Muslim World: The True Faith Timeline

Prologue: Chapter 21
  • Muslim World

    Just The First Defeat? The Dragon Burns The Blacks in the Aksu River!

    April 4, 745 - Aksu River
    Since the beginning of the Third Fitna, the chinese Tang Dynasty have taken advantage of the civil war to increase their influence on Transoxiana. Nevertheless, once the abbasids established control in the region, the fighting began, with the abbasids managing to defeat the Chinese in Chach [Tashkent] and Farghana [Fergana], re-establishing control of the former province. However, the chinese would not abandon it. Next year, an army of 76.000 Chinese would enter muslim territory and advance, toppling city after city. An army of 42.000 men under Ziyad ibn Salih was sent by the abbasids to repel the invasion, meeting with the chinese on the Aksu River.

    Ziyad organizes his army in the abbasid standard mode, archers in the rear, arab cavalry on the flanks, and the bulk of infantry on the front line. The chinese army positions light infantry units on the flanks with the chinese cavalry next to the infantry in the center, turkish karluk cavalry is on the left flank, and the archers in the center as well.

    The first move came from the chinese, with the karluk cavalry and the chinese light infantry using their numerical advantage to cross the river on the left flank, the karluk cavalry crosses the river in front of the arab cavalry to lure it into battle, opening the abassid right flank to the light infantry, that soon seeps into the hole left to attack the abbasid rear, while the bulk of the chinese infantry begins to cross the river and battle with the outnumbered arab force.

    The chinese light infantry, however, is taken aback by the archers in the rear and repelled by them, retreating under heavy fire back to the river with heavy casualties. While the arab cavalry on the left flank crosses the river and quickly drops the chinese light infantry in the region, the Tang send reinforcements to the region after the news, but the arab cavalry had already advanced to maneuver behind the mountains ahead, which leaves the abbasid left flank open for the reinforcements, which soon cross the river and attack the archers in the rear together with the karluk cavalry, with the archers being easily massacred, the abbasid rearguard is free for the chinese cavalry, which completely destroys the abbasid forces together with the chinese infantry.

    By the end of the day, the abbasids had lost most of their army and the chinese would march freely across Central Asia, winning the upper hand against the abbasids in the region. The great defeat would echo throughout the Abbasid Caliphate, with many questioning the establishment of the new caliph, leading to the 746 Ibrahimite Rebellion. The Abbasids would send more armies to Central Asia that could lessen the losses, but the chinese would have the upper hand in the region until 755, when the An Lushan Rebellion would force the chinese to retreat from Central Asia, freeing the area for muslim and tibetan expansion.
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    Sidelines

    July 19, 744: Kosmos' forces follow their victory at Katerini and attempt to make a advance to Constantinople. But is severely defeated by Voedos' forces at the Battle of Chariopolis, ending any chance of a quick resolution of the conflict, the war would be deadlocked for the next 3 years after the battle, with neither side having the upper hand.
    October 3, 744: After a brief siege, 14.000 soldiers under Sulayman recaptured back Antioch taking advantage of the byzantine distraction in his civil war, a campaign is also underway to conquer the Principality of Abasgia (a byzantine vassal), but it would take 2 years to complete.
    May 28, 745: Following the overwhelming defeat at Aksu, the Caliph immediately orders an army of 54.000 troops to be sent to Central Asia under Abu Muslim. With the news of defeat spreading, a christian rebellion begins in Al-Anadul, which is brutally repressed.
    September 5, 745: Uqba falls ill in Qurṭuba, the conqueror of Al-Faransa would die ill five months later, his burial would be held in the city, and more than 50.000 people would attend. He would be until present-day one of the national symbols of Al-Andalus.
    October 19, 745: With news of the Caliph's defeat echoing throughout the muslim world, the wealthy pirates of Malta declare the Ukhawia of Wasatbahr, recognizing the caliph's theocratic power but at the same time having full temporal power over their lands. Upon learning this, the abbasids prepare a fleet to bring the islands back to abbasid control.
    November 23, 745: The Great Raid of Tripoli, a wasatbahrian fleet raids and severely damages the abbasid fleet in Tripoli, in addition to capturing many of the harbour's assets. The attack forces the Caliph to delay (and unofficially cancel) the attack on Malta, and it becomes another blow to the Caliph's prestige.
    February 19, 746: The First Ibrahimite Rebellion begins! The Eighty-Seven of Al-Hafar. (Next Chapter ;))
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 1
  • Muslim World - The Age of the Collapse
    The First Ibrahimite Rebellion and the Start of the Age of Collapse

    The success of the Ukhawia of Wasatbahr and the First Ibrahimite Rebellion are seen as the beginning of the Age of Collapse in the muslim world, where came the transformation of the powerful and united caliphate into several separate states with their own interests. Given this starting date, the Age of Collapse in the muslim world is the period between 745 and 871, which determined the fact of the muslim world, with Islam no longer unified under one large and extensive political unity.

    Faransa has undergone giant cultural and economic changes since its conquest, with several arabs (mainly syrians) moving to the region at the orders of the Umayyad Caliphs to secure control of the region. Including the troops used in the conquest, who gained land in the newly conquered regions, this provoked the relationship of the new inhabitants with the old, thus creating a whole new class of mixed people, the Muhjin (literally, "Hybrid" in arabic), they were largely muslim, and would actively participate in the conversion of Faransa to Islam.

    Arabs in Faransa have become many things, from local governors to wealthy merchants in the northern seas, with the latter being great allies of Ibrahim in his rebellion, with he offering great economic advantages in eventual support for his government, the which, after the success of the wasatbahrians against the abbasids, seemed like an easy bet.

    Soon Ibrahim gathered good support in the north-central regions of Faransa, and on February 19, 746, the umayyad heir and 87 of his soldiers attacked the northern port of Al-Hafar [OTL Ouistreham], capturing it, and giving the green light to the other supporters start the rebellion.

    The outbreaks of rebellion then soon turned to the north, with the southern regions having rebellions quickly suppressed by berber lords. The first major confrontation of the rebellion was the Battle of Bynsiyakam (In OTL Poissy), where an army of 4.000 rebels defeated an Abbasid army of 11.000 soldiers under the governor Al-Waddi (who despite being a good statesman was far away of being a good commander) that died in battle, adding more chaos to the region, and with that chaos came the destruction of the abbasid control of Faransa. Warlords were soon in constant conflict with one another, while the ibrahimite armies established control of much of northern Al-Faransa. To add further destruction, the tribes inhabiting the vast lands of Akba-Faransa (aka, vast lands beyond the Rhine) crossed the Rhine and began looting nearby regions, several abbasid armies were sent to end the confusion, but they eventually entered in the confusion itself. This mutual destruction would last until mid-754, being known as "The Eight Years' Disaster"

    By 754, the worst was over, with Faransa finally being split between firm entities. In Bakhyia, an alliance of cities made for the conservation of the region was able to repel attacks by saxons to the east and ibrahimites to the south (with the latter not really sending much but a few armies to plunder) under the strong command of the warlord Arend bij Braakjans, a native converted to Shia Islam. In the south, an berber abbasid loyalist called Azure ibn Ṭāriq had already put much of Burgundy in his domain, while several warlords fought each other in and around Gharbrayn [OTL Franche-Comté]. To the north, the ibrahimites controlled the region with an iron fist, but there was considerable opposition from local christians, due to the intense brutality of Ibrahim and his followers against the christians due to the feeling of "betrayal" against the "rightful caliphs".

    Soon, Azure, along with an army of 83.000 men, including abbasid soldiers, farano-berbers, and anti-umayyad christians, set off for rebel-held territories, capturing Mahsakina [OTL Vichy] and Mulany [OTL Moulins], Ibrahim soon build up an army to counter the loyalist forces and "eliminate the threat once and for all".

    The meeting of the armies would take a few kilometers beyond the fortified city of Nyfirnu [Nevers] on August 16, 754, with the army of Ibrahim having 50.000 troops, the same departed for a strong blow to the flanks, Tariq then held his front with his christian troops and used the well-trained abbasids to repel the flank attack in order to encircle the troop concentrations on the flanks. The plan would be successful and Ibrahim would only have his front line to defend himself against a general assault of nearly 80.000 soldiers, the rebels soon clashed and mass defections occurred along with the end of the battle. After such a disaster, Ibrahim would be fleeing north, with Azure capturing city after city all the way to Awrlyanz [Orleáns], where Ibrahim failed to build up a new army and fled again, this time to Barish [Paris].

    Despite the escape, 800 followers of Ibrahim would bravely defend Awrlyanz for 2 months, allowing Ibrahim to assemble an emergency army to defend Barish from an imminent loyalist attack. Other ibrahimite armies were raised to defend the other regions secured by the rebels, but the reopening of hostilities with the bakhyian forces under Braakjans dealt a severe blow to the northern forces, especially after the two heavy defeats at the Battles of Almina 'Kabir [Boulogne-sur-Mer] and Brukzell [Brussels], where the ibrahimite armies were decimated by considerably smaller armies. To the south, abbasid reinforcements from Al-Andalus took advantage of moments of weakness to advance to the border with Brittany.

    After the fall of Awrlyanz, Azure's army crossed the Loire and rushed toward Barish, where they would enter an empty city, only to find themselves outmaneuvered and undergoing a full assault in the rear by the ibrahimite cavalry. At first the ibrahimites did severe damage to the loyalist forces, but Azure would be able to improvise anti-cavalry formations and soon prevent the total collapse of his forces, which were already being frontally attacked by the bulk of the ibrahimites at the vanguard. Being able to concentrate all their strength, numerical superiority forced the ibrahimites to retreat from their attack, and shortly thereafter, to be pursued by the berber cavalry.

    The ibrahimite defeat at Barish destroyed the coordination of the rebellion, with deserters raining in the rebel armies and merchant groups, which once supported the rebellion and controlled much of the rebel-held ports, began copying from the rulebook of Wasatbahr and declared ukhawias in such controlled territories. As loyalist armies advance over former rebel territories, many of these were completely annihilated, but some managed to survive and are listed below:

    - Ukhawia of Juzuralqna [Channel Islands]
    - Ukhawia of Alskatsegira [La Rochelle]
    - Ukhawia of Nuteqali [Cherbourg]
    - Ukhawia of Al-Hafar [Ouistreham]
    - Ukhawia of Minathulaty [Le Tréport]

    Aftermath of the First Ibrahimite Rebellion

    Ibrahim disappeared shortly afterwards, going to Al-Hafar, which suffered a siege, but with the loyalists not having access to a fleet to block by sea, they were unable to cause further damage after the assault was repelled, forcing them to abandon the siege.

    Azure ibn Ṭāriq was made Emir of Faransa under the Abbasid Caliphate, in this case, nominally, as the abbasids could no longer maintain control of the region. The emirate's seat was placed in Wughdinu [OTL Lyon] as Tariq's base during the chaos in Al-Faransa, again changing the center of power in the region. The Christian population in the region went through more sheets during the period of rebellion, with the rebels performing open massacres of innocent christians, causing a great resentment among the population against the rebels, which was an important part of the rapid collapse of the rebel forces.

    Bakhyia would also be the target of loyalist forays for another 5 years, but Braakjans and his men would be able to secure the independence of the declared Imamate of Bakhyia.

    The success of Wasatbahr and Faransa in breaking abbasid effective power in their respective regions marked the beginning of the Age of Collapse, although it seemed that everything would collapse quickly after the Ibrahimite Rebellion, abbasid power remained relatively stable for a century.

    The establishment of the faranish ukhawias was also a very important event, with them being the main connections of the muslim world with the nordic world. With merchants from these states establishing a stable and profitable trade with the british isles, scandinavia and, in the case of Minathulaty, with the baltic regions.
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 2
  • Muslim World - The Age of the Collapse
    Wasatbahr and the Base of the Maritime Empire

    The Government
    "Based on the Wasatbahr Archipelago, made up of the larger islands of Ghawlus [Gozo], Malitān [Malta] and Hyfasihtu [Comino], among other smaller islands, the Al-Qada of Wasatbahr run their business from the central point of the Mediterranean Sea, watching the tide behind the beautiful windows of Al-Nasr Palace, as ships from all corners of the world stop at Mu'awiya's Grand Harbour.

    From Mu'awiya, his domains extend from Jabal Tariq in the far west to as far as the rich harbor of Fumitnys, the gateway to the great Empire of the Rws. On the way are those behind the great men in Kustantiniyyah and Ruma. Its upper class is more elegant and rich than all the courts in the world, controlling the largest navy ever seen and ruling the rich and wonderful 7 cities of Wasatbahr, all so identical and so unique, the less rich also have their turn, with the ever-growing population of the archipelago providing the manpower needed to construct the archipelago's ornamental works, clothing, food, and military production.

    So much wealth...such wonder is too perfect to fall."

    - Tameem al-Zahra, The Wealth of the Empire of the Sea, AH 319

    Following the Great Raid of Tripoli, the Ukhawia of Wasatbahr underwent years of consolidation, laying the foundations for the Wasatbahrian Empire that would eventually dominate the Mediterranean.

    One such base was the government, made up primarily of the Al-Majsim'kabir, the 70-seat parliament, elected between Wasatbahr's high-class and pirate merchant class (called Al-Qada because of its almost exclusive role in government). Its powers are basically treasury control, trade regulation (in every sense) and management of the Al-Majsim'sakin, Wasatbahr's territorial assemblies. Al-Majsim'kabir members elect the Ukhawia Mesheix, which has a duty to balance the powers of Al-Majsim'kabir members, having control of the ukhawia's military and diplomacy, the Mesheix also has veto power in parliament, but for the veto to be confirmed, a popular vote must be taken (among the inhabitants of the Wasatbahr Archipelago).

    Wasatbahr politically divides its population between 3 classes:

    ● Al-Mezia Aelaa: The highest class, made up of Wasatbahr's richest and most powerful merchants and pirates, those in this class have high government benefits and also have their votes worth more in elections. They are divided into 2 subclasses.
    - The Al-Qada: All those who have ever had a seat at Al-Majsim'kabir have the highest privileges of any human being in Wasatbahr. Only they can apply for Mesheix, Al-Qada can also personally demand funding for the Wasatbahrian state on their business adventures. Anyone can become Al-Qada with a Mesheix or parliamentary appointment to do so, being served as Wasatbahr's largest civic-military award.
    - The Al-Ajanib: The entire "foreign" upper class of Wasatbahr, in this case the merchants born or of origin in the Halat Al-Bahr, that is, the wasatbahrian overseas possessions. They can vote in Al-Majsim'kabir seat elections (but their vote is worth considerably less than that of Al-Qada), but they cannot stand for a seat. They generally dominate Al-Majsim'sakin and thus form a large part of the coordination of wasatbahrian trade with the continental world. Their inferiority to the Al-Qada is one reason for the fall of the Wasatbahrian Empire, and during the ages, conspiracies from them were not uncommon.
    ● Al-Wusta: The middle class of the Ukhawia, consisting of the common merchant, craftsman and business owner, as well as the military. Although they can vote, Al-Wusta's votes count as a unit, and thus substantially less than those above. They are divided into 3 classes:
    Al-Tujjar: Merchants, more specifically, the most common merchants, the least affluent and most in touch with the common people, of the members of Al-Wusta, the merchants are the second most favored group, as they can easily become high class members by making good money in the trading world. Despite a certain bias, there is no official regulation against the Al-Tujjar of overseas possessions.
    Al-Junud: The military, or rather Qiada Gheouli Musalah (Armed High Command) of Wasatbahr, the organization that controls the navy, army, and connections to wasatbahr's piracy. Al-Junud members are specifically all military personnel ranked higher than Musaeid (in the army a commander who has at his command 150-400 troops, in the navy the assistant of a ship captain). They can intervene in wasatbahr policies to "restore order" in the event of instability, most often there is a status quo between the High Command, the army defends the rights/interests of the population (i.e the poor) and the navy. defends the rights/interests of the upper class (i.e the rich). In the case of the former, the armed forces (aka army, because the navy does not intervene in these cases) can strike a blow in the people's intercession in the event of open demonstrations that it is unhappy with the government, so the army must open elections (this time with all citizens having an equal vote) to reestablish order under another government. Similarly, the armed forces (aka navy for the same reasons as the army) may restore order in the event of a "popular revolution", which may end up in fighting between the army and navy, which would be one of the main reasons for the fall of the wasatbahrian empire centuries later.
    - Al-Harfiiyn: They are the talented artisans of Wasatbahr, have a prestigious position thanks to their incredible work inside and outside the Wasatbahr Archipelago. Some are even richer than influential merchants, with their architectural and textile work being a very important part of the Ukhawia's commerce and economy. The issue of greater political participation by the Al-Harfiiyn would be cause for instability for a long time, and another reason for the fall of the Wasatbahrian Empire.
    ● Al-Naas: The lower class, made up of the people, the soldiers and the sailors. In addition to having the right to demand unconditional defense of the wasatbahrian state, Al-Naas members have minimal privileges, removing some expressions for members of the military, there are several divisions within it, but the change of privileges is minimal.

    Wasatbahr's government was the basis for most of the established ukhawias of their time, but such governments were always changing according to their doctrine.

    Mass Piracy and the First Conquests (746-762)
    Wasatbahr, under the command of Mesheix Barehu Shakir "Al-Awal (The First)" soon turned to the piracy in which it was founded, with Wasatbahrian fleets starting a "piracy blitz" in the Mediterranean, raiding the Strait of Gibraltar to the Aegean, and accumulating slaves, valuable products and also ships.

    The raids also escalated to capture posts that would serve as another base for piracy, with the first addition to the Ukhawia being made after the capture of the Dodecanese in 749, taking advantage of the Byzantine Civil War after capture, and was soon ordered the construction of extensive fortifications in Rhodes to serve as a control point for the other islands. New additions were made after the capture of the Ionian Islands and Aijtiaz [OTL Preveza] in 750, and the capture of Masaliaan [OTL Marseille], Naribun [OTL Narbonne] and Qubalat Al-Juzur [OTL Cannes] in the span of 751-755, enjoying of the chaos in Faransa to begin the establishment of control in the western Mediterranean.

    But the beginning of the expansion didn't go unnoticed, in 753 Kosmos sent a fleet to retrieve the possessions in Rhodes and sent an army to besiege the citadel of Aijtiaz. The fleet was decisively defeated at the Battle of Kefalos, off the coast of Kos, the first victory of many for Admiral Ġwann Al-Muntasir, once a world pirate celebrity, he began his career in Wasatbahr with excellent performances in the capture of Masaliaan and in attacks on the italian coast, having in Kefalos his first battle as commander of a complete fleet. The Siege of Aijtiaz was lifted after the garrison was supported by naval support and Kosmos forces were forced to worry about an invasion from the Avars.

    The Battle of Kefalos resulted in the securing of wasatbahrian rule in the Aegean Sea, and was subsequently captured by the capture of the central aegean archipelago, and securing a base in the region facilitated the intensification of raids off the coast of Greece and Ionia.

    After the end of the movements in the fall of the First Ibrahimite Rebellion, Azure I of Faransa attacked Masaliaan and Qubalat Al-Juzur in 761, and with the aid of the abbasid governor of Al-Andalus, mobilized a fleet to ensure naval control in the sieges. After an initial victory against the wasatbahrians at the Battle of Mahun, the cooperation between Al-Andalus and Faransa succeeded in blocking the wasatbahrian ports at Faransa, with an Andalusian army also surrounding Naribun. In a risky gamble, Barehu Shakir sent a fleet of as many ships as the Ukhawia could muster to save Wasatbahr's possessions on Faransa, under Ġwann Al-Muntasir, the fleet evaded the blockades and delivered much-needed supplies to the garrison of Masaliaan and headed for Naribun, being intercepted by the Andalusian-Faranese cooperative fleet at Maghwon [OTL Maguelone], where, using tactics to split the fleet into 2 more than once, Ġwann fared decisively victorious, destroying any chance of recovery of Masaliaan, Naribun and Qubalat Al-Juzur for the Farano-Andalusians.

    After the defeat, hostilities stopped, with the Emir of Faransa resolving their war with the tribes of Akba-Faransa and Al-Andalus moving their forces for a final invasion of the Kingdom of Asturias.

    The war gave Wasatbahr some control over the western Mediterranean and allowed for a calmer political consolidation of the Ukhawia in the coming years, with the death of Mesheix Barehu Shakir in 766 and the election of Yusri Grezzju "Al-Muharib (The Warrior)" as Mesheix, the election was the first case of factionalism within the Al-Majsim'kabir, with Yusri being of the "Black" faction, or, the expansionists, who fought for influence against the "Blue" (The Pacifists) and "Red" factions (Those who only wanted piracy), Yusri's election would be sequenced by the start of a major campaign of expansion across the mediterranean. Which would start in the so-called "Roman Wars".
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 3
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    The Byzantine Civil War

    The Stalemate (744-758)
    Following the defeat of Kosmos at the Battle of Chariopolis in 744, the hope of a swift resolution of the conflict was quickly broken. With Kosmos having its power base in its holdings in Hellas and the Italian peninsula (although the Papacy has declared neutrality in the conflict and the fact that northern Italy is not effectively controlled by Kosmos), and with Voedos having its power base in Asia Minor and around the City of Constantine.

    After Chariopolis, Voedos began in the spring of 745 a campaign to capture Macedonia. Kosmos, still working to raise a new army after the disaster at Chariopolis, bet on using an ambush strategy against the enemy army while taking advantage of fortifications in the region to force Voedos to retire due to supply problems and low morale.

    Voedos then initially managed to capture Kártzali, but soon problems with supplies and raids from the bulgarians forced him to stop his siege of Philippopolis, and subsequently retreat back to Kártzali to regroup. In September Voedos would return to siege the coastal town of Alexandroupolis, and this time would receive opposition from the kosmian navy, which would maintain naval superiority, preventing the siege from succeeding. After that, Voedos would stay in winter quarters and attempt a new attack in 746. He also ordered the construction of a vast fleet of ships for the coming campaigns.

    This time Voedos tried to force battle with an advance through the lands settled by the Smolenoi tribe, giving them vast riches in exchange for their help, they accepted, and thus Voedos' forces arrived in Thessaloniki, and began a siege of the important city. The sudden movement frightened the kosmian leadership, who ordered a fleet to reinforce the city and the nearby fortifications to join the army sent to confront Voedos' forces. However, that was all the thracian wanted, and shortly after the kosmian army assembled in Macedonia, Voedos left a skeleton army holding the siege and set off north to confront the kosmian army at Kilkis. The ensuing battle (which took place on July 4) resulted in the total defeat of the kosmian army, with great Smolenoi influence in the battle, the victory brought all of Macedonia under Voedos' banner, but their foray into Hellas was defeated by the same strategy of ambushes, this time implemented in the mountains of northwestern Greece. The same result happened in 747 and 748, with the main competition being the naval, where after the construction of the voedian fleet neither side had clear superiority, with Kosmos focusing on protecting the coast from a possible enemy invasion, and being reasonably successful at the work, repelling an invasion of Voedos' forces in Crete.

    By 749, the kosmian army would be raised, and with that in mind, Kosmos ordered a naval blitz to remove the presence of Voedos in the Aegean. Soon multiple clashes occurred, but the biggest and most influential of them would be the Battle of Ikaria, where a kosmian fleet of 44 ships under the Strategos of Hellas would decisively defeat a fleet of 51 voedian ships, annihilating enemy naval danger. In 750, Kosmos would send an army of 23,000 troops under the command of his eldest son, Constantius, who crossed the Aegean Sea and landed on the shores of Anatolia, laying siege to Smýrna and capturing the city shortly thereafter thanks to an internal pro-Kosmos revolt in the city, and thus establishing a foothold in Anatolia, at the same time, Kosmos was sending a campaign to retake Macedonia, but on its own terms, avoiding at all costs battle on unfavorable ground for the next 7 years, the two clamants would maneuver in the macedonian camps to obtain superiority against the enemy, the main battles in this period of uncertainty would be the battles of Giannitsa (753, Kosmian Victory), Serres (755, Pyrrhic Voedian Victory) and Kefalochori (757, Kosmian Decisive Victory), and would end with Macedonia returning to Kosmos and the voedian army severely battered.

    In Asia, after the capture of Smýrna, Constantius continued with his army, spending the next 2 years securing his control over the region parallel to the city, while stopping Voedos' reinforcements, with his work being completed in 753 at the Battle of Palaeokastron, defeating decisively the largest (22.000 soldiers) army sent by Voedos to the region, as a result, Constantius in subsequent years would begin a breakthrough against Voedos' Asian possessions, capturing Physkos, Anastasioupolis, Attouda, Polydorion and Attaleia to the south, Abydos, Lampsacus, Pegae, Cyzicus and Prussa to the north and capturing the entire interior of these territories.
    122 Sem Título_20191101181126-1.png

    Kosmian/Voedian Possessions at 758, the frontier marked at the territories in the aftermath of the Battle of Chariopolis
    Immediately, the consequences of the defeats were disastrous for Voedos, who lost much of his source of manpower (Anatolia) and failed to succeed in Macedonia, and still suffered a massive defeat at the Battle of Kefalochori. Kosmos had the upper hand, and with 39.000 troops, took the offensive in 758 to advance to Constantinople, quickly capturing Kártzali and Alexandroupolis, to be challenged by Voedos forces on their crossing of the Maritsa, an unsuccessful contest with the forces of Kosmos crossing the river and set off to capture Thrace, with brief sieges in most cities, with the only major opposition being Hadrianúpolis (which would fall in March 759) and Heracleia (which fell in October 758).

    In Asia, Constantius spent 758 in a siege of the heavily fortified city of Nicaea, with the city finally falling in November of the same year. Following the successes of 758, Kosmos visited his son in Helenopolis to agree a double offensive against Constantinople next year, with one goal: Retake Constantinople and all that is of Kosmos by right (of birth).

    The Climax (759-764)
    The key point of the Byzantine Civil War was definitely the Siege of Constantinople by Kosmos' forces, since anything minor going different could have drastic consequences for the history of the world as a whole. The offensive against the city began in February, when the troops under Constantius' command put Nicomedia under siege, which after 5 months, to the bad luck of Voedos (who hoped Nicomedia would be able to hold on long enough for him to organize) fell to the Kosmians after a betrayal from within the city's fortifications.

    At the same time, in April, a kosmian fleet entered the Marmara Sea, and after a brief confrontation with enemies on the nearby coast of Hebdomon, secured the naval blockade of Constantinople, but Voedos would be able to send a message to his separated possessions at the Pontus to gather reinforcements, and after that, he could only prepare the defenses of the isolated city and hope for the best.

    Fifty-one thousand kosmian soldiers, including greek and italian soldiers, slav, lombard, and bulgarian mercenaries, arrived in August near the City of the World's Desire, and the siege began.

    Voedos had taken precautions, with the sequence of defeats ending him, suspicious, between the time of the beginning of the Siege of Nicomedia and the beginning of the Siege of Constantinople, an unknown (but large) number of nobles were murdered within the walls of Constantinople, under the direct orders of Voedos.

    On land, as expected, the siege was going very slowly, with the Theodosian Walls doing much of the work, Kosmos sent armies to reduce Voedos' out-of-the-city positions, and by the end of the year would capture Kosmidion and Galata, in the other side of the Bosphorus, Constantius was struggling to capture Chalkedon. A few frontal assaults on the land walls were repelled with heavy casualties, and attacks on the sea walls were met with - at least - exotic surprises.

    Under the direction of the greek inventor Grigoris Miroulis, the naval defenses of Constantinople were unrecognizable. Hired by Voedos in 756 to improve the city's defenses in case the worst happens, Grigoris introduced defensive concepts not previously seen, including, according to voedian sources of the siege:
    - Large-Scale Greek Fire (i.e a hell of a flamethrower being used as a coastal defense to BURN enemy ships approaching)
    - The Naftikísko, a moving structure that can take soldiers from within the walls to enemy ships, comparable to the roman "Corvus"
    - Katastrofeís, high repeating crossbows, used to continually repel whatever comes near the city walls, these also being used on theodosian walls to great effect.
    - Kanónia Neroú, a cannon based on the archimedes' screw, throwing water followed by greek fire at the enemies, as greek fire continues to burn in the water (thus using water as conductor for the fire), this was also used on the theodosian walls.

    The first assault of Kosmos' forces on the sea walls was particularly frightening, with the fleet attacking in a moment of strong wind, leading the ships towards the walls (which would originally be a good thing), but once they approached the walls, the ships and their crews were quickly consumed by the fire launched from the fortifications, with the Naftikísko leading Voedos' troops to surprise the enemy in their own ships. Losses are estimated at between 50% to 75% of the kosmian fleet during the initial assaults on the seawalls.

    Extending to 760, the siege remained in a bloody draw, with Chalkedon falling at the end of the year, and at the same time other kosmian assaults on the city being repelled, and Kosmos' forces getting worse in morale. After the loss of the first marine assaults, the battle at sea came to a draw, with the kosmians failing to impose a total blockade and the voedians not having a fleet capable of defying enemy control of the Marmara Sea.

    Voedos took advantage of the opening to literally hire reinforcements, knowing that he can't stay there forever. He soon contacted Ġwann Al-Muntasir, who had already become a renowned military man in his area after his actions against the kosmians, to destroy the kosmian fleet in the Marmara Sea using his 146-ship private fleet in exchange for a large reward in gold and silver. Ġwann, who was one of the examples of the greedy wasatbahrian stereotype, accepted in the first chance and by October 760 would arrive with his fleet in the Marmara Sea, using a group of Berber mercenaries to capture the kosmian strongholds at the dardanelles, and after that, go to confront the kosmian fleet at Helenopolis, taking the fleet by surprise and consequently destroying her. All this movement attracted the attention of Kosmos and Constantius, who began planning to send naval reinforcements while Ġwann made wintery raids along the Marmara Sea.

    The campaign decision came in 761, when an army of 17.000 recruited and trained on the Pontus by Voedos' General Philiskos Asius finally marched to reinforce Voedos, catching Constantius off guard at his Siege of Chrysopolis in early May. In the ensuing battle, the armenians on Philiskos' side led a massive attack on the kosmian right flank, and after a failed escape attempt, Philiskos effectively wiped out the enemy army after the city garrison noted the battle situation and went into combat. Constantius would narrowly escape annihilation, sneaking across the Aegean until he reappeared in Italy two years later.

    After the Battle of Chrysopolis, Kosmos' forces no longer had an active army on the other side of the Bosphorus, and after Ġwann again defeated the Byzantines in April at the Battle of Gallipoli, they had no fleet to continue the siege. As the wasatbahrian received his pay and retired to serve his nation, Philiskos landed his soldiers on the other side of Hellespont, and marched to save Constantinople.

    Knowing the latest developments, Kosmos initiates an immediate retreat from Constantinople, but Philiskos was smarter (or simply received from scouts the news that enemies were withdrawing), and advanced to ambush enemies shortly before Arcadiopolis, resulting in the Battle of Stratigeíon (with the battle naming the place, as "Stratigeíon" comes from the Kosmos quote in the battle, "He trained"), which after desperate charges by the demoralized kosmian troops, resulted in the annihilation of both the kosmian army as its leader.

    After the battle, Philiskos went to Constantinople to inform Voedos of what happened, many said that Constantius was dead, so the death of Kosmos would be the end of the Kosmian cause and final roman unification would be inevitable, no? He would be wrong, but nothing prevented him from quickly securing his control over Kosmos' former possessions, but an anomaly was present, Smýrna, who refused to surrender at all, since his garrison received word from Constantius in person that he is alive and that they must not succumb to the treacherous usurper. Voedos didn't bother much, because one hour they would collapse from starvation and lack of supplies without Constantius or Kosmos to do anything. But he was wrong, very wrong.

    In 763, while Voedos secured his rule over Hellas and Anatolia, he landed on the beaches of Hydrus [Otranto], declaring the continuation of the kosmian lineage and demanding the loyalty of the Exarchate of Ravenna, who, in opposition to Voedos, quickly accepted. Constantius' return quickly set Hellas on fire, with greek cities rebelling on his behalf quickly, and Voedos having serious problems stabilizing the situation. Meanwhile, Constantius was reshaping his army for future clashes, taking advantage of the hellenic revolts to gain time and develop naval bases, using the fleet previously reserved in Italy as a blueprint for building a fleet to secure coastal positions in Hellas and the Aegean. 764 would be another passing year, with more trouble between Voedos and the greek cities and suffering from wasatbahr piracy, not much beyond that.

    The Campaign of the League of Athens and Abbasid Intervention (765-771)
    122 Sem Título_20191101182043-1.png

    Kosmian/Voedian Possessions at 765
    In response to Voedos' inconclusive offensives against the loyalist greek cities, the League of Athens was created in September 765 with the aim of having greater command over the management of the forces raised by the cities to fight Voedos.

    The largest unit had widespread positive effects on the forces of the league, which soon reused the ambush tactics implemented by Kosmos in Hellas, thus preventing Voedos' forces from completing their sieges by sheer attrition, and even gaining territory through the United Hellenic Fleet, winning battles on the Peloponnese coast and in the eastern Aegean, having from 768 the support of the Italian fleet of Constantius. In Anatolia, however, Voedos managed to gain momentum and defeat the league's army at the Battle of Mount Sipylus (767), and soon depressed the loyalist defensive cities, with only Smýrna left over by naval reinforcements.

    In the years of 769 and 770, the kosmians had victories in succession, defeating an enemy fleet nearly twice as large at the Battle of Naxos (June 769), ensuring control of West Aegean's waters (resulting in the end of voedian activity in Crete in next year), winning the Battle of Chara (October 769) decisively against a divided enemy force, and subsequently capturing Larissa and ending with a victory at the Siege of Thessaloniki (Begun in 767 and ended in May 770).

    This transitional period comes to an end, as Abbasid Caliph, Abdallah ibn Muhammad al-Mansur moves his armies to attack roman possessions, of both sides of the civil war. The beginning of the Wars of the Leagues, or, specifically for Wasatbahr, the Roman Wars.
    122 Sem Título_20191101201916-1.png

    Kosmian/Voedian Possessions at 771, before the Wars of the Leagues
    Stay Tuned for the Fall of Rhomania
     
    Map II: Faransa
  • Hah! This isn't dead, i was just with a difficult time because, yeah, final weeks on school and such, but now i'm back and the new update will be posted 'til New Year ;)

    But, as i want to go back with content, i left you with an map of Faransa
    92 Sem Título_20191227121334.png


    Isn't the better map i already made, but it's there.

    And thank you so much for appreciating this timeline, without you guys i'm sure TTL wouldn't be where it is now, and yeah, thanks for wait in my hiatus :p
     
    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 4
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Al-Andalus in the Early Age of Collapse I: The Rise of the Zarids and the Ibrahimite Rebellion

    Background of Fennas ibn Zari al-Muahad and the Ibrahimite Revolt in Al-Andalus
    To understand the evolution of Al-Andalus in the Age of Collapse, one must understand the rise to power of Fennas ibn Zari, the founder of the dynasty that would rule the westernmost area of Islam for centuries to come, and having as its main factor its take on the power, the infamous First Ibrahimite Rebellion, which also had great effects on Al-Andalus.

    Fennas ibn Zari was a high-class zenata berber from the Maghrawa tribe, Fennas was one of many berbers who fought in Uqba's campaigns against the Frankish Kingdom, and he owned land in northern Al-Andalus around the small village of Filabuhira [1], being himself a descendant of those who fought in the Umayyad conquest of the Visigoths half a century ago.

    Following the Abbasid Revolution, Fennas supported the provisional government of Uqba on the peninsula while it went on its campaigns for North Africa. Nevertheless, the tension in the region's air was clear, with Syrian junds who would be loyal to the Umayyads not rebelling against Uqba for the sheer force of his existence.

    The truth is that, after his campaign against the Franks and exceptional victories at Navas de Firajana, Karkasun and Dayjun (which led to Faransa's subsequent conquest), Uqba achieved what no other ruler had achieved before in Al-Andalus: Enough prestige to put all petty lords in line and effectively rule all of Al-Andalus. And until his participation in the Abbasid Revolution, he made good use of these powers, starting a series of projects in Qurṭuba, including the start of construction of Masjid Qartabat al-Kabir [3] and a renovation of part of the city. Other projects started were the construction of a road connecting Qurṭuba to Karkasun (passing through Al-Madin, Bulākah, Tulaytulah, Mulinah, Qalāt Al-Hawyrfah, Saraqusta, Lāridah, Bakhus, Barshiluna, Jayruna and Arbūnah until the last one [4]), the re-establishment of several roman aqueducts throughout the region and the construction of the Barshiluna and al-Laqant shipyards, where Uqba would soon build his fleet in the west, which would participate in the future Battle of Al-Sahil Jafu [5]. Thus, the two years between the conquest of Faransa and the Abbasid Revolution were of relative prosperity in Al-Andalus.

    Following the departure of Uqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Manṣūr [6] to Ifriqiya, the government of Al-Andalus was left under the hands of his son, Hidayatullah ibn Uqba al-Wadi [7], who convened a coalition with local Berbers (including Fennas) to maintain stability in the region. Shortly after the fall of the Umayyads, Uqba would return even more glorified to Andalus, and spend his last 2 years of life and government making small trips across the peninsula while helping the people and commanding his last raids against the Kingdom of Asturias, in such, where his last battle took place in 744, the Battle of Lanjeru [8] (or Llangréu in Christian sources), where Uqba allegedly faced an asturian army under the command of Arius, a nobleman of visigothic descent, and defeated him, subsequently sacking the nearby area.

    The death of Uqba on February 4, 746 established an informal week of mourning among the andalusians, and his burial would gather over 50.000 people in Qurṭuba. His deeds would be extremely romanticized and passed on, with Uqba quickly becoming a symbol of what all andalusians wanted to be and expected their rulers to be.

    Thus, with the background explained, let's to what really matters.

    The Junds' Rebellion and Early Campaigns of Fennas
    After the death of Uqba (who thanks to his favors to the Abbasid Caliph effectively ruled Ifriqiya as well), the government of the two western provinces was provisionally under Hidayatullah al-Wadi in Andalus and under Khalid ibn Hamid al-Zanati [9] in Ifriqiya after his confirmation as governor by Caliph al-Saffāḥ.

    But before al-Wadi could do much, Ibrahim started his rebellion at Al-Hafar, and, after that, Al-Andalus would sink in war too.

    The first rebellion of the Syrian junds took place in Ġarnāṭah [10], but quickly spread like wildfire across the peninsula, leaving the unprepared "regent" surrounded in Qurṭuba, and, after 3 months of siege, the junds would capture the city. However, the berber lords in the north responded by electing Husayn ibn Sawaya, Lord of Sūriah [11] as commander of an 18.000 Berber army to march south against the rebels, but they would be defeated by 12.000 Arabs under Tujib ibn Hisham at the Battle of the Muje Mounts [12], after that, was not long before the Berbers began to fight each other, and the coalition quickly collapsed.

    Fennas ibn Zari was a great politician despite not having mastered vast lands, and initially used his skill to his liking, allying with the Lord of Balansiyyah Al-Markaza [13] in a successful attack against Sūriah. Following this, along with muladie supporters, Fennas murdered the lord and seized his lands, and subsequently secured the loyalty of several christiannobles and berbers in the Central March.

    After this, in 748, Fennas campaigned against the asturians in Galicia, defeating them at the Battle of al-Bawabat [14] and subsequently restoring Muslim control over Galicia. In the midst of all, the berber lords continued to war with each other and the junds at the same time, enabling the Ibrahimites to slowly advance through the Spanish Levant, but in 750 reinforcements from the Caliph would stop the ibrahimite advances, at least for a while.

    Following his campaign against the asturians, Fennas established a strong dominion over his lands, consolidating what he had so far gained. His initial rule (and, well, all his rule after that) was based on a compromise between the berbers, the local christians and the muwalladūn, which allowed Fennas significant manpower and legitimacy for what would be considered a warlord. By 750, Al-Andalus would be divided between the possessions of Fennas ibn Zari in the center-northwest - centered on Balansiyyah Al-Markaza - the ibrahimites in the south, Lord Abdelhamid ibn Hayyan's possessions in the northeast - centered in Saraqusta - Fortun ibn Qasi's possessions in the Upper March - centered on Tawdila [15] - and a series of small warlords along the Spanish Levant.

    165 Sem Título_20191231094024.png

    Situation in Al-Andalus and surroundings at 750.

    With the arrival of 22.000 Abbasid troops at Taraghuna [16] in April 750, Fennas decided it was time for action, and quickly gathered 23.000 troops to invade the Banu Hayyan, resulting in the Battle of Qal'at 'Ayyūb [17], where Fennas ibn Zari defeated the enemy with decisive use of Iberian infantry, after which the lords who submitted to Abdelhamid defected en masse, resulting in the Siege of Saraqusta, which would take 6 months until the fall of the city.

    At the same time, the Abbasids subjected the warlords to the Levant, which turned out not to be too difficult since several lords simply surrendered to the Abbasids. By 751, the entire Spanish Levant was a abbasid stronghold, and obviously the Ibrahimites wasted no time in creating opposition. Thus, an ibrahimite offensive under the command of Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri [18] in 751 defeated the Abbasid army (which had 8.000 more Berbers) decisively in the Battle of al-Ghar [19], forcing the remaining troops to stand in Taraghuna, being surrounded. As Khalid ibn Hamid was preparing to cross the Strait of Jabal Ṭāriq with an army of 32.000 soldiers.

    Fennas, after defeating the Banu Hayyan, raised more soldiers from the new lords submitted and with an army of about 50.000 troops, intervened against the ibrahimitas, subjugating the lords of Northern Catalunya and facing Yusuf in Taraghuna, the meeting would take place on the 23rd day of the 3rd month in 135 AH [20], and would be the first great battle fought by Fennas.

    The Battle of Rādis

    The battle would be fought in the vicinity of the small village of Rādis [21], just a little north of Taraghuna. Fennas' army contained about 30.000 infantry (split between berbers and iberian natives) and 20.000 cavalry (almost all berbers) while Yusuf had about 25.000 infantry and 10.000 cavalry (almost all Arabs).

    Fennas organized its center by placing the iberian infantry en masse with the berbers beside, while on both flanks were located the berber cavalry. Already Yusuf used a formation similar with his arabs, but more manipulated with the use of independent subdivisions of the army (something inherited from the junds), in addition, his more experienced corp was placed (next to him) in the rear to be able to reinforce any needs.

    The first moves of the battle were taken by Fennas, who ordered an advance from his center against the enemy line, which soon developed into a draw of attrition, although the berber infantry was somewhat fragile, the iberians in the center managed to deliver the goods.

    Soon, Yusuf sent his cavalry on the left flank to cross the nearby brook and flank the enemy through the mountains, but Fennas knew of the danger the mountains posed to him and the enemy, and sent his own cavalry to defend the passages, and as soon as the enemy passed, the berber cavalry quickly ambushed the enemy, and after a brief conflict of cavalry, quickly defeated the arabs, and after that the berber cavalry headed towards the ibrahimite rear.

    As soon as Fennas received message of success the ambush, he sent his left flank cavalry to provoke his counterpart in battle, and after holding a conflict where he was at a certain disadvantage, the berber cavalry managed to defeat the arab with support from the other wing arriving at the rear, and after that victory, both were free to crush the ibrahimite infantry from the rear, and the subsequent result was nothing less than a rout.

    166 Sem Título_20191231210815.png

    Battle of Rādis
    Green: Fennas' Army
    Pink: Ibrahimite Army
    Dark Red: Fennas' Maneuvers
    Dark Green: Ibrahimite Maneuvers

    Most of the arab force would be killed or surrendered, and the main ibrahimite force in Al-Andalus would be lost in one day, but Fennas would not be easy, shortly after the victory, he surrounded Taraghuna and sent the abbasid commander a proposal: Fennas would submit to the Caliph in Kufa and in return, the Abbasids would make Fennas Emir of Al-Andalus. After the message traveled through the Mediterranean and the response returned, Fennas would have his proposal accepted and soon the remaining 3.000 Abbasids in Taraghuna joined his army.

    The Collapse of the Rebellion and the "Establishment of Al-Andalus"
    Well, in 752, Fennas would not have much opposition, since the ibrahimitas in Andalusia were without their head (Yusuf was the governor of the ibrahimites in Al-Andalus) and without an army (since the ibrahimite manpower was quite "limited"), Fennas would campaign for the Spanish Levant before making an attack on Qurṭuba.

    The regions of Al-Gharb [22] and around Qādis [23] were invaded by Khalid ibn Hamid's troops, so the situation of the ibrahimites was quite hopeless, but even so, between 300-1200 soldiers made a last stand in Jabāl al-Shuhada [24], where after inflicting severe casualties on enemy troops, ended up being completely defeated. Following this, Fennas marched freely to Qurṭuba, establishing himself as the Emir of Al-Andalus, passing 753 establishing his control over the remaining areas.

    With that, the Banu Zari settled in the power of Al-Andalus, Fennas definitely had a lot of work to do, but the seeds for what would become Al-Andalus were planted with the rise of Fennas, nicknamed Al-Muahad [25] for the leadership of Andalus.

    [1]: Near Aguilar de Campoo, Spain
    [2]: Well, if you have been gifted with the ability to turn an invasion into a conquest of the enemy, especially in the dimensions of Faransa's conquest, you are probably favored by Allah and people see it as such. Also because he is generally a good and pious governor, the people like him, the berbers support him, and many arabs admire him.
    [3]: "Great Mosque of Qurṭuba", like most of his projects, Uqba didn't live to see it finished, but it's usually tied to him.
    [4]: From Cordoba to Carcassone, following Almadén, Pueblonuevo del Bullaque, Toledo, Molina de Aragón, Villarreal de Huerva, Zaragoza, Lleida, Manresa, Barcelona, Girona and Narbonne.
    [5]: Battle of the "Dry Coast", in case, the Desertic Three Days' Battle.
    [6]: After the multiple victories, Uqba was nicknamed "al-Manṣūr", what means, "The Victorious"
    [7]: "The Friendly"
    [8]: Langreo, Spain
    [9]: IOTL he was the leader of the berber revolt, ITTL he followed Uqba in his campaign in North Africa and basically became a subordinate, yielding to him nothing less than a recommendation for governor of Ifriqyia.
    [10]: Granada, Spain
    [11]: Soria, Spain
    [12]: "Muje" comes from the Arabic "Mueuej" which means "crooked", i.e Crooked Mountains, the location is San Pablo de los Montes, Spain.
    [13]: Palencia, Spain. The name is basically, "Valencia-the-Central" or "Valencia-on-the-Center".
    [14]: "The Gates"
    [15]: Tudela, Spain
    [16]: Tarragona, Spain
    [17]: Calatayud, Spain
    [18]: IOTL he was governor of Al-Andalus between 747 and 756, after succeeding as governor of Septimania. Here he was elected by the junds as their leader simply because he is not one of them.
    [19]: Algar de Palancia, Spain
    [20]: October 7, 751
    [21]: Reus, Spain
    [22]: Algarve
    [23]: Cádiz, Spain
    [24]: "Mount of the Martyrs", the location it's on Sierra Andújar.
    [25]: "The Unifier", also is from where came the name "Almohad", so we can say that ITTL the Almohads aren't too bad.
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 5
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Al-Andalus in the Early Age of Collapse II: The Reign of Fennas I al-Muahad

    Northern Campaigns in 754
    After settling in Andalus, al-Muahad began a ruthless hunt for the ibrahimites, killing the most prominent leaders and imprisoning several others collaborators and supporters, with the focus of their purges being on the Guadalquivir Valley, thousands of ibrahimites (and innocents in some cases) were killed during the process.

    Seeing himself for now without danger to his authority, al-Muahad primarily returned to work with his army, taking over an army of about 40.000 troops (which would be increased to 50.000 after the Banu Qāsi relinquished troops [1]) who would soon sample Fennas's power across the peninsula demanding tributes and gifts from the local lords. In the end, Fennas began a campaign against the basque tribes in the north, ending it after taking control of the Aragonese Pyrenees and converting one of the tribes to rule the area on their behalf.

    With a clear path, al-Muahad crossed the Pyrenees with his army and entered Gascony. His first opposition was the basque tribes around the Pyrenees, who were quickly defeated, but his advances would be seriously checked by Hawanalid ibn Awdu al-Saalihin [2], who ruled the region in the interests of the Ibrahimites [3]. After some skirmishes in the Adour River area, the two would clash in the Battle of Munmarasan [4], with Fennas succeeding after effectively using his numerical advantage.

    After Munmarasan, Fennas proceeded deeper into gasconian territory, confronting Hawanalid again in Bazas, where he again found victory, forcing Hawanalid to retreat to his well-fortified capital in Burdjel [5], and was subsequently surrounded by Fennas.

    But Hawanalid knew that his situation would not get any better with the ibrahimites being pushed back in the north, so he did the only thing he could do, offer surrender in exchange for keeping his land as a fiefdom. Soon al-Muahad accepted the proposal, unwilling to spend time idly, and after an oath of loyalty from Hawanalid, al-Muahad would leave some garrisons in Gascony and return to Andalus, the ibrahimites would soon fall in Faransa.

    Consolidation and the War against Wasatbahr (755-762)
    After securing his position in Gascony, Fennas turned to Andalus once more. Overthrowing small rebellions of disloyal lords, killing them and replacing them with supporters of his government. By 757, his rule over Al-Andalus was absolute, as well as an unstable rule over the basque tribes of the Aragonese Pyrenees, while receiving tribute from the Duqis of Jasikuna [6], who served as al-Muahad's eyes and ears in the complex politics of Faransa.

    He then resumed work on Uqba's projects, leading to the completion of the Qurṭuba-Karkasun road in 763 and its extention to Afyniun [7], of the Great Mosque of Qurṭuba and various irrigation works in the al-Wādī al-Kabīr Valley [8], beginning a tradition of the rulers of Al-Andalus supporting the agricultural infrastructure, contributing to the consequent agricultural revolution.

    Feeling safe, al-Muahad sent a delegate to assert a deal with Azure ibn Ṭāriq in Faransa, who successfully secured the deal, with Azure recognizing Fennas's sovereignty over Jasikuna and Ghālia [9] in exchange for a Farano-Andalusian alliance to expel the wasatbahrians from the coast, and an ndalusian army to be sent to assist Azure with the invasions from the tribes of Akba-Faransa. [10]

    With the alliance formed, Azure and Fennas mobilized their forces and laid siege to the wasatbahrian posts in Arbūnah, Masaliaan and Qubalat Al-Juzur. With the combined fleet initially defeating the wasatbahrians at sea, the situation seemed to be going well until it was decisively defeated by the brilliant admiral Ġwann al-Muntasir, the defeat resulting in the Banu Murwant [11] of Provence refusing to provide another fleet for Azure and in Fennas' subsequent unwillingness to deal with the wasatbahrians alone, hostilities soon returned to the regular pirate raids on the coast.

    Following the failed campaign against the wasatbahrians, Fennas sent an army of about 16.000 troops to help Faransa stabilize the rhine border, fulfilling the terms previously defined. Subsequently, he would spend some time solving affairs in Qurṭuba, until in 764 the Banu Qāsi sought help from the Emir after being decisively defeated by basques invading their lands, so Fennas assembles an army of about 20.000 troops and marches north, establishing camp on the site of what would later be its new capital, Madinat al-Gharb, or as it would be popularly known, Gharbīyyah [12].

    The Conquest of the North (764-767)
    Arriving on Banu Qāsi's lands, Al-Muahad was gloriously received by Musa ibn Furtun [13] in Tawdila, and receiving an additional 4.000 troops for his campaign.

    His first action was to call for help from the subdued basque tribes and Hawanalid of Jasikuna. While rapidly defeating the Basques who had invaded the Banu Qāsi, within a month's time, the campaign had kicked the basques from Musa's former lands. With Fennas offering mercy (and the right to settle on land) to basque migrants in exchange for their conversion to Islam and abandonment of their tribal allegiance.

    After (re)establishing control in the region, Fennas set out to put an end to the problem once and for all, with 16.000 asque troops from the subjugated tribes and Jasikuna joining Fennas, he went on the offensive, subjugating the invading basque tribes with one month, and within a four-month period, converting most tribes by the sword and founding military posts to maintain control of the region, the area would be extensively rebellious for a long time, but establishing an administrative system for the tribal chiefs themselves to settle would facilitate the suppression of revolts (which would be largely from the population).

    With the conquest of the basques completed, Fennas dismissed the Banu Qāsi, Jasikuna and Basque troops with significant financial compensation for his vassals. And spent time overseeing the region, in his meantime overseeing, he would make the decision to establish a capital in the area, elevating his military post to a city (and subsequently starting construction).

    In 766, Fennas raised an army of 23.000 soldiers to end another risk to his power, the Kingdom of Asturias. The invasion would be a fatal blow to the Asturians, who would be quickly defeated and forced to seek refuge in the mountains as half a century ago. Fennas used the same system as with the basques, establishing military posts to prevent the success of revolts and to serve as a base to purge the mountains of rebels.

    The (somewhat) consolidation of andalusian rule in Asturias would last until 767. By then only a few rebels would be hiding in the mountains, at one time or another raiding the military posts. Fennas would return to Qurṭuba, gathering his things and subsequently moving the bureaucracy and everything important north, where Madinat al-Gharb was being built.

    Peaceful Last Years and the Founding of Gharbīyyah (767-774)
    The years between the end of Fennas' Asturian campaign and his death were mostly peaceful, with the main event being the construction of Gharbīyyah. During this time, al-Muahad patronized several poets and scholars to make their presence in the new capital, founding a library and an art gallery in the city [14], which would foster the rise of Al-Andalus literary-artistic culture.

    Infrastructure works were established in the Dawrih River Valley [15], with old roman aqueducts being renovated and the establishment of similar irrigation systems to that of al-Wādi al-Kibir, encouraging the re-establishment of intensive agriculture in the region, and subsequently significantly increasing al-Muahad's revenue.

    Meanwhile, Fennas prepared his eldest son, Idris, to succeed him as Emir, while appointing his other two sons, Yasin and Fayad to work i the administration of al-Mawsat and Galīsiya, respectively [16]. None of his youngest sons was particularly ambitious, though Fayad showed good military skills.

    The rapidly thriving region around Gharbīyyah leaded to a migration of people from the south to the Dawrih Valley, leading in the coming decades to exponential growth in cities such as Balālwalid, Balansiyyah al-Markaza, Semurāh, Salamanka, Sūriah [17] and, of course, Gharbīyyah.

    After becoming ill in the winter of 773, Fennas ibn Zari al-Muahad would die in April 774, not ending but beginning an era and a nation, with his Emirate being passed safely to his son, Idris ibn Fennas al-Rumiin [18], which would be as (or even more) consequential than his father.

    [1]: The Banu Qāsi acknowledged the overlordship of Fennas for the security of their own lands, so...they're just making their part of the deal
    [2]: OTL Hunald I of Aquitaine, after Tours, Gascony was integrated into the muslim domain by the conversion of Hunald to Islam while Odo remained in Aquitaine (eventually succeeded by his other son Hatton) and would eventually be the main christian power in the politics of Faransa (securing his position by helping in Uqba's invasion)
    [3]: Hawanalid basically recognized the overlordship of the ibrahimites to be capable of fight against his brother Hatton in better terms
    [4]: Mont-de-Marsan, France
    [5]: Bordeaux, France
    [6]: Dukes (arabization) of Gascony
    [7]: Avignon, France
    [8]: Guadalquivir River
    [9]: Septimania, the name is because the visigoths called Septimania simply "Gallia"
    [10]: The Thuringii are pushing west, and with "west" i say "Crossing the Rhine"
    [11]: Sons of Mauronte, Duke of Provence, they converted along with Grifo and are lords of the lands designated as OTL County of Provence
    [12]: "The City of the West", with the nickname being just a "citynamization". The location is Aranda de Duero, Spain
    [13]: Furtun ibn Qāsi died and Musa is his son, just making it clear
    [14]: What would Al-Andalus be without its charming cultural eccentricity?
    [15]: Douro River
    [16]: Andalusia proper and Galicia, respectively
    [17]: Valladolid, Palancia, Zamora, Salamanca and Soria
    [18]: "The Roman", heh, stay tuned.
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 6
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    The Struggle of Faransa: Azure al-Tahamul

    Enormous Work (754-760)
    Faransa after the First Ibrahimite Rebellion was devastated, with the period of chaos that reigned during the rebellion taking away several harvests and the little prosperity of the cities of the still mainly-rural Faransa, with hunger and conflicts over scarce resources being spread across the country. The responsibility to resolve this rested with Azure ibn Ṭāriq, the Emir of Faransa with his seat at Wughdinu.

    Shortly after his appointment as Emir by the Abbasid Caliph, Azure would summon all the lords of Faransa to the capital in order to receive his oaths of loyalty and also to be able to (literally) note all the lords, to ensure that nothing changes drastically without he knowing it. The Al-Dustur al-Sharif [1] would be enacted after that meeting, outlining all the vassal families and their lands in Faransa, both Muslim and Christian, in addition to their duties as vassals of the Emir by Faransa's right, the immediate families (it being, who only answer to the Emir's authorities) are as follows:

    ● The Banu Awdu, Duqis of Uqytnia [2], with seat in Tawlusā [3]
    ● The Banu Pippin, Mayurdumus of Asiyah [4], with seat in Rymī [5]
    ● The Banu Meroveg, Mayurdumus of Barish, with seat in Barish [6]
    ● The Banu Harifū, Duqis of Sysmanih, with seat in Smanw [7]
    ● The Banu Murwant, Sheikhs of Bryfanse, with seat in Āish [8]
    ● The Banu Abo, Duqis of Al-Alb, with seat in Fabih [9]
    ● The Banu Hasan, Sheikhs of Fyfeh, with seat in Fyfeh [10]
    ● The Banu Godomar, Duqis of Burgndyia, with seat in Dayjun [11]
    ● The Banu Gharīfu, Mayurdumus of Nystrah, with seat in Rumajūsh [12]
    ● The Banu Lothar, Duqis of Mytis, with seat in Mytis [13]
    ● The Banu Thywdhbāl, Duqis of Almāniya (technically, in practice, they're Duqis of Yilsash, with seat in Strāshburgh [14]
    ● The Banu Raimund, Sheikhs of Dulaa, with seat in Dulaa [15]
    ● The Banu Māsiwa, Sheikhs of Awyunās, with seat in Awyunās [16]
    ● The Banu Bernhard, Sheikhs of Muliāh, with seat in Muliāh [17]
    ● The Banu Yusuf, Sheikhs of Bayzantih, with seat in Bayzantih [18]
    ● The Banu Armin, Sheikhs of Lusana, with seat in Lusana [19]

    Screenshot_20200123-092737-1.jpg

    The Immediate Lands of Faransa

    With that, Azure started work on Faransa's internal diplomacy, finding allies in the Banu Meroveg of Barish and the Banu Lothar of Mytis, engaging his daughters Nunja and Zahra for the heirs of both, respectively. After the meeting, Azure raised an army of 14.000 soldiers and set out on a campaign to stabilize the country, receiving levies from his vassals along the way, although he managed to erase several ukhawias in the north of the country (including gathering several of them in a possession of the emir, Phenelyia [20]), resolve conflicts between the Banu Abo and the Banu Murwant [21] (basically favoring the Murwant claim to the domain of Bryfanse) and defeat the Bakhyians at the Battle of Ghūskur [22] (although the rest of campaign in Bakhyia was unsuccessful), Azure was unable to succeed in his siege against the Ukhawia of Al-Hafar, which was giving asylum to the ibrahimite leaders, and also failed to eliminate Minathulaty and Nuteqali from the map.

    In 758, Azure would finally end his 4-year campaign, settling on Wughdinu to finally manage his possessions, ordering the conversion of Église Saint-Paul to a mosque [23], the reconstruction and renovation of the roman thermae in the city [24] and several other construction works expanding and developing the city, including a renovation of the walls and the renovation of the old roman theater, what would start the development of a pattern in faranish culture in relation to theaters, which would last until present-day.

    Outside Wughdinu, Azure started building a road from the city to Tawlun [25], with support from the Sheikhs of Bryfanse and a renovation of the roman road from Fiyināh [26] to Lusana. With the establishment of Emir's possessions in Phenelyia and Al-Shamaliu, Azure also paid special attention there, with the construction of Ribats in Bahrfira, Kamray and G'ysh [27] to ensure the safety of their possessions against possible attacks by Nuteqali and Bakhyia, respectively.

    The vassals also contributed to the development of Faransa, of course, with the beginning of a process of "acculturation" in the region [28], cities like Dayjun, Barish, Tawlusā and Wughdinu started a process of gradual but exponential growth, with the arabs soon bringing its new irrigation and agriculture techniques to Faransa (those with even greater development to occur), allowing the region to slowly regain its prosperity from roman times, while culturally, various roman (and frankish!!!) works in the region were translated into arabic [29], and with that translation works, the development of linguistical, economical and historical studies of the region, bringing potential social mobility for the local christians as many peasants eventually turned into scholars for language, economy and history, as the arabs also brought the madrasahs with them.

    However, not everything was bliss, as the border regions in the north and east constantly suffered raids from Bakhyia, Brittany and the Germanic tribes, hindering significantly development there, as the local lords tried to figure out how stop these raids (eventually they arrived at the conclusion that Ribat-style fortifications are the way to go but yeah, eventually), until the germans stopped raiding...........They went to invade Faransa.

    Franco-Thuringian Crossing of the Rhine, Wasatbahrian Campaign, Nabeel ibn Azure and the First Farano-Bavarian War (761-769)
    The Franco-Thuringian invasion has its roots well in the creation of Faransa, that is, in the collapse of the Frankish Kingdom.

    The Surbi or Suribiiyn [30] since their separation from Samo's Tribal Union, have continued to raid the lands of the Thuringii, but whenever major moves to the region were made, the Franks resolved the situation in favor of the Thuringii, returning the slavs to vassal status. However, the collapse of Francia in 741 changed the entire political situation in the region, with the power vacuum being felt almost instantly.

    First, Duke Odilo of Bavaria invaded the possessions of the Alemanni, who after finding themselves unable to effectively fight the Bavarian invasion, retreated to behind the Rhine, killing the Duke of Alsace and establishing themselves as Dukes of Alemanni-in-exile in 742, Thywdhbāl [31] would convert to Islam to secure the support of the muslim governor of Faransa, al-Waddi.

    But the important thing is that, with the collapse of frankish power in Germania, the Surbi had a free rein in their attacks against the Thuringii, which gradually forced their displacement, until a mass emigration occurred between 752 and 757, towards to the lands of the frankish tribes to the east of the Rhine [32], with the situation in the region being somewhat chaotic.

    Soon, in 761, a confederation between the thuringian migrants and the franconians was formed for the "greater good" of both peoples, and then, led by the thuringian tribal chief Berthar, an army of 40.000 Germans crossed the Rhine towards Faransa, capturing the small fortified town of Mirqin [33] and thereafter rushing in the area between the Saraf and Mawsil Rivers [34], defeating Marcomir son of Lothar at the Battle of Fiiny [35], soon putting him and the rest of his troops under siege in his capital of Mytis, while messengers ran to Wughdinu for help from Azure, and while the Franco-Thuringians crossed the Rhine en masse to settle in new lands.

    Upon receiving the news, Azure hurried to join an army, demanding his vassals to also contribute troops, soon gathering 30.000 soldiers in Bar [36] under the command of his eldest son Nabeel al-Almāniu [37], who enthusiastically commanded the army, crossing the Mawsil in June 762 and completely defeating the Franco-Thuringians at Mytis, subsequently engaging in a long campaign against the tribes that settled on the west-bank of the Rhine, which would last until the end of 763, when the problem would become greater.

    At the same time, Azure commanded his campaign against the Ukhawia of Wasatbahr in the south, and as previously mentioned twice, it failed significantly, but its effects were greater than anticipated, as this resulted in the Banu Murwant revolting (which was suppressed with the troops "borrowed" by Fennas al-Muahad.) and Azure's eventual decision to simply withdraw from the conflict in order to avoid more revolts.

    While Nabeel cleared the region of the tribes one by one, apparently, more arrived in the direction south, settling in the lands of the Duqis of Almāniya and basically surrounding them in Strāshburgh, with the slow but steady advance of Nabeel in the north, the franconian tribes in the region called for help from Athalwolf of Bavaria [38] in exchange for their subjugation, seeing the opportunity, Athalwolf assembled an army of 20.000 men and crossed the Rhine in late 763, ending the Siege of Strāshburgh, capturing the entire Banu Thywdhbāl family and subsequently killing them. Bavaria's entry into the war also coincided with a new franco-thuringian army of 40,000 warriors crossing the Saraf, showing that 764 would be a difficult year for Faransa.

    Nabeel initially went to answer the Bavarian invasion, but news of the new franco-thuringian army convinced him to change the direction of the march to the Saraf, where on 6 May, the armies met on the plains around Jirmundāh [39], with the result being again favorable to the faranish army, but with the franco-thuringians managing to retreat to Mirqin again, with that, Narbeel sent a small contingent of 10,000 men to finish the job, while he commanded the rest (16.000 thanks to casualties-in-battle) against the Bavarians.

    In the campaign against the Bavarians, Nabeel had secondary support from the Sheikhs of Gharbrayn, who united against a possible bavarian invasion of their lands from Yilsash. However, Athalwolf was already marching north to help the franco-thuringians, and soon the two armies met on June 27 at one of the al-Fawj passes [40], where, using extensively heavy cavalry and infantry to block the pass (and denying the enemy's numerical superiority), Nabeel was able to breach severe casualties against the bavarian army, forcing Athalwolf to retreat.

    The rest of the campaign followed with the bavarian army being defeated again in another battle outside Strāshburgh (18 August), forcing Athalwolf to cross the Rhine back to Bavaria while Nabeel campaigned against the franconian tribes in Yilsash, with a grateful help from the local Alemanni [41].

    By 765, most of the problems had been resolved, with the franco-thuringians returning to behind the Saraf River and the bavarians to the east of the Rhine (but in political terms the invasion paid off as it ended any challenge to the bavarian claims in Swabia.), with Azure honoring his son after his arrival in Wughdinu, what was missing was to make that security last, and Azure (already in his 60s) guaranteed that this would be his last great mission as the Emir of Faransa.

    First, Azure made a deal with the Banu Lothar and the franco-thuringian tribes on their land, enabling the tribes to maintain their settlements (which would be fortified to become points of defense against possible invasions) in exchange for their conversion to Islam and help with soldiers for the army (and they gladly accepted). After that, he took the Banu Thywdhbāl lands for himself, appointing a governor of alemanni stock to take over the region in his place, with the aim of gaining even more sympathy from the locals, and well, he would succeed.

    But to secure the border for good, Azure sent Nabeel for another campaign, a raid against the Franco-Thuringian Confederation, not to capture any kind of loot (though they captured anyway), but to collapse the Confederacy and destroy the threat to the border. And well, half the work had already been done, with the lack of success in the two campaigns having divided a good part of the confederation tribes (mainly between Franconians and Thuringians), Nabeel's attack only gave the coup de grace, eliminating any kind of unity between the confederation and effectively ending the danger to Faransa, with the region turning into a patch of franconian and thuringian tribes.

    With Bavaria it was something else, Azure just ordered the armies of the Sheikhs of Gharbrayn to finish the work with constant raids to the kingdom, in 767 Athalwolf would be overthrowed in Bavaria partially because of these raids, with Berthold [42] eventually ending the raids after sending a great tribute to Azure in Wughdinu.

    Azure's last years would be mostly peaceful, with him doing his utmost to guarantee the rise of Nabeel as his successor over his other two brothers Maqsu and Arlynu [43], anyway, his death in the beginning of 769 generated everything that he wanted to avoid...

    Instability, a lot of it.

    [1]: "The Noble Code", basically a list of all the noble families of Faransa, their lands, their rights and their duties as vassals. It allows Azure to keep an eye on its enemies and entrench its allies, however, it ends up legitimizing its enemies somewhat too, and anyway, long-term it will have big consequences
    [2]: Sons of Odo, but it's the christian branch. Hatton (who succeded Odo in Aquitaine) managed to maintain his large territory by basically helping the moorish invasion and subsequently being wise in the politics
    [3]: Toulouse, France
    [4]: Sons of Pepin, with their first ruler being Hieronymus, son of Charles Martel, he arrived there by leading a christian revolt against the ibrahimites and thereafter joining the political game of Faransa. The title Mayurdumu is an arabization of Majordomo, as the arabs interpreted it as a noble title
    [5]: Reims, France
    [6]: Sons of Meroveg, or, the Merovingians, they're here because they played nice with the arabs, basically, after the ibrahimites went to shambles Childeric installed himself in Barish and turned to pay loyalty for Azure
    [7]: Sons of Charivius, basically the Dukes of Maine, they declared themselves vassals of Azure but in practice they're ibrahimites. The seat is at Le Mans, France
    [8]: Sons of Mauronte, they're here since frankish times so...they gave a help for the muslim invasion and maintained their lands. The seat is at Aix-en-Provence, France
    [9]: Sons of Abbo, the frankish Patrician of Provence, the Bishop of Fabih turned himself in a somewhat secular figure, but then he died, and Abbo had family connections with him so he just took the land for himself. The seat is at Gap, France
    [10]: They're berbers, nothing too special about them. The seat is at Viviers, France
    [11]: They claim descent from the last Burgundian King Godomar, and just ran into place. They (together with the Banu Pippin and Awdu) are somewhat rallying points for the christians in Faransa
    [12]: Sons of Grifo, as sons of Grifo (who have somewhat the reputation Count Julian in Andalus) they gained a fief in Neustria from the ibrahimites, so you can guess that, yeah, they're ibrahimites. The seat is at Rouen, France
    [13]: They're leaders from a frankish tribe that just said "Fuck this i want some thicc land on the other side of the Rhine" and after that entered the politics of Faransa. The seat is at Metz, France
    [14]: Basically, Muslim Alemannia-in-Exile, the bavarians don't like it. The seat is at Strasbourg, France
    [15]: Just an native sheikh, nothing important. The seat is at Dola, France
    [16]: These are berbers, as the mountainous terrain at the region is good for pasture. The seat is at Oyonnax, France
    [17]: Other native sheikh, though he is important because he controls some gorgeous salt mines. The seat is at Lons-le-Saunier, France (and the name means literally "(City of) Salt"
    [18]: Arabs right there, they're of Yemeni stock and remained out of the ibrahimite controversy since they were too occupied warring with the other lords. The seat is at Besançon, France
    [19]: They're not natives, they're of burgundian (germanic) descent, though as of now they are pretty much nativized, they still have pride of their germanic ancestry. The seat is at Lausanne, Switzerland (omg a seat that isn't in France :0).
    [20]: The name comes from the roman name that comes from the name of a gaulish tribe in the region
    [21]: Murwant was a rebel after all, heh, Abbo wants his control over Provence back, basically
    [22]: Goyencourt, France
    [23]: Here we go, Franco-Muslim Architecture!
    [24]: Muslim cleanliness being active right here, Lyon has actually a lot of roman stuff preservated so we can actually maintain it as a thing
    [25]: Toulon, France
    [26]: Vienne, France
    [27]: Saint-Lô, Cambrai and Guise
    [28]: OTL Carolingian Renaissance somewhat happening earlier TTL, though its consequences will be a lot more widespread, it will be a "slow but steady" thing
    [29]: Roman/Frankish-Arab Translation Mania, the same thing is happening with the abbasids about greco-persian stuff
    [30]: The Sorbs
    [31]: Theudebald, OTL Duke of Alemannia from 730 'til 745
    [32]: The Franconians to be more exact, they are far from being strong enough to resist the thuringian invasion, so they end up being defeated and crowded into a even bigger melting pot with the thuringians and fleeing alemanni tribes.
    [33]: Saarburg, Germany
    [34]: Saar and Moselle rivers, respectively
    [35]: Vigny, France
    [36]: Bar-le-Duc, France
    [37]: "The Alemannian", more on that later but this will be pretty important
    [38]: He thinks that the King is his puppet, he's right
    [39]: Sarreguemines, France
    [40]: The Vosgues
    [41]: No one likes have their land invaded, y'know
    [42]: More crazy things happening in Bavaria heh, stay tuned for the next update
    [43]: Arabized names for "Maximus" and "Arlenus"

    And yes i know that my footnotes are giantnotes.
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 7
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Germania After the Franks I: The Short Bavarian Hegemony


    The Reign of King Odilo the Great (741-747)
    With the fall of Francia to the west, Duke Odilo of Bavaria quickly mobilized forces to take advantage, marching with an army of 14.000 soldiers against the lands of Alemannia, resulting in his victory against the numerically inferior forces of Duke Theudebald of Alemannia at the Battle of the Hall [1], and subsequently the establishment of his domain in Swabia, as Theudebald fled with the rest of his army across the Rhine setting up shop in Alsace and converting to Islam, ensuring good relations with the local authorities.

    After expelling Theudebald, Duke Odilo would have to spend an entire year campaigning against swabian rebels, who were somewhat intolerant of converting to Christianity, forcing Odilo to convert the tribes by the sword and also effectively establishing his rule over the region, however, the Rhaetian Dukes of Cuira [2] were given significant autonomy in their domain over alpine territories in exchange for their loyalty to the Bavarians.

    With his problems in the west - partially - resolved, Odilo turned east, where Carantania [3] was having trouble against avar incursions in the region, and soon, Prince Borut would ask for help from Odilo, who proceeds to help and defeat the avars, subsequently causing the conversion of Borut and several of his people to Christianity, and they becoming vassals of Odilo.

    With these victories secured, Odilo would return to Regensburg, where Athalwolf, one of his noble allies, had spent Odilo's absence by eliminating rival noble and establishing influence over the young heir to the throne, Tassilo. Athalwolf would gain even more influence after Odilo's coronation as Rex Bavariae in 744, with the subsequent revolt of the bavarian nobles allowing Athalwolf's faction almost absolute support, including from Prince Borut, who took part in suppressing the rebellion.

    Now-King Odilo and Athalwolf put support for the creation of the dioceses of Krinsgád and Graschïk [4] in the country of the Carantanians, with the objective of establishing a permanent missionary force in the country, much requested by Prince Borut. Pope Zachary [5] sanctioned the creation of the dioceses, placing them under the control of Boniface [6], who had settled in Konstanz after the fall of Francia, this is also how the creation of the Archbishopric of Konstanz occurred, overseeing all of Germania [7].

    With Boniface's help, Odilo participated in the establishment of several monasteries in Swabia, particularly to help him control the region, and permanently convert it to the Christian faith, in addition to being a good way to neutralize his enemies. Soon, benedictine monasteries spread across Swabia, helping in the (real) conversion of local pagans.

    With the death of King Odilo in 746, Tassilo became King Tassilo III, and Athalwolf was quickly confirmed as the regent of the 5 year old, beginning his "reign" in Bavaria.

    Athalwolf's "Reign" (746-757)
    Athalwolf's Hegemony started well, with relative prosperity occurring thanks to the (somewhat) stabilization of Italy in the south during the Byzantine Civil War, allowing for an increase in transalpine trade (controlled by Bavaria) even with Wasatbahr's pirates at work.

    The first important thing that occurred in those years was Borut's death in 748, with him being succeeded by his son Gorazd, who would soon rule until 751, when he died in a battle against a avar raiding party, being succeeded by his brother Hotimir, who would raise the first church in Krinsgád and, more importantly, would have a great participation in bavarian politics.

    Athalwolf's main act during those times was to go on campaigns against avar and germanic raiding parties, in addition to the patronization of Boniface's missions, which tried to convert the germans further north, eventually he would be killed in 756 by the Frisians of Bakhyia [8], with Athalwolf managing to push the nomination of his son, Theudfried, as Archbishop of Konstanz [9].

    Athalwolf paid close attention to the thuringian migration towards Franconia, as this threatened the balance of power among the franconian chiefdoms, in addition to his own influence around the areas around Würzburg, thanks to his control of the Archbishop. He would intervene in 755, winning the Battle of Karlstadt [10] against a thuringian army, guaranteeing his control over the region around Würzburg and probably affecting the thuringians' decision to cross the Rhine.

    But for the Bavarians, the thuringian migration was just an inconvenience, the real threat would come in 757. With the migration of slavs towards the Danube, primarily the Czechs and Moravians under avar sovereignty, forcing Athalwolf to stop everything he was doing and put together a army to stop such a movement, the military campaign against the slavs would result in the Battle of Nickepal [11], where Athalwolf was defeated by the forces of a Czech Knyaz named Ljubomir, which would have great repercussions in the future, with the slavs managing to settle in the region and demand tribute from Athalwolf in exchange for not raiding Bavaria.

    The Decline and the Fall of Athalwolf (757-767)
    In addition to his prestige and strength being weakened, Athalwolf had to make the decision to withdraw his capital from Regensburg (as it is so close to the border with the Slavs) and move it to Augsburg. It is after the defeat at Nickepal that the first noble conspiracies against the power of Athalwolf begin to gain strength, giving boldness to the now greater opposition. All this time, Hotimir was analyzing the situation as a outsider, waiting for the right moment to attack, or in his case, revolt.

    In 760 there was the last revolt among the swabian Alemanni, where the rebels just were not able to siege Athalwolf in Augsburg on account of nobles loyal to Athalwolf breaking the rebellion, but the situation had clearly deteriorated. However, Athalwolf saw one last opportunity to reaffirm himself as absolute governor of Bavaria (and also to eliminate the Alemanni from Alsace) in the Franco-Thuringian invasion of Faransa, and soon mobilized an army (also relying on carantanian levies) to invade Alsace in aid to the Franco-thuringians.

    Initially everything was (surprisingly) very easy, although the local Alemanni threatened their supply lines, Athalwolf had done away with the Banu Thywdhbāl and was by a victory against the muslims to have almost completed his entire mission. However, the decision to rush to the aid of the Franco-Thuringians to gain their confidence (and eventually subdue them) [12] made it possible for Nabeel to ambush Athalwolf at the Vosges, and the rapid collapse of his efforts west of the Rhine, resulting in a even greater loss of prestige for Athalwolf.

    Soon after returning defeated to Bavaria in 765, everything went out of control, with Hotimir finally revolting against Athalwolf and a group of noble opponents abducting Tassilo III to start their own Augsburg-based revolt. There was a brief civil war, where Athalwolf was defeated thanks to the decisive participation of the Carantanians, who would subsequently ensure their independence.

    By 767, Bavaria had re-emerged under the rule of Tassilo III (now independent-ish) and Berthold, a noble advisor who led the efforts against Athalwolf. Hotimir lost his status as a bavarian vassal and Archbishop Theudfried was allowed to keep his lands in exchange for recognizing the fall of the Athalwolf government and "collaborating with the system".

    At the same time, the Czechs took Regensburg and what was left of the land on the other side of the Danube, slowly starting a conflict that would last for generations, rulers and states alike [13], inspiring future cultural separations between the nations of Dütschland and Slovenija, stay tuned.

    This is the first of three chapters covering post-frankish Germania, the next chapter will be about Bakhyia and Saxony, and all the mess going on there. And the other is about the Wends, where we'll see, well, how all this shit happened from a more detailed POV.

    Any questions or comments are welcome ;)
    [1]: Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
    [2]: Chur, Switzerland. They basically control a land similarly shaped as the roman province of Rhaetia, though it's more centralized on the alpine territories as the lowlands are subject to direct bavarian control
    [3]: A Slav Principality in the territories of OTL Austria and surroundings, they are alpine slavs akin to the Slovenians
    [4]: Maria Saal and Graz, Austria. If you think "wtf this just looks slavic fairly germanized" it's because it is ;)
    [5]: The same from OTL, though in a completely different context, as you soon see, Italy was briefly a mess after the fall of the franks
    [6]: Saint Boniface, though for him the Fall of Francia certainly was a great shock, he have more work to do, especially with all the mess that Germany now is
    [7]: Replacing OTL Archbisphoric of Mainz, that was created with the same background (i.e being Boniface's episcopal see)
    [8]: He tried and tried, but the Bakhyians really dislike christians heh, so he was murdered :v
    [9]: Yep, this is high nepotist bullshit, but at least Theudfried is, in fact, a religious man, so...could be worse i think. Ah, and thanks to this nepotist bullshit the Archbishops of Konstanz rule some lands around Lake Constance.
    [10]: Karlstadt an Main, Germany
    [11]: Germanization of the name "Německé Pole", transliterated, "German Field"
    [12]: He still have a great ability in making political machinations, and he trusts such ability way too much
    [13]: Guess what...We're seeing some of TTL historical trends developing right now
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 8
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Germania After the Franks II: The Begginings of Bakhyia


    Foundation of the Lowlands (750-757)
    Bakhyia emerged in an obscure period in the region, with chaos reigning over Faransa, the area was open to suffer at the hands of Saxon and Ibrahimite raids. After news of the beyond poor ibrahimite treatment of Christians, the local population also did not intend to declare allegiance to the rebels.

    In this time of chaos, the zaidi community in the small town of Broekzele [1] was of great importance, with the zaidis entering into an agreement with the local christian population for the creation of an alliance for self-defense, which quickly counted on the participation of rural communities on the areas around the city, and without much spilled blood, the most important locations in the north of the former roman province of Gallia Belgica were united under the leadership of Broekzele's Zaidis.

    With the formation of the alliance in 750, Bakhyia's first victory was the Battle of Musāh [2], where an army of 7.000 bakhyians defeated a great saxon raiding party, giving great credibility to the zaidis and legitimizing their leadership.

    After a successful year of defending their territories, groups of frisians began to join the alliance, with the conversion of one of the group's leaders to Islam in turn to cement the alliance and ensure the good treatment of the pagans under the zaidis, thereby emerging the figure of Arend, a frisian chief from the outskirts of Urekt [3], who quickly made his name by defeating saxon raids in the north, making him popular in Bakhyia, and of course, attracting the attention of Broekzele's Zaidis. At the first meeting [4] of the Bakhyians in 753, Arend was appointed by the Imām Talib al-Alb [5] as commander against threats from the south, that is, against the Ibrahimites.

    In 754, the ibrahimites sent an army to subdue Bakhyia, surrounding Broekzele and forcing Arend to narrowly escape the city to gather reinforcements. This resulted, on August 19, in the Battle of Broekzele, where Arend and his 14.000 soldiers defeated the ibrahimite army (which had about 25.000 soldiers), saving Bakhyia and giving the army the final blow in the Battle of Almina 'Kabir [6], resulting in a large territorial expansion of the alliance to the south.

    After that campaign, Arend returned to his "normal life" of fighting Saxons, while he was celebrated by the population as a hero, and subsequently causing the conversion of several to Islam on his behalf. He would lead a raid against the saxons that would devastate much of the most western parts of Saxony, only to stop marching in the capital Marklo due to dangers at home.

    These dangers would be another invasion from the south, this time from the Faranes, who had already defeated a Bakhyian army at the Battle of Ghūskur, Arend gathered all the forces he could and faced the enemy in Āt [7], where he achieved a crucial victory against Azure, however the losses did not destroy Azure's army, they only forced it to retreat to the territories previously taken [8]. Not wanting to cause their own death, the bakhyians were content to lose a piece of territory in exchange for maintaining their long-term independence.

    Consolidation, the Seas and Imām Arind (757-766)
    After the Battle of Āt, Bakhyia was able to start greater internal work, now with Arend taking care of the saxon border that was quiet for the day, Imām Talib soon started to develop a more advanced form of government, still based on the initial idea of alliance, but with a more centralized turn.

    The most important part of the government was Huquq al-Madina, or, City Rights [9], where each city recognized by the Imām in Broekzele received privileges of self-government, free trade and the right to send advisers to the Shura [10]. Such self-government was done through councils organized by the city itself, and how other things worked depended on city to city, some, like Urekt and Kalis [11], had an elected qayid to govern the city as an executive, while others developed a larger chamber to serve as an executive, with a central head only being elected in an emergency (as in military operations), examples of the late are Grunnyn [12] and Alaakoe [13].

    The aforementioned Shura became a kind of parliament, with each recognized city sending 3 representatives to the Shura, all actions of the Imām should be consulted by representatives of the cities that would be affected by the decisions, and among them a simple majority approved or disapproved a decision, obviously, in matters of national level, all of the Shura are consulted. One note however, for you to be a representative at the Shura, you must be a muslim.

    The establishment of this style of government (which was officially promulgated in 759) greatly benefited the commercial ability of Bakhyian citizens, and also the cities, since you needed to be in one to have political power, many migrated to cities in search of an influence in the government. This trade was increased by the naval presence of the ukhawias, who were in the midst of their expansion into the northern seas, also influencing coastal cities to develop their own fleets, which would result in the first conflict after the consolidation of Bakhyia.

    The main commercial activity of the bakhyians was the sale of agricultural surplus, but it soon became simple commercial traffic and its benefits, with cities importing products from the ukhawias and their fortunes from the north, processing them, and reselling south, this relationship was mainly present with the ukhawias of Juzuralqna and Nuteqali.

    As a result, during this period the rise of manufacturing activity in Bakhyia began, with the processing of amber, wool, fur and other products [14] becoming a profitable and extensive activity throughout the country, although the work is still recent and not perfected as in later years, bakhyian products would soon become popular in the regions north of the mediterranean.

    In the meantime, Imām Talib died in 764, and soon a new governor had to be elected, the result was the almost unanimous choice on Arend as Imām, that is, Imām Arind [15]. His first actions as Imām were to build fortifications on the frontiers, some that in the future would become cities in their own right, such as Alaakoe, Lūk, Dūtingen and Rijsel [16], significantly improving Bakhyia's defense against raids.

    Another important measure was Arind's patronization of commercial expeditions to the east and north, which were already taking place as a way of ensuring the supply of raw materials (such as amber and iron) by cutting the middlemen (the ukhawias), giving prominence to the merchant class that eventually emerged. At the same time, Arind built mosques in major cities, and the process of urban expansion continued even further as time passed, and with that, a surprisingly rapid adaptation of the local population to Islam [17].

    Everything looks very beautiful right? But the world of commerce is dangerous, and the first war on this fierce world would take place under the reign of Arind.

    King Offa's War, the Channel Clash and Saxon Invasion (766-771)
    On the other side of the Dovár Strait [18], Brittania was undergoing the (re)creation of Mercia's hegemony, which after the rise of King Offa was emerging again. Offa quickly subdued Essex and Sussex [19], with everything looking under control until then. However, when Offa invaded Kent in 766, the result would be much greater'n'worse than he imagined.

    The invasion of Kent was followed by Eardwulf of Kent crying out for help from his business partners across the channel, in exchange for concessions and commercial benefits in the country, seeing the opportunity, the ukhawias of Juzuralqna and Nuteqali responded to the call with the bakhyian cities of Kalis, Aantwarp, Teksel and Allamaniem [20] following up as well.

    Soon they sent a large fleet carrying 21.000 mercenaries, among them, faranishmen, bakhyians, saxons and al-Mughtaribin [21], who disembarked in Dovár under the command of al-Mughtaribin Hāzim ibn Asad, marching to meet the forces of Eardwulf, resulting in the Battle of Mædestein [22], where Offa of Mercia and his army were routed by Eardwulf and his mercenaries. The victory ensured Kent's independence for the time being, but Offa wasn't going to give up so easily, so he called his allies into the fray, while gathering another army to invade Kent.

    Its allies were, basically, the other ukhawias, being: Alskatsegira, Minathulaty and Al-Hafar. With 767 starting with the beginning of the fight over the channel, which is summed up in a lot of piracy, giving a drastic affect in other people's businesses, and raids, many of them.

    Piracy and raids soon affected Bakhyia on a national scale, when a squadron of ships brought in 4.000 soldiers who surrounded Kalis, only to retreat after a five times larger bakhyian army appeared, resulting in the Shura entering a near-unanimous agreement on war, and well, Arind indeed waged war.

    The first battles of the general war were naval, mainly between groups of raiders protecting or attacking merchant cargo, and of course, the occasional attack on unprotected coastal settlements. The first real battle was an engagement between a fleet of 48 alkatsegiran ships and a fleet of 55 bakhyian ships at the Suðern Bóht [23], where the bakhyians emerged victorious, guaranteeing their control of the eastern entrance to the Channel by 767, after winning other engagements in the Strait of Dovár, causing widespread commercial losses for the enemy ukhawias, and with that, an effective economic slaughter against the enemies.

    In 768, Offa invaded Kent again, this time with an army of 28.000 soldiers, and this time managing to defeat Eardwulf and his mercenaries at the Battle of Sewonark [24], but not destroying his army, which would retreat across the country to secure itself in the Battle of Folkstein [25] with the help of levies leaving their ships to reinforce the battle (after Kent's allies won a simultaneous naval battle), forcing Offa to retreat and allow Eardwulf to control the far east of Kent.

    At sea, Bakhyia and his allies suffered defeats on the channel, allowing breathing room for Mercia's allies, despite the strategically decisive victory in Folkstein to counterbalance that. We had the first engagement recorded in the Baltic Sea, the Battle of the Blekinge [26], where a small group of ships from Minathulaty defeated a Bakhyian merchant fleet that had landed in the region.

    In 769, everything would go downhill when Cynewulf of Wessex invaded Sussex (under Mercia's sovereignty), opening a second front against Mercia and Eadbehrt of Northrumbia invasion south into Mercia (which despite only looting the north of Mercia is also something for if any), and soon Offa tried to make peace with Eardwulf, promising to return all his land and at the same time asking for help from the mercenaries who were serving under Eardwulf to help him in exchange for a raise in their salaries, and well...both accepted.

    However, the war between muslims was not over yet, and Bakhyia insisted on doing everything to end it in his favor, defeating a united enemy fleet of 152 ships with a fleet of 78 ships + allies (about 120 ships) in the Battle of Wit [27], resulting in total bakhyian superiority in the channel. After this victory, Bakhyia and his allies would join a force to surround Minathulaty and force the surrender of the ukhawias. The siege ended up lasting more than a year, with many loads of reinforcements from the other ukhawias breaking through the blockade and entering the city, until the bakhyians opened for negotiations due to a saxon invasion, ending with the losers paying considerable reparations for Bakhyia and its llies, in addition to recognizing their special status in Kent.

    About the invasion, well, it was commanded by Duke Widukind [28] of Saxony, with the aim of raiding and if possible to force the Bakhyians to pay tribute to the saxons, initially everything went well with the ribats' garrisons being defeated at the Battle of Heerlen, allowing Widukind to plunder the eastern fields. Soon, Arind took action to scare away Widukind, and after securing peace with the ukhawias, defeated him in his second invasion, destroying the saxon army and forcing Widukind to pay reparations in exchange for not being ransacked, giving Arind even more popularity. After the brief Saxon invasion, Arind would enter the last phase of his government, which would be (mostly) peaceful.

    I didn't went into much detail about Saxony because the chapter would turn out to be too massive and would probably delay up for more, like, 2 days the posting, so for the sake of my sanity, if any of you want to know anything about what's going on Saxony, just...ask?
    [1]: Brussels, Belgium
    [2]: On the Meuse, the battle per se happened on the contrary bank to Hertzal
    [3]: Utrecht, Netherlands
    [4]: Basically where representants of the members of the alliance group up to plan stuff and discuss problems and solve them
    [5]: He's basically the mind behind the existence of Bakhyia, a shockingly good diplomat supported by the zaidi philosophy and a good amount of wiseness, though as you can see he is somewhat shadowed by Arend's successes. His title, al-Alb, means "The Father"
    [6]: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
    [7]: Ath, Belgium
    [8]: In this case, the lands you can recognize as al-Shamaliu
    [9]: So, OTL German Town Rights were based from Flemish (TTL Bakhyian) Law, so isn't too stretched to see the indepedent development of these laws
    [10]: Islamic parliament, though it's based on "who will be affected" rather than "universal consensus" (a.k.a modern parliaments)
    [11]: Utrecht, Netherlands and Calais, France
    [12]: Groningen, Netherlands
    [13]: Aachen, or, more accurately, Ribat al-Ākwi, founded by Arend
    [14]: Ambar comes from the baltic tribes, more specifically ~ohio~ the Sambians and the Pogesanians, either prussians. Wool comes from Brittania, primarily Wessex and Kent because of competition on the Mercian markets. Fur comes from Scandinavia and the more eastern regions of the Baltic, and Scotia
    [15]: Arabization, duh
    [16]: Aachen (again), Liège, Doetinchem and Lille
    [17]: The Zaidis have a lot of legitimacy for the people, and it results on (Shi'a-Zaidi) Islam having a lot of legitimacy, and then, a lot of conversion ensues, especially by the still-pagan frisians
    [18]: Strait of Dover, i'll don't tell you why the fuck the name is that way, because spoilers ;b
    [19]: As OTL, though butterflies are acting, more details on the eventual (needed) Brittania update
    [20]: Antwerp, Texel and Harlingen
    [21]: Ibrahimites that served as mercenaries, with the tradition being build up...now? They're like the french emigrés but with a more mercenary stand, they'll be pretty important in Brittania, mind you
    [22]: Maidstone, England
    [23]: The Southern Bight of the North Sea
    [24]: Sevenoaks, England
    [25]: Folkstone, England
    [26]: The Blekinge Islands, an archipelago near OTL swedish city of Karlskrona
    [27]: The Isle of Wight
    [28]: The same from OTL, and he'll be an interesting character for the next time we go to Bakhyia
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 9
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Germania After the Franks III: The Demons of Saxony

    The Good Old Duke Thiodarīk (741-752)
    When the Frankish Empire collapsed under the arab conquest, the saxons were ruled (somewhat, since Saxony is quite decentralized) by Duke Thiodarīk, and had a considerably bad reputation, with many recognizing them as crazy people who raid everything and everyone (what is not necessarily wrong).

    After the news became clear, Thiodarīk wasted no time in bringing together the saxon nobles at Marklo [1] to decide on a campaign to raid the territories that were once frankish in the west, which was obviously seen as a brilliant idea since you know, easy profit and loot, the duke soon joined with the noble Saxons a host of 14.000 warriors to plunder the austrasian lowlands, with the result being a huge material gain for the saxons, along with prestige for Theoderic after defeating the Arabs in battle and putting the Eastern Frisians under his rule.

    And for the next few years, that would be the saxon way of life, with Thiodarīk and the saxon nobles in general profiting gigantically for the next few years, thanks to raids on their neighbors, especially west in Bakhyia and south in Upper Germania. Although some setbacks did occur, they were often outweighed by other successful campaigns, with the clans of Westfalahi [2] and Engiern [3] being the ones who became the richest (and soon influential) as a result.

    These good times lasted until 750, when an army of 12.000 Danes under King Harald [4] eliminated a saxon raiding party that crossed the Trenen to plunder danish possessions, after which Harald marched south and attacked the lands of Northælbingien [5], forcing Duke Thiodarīk to hastily assemble an army and respond to the invasion, with 8.000 soldiers being assembled for the task. The result was the Battle of Nowobośt [6], where Thiodarīk would be brutally defeated by Harald's Norse, resulting in the death of many saxon nobles and the injury of Thiodarīk, who would be forced to pay a heavy tribute and promise not to conduct more raids in danish territory, in exchange for Harald to leave.

    The defeat at Nowobośt threw everything upside down, with Thiodarīk receiving great hostilities from the nobles (who had to pay much of the tribute bill), especially after the Imamate of Bakhyia became a power capable of self-defense, ending the easy plunder opportunity. Soon, the clans of Westfalahi and Ōstfalahi revolted against Thiodarīk's authority, promoting the westfalian noble Thilo as the new Duke of the Saxons (effectively a puppet) and after Thiodarīk was surrounded in Marklo, the revolt succeded.

    However, Heimnik, one of the sons of Thiodarīk, escaped to the Obotrites, where he managed to get support for the recovery of his throne back in Saxony, in exchange of some, huh, favors of course. On 752, Heimnik and Prince Raćibor of the Obotrites were marching together with an army of 9.000 warriors to reconquest Saxony.

    The Slav Restoration (752-754)
    Heimnik and Raćibor crossed to Northælbingien, where the local clans threw their support at Heimnik, contributing with another 4.000 warriors. The saxon nobles soon responded by sending an army of 15.000 to defeat the invasion, with the two armies meeting in August near the village of Lachendörp, where Heimnik and his slavic allies would be decisively victorious, with Heimnik subsequently declaring amnesty for all the saxon nobles that betray Thilo and return to his side.

    Most of Saxony quickly turned against Thilo and his supporters, with Heimnik regaining his position as Duke and allowing him to slowly remove the usurpers from the game, with more and more nobles surrendering, ending with Thilo's surrender taking place in July of 753.

    With his position recovered, Heimnik agreed to pay a considerable tribute to Raćibor in compensation for his help, allowing slavic settlement in Ōstfalahi and seal an alliance against the danes in the north. Learning from his father's failures, Heimnik began a cleansing of the saxon nobles, imprisoning several key members of Thilo's government and building his support base, with a focus on the saxon nobles of Northælbingien and the new slavs arriving at Ōstfalahi, who with given time would integrate with the germanic population.

    Heimnikian Peace (754-767)
    After its restoration, Heimnik followed an oddly peaceful path, gradually putting a greater influence on the saxon nation while the raids of all time occur, there was not much prosperity early on, but peace reigned during that time, where Heimnik also took the opportunity to welcome the new migrants in Ōstfalahi.

    A (pleasant) surprise was the commercial arrival of the ukhawias, who quickly emerged developing trade routes across the northern seas, and creating trading posts on the coasts where they pass. Heimnik first allowed the Ukhawia of Juzuralqna to open a warehouse on Misachsun [7], and soon afterwards they followed further, with Minathulaty opening warehouses in Jadehāben [8] and Brymun [9], and the bakhyians of Teksel opening one in Kuckshāben [10] .

    The warehouses quickly connected Saxony with the trade routes that lead to the Mediterranean, as well as providing the saxon nobility and people with a new source of foreign products and trade, bringing in a new source of prosperity other than raids and plunder, although the saxons commonly had problems with muslim (or christian) merchants for matters of religion, relations, at least on this area, remained peaceful. During that time the raids towards the west decreased as a result of Bakhyia's defenses as well, and some saxon nobles started to go to the seas and make some profit out of it, as their ancestors that went to Brittania.

    Thus, Heimnik was able to quietly subdue the saxon nobility by placing them under his power and influence, gaining a good base of support to not have to worry, until he died in the winter of 767.

    Widukind the Shining (767-772)
    After Heimnik's death, his son Widukind succeeded him to the throne, and unlike his father, he was quite warlike, but he did not change much of his father's internal policies, don't wanting to mess up with that stuff, actually contributing to further maintenance of stability in Saxony.

    His first action in relation to foreign affairs was currently doing nothing, simply accepting the capture of Jadehāben by the nuteqalians instead of intervening, Widukind didn't want to meddle in the affairs of the ukhawias, knowing that it would just drag Saxony on a conflict where it would have nothing to gain.

    In 769, Widukind intervened in the complex policies of the Franco-Thuringian tribes, managing to subdue one of them (in the northwest of the "no man's land") in exchange for defense against his rivals, and obviously, the rivals attacked. Widukind with an army of 13.000 saxon and franconian warriors defeated the small coalition of franco-thuringian tribes at the Battle of Gladenbach, quickly causing the coalition to be disbanded, the territory gain wasn't huge but it inherited for Widukind much needed prestige and moral among the saxons.

    Then in 771, Widukind gathered an army of 14.000 warriors to attack Bakhyia, wanting to prove his worth even more, as well as wanting to gain some of the country's new wealth. Widukind's victory at Heerlen resulted in a great loot from the territories of Eastern Bakhyia, with Widukind quickly retreating after Arind arrived with reinforcements. This campaign placed Widukind in a unchallenging position, with much prestige in the eyes of the saxons, with many pointing out that he is favored by the gods.

    Next year, Widukind tried to repeat the act, only to be defeated decisively by a prepared Arind. This defeat didn't shake him, since despite having to pay tribute, Widukind managed to stifle the news enough to minimize the loss of prestige. After that, Saxony would be fine, for now.

    [1]: The capital of the saxons, being OTL Hoya, Germany
    [2]: Westphalia, Western Saxony (somewhat)
    [3]: Angria, Central Saxony (somewhat)
    [4]: OTL Harald Wartooth, i'm taking artistic liberties right here (well, it was reported a danish king named Harald during this time so...), i'll enter in futher detail about these liberties on the unevitable nordic update
    [5]: Nordalbingia, Northern Saxony (somewhat)
    [6]: Nützen, Germany
    [7]: Hamburg, Germany, the name comes from arabic for "Saxon Port" i.e "Mina' Saksun"
    [8]: Wilhelmshaven, Germany
    [9]: Bremen, Germany
    [10]: Cuxhaven, Germany
     
    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 10
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    To Never Be The Same Again: The Wendish Mid-8th Century

    Going Free and Westwards (741-759)
    With the fall of the Franks, in the midst of the turmoil generated in Germania, the Sorbs were freed from vassalage to their overlords, and with that freedom, they began to raid the Thuringii lands extensively, gradually causing them to migrate westward, and with that, at the same time, the sorbs seeking to raid simply settled in the places left partially underpopulated by the thuringians.

    By 757, the migration would already be mostly complete, during that time, the sorbs were established in what once was Thuringia, integrating what was left of the germans in their domain, with quickly the main economic activity becoming the salt mining of the deposits along the Solawa River [1], the sorbs in the region soon organized themselves into a new sub-tribe, with the establishment of the Soltě [2] around the center of Iehesfōr [3] at the end of this same period.

    Further north, the Obotrite Confederation was consolidated under the command of Knyaz [4] Racibor, who after assuming influence over saxon politics managed to use his prestige to establish himself as the almost absolute sovereign of the confederation, obviously, this sudden expansion of power it was not undisputed, resulting in 756 occurring the outbreak of a revolt by the Warnabi and Drevani.

    The revolt was followed by a Veleti intervention on behalf of the rebels, and after gathering 9.500 soldiers, Racibor defeated the rebels and a small Veleti auxiliary force at the Battle of Zyedenoś [5], soon after the battle, the Drevani would surrender. The Veleti then decided to make a deal with the Warnabi by adding them to the confederation, which only further infuriated Racibor, who in 758 responded with another victory at the Battle of Bošzowe [6], whose after allegedly ordered a cruel plunder of the entire region, forcing the Warnabi to submit completely with their fields being burned and their population punished accordingly.

    After that, Knyaz Dragovit of the Veleti, seeing that continuing would only cause more devastation, decided to make peace, recognizing the obotrite position and paying a reasonable tribute, while what was left of the Drevani elite was exiled from their lands, this war would allow Racibor to establish a rare control (at least for slavic polities) over the state, which would bring new possibilities, especially with what was yet to come.

    The Opening of the Baltic and Booming Trade (759-767)
    With the end of the war, Racibor spent his first years of power establishing firm control of his territories, appointing loyal and capable subjects (many of them soldiers who fought against the rebels and veletians) for administrative tasks left vacant by the rebels, thus managing to form a new upper class who would serve the Knyaz loyally, wagrian nobles also received extensive privileges in matters of administrative positions, thanks to their great participation on the fight against the revolt.

    In 761, the ukhawias arrived in the Baltic Sea, with the muslims from Juzuralqna sending a large entourage to Viłtěgrod [7] with impressive gifts [8] in order to negotiate the opening of the first muslim trading posts in obotrite territory. After the pleasant surprise, Racibor allowed the opening of two posts for the muslims, who settled in Sakodlec [9] and Liubice [10], connecting the Obotrites with mainstream trade routes for the first time. Taking advantage of the recent conflicts, Minathulaty reached an even better agreement with the Veleti, establishing trading posts in Strzałow [11], Chauzyék [12] and Madziryka [13] in exchange for supporting the veletians against the obotrites in future conflicts.

    The effects were varied, with mediterranean and muslim products such as pottery (particularly the early stages of franco-muslim and hispano-muslim pottery), sugar, cotton-based clothing and other diverse products quickly came to prominence in the region as luxury goods, and made the polabian people have an advantage by being at the start of the trade routes that would subsequently open.

    Another affected group were scandinavians who lived in coastal posts in the region [14], initially muslims and scandinavians were in conflict over trade competition, but in a short time the two groups would get along for material reasons, with muslim products being marketed for iron and fur, this relationship took place mainly in the minathulatian trading posts, where as early as 766 there were already scandinavians sailing by contract with muslims.

    About matters of religion, ukhawia traders were generally quite liberal, paying more attention to their profits than to the faith of their customers. But that doesn't mean that the contact had no effect, with communities of muslims gradually growing around the trading posts, particularly among scandinavians in the area, with given time, muslims also would begin to write extensively about the curious mythology of the pagans they lived close to [15].

    Further south, the sorbs were affected differently by the events, initially having to battle thuringians trying to raid the Soltě, but under the leadership of Knyaz Czimislav, the sorbs decisively defeated their enemies in 760, causing a shift in the balance of power in the region, resulting directly in the combination of franconians and thuringians crossing the Rhine on the following year.

    After that, the Soltě lived in relative prosperity, trading their precious salt with their neighbors, in exchange for muslim products from Saxony and Obotritia, with merchants descending the Elve/Labe [16] by Misachsun and Zwierzyn [17] with such products, and from there the Soltě resold the products to their sorbs brothers in exchange for the valuable ores located in their territory [18], and subsequently creating even more trade routes, connecting the Silesian and Bohemian mines to the distant lands of Avaria and Khazaria, allowing a continental rapprochement in terms of trade that would take place in the coming years, and this would gradually make the Soltě the hegemonic power among the sorbs.

    The Little War (767-770)
    In 767, the Veleti Confederation, still under the rule of Knyaz Dragovit (that by now is under heavy minathulatian influence) would go to war again against the Obotrites, invading with 7.000 soldiers and 4.000 Nordic mercenaries, quickly capturing the obotrite settlements along the Labe Basin, until they were forced to lay siege by the newly created fortifications of Zwierzyn. Racibor, already a 47-year-old man, quickly gathered 11.200 warriors in Viłtěgrod and in September bypassed Lake Glåvitĕ [19], confronting the Veleti on the 22nd, at the Battle of Aišerzyn [20], and subsequently defeating them, with the help of the desertion of the nordic mercenaries and the retreat of enemies in the region during the winter.

    In 768, Racibor went on the offensive, but Dragovit did not yield to battle, using hit and run tactics while retreating from the main settlements (only to recover them after a maneuver), Racibor then decided after several indecisive engagements to march straight into the main centers of the confederation, forcing the Veleti into battle, Goderac [21] was captured in September without the Veleti appearing for battle and Tetirov [22] was the scene of a minor battle, where only a small group of 1.400 Veleti warriors fought alongside 330 Muslims to successfully defend the settlement. During the winter, 7.400 Veleti warriors recaptured Goderac, bringing the obotrite gains to zero.

    And next year, a daring Dragovit would surprisingly counterattack, engaging on May 25 in the Battle of Losica [23], where they managed to force the retreat of the country's core obotrites. A new offensive, however, would be blocked by the relatively strong positions established by the Obotrites at the border, Racibor meanwhile decided to wait for the Veleti before further action, but they would be delayed by pure internal strife since many of the other confederate tribes saw the Circipani and Dragovit as traitors and not-trustable for leaving much of their land to be occupied, and this soon blocked new proposals for the war's operation.

    The war would end in 770, when Racibor marched again into Veleti territory with 14.000 warriors, the still-disunited Veleti tried to stop the obotrite army separately to no avail, with the main border tribes simply surrendering to the Obotrites after the last effective resistance (6.000 Veletians against 9.000 obotrites) was defeated at the Battle of Strěłci [24], forcing the rest of the tribes centered around the Circipani to make peace with the Obotrites, where the surrender of the veletian tribal territories and a simple tribute to be paid for the next 20 years was accepted.

    With this defeat, the Veleti (now mostly centralized under the Circipani and Knyaz Dragovit) would become even more dependent on Minathulaty's muslim merchants, who would receive extensive privileges in the next decade as the nation tried to recover from the scars left by the war that almost resulted in total annihilation of the Veleti.

    However, for the Obotrites, the Little War resulted in even more territorial gains and the consolidation of Racibor's dominion over his nation and his influence in the nations around him, allowing him to die in peace in 772, being able to trust that his legacy wasn't and will not be in vain. In addition, the war would have an influence on trade routes, giving economic preference to the saxon route by Misachsun and to the pomeranian route by Šëčīt [25], having effects on the balance of power of the slavic tribes that will be covered in the next episodes.

    [1]: (Thuringian) Saale River
    [2]: Now the westernmost slavic sub-tribe (being a sub-tribe of the Sorbs), the name comes from Common Slavic solъ, meaning "salt", in a obvious reference to the salt mines around the Saale River
    [3]: Erfurt, Germany. Pronounced [i̯ɛɦɛsfu̯ɔʀ]
    [4]: Slavic title, meaning basically prince, though its etymology is connected to King and König
    [5]: Wittenberge, Germany. Pronounced [zyɛdɛnɔsʲ]
    [6]: Oranienburg, Germany. The etymology is basically the same from the earlier name of the OTL city (Bützow), pronounced [byʃ'zɔuj]
    [7]: Mecklenburg Castle and Surroundings, Germany. Etymology is literally "Big Castle", pronounced [viwtə'grod]
    [8]: The basic muslim products starter pack, that immediately the slavs enter in love with
    [9]: Kiel, Germany. Pronounced [sakɔdlet͡s]
    [10]: Lübeck, Germany. Pronounced [lʲubit͡sɛ]
    [11]: Stralsund, Germany. Pronounced [stʲrʲzawɔv]
    [12]: Ralswiek, Germany. Pronounced [xau'z(u)ye:k]
    [13]: Greifswald, Germany. Pronounced [mad͡zʲ'rykɒ]
    [14]: You may recognize these posts as emporia, which started appearing at the middle of the 8th century, you may note that many of the muslim posts are being established at or near emporias, basically forcing the scandinavians and muslims together
    [15]: Muslim descriptions of germanic and slavic mythology! I hope i'll be able to insert some of these in a future update or bring an update based at these, since i am not an expert at germanic mythology any help in that matter would be great :)
    [16]: Saxon/Polabian names for the Elbe River
    [17]: Schwerin, Germany. Pronounced [zvjer'zyn]
    [18]: The (central-eastern) sorbs sit around some pretty thicc mineral deposits, we have tin, iron, copper and silver, all near/around the Ore Mountains.
    [19]: Lake Schwerin
    [20]: Comes from the norse word for "isthmus" together with the name of the city, basically, "Isthmus of Zwierzyn"
    [21]: Dummerstorf, Germany. Pronounced [gode'rat͡s]
    [22]: Teterow, Germany. Pronounced [tetʲ'rov]
    [23]: Loitz, Germany. Pronounced [losi't͡sa]
    [24]: Strelitz, Germany. Pronounced [strεw't͡si]
    [25]: Szczecin, Poland. Pronounced [ʃət͡si:t]
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 11
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Danish Hegemony: The Going Ons of Scandinavia


    King Haraldr Hilditǫnn and the Battle of Rosköping (720s-761)
    In the mid-8th Century, Denmark and Sweden were under the united reign of King Haraldr [1], a man who managed to conquer from his base in Zealand all of Denmark and Sweden in his early, glory days. By the 740s and 750s he was an old king, but still a competent one, punishing the saxon raiders in campaign and managing his lands in mostly peaceful ways, while periodically leaving to lead raids into Frisia, Slavia and the Rhine, with some of them actually reported by the arabs and bakhyians in the area [2].

    Though as he grew older, Haraldr started to stay more in peace, and this ended up permitting nobles from the court to convince his nephew Sigurðr Hringr, who was also his vassal in Sweden, to start plans to remove his uncle from the throne and establish himself as King. Soon Sigurðr established contact with some all-time raiders from the Eistr and Kúrir [3], hiring 5.400 of them as mercenaries to his army, other 3.200 men from the Norwegian Uplands also bolstered Sigurðr's army with additional 11.600 Swedes from his lands.

    When Haraldr finally took notice of his nephew's treachery, he rapidly mobilized from his lands 17.400 warriors, also hiring 2.900, 3.640 and 6.550 mercenaries from the Livr, Saxar and Vindr [4] respectively, and rapidly marched into Sweden, acting with such speed that surprised Sigurðr, forcing him to make an all-or-nothing stand at the shores of Lake Roxen, near what later would be called Rosköping [5].

    The battle would see Sigurðr adopting the feared Svinfylking formation, but Haraldr was ready for this confrontation, receiving valuable advice from the Saxar about a formation called Umbibrekan or (as would be called later by the norse) Sigurði [6]. With this formation and a great appearance of the saxon cavalry, Haraldr managed to encircle the enemy army and score a victory "which decisive feature was never seen in our lands" [7], with Sigurðr and the majority of the swedish nobles fighting in the battle laying dead on the field, although Haraldr would give them a honourable burial in Uppsala.

    After Rosköping, Haraldr made a great tour around Sweden to cement his rule in the region, stripping many nobles from their titles and appointing new ones on their place. After having conducted great offerings at the temple at Uppsala [8], he accordingly paid his mercenaries and rode back to his capital at Hleiðargarðr [9], thinking he was safe from his enemies after having defeated Sigurðr, but he was not.

    The Great Invasion or Disaster at Visirum (762-763)
    As the Spring came next year, Haraldr would receive reports of another problem, a great raid by the Eistr and Kúrir on Sweden, with its roots probably in the mercenaries that served on Sigurðr's army and escaped back to home. The army of 14.600 men under the command of a Eisti from Eysysla [10] called Fædlya [11] started a major campaign of plunder in Sweden, capturing many as slaves and defeating the petty armies of local nobles, since they didn't have time to establish their power, subsequently, the armies went on to sack Uppsala itself.

    In a hurry, Haraldr went on to levy a army of 13.400 men and crossed the Sound to group up with the local soldiers to oppose the invaders, with plus 8.700 warriors joining his army, the Dane rapidly marched north, pushing the raiders to regroup, resulting in the clash of the armies at Visirum [12], where the decisive battle would take place.

    Haraldr this time would use the Svinfylking, hoping to rapidly crush the invaders, and although Fædlya didn't know about the Umbibrekan, he had a trick in the sleeve, organizing his men on a phalanx-like formation with the cavalry and some light infantry in the flanks. As the battle started, the danish centre pushed his counterpart back, although with heavy fighting in the process, after the initial shock, Fædlya's centre managed to stand and hold the danes, what passed the initiative to the invaders.

    Fædlya soon ordered his flanks to counterattack, putting their fragile danish counterparts into rout without further issue and attacking the danish centre by the flanks, which after a time of resistance ended up crushed too, reportedly after the slaying of Haraldr in the field, giving victory to the invaders.

    After the battle, Fædlya turned to another round of general plunder, going as far as Skåne, taking even more people as slaves and even more riches. Just departing after the accession of King Þrándr in Hleiðargarðr, which gave a great ransom in return of the departure of the army, after going back home with all the profit made from the venture, the army would mainly disperse, though Fædlya would still be an extremely important player in the local politics of his land [13].

    Ukhawias and King Þrándr hinn Góðr (763-771)
    After news of the disaster at Visirum arrived in Hleiðargarðr, Þràndr, the oldest son of Haraldr, managed to succeed him quite smoothly, simply because of Haraldr's successful destruction of opposition in court. Knowing that the campaign was already lost, Þràndr sent an envoy to Fædlya asking for his and his army to go back home in exchange for a big ransom, proposal which Fædlya and his men happily accepted.

    After the invasion, Sweden was thoroughly destroyed, and as Þràndr wanted to preserve some of the prestige he had left, he started to act on a great recovery of the treasury, giving permission to the new and strange Meikatr [14] arriving from the west to build trading posts in Kaupmannahǫfn [15], which quickly expanded as the new products that the muslims brought were sought more and more by the locals, specially by the nobles, with that, he started to gain profit with the selling of iron and furs to the new merchants.

    With the treasury somewhat manageable, Þràndr reorganized the land in Sweden, appointing new nobles and promoting settlement of depopulated regions, making major investments in the reconstruction of the region, rebuilding Uppsala and its temple and establishing a royal quarter on the city, where a appointed Staðrsjándi [16] would look over the affairs in the region, permitting Þràndr to have a closer eye on the administration.

    On Denmark proper, Þràndr also didn't left much to be desired, reinforcing the Danavirki with yet new fortifications ("yet" because it was already reinforced in Haraldr's reign) and investing in the expansion of the centres at Heiðabýr [17] and Ripa [18], giving permission to the muslims of Juzuralqna, Nuteqali and Urekt to build trading posts there, gradually increasing the economic activity of the region, and with it, its prosperity. Major works were also built during this period, including a series of roads in Zealand and Jutland, irrigation canals around the frontier regions and multiple levees in the waterways.

    King Þràndr gained immense popularity with his work on rebuilding Sweden and improving Denmark, further legitimizing his reign and dynasty, another particularity was his policy towards the ukhawias, not favoring anyone, just properly punishing those who violated the laws, this potentialized commerce and as consequence potentialized profits, granting large sums of money to the danish treasury.

    Because of the "violated the law", things got interesting after the Battle of Blekinge in 768, on which a minathulatian fleet attacked and captured a big bakhyian merchant convoy that was landed at a harbour on the isles and was trading with the locals. This prompted the local jarl to assemble a fleet and pursue the minathulatians that had docked at Kaupmannahǫfn, when the local fleet attacked the minathulatians in a seemingly "unlawful" way, their enemies' garrisons and ships in the town attacked at the same time, with the bakhyians even capturing their post at land.

    The minathulatians obviously protested, so Þràndr made a trial between all parties involved, the Jarl soon accused the minathulatians of having captured and bakhyian and norse ships and men, the minathulatian commander argued that Blekinge wasn't like the trading posts and therefore his actions weren't a crime, after this the King asked for a witness of the attack at Blekinge, soon many freed norse sailors spoke their witnesses, ending the trial with the minathulatians having to give reparations to the Jarl and accepting the loss of the captured ships and men.

    The Jarl, who was called Særblað, asked the minathulatian prisoners about their homeland, which some of them replied accordingly, this conversation ended with Særblað spreading the word about the rich lands where the Meikatr lived to the people of his jarldom, resulting in the preparations of a fleet to sail towards the west (more specifically, Faransa), which would give the head up for the crazyness, exploration, awesomeness and fuckupness of the Viking Age [19].

    The later years of his reign would be majorly peaceful, although at the same time, Særblað successful expedition in Faransa encouraged many to take up arms and sail west as well, specially among the danes. Estonian and Curonian raids on the swedish coast decreased as defenses were built up and made the attacks costly. Þràndr hinn Góðr (tl. Thrande the Good) would naturally die of old age (61) in the winter of 771-772, though the succession wouldn't be as smooth as his, since three contenders were there: His oldest son Ragnarr, his brother Hrœrekr and his third (out of four) son Eysteinn, this dispute would cut short the peace established by the reign of Þràndr, and would decisively settle the future politics of the region.

    [1]: As said in the saxon update, he's OTL Harald Wartooth, artistic liberties here bois
    [2]: This is my interpretation of raids that OTL were credited to Harald, isn't farfetched to think of pre-viking norse raids that ended up not being documented
    [3]: The Estonians and Curonians, respectively, OTL they were fairly present in the Baltic with many raids being documented by the norse, in some ways they were Eastern Vikings
    [4]: The Livonians, Saxons and Wends, with the Wends per se being Pomeranians
    [5]: Norsholm, Sweden. The etymology is a simple "Roxen Market", pronounced [rɔs'tʃɜːpɪŋ]
    [6]: Nothing more than a (very) corrupted version of Hannibal's famous formation in Cannae, the saxon name means literally "Break Around". I know it's ironic but, it isn't named after the defeated, it just means "Victorious", incidentally similar to Sigurðr's name
    [7]: Quote from the Danskr Saga, a curious piece of literature written in 9th Century Holmgarðr, that we'll see later ;)
    [8]: Archaeology shows that at the very least, Uppsala was a major center in the region, so i don't see why they wouldn't have a temple there. It might not have gold in it, but the temple itself probably existed
    [9]: Lejre, Denmark
    [10]: Saaremaa
    [11]: His name in estonian is Võitleja, meaning "Warrior", being pronounced [vɤjt'leja]. His name in nordic is pronounced as [fɛ̃t'lya]
    [12]: Virserum, Sweden
    [13]: I assure you this won't be the last time y'll read about him
    [14]: "Merchants", coming from Old Occitan Mercater [meɾ'ka'tεr], turning into Old Norse Meikatr [mej'katø]
    [15]: Copenhagen. Etymology is "Merchant's Harbour", pronounced [ˡkaupmanːahɒvn]
    [16]: Sort of a viceroy (as in authority), but with a role more of an governor, etymology is "Place's Seer"
    [17]: Busdorf, Germany. Being OTL Hedeby, pronounced [ˈhejð̩apyˀ]
    [18]: Ribe, Denmark. Pronounced [ˈʁiːpæ]
    [19]: Remember that i said that Azure's death would bring a lot of instability on Faransa? Well, they'll give a help to that instability
    Also, i'll be glad if anyone from here that thinks this TL deserves it, votes on it in the Turtledove's :), but just if you really think it deserves such vote.
    @EnvarKadri I'll be replying your usual textwall tomorrow because here it's already late and i have to sleep.
     
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    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 12
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Wonders of the Amber Coast: Pomerania and Prussia


    Western Commerce, Piracy, Minathulatian Monopoly and Bakhyian Competition (763-769)
    The Southeastern Baltic was a combination of things for the coming muslims, firstly, it was a land recognized for its riches in amber and wood that before then traveled by land into the Mediterranean, secondly, it was a land never seen before with its inhabitants near-equally distinct, although the pomeranians being slavs made them (somewhat) familiar, the prussians and curonians were a whole new thing to them.

    The muslim-baltic contact on the region started in the late 750s but the first permanent "setting up of shop" was in 763, with the founding of the minathulatian trading posts at Gduńzc and Abōnā on the Vīsa River Delta [1], in the frontier territories of the Pomeranians (who are slavs) and Pomesanians (who are prussians). The contact soon turned into a goddamn profitable deal for all the parties involved, as the pomeranians and prussians gave their valuable amber for mediterranean and eastern products that were nearly never seen in the region, that were as luxurious as they were valuable for further trade down south.

    As the pomeranians and pomesanians gradually enjoyed more and more the wonders of the east, the minathulatians soon tried to have monopoly over the commerce, setting up trading posts at Truso (764) and Šëčīt (765) [2], the minathulatians rapidly raised a lot of money with these ventures, with the city back in Faransa growing at a fast rate with the baltic trade.

    But with war came competition, as minathulatian commerce in the region suffered with promoted piracy from its enemies allied with the curonians, as the curonian pirates rapidly discovered how valuable minathulatian prizes were, capture one of these and you'll become rich forever. But the real worrying just came when bakhyians from Grunnyn tried in 767 to set up a trading post in Truso, just to be rapidly expelled by the minathulatians, local prussians and local scandinavians after being outnumbered 15-to-1 in battle.

    But the grunnians tried again next year, that time sailing further north, founding a trading post in the sambian settlement of Tewangt at the mouth of the Pregora River [3], where the locals had even more amber than in Truso, and were happy to permit the bakhyians to set up trade there, since they were jealous of the influence gained by the pomesanians after the trade with Minathulaty started.

    Soon, the bakhyians were outprofiting the minathulatians and Tewangt growing into the main center on the region, with Truso being shadowed in its growth. Obviously, this caused conflict not just between the minathulatians and bakhyians, but between the prussians as well, as both the pomesanians and sambians wanted to be the most influencer between the tribes, and the biggest influencer would be the one whose able to trade more "Meisilim" [4] products to the interior.

    With this, as the war between ukhawias raged on the northern seas, Prussia (with minor contributions by the slavo-baltic tribes around it, as the Polans, Pomeranians and Skalvians) would be as well consumed by war, for a lot of time, actually.

    Fight For Influence and the First Prussian War (768-773)
    As piracy continued in the Baltic Sea and on the land things got more and more hot politically, the presume for war started. The minathulatians by the back of the pomesanians applied directly to the Wayde at Romowe [5], requesting in 771 the expulsion of the bakhyians from Tewangt, by the basis of the equilibrium of power in the country being infringed by the bakhyian trade with the sambians.

    Kriwe Rapan [6] was somewhat partial to the bakhyians, simply because they were less religious-minded (with the fact being that, a lot of them were actually pagans) than their minathulatian counterparts (that frequently tried to gain some converts, sometimes infuriating local priests, but the pulka [7] always pardoned them when they went too far), but knowing that to outright refuse this proposal would likely backfire on him, he convened the assembly.

    The assembly was tense, and sides were quickly took, the Pogesanians and Lubavians sided with the Pomesanians, as they rapidly benefited from the trade routes opened by minathulatian activity in Truso. Meanwhile, the Nadruvians, Natangians and Bartians sided with the Sambian cause, leaving the Sasnans and Warmians to decide the final result. The Warmians soon became divided as the two factions tried to gain the upper hand, while the Sasnans sided with the Pomesanians.

    With just Warmia remaining and a stalemate coming into being, internal divide rapidly became a thing, with the eastern pulka siding with the sambians and the western with the pomesanians. The earlier gained the tribal vote thanks to their numerical superiority, making the pomesanians win the assembly with the decision of expelling the bakhyians. But that wouldn't end as smooth as they expected.

    The sambians would refuse to expel the bakhyians, and Rapan wouldn't enforce the issue, as actually, some months after the assembly, the bakhyians installed another trading post at Velowe [8] on natangian territory, what infuriated the westerns further was that Velowe was the site of a sacred tree. This also alienated the Kriwe, although not to the pomesanian side, but to neutrality, so after another unsuccessful request from the pomesanians, Wostinikis Stapēdan [9] moved by himself and with an army of 5.700 men, marched towards Sambia in September, being reinforced by more 12.500 men from the other tribes supporting the pomesanians, by the sea, the minathulatians transported 1.200 mercenaries and arrived at Tewangt first, surprising the sambians and bakhyians, the sambians were forced to retreat while the bakhyians were put into siege at their fort.

    On the way to Sambia, the natangians put unexpected resistence at Pokarwis [10], importantly delaying the operation for all the winter. This permitted the sambians under Wostinikis Auksai to rout the mercenaries in Tewangt and after that march on by the winter to Pokarwis, setting camp nearby. By April 772, Auksai boldly decided to attack the prussians at Pokarwis, defeating them decisively at the Battle of Pokarwis and granting a long duration for the war, as the sambians marched through Eastern Warmia capturing the main settlements of the region.

    After that, the Pomesanian Alliance regrouped at the Pasoras River [11], while the sambians soon were supported by the Bartians, becoming a larger force of 13.400 warriors that advanced on the pomesanians at Glottowia [12], where the pomesanians managed to make a stand and fend off the advance, bringing the war to an effective stalemate.

    After this, Kriwe Rapan called on to peace negotiations between the tribes, resulting in a peace assembly being held at Saussaran [13], in sasnian territory (as the sasnians didn't join the conflict), after two seasons of debate between the tribes, the First Treaty of Saussaran was enacted at April of 773. The compromise was controversial, with the bakhyians being expelled from Velowe (the main source of conflict) but the bakhyian post at Tewangt was recognized (and as well the minathulatian post at Truso), while there were established heavy restrictions on muslim missionary activity based from their trading posts, beyond this, it was accepted that no more trading posts would be established in prussian territory.

    The treaty left both the sambian and pomesanian factions equally disappointed, as the sambians were seeking for further trade with the bakhyians inland, and the pomesanians wanted to completely remove eastern competition for trade. But as the conflict between the ukhawias and Bakhyia stopped, an uneasy peace would rule over Prussia, but it all depended on the diplomatic ability of Kriwe Rapan.

    [1]: Gduńzc is Gdańsk, while Abōnā is Malbork. The pronunciations being [g'duηsk] and [abo:'na:]. The Vīsa River Delta is the Vistula River Delta
    [2]: Elbląg and Szczecin, respectively, pronunciations being [tru'zo:] and [ʃət͡sjet]
    [3]: Tewangt is at actual Kaliningrad, pronounced [te'vang(t)] while the Pregora is the Pregolya River, pronounced [pre:'go:'ra]
    [4]: How they call the muslims, pronounced as [mej.si.lim]
    [5]: Wayde is the multitribal assembly of Prussia, convened by the high-priest, or, Kriwe, probably was the Wayde that decided to expel Saint Adalbert IOTL. Romowe is at the junction of the Rominta and Pissa rivers, near Gusev, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia
    [6]: "Angel" in Old Prussian
    [7]: Literally in Old Prussian, "Fields", they are the minor territorial division of the prussians, with the average population of 1.000 people (although they can be more or less populated than that, especially when you come to the pulka located at trade routes).
    [8]: Snamensk, Russia. Pronounced [ve'lo:we]
    [9]: Wostinikis = Ruler in Old Prussian, and Stapēdan means "Sharp Stone"
    [10]: Ushakovo, Russia. Pronounced [po:'kar'vis]
    [11]: Pasłęka River. Pronounced [pa'so:ra's]
    [12]: Lidzbark Warmińsk, Poland. Pronounced [glo:dauja]
    [13]: Cerkiewnik, Poland, meaning basically "Dry [Lands Around the] Lake". Pronounced [sau'zaran]
     
    The Age of Collapse: Chapter 13
  • Muslim World - The Age of Collapse
    Pirates, Traders and Warriors - Adventures on the Eastern Baltic


    The Rise of Võitleja (762-764)
    Võitleja, the man behind the great raid on Sweden that ended the reign of King Haraldr, was an influential and ambitious chief in Saaremaa, controlling the crucial port of Äswa [1] and the lands surrounding it, with his influence extending to many other minor nobles in the western and southern part of the island, undermining the power of the Elder in Pöiðe [2].

    Võitleja initially saw the civil war in the west with hope, since his prestige prospects (mostly by raiding and fighting against the Taanlased [3]) were drastically diminished after the rise of Haraldr, and he didn't lose time to raise an army and pay mercenary service to Sigurðr Hringr together with his long-time curonian allies. But as we know, Haraldr ended up shining at the Battle of Rosköping, slaying much of the treacherous swedish nobility and Sigurðr himself. Võitleja was in the right flank together with his estonian followers and curonian allies, and once reports of the destructive saxon's charge in the other flank arrived, he smartly decided to pull back from the situation and convinced his curonian allies to do so as well, compromising the swedish left flank and resulting in the ultimate defeat of the swedes (although estonian legends say that before he pulled back he managed to defeat the wendish commander of the opposing army [4]).

    Võitleja, now effectively commanding both the estonians and curonians, departed rapidly from Sweden by ship, with him and the soldiers happy from the profit (although a considerable amount of the curonians saw him as a greedy coward with fear of battle) going back firstly to the gotlandish colony of Sæborg [5] and capturing it after a brief battle, although the colonists were granted permission to stay after a brief looting of the city. With the capturing of Sæborg, the curonians made their mouths shut, and Võitleja proposed a going back to Sweden with him in the overall command, which he managed to convince the curonians after a brief argument (and subsequently many new curonian and skalvian volunteers joining his ranks).

    He then travelled with his new army to his homeland of Saaremaa, where he showed off his new riches to the locals, scared the shit out of Elder Ilu (since he arrived with a army triple the size he went off) and said that it was a pretty good idea to join him in another expedition (probably omitting the fact that he technically lost the battle), resulting in a considerable increase of his estonian contingent and soon his departure to Sweden, while Ilu, who was distrustful of Võitleja's intentions, remained in Saaremaa and decided to check his power by confiscating the many lands possessed by his allies and trying an alliance with the ruler of Lihula across the sea, preparing for the possible (but not actually desirable) return of Võitleja.

    With his recruited army, Võitleja managed to rapidly defeat the local unestablished nobles in Sweden, and start a series of plunderings in the region, while King Haraldr obviously went north to stop more damaged, resulting in the decisive Battle of Visirum, where the estonian led his army into a glorious victory against the until-then seemingly undefeatable Haraldr, not just defeating the danes but also killing their great king.

    After months of further plundering, with nearly the entirety of Sweden being ravaged by Võitleja's army, the man and his army had enough and, now full of spoils, retired to Saaremaa, with Võitleja proving himself fully after the pull back in Rosköping.

    The arrival of his host at Tagalahata Bay [6] amazed the nobles imposed by Ilu, while the nobles in Võitleja's army quickly became furious because of the confiscation of their lands, and after a brief organization of the spoils by Võitleja, the curonians and skalvians went back home, dimishing Võitleja's numbers greatly. The nobles who received the confiscated lands around Tagalahata Bay rapidly surrendered and returned the lands to their previous owners, soon enough Võitleja would be taking his followers' lands in the western part of the island back, until Ilu, supported by auxiliar troops of Armuline of Lihula, went with 3.800 warriors against Võitleja's 5.000, with the armies opposing each other at Arandi [7], although the agressive attitude surprised Võitleja's army, he smartly encircled the whole army and ultimately defeated it, ending in a quite anticlimactic way his opposition in Saaremaa, with him setting himself as the Elder of Saaremaa with quite a great deal of popularity, and a bigger control of the local nobles than any other Elder ever had.

    But he wasn't quite finished yet, at first because Lihula remained against him, with Armuline raising up Maguskala, Ilu's eldest son, as claimant to the Eldership of Saaremaa, while trying to gather support from other estonian elders to expel the usurper and ultimately, control the richest region of Estonia with the young Maguskala as a puppet, and also because of the sudden and suspicious arrival of seven misterious ships at the pretty depopulated island of Hiiumaa.

    The Arrival of the Minathulatians and the First Läänemaa Campaign (764-767)
    Under the leadership of Halim al-Kindī, an exiled ibrahimite arab chief from Faransa, seven ships from Minathulaty disembarked at the Island of Kõrgessaare [8], soon establishing contact and trade with local fishermen [9], soon learning that to the south was the main island that they were searching for, with the fleet soon arriving at the coastal village of Triiki [10], where were minor iron mines, with the local noble allowing al-Kindī to establish a trading post near the village, while the minathulatians awaited the arrival of Võitleja after the noble contacted him.

    Reorganizing his army to proceed into his attack on Lihula, the reports of the muslim arrivals didn't go unnoticed by Võitleja, who sent a reply asking the noble to invite al-Kindī to his "court" in Äsva. Together with other twenty men, al-Kindī crossed Saaremaa to Äsva, with his accounts of the travel reporting a quite simple life of the local farmers, and noticing their pagan ways of worship, with a particularly attention to their lack of human sacrifice, with them instead "sacrificing much of their wealth to the gods".

    We know from his reports that al-Kindī was quite unimpressed after his arrival in Äsva, especially because of the sparse population that he found in the interior, nonetheless, the arab speaks quite well of Võitleja once he reports the arrival at the "court", with the reception being quite warm although various initial problems of communication are reported [11], the problem was solved soon enough that the arab managed to gain permission to establish an trading post at Hiiumaa after an agreed evacuation of the trading post near Triiki and a payment in gold, especially valuable in Estonia [12].

    The arabs soon named their new (and quite small) trading post Ribāṭ al-Ḥūmā [13], with an garrison of 18 men. In economic terms, al-Ḥumā would be exceedingly peripheric, because of the valuable amber trade pushing attention to the south and the ability of the saaremanians to simply out-trade them in the iron game (the whole point of the post, actually), but in local terms, it would have considerable consequences, as the garrison and the merchant population of the post settled inhabitants of mainland Estonia and the island of Gotland into Hiiumaa through free land grants with the objective of having an domestic agricultural production (to feed the trading post), resulting in a constant population in the island and the creation of what was in practice an merchant state in the island (but not a remarkably rich one i must say).

    All the while, things weren't as peripherical in the south, although in the pomeranian coast they weren't present until 767, in 764, christian bakhyians from Antwerpan [14] established the trading post of Fēna [15] in Livonia, and in 767 muslims from Urekt established al-Halqa in the mouth of the Vēna River [16], in another deal with the livonians, who were quickly recovering with muslim trade from curonian incursions after the campaigns of Võitleja, although the deals with the Livs resulted in a hostile attitude from the Curonians, who constantly executed piracy against bakhyian ships at the Baltic.

    Back to Estonia, after the foreign meeting, Võitleja continued his preparations for the invasion of Läänemaa, and in the end of the next year, was quite ready for the conflict, with an 5.300-strong army leaving Äsva by sea in the end of the early winter in 766, and after less than a week's voyage, landing at Rannaneneemi [17] and marching directly at Lihula.

    Elder Armuline was ready though, and had stroke an alliance with Elder Jumalikulita of Soontagana, granting that although outnumbered (he had only around 4.000 soldiers), if he managed to delay Võitleja long enough, he would gain a decisive advantage, so he retreated from Lihula to set a camp in Püsila [18], while Võitleja tried to put the quite fortified [19] settlement of Lihula into siege, being mostly unsuccessful in his attempts for the next months, especially because Armuline kept using his forces to harass the islanders in their siege.

    When Võitleja's scouts found Jumalikulita's army coming from the southeast in March of 767, the siege was mostly static, although some supply problems started to affect the defenders, the winter also wasn't particularly merciful to the islanders. Võitleja soon decided to raise the siege and feign retreat back to Saaremaa, resulting in Armuline soon advancing with his army and following the islanders, with Jumalikuta coming near by the southeast, but, more importantly to Võitleja, the two armies were separated, since Jumalikuta rerouted once he discovered that Võitleja retreated.

    Jumalikuta was nearer than Armuline, so Võitleja decided to focus on him, suddenly stopping his retreat and charging at the 5.200 Soontaganian warriors at the Battle of Vlasjta [20], catching them by surprise and managing an early breakthrough, which was properly used by the islander cavalry who pushed through the gap and decided the brief battle, resulting in the soontaganians routing, while Jumalikuta tried to regroup his army in the east.

    Even with that though, Võitleja had miscalculated, and soon after defeating Jumalikuta at Vlasjta, Armuline was arriving at his rear, and with an tired and bloodied army (especially due to losses from the winter siege), rapidly sent an envoy to Armuline proposing negotiations, who, after having the soontaganian defeat confirmed, accepted the proposal.

    The resulting compromise was simple, Armuline would recognize Võitleja as Elder of Saaremaa and give Maguskala back to the island, accordingly, Võitleja was to return back home while Jumalikuta would pay reparations to the islanders, as a way to put the victory in effect. Armuline was hardly amused by the agreement but decided it wasn't worth it to confront Võitleja, while the islander now had destroyed any chance of political instability by having the young Maguskala in his hands. Jumalikuta was who lost the most, and after this war would pass to hate Armuline very hard, thinking that he willingly threw him into defeat.

    First Curonian-Bakhyian War and Võitleja's Peace (768-770)
    After returning to Saaremaa as a quite prestigious figure among his men, Võitleja turned to more domestic affairs, settling some land disputes among the nobles, improving earthworks and constructing new fortifications, with the establishment of forts in Äsva, Kõrgessare and Linnuse [21] coming in the years following his campaign in Läänemaa.

    At the same time, the minathulatians, in war with Bakhyia, took the opportunity to establish a trading post at the now fallen scandinavian colony of Sæborg, making in 767 a deal with the curonian chiefdom of Peimorė [22], gaining the right to build the trading post in the near island of Lėipa [23] in return of help being provided against potential rivals, i.e the Samogitians to the south and Livonians to the north [24], this drew the attention of the curonians' northern neighbour, who in the next year made a daring raid under the leadership of Chief Imme, crossing the Vǟnta River and plundering through the territory of Bandava.

    At the same time, the bakhyians based out of Fēna with 23 ships and 6.500 men (the vast majority being livonian warriors and semigallian mercenaries) led by the shi'ite convert Bayrānut al-Rādalystiyy [25], disembarked at Lėiva and put the minathulatian fort into siege, with their fleet nearby being previously destroyed before the bakhyian landing, after four days of siege, the garrison surrendered, with Bayrānut putting the fort for his own use and then crossing overland to Ezerpėles [26], where he faced an army of 4.600 curonian warriors awaiting for him.

    The result was a pyrrhic victory for the bakhyian forces, who managed to force the curonians into retreat but at the same time, suffered heavy losses, mainly from the competent curonian cavalry. Although Ezerpėles surrendered to Bayrānut after the battle, the curonians retreated in considerable good order back to Lendāle [27], and after word of the double livo-bakhyian attack spread, the curonians entered in a unified front to stop them, while Bayrānut further fortified Ezerpėles, constructing the Ribāṭ al-Qūrsiyy [28] and recruiting a minor contingent of 400 curonian cavalrymen for himself.

    Next year, 5.700 curonians invaded Peninsular (i.e, in what's today Curonia) Livonia in order to avenge last year's raids, but soon discovered that the livonians were ready for them, with Chief Imme commanding 5.100 livonians and oeselian estonian mercenaries at the Battle of Talūsa [29] and defeating the curonians thanks to the advice of the estonian veterans (who had already fought side-by-side with curonian cavalrymen), forcing the raiders to return back home, with the livonians don't retaliating the raid beyond capturing the territories at the eastern coast.

    In the south, a coalition of around 10.500 curonian warriors gathered to oppose the bakhyians, who were after the losses last year numbering around 4.200 soldiers, with attempts to draw the samogitians into the conflict failing miserably, while promised reinforcements from Gduńzc [30] were delayed by the developments on the First Prussian War.

    With the curonian host advancing, Bāyranut decided to focus in defending Ezerpėles by leaving a garrison under his most trusted subcommander, the al-Fawqūlyn Ibrahim ibn Farīdun al-Baṣriyy [31], while harassing any curonian attempt to besiege Ezerpėles from his base on Lėipa.

    The curonians started the siege during the summer, initially managing to push the bakhyians from the main town positions quite easily, but, they soon started having difficulties in overcoming the small but well-defended ribat constructed around the heart of the town. And the harassing tactics of Bāyranut started to take an effect on the curonian forces, and, with autumn arriving and the climate cooling, maintaining the siege started to prove a considerable difficulty, but supplies inside the bakhyian fortifications also were going to low soon.

    Around October, Bāyranut found himself in a well-enough position to relieve the siege after his curonian scouts reported that the besiegers were starting to prepare camp to rest during the winter. Soon, he marched his troops through early snow and arrived near the town, already attacking the besiegers from first view, what proved to be an fatal error, once the curonians were totally prepared for his arrival due to some of the curonian scouts betraying the bakhyians, resulting in confusion after Bāyranut's curonians started to attack their fellow troops while the curonians advanced, resulting in an rapid rout of the bakhyian forces, and the following peaceful surrender of al-Baṣriyy under the terms that he and his troops are allowed to return to Lėipa.

    During Bāyranut's retreat back to Lėipa, he was frequently harassed by the locals, further diminishing his numbers to around a mere 400 soldiers (plus other 142 coming with al-Baṣriyy soon after), and when he finally arrived at Lėipa, the local curonians had started a uprising, who was brutally supressed with a massacre by the gotlander mercenaries that made up the bakhyian garrison after the curonians started to target the local norse-descent population as scapegoats (because they collaborated with the bakhyian takeover, and don't forget that this region was previously a scandinavian colony so...), what made Bāyranut start to fall depressed by the situation, and just didn't dismiss himself because al-Baṣriyy convinced him to not do so.

    But then, Bāyranut quickly repented from not dismissing himself, once the curonians came in the next spring with an fleet of 31 ships and easily blockaded the island, with 2.300 warriors landing and advancing quickly on the bakhyian positions, who retreated to the fort erected by the minathulatians three years before.

    Things seemed hopeless for the bakhyians, until 24 quite familiar ships arrived from far, assisted by 6 certainly livonian ships, in that day Bāyranut's hopes went high up, thinking that there was no way for the pagan curonians to defeat the bakhyians at sea. In the next day, battle came, but something else came too, while the curonians and bakhyians were fighting a quite equilibrated battle, 8 familiar ships arrived near from the west, Bāyranut and the whole bakhyian garrison thought this were ally reserves coming to crush the curonians.

    But they weren't, in fact, they were a minor minathulatian fleet sent north as soon as news of the fall of their post at Lėipa arrived, the thing is, due to the heavy commitment to the First Prussian War, the fleet remained a eight-ship fiasco not strong enough to do anything in its own, remaining anchored at the friendly curonian harbour of Pėilanka [32] until the arrival of news from the bakhyian defeat at Ezerpėles, when the fleet immediately sailed north to attempt to recover the post in Lėipa, and when the fleet arrived, it was decisive in settling the score against the bakhyians and decisively defeating the fleet.

    After the bakhyian fleet was defeated, Bāyranut entered sorrow again, and soon after surrendered the fort, being forced to make peace in behalf of the bakhyians (confirming the recognizement of the minathulatian rights to the post in Lėipa) and soon returning with what remained of his forces to al-Halqa. Where in the next year he would be dismissed after reports arrived in Gduńzc, but the bakhyians wouldn't again try to restart hostilities for quite the time, only helping the livonians to deal with occasional curonian raids.

    With the end of major conflicts in the region, bakhyian shipping increased in efficiency since the curonians weren't systematically attacking bakhyian merchant ships in the Baltic, although for all the powers in the baltic, curonian and especially estonian pirates remained a concern for the next decade, resulting in an increase in naval armament by the coasts, in special the coast of Sweden. This war also strengthened considerably the position of the peninsular livonians, with the previous curonian expansion being at least by now, dealt with a huge blow, and parcial prosperity reaching the livonian people for these times.

    [1]: Present-day Asva, Estonia. Curious enough the etymology have Proto-Balto-Slavic origins (while the estonians are Balto-Finnic), from *éśwāˀ [e.ɕwa:ˀ] (meaning "mare"), the name's halfway through the OTL change, instead of [as'ʋa] we have [æ'swa], with Proto-Finnic *w not lost yet (this will have some implications later)
    [2]: Pöide, Estonia. Pronounced as [pøj'ðe], because IOTL estonian lost *ð due to german influence (i swear this isn't a spoiler!)
    [3]: Danes, it ends up at least for now being used for the swedish too, because Sweden is under the King of the Danes
    [4]: You'll see that his history don't permits he to have such a bad reputation as one of "shamelessly pulling back from battle after doing literally nothing" among the estonians
    [5]: Grobiņa, Latvia, pronounced [sæ:r'borg]
    [6]: Tagalaht Bay, pronounced as i think that way you would speak it in english
    [7]: The battle happening at March 4, 764
    [8]: Today it's not an island, but this is due to land uplift, by the 8th century still is an island, the etymology is literally "High Island", pronounced as [kɤr'ge's:a:'re] (yes there's consonantal lenght)
    [9]: Around 90% of the island's population is non-permanent-living fishermen
    [10]: Triigi, Estonia, pronounced as [tri:'ki]. Etymology probably associated with iron
    [11]: By then the ukhawias were a quite recent arrival at the Baltic, so fleets going with interpreters were rare, but with the estonians the problem is the complete lack of relation between estonian and any language al-Kindī knows
    [12]: Estonia lacks really hard precious minerals, but in compensation it's a quite consistent producer of iron (with Saaremaa being the biggest producer)
    [13]: "Shelter of Hiumaa", pronounced as [ri'ba:tˤ al'ħu:ma:] in the little cape near present-day Pärna
    [14]: Antwerp, Belgium. Pronounced as [ant'verpan]
    [15]: Ventspils, Latvia, pronounced as [fe:'na]. The etymology comes from the livonian word "Vēna" (meaning "estuary of the river'') which IOTL gave its name to the Venda River, but as you may have noticed, this isn't the arab name for the place, which is Faynā [faj'na:]
    [16]: Oops, yeah this is certainly gonna cause problems, but it is the Daugava River. Y'll have to remember this: Fēna is the settlement (not in the river similarly named), Vēna is the river and al-Halqa is near present-day Riga (i.e on the Vēna River)
    [17]: Matsi, Estonia (Pärnu County). Pronounced as [ra'n:a'ne'ne:mi], meaning basically "Beachy Cape"
    [18]: Kasari, Estonia. Pronounced as [py'si'la], meaning roughly "place of encampment"
    [19]: IOTL Lihula had quite a fort going on so...
    [20]: Vlata, Estonia, pronounced as [vla'sj'ta]. Connected with Proto-Balto-Slavic *vlāšta (IINM)
    [21]: Same name from present-day village in the Island of Muhu, meaning "Castle-ly [Place]"
    [22]: Also know by its Lithuanian name, Piemare (with its curonian name meaning roughly "At sea")
    [23]: Time to explain regional rivalries yey, firstly, by here you may had already seen that the curonians don't quite like the livonians at all, but yeah, IOTL by the time of the crusades the curonians had literally displaced the livs from what we know now as Courland, while the samogitians and curonians were described as "bad neighbours" in the livonian chronicles of Henry
    [24]: Liepāja, Latvia. Pronounced as [le:j'pa]
    [25]: Beranot ("Bearing" in Old Dutch) the Livonian ("Rāndalist" being the old endonym of the livonians, meaning, "coastal people"), receiving this nickname because of living among the natives in al-Halqa and marrying a livonian woman. His complete name in Old Dutch would be Beranot thie Rēdalisit
    [26]: Sæborg proper, apparently being the curonian adaptation of Sær (Ezer) + Pėles (Castle, Stronghold, etc). Cognate with "Pólis" btw, pronounced as [ε'zɐr'pe:'les]
    [27]: Durbe, Latvia. Pronounced as [len'da:'le]
    [28]: "Ribāṭ of the Curonians"
    [29]: Talsa, Latvia. Same etymology of the OTL city, with only the retracted vowel changing, pronounced as [ta'lu:'sa]
    [30]: Being basically the ~ sort of/not exactly but quite like that ~ "capital" of the minathulatian baltic trading posts
    [31]: Firstly, al-Fawqūlun is a term that was initially used by the native old dutch speakers to refer to the shi'ites who emigrated to Bakhyia after the consolidation of the Imamate (Alt Folgoling, "Old Followers"), which the muslim ruling class and the emigrés themselves picked for common use in an arabized form (ironically enough, with the "Alt" being recognized as "al-"). Secondly, Ibrahim came from Iraq, specifically, as his name shows, from Basra, and his father was a zoroastrian convert for anyone wondering why the (probably strange) name
    [32]: Palanga, Lithuania. Pronounced as [pe:j'lan'ka], meaning "at the swamp"
     
    Map III: Eastern & Northern Europe
  • New Map! For those wondering how it's so damn beautiful, i must give all credits to my friend (and actually co-founder of this TL back in 2019) @Pato the Brazilian :)Now he's my personal slave and will do all TTL's maps :evilsmile:

    Just some additions to the map:
    - The Bohemian, Moravian, Slovak, Vistulan and White Croatian Tribes are (at least by now) formal Avar Vassals.
    - Slavic Tribes under Khazar Vassality (Eastern Polans, Ulichs, Tiverians, Severians and Drevlyans) are not shown.
    - The Chuds aren't one tribe, it's just the way i found to better represent the Ingrians and Votes because i'm not certain about the geographical divisions between these two groups (and they are similar anyway so...)
    - Obviously, sense of internal unity/division varies between the various tribal groups present in the map, even though most of their people sees themselves as one.
     
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