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Thread: Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario

  1. #1
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario

    The battle of Inab
    Outremer, 1149



    Blood continued to fall upon the desert sands as the battle raged to its historic conclusion. The extraordinary conflict between both sides was reaching a fevered high, as the Crusaders and the Syrian's slaughtered each other for the glory of their God.

    In the midst of the battle a circle of knights fought valiantly against the fanatical warriors of Allah, their blood stained armor and gore soaked swords still flashing brilliantly under the blazing Mediterranean sun. Flying high over them, a beacon of strength to the whole of the army, the banner of Raymond of Antioch whipped in the wind. A volley of arrows from a passing contingent of Turkish horsemen fell upon the knights. Most shattered against the fine Tuscan wrought metal the Crusaders armored themselves in, but one knight was less fortunate as one arrow speared his steed in its eye. The mount reared backwards and then collapsed, dragging its rider down with it.

    Seeing his friend Dinadan fall, Raymond of Antioch quickly scanned the battlefield, searching for a way to salvage the battle. Surely his Christian God would provide a means of victory over the infidel, he thought. A spear smashed against the side of his shield, dragging Raymond back to the here and now. Turning in his saddle, the prince cleaved through the neck of his attacker, before twisting his around to the right and spearing another Muslim in the face with the tip of his sword. Then he saw the chance for victory that he knew God would provide. Glancing to his left for more opponents, Raymond spotted the tall, swarthy figure of Nur al-Din. The General of the infidel army was surrounded by bodies and without a mount. This was Raymond's chance. Gathering his remaining knights around him, Raymond rallied into a charge. "Deus Vult!!"

    At his words, he and the remaining seven knights around him spurred their armored steeds into a charge, sand kicked up around them as they raced towards the heart of the enemy.

    ***


    With a firm kick, Nur al-Din pushed the body of another Christian soldier from his sword with the familiar wet sucking sound. Thanks to his leadership and the strength of Allah, the infidel's attempt to retake Edessa and capture the Independent City of Damascus had failed. With a victory here, outside the walls of Inab, Nur al-Din, atabeg of Aleppo, would destroy the army of Antioch and put the final nail in the coffin of the Second Crusade.
    --
    The pounding of hooves against the desert sand and the cries of 'Deus Vult' alerted Nur al-Din to the charge of the Christian knights. A sputtering of arrows rained down upon the knights, but failed to bring any down. The thunder of the hooves got louder and he knew that his chances of surviving a charge on foot were slim. The brave atabeg noticed the banner of the prince of Antioch flying as the horsemen got closer and clenched his teeth in fury. A renewed vigor came upon Nur al-Din as he whispered a prayer to Allah, preparing as best he could for the knights baring down on him.

    Dropping into a crouch, Nur al-Din could practically smell the sweat of the horses. Staring down the end of a lowered lance, he prepared for paradise, when from behind him a dozen horses filled the shrinking gap. He heard the voice of his lieutenant Shirkuh calling out to him moments before the two forces collided with the clatter of metal and the screams of the newly wounded. Nur al-Din rolled to the side, under the belly of a shaggy brown beast and sliced upwards as he tumbled past. The warhorse let out a choked whinny, before tumbling to the ground in a cloud of dust.

    When the dust cleared, Nur al-Din saw that the rider was unharmed and in fact on his feet. Though splashed with its fair share of blood and grime, the insignia on the Crusader's shield was clear. As their best warriors clamored around them, the Prince of Antioch and the atabeg of Aleppo fixed stares and lunged at one another.

    ***


    "There is a pit waiting for you in hell, cur!" Raymond cursed, even as he just barely brought his shield up to deflect his opponents latest cut. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw one of the knights of his number fell another of the enemies of Christ. As the infidel died, he jerked back on his horses reins, toppling the mare to the ground as it kicked franticly. A wave of sand blinded Raymond, as Nur al-Din wove around to his right. Swinging his long sword quickly downwards, Raymond just barely deflected the Syrian's attack.

    "Nay. Your Crusade ends here .. with your death usurper." Nur al-Din replied in latin, as he continued circling, whirling his scimitar in a defensive pattern, that caught the suns dying light hauntingly. Raymond lunged forward leading with the tip of his sword, and while the atabeg managed to parry the sword downwards, the Crusader's shield collided with Nur al-Din and knocked him tumbling to the ground.

    "Victory!" Raymond cried out, knowing that God had delivered this prize to him and fueled with that strength he lifted his sword to the sky. The Prince's sword cut downwards through the air, but rather then spraying blood as it struck its foe, sparks flew as a loud clang sounded.

    Nur al-Din, the champion of Syria and successor of Zangi, had managed to get to one knee and struggled to halt the swing of his opponent. Raymond's eyes went wide and spit flew from his lips as he roared, dropping his shield to grip his sword in both hands and break Nur al-Din's resistance. Nur al-Din growled low in his throat, trying with all his strength to turn aside the Prince's strike, but the sand was giving way under him and his muscles were tiring by the second. With one last effort, Nur al-Din twisted to the left as he turned his sword in the opposite direction. The Muslim howled in pain as Raymond's sword sliced down the side of his right arm, shearing the flesh into so many tattered rags.

    But Nur al-Din ignored the pain and leapt to his feet. With the sand crunching beneath his soles, the fearsome swordsman swept his scimitar in a cruel arc at Raymond's back. Off balance from the strength of his swing, Nur al-Din's blade slipped between Raymond's armored plates, slicing across his lower back and spine. With a gurgle of pain, Raymond fell to his knees. Glancing over his shoulder with hatred in his eyes, Raymond of Antioch saw the curved blade moments before it cleaved his head from his shoulders.

    Nur al-Din Zangi wasted no time, swooping in and grabbing the Prince's severed head by the hair. Lifting it upwards for all to see, he sought to rally his men to victory. The battle of Inab was all but won.
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
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    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  2. #2
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    ------
    I hope that you enjoyed the prologue. Welcome to my newest AAR. Now some information.

    It is set in the Mongol Empire Scenario, version .3
    Difficulty will be Hard/ Aggressiveness set at Furious.

    I will be playing the various dynasty's that make their home upon the desert sands. I will start by following the Zangi dynasty of the Atabeg's of Aleppo, namely Mahmud Nur al-Din. I will probably then switch to Saladin at some point and who knows what after that.

    As far as goals, I am not really certain. Obviously to survive and to ensure the continued glory of Islam. It will probably change from dynasty to dynasty.

    I plan to be writing in a more narrative fashion in a manner similar to what I did in my previous Puritan: A Royalist Roast AAR.

    As always comments and suggestions are appreciated.

    -----
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
    A counter-factual history of the Oregon Territory and the birth of Columbia.
    The Double Cross and The Golden Bull A tale of the 'new' history of the Kingdom of Hungary
    Royalist Roast: A Puritan AAR The adventures of the second puritan revolution
    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  3. #3
    Buitenlander Van Engel's Avatar
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    That was one cool intro........me wants more!
    WritAAr of the Week! - Week of Oct. 31, 2004

  4. #4
    Civis Barcinonensis mfigueras's Avatar

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    Congratulations, Machiavellian. A new Mongolian AAR and with the 0.3 version! Let's hope our new version does not contain annoying bugs and you can finish the game.

    And just to be on the safe side: a freezing has been reported around 1190 (we're still trying to locate its source), so when you approach that date I recommend you to do frequent saves (if posible not with the autosave).
    Honor a aquells, qui siguin, que llur vida han termenat i en guarden les Termòpiles.
    Mai d'allò que és el deure no movent-se; justos i equitatius en tots llurs actes,
    però amb simpatia i bona entranya; generosos si mai són rics, i quan
    són pobres en la mica generosos, més: acorrent tant com els és possible,
    dient la veritat sempre que parlen tret que sense odi contra els qui menteixen.

  5. #5
    General Seidita's Avatar

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    nice start Machiavellian i'm glad i caught this before it really got started. Good luck and update often

  6. #6
    Canadian Bacon Troggle's Avatar
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    Very compelling. I like getting in on AARs at the ground floor, makes it easier to get into.

    A map would be nice, I'm unfamiliar with the set-up in the Mongolian scenario.

  7. #7
    Good start Machiavellian, for a moment there I thought you were going to play as the Kingdom of Jerusalem, quite a difficult challenge in the MES, but here I see you've chosen those who belonged on the sands instead

  8. #8
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Fantastic imagry in that first post, sir. If the rest follows this same pattern, I am a sure reader!
    Northumberland Lives - new AAR for EUIV

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  9. #9
    First Lieutenant _Arcadian_'s Avatar
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    That was a very nice battle you wrote up there. I agree with Troggle, its much easier to read a story if you've been reading from the start (I hope that's what he meant at least). Although I'll be rooting for the Crusaders to crush you, I'll be following this AAR for sure!
    My EUII AARS
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    Awarded EUII Writer of the Week: March 2rd - 9th, 2004

  10. #10
    Excellent battle scene and imagery Machi. we finally have a saracen scenario going on now. I will keep track of this for sure
    Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? - Sun Tzu

  11. #11
    A.k.a. 'El Tito Friki' Obelixeke's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Cool!

    Very nice start, Machi! And I'm happy someone finally decided to choose a muslim country to play! It was about time!
    "Buenas noches, Asterixeke". "Buenas noches, imbecileke" - Astérix en Bélgica (Astérix y Obélix)
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    Los han matado por ser españoles. Yo también soy español. Descansen en paz los 191 mártires del 11-M...


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  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    Nice start...the MES is really cool eh? Extends the playability of EU to new heights...
    "In France the perfect breast would fill a wine glass, in America the perfect breast would clog a toilet."

  13. #13
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for the positive series of replies. The compliments, especially coming from the skilled writers that you are, means a lot. Hopefully I will be able to continue to capture your interest. Rhodz, I was trying to be sneaky and leave the outcome of the battle undecided in the start, so I figured the best way was not to mention the country I was playing till the end. Those who are rooting for the Crusaders, I can definately sympathize, I think I will be partially rooting for them as well.

    Troggle, I will definately put up a map or two in the next update, so no worry about the set up. Of note, while it says my capital is Damascus, for the purpose of this AAR, Damascus is a free city in the start ruled by the Burid Emirs.
    Nur al-Din commands from Aleppo. Mfigueras, I shall definately try to save a lot when I approach 1189-1190. Thank you for the heads up.

    I shall try to get an update by sunday. There is a chance that I might be able to complete one today, but it is likely that I will be too busy.
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
    A counter-factual history of the Oregon Territory and the birth of Columbia.
    The Double Cross and The Golden Bull A tale of the 'new' history of the Kingdom of Hungary
    Royalist Roast: A Puritan AAR The adventures of the second puritan revolution
    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  14. #14
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    Baghras Castle
    Northern demesne of the Principality of Antioch
    March 4th, 1150 A.D.


    Aimery did not feel comfortable within the Chapel of Baghras. There was something wrong about the Icons and symbols of the Templars and much of the writings on the walls was in languages he couldn't speak and of distant saints he had never heard of. Yet the small Roman reminded him that this was a necessity, for without the aid of the Templars he would have never been able to discourage Nur al-Din's army from attacking the walls of Antioch after the defeat of Prince Raymond at Inab.

    "Princess, we are now but waiting for the representative of the Brothers Saint John of the Hospital. Please make yourself comfortable, I felt that considering the circumstances of this meeting and the necessity of appealing to our lord in heaven above, that this would be the best place for us to have this discourse." Mailhairer said in his most pleasing of tones.

    The head of Knights Templar in Antioch then turned to Aimery. While the tall Parisian's eyes showed nothing but kindness, Aimery knew that the dark haired warrior despised him. Mailhairer lisle de Escorant was the commander of Baghras and while he outwardly showed the fanatical christian piety of the Crusaders, Aimery understood only too well the true nature of the man. That was probably one of the reasons that Mailhairer hated him so much, their religious differences aside.

    "Aimery, come, sit as well beside the Princess Constance. Your counsel is eagerly welcomed as well." Mailhairer pulled out a seat at the wooden table he had set up for the meeting.

    The doors to the Chapel opened moments after the Patriarch of Antioch had seated himself to usher in Escanor Flallo, sub-commander of Margat and Knight of Saint John. The meaty Norman was flanked by two of his order and trailed by his ever present squire, Perryn. Escanor signaled for his knightly brothers to exit as he approached the table. His square jaw was set and his eyes fixed firmly upon his host.

    "I am here Banker, I pray for your sake this wastes not my time." he spoke in the odd, broken french of the northern isle.

    Ever the diplomat, Mailhairer lisle de Escorant ignored the insult and got straight to business. Within moments he had unraveled a sketchy map of Outremer, that detailed the various political entities in the region. Aimery glanced at the map, while wiping some sweat from his balding forehead with the end of one of his drooping sleeves.

    "While the infidel has paused in his attacks upon our lands, it is only a matter of time before Nur al-Din once again marches against us. Without a strong Prince to lead the armies, it will fall to us, of the military orders to defend Antioch. That is why it is of necessity that we not fight among ourselves, brother Escanor." Mailhairer gently placed his hand upon Constance's shoulder, knowing that she must still be in anguish over the loss of her husband. Aimery glanced briefly at Escanor, who was listening to what his squire was whispering in his ear.

    "In this, we agree Templar." The Norman knight replied. His manner was curt and it was clear of the two, the squire was more dignified. "I will speak to Grand Master Raymond on my next visit to Krak des Chevaliers concerning this."

    The sweet voice of the Princess followed the grumble of the Hospitaller, as Constance spoke up. "I shall also speak with Count Raymond II, in hopes that should the infidel barbarian dare to attack, he will come to our side in defense of this land."

    All the men at the table nodded solemly at her words, but Mailhairer's eyes were upon Aimery. Despite appearences, it was Aimery's voice that held weight in Antioch itself, despite the royal pedigre of Princess Constance Guiscard. Rising from his seat, Mailhairer lisle de Escorant gave Aimery a smile. The real reason for this meeting was here.

    "My good Patriarch, should a battle come, do I have your vow to support my forces in combat? In a time of crisis such as this, I will need many men to fight under the banner. With your permission, I would ask that you let the Templars impress the good Christians of Antioch to the cause."

    With all eyes upon him, Aimery could do nothing but agree. Not even sir Flallo interceded, for even with his dim intelligence he knew that Antioch was the principle domain of the Templars, much as Tripoli belonged to his order. It seemed that Mailhairer lisle de Escorant had won this exchange.






    *****

    Court of the atabeg
    Aleppo, 1150



    Upon hearing the knock, Mahmud Nur al-Din Zangi bade his servant to pause in his reading and commanded Shirkuh to enter. Seemingly always dressed for combat, Shirkuh took seven steps in before halting. His eyes were dutifully downcast and of all Nur al-Din's generals, he was the most loved and trusted.

    "What news do you have for me, Shirkuh?" Nur al-Din said generously, a smile on his lips. It was clear that he was in a good mood. Shirkuh raised his head, revealing the scar that cut across the bridge of his nose and across to his left ear, as he met the beautiful, melting eyes of his commander.

    "My most benevolent master, atabeg of Aleppo and servant of Allah.. the Seljuk ambassador for Sultan Sanjar is waiting." Shirkuh said.

    "Has he been waiting long?"

    "No, Mahmud, he arrived less than an hour past." the Kurd lieutenant replied, switching into a less formal tone with his friend.

    "Excellent, then he can wait a while longer." Shirkuh then prepared to leave, but Nur al-Din halted him with an upraised hand. Having gotten Shirkuh's attention, he waved him closer.

    "Have a seat Shirkuh, I wish for you to hear the rest of this letter." The atabeg turned to his servant then, silently motioning for him to continue where he left off.

    "..warmly received gift is a relic I shall treasure always. When displayed to the people of the city, praise of your name reached new heights. You have the blessing of the Caliphate, Allah and the Prophet to continue your war against the Christians who infest the holy lands. May more such gifts decorate our walls." The servant Zeki paused for a moment, trying to make out the words. "then it is signed, the Caliph of Bagdad - Al-Muqtafi."

    "Thank you Zeki, you may leave now." With Nur al-Din's words, the servant quickly exited the room leaving the letter from the Caliphate on the small table. Nur al-Din took a sip from his warm drink, offering a smile to Shirkuh. Shirkuh now knew one of the reasons that Mahmud was in a good mood, and guessed that the recent additions to his harem could be another.

    "It seems that the Caliph was most pleased with the gift of silver and you have furthered your reputation in the process. Well done, master."

    Nur al-Din laughed good naturedly at Shirkuh's words, before adding "Yes, I knew that the Prince of Antioch's head would be good for something. Only Allah would have known its brilliance as a monument to our victory." Slapping Shirkuh on the knee, Nur al-Din rose. "Come, let us not keep the ambassador waiting any longer."

    The two battle tested warriors strode down the grand halls of palace, trading a few words and making comment about the coming campaign before then entered into the small chamber in which the Seljuk Ambassador waited. Upon seeing them enter, the turk lazily rose from his many pillowed seat, his elaborately decorated robes of greens and yellow falling about his gaunt frame. Nur al-Din noted that Duman ad-Onan stunk of opiate, as he came closer in greeting the ambassador, then took a seat himself. Shirkuh remained standing near the door.

    "It is most good to see you again atabeg. We have missed you since our last visit here and it is clear that you have done well in continuing your fathers legacy, we are assuredly confident that you will not disappoint in such a task." the long winded turk lazily said, his voice deep like a lions roar, despite his slight frame.

    "I serve, as my father did and Allah willing I will continue his fight against the infidels of the west." Whether Nur al-Din was speaking of the Crusaders or the Shiite Fatimids in Egypt remained unclear, but the Ambassador seemed not to care, quickly replying.

    "As your father did. That is a reason that I am here, the Sultan Sanjar wishes to thank you for continuing to stand by him faithfully in service, despite the.. ah, difficulties we have had of late in the east. We trust that their is no need for us to question your continued loyalty to the Sultan, atabeg?" Duman caught a yawn at the end of his statement, stifling. It seemed likely that he had gone over this more then once with the Sultans various vassals in the last few months, though the loyalty of Nur al-Din was especially important as he was the Sultan's sword against the Christians.

    "I remain true to my vows of loyalty as Atabeg of Aleppo and humble servant of the Empire. I trust that is enough assurance for you ambassador." It was not a question, it was a statement. Nur al-Din was not pleased at having his loyalty brought into question, though he understood the need for it. Before his fathers conquest of Edessa, the Seljuk Empire was the force to be reckoned with, but in the last few years despite the division of his fathers domains between him and his brother in Mosul, the power of the sons of Zangi was growing, while the Seljuk Empire was on the verge of collapse after a series of devastating defeats and rebellions.

    Duman smiled and rose once more, his manner seemed more like that of an over pampered cat then a fitting man, but Nur al-Din was used to the turkish diplomat. As Duman ad-Onan exited the room, Nur al-Din placed a strong hand upon his shoulder.

    "and Duman, You have the word of my brother as well, so you need not trouble him. I trust that this is acceptable." At Nur al-Din's words, the ambassador gave a muffled squeak of sorts, but nodded and continued on his way out of the chamber. Nur al-Din let him go and shortly after turned to his lieutenant.

    "Come my friend, we have much to do. We have let Antioch rest long enough"
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
    A counter-factual history of the Oregon Territory and the birth of Columbia.
    The Double Cross and The Golden Bull A tale of the 'new' history of the Kingdom of Hungary
    Royalist Roast: A Puritan AAR The adventures of the second puritan revolution
    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  15. #15
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    You do a nice job settingup the opposing sides here. It's funny to recall that both crusaders and muslims had a hard enough time not infighting, much less fighting the crusade itself. It shall be interesting to see if it continues or falls apart, and if so, which side will fall first?
    Northumberland Lives - new AAR for EUIV

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  16. #16
    Really love the distinguishing dialogues between the Crusaders and the Muslims you can feel the difference in not only their customs but in their personality also. Excellent work.

    I'm secretly rooting for Egypt though (and Saladin )
    Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? - Sun Tzu

  17. #17
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
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    The Hinterlands west of Aleppo
    June 29th, 1150



    The two men sat upon their white Arabian mares, looking down upon the small Arab town that nominally pledged allegiance to the Prince of Antioch and the foreign crusaders. Bleached by the scorching desert sun, the town seemed almost ghostly when looked upon from the towering dunes upon which they were situated. Nur al-Din casually drew his finger across the map his lieutenant held up, tracing a path from their current position to the city of Antioch.

    "The direct path shall prove favorable to us, Allah willing. The oasis's are well known and shall aid in our resupply." Nur al-Din spoke with confidence. He ignored the blistering heat of the noon day sun, returning his attention to the map.

    "At Bezer our armies shall divide, I shall continue the march to Antioch itself, while you shall led an army south and take the port of Latakia. I expect this done with haste, Shirkuh, for I will be counting on the ships of Latakia to be used in closing off the port of Seleucia." while he spoke Nur al-Din traced the outline of the various paths with his finger. He caught the direction his lieutenants eyes glanced and simply nodded.

    "Fear not, I have all ready sent Sayyid Ibn-Artuk north with a thousand men to hinder the soldiers of Baghras and secure our supply line. We will leave the south alone, if needed we can always wheel down the coast once the north is secured."

    Shirkuh turned away from the map and pointed to the small town down below. He could barely make out the small shapes of men and women, apparently now alerted to their presence.

    "Atabeg, what of the town below?" the kurd lieutenant inquired with an out stretched finger.

    "What do we know of the people? Where do their loyalties lie?"

    "they pay taxes to the Christian Principality and for the most part are Shia Ismaili." Shirkuh responded confidently. He made it his business to have the information his master would require.

    "Seveners." a look of disgust coming upon the atabeg's usually handsome features as he nearly spit the word from his lips. "Destroy the town. It will make an example to the heretics and secure Allah's blessing for the battles to come." Nur al-Din wheeled his steed about, so that he now faced the thousands of turks, kurds and arabs that made up the armies of Syria. Raising his sword to the sky, he held it aloft for several moments, before once more spinning his horse around and cutting it downwards in a forward motion.

    "Allah Akbar!" echoed at his back as the armies poured forward, falling mercilessly upon the small village that rested in the valley below. The first of many that would fall victim to renewed advance of Nur al-Din.






    *****


    "Forward you worthless bags of meat! I made a promise to the atabeg that we would reach our destination within the day and you sniveling excuses for warriors best not make me into a liar!" Sayyid Ibn-Artuk bellowed.

    Rafik silently counted his past misdeeds on his fingers as he marched through the desert, trying hopelessly to recount what he had done to bring him to his current misfortune of being under Artuk's command. A massive gorilla of a man, the dark skinned Bedouin had managed to win himself a command following the battle of Inab. Despite his prowess in battle, Rafik along with most of the infantry wished Sayyid had perished on the fields of blood along with the Prince of Antioch. Tired, his throat parched from hours of marching, Rafik no longer clearly heard the foul curses Sayyid hurled at the army.

    Rafik continued to march despite the pain in his legs, when the man in front of him wavered and began to collapse. Careful not to impale the man on his spear, Rafik increased his step, pressing up against the exhausted soldier in an effort to help him stand.

    A stinging pain lanced up Rafik's back without warning, causing the young Turkish soldier to howl in pain. Turning his head to the left, he saw Sayyid riding beside him, his lash uncoiling to strike again. The pain flashed across Rafik's back again, nearly causing him to topple.

    "Leave him, boy! I'll not be slowed by daughters pretending to be Allah's soldiers." The ugly Bedouin tyrant snarled. Rafik heard the grumbles and curses of the men around him cast in his direction. His act of charity brought scorn from them as well, for they now had the commander sniffing down their backs. With a groan Rafik turned his waist to the left and cast off the exhausted soldier. As if to prove so sort of obscure point that none of the men in the army understood, Sayyid Ibn-Artuk trampled the man beneath his horse moments after he had fallen by the wayside. The exhausted man did not even cry out.

    Night came and went as the northern army of Syria marched through the unforgiving land of Outremer. Consisting mostly of infantry, it was an impressive sight nonetheless: It seemed to be a great multicolored serpent, winding its way through the hinterlands, hundreds of spears glinting beneath the sun like a lizards wicked spines. Up along the army's side the brutish Bedouin rode, his lash snaking outwards every now and then to 'encourage' the extended march.

    Sometime before noon the army made camp. Apparently even Sayyid's wanton cruelty did not blind him to the necessity for a well rested army. Rafik wandered through the makeshift camp of tents, his eyes searching for familiar faces. In the mismatched army of Kurds, Turks, Arabs, and Bedouins it was no easy task.

    "Rafik? Rafik ibn Jamilahi! Over here, Rafik!"

    Rafik knew he recognized the voice, but could not place it. For several moments he looked around the camp, before he caught sight of two soldiers, barely not boys, waving their hands in the air in an effort to get his attention. Then he recognized them, Wa'il and Nawaf, two of the younger kids he had played with back in his hometown of Jerash. Waving back to them, Rafik could not help but smile as he jogged over to their position and took a seat on the ground beside them. With the two brothers was a man Rafik did not recognize. He looked closer to Rafik's own age of nineteen, though was probably older and had all ready grown a thick brown beard and mustache that concealed most of his expressions.

    "What are you two doing here?" Rafik asked, stunned that he had found someone with which he had grown up.

    "The same thing you are doing here, I would think." said Nawaf. "To kill the infidel!" Wa'il added exuberantly.

    Rafik pulled the stopper from his waterskin and eagerly drank as Nawaf and Wa'il recounted how they had come to join Nur al-Din's army. It was a tale very similar to his own. As he drank, he felt the other mans eyes upon him and for the first time noticed that he was dressed in exquisite garb of bright reds and blue, though his turban remained white. Unable to stopper his curiosity, he asked "I am Rafik Ibn Jamilahi. Who might you be?"

    "I am Ghassan Il-Hamzah. I am the twins cousin, if you are a friend of theirs then you are a friend of mine." the thickly bearded Turk replied in a soft voice. Rafik tried not to show his surprise, but it was clear that Ghassan had caught the widening of his eyes. "I see you have heard of me before." Ghassan chuckled lightly and came to a stand. "I have matters which must be attended to, may Allah keep you safe."

    Rafik watched Ghassan walk away as Nawaf piped in "He is part of the Cavalry. Very important"

    "He's been called the Lion of Petra and with him in our ranks the infidel doesn't have a chance." Wa'il added, clearly quite fond of his respectable cousin. Rafik could not really fault him.

    By sunset the army was on the march once more, taking advantage of the cooler weather provided by the fall of light. Hundreds of torches burned through the darkness, clearly marking the slithering line of the army as it approached the interior of the Principality. Yet despite Sayyid's speed, the quick march of his army had failed to catch the christians completely unaware. At dawn, the hurriedly assembled host of Baghras was waiting for them. The steel of the Knights Templar was sharpened and once more ready to shed the blood of the Infidel.
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
    A counter-factual history of the Oregon Territory and the birth of Columbia.
    The Double Cross and The Golden Bull A tale of the 'new' history of the Kingdom of Hungary
    Royalist Roast: A Puritan AAR The adventures of the second puritan revolution
    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  18. #18
    Alternate Historian Machiavellian's Avatar
    Crusader Kings IIEuropa Universalis 3Victoria 2500k clubEuropa Universalis IV

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    Coz1, TreizeV thank you both for the kind replies. I am still trying to get used to writing in this style and I have to say I am partially inspired by both of your AARs. I haven't quite gotten a full feel on all the characters just yet either. Any suggestions are welcomed along with the encouragement. I don't mind criticism as long as its constructive.
    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer..."


    54-40' or...
    A counter-factual history of the Oregon Territory and the birth of Columbia.
    The Double Cross and The Golden Bull A tale of the 'new' history of the Kingdom of Hungary
    Royalist Roast: A Puritan AAR The adventures of the second puritan revolution
    Upon the desert sands: A Mongol Empire Scenario Dynasties in conflict with Outremer

  19. #19
    GunslingAAR coz1's Avatar
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    Blushes. I'd say you are doing a pretty darned good job of it. The only advice I could give you, which this last posts seems to follow already, is pick some primary characters to stick with so that the reader forms a bond with them. The first few tended to stradle the line between both sides, which is good, but it is nice to see you building on the Muslim characters, as those are the ones we are meant to care about.

    So far it has been quite impressive and I only hope it continues. Oh, and this was my favorite line,
    "Leave him, boy! I'll not be slowed by daughters pretending to be Allah's soldiers."
    I dunno, it just made me smile, as it seemed perfect wording. Keep up the great work!!
    Northumberland Lives - new AAR for EUIV

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  20. #20

    Thumbs up

    I like this AAR...

    Plz keep it up...

    Cheers
    "In France the perfect breast would fill a wine glass, in America the perfect breast would clog a toilet."

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