The Reign of King Diego of Andalusia, Heir of El Cid
Now, this is a tale of a young man, a man who inherited a great destiny from his father, one fraught with challenges and times when he weep at the sight outside of his window. It is this young man which was emboldened by the years to do great things, things he could never possibility have dreamt. For such a tale, we have to start at the beginning.
Diego was a humble boy, he was no extra-ordinary gifted one, following his great father's footsteps on a donkey as he had a more religious meaning in his life. His father was a great warrior, one who obviously basked in the glory of God, bringing forth his righteousness those the unbelievers, some one who could bring about miracles. In the final days, his father carved out a small holding on the Spanish coast, nothing much greater than a warlord, a count only in name. El Cid constantly showed that merit was thicker than blood, something this young boy was hard pressed to match.
In the early days of his reign, rebellions sprung up in the provinces and the Muslim leaders, feeling humiliated by the antics of his father, decided to bright forth their holy wrath upon the boy. The Hammadid's of Algeria declared a holy war to establish their own foothold and ambitions upon Iberia, their ships pulling up and striking hard against the shoreline. El Cid left the coffers empty for the young man who is now desperately retreating backwards further inland, but there is something El Cid gifted his son which was worth more than material worth, a man's honour. The Kingdoms of England and Siciliy saw the plight of Count Diego, and renewing their promises to his father, El Cid, came in riding upon the waves to rescue Iberia from the Hammadid threat.
The waves of new forces from Sicily and England brought much needed reinforcements, crushing the Muslim forces and sending them back into the sea where they thus came from. The leader seeing himself surrounded by the forces decided to accept a white peace, cursing El Cid for his influences from the grave.
Diego, the Child of El Cid did have some ambition though. Upon the feasting table with his allies, upon renewing the ties of alliance and fealty with gifts and marriage, they set forward to create a plan, a plan to cast the Muslim forces off Iberia and bring the realm back into the yoke of Christendom. In the south, the Emir(?) of Granada passed away, leaving the realm under the control of his young son. Many of the surrounding powers have taken this as an opportunity to strike, especially the powerful Kingdom of Castile, but their forces were met by the defenders of Islam, fighting a battle on a losing front. However, the young Emir left himself completely exposed, it is time for the son of El Cid to strike.
It seems that the young Emir had plenty of defenders rallying to his call, but with the Kingdom of England and Sicily supporting his flanks, the son of El Cid advanced forward to the capital as the English took the coast (and did all the work, but that isn't good storytelling!)
To the North, Cordoba was in a similar ripe situation, which the forces of Sicily diverted towards, to help bring it into the fold.
One thing to note, these lands were buffer states established by the almighty Almoravids, they didn't take too kindly to the advancement to a son of a Warlord encroaching upon his lands, so he decided to use the full might of his lands in Iberia and Africa against the son of El Cid.
However, the funds from the conquests and support of the surrounding nations ended up with Deigo bestowed the title of Duke of Valencia, giving him standing above his count peers and allowing them to swear fealty towards him to swear as his vassals.
The battle wages on for many years, the confront and blows are struck all over the nation as the fight for supremacy continues. The holy war causing great prestige and piety to build up, and with news of the Knights Templar recruiting in the region, the battle was about the turn when he convinced them to support his cause! An almighty army of 6.6k knights set off from the capital and being a victim of the Holy War seemed to convince the Order Master not to charge for upkeep, but the puny jealous Kingdom of Aragon had other plans, sending Deigo into a dark lifeless abyss when he convinced the Pope that his true parents were El Cid and a Shedevil who he sold his soul too.
Luckily, the Pope decided he was of Ill-judgement, and within a few brief exchanges, he decided to lift the excommunication of Duke Diego (yay!), and to further compensate the Duke, he gave three war donations during the course of the Holy War to help support and fund the defences, each consisting of 200 gold.
[to be continued...]