Introduction to Ard Marjhoola
Ard Marjhoola, "the unknown territory" is discovered by Ibn Aswad, who brings back definitive evidence of his claims. While disputed at first, it was enough to promote further voyages into the Atlantic eventually leading to Muslim expansion into the Americas. As a result, the "Caliphate of Córdoba" lasts longer and has more political and cultural clout at the time. A cultural and power war between the Caliphates at the time force several wars and land grabs.
Discovery of Ard Marjhoola
Ibn Aswad, a Muslim navigator from Córdoba sails from the Old World in 889 AD and ends up discovering new lands. He brings back strange fruit, plants and small animals not previously known. Historians still wonder whether the claims were real, but at the time it was enough to promote further expeditions, leading to the discovery and first colony of South America in 933.
Political effect in Al-Andalus
By 933, Abd-ar-Rahman III the first Caliph of Córdoba was engaged in a number of conflicts, both to the North with Christian nations, and in the South with the Fatimids. As a result of the colonisation of Ard Marjhoola, Rahman III had gained even more followers and legitimacy within the Muslim world; holding onto cities and towns in the North while gaining ground in North Africa with the Berbers he had helped a few years previously.
Battle of Simancas
The Battle of Simancas, from July 19th-21st of 939 was fought between the Caliphate and Ramiro II of León. Ramiro II personally led a counter attack on the 3rd and final day, and was slain by a stray arrow. By the end of the day, Rahman III's troops were victorious and eventually led to León's defeat and integration into the Caliphate. Fernán González of Castile, who once fought with Ramiro II converts to Islam and becomes a regional political figure. With the north finally subdued, Rahman III looks back to Africa.
After Rahman III's reign
After the death of Rahman III, his son Al-Hakam II takes over. Al-Hakam leads greater expansion into Ard Marjhoola; while using the nations navy to prevent rival nations attempts to colonise it for themselves. His rule over Córdoba was a pleasant experience for most, and he brings about various changes in both infrastructure and irrigation mixing European standards with Middle Eastern styles. While known for his homosexuality, his advisers force him into attempting to produce a heir. Hisham II takes over after his fathers death in 976.
Córdobian Civil war
Hisham, while just about old enough to rule himself, decides to bring Muhammad Ibn Abi Aamir who managed his estate into power alongside him anyway. The two, while in competition against each other to lead still managed to bring further successes to the Caliphate, Navarre and Barcelona are annexed. However later on, Muhammad attempts a coop with Berber mercenaries. The coop fails, and Hisham II brings in his own Berber allies to remain in control. Muhammad is captured and quickly executed and his position is handed to the Berber families cementing Moorish-Berber relations. With this political union in place, Berber tribes in North Africa quickly come under the banner of Córdoba.
The Caliphate Wars
With Córdoba becoming so strong, it was no doubt going to raise its enemies head. While still having to deal with Christian Europe, its monopoly of Ard Marjhoola, and solidifying its power with the Berber tribes in North Africa; made a direct assault on the claim of "Caliph" a leadership of one whole nation, not three. The Fatimids, and the Abbasids further afield were now much more aware of Córdoba's power, and that led to a series of conflicts known as The Caliphate Wars. Not only were these conflicts about the three asserting their power against each other, but pushing it as far out as possible towards other nations as well.
Conflicts between Caliphates
As the political union between the Berber tribes and Córdoba cemented, so did a border between it and its nearest rival, the Fatimids across North Africa. Due to the "Brain drain" on the Fatimid side as skilled workers moved to develop the Berber region, this led to the Córdoba-Fatimid Border War in 1022, a conflict which would be waged on different levels at different times, but ultimately flying in favour for Córdoba. Problems for the Fatimids didn't end there however, on the other side, the Abbasid Caliphate was beginning to realign itself attempting to recreate its past glory in the face of not one enemy but two, broken into a weak position since the Fatimids took over. While on a smaller scale, based largely in the desolate, isolated desert outside of Baghdad, the Abbasids became a thorn in their sides with the Fatimid-Abbasid Border Conflicts.
Rising Religious conflict
Christian Europe was not taking Muslim land gains into their territory lightly. Conflicts from the wars between the rivalling Caliphates were creeping up to France in the West, and through Italy in the Centre and the Byzantine Empire in the East. As a result, numerous "Crusades" were launched to repel Muslim forces. Rumours of Pope Sylvester II, who held the papacy even before the Córdobian Civil war and brought in the Arab numbering system and other inventions; became over exaggerated, and led to trade of goods and technology from Christian Europe to Arab and Muslim traders being blocked and in some regions, a criminal offence.
The Caliphate of Córdoba was the first old world nation to formally encounter with the native people of Ard Marjhoola. Previously, rumours of strange, near naked men and women hiding from view when sought out were spread and promoted further exploration to find settlements. Original theories included the possibility of Jinns, or some form of animal. When a small group of Berber Explorers from the old world met with natives and attempted to communicate in 1067 AD, their efforts were rewarded and the two cultures began to learn from each other.
It didn't take long for Córdobians to realise that the culture they had discovered, hidden away for so long despite its colonisation of the coast was far inferior to its own. Most groups they discovered were nomadic, moving from one place to another, and engaging sometimes in what they believed to be inhumane behaviour such as Cannibalism. The Colonies, while small developed towns of their own by this point, was not sure what effect they could have being in such a strange land.
Word got back from Ard Marjhoola of the situation between the colonies and of the native people of Ard Marjhoola in 1071 AD. After long rounds of discussions of the Córdobian Caliph and his advisers, it was decided to expand influence and territory in the new world and formally announced the formation of the Emirate of Ard Marjhoola. The Fatimids and Abbasids, when learning of this development, would nominally rename their colonies to a similar stature, although without the manpower and resources to rush expansion leaving Córdoba yet again as the leading Colonial power in Ard Marjhoola.
Timeline of events
Timeline of Inventions