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Thread: One Hundred Years and a Year: Tales of Aydin

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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    One Hundred Years and a Year: Tales of Aydin

    I'm starting a new AAR.
    *******


    One Hundred Years and a Year:
    Tales of Aydin




    Many of you have heard of the famous Thousand Nights and a Night, where the beautiful Sheherezade spun her tantalizing tales hour after hour and night after night to capture and hold the dangerous curiosity of Shahryar. She saved her life, and called Shahryar back from the dark place his anger and passion had taken him when betrayed by his Queen.

    The tales in One Hundred Years and a Year are similar, but not the same. The Thousand Nights and a Night took place in the fabulous Persian court; these take take place in, around and about the small beydom of Aydin, far from the wealth and sophistication of Persia (although Persia is perhaps be seen now and again.) Sheherezade was literally telling her tales to save her life; no such life-and-death outcome hangs in the balance in the stories of One Hundred Years and a Year. These tales are a collection of stories told me by my mother; they have been passed down from unknown villagers and storytellers through the history of Aydin, as seen from Anatolia and indeed the entire world of the Mediterranean - both Islamic and Christian. They tell the story of the people of Aydin as well as the fate of the nation - while no lives are saved in the telling, lives are captured, preserved and savored.

    Nonetheless, these two sets of tales do share a few things in common. Both contain stories that bring together kings and peasants, soldiers and merchants, fools and wise men, djinns and imams, and the entire kaleidoscope of humanity as it has existed since time immemorial. The characters (in all senses of the word) in both sets of tales lived throughout the vast Muslim and Christian worlds that were the world on either side of the small beydom of Aydin. Both sets of tales are full of wonder, with the natural and the supernatural mingling to create a world that it at once remarkably similar to our own but also magical and unique. And both are filled with people who hopefully capture our attention - at least it is my hope that readers of this collection will find a character or two to rival the fame of Sinbad, Harun al-Rashid and Sheherezade herself.

    ******

    The Tale of the Imam Who Loved Beauty

    There was once an imam who lived in the city the Greeks called Smyrna. This city was the capital of the small beydom of Aydin, on the coast of Anatolia. The imam’s name was Muhammad, named by his devout and holy mother after the Holy Prophet and Messenger of Allah himself, may Allah bless his name forever.



    As a young child Muhammad was fascinated by color, by shapes, by the beauty of nature and the intricacies that Allah had placed all over the world of Anatolia (which was the only world young Muhammad knew.)

    As Muhammad grew up, he realized that he wanted to serve Allah and so he began many years of study in the madrassa on his little town. After many years of diligent study he found himself as the iman of a little mosque next to the port of Smyrna. He was happy in this calm place - rising early, walking up the winding stairs of the little mosque’s only minaret to call the faithful to prayer in the morning and throughout the day, meeting the travelers who came to the mosque from their ships with their needs and hopes. He listened to their tales of the cities and towns that crowded the shores of the Middle Sea, and shared with them the peace of Allah. In short, he was a happy man.

    One day he came into the mosque and saw a stranger sitting in the corner in deep contemplation. The man stayed for a short while and left without noticing Muhammad. In the days that followed, the stranger came now and then to the mosque, always sitting quietly, thinking and sometimes staring off into space. Over the days and weeks that passed, they greeted each other silently as Muhammad went about his duties and the stranger sat in silence, thinking in the quiet of the little mosque.

    One day the stranger came up to Muhammad. “Holy imam, Allah’s blessings be on you. I am Murat, a servant of Isa Bey, lord of Aydin.” He and Muhammad talked about many things over the succeeding days.

    One day Murat said to Muhammad, “My master is a good and just man. But he is old, and fears for the safety of this little kingdom. Once, of course, there were many small kingdoms like this in Anatolia, but slowly they are being eaten by the greedy house of Osman. Isa Bey worries that when his days are done the Osmanli Turks will devour this domain of his. I have promised to help discover a solution to this problem, and so I come every day to think, to ask Allah to reveal the path to follow. Every day I come, and every day I leave without an answer. Only Allah can show the way, but where is He?”

    Muhammad, feeling a little abashed, had to admit that he did not have an answer. But promised Murat that he would think about this problem, and ask Allah to show the way.

    At the mosque Muhammad kept everything in proper shape and repair. He could have hired a caretaker - but he enjoyed making sure that everything was just so. Every day he checked the carpets to make sure they were not unraveling, torn or dirty; he checked the wooden grills in the windows to make sure they were not broken or cracking; he checked the walls to make sure the whitewash and paneling was in good repair; and of course he checked the doors to make sure they could be closed and locked in the night. One morning as he was going about his rounds he noticed that a small piece of paneling had fallen off the wall. As he bent down to pick it up, he noticed that a beautiful painting had been revealed - it was small but perfectly rendered. It showed boats with sails, merchants unloading crates of treasures and spices, and a fortified city on an island. And most importantly it was full of color and life, and Muhammad fell in love with this small painting, hidden in the very midst of his mosque.



    Of course, to have a picture in the mosque was not really allowed - when the city had been conquered from the Byzantines ages ago all the churches had been turned into mosques and their icons, mosaics and paintings destroyed or painted over. Muhammad had found a small relic of that past. And while he respected the teachings of his tutors at the madrassa and of course followed the tenets of Islam, he also loved the beauty of this little painting. He could not believe that Allah would be opposed to something that reflected the perfection of His creation so nicely (but not perfectly, of course, since only Allah could create perfect things). So he carefully placed the panelling back over the mosaic, and went on his way. But now and then in the early morning or the late evening he would remove the small piece of wood and look at the colors and movement captured in the painting, and imagine the story and place this small picture captured.

    A few days later Murat came, as usual, to the little mosque to sit, pray and ask Allah to show the way for safety for the little kingdom of Isa Bey. Muhammad saw him, and remembered his promise. So Muhammad also sat and prayed to Allah for an answer for Isa Bey. The two men sat in silence, the waves of the sea slapping against the walls and stairs of the port, the calls of the seagulls echoing overhead, and the warmth of the day offset by the cool interior. The sun moved across the walls and carpets of the mosque as the day advanced. Finally Murat rose to return to the small palace of Isa Bey. Muhammad roused himself to bid his friend goodbye. As he rose, his eyes followed a shaft of sunlight to a panel on the wall, and the answer of Allah blossomed inside his mind.

    Excitedly he rushed to Murat and told him that Allah had sent the answer! He pulled his friend over to the panel, and removing it, showed Murat the small painting of the port, the cargo, the fortified city walls. Murat looked at him questioningly, and Muhammad explained. “I found this small painting a few days ago and have been thinking about it since then. This was a Byzantine church, wasn't it, before it became a place holy to Allah? The Byzantines had many islands in their great past, but this one, I think, is a great island with a great city in its midst. I have been thinking and reading, and I believe this is the island of Cyprus.

    I didn't think much about it, but just now, the sun fell on the panel and many thoughts fell into place! So I rushed over to you! Cyprus is the last of the Crusader kingdoms, a thorn in the side of Islam since the days of the great Salah ad-Din and the brave Christian, King Richard. At first I was intrigued by the colors and the patterns of its design; now I know that it was the hand of Allah that revealed this to me. Tell Isa Bey that Imam Muhammad sends him greetings and a message from Allah.
    Fear not for your kingdom. You, your family and your people are in the eyes and hands of Allah! He will protect you and defend you. Follow the warrior way and recover Cyprus for Allah, and He will bless you.

    Murat, finally understanding, thanked Muhammad, excitedly ran back to the palace of Isa Bey, and conveyed the message from Imam Muhammad to Isa Bey.

    Isa Bey, believing the words of Muhammad, immediately set about preparing for war. New troops were raised and trained. Before long, the final preparations were finished, men and supplies loaded onto warships, and the message of war sent to Cyprus.



    As Muhammad watched all the excitement in the port, Isa Bey came to the little mosque. Muhammad fell at the feet of his lord. “Imam Muhammad, Allah’s blessings on you. You have lifted my heart and relieved my worries by discerning and revealing the message of Allah to me. The message of war has been sent to Cyprus and I will be fast behind that message with my men of war. You have reminded me that we are Ghazi, the Warriors of Allah, and that we have a holy cause to fulfill. I will return here when we have triumphed over the Crusaders of Cyprus and we will hold a holy feast day.”

    Isa Bey and his men left for Cyprus that day.



    Muhammad listened to the news that come back to the port over the many days and months that followed. Sometimes it seemed as if the war against the Crusaders of Cyprus would never end. But finally it did, and the city fell and the Warriors of Allah entered and possessed the city for Allah.



    The victorious armies of Aydin returned to Smyrna, Isa Bey with them. Isa Bey brought a portion of the treasures of Cyprus with him and gave it to Muhammad to help with the upkeep of the mosque and the care of the poor. The neighboring nations seemed to take a bit more notice of Aydin after this remarkable victory - Aydin proved that it was a true Ghazi nation, full of the Warriors of God, and dedicated to Allah and Islam.





    And in honor of the role Imam Muhammad played, Isa Bey renamed the little mosque as the Conqueror’s Mosque. This is why today it is called the Isa Bey al-Fatıh Mosque.
    Marco Oliverio

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    At it again, I see? Your last AAR was great, and this one has a promising beginning as well.
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    Very charming tale! I hope Muhammad doesn't abandon his childlike wonder when war and destruction becomes the mainstay of the Aydin beydom.

    You have a thing for badly-situated Muslim minors in MMP, don't you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by axzhang View Post
    You have a thing for badly-situated Muslim minors in MMP, don't you?
    I was just thinking that as I read through the first update, Marco is proving a true glutton for punishment! I'm delighted to be able to follow another of your AARs so quickly after the end of the Granada AAR. Excellent opening post, I merely hope that Aydin grows as powerful as Granada did! Needless to say I am very much subscribed.
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    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinofs View Post
    At it again, I see? Your last AAR was great, and this one has a promising beginning as well.
    dinofs - thanks! I'm super glad that you're back for more - we'll see how this goes! I haven't had the Guarantee Craziness that I saw with Granada. We'll have to see how long the Beys of Aydin can hold off the Ottomans! Thanks for coming along for the ride!

    Quote Originally Posted by axzhang View Post
    Very charming tale! I hope Muhammad doesn't abandon his childlike wonder when war and destruction becomes the mainstay of the Aydin beydom.
    Hi axzhang! I doubt we'll see Muhammad again - his was just one of many tales that will be told. Not to say that he was just a plot device, but....

    Quote Originally Posted by axzhang View Post
    You have a thing for badly-situated Muslim minors in MMP, don't you?
    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    I was just thinking that as I read through the first update, Marco is proving a true glutton for punishment! I'm delighted to be able to follow another of your AARs so quickly after the end of the Granada AAR. Excellent opening post, I merely hope that Aydin grows as powerful as Granada did! Needless to say I am very much subscribed.
    Hi morningSIDEr (and axzhang again!) Thanks for joining for this ride! Yes, I seem to have a thing for the stray Muslim states on the edge of oblivion...and this is a OPM just to add to the fun. But I haven't seen an Aydin AAR, I like the idea of seeing if I can survive in the difficult world of the Ottoman expansion, and well, how many other states are colored that particular shade of cantaloupe?

    Thanks for signing up! We'll see how long I last!
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    The Tale of Two Sons and the Djinn

    Isa Bey was the ruler of a small princedom on the shores of the Ege Deniz. He was a righteous man who inherited a deep respect for Allah and Islam from his father, Kidhr Bey, and his father’s father, Umur Bey. In the course of this long reign he did many good works, the teaching of the word of Allah, and supported the many mosques throughout the land.







    Isa Bey had two beautiful wives who were the envy of all the nobles in Anatolia. One was the beautiful Arsinoe, the daughter of a Greek noblewoman and a rich Persian father. The other was the lovely Ayla, the daughter of a a member of Isa Bey’s divan. Ayla was his first wife, the love of his youthful days, but he loved each wife dearly. Both women were beautiful in their own ways - one with the loveliness of the moon and the other of the misty sea. Each loved Isa Bey. Ayla and Arsinoe loved each other as sisters and ensured that peace and happiness accompanied Isa Bey in all his days and nights.

    Ayla and Arsinoe each had a son by Isa Bey, each s beautiful as their mothers and as strong and brave as their father. Both boys were clever and eager, gregarious and friendly, and were famous for riding through the city greeting the people of Aydin and distributing gifts to all those in need. Ayla’s son was Isa, named after his father; Arsinoe’s son was named Ali after the brother-in-law of the Prophet, may Allah bless his name.

    Although both boys were equal in grace and humor, in beautify and strength, and certainly equal in the eyes of men, Isa had one advantage over Ali. Ayla, Isa’s mother, knew how to communicate with the djinn. And in particular, Ayla knew how to communicate with the Ghul, the djinn of the mountains.

    Because his joy was full in these two sons, Isa Bey was also consumed by fear for these two boys and his two wives. He was concerned in particular by the world outside Aydin - a world he had strenuously worked to keep from them. He knew, from the tales of his father and grandfather, that Anatolia had once been the land of a thousand kings. Of those thousand, only those of Karaman, Kandar, Osman and a few other minor Turkish princes remained. Most, of course had been consumed by the power and greed of the House of Osman. But even that house was teetering now - consumed in a war with the vast power of the heirs of Timur and the il-Khans.

    He had tried to do what he could to make the world slightly safer. He had taken the advice of one of the imams in Aydin and taken the sword of the Ghazi warriors to the Crusaders of Cyprus. That had worked, much to his surprise! And yet he was worried. How to keep his family safe after he was gone was the one puzzle he could not solve. And while thinking deeply about this puzzle, praying the Allah every day for guidance and help, Isa Bey died.

    That night a servant of Arsinoe crept to his mistresses door and scratched quietly. Arsinoe heard and leapt out of bed. “Has it happened, then?” Her servant confirmed as much, and Arsinoe leapt into action. She called her women to her and instructed them to go through the palace to every door to tell the people that Isa Bey had died. She also told them to reach Ayla’s door last, and to stay to help Ayla prepare herself for the mourning rituals. She told them this because a small serpent of greed had wormed its way into Arsinoe’s heart and she had devised a plan many months ago. And now, in the deep of night, the serpent raised its head to strike.

    Arsinoe rubbed ashes into her hair and clothes and onto her face; thus attired she went weeping to the rooms of her son, Ali. Ali heard the weeping and wailing of his mother’s women, and fearing the worst left his rooms only to find his mother collapsed on the floor in the hall. He helped her up, and comforted her. He offered to call Ayla to her side to help. He knew that his mother and Ayla were like sisters, and both he and Isa regarded them as mothers. Arsinoe smiled at her son through her tears and thanked him. She told him that Ayla had failed to come from her rooms despite the weeping and wailing, that she did not know why Ayla failed to grieve at the death of the noble Isa Bey, and that perhaps she was thinking of other things at this moment.

    Noble Ali, quite innocently, asked what could be more important at this moment than to mourn the death of Isa Bey, father, husband and protector? Arsinoe only shook her head and appeared to mourned more deeply.

    At this moment the members of Isa Bey’s divan (who had come under the sway of Arsinoe) arrived with great shouts of mourning and distress. They seized upon young Ali and carried him, with Arsinoe, to the throne room of Isa Bey’s palace. There, in front of many people who had been prepared and came ready to act, they acclaimed Ali as Bey of Aydin. Although Ali attempted to stop them with shouts that his brother Isa was absent, that this decision was too hasty, that his father Isa Bey was still lying in his bed unmourned, that such a decision needed to be made in the light of day after serious consideration. None of the men in the chamber listened and they all shouted the louder that Ali was the Bey of Aydin. Ali saw his brother Isa enter the room amid the commotion. He say his brother’s rueful smile and the wave of his hand - how could one young man stop the rush to acclaim Ali? And then Isa turned and left the room. Ali was unable to stop the clamor, and what could he do? He agreed to become the Bey of Aydin.



    Isa went to his mother’s chambers. She was preparing herself with the help of Arsinoe’s ladies to attend to the body of Isa Bey. She was asking the women, “Where is your mistress and my sister, Arsinoe? We must go to the body of Isa Bey, wash it and prepare it for the final ablutions and ceremonies. Together we honored him in all ways in life; together we must honor him in death.”

    Isa heard the question as he entered the room and responded, “Have you not heard the commotion? Surely the shouting and the clamor of men’s voices has reached you even hear, amid the cried of women? They have take Ali and acclaimed him the Bey of Aydin. Arsinoe is there with him rather than here with you, preparing to mourn my father.”

    Ayla could not believe her ears. She looked in surprise and wonder at the women of Arsinoe. She asked them with her eyes if this was true. And many of them lowered their eyes and could not meet her gaze. Ayla looked at Isa who nodded his head and confirmed that what she had heard him say was indeed what he had said. Ayla sat thinking for a few moments, and then said to everyone, “We must honor the body of Isa Bey. The men will do the things of men; the women must do the things that only women can do. Isa, you are not a child and should not be in here with the women - you must join your brother Ali.” Having said that, she went back to her preparations.

    As the morning sun rose over Aydin, the news of the the death of Isa Bey spread through the city. Three days later, the funeral procession of Isa Bey took place. According to his wishes he was buried in a tomb on the grounds of the al-Fatıh mosque by the harbor. Ali and Isa attended the burial of their father; Arsinoe and Ayla remained in their chambers in the palace.

    After the burial of their father, Ali approached Isa and the two brothers sat and mourned. Ali said to Isa, “My brother, you are the dearest to me of all the world. I sit on the throne of our father, Isa Bey, but you know this is our throne to share. I still do not know what happened that night when our father died - it was all confusion and many councilors acting in haste and without regard to tradition or the honor due you or our father.” Isa looked at his honest brother’s face, and knew he was telling the truth. A small bitter part of his heart melted away then, and for the first time in three days he was able to look in his brother’s eyes with the old joy.

    “What do you need me to do, Ali? I agree with you whole-heartedly, and I will do whatever I can to keep our little kingdom of Aydin safe from the threats that surround us!”

    Ali clasped his brother to his chest, happy to know that their love was undiminished. Ali said, ‘We are both clever and good with people, but you even more than I know the way to charm the hearts of men, to convince them to support our cause, and to endear us to them. We live in dangerous times - the Osmanlı Sultan has consumed yet more of Karaman, and send insults to us rather than honorable messages of sadness at the
    death of Isa Bey and joy at our safe accession to the throne. What should we do?”



    Together the brothers devised a strategy, and the next day Isa set out on horseback with a small honor guard. Ayla watched from the windows of her room, but refused to come out of her apartments. Everyone assumed that she was in deep mourning for the loss of Isa Bey.

    Soon news began to come back to Ali from Isa. First, Isa was greeted with great joy by Isfendiyar Bey, prince of Kandar. Isfendiyar honored Isa and Ali, accepted the gifts brought by Ali and gave many in return.



    Then Isa moved past Trebizond where he examined the strength of the city and its walls for Ali under the guise of presenting presents to Ali’s distant relatives. Finally he appeared at the court of the Great Bey of the Timurids. That country was in an uproar cause by the death of the Timurid Bey in the fighting against the Osmanlı Sultan and was besieged on all sides by rebels and pretenders. Isa accepted the greeting and congratulations of the Timurid Regency council. He signed many agreements with the Regents, and then asked for the hand of a Timurid princess for his brother. He reminded them that Ali’s father was Persian, a wealthy man who claimed knowledge of the great Timur himself. Amid great rejoicing the marriage was agreed and in honor of the nuptials, an alliance was signed between the Beydoms of Timur and Ali.



    Isa moved back from the Timurid domains through Aleppo and Antioch, where he signed agreements with the Mamluk Sultans. While traveling through the desert, word reached him that Ali had acted on his messages from Trebizond and had launched war against the Greek Basileus.



    Ali was a bold warrior and very quickly defeated the Basileus and put the city under siege.



    The small fleet of the Greeks was pursued across the Mediterranean until it was annihilated off the coast of Naples.



    After his long travels, Isa returned to Aydin with Ali’s bride and the alliance with the Timurids, but discovered that Ali was still in front of the walls of Trebizond. He visited Arsinoe to greet her after his long absence, and found that she stayed in her rooms still, saddened somewhat by the attack of her son on her Greek relatives in Trebizond and depressed by some unknown heartsickness. He went to visit his mother and found that she, too, stayed in her rooms. He berated her for locking herself away, for ignoring Arsinoe, for refusing to take part in the governance of the house and the stability of the state during the long absence of Ali. She looked at him and laughed.

    “Do you think that Ali sits in front of the walls of Trebizond because the walls are mighty or because the Greeks are powerful warriors? Trebizond is not Constantinople, and the Greeks are no longer the sons of the gods who attacked the great city of Ilium. No, Ali sits before the walls of Trebizond because I have called the Ghuls to come from their mountain dens to repair the walls of Trebizond each night as the men on both sides sleep, to make them strong with the magic of the djinns, and to keep Ali there until he dies an old man or is perhaps pierced by a spear and falls to his death. He stole the throne from you and made you his servant - you, who are a Turk sits in servitude to a Greek. This I cannot bear and will not bear. So I call the Ghuls to do their work until fate destroys Ali.”

    Isa was saddened to hear these words. In vain he tried to convince his mother that Ali was innocent, that he had not sought the throne and that he had attempted to put off the decision until Isa’s claims could be considered in full equality. He told her that he had great love for Ali, that he trusted Ali above all others in the world, and that working with Ali to strengthen Aydin was all he wanted. His mother refused to hear him or believe him.

    One day, after many days and weeks, Ayla emerged from her rooms. She asked Isa to come with her to the hills outside the city. The two went up to the hills overlooking the city and port. She took Isa to a cave, and leading him in told him that she had thought of his many words and that she had come to a conclusion. She took her staff and struck the floor of the cave three times, and then three times again. The cave began to quake and Isa, fearful for this life, stood to run. Ayla told him to sit, and upon striking the floor three final times, a great metal door swung open from the floor of the cave. A huge djinn emerged and approached Ayla, bowing to her. Ayla turned to Isa, who was frightened beyond words, and said the following,

    “Dear son, for three years I have mourned the death of Isa Bey and with sad eyes have watched you, who should sit on the throne, act as servant to your brother. You know I have summoned the djinn to impede Ali’s efforts in Trebizond, and you know that I have been successful in keeping him from victory in the place. However, Allah has seen fit to protect him from harm, and the arrows and swords of the Greeks have not been able to end his life so that you might sit on the throne of Aydin.

    And so I have made a bargain with the Ghul. I will serve them in the gardens below in return for carrying off Ali to the Ghul dens far below those I go to. Even now they are moving toward him and soon he will leave the land of the living. You will rise to the throne of Aydin as is your right. I make this sacrifice willingly so that you, my dear son, can claim your rights as the son of Isa Bey and ruler of Aydin.”


    Saying this she turned to the Ghul and nodded her head. With a grin that froze the blood of Isa, the Ghul wrapped his massive hand around Ayla and with a laugh that sounded like the screeching of a thousand banshees disappeared in a cloud of dense smoke. The door in the floor of the cave clanged shut with such a loud noise that Isa was afraid he had lost his hearing. Not knowing what to do, Isa searched for the door in the floor but couldn’t find it. Not believing what he had seen, he raced back to the city and to his mother’s chambers, but they were empty. He searched the palace and then the city, but could find no trace of Ayla. He fell into a fever, and was taken to bed by the servants of his mother.

    At this same time, Ali Bey was inspecting the walls of Trebizond. He was in a happy mood, having overcome the last Greek Basileus (although, truth be told, there still existed a few Greeks in Morea.) He had inspected the palaces and markets, and had commanded that some of the main churches be converted to the worship of Allah. Taking a few of his commanders, he proceeded to the walls of the city. As he inspected one of the deep gashes his assault had created, a giant djinn with yellow hair and blazing red eyes jumped out of the dark earth. With a great cry he seized Ali by the throat and waist, and fled back into the dark. Ali Bey’s men were dumbfounded, and too late drew their swords and rushed after their lord. No trace of Ali was found.



    Days later, Isa awoke. As he raised his head from his pillow, he heard wailing and weeping. He looked to his servants, and they told him that news had arrived just that day from Trebizond. The city had fallen to Ali Bey, but Ali Bey was lost. The story of the djinn and Ali on the walls was on all lips but many people doubted the tale. But Isa knew that the tale was true, and he resumed his mourning.

    Isa mourned for his brother Ali whom he loved dearly, and for his mother who had sacrificed all. But Isa was also the son of a Bey and knew what was required. Three days later he rose from his bed and shook off his mourning. Isa was now Isa Bey, and the future of Aydin depended on him. This is the sad tale of the Two Brothers and the Djinn.

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    In Hiding dinofs's Avatar
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    An interesting update. Let's hope that Isa Bey's high Diplomacy stat will keep the Ottomans away for just a little while longer.
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  8. #8
    Field Marshal General_Grant's Avatar
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    I love those small stories all linked together through the history of this small beydom.

    Maybe Isa could try his luck with the walls of Constantinople before the Great Turk attempt a conquest?

    Best of luck with this, I'll be following.
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  9. #9
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    Very dramatic stuff, I love how the tale was woven out of Ali's quick passing. I can only hope that Arsinoe does not attempt to exact revenge on Isa, as with the insults coming from the Ottomans, too much upheaval at present could prove disastrous.
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  10. #10
    Lt. General axzhang's Avatar
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    What a fantastical and magical tale. Who needs an empire when Djinnis roam your little corner of the world at will?

    Also, shame on you for playing from a 1399 start ;p. I know I know, the Ottomans are less threatening when warring the Timurids, and Aydin doesn't exist in 1399. But then again, the title of the AAR would probably be "1 year and 1 month" then, eh?
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  11. #11
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Very nice story! Will follow!
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  12. #12
    I loved the first two updates Keep up the good work!
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  13. #13
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    what is that? old MM?
    nice story
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  14. #14
    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinofs View Post
    An interesting update. Let's hope that Isa Bey's high Diplomacy stat will keep the Ottomans away for just a little while longer.
    Thanks! I can't agree with you more!

    Quote Originally Posted by General_Grant View Post
    I love those small stories all linked together through the history of this small beydom.
    Maybe Isa could try his luck with the walls of Constantinople before the Great Turk attempt a conquest?
    Best of luck with this, I'll be following.
    Thanks General Grant! I'm totally glad to you have you on board. ANd I'm glad you like the little stories. I've been reading a few books of Arabian stories lately and so I thought I'd give it a try to tell the history of a little Turkic state with the same approach! We'll see if it works.....or if Aydin get's absorbed by the Ottomans! Sorry for the long delay between updates. Lots of family have been coming and going so I've been slightly distracted.

    As for your thought about Constantinople, only time will tell!

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Very dramatic stuff, I love how the tale was woven out of Ali's quick passing. I can only hope that Arsinoe does not attempt to exact revenge on Isa, as with the insults coming from the Ottomans, too much upheaval at present could prove disastrous.
    Hey morningSIDEr! Yes, the Ottomans are a little worrisome! And I dount we've seen the last of Arsinoe, but you know how it is with these Turkish tales - sometimes people come and go without so much of a goodbye! We'll have to see what the game reveals!

    Quote Originally Posted by axzhang View Post
    What a fantastical and magical tale. Who needs an empire when Djinnis roam your little corner of the world at will?

    Also, shame on you for playing from a 1399 start ;p. I know I know, the Ottomans are less threatening when warring the Timurids, and Aydin doesn't exist in 1399. But then again, the title of the AAR would probably be "1 year and 1 month" then, eh?
    Hi axzhang. You know I'm totally happy that you're reading along! Yes, the djinn can make things happen! Unfortunately, they don't seem to be able to overthrown our external enemies - just the internal ones. But that's still helpful!

    And you know I had to start that early! There's no Aydin later and there's no release-ability in the Ottoman later....what else can a guy with a fascination for endangered Muslim Minors in MMP do? (On the other hand, One Year and a Month would take almost no time at all to write!)

    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    Very nice story! Will follow!
    Thanks! Glad you're hear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Abraxas View Post
    I loved the first two updates Keep up the good work!
    Hi abraxas. You sound like a Persian Emperor. I like that a potential Persian Emperor is reading along!

    Quote Originally Posted by sprites View Post
    what is that? old MM?
    nice story
    Hi sprites! Thanks for the note. As axzhang likes to point out, I'm trapped in MMP1.5 for EUIII Complete because I insist on using a real computer (a Mac) rather than those little plastic toys. Or did I get that backwards.....?
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  15. #15
    Captain Marco Oliverio's Avatar
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    [INDENT]The Tale of the Bishop and the Bey

    Isa Bey was the ruler of a small Beydom in Anatolia. His father had conquered the Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus, and his brother, lost to the djinn, had defeated the Greek Basileus of Trebizond and annexed that fabled city. Isa Bey himself, before becoming Bey, had traveled all over Anatolia, Persia, Iraq and Syria in the service of Ali Bey, whom he loved dearly.

    So when Isa inherited the throne from his brother, Ali Bey, he had an idea or two about the world and how it worked. He was curious, clever, honest, always had the right thing to say when needed, and rewarded the people of this court who brought him curiosities.



    One day Isa Bey summoned his advisors.
    “Dear friends and faithful advisors! A thought came into my head last night and I cannot seem to find a suitable answer. Perhaps if I lay it before you someone might have an answer for me? Here is the question - ‘If the Emperor of Rome rules from Constantinople, who rules in Rome?’”
    Old Murat, an advisor from the days of Isa Bey’s father and brother spoke first.
    “Isa Bey, that is an easy answer! We know the Emperor in Rome used to be a mighty potentate, with a throne that rose to the skies and golden birds that sang from trees made of emeralds and rubies. For such a king to be driven from his city of Rome to a refuge in Constantinople, the ruler of Rome must be powerful indeed, perhaps more powerful than Timur or even the great Genghis Khan. We also know this - in the distant East lies the powerful kingdom of Prester John, or Bishop John. And in the west sits the mirror image of this Prester John - the powerful Bishop of Rome. It is said he sits on a throne of gold that is built on the ruins of a thousand cities, that tribute from all of Europe flows to his feet, and he raises up and casts down the kings of Europe with the mere flick of his hand. Surely the Bishop of Rome is the most powerful ruler in all Europe!”
    Young Selim rose next. He addressed both Isa Bey and Old Murat.
    “Most honored Bey and Lord Murat, it may be just as Lord Murat says. Many things are said about the power and wealth of Prester John in the East and the Bishop of Rome in the West. But Prester John is far from us - beyond the kingdoms of the Indies and perhaps even beyond the distant shores of China. But the Bishop of Rome is close - just beyond the horizon in the West. My lord Bey, if you will lend me a ship or two, I will equip it with brave men and we will go discover the answer to your question.”
    Isa Bey was delighted with the response of Young Selim. After thanking Old Murat for his knowledge and wisdom, Isa granted Selim’s request. Selim sailed to the West, and finding a small cove here and there, quietly observed the comings and goings of the Bishop of Rome. Soon he returned to Aydin.
    “My lords and Isa Bey. I have returned from the fabled land of Rome! The wisdom shared with us by Lord Murat is so close to the truth as to be almost correct. It is truth that the Bishop of Rome sits on a throne of gold built on the ruins of many cities, but it is also the truth that the city he rules over is itself a huge ruin. It is true that the tribute of all Europe flows to his feet, but anger and fear flow with that gold and threaten to overwhelm the Bishop and his state. And finally it is true that he raises and casts down the kings of Europe, but it is also true that the kings of Europe have gathered to throw down from his high throne the Bishop of Rome. In fact, at this moment, his city is besieged by troops wearing many colors of Europe while he is himself fled the city.”
    Isa Bey was delighted with these answers, and showered Selim with gifts of gold.

    The next day, Isa Bey called Selim to him. Isa Bey reminded Selim that his brother, father and many grandfathers had been conquerors. He, too, should be a conqueror. He told Selim to take warriors and ships and move against the Bishop of Rome.



    Selim took his ghazi warriors and sailed to Italy. The nations of Europe still sat at the gates of Rome. The Bishop of Rome sat before the gates of Urbino. And so Selim sat himself and the forces of Isa Bey in front of the gates of Romagna.
    “My lord Isa Bey! The men of Romagna are weak from too much wealth. They attack and we defeat them. The cities of this rich province will soon be ours!”


    After one year, Selim sent the same message to Isa Bey.



    And after another year, Selim again sent the same message to Isa Bey.



    And finally, after a final 6 months, Selim was able to send a new message to Isa Bey.
    “My lord Isa Bey, may Allah bless you and protect you for ever! In the early evening the Bishop of Rome came upon us as if in a dream. He appeared on the horizon with banners flying and arms flashing. A great cry of relief, devotion and hope rose from the city behind us. The Bishop charged down the slope against us, the Holy Warriors of Allah. The shock of his assault was tremendous and many brave warriors lost their lives. But Allah was with us and the banners of the Bishop of Rome fell as we defended ourselves. As the banner fell, the horsemen of the Bishop turned and fled, crying that the Bishop had fallen. As the Bishop’s forces fled the field, a cry of despair filled the air from the city behind us. Romagna opened its gates to us, we entered and took possession of the city. Surely Allah is with us!”




    Isa Bey sent congratulations to Selim and the Ghazi warriors of Aydin. He awarded them land and money, encouraged them to settle in and around the villages, harbors and towns of the Romagna. And he sent the Bishop of Rome a small token of remembrance - an inscribed silver bowl commemorating the victory of Salah al-Din over Richard, King of England in the Battle for Jerusalem, and his heartfelt thanks that Urbanus had led the fight against the Ghazi Warriors himself.

    This is the tale of the Bishop and the Bey.
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  16. #16
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    I reckon you should solidify your holds in italy before the ottomans grow hungry....

    Also, what year is it?
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Oliverio View Post
    Hi abraxas. You sound like a Persian Emperor. I like that a potential Persian Emperor is reading along!
    I've been thinking my next game should be with Persia and I think this comment finally settles it. When I start playing, I'll make it top priority to see Aydin is not eaten by the vile House of Osman

    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Oliverio View Post
    And he sent the Bishop of Rome a small token of remembrance - an inscribed silver bowl commemorating the victory of Salah al-Din over Richard, King of England in the Battle for Jerusalem, and his heartfelt thanks that Urbanus had led the fight against the Ghazi Warriors himself.
    I like Isa Bey's style, making sure the Pope feels the full burden of his defeat in the hands of a Muslim. But this, if nothing else, will make sure he wants to extract full revenge on Isa and his successors as soon as possible. Should be interesting.
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  18. #18
    In Hiding dinofs's Avatar
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    I really like Isa. He's got class.
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  19. #19
    Lt. General axzhang's Avatar
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    Ah yes, reaping the rewards of factional strife in Italy. I used to exploit that quite to my advantage while playing Muslim minors in previous versions of MMP too (plus the "destroy temple" event gives a lot of useful cash).

    Even cession of Romagna to the heathens won't unite the Italians against their petty squabbles!
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  20. #20
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A good solid gain, and at least this allows for Isa too to assume the title of conqueror. Plus getting land far from the Ottomans seems a good idea at present!
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