Building a Legacy, Part I: The Year of Leon (1066-1069)

Author: Elipticon
Published: 2019-09-01, edited: 2019-09-01
1066 was one of the most important years in history, with Britain as we know it forming. However, further south another powerhouse was forming....

Choose your character+ (allows me to play as non-dynastic characters)
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Mods I don't have enabled in this episode but I will enable in the future:
Improved Genetics
Century Gothic Font

Way of Life
Holy Fury
Reaper's Due

Part of the campaign:

Building a Legacy

Hello, and welcome to my AAR! I wanted to do one of these at some point, and since it's been forever since the last CK2 AAR on this site I decided to give it a go.

Please note: I am not good at video games, and especially not good at CK2. I am also the dog in the picture.
Meet Alfonso Jimena.

He's not in a good spot.

As the middle child of 3 kings, he's the most likely to not amount to anything. His Older Brother has the best claim, and his Younger Brother has the best chance of outliving them. Most likely he'll be forgotten for centuries until some scholar opens up a history book and discovers his existence.
Meet Matilda di Canossa

She wasn't supposed to amount to anything.

When her father died her younger brother inherited most of North Italy, and she was just going to be married off to someone else for an alliance. Unfortunately, he dropped dead when she was 13.
Matilda, desperate for options, decided to try and find a husband. She got a painting of her taken and sent one of her courtiers off around Europe, hoping to find someone who wanted her.

Roughly 3 years into the journey Alfonso and Matilda's courtier met. He didn't think much of her, but the thought of his descendants ruling one of the HRE's largest vassals was too much to resist. He decided to go to Tuscany himself to meet Matilda.

The one catch was that their kids would be of Matilda's dynasty. Alfonso didn't care much; he preferred his kids not being associated with the Jimenas
While he was traveling, Alfonso also made sure that his brother would soon end up dead. He was always good at sneaking around and staying hidden, the one advantage he had over his brothers.
To kill his brother, he needed support. Some people gladly joined, but most refused. The person Alfonso wanted the most to help was Guiterre de Gormaz, a minor baron in East Castile who might be of help.
Matilda and Alfonso married each other in an event that was met with little fanfare, since Matilda was a girl and Alfonso was hated by his brothers. It took many years for the news of Alfonso's marriage to reach Galicia.
After the wedding had finished, Matilda saw the people of Leon sick and impoverished. She pushed for Alfonso to do something, and he relented, hoping that it would improve their relationship. He started construction of a Hospital in the capital, and searched for a Physician for the entire Kingdom.
Alfonso then joined his younger brother's war. Alfonso didn't want to help, he just worried that his brother might die in combat, and his older brother would inherit the kingdom. He also wanted some extra land.
While Garcia was occupied with the army of Badajoz, Alfonso sieged the bordering city of Alcantara. Being the capital of a duchy, he knew that sieging the county down wold help immensely in the war.

Meanwhile, Alfonso's fellow Jimenas geared up for battle.
After a stunning victory at Coimbra, Alfonso received news that the Alcantaran army was hiding directly towards his army. Despite being outnumbered, Alfonso ordered the troops to stay put, saying that "every good Christian would come to defend me if they could."
Combat finally exchanged between the 2 armies on June 1st, and almost everyone on planet Earth was surprised to hear the Alfonso made a good military decision. The opposition's military had low morale and didn't want to fight, making the fight almost a cakewalk.
Indeed, the battle of Corianders was a resounding success, with 4 Andalusians dying for every Spaniard. At the same time, Alfonso's troops were halfway to claiming the castle in Alcantara for Leon.
After months of sieging, Alcantara has fallen! IF it were up to Alfonso, he would get to keep the county, but It was Garcia's war, so he can't.

After finding out this, Alfonso retracted from the war, disbanding all units from the battle field.
It was Christmas Day, 1067, and all of the ruling Jimenas were fighting in a foreign land that didn't celebrate Christmas. Except for Alfonso. He was meeting his wife in Barcelona for the first time in months. He expected a happy greeting, but that wasn't what he got.

As soon as he arrived, Matilda berated him for not doing the things set out to do, like claiming land from heathens, and becoming the true successor to Ferdinand Jimena, all the while he continued to spend money on getting people to kill his brothers.

Alfonso took a minute to take everything, and then spoke. "1068 will be the year of Leon, so shut your mouth and wait." The conversation ended there, and so did the festivities.
Alfonso put his promise to work, as he pushed his co-conspirators to kill Sancho as soon as possible.
Alfonso's entourage quickly cobbled up a plan to completely blow up Sancho, but were unsure if it would work. Alfonso liked the idea, so he gave it the go-ahead.
The legacy lives on! news reaches Alfonso that Matilda is pregnant, and by his math the baby should be due in September.
When Sancho Jimena finally arrived at the location that would kill him, Alfonso decided to watch from a distance. After hours of what seemed like nothing, a great ball of fire arose in the night, while the Castilian King was asleep. As the flames cleared and the aftermath was revealed, there was almost no trace of there even being a building there. Only one word flashed in Alfonso's mind. Éxito. Success.
Garcia just can't catch a break. Less than a year after he defended his territory, another war started up, with almost the exact same people, fighting over the exact same land. Alfonso joined again, so that he could claim more land after Garcia died.
Alfonso engaged his army against one that had 2,00 more troops, and expected that Galicia would help and fill in the gap.
That's not what happened though.

Galicia instead decided to travel all the way to southern Andalusia in order to siege down the attacker's capital, leaving Leon all alone fighting a stronger army. It was there when tragedy struck

Guiterre de Gormaz died in combat fighting for a lost cause. He was a minor baron in Castile before helping Alfonso kill Sancho, which awarded him the entire county of Soria. A funeral was held in Leon with various political figures from Leon and Navarra arriving to pay respects. Many years later, Guiterre is a symbol of giving everything away to fight for what he believes in.

He didn't have to fight. He w̶a̶s̶ ̶a̶p̶p̶o̶i̶n̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶d̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ ̶M̶a̶r̶s̶h̶a̶l̶l̶ chose to fight.
On October 2nd, 1068, Alfonso Jimena finally secured his line with his first child. Since the child was of Matilda's dynasty, she got to name him. She chose Ferdinando, claiming that it was named after Alfonso's father. Either she was mistaken or things got lost from Leon to Tuscany, because Alfonso's father is named Ferdinand. Alfonso quickly took Ferdinand home, where he spent most of his childhood.

I'll be calling him Ferdinand because Ferdinando sounds like the couple couldn't agree on whether to call him Ferdinand or Fernando so they decided to call him both.
Miraculously, the Leonese troops managed to muster their strength and beat back the Arabs, winning the battle. Once news reached Tuscany, Matilda wasn't impressed. She sat there with her lover, wondering when he'll actually do something for a chance.

Note: There was an event that had Matilda confess that she cheated but I didn't know what the event meant so I didn't screenshot it. Ferdinand will be a bastard for the rest of the game.
The backstabbing Galicians, we fought a battle that killed one of our best generals and they decided to make a trek down to Seville in order to siege down the capital. Well Alfonso's got news for them, when this war end they won't be coming back to Galicia, they'll be coming back to Leon.
The apposing army strangely decided to attack the Leonese, even though they had far less morale. Alfonso himself rode from Zamora in order to help the army.
This was to be expected.
Christmas Day, 1068. A full year had passed, and everything has changed. Alfonso went from being just another Christian kingdom, to a father, a soldier, and the strongest nation in Northern Spain.

1068 truly was the year of Leon.
to finish out the year, Alfonso cleared the town of Guarda, and was met with cheering populace. They would rather have Alfonso rule their city than Garcia, and Alfonso knew what his next goal was.
After another victory in Galicia, Alfonso has gained enough trust with the Pope to attack Garcia. His armies will regain strength in Salamanca before attacking the inept Galician King. The fate of Christian Spain rests in his hands......

Next chapter:

Game: Crusader Kings II

Building a Legacy, Part II: Setbacks (1069-1074)

Images: 39, author: Elipticon, published: 2019-09-05, edited: 2019-09-08

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