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Thread: The Eternal Exile: A Nation Hopping AAR

  1. #161
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Seven years to Persia? I say ROADTRIP!
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  2. #162
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Great update!
    Seven years!? Wow, any chance we get some events from that period? Also, i'd love to see the state of the world, the big picture.

    Any chance Scandinavia is on your list?
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  3. #163
    I love this AAR!!

    Your writing is excellent,,

    Though what did she do in SEVEN YEARS?? Lol

    Can't wait to read what the hell she did there...

    (In my enthusiasm; according to google maps,, it's would take you 21 (full days) days to walk from Istanbul to Tehran (on contemporary roads),, so about 60 days if you would walk 8 hours a day... That must have been a hell of a walk for it to take 7 years :P)

  4. #164

  5. #165
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashantai View Post
    “Of course I’m alright; that’s the problem! Do you know how old I am?” she demanded.
    Caught in a position no man ever hoped to be in, he shrugged. “Twenty five?” he suggested.
    Too true! Nestor is a braver man than I, to have dared attempt an answer.

    Good stuff, a very intriguing update with an even more interesting ending. With the trip to Persia taking seven years, I rather hope Talena did not suffer alike Odysseus!
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  6. #166
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Dewirix: Glad you liked it! And yes, one day she will discover just what is possible for someone to do.
    Razgriz: No Prince, sadly, they start out as a Theocracy. Never saw the recent movie...didn't interest me much. Was it any good?
    blsteen: Roadtrip indeed! I had the Odyssey in mind when I thought of this. The real reason was that nothing much happened in those seven years as the next Sultan, and there was no story reason for her to stay there.
    Beowulf: Only a few general ones. I've got down to do a 'State of the World' every 100 years, but I can change that to sooner if you'd like.
    Kipsnif: Thanks! Well, as you'll see she took the 'scenic route', like Odysseus did! What we have to remember is that in the 15th century the roads were poor, the terrain bad, and the frequency of wars makes travel over long distances rare.
    Boris: To Persia! But no elephants I fear.
    morningSIDEr: Yes, it's a question all men fear as much as 'does this make me look fat?' or 'do you like these shoes?'

    Now...onward!

    ---------

    ISMA’IL I PART 1



    XXX

    3/9/1448

    The city of Esfahan appeared before Talena like it was a mirage. A few soldiers, merchants and clerics were outside, but mostly there was just the farmlands and plains of Persia around her.
    It had taken her seven years to reach this point, seven long years. When she had been young, Talena had read ‘The Odyssey’, and now she felt like Odysseus finally returning to Ithaca. At first she had made good progress, getting a ship that was supposed to take her to Tripoli in the Levant, but then things had gone wrong. First a storm had forced them to land at an island near Naxos, and it had been weeks before they could make it to port. Then as they set sail for Rhodes she had been embroiled in the war between the Ottomans and the French and Polish over Abdulaziz’s subjugation of Transylvania.
    The Ottomans lost the naval battle off Rhodes and she was stuck inside the citadel for months as the Christians futilely besieged the mighty fortress. Finally when they were defeated she couldn’t find a ship going east, so had to land and go by foot across Anatolia. The deserts and mountains had caused her problems, but she had finally come down through the Taurus Mountains and into Syria.
    There, true to form, she had become enmeshed in the Syrian revolution against the Mamluks and it was more than a year before she could cross the desert and into Mesopotamia. There she had entered a region at war and had been attacked several times by both sides, occasionally at the same time.
    And finally she had arrived.



    If anything it was rather disappointing. After Paris, Toledo, Rome and Istanbul, Esfahan was merely a walled city on a plain enclosed by hills. It was hardly the most prepossessing of places.
    Still, it was a place to go, to relax, buy some new clothes, as hers were dusty, torn and ready for burning. A bath, some nice food and some sleep would also be just what Talena needed.
    As she entered the city she found it full of high ranking clerics and generals, all heading to a meeting in the central Mosque. Talena, who spoke no Persian, and had learned only a little Arabic, entered the town warily. However, unlike many of the cities she had passed through on her journey, Esfahan was both peaceful and orderly. There were of course beggars and shady individuals, but there were also a great many guards, and less refuse and litter than normal.



    It was as she was walking through the market, looking for what she needed, that she came face-to-face with an old man, very tall and severe, with a white beard and walking stick. He was trailed by two slaves, one African teenager, the other an Arabic man. Talena had almost bumped into him, and now stepped back, hoping she had not caused another mix-up.
    “My apologies,” Talena said unthinkingly in Greek and stepped aside to let him pass.
    “No, it is I who should apologise, my dear,” he replied in the same language. Though he was clearly Persian, and a cleric by the look of his robes, he spoke the language fluently...if with a slight accent. “You are new to the city?” he asked, looking at her dirty and torn clothes.
    “Yes, I just arrived. I am looking for a place to buy new clothes. I have money,” she added, in case he thought she was a vagrant.
    “And you travel alone? With no husband or slave to escort you?” he asked.
    Talena nodded her head. “Just me. I’ve come a long way to reach Persia.”
    “And I welcome you,” the Cleric replied. “What brings you to Esfahan? I see you have travelled a long way.”
    “Three thousand miles, I think,” Talena replied. “I came here to search for something.”
    “Do you follow the true faith?” he asked.
    Talena hesitated before continuing. The wrong answer was likely not to earn her any favours. “I am not overly religious – but I am always open minded to new ideas.”
    “Indeed. Then perhaps you will allow me to discuss and convince you of the truth and wisdom of the Prophet’s words?”
    “I would like that,” Talena said. She didn’t want to make any enemies, and there was something about this man, beneath his pleasant exterior, something hard and unyielding. “My name is Talena.”
    “Then allow me to help you, Talena. Imani here,” he gestured to his black slave girl. “She will take you to a guest room in the palace and provide you clothes, food and a bed. For now, I must attend the meeting of the Council.”
    “Palace?” Talena asked aloud, wondering who this man was to give away rooms in a palace to unknown women.
    “You are indeed new here. I am Ayatollah Isma’il, ruler of all these lands.”
    Talena was surprised. Even when she had seen the newly crowned Syrian Emir, a man who controlled a bare hundred square miles, he had worn gold and silk.
    “You were expecting a man dressed in finery obtained by oppression of the poor?” he asked. “That is because I am no hypocrite; I follow the true tenants of Islam, I do not merely pay it lip service when it is convenient for me. For that, I have many enemies. Good day.”



    After giving some instructions to Imani he left, heading for the great Mosque.
    Imani beckoned to Talena, and they headed down a side street. The slave was very pretty, and quite young as well.
    “Do you speak Arabic, Mistress?” the slave asked.
    “A little. You can teach me?” Talena asked. Having to learn so many languages was hard, and she’d virtually forgotten how to speak French or Castilian.
    “Of course, Mistress. When the Master does not need me, I will be happy to.”
    Talena felt she had to ask a question, even though it was rude, and probably quite upsetting for the girl. “Does he...you know...you?” she asked, trying to get her meaning across with expressive gestures, where her language skills failed.
    To her surprise Imani giggled slightly, and covered her mouth. “No, Mistress! He’s very nice to me. He’s very...strict, but he is a true Muslim. He eats only bread and water, and always prays to God, even in battle!”
    Talena nodded. “Lead on, Imani.” She’d never really dealt with slaves before, and it unsettled her. But, it was not for her to judge, and so she followed Imani.

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y25...ican_Woman.jpg

    XXX

    The nation of Persia had broken free from the grip of the descendants of Timur in 1436. Then, Ishmail, a Shiite cleric, had led a vast army that overthrew the Timurids and occupied Esfahan and established a new state. Since then, Persia had been asserting its own, fiercely religious identity. As a nation, they had two significant goals; to reclaim all lands where Shiia Islam existed, and then to expand the Shiite faith to all Muslims and beyond.

    However, a brief war was fought with Hedjaz, who was quickly defeated. However, it once again showed the willingness of Isma’il to use war to expand Persia. It would not be long before there were more....


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  7. #167
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    First impressions of Isma'il are definitely more favourable than the last guy. However, I seem to recall something about a religious maniac in one of your preview threads, so I'm viewing him with suspicion for now.

    If he gets out of hand, I'm sure Talena will know what to do.
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  8. #168
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    Another great update!
    I can just see the look of bewilderment on Talena's face when the man said 'palace'. He DOES seem like quite a fanatic, I too view him with suspicion. Then again, he might be a red herring....We'll see.
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  9. #169
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    He's...well I can't view how he is in a sense from first impressions. We'll see as the story progresses...

    How I wish to go back to Europe soon...
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  11. #171
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    He did say that Persia broke free in 1436, the year is 1449. I wouldn't see prestige to be that high IMO.
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  12. #172
    Excellent story. I am interested in how the Ayatollah comes about. Persia will be mighty interesting to hear, since half of it is still under Timurid rule.

    A little side-comment, while I applaud your unique stories and coming up new storylines is probably getting harder and harder, it gets a bit tiring that you happen to have Talena meet all the heads of states rather randomly. It's not everyday, even the humblest of Ayatollahs and religious men, walk in the streets to any random girl in dirty clothes. Talena has already met a French King, a Byzantine Princess and the guards of the Ottoman Sultan by accident.

    What I liked best was your Castille story where Talena does not immediately meet the King of the Country, but rather resides with a minor lord in a corner of a kingdom, watching events of the nation from the sidebar for many years before participating in a rebellion under her liege that becomes King.
    It's a more natural way of introducing her to court life rather than plop her to meet the head-of-government every country she pops into.

    In any case, your writing is excellent and I crave more =)

  13. #173
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Dewi: Yes indeed. I just wish I had more time to devote to all these places, but even so, it's fun.
    Beowulf: He's not actually the one I was referring to, but I suppose he qualifies as well.
    Razgriz: Yes, I came to realise that Europe is where the best action is, unfortunately. Do once I've gone around the world once I'll probably stay in Europe/Middle East permanently.
    Boris: Yeah, and Persia has lots of cores held by other nations. I believe they also broke to a rebellion at one stage.
    Aronnax: A very good point, and one I only appreciated later. After Persia it doesn't happen so much, and I'll aim in my writing to provide both direct ruler involvement and sime 'man on the street' stuff too.

    Thanks for reading, guys!

    --------

    ISMA’IL I PART 2

    For many years the descendants of Timur had been slowly losing their Empire. Indifferent rulers, factionalism and strong resistance ensured that the Timurids were ripe for collapse. Already most of their western domains had slipped away.
    Now all that remained was for the Persians to take advantage of this. From the time their armies crossed into Timurid territory in December 1448 until the peace ten months later, a war of unbelievable pace and speed was fought. The Timurids were weakened by bankruptcy, low morale and civil war, and before the Persian army they were scattered. With Isma’il leading the armies in person, the so-named Holy Army drove their enemies before them and seized vast tracts of Persian land. It was an astonishing victory, and accelerated the collapse of the Timurid Empire.









    XXX

    20/10/1449

    The fortress in the mountains of eastern Persia was filled with song and music. The soldiers, civilians, they all celebrated. They all celebrated except for Isma’il. Instead, the old man knelt in his bare room and gave thanks to God. His room, which had been the garrison commander’s, had been stripped of all vain items, all luxury, all wealth. It now bore the marks of poverty that only the very wealthy could afford.



    Talena knocked on the door hesitantly. It was open, but she still didn’t wish to enter unannounced. This man, for all his piety, could be cold as ice. She wore a loose robe and scarf over her hair, but under the robe she carried the curved scimitar she had used on campaign.
    “Enter.”
    Talena did so, noting that Imani and Abdul, the two slaves, were also kneeling in prayer. “You wished to see me, Lord?” Ten months with the Ayatollah and Imani had done wonders for her Persian, though she still couldn’t read it, she could speak it well enough.
    “I did.” Isma’il rose to his feet and sat, his slaves standing behind him. “You have accompanied me on this campaign, and have shown yourself as hardy as any warrior. Some of my advisors suggest that you are impure, a devil in human shape. I do not believe this. Allah has seen fit to grant you with skills, and you use them, and you do not give in to temptation. However, I have heard that you have been asking questions wherever we go. What questions are these?” His eyes burned into her. He already knew the answer, and was seeing if she’d try and lie.
    “I am looking for something, Lord. I heard tell in Istanbul of a strange incident. There were some strange devices and items. I wish to find them.”
    “And why is this?” he replied.
    Talena paused before continuing. “As you have most likely realised, I am not an ordinary woman. There are signs that another person like me was somewhere in this land, but I do not know where.”
    Isma’il considered for a moment. “I see. While you have proven yourself to be trustworthy and reliable there is indeed something unusual about you. You live your life as though you were a man, or as though you had the same power as a man.”
    “Where I come from men and women are more equal,” Talena said.
    “And though many, if not most scholars and followers of Islam would reject this notion as heretical, I follow the teachings of the Prophet. The Qur’an says that both male and female are equal before the sight of Allah...should they obey him in all things. I take this view, though the laws of this land do not often reflect this.”
    “Yes, Lord,” Talena said, wondering where he was going with this.
    “For you an exception has been made, so long as you continue to follow the path of true faith. I want you to remember this.”
    “Yes, Lord,” Talena replied again.
    “I have news of what you seek, I feel. It is said that the old castle near the Great Inland Sea was destroyed many years ago by a flame that sprung up one night and destroyed it. The locals shun it, and it has been left. However, it is not in my land...yet. One say it shall be. So I will make you a deal. You tell me of your strange home, and ride with me, and when that land is conquered you shall see it yourself.”
    Talena wasn’t exactly happy, but there was little chance of a better deal, and so nodded.
    “Good. Now, leave me. Imani, attend to her.” He turned away, dismissing her.

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  15. #175
    General Range's Avatar
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    Excellent...you continue to amaze. Your thoughts are crisp and clear.

    As for Nestor, too bad he went on his way. He was very visual. But, of course Talena is on a quest...the people she meets are merely useful in sending her on her way to fulfill that quest...to find the answers to why she traveled back in time and how she got there in the first place...and to find out if anyone else is trapped back in time...but, the most troubling question of all is whether or not she can find a way home?

    The backdrop of the period, the fighting and such is carefully blended in. Grand AAR...keep it up.

    I'm still marveling on your narrative on the comet.
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  16. #176
    Colonel Razgriz 2K9's Avatar
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    Hmm, Ismail seems to be a nicer guy than I thought...then again, I've been wrong before.
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  17. #177
    Lt. General Beowulf1990's Avatar
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    I still think he wants something....I don't trust the man one bit, i've been mistaken before though.
    And Persia is always interesting to play!
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  18. #178
    Great thread and story, I have to say! I read it up to the start of Bayezid, then forgot, and just picked it up again. Subscribed.

    You people and your AARs, making me want to buy EU3 :P

  19. #179
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    There will be an update in the morning when I get back to my proper PC.

    Boris: Not yet...but soon it will seem that way.
    Range: Thanks! Yes, the problem with immortality is that eventually you will come to see everyone around you as mere pawns to be used. Even worse, eventually they seem like insects of no real value. Glad you like the comet! I'll see if I can match that eventually!
    Razgriz: I wish I had more time to fully go into things with him. But like so many other plots I can only gloss over the surface. If people are interested I could do a brief post detailing what my plans for each of these countries was before I set my sights to a more achieveable AAR! IE, one I might actually finish!
    Beowulf: Persia is always fun, though I find that the further east I get the less interesting it seems, one way or the other!
    Eridite: Thanks for reading! Heh, EU3 is fun to play. However it's probably a touch easy once you get to a certain point with any country, hence why it's fun to write about the events and set goals for yourself.

    Thanks for reading guys! Update tomorrow.
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  20. #180
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    ISMA’IL I PART 3

    Peace did not reign long in Persia. Within a year the Mamluks attempted to impose their rule over the Sheikdom of Haasa, but a coalition of Persia, Najd and the Ottomans successfully resisted them. For the first time the immense mobility of the Persian forces came to the fore. With his army not yet returned from the Timurid campaign, the Mamluk armies invaded the Persian territory to the west. In a long march the Ayatollah brought his armies to bear against the Mamluks and defeated them.



    Peace was signed in 1451, as Persia did not have the strength to counter attack, and the Mamluks had failed in their attempt.





    In August 1452 the Persians declared war on Qara Koyunlu, their neighbour to the north. What followed was one of the most remarkable military campaigns the region had seen since the time of Timur himself.



    First Isma’il marched north, driving the scattered Qara armies, and occupying much of their land. However, he heard news that the armies of Baulachistan had invaded the south east and threatened the vital region of Hormuz. And so the Ayatollah led his men south, crossing mountains and rivers to defeat the enemy, then marched east across the length and bredth of Persia to rescue the situation in Mosul, where a Persian army had been destroyed. At the head of his army, Isma’il drove himself hard, despite being almost sixty years old. In a lightning series of campaigns he rescued the situation and enforced peace on the alliance opposed to him. It had been a magnificent achievement, and Persia’s claimed lands were almost entirely united.




    XXX

    12/12/1455

    The war was over.

    Talena could think of little else as she dismounted. Even with her unnatural vitality she was tired. It was more mental than physical though, but what had been achieved was magnificent.
    As she walked through the fields of graves from the final battle though, it didn’t seem quite so magnificent. In the war’s forty months she had ridden with Isma’il across the length and breadth of Persia no less then five times. And in all those long marches she had seen men die or fall out from exhaustion, had seen the deserters hung or cast off cliffs. And always there had been the Ayatollah, always there had been that man of such iron certainty. He had led from the front in every battle, every march, and she was the only one who kept up with him. For the first time Talena wondered if the man truly was protected by faith, as he had escaped from the wars almost uninjured. Like her. Dressed in her armour, and with a scimitar at her side, she looked every bit the soldier.



    The soldiers she passed on the way to the Ayatollah’s tent nodded to her. She seemed to have been classed as an honorary male, and thus not lumped with the usual gender based stereotypes. The last soldier to try and take advantage of her had an arm broken, and now they kept a wary distance.
    Imani was waiting, and bowed to her. “The Master wishes to see you,” she said. Even the slaves had not been spared the marches, and they both looked thin, even a little ill.
    Isma’il was praying when Talena entered, but stood and looked at her, in her dirtied and bloodied armour.
    “You have heard the news,” he stated.
    “Yes, Lord. They have submitted to your will,” Talena said.
    “They have. It is well that they did. Even the chosen army of Allah cannot be in two places. Now, you remember our bargain?”
    “I do, Lord.”
    “It was the will of the Prophet that bargains should be honoured, and I try to follow in His example. You have served me well. This strange land you come from should be an example to us...were they to follow the true faith.”


    Suddenly Isma’il started coughing violently, and leant against his chair. He angrily waved off Talena when she came closer.
    “I am fine!” he declared. He forced himself to stand and look unaffected. Talena had never met anyone with as much self control as him. “As I was saying, I will do as I promised. The ruined castle is not far from here. I will give you directions. Imani will go with you. Find what you wish, then return to Esfahan.”
    “I understand, Lord,” Talena said.
    “Then go.” The Ayatollah turned away and sat heavily in his chair.
    Talena left as quietly as she could.



    That night she changed into her civilian robes and took two horses before setting out north with Imani. Her quest was about to be fulfilled...she just hoped they’d be something there when she arrived!

    ----------

    I would have like to do more with Persia, but I am determined to finish this AAR - and to do that it means skipping over some of the more tasty plot points I had in mind. After all, I reckoned there's at least a novella for every country...if I had the time, patience and skill.

    BUT...I still love this AAR, and I plan to finish it, and I hope you guys like it.
    A Blessing and a Curse: EUIV Narrative AAR! In Progress
    Downfall: A Byzantine Narrative AAR. See the fall of the mightiest empire the world has ever seen. On Hold 3rd Place OVERALL EU3 (Highest Narrative) AARland Choice Awards Q3 2012!
    The Grey Eminence: A British Narrative/History AAR. Witness the rise of Great Britain to world power! COMPLETE! WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2012 Q1!
    The Eternal Exile: Nation Hopping AAR with a mix of narrative and game-play. On Hold. | WINNER EU - Narrative for AARland Choice AwAARds 2011 Q1!

    Winner: AAR Showcase 29/11/2011 | Winner: Character Writer of the Week 19/1/2012 | Winner: Fan of the Week 20/9/2010 and 20/8/2012 | I was Character Writer of the Week 13/12/2010

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