Shah Suleiman II – (1687 – 1694)
As the new year came most of the court could see Suli was entering the twilight of his reign. He was an old man now and had in truth been a reasonable Shah. Nothing amazing but the Safavid Empire had gained from his reign which couldn’t be said for some of his more recent predecessors. Unfortunately with his age came whispers around the court of the Shah growing weak and unable to rule properly – a mere shadow of the religious zealot that once scouredthe corridors of the Harem for heretics. In an attempt to preserve this image Suli organised a new tax.
Suli’s master tax plan
The peasants weren’t happy with it but they never were. As well as sparking the usual rebellions a few heretics rose up again invigorated by memories of Suli’s past campaigns against unbelievers. Suli was secretly pleased – it gave him an excuse to come down hard and prove he still had what it took to be head of the Safavid Empire.
Some rebels that actually make Suli happy!
Suli quickly ordered one of the restored 20,000 man strong armies which protected the Empire to mop up the rebels. They dealt with them mercilessly and the heretical population was left in no doubt who their master was and where their loyalties should lie.
Attacking the heretical rebels
After dealing with the rebels Suli was in truth a little bored. In his youth he would have gone out campaigning against the infidels but he was old and tired now the fighting had to be left to younger men. His mood was also worse then it once was – despite all his campaigning other then the core of Shiite provinces within the Empire the whole world hated him and his order.
The next year however a man arrived at court set to improve his mood. A young noble named Donash wished men and endorsement to go exploring into the heart of Africa – west of the newly acquired lands on the eastern coast. Money was plentiful and reports of the Spanish success against the people of the Americas were widespread. Suli therefore sanctioned his expedition and gave him ships to sail to Africa in.
Our new friend Donash bursts onto the scene
On his arrival to Africa Donash wasted no time. He immediately began scouting deeper into the mysterious continent and soon found a kingdom hidden within the jungles and plains of the land. The kingdom was a primitive one with only spears to defend itself. Despite this reports found in the old Portuguese buildings described fierce natives who repeatedly attacked their colonies even forcing tribute from the King of Portugal to halt the attacks.
Donash’s initial urge to attack and conquer potentially gold rich lands was halted by the terrain. A feasibility report commissioned by Donash estimated that the lands of Zimbabwe would only support armies of around 2000 before huge numbers were lost to lack of supplies, disease and the hostile natives. On top of this the primitives were apparently more then capable of building large forts. Many were manned by 10,000 or even 15,000 men. The losses in such a war would be horrific even without any pitched battles. Donash and his small force couldn’t hope to defeat this new kingdom alone – this wasn’t going to be another Pizarro or Cortez.
With his plans for a campaign into the heart of Africa spoilt Donash turned his attention to the coast. Just west of the last Safavid colony of the SSA was a Danish colony and beyond that no one knew. Donash intended to find out and so taking his demoralised men set sail around the Danish colony before arriving at a new land which he named Ovambo. Here he began establishing a colony.
Donash’s backup plan
Meanwhile back in Isfahan age was catching up with Suli. He was weak and the doctors predicted he would live no longer then a week. The factions in the court were already lining up their own successors…