the region of Aragon. Pamplona was the king's first goal in the east for strategic reasons. The castle at Pamplona was meant to anchor the kingdom from encroachment from other kingdoms. But he acceded to the Council's request. Now the worst has happened with Portugal succeeding in capturing the castle. Nearly all the army of Prince Alfonso was lost in the attempt, but Portugal now has a castle to train more units for the field. They are now again a threat though nominally an ally. The only saving factor for Spain is that now the rebel Captain Diago is a problem for Prince Alfonso and Portugal to deal with. Captain Diago is now more an accidental asset than a problem for King Alfonso.

    Vaasco and his recruited javelins have arrived at the Zaragoza siege led by King Alfonso. The use of javelins is clearly more a tactic for use in the open than in the confines of a small town. The cavalry lacks mobility on the streets of the town and the foot infantry are using a much shorter and lighter javelin against the town based spears. The king was now in charge of the new army. General Vaasco ordered his men to merge with the King's army to prepare for the assault. This was not what General Vaasco thought his skirmishers were best suited for, but the King was in command.

    With more men and preparations completed for the rams, Zaragoza was captured. Nearly every company lost nearly a third of their men in the conflict. The King gained chivalry, but at a heavy cost of Spanish blood. The compensation of 4 regiments of mailed knights by the Barons on the Council will aid in the future, but these lost men were loyal to the king and paid a heavy price for such loyalty.

    The Council's concern was real. Venice had landed a small force in Aragon just as Zaragoza was captured. King Alfonso hoped that now the small town was showing the flags of King Alfonso at the town gates this would discourage further adventures by Venice. General Vaasco returned to Toledo without the torn up javelin armed companies. These javalins were now needed for possible defense against not just the small band from Venice, but also to deter the King's ally now in possession of the castle at Pamplona. The cavalry regiments were of greater concern for a refit back at Toledo. A decision must be made to end the vassalage agreement with the Moors. But the question was how and when to end the treaty?

    General Vaasco delivered the castle troops needing refit from the Zaragoza siege to Toledo and took the council rewarded 4 mailed knight regiments and 2 companies of javelins toward Cordoba. His force was met near the bridge between Toledo and Cordoba by 3 companies of militia with word that rebels were active near Leon. A change of plans seemed to be needed. The Toledo force would continue on to Cordoba and General Vaasco and the militia would move up north to face the new crisis with the hoped refitted 4 regiments of Jinetes from Toledo.

    Author's Note
    I completed the battle of Zaragoza on auto resolve. Auto resolve averages the losses and give the skirmishing units a disadvantage by resolution via melee combat.

    If this was resolved on the combat map, I as the commander would have used the skirmishing units at their natural advantage of distance to wipe out the Zaragoza garrison with minimal Spanish loses.

    If General Vaasco was in command, he would have done the same. But the king (when present) will always command the battles. In this case, perhaps a greater appreciation for his loyal general would have had different results.

    This was in part the reason for the delay in posting. A rewrite and replay beginning with this battle was to make for a much better narrative and remain true to my after action report.

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