The Dawn of a Century: an Iberian timeline

Castile 1475
Asturias, Spain, December 1475

"Checkmate!" the Princess of Asturias exclaimed as she moved her knight across the checked board. She looked up at her mother and gleamed, basking in her achivement.

"Excellent. You are learning very fast, Isabel" Queen Isabel of Castile congratulated her namesake. "You are learning very fast. Perhaps one day you can move your own knights across the land like this"

"Sí mama. And I shall fight with them as well!" Infanta Isabel raised her hands as if holding a mystical sword. Queen Isabel smiled at her daughter's childishness. Unconditionally her hand travelled towards her womb and her thoughts to the son she had lost.

"We are still young....we shall have a son soon" the queen thought as she gazed at her daughter, still lost in her own world fighting the infidels. A gush of wind blew the reddish copper hair of the young infanta as her mother took a moment to appreciate her daughter's fair angelic face and greenish blue Trastamara eyes. Isabel was the epitome of a Spanish prince except she was not the boy the queen so wholely desired. A squeal of delight brought her back to the real world.

"Isabel! My dearest daughter, it feels so good to hold you in my arms again" Fernando, the older Isabel's husband and the prince of Girona, held his daughter in his arms and kissed her cheeks as Isabel giggled in joy and returned a quick kiss to her father's nose.

"I defeated mama in chess papa! I did." The younger Isabel said excitedly.

"Really?" Fernando faked an exclaim.
"Yes! I moved my knights across and captured her king" Isabel explained "my queen was face to face with the king and then the knight came to help her. The king couldn't escape!"

The older Isabel observed the interaction between father and daughter. Sometimes a part of her wanted life to continue in this manner only, no kingdoms to claim, no claimants to fight, life without the fear of losing her husband to the battlefield. Just the 3 of them and her son who had yet to arrive.

"...and the knights are just like you, they go to war like you and are so courageous and strong" the younger Isabel spoke excitedly.
"And their queen?" Fernando asked

The little girl frowned a bit, she had not decided who their queen would be. "I don't know....who is your queen papa?"

"But I have two queens my dear" Fernando chuckled as he turned towards his wife. "My dear Isabel and my sweet Bella" he exclaimed. Isabel laughed at her husband's words. Fernando was cunning, ambitious and willing to do anything to secure his power but at times like this it felt as if they were to young to interfere in matters regarding war and treachery, at it was their age to indulge and enjoy their family.

"You flatter me Fernando" Isabel proclaimed.
"But why my dear, we are alone and none are praying upon us? Why shouldn't a spare some moments for my queens" Fernando said as he placed his daughter on the grown and kissed his wife's hand.

"Papa can I go with you to the battlefield please" Bella asked " I want to lead my knights and hold the sword like you"

"Of course my daughter, but you must grow up a bit, the sword is too heavy for you to carry now" Fernando explained

"But then how will you protect both of us papa? You will be so tired" the infanta asked thoughtfully.

"We shall have another knight soon darling " Fernando said looking at his wife "he will protect his mother and will be a great conquerer like El Cid".

"Who is he? I want to lead my knights with him" Bella asked eagerly.

Isabel smiled. "We will have a son, Fernando. A brilliant beautiful son. A son as brave and strong like his father " she said.

"Yes my dear we will" Fernando said as he kisses her hands again.

The battles had just begun.
Portugal 1475
Lisbon, Portugal, July, 1475

"It's a girl your majesty" the midwife whispered as she placed the newborn into her mother's arms. leanor gazed at the newborn, her first born, daughter. The girl had her mother's face and father's hair.

"Leanor" the Prince of Portugal said as he entered the chambers, he stopped before his wife and child and asked "my.."

"Daughter" his wife finished his sentence for him "we have a daughter João". Leanor could see the disappointment in his eyes, had his father not had a son in his first attempt?

"Are you disappointed João?" Leanor whispered. João came forward and kissed his wife before taking his daughter in his hands.

"No.... absolutely not" João said "a healthy beautiful daughter of the house Avis. We are still young, soon we shall have many sons"

Leanor smiled. They still had plenty of time to conceive childern, they would have many sons as João believed.
"What shall we name our daughter?" She asked her husband.

João carefully observed his daughter. "She bears your looks so well, she deserves to be named after the queen who bore her".

Leanor kissed her daughter "Leanor, my darling" she whispered, "I am honoured my lord"

"Leanor" João kissed his daughter as she giggled in his arms "who knows? Maybe this girl will be an empress one day"
France 1476
Paris, France, August, 1476

King Louis paced the chambers of his council. " were repelled you say"

"We were your majesty, unfortunately " Alain of Albret, 16th Lord of Albret, Viscount of Tartas, the 2nd Count of Graves and the Count of Castres said. "The Aragonese forces are well versed into the country and know the place well than we do....our forces were scattered and I fled with the rest"

Louis stopped. This man, one of the most powerful in France, was admitting his cowardice. Yet Louis knew that the count was experienced and seasoned enough to know what was better.

"A humiliation for the kingdom of France" Louis stated "but to be beared if the future prospects are better"

"The new Queen of Portugal, the one they call la Beltraneja, is a girl of 13. While the queen of Castile is a woman who has already proved the worth in the throne and the womb" Alain said "the Infante Fernando is a young man of cunning and ambitions, a dangerous combination of traits I must admit.....with the queen of Castile as his wife he would spare no charge to protect what he believes is his "

Louis nodded slowly. Charles was a good man when he was the king of Navarre, that was until death took him. Poisoned, Louis had no doubt on that and that too either by his father or brother. Navarre was a tiny piece of land, one with barely much sustenance. If the boy was willing to go lengths for that piece of land, Louis believed, how far would he go to make his wife the queen?

"Well then we change our focus. Navarre can wait and so can Portugal. The king of Portugal does not show much aggressiveness and neither should we" Louis ordered

"Of course your majesty.... The king of Portugal is also powerful enough to make his niece-wife queen if he wants....when he works on his priorities we too shall, for now the Duke of Burgundy must be stopped"

"Yes Yes.....the Duke of Burgundy " Louis frowned at the name of his rival "if I had not dragged that bastard in chains, how shall I even call myself the king?"

The viscount wanted to say something but was interrupted by the herald announcing the count of Candale.

"Your majesty" The count bowed "I bring news from Castile.... The Portuguese have retreated"

"What!?..." Alain exclaimed "then that signifies the victory of the kings of Aragon" he turned towards the king

"Are there no Portuguese Lords left in Castile? " Louis asked

"There are your majesty.... The prince of Portugal has arrived to aid his father but I doubt that he is to stay for long" Gaston de Foix replied

Louis eyed the two men extensively, the Burgundian front needed immediate attention but he was a far sighted man. "No matter how much I try to ignore the Iberian kingdoms, they will come back to chew on me" Louis thought "Fernando was also considered a potential husband to the Burgundian heiress. If only..... "

"Your majesty" Alain began "I would hate to interrupt your thoughts but I believe that it would be better for us to foster our cause towards the Burgundian front. The Iberian kingdoms are yet to show prospect..... Moreover a double front war is the last thing we require now"

The 2 noblemen nodded in agreement. Although Gaston was still in favor of an assult towards Aragon, he kept his thoughts to himself.

"Very well Messieurs..... I shall consider the situation regarding the Castilian war, although do strengthen the Burgundian front..... I do regard it with more importance than the Castilian one" Louis cleared "Now do please leave me in solitude with my thoughts"

The nobles bowed and left. Louis sat on hia desk. He knew why the count of Candale was so interested, his wife was a Navarrese infanta with strong claims to the kingdom. Louis shook his head and chucked a bit, the count had ambitions bigger than his head or realm. But he needed to choose a side.

"Both kings boost of a daughter as the heiress...." Louis thought " François is 3yrs older than the Portuguese infanta and 2yrs younger than the Castilian one. A marriage wouldn't be bad"

"Your highness" Louis was interrupted again. The boy bowed down, Louis recognized him as one of those he sent to Portugal. "I bring your highness news that might be considered" There was always news for the king of France, no wonder they call him the Universal Spider.

"The king of Portugal is planning to visit your honour... All be himself. He wants to talk to you in person. He shall arrive by the first week of September" The boy informed. Louis took a coin from his purse and beckoned the boy forward. The boy received the coin with a glim of joy and bowed again before leaving.

The king of Portugal was coming himself, perhaps the fleur-de-lys could next be seen on a Portuguese arms? Louis thought and smiled.
Castile 1477
Seville, Castile, April 3rd, 1477

Fernando forced through the chamber doors as the cries of the newborn filled the air around him. His wife had a small bundle in her hands and a large grin around her face. Fernando knew what it meant.

" do you fare?" The prince asked, sincerely worried.
"I am well Fernando, just a bit tired as any proud mother would be" Isabel said, her head held high despite the sweat drops that tickled down her brows.
"And our...." Fernando began.
"Son" Isabel finished for him.

The Infante moved closer to the little bundle of victory. His son and heir! Fernando couldn't believe the heavens. His first legitimate son.

"He is our victory Isabel.....our future...our heir" his voice trembled with pride and anticipation.

"He is, our boy....the Emperor of Hispania" Isabel put forward, she had won the war. "We should call the Infanta, she ought to meet her brother"

"Yes, yes" Fernando agreed as Isabel gestured one of her ladies to bring the Princess of Asturias.

"My son the bringer of shall destroy your enemies in war" Fernando said
"On the topic of war, how does the battlefield fair?" Isabel asked
"Oh dear you should not be concerned with this now, you ought to take rest" Fernando began but changed the topic when Isabel glared at him "Do you want the good news first or the bad one" he asked

"The bad one please"
"The archbishop of Toledo refuses to collaborate" Isabel frowned
"And the good news?"
"There are plenty, my queen" Fernando knew what it took to uplift Isabel's mood
"The Marquis of Villena, the Pacheco-Girón brothers and thr city of Toro have surrendered"
"Excellent!" Isabel rejoiced. If Alonso had refused to come back after the battle of Toro, Isabel thought, it's possible he won't show much aggression either, a few diplomatic pacts were all that were left to end the bloodshed.

"Mama, You called me?" Infanta Isabel, the Princess of Asturias (a title she would lose soon) asked.

"Yes mi hija, come meet your brother" the queen beckoned

"My brother?" She asked "He is so small"
"He will grow up with time my dear" Fernando chuckled "and be the knight who shall protect his mother"

"Like King Fernando of Castile!" the infanta remarked as she turned to her father "he will protect mama just like King Fernando protected his mother, the great queen Berengaria"

"You have taken your lessons by heart, Isabel.... I am proud of you" Queen Isabel praised.

Meanwhile, the little prince in the queen's arms cooed and smiled, delighted by his elder sister's antics. His head sprouted reddish golden hair while his pale complexion matched his sister's. Yet despite all this there seemed to me a lack of action in him, a fact that was noticed by his mother.

"Isabella was more lively than her brother..... perhaps he will grow stronger when he grows up" the queen thought to herself

"What is his name?" The Infante asked.

Fernando looked at his wife and their eyes met in a mutual agreement.

"Juan....after the Saints and our fathers" the queen declared.

"Infante Juan, Emperor of Hispanic......May you exceed all your forefathers" Fernando whispered.

The war of succession was over.
Seville, Castile, April 3rd, 1477
So, TTL Juan of Trastámara, would appear that was born some months earlier than OTL, thus that if necessary', he would be reaching the age of majority/marry off, sooner, than OTL.
"Isabella was more lively than her brother..... perhaps he will grow stronger when he grows up" the queen thought to herself
Hum, considering his OTL counterpart fragile health and particularly what the contemporaneous sources told us/reported on his tranquil behaviour/character and his artistic interests.
I would suppose that if it wasn't somewhat butterflied that would be possible that if he would be any similar to OTL, that he may not live up to his parents' full expectations. And/or perhaps, for him to won't live/growth to what the times 'd have considered as the ideal king and knight.
considering his OTL counterpart fragile health and particularly what the contemporaneous sources told us/reported on his tranquil behaviour/character and his artistic interests.
That is definately going to worry his parents considering that I won't change much of his character.
, TTL Juan of Trastámara, would appear that was born some months earlier than OTL, thus that if necessary', he would be reaching the age of majority/marry off, sooner, than OTL.
The Prince of Portugal has a daughter and if we believe Fernando's words, they have already won the war of succession with a male heir and perhaps Margaret of Austria has to look elsewhere for a husband
The Catholic kings were the beginning of a golden age for Spain, quite interested in history, we will see how the infante weathers the reign of what in the future will be the most powerful nation in the West.
Portugal, September 14th, 1477
Caminha, Portugal, September 14th, 1477

The caravel, hosting the king himself, landed on shore in Caminha. The ported, well dressed to accomodate royalty, bustled and buzzed as people crowded to get one view of their king, or rather the king-father, for despite the glamour that the port boasted of it was still not befitting for Lord of the realm.

King Alfonso V was not an old man. At 45, he had been ruling for nearly 4 decades, his reign witnessing the Portugese conquest of Alcácer Ceguer, Arzila and Tangiers. Having distinguishing himself from his scholarly father, Alfonso landed from board to a crowd of onlookers, the banner of the Avis dynasty high up in the sky with knights of the royal guard. His personal Coat of Arms were raised, he observed but there was no sign of the King's banner.

"Dear brother, how did your trip fare in France" Dom Fernando, and younger brother of the king inquired. At 44, the Duke of Beja and Viseu had proven himself well worthy in the art of navigation and warfare as rightful to any Avis prince. The brothers were in Fernando's Dukedom of Viseu, and throughout the journey, Alfonso did little to express the many doubts in his mind. Years of armed experiences had taught him well to control his tongue. Yet he could not help but ask his brother.

"Fernando....tell me something." Alfonso asked "I see the place well accomodated to suit any person of royal blood....but it is still no place for a King.....Even why? What happened?"

Fernando hesitated, he picked up his goblet of wine and finished its contents, in the end he tried to change the question. "Nothing much brother.....Why not tell me about your meeting with the French king? did it go?" Fernando inquired, wanting earnestly to avoid the topic that plagued the mind of his older brother.

Alfonso eyed his brother thoroughly, piercing through the darkness into the very soul of the Duke. "The King wanted to betrothe his younger son, the Duke of Berry to my granddaughter..." Alfonso laughed a bit "that man really thought that the firstborn daughter of the house of Avis will every marry a second born prince"

Fernando laughed along "so what happened....did anything of use happened"

"Yes...yes it did.....but for that I require your help"

Fernando was bewildered before composing his state again "yes....yes, Sure brother, I am happy to help in anyway you want"

"The Castilian war barely yields us any fruit....I am planning to truce this war, they say that the queen of castile has given birth to a son?"

"Yes.....and they named the boy Juan, are you thinking...."

"Yes, i will betrothed my granddaughter to the Prince of Asturias, we shall then have an agent in Castile and a long truce with the kings of Castile and Aragon"

"I understand" Fernando nodded "but where do I stand here"

"Your son João, shall be betrothed to Louis's youngest sister, Magdalena"

"Your Honour! It's a is a great honour for me and my French princess for a mere Duke!"

"Save those words Fernando, You are no mare long as I do not have a grandson, you and your sons are 2nd and 3rd in line to the Portuguese case of your death" Alfonso made a sign of the cross "João will still be 3rd in line....and you are one of the most important Dukes of Portugal, the youngest sister of a king is well your stands"

Fernando was excited at the prospect. A French princess for his heir! João was well settled for the time with his inheritance, Diogo would probably be more suited in joining his cousins in their African conquest, maybe earning his own accolade and a seperate Dukedom in the process, only little Manuel was left. He'll join the order of the Avis or a holy order or perhaps the church itself, Fernando thought, he is more sincere and quite than his brothers were at his age. Alfonso's voice pulled him out of his thoughts.

"Now dear brother, that I have informed you of the great prospects that I have arranged for you, would you mind answering the question I had asked you moments ago?" Alfonso asked, his eyes piercing, there was no way to avoid this man.

"Alfonso..." Fernando began, unable to find words "you...ummm..."

"Yes, continue"

"Brother you are....."

"Yes what" Alfonso could barely wait for Fernando's revelations. His patience was running dry and his heart was begining to feel uncomfortable "tell me Fernando, what happened "

"You are no longer king brother....your title was usurped by the Prince, your son...." Fernando blurted "I was not of help....the Dukes of Braganza have sworn their loyalties to are simply the king father now....the Prince requested be to inform you that you should take refuge in a monastery until death seeks you"

Alfonso could not believe what Fernando had said. His titles usurped by his own son! The pain in his heart was begining to grow, it was feeling uncomfortable. And Fernando's eyes, they betrayed a different kind of truth, another truth of betrayal, Fernando had helped his nephew, he wanted to replace his brother with the boy Alfonso called son, the pain in his heart was unbearable.

"Alfonso! Alfonso...." These were the last things the former king heard from his brother, his sight was becoming dark and his body felt cold....and who were those winged beings? Angles?

"Father, what happened?" A melody of a voice of a boy was heard across the doorway causing the former king to get one last glimpse of his youngest nephew, Manuel, the boy without much prospect. Despite all the darkness consuming his sight, uncle and nephew met eachother's eyes and Alfonso saw what he thought he would never witness again. Purity, truth, gentleness. Manuel was not like his forefathers, he would not be vying for power, Alfonso knew it.

One of the angles moved towards Manuel and put a heavenly crown on his head and Alfonso knew who that angle was, St Antonio.

"You shall be king" Alfonso pointed towards Manuel with the last of his strength as his voice choked and the pain in him heart tore him apart. The era of one king was over.
Portugal, February 21, 1478.
The dukedom of Beja, February 21, 1478.

The land bordered the kingdom of Castile, thus it was no doubt the land the Prince of Asturias and the Princess of Portugal were betrothed, a sign of mutuality by the two kingdoms.

"....and now we are a family" João II of Portugal said turning to the Castilian Queen "aren't we your majesty?"

Isabel coyed a smile. The war was finally over and former queen Juana's bastard was locked up in a nunnery. There was no reason to continue the enmity with the Portuguese.

"Of course King João" Infante Fernando replied. He was less sure than his wife about the Portugese's intentions. "It is a great honour for the Prince of Asturias to be the king of Portugal's son-in-law, his sons will carry with them the very blood of the African King" Fernando said.

João flinched a bit. His daughter's children would have good claims over the Portugese throne. "Anything happens to Alfonso, my Spanish grandson will take over the throne, the essence of the Portugese will be lost" João throught. Alfonso was the youngest child and only son, the physician had stated that Alfonso's difficult birth had severally affected Eleanor meaning Alfonso was her last child. "At least he is healthy" João reminded himself "he will have many sons when he grows up......and I have cousins, João, Diego and Manuel....the Portuguese line is safe".

"Ah! Infante Fernando.....You are too far sighted, my daughter has just grown her first teeth and your son still drinks form the breast.....let them enjoy the simplicity of childhood " João said, the queen and her husband laughed.

Beside João, the lord of Moura and his brother listened intently at what the King said.

"Do you think he is afraid, João" Diego, the second son of the Duke of Beja asked his older brother.
"Might be...." João whispered, "our nephew from our sister is healthy and big, but has left his mother infertile....and princes can die in accidents..."

"Meaning that with that our inheritance ..and your marriage to the princess of France...we will be unstoppable João....the king has many reasons to fear us " Diego whispered with a sinister smile. At 28, Diego was a suitable bachelor of high statues but there weren't many maidens for him. Or so the king claimed, for after the lord of Moura 's marriage to Magdalena of France, King João regarded his cousins as a threat to his rule, despite the fact that his uncle had helped him usurp the throne from his father. Dom Fernando had turned against his brother, the king...what would forbid his sons from turning against theirs?
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Portugal, 1480
Moura, Portugal, July 1480

Isabel carefully caressed the newborn bunny while it's mother slept, exhausted from childbirth. This one is weaker than his siblings, Isabel thought, perhaps that is why his father stays so close to him, the father snuggled closed to Isabel but kept a watchful eye on his newborn children, some playing nearby while others stayed by their mother's side. Suddenly he sprang upto his feet and hopped around as if truth to defend his family from something.

"Ah, Niño stop" the infanta shouted before chasing the bunny's father, the bunny still secured in her hands "what happened?"

As Isabel chased Niño she found him facing a dog that seemed annoyed at the pesky little creature trying to challenge it.

"Niño, come back don't try to fight the dog" Isabel tried calling out to her pet but he had non of it. The dog had enough of being annoyed and ferociously barked before leaping forward towards the rabbit. Niño realized that he had bitten off more than he could chew and lept on his back to flee the sight. The dog chased after him while Isabel watched in horror.

"Oh God, Niño why must you!?" Isabel exclamation. She looked around and found a strong stick. Placing the bunny on a head of soft mud and leaves, Isabel picked up the stick and went over to rescue her rabbit.

Isabel stood between her rabbit and the dog, holding her stick protectively. The dog pounced at the infanta while Isabel held the stick and tried to push the creature back.

"Riño stop right there" a voice, of a boy no less, filled with authority shouted from behind Isabel. The dog immediately left Isabel and ran to the boy, who Isabel turned around to find was Dom Manuel, youngest son of the former duke of Beja and Viseu.

"Bad boy, how many times should I tell you to stop bothering people like these" Manuel scolded Riño who simply wiggled his tail in joy as if he found the entire situation funny. "No I do not care if you find this funny" Manuel said as Riño jumped on him and began licking his face "No Riño...this will will not be forgiven, I am still angry" Manuel pushed Riño down, the dog whimped and laid his head low.

"Yes that's better, now run off to my chambers and wait for me while I fix the damage you caused" Manuel commanded his dog and patted his head just as the dog ran away from the sight leaving the oldest Trastamára daughter and youngest Avís son together.

"Are you fine my lady?" Manuel turned towards Isabel who had been watching the interaction with quite some interest. "I apologise for Riño's behavior, I have been trying to discipline him for some time but he doesn't seem to listen" Manuel bowed his head regretfully.

"It's fine Dom Manuel" Isabel said, "It was not his fault entirely, Niño had been annoying him for some time and I feel the need to apologize if I have hurt Riño by any chance"

"Niño?" Manuel was surprised but looked around to find Niño at the heap of mud and leaves where his son lay. "Is that Niño" Manuel pointed before approaching the rabbit. He stroke Niño's back until he had calmed down before picking him up. Isabel followed by picking up the bunny.

"So Niño is a father? I don't blame him if he is a but overprotective over his daughter" Manuel laughed.

"Son, Juan is Niño's son, although he is not as strong as his brothers and sisters" Isabel corrected Manuel.

"Oh I see, but why is his name Juan? After the king?"

"Oh no no, after my brother back in Castile"

Isabel smiled sadly. She missed her parents and siblings but didn't want to show that.

"Hmm..." Manuel caressed Niño with gentleness that Isabel could not image him to be authoritative a few moments ago. He was gentler than many of the people around, including the Dowager Duchess and Isabel's grandaunt and Manuel's mother.

"Your hand" Manuel exclaimed suddenly "It's bleeding" putting Niño down Manuel rushed towards Isabel and took her hands in his. The hand was bleeding, Isabel realized. "Riño, that boy, he scratched you so deep" Manuel carefully inspected the hand. "We need to see the doctor before it's too late until then..." he took out a napkin and wrapped it around Isabel's hand over the wound stopping the blood flow.

"Ah.." Isabel exclamation lightly.

"Are you ok?" Manuel asked, his eyes wide with sincerity and care, "is it too tight"

"Oh no it's fine," Isabel chucked at Manuel antics before looking at him. He wasn't very handsome but that serenity in his face, the gentleness of his eyes, the angelic nature of him drawn the young infanta to the youngest boy of the Avís dynasty.

Manuel himself looked at Isabel with admiration. She was beautiful, he realised, her eyes as green as the earth but also so blue that it might be mistaken for the oceans the Portuguese traveled over, it's depth a hoard of many secrets mankind had yet to explorer. The silence was dawning on them but was broken by the Dowager Duchess calling out to her son and grand niece.

"Where have you two been!? We were so worried" Dowager Duchess Beatrice exclaimed. "Infanta I think it is time for your language lessons, please go to your chambers. Your tutor must be waiting for you" Beatrice then turned to her son "Manuel, the captain of Arzila awaits you, do not keep him waiting ".

Isabel nodded and rushed out of the scene, stopping only to put Juan back with his mother and siblings. For a moment she turned back and smiled towards Manuel before dashing off again.

"That girl is going to a good Portuguese queen" Beatrice said "I think she should also join you sometimes when you are learning warfare from the Captain, don't you think? Manuel, Manuel?"

Manuel came back from his trance, sometimes things happened that he didn't yet understood, but he nooded. "Yes mama, she will be a great queen and i shall be her loyal knight". He smiled.
Question: should I explore the relationship between the characters or do a political/military/historically suited thread next?