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Thread: Baghdad in the Sky with Diamonds - A Jalayirid AAR

  1. #121
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Very good stuff. Highly informative overview of various parts of the world. Always interesting to see how nations rise and fall within the game and I note you have been guiding this yourself, as with Japan!

    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    Deep down, the Caliphate's actions are the trigger, and will be involved... They just won't do the actual dirty work. They're little muslim ninjas.
    I get the feeling these ninjas may just bring the dreaded Malacca 'plague' to Japan (the description of Suleiman the Great was especially brilliant to my mind)...
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  2. #122
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gremlok View Post
    just stumbled onto this AAR - absolute fantastic read. at the expense of time originally planned for work. at least i still get paid. i hope.
    your battle of the Levant chapter was epic and the actual historical references and intermissions show you've put a lot of time and effort into this.
    Thank you very much! Also, I'm not quite sure on using many in-game screen shots. I sorta prefer the look it has now. Would you care to explain why you want more screen shots (no pressure)?
    now I'll like in advance to apologies for my pathetic attempt of poetry
    Pathetic? It's quite good! And this AAR needs some poetry!
    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    I get the feeling these ninjas may just bring the dreaded Malacca 'plague' to Japan (the description of Suleiman the Great was especially brilliant to my mind)...
    Thank you... although the way the Caliphate influences this is a tad removed from your suggestion

    ***************
    Chapter 14 - The Alexandrian Period

    The energetic Mariam, while she wasn't the sitting monarch, was the true force behind the reforms of the Alexandrian Period (1501-1517), and, for all intents and purposes, ruled in place of her feeble brother. Her white skin was suggested as proof that she was a child born out of wedlock (mostly by her opponents) but the reader must be reminded of the Mongolian origins of the House of Jalayir.


    The whole palace was afire. Whispers were heard in the eastern gardens in the morning, rumors spread in the Persian room – from careless mouths to curious ears – at tea-time and an exasperated delegation made its way to the office of the Vizier by the sunset. Shocked, the Vizier joined them and they headed to the Throne room. Jafa'ar was standing in the throne, hearing the complaints of a group of merchants complaining about the river tolls - with Mariam close by, to keep her brother from either upsetting them or pleasing them far too much; taxes had to be collected - when they barged in, their eyes blinded by indignation, in a breach of all respect normally accorded their sovereign.

    Courtiers showing such lack of tact and common sense - the man (and woman, indirectly) they were questioning, after all, was the ruler of an empire on three continents - would normally be banished from the palace or killed. But this was a whole other matter. Mariam knew she just might have pushed them too far... what she had done was threatening the pillars that supported the influence of many powerful men! The 20 odd guards in the chamber soon dispersed the crowd however, but not their ire.



    Mariam had made the armies swear fealty to the Caliph, not their leaders – who were, at least nominally acting on his behalf and that of Allah - stripped the mullahs of their tax exemptions, stopped the often-exploited tax-exempted Islamic trusts – it was common for rich men to will their lands to them, only to have their descendents live off the land as 'administrators' – ended the informal practice of the nobility and clergy to set up trials by their peers to escape heavier sentences, annihilated all hereditary gubernatorial offices, yet again – like her grandfather, Hasan I had done - as well as those at court - which incensed the more entrenched political families.


    Jalayirid footsoldiers, armed with muskets, in an European book on Geography


    While there were other, no less important, measures in the Marian Statutes, such as the creation of provincial committees for the building of paved roads across the Caliphate – essential for the swift movement of the army – and the establishment of royal-owned musket and artillery manufactories – this precocious adoption of gunpowder as a mainstay weapon by well-drilled troops would be the terror of many Christians, and spur their own adoption of these weapons – as well as more trivial matters, the first few were enough to cause unrest on an unprecedented level – maybe even above the bint Hasan sisters' (Mariam I and Khadija) rise to power.

    Unlike most later rulers, and much like her mother and grandfather, Mariam was a visionary. Her mother, despite her cunning, was far from an administrative genius, preferring to war with the Christians and leaving most of the state's governing to the higher administrative cadres. This had the unpleasant effect of these same men appointing either themselves or their family members as rulers of far-off provinces, like Morocco or Somalia, while controlling just what reached the eyes and ears of the Calipha. The Marian Statutes sought to trim these occurrences, and would lead to an even more thorough centralization than under Mariam I. From then on, the increasingly nominal provincial governors were subject to a squad of inspectors – which were to visit the provinces every year - that would oversee the regional finances and attempt to ensure lawful governing on their part.


    The luxurious courtly life of the palaces was also a hotbed of corruption and intrigue.


    As was noted before, these checks and balances caused an uproar not only in the provincial nobility – as had happened before with Mariam I – but especially in the inner court circle, a large group of people whose wealth was assured by the granting of pensions for given services as high officials, and which thrived as it saw its positions de facto guaranteed due to either their machination or mere royal oversights. Unfortunately, Mariam could not simply order them killed, since killing the head of the serpent also involved annihilating the government's spine and some of its brightest, if greedy, minds. The following months passed, as veiled tension permeated any interaction between Mariam, the Caliph and the court at large. Mariam was increasingly alone, even as his brother's wives, each one of them as power-hungry as Mariam, yet lacking her vision and cunning, tried to persuade their husband to undo his sister's work. Still, it seemed that her cunning would not save her now. Mariam feared for her life. Her guards were strong, but who knew if they weren't on someone else's payroll as well? Mariam thought she was fighting a losing battle. Until the 22nd of November, of 1501, by Christian countenance.


    The infamous blade is on display together with the full manuscripts of the Marian Statutes at the Baghdad History Museum.


    On that day, Jafa'ar I's chest was pierced by a Spanish stiletto dagger. The Spanish, eager to retake their African lands, and knowing of the unrest in their arch-enemy's lands, courted a dissatisfied noble named Ashraf Umar to kill Caliph Jafa'ar. While his true reasons were unknown at the time*, his connection with the Spanish soon became known due to poorly-hid correspondence with his liaison in Madrid. The Christians sought to eliminate the Caliph, who, either by lethargy or actual intelligence, kept the country together due to neither supporting – which would lose him any support among the high classes - nor opposing – which would lead to a witch hunt for their proponents - the Marian Statutes - which, at least on paper, had his approval.

    Unfortunately for them, they failed. Caliph Jafa'ar I recovered shortly after, and public sentiment had never been so against the Spanish. Mariam pledged war against them for 'hurting' her 'little' brother. However, Mariam was always pragmatic, and now she saw a way out of her troubles. With key members of her opposition being – mostly through planted 'evidence' – implicated in the plot, her adversaries were stunned and confused, their interests aligned with Mariam in their desire to drive Spain off the map. She, plus the Caliph and several key supporters soon found their way to Alexandria, allegedly to facilitate preparations against Spain. With the entrenched courtiers left to rot in Baghdad, the Alexandrian – with the city becoming known as the 2nd capital - Period began.


    In a throwback to Alexandria's past glory, a smaller, yet effective version of the Pharos Lighthouse, built by Ptolemy, was built in the harbour.


    Around her formed a new circle, consisting of the men that would later form the 'reformed' Dhimmi party, who would enjoy supremacy at court during Muhammad II's reign. These merchants were in favor of the monarchs' more progressive policies, and were generally against war for Islam's sake, preferring to use it to drive off the competition, as they did when the Portuguese began their forays into the Indian Ocean, 25 years later. With it, the supposedly temporary was prolonged into over a decade and a half, and total war never materialized, even though pirate attacks against Christian shipping reached a historical high, due to encouragement by the Caliphate. Austria-Naples is even said to not have been able to effectively communicate between its two halves for over a decade, leading to further autonomy in Naples. With support secured in her new home, Mariam began to give it the amneties of Baghdad: public gardens, organized sewers and bazaars, hospitals, universities, great mosques... The city of Alexander the Great knew great prosperity during this time, as the capital of a vast empire, and artists and merchants plied their crafts along its busy streets.



    Mariam and Jafa'ar ruled from Alexandria until 1517, when, after Mariam's reforms being already in place and many revolts quelled, they both died from the Plague. Mariam's son - Jafa'ar never managed to have any children – Muhammad was in Baghdad at the time, and, after the appropriate time of grieving, reinstated Baghdad as the capital once more. With his enemies tamed, Muhammad would continue his predecessors' policies and ensure the Caliphate's prosperity.

    *********************


    *It was later discovered that he saw himself – at least in his diaries – as a Brutus slaying Caesar, to guarantee the return to tradition. Even though he ultimately suffered Brutus's fate as well, this shows an example of the greco-roman culture and learning absorbed by the learned classes.
    Last edited by mayorqw; 18-09-2011 at 11:37.
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  3. #123
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great stuff ... nice set of plot moves to drive the realm forward ... but how will Muhammad cope without a strong woman to keep the empire on track?

  4. #124
    Dwarven Skald generalolaf's Avatar
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    Just finished reading what you've written so far - and I have to say it's one of the best AARs, on this forum or any other, I've ever read. This (and Avindian's Tuscan AAR) is really top quality writing.
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  5. #125
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great stuff ... nice set of plot moves to drive the realm forward ... but how will Muhammad cope without a strong woman to keep the empire on track?
    This AAR is the ultimate expression of ‘behind each great man, there is a woman’. But I’m sure Muhammad II will find a way!
    Quote Originally Posted by generalolaf View Post
    Just finished reading what you've written so far - and I have to say it's one of the best AARs, on this forum or any other, I've ever read. This (and Avindian's Tuscan AAR) is really top quality writing.
    Thank you very much! It’s an honor to be compared to Avindian.
    ************************
    Chapter 15 – The Crimean and Anatolian Wars


    Caliph Muhammad II was a brilliant administrator, and mostly expanded on his predecessor's reforms. Nearly all wars during his reign were handled by the generals themselves, hand-picked by Muhammad. A workaholic, he would spend days at a time discussing the tax codes and legal minutiae with his advisors, yet he was graceful in his conduct, and managed to charm most of the court into supporting the Dhimmi faction's interests.


    While most of Muhammad’s reign consisted of more or less peaceful economic – and political - expansion, to heal a nation exhausted after his grandmother’s wars, his 20-year long reign began with a war with the largest land power in Europe. The Russian Tsardom, the name the Grand Duchy of Lithuania took upon itself, was expanding. The northern Russian States – Yaroslavl and Novgorod - had been subdued; the Finnish Patriarchate had been pushed beyond the Neva River; the Eastern Tatars squashed by the hordes of modern Russian troops and artillery; and now, the Bear looked to the south, to Georgia and the Bosporan Republic. Both of these states however, unlike Novgorod or any tent-dwelling Tatar king, served a vital purpose: they were the intermediaries, both physically and culturally, between the Jalayirid Caliphate and Russia. The Tsardom’s would-be conquest of the former and threats to the other were a blow to the uneasy peace between both of these vastly different empires. Unwilling to have a mortal enemy control lands beyond the easily defendable Caucasus Mountains, Muhammad joined the fray. The ‘partition’ of Georgia was a messy affair, as the Georgians fought each other in a civil war, between the pro-Muslim and the pro-Russian parties. As the new territories were absorbed and more or less civil administration set up, troops on both sides looked nervously at the cold mountain passes that lead though the snow-capped peaks. Tens of thousands of soldiers fortified themselves, holding their weapons – bows and halberds for the Russians, muskets and sabers for the Muslims - nervously, as they mired each other across no man’s land.


    The Caucasus Mountains served as a barrier between the two empires.


    This situation went on for well over a year, with all-out war kept at bay through ‘sincere’ apologies for the trigger-happy soldiers on both sides who insisted at taking pot shots at the opposing camps. It went on until the Mamison Pass Incident, as it came to be known, happened on February 17th, 1518. In that pass, a careless Persian soldier made his way into the enemy camp after a night of debauchery and drinking at the travelling inns*. He was shot on sight by the Russians, and when his companions discovered he was missing, they formed an armed party to seek clarification with the Russian force at dawn. On the entrance to the enemy camp, they found him lying carelessly on the floor. The Russians hadn’t even bothered to hide the corpse. The men that had served with him for over 10 years were rather upset about this turn of events, and the sleepy Russian soldiers were all either put to death or sold off as slaves to travelling merchants.

    Upon hearing the news, Muhammad did the best he could to ‘salvage’ the situation, treating the attack as a planned act of war and merely informing the Russian embassy as to the state of war henceforth. The confused Russian troops were eliminated in a series of well-placed ambushes, and the main passes secured, with small fortifications being erected here and there against a potential counterattack. Surprisingly, it never came. The generals had decided to wait until spring to begin their push into the desolate Russian steppe, but as they descended northwards into Russia, they found little resistance. The Russians were facing a revolt by their own brethren in Novgorod against the Tsar’s attempts to centralize power in his person, at the expense of the bishoprics and cities, not to speak of the boyars. Even then, the armies assigned to the Caucasus were off chasing Kazakh raiders deep into their lands. As such, the Muslims managed to set up a cohesive line along the rivers of southeastern Russia.


    The Russians favored their well-trained heavy cavalry, which punched through the enemy flank, routing, or, if not, providing an entry point for heavier infantry to finish the job. Their armor however caused movement to be slow and both steeds and riders were exhausted after a few charges.


    When the Russians did react, they did so in a peculiar manner, at least to the Muslims. Russian military thought, at the time, followed mostly the Borisa School. Named after Boris Dozhdalev, this military school advocated, in a fashion similar to that of the medieval knights of Catholic Christendom, the superiority of the horseman over infantry, and, inspired by the tales of ancient battles that lasted for days, stated that a war should be won in a single battle, in a cataclysmic battlefield, in a fight of good versus evil. While the reader may be judging the Russians as naïve, several factors came into play for this particular strategy to be used: the Russian people was tired of war, and amidst a period of centralization, the Tsar wanted a quick victory to show his might; the Muslims from across the Caucasus were, in the view of the Christian Orthodox Russians, an evil that should be stopped and, third, the open plains on which such a battle would be fought were ideal for the Russian cavalry tactics.

    As such, on July 3rd 1518, both sides, numbering at least 30,000 each, set up camp in the plains of Sumy, and on the next day, a many mile long line was spread across, facing their enemy. The Russians began by firing arrows at the lightly armored musket men, slaying many, while the Muslims could do little due to their guns being inaccurate at such long distances. The Muslim cavalry was nowhere to be seen. Confident, the Russian general ordered the army to engage. As the massed formations of pike men ran to the Jalayirid line, the Russian cavalry, clad in steel, reminiscent of the cataphracts of the Old Persian Empire, began move into their flanking positions. The scouts said that the flanks were lightly armed swordsmen, apt for rapid flanking maneuvers of their own. The scouts were wrong.


    A Muslim musket which is thought to have been used in the battle of Sumy. The Muslim's massed volleys of fire, combined with a liberal application of shock cavalry on the weakened enemy lines, proved to be the keystone of several victories during the 16th century.


    As the cavalry pounced ever so closer, suddenly, a volley of fire was fired by the loose formation. Muskets. The resulting chaos was not so much a result of the badly aimed musket fire but of its smoke and sound. The warhorses, unused to the confusion, became less and less steady, spreading the charge too thin. Their targets obscured by the puffs of white smoke from their guns, the riders barely saw the lances as they were lifted. In a matter of minutes, the entire formation ran amok, as they were mercilessly cut down. As the Russian infantrymen also met a hail of bullets from their opponents, the sight of their bloodied knights, the very core of the army, fleeing, pursued by lighter Muslim cavalry was a as good a reason for routing as any other, as they were pushed back and slowly surrounded by the enemy. Soon, the majority of the Russian Army was enveloped. Under concentrated fire and their numbers ever shrinking, the Russians surrendered. Some 15,000 laid down their weapons. The others were cut down.

    After the crushing defeat at Sumy, the Russians were incapable of rallying an effective force, and 3 months later, and, after the Yellow army punched through to Moscow and burned it, peace terms negotiated. The Caliphate had little interest in the poor southern steppes, so instead the Bosporan Republic - which became a client state - was given further territory, encompassing nearly all Russian Black Sea territory. The mountain passes in the Caucasus were given to the Caliphate and permanent forts erected.


    The burning of Moscow.


    With its expanded territory, the Bosporans controlled most of the Black Sea, and would be of vital importance in coming Anatolian War. Former allies, the Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire had had a falling out ever since Shah Walad had sponsored one of his relatives to rule from the Grande Porte, in Constantinople. In a strange move, the Turks expelled the Caliphate’s merchants, and a rather angry Dhimmi party petitioned the Caliph for war. He acquiesced, and war was declared on the decadent state. The war was mostly unremarkable, save for three things: the blockade of the Sea of Marmara, the entrapping of Mehmet III’s army in Corfu and the attack on Constantinople.

    The first one consisted in the closure of all waterways across the Sea of Marmara to Ottoman troops or ships – and quite a few merchants as well, as the crews turned to piratical methods to sweeten their commissions. This kept the main ottoman armies – who were in the western half of the empire due to recent revolts among the Greeks and Bulgarians - from accessing the main fighting, leading to an easy takeover by the Blue and Green Armies of Asia Minor. The second one managed to keep the main Ottoman army - numbering some 15,000 - stranded on the isle of Corfu, after they successfully stormed the fortresses on the strategically placed island. With the island unfit to feed the army, disease spread through the Ottoman garrisons as a result of their poor nutrition, and was terrible among the townsfolk, who saw their meager pantries commandeered by the invaders.

    Lastly, the taking of Konstantinopolis was a remarkably easy enterprise, due to the ingenious tactics used by the 2,000 troops that stormed it. On 5th May of 1523, a massive amount of bonfires were lit near the city. The city’s authorities, alarmed, received a demand to surrender, and sent out the bulk of the garrison to inspect the situation. The defender’s strength already sapped, riots broke out in the city among the Muslim Greeks, incited by the Caliphate. The supposedly minor riots soon turned into an orgy of pillaging between most ethnicities in the cities.


    The Hagia Sophia, repurposed as a grand mosque after the Turkish conquest of the city, was miraculously spared by the rioters.


    While it was indeed regrettable that the City of the World’s Desire was being ransacked, it allowed the Jalayirid soldiers, dressed in their finest silken cloths, to literally waltz into the Ottoman palace – encountering only minor resistance from the royal guard. Taking the royal family hostage, an extremely favorable treaty was soon to be extracted from the Sultan, trapped as he was in Corfu. In the humiliating Treaty of Corfu, Mehmet III surrendered the entire eastern half of his empire to the Caliphate.

    The Jalayirid Caliphate now held more land than any successor of the Prophet Muhammad before it. Under the wise rule of its 6th Caliph, the economy was booming, and the East-West trade was more alive than ever. However, a foreign element, one far too familiar to the Caliphate, was soon to disturb the peace.



    ***************************


    Nearly 2,000 words
    Last edited by mayorqw; 20-03-2012 at 01:35.
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  6. #126
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well for a peaceful reign, they were very impressive gains ... with a healthy dollop of luck with the revolt in northern Russia too

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    Thank you very much! Also, I'm not quite sure on using many in-game screen shots. I sorta prefer the look it has now. Would you care to explain why you want more screen shots (no pressure)?
    I just like maps; political maps, diplomatic maps, strategic maps, tactical maps, maps, maps, maps.......and I actually like the way paradox maps look. Did I mention maps?
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  8. #128
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    Brilliant!

    How can I missed something like this..
    Lord Jon North in The Kingdom

  9. #129
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    well for a peaceful reign, they were very impressive gains
    The idea behind it being a 'peaceful' reign is due to several things: these were surprisingly easy, cheap and relatively bloodless (compared to Mariam's conquests) wars, and, because of the autonomous military administration that arises in this period (which will have repurcussions later on) and that neither of these wars were fought on the Caliphate's land. Therefore, civilian life wasn't affected in any negatively meaningful way and most people (excluding soldiers) lived in peace during the reign, as if there were no wars.
    Quote Originally Posted by gremlok View Post
    I just like maps; political maps, diplomatic maps, strategic maps, tactical maps, maps, maps, maps.......and I actually like the way paradox maps look. Did I mention maps?
    Im think I'll stick to my maps, but I have no qualms in inserting a spoiler tag at the end of some updates with some gameplay screenies
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazti View Post
    Brilliant!
    How can I missed something like this..
    Thank you very much Bazti!
    ****************************
    Chapter 16
    The Nanban, part 1


    “We’ve come to look for Christians and spices”
    - An unknown Portuguese sailor, when asked by a Muslim merchant as to his reasons to travel halfway across the world to reach India.



    Musa held steady at the prow. He let out a loud sigh as he stared at the moon's milky reflection in the calm sea's tones of dark blue.

    Frankly, he was bored. Like all smart soldiers, he went out of his way to ensure his term of service was uneventful. The problem was that he had been far too successful in that regard: he hadn't even left the province of Yemen, and had been stationed with the Eastern Navy, who barely saw any combat besides the occasional ambitious pirate. As if Allah himself was punishing him, they stationed him at the island of Socotra. The 'Rock', unanimously loathed by the crewmen, was the base from which most pirate hunters and scouts patrolled the waters from Mogadishu to Muscat. If he didn't like it, he at least tolerated it; but now they were making him sail out into the pitch black night every week or so because some superstitious fisherman thought he was seeing lights offshore.

    He commanded a small scout ship, unfit for combat but fast enough to escape before being engaged. A few hours passed, and he still saw little besides the sky, the sea and his ship. As the morrow approached however, he started hearing noises; a strange tongue being shouted in the distance. Skeptical, Musa reasoned he needed a drink - he did not fancy himself a devout Muslim. The monotony was probably getting to him. Soon enough, the noises were coming ever closer. The men heard them too. He lied down, trying to get some sleep. Suddenly, he heard a sudden explosion not too far away.

    A deadly broadside made its way to his boat, the heavy cannonballs homing ever closer to their target. When they reached their fateful destination, the ship was broken into pieces, the men mangled from the crushing weight of the enemy projectiles. Musa felt blistering pain throughout his body, but he found little solace in what he saw. As the sun began to rise in the east, its first rays illuminated the enemy's white sails, each one with a great red cross.

    The Portuguese had arrived.

    *****************


    The 'Portuguese' Cross became the de facto 'flag' of the Republic due to its ubiquity in the Republic's main claim to fame, exploration.


    The Republic of Lisbon[1], having to buy spices and other oriental products at scandalous prices from the Muslims - who held a monopoly on said trade due to their geographic location in between Christian Europe and the Far East - had engaged on an enormous enterprise; that of finding a sea route to India and Cathay, therefore sapping the heathens' power and influence from trade, and enriching themselves in the process, which was always pleasant. Ptolemy's maps might say that the Indian Ocean is enclosed, but that didn't stop the ambitious merchants from trying; even if they didn't find a way to India, there was more than consolation in the bountiful gold, salt, slaves and peppers of Western Africa.


    The Ribeira das Naus , the main shipbuilding district of the capital.


    Borrowing many shipbuilding techniques from Northern Europe, they had succeeded in making sturdy and maneuverable ships. In their caravels, they quickly established small fortresses along the African coast - in Cape Verde, Arguin and S. Jorge da Mina (in Guinea), for example - used for trading with the natives and as refitting stations for the ships. In less than 20 years, the Portuguese had disproven Ptolemy, using all of the nautical expertise in Europe - Italian map-makers and captains, Dutch shipbuilders and English sail makers were a common sight in Lisbon - and expanding on the largely unfruitful plans of Infante D. Henrique, a brother of King Duarte - his ambitious explorations were discarded by his brother in favor of conquests in Morocco - of more than a century before. They reached the Cape of Good Hope, christened as such by the reigning Aedile - the title equivalent to a Venetian doge - Fernão Vaz.

    Hearing the exhilarating news, he commissioned a new expedition to be formed, one which would finally reach India and allow the use of its fantastic riches in the fight against the Saracens [2]. This armada would be commanded by Paulo da Gama, the very captain who had reached the Cape, and would feature heavier ships, known as 'naus' to transport back to Lisbon the bounty of India, as well as a substantial convoy of some 150 families, sent to populate the fertile and - quite unlike any place the Portuguese had so far discovered in Africa - rather familiar, mediterranean-like areas surrounding it, so they would serve as an outpost, far away from home. The preparations took two years, and, on the August of 1517, the ships left the harbor.


    Paulo da Gama's fleet sails through the Atlantic Ocean.


    The first half of the voyage was largely uneventful, since they were sailing across known waters. However, a skirmish occurred somewhere in modern Angola between a landing party and a group of local natives, resulting in the death of some 32 crewmen. Having to ration his available pool of sailors, Da Gama removed the crewmen from one of the colonists' ships, the Santa Ana, leaving them to sail by themselves. The ship later disappeared during the ferocious storms of the Cape, and in the Cape Colony, through the remaining 139 families, the ghost ship was the cause of many legends, including that their descendants were the dreaded pirates of southern Madagascar.

    With the remaining families left at the future site of the Cidade do Cabo - Cape Town* - the fleet continued, their supplies lasting them to St. Vincent's Day - the patron of Lisbon. As they arrived in Zanzibar - which they named S. Vincent in commemoration of the Saint - on that day, they were greeted with much pomp by the local moors, who thought them to be Turks. When the locals discovered their guests' true identity, they nearly killed Paulo da Gama and trapped the fleet in the port, but the fleet managed to narrowly slip away, having been informed by a Jewish merchant who was informed of the Muslims' plans. Navigating rather haphazardly through the unknown waters, encountering minor resistance from a few Jalayirid patrols and almost being engaged by the Caliphate's fleet near Hormuz, they found their way to India, specifically to Calicut.


    Da Gama lands at Calicut.


    As the once powerful Maharajas of Vijayanagara fell victims to an unruly nobility and several revolts due to poor harvests, the regional lords began distancing themselves further and further from the central power. Thus, when the expedition, after having contacted with the Indian states in various cities along the coasts, reached the city of Calicut, they found an all-powerful Samorin ruling the city and growing rich after its commerce. The Samorin was originally receptive to the Portuguese, thinking they could help him further assert his independence from Vijayanagara, and supply him with deadly arquebuses with which to carve a kingdom in India. However, hearing of this, both the Muslim traders and the Samorin's inner circle began to conspire against this new faction, rather hostile to their interests. This situation continued for two months, as the goods promised to the Portuguese never came, and the Samorin, under the influence of his advisors, stalled any negotiations to speed up the process.


    Da Gama and his retinue confront the Samorin with the delays in the negotiations, presenting him the state letter authored by the Aedile Fernão Vaz in an audience that would quickly turn into a bloodbath.


    It was in this tense situation that Paulo da Gama and an armed entourage stormed into the Samorin's palace, demanding reasons for the ruler's lethargy. In a heated the discussion, Paulo da Gama suddenly requested, with a fiery insistence, that the Maharaja convert himself to Catholicism 'and rid himself of the impure, corrupt and decadent retinue that poisons his every decision and movement'. The Indians responded furiously to this, and after a clumsy soldier accidentally discharged his gun, the discussion turned into an all-out fight.

    The Portuguese narrowly won it, and with the Samorin dead and everyone against them, they plundered the palace stores before scurrying back to the ships and leaving for the Maldives, leaving the Samorin's head on a pike in the palace gardens, and the city's fleet on fire to prevent a future retaliation. Calicut would from then on be the foremost enemy of Portuguese interests in the East, and together with the Caliphate, would form successive alliances to expel them from the area, often unsuccessful.

    The remainder of the trip was spent visiting Ceylon and the Bengal so as to procure for spices and supplies; they began their return trip in May and by September, the ships are mentioned in Arguin's logs as having returned with their hulls filled with spices. Paulo da Gama was received as a hero in Lisbon and given a 15 minute-long standing ovation by the Senate. He was to command several other expeditions to India and even to hold the title of Consul of the Indies - essentially a viceroy.


    Da Gama presents the Indian goods he brought from his voyage to the Aedile.


    And so it was with Paulo da Gama's intrepid voyage to India that Portuguese intervention began in the area - which the Caliphate regarded as its backyard, safe from foreign inroads. Thus, the relatively minor European state was to play a monumental role in Asian history, as it marked the introduction of western thought, practices and culture into the continent, forever shaping its history.

    ********************


    [1] Formed from the discontent among the wealthy burghers of Lisbon due to the scandalous losses in the 11th Crusade and the Royal approval given to the African conquests - which they saw as a waste of precious funds - the Republic of Lisbon was proclaimed shortly after the Defenestration of Lisbon, when the King was thrown from the Paço Real into the street. Portugal being a more or less feudal country and vastly different from Venice, Genoa, Pisa and other European republics, it is important to underline several points:

    - The high aristocracy and clergy - mostly the Order of Christ and the Hospitallers - held a very large amount of land in Northern and Southern Portugal, respectively. This obstacle to republican control - which was strongest in the rural areas and less so in the cities (which had experienced self-rule under royal charters for hundreds of years) - was eased by the death of many influential members of the nobility and clergy during the Crusade; and was remedied by the granting of these rural lands as property of the various cities in their regions, leading to cities with large 'estates'.

    - Royal authority, much like in Spain, was very strong and allowed the burghers to use the extensive royal lands - known as 'reguengos' - for their own purposes with minor resistance, as well as the cities to rise in the power vacuum resultant from the King's death.

    - The more rural character of the country and the predominance of Lisbon in it led to - instead of a true 'Portuguese' Republic arising - the creation of a 'League of Free Cities', with Lisbon as a primate, but in reality the Senate in Lisbon had control of most affairs in the outlying cities, therefore leading to this state being known as the 'Republic of Lisbon'. This was further cemented with Lisbon's exclusivity of the Indian and Far Eastern Trade - buying products such as nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, silk, pepper, lacquered furniture, porcelain and selling tobacco, silver, sugar, and other New World products - creating untold riches for the city drew the resentment of its subordinates; and the negligence the city soon showed to the other cities allowed cracks to appear in the 'League', which were exploited by the Muslims during their reconquest of Iberia.

     
    [2] Rather expectedly, the original religious nature of the voyages to India diminished greatly as profits began to roll in. Still great progress was achieved by Jesuit missionaries in Asia (especially southern India, Indonesia and Japan), in operations largely divorced from the Republic's official actions. The Jesuits, more than their secular counterparts, were the great bringers of Western thought and technology to Asia. They were usually greeted as scholars in most Asian courts, and not as bringers of a revolutionary - at least in the region's context - religion that would dramatically upset the nations in which it took hold.

    [3]Cape Town is mentioned by the voyage's Chronicles as a bustling settlement by the time the fleet returned, with docks and extensive farmland in the proximity, whose products were used to trade with the surprisingly friendly natives for ivory, ebony and other African products brought in the from the north. The small town was soon to explode in size due to colonists fleeing the Mediterranean Jihad.
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    so the next stage is a tussle with the Europeans both in the Med and in India ... fascinating stuff

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    Lovely update. This AAR is really turning into a gem. Be sure to never drop it!
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    Excellent stuff. It definetly seems as if Muhammad inherited a considerable amount of his mother's ability and wisdom, his considerable victories over both Russia and the Ottomans testimony to this. I especially liked not only the cause for the escalation in the conflict with Russia, that poor drunken Jalayirid soldier blundring into the wrong camp, but also the description of the main battle between Russia and the Jalayirids itself. Now though even more interesting developments, the Europeans have managed to make contact with a new and large area of Asia. I cannot see the Jalayirid Empire allowing this infringement to go unpunished.
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    Lt. General Aliasing's Avatar
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    I was originally discouraged from reading this AAR, for whatever stupid reasons. But now that I have read the entire thing, I'm glad I didn't continue with that idiotic train of though.

  14. #134
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    so the next stage is a tussle with the Europeans both in the Med and in India ... fascinating stuff
    Unfortunately (or not), it opens with a loss for the Caliphate...
    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    Lovely update. This AAR is really turning into a gem. Be sure to never drop it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Aliasing View Post
    I was originally discouraged from reading this AAR, for whatever stupid reasons. But now that I have read the entire thing, I'm glad I didn't continue with that idiotic train of though.
    I am lucky to have two such esteemed readers. Thank you very much, and I'm glad you enjoy it! Also, thanks for being honest Aliasing, and I wouldn't mind knowing why, if it would help me to make this a better AAR. An AAR that is discouraging at the start but good once you're into it is great, but one that is good from start to finish is even better!
    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Now though even more interesting developments, the Europeans have managed to make contact with a new and large area of Asia. I cannot see the Jalayirid Empire allowing this infringement to go unpunished.
    Oh they will not

    Chapter 17
    The Nanban, part 2

    It has only been 30 years since they became Moors [Muslims]...
    - Fernão Mendes Pinto, 16th Century Portuguese traveler, adventurer, chronicler and sailor.


    The Jalayirid fleet's sinking ships


    Tattered flags swung in the distance. Dozens of ships lay mangled, destroyed, battered; their sails burning, their men drowning. A jubilant enemy left the strait, while the defeated were cast off into the ocean’s depths.

    The Crescent had not been victorious today. For what slight the sailors did not know, but Allah had not been on their side that day. Early on, the wind swung behind the enemies’ sails, depriving the Muslims of its advantages; the damp weather they encountered before the battle had rendered several barrels worth of gunpowder humid and useless; the admiral of the fleet had been blasted off by a lucky cannon shot.

    As the laments of the wounded was heard at Oran, the Christians were in jubilation, their victory hailed as a reversal of their fortunes, vengeance for Lepanto, 30 years prior.

    ****************************


    To commemorate its weakth and the victory at Gibraltar, Aedile João de Góis sent a live rhinocerus as a gift to the Pope.


    At the battle of Gibraltar – fought between the Caliphate and the Republic of Lisbon, on March 23rd, 1525, Muslim control of the Mediterranean slipped away, if momentarily. The Christians recuperated their morale, dampened ever since Lepanto, and new calls for Crusade were issued. This moment of bliss did not last for long, as any and all expeditions that landed on Muslim soil were routed, and the seemingly pious princes of Europe soon returned to their secular concerns, wary of a foolish expedition into arid and hostile North Africa. Even the truly faithful had little interest, as the Protestant heresy engulfed Northern Europe. Soon, the Pope realized that he could not count of the help of anyone beside Spain and Austria-Naples, maybe even Lisbon – but the Republic saw the victory at Gibraltar as only a defensive measure, and sought no outright attacks into the Caliphate’s waters

    On the Muslim side, it was seen as little more than a setback. The 30 year old ships had understandingly been defeated by the more advanced Portuguese ships and their experienced crews and newer ships were scheduled for building at Alexandria and Basra. Even when these new fleets were finished, the peaceful-minded, if not lethargic, administration of Muhammad II, who was more interested in administrating his already huge realm than taking on more distant territories.

    Meanwhile, the Christians had control of part of the Mediterranean, and free reign in the Indian Ocean – since the ships there stationed were only equipped to hunt down the occasional greedy pirate. With nearly complete control of the Indian Ocean, the Portuguese attacked Muslim shipping at will, and brought home great riches; this lack of opposition allowed them to further cement their position. Calicut was taken and made the center of the Oriental Empire’s administration. The cities north of Diu were also taken, along with Cochin, the western and northern coast of Ceylon, the southern tip of India and the Bengal coast. Amid the political chaos that engulfed most of India with the fall of Vijayanagara, few dared oppose the mighty Europeans.


    A map showing the voyages of both Paulo da Gama and Fernando Covilhã, as well as the Republic's Oriental Empire.


    Several years later, in 1534, the Senate took the step to sponsor Fernando Covilhã’s Far Eastern voyage. An excellent and hardened sea dog, Covilhã had sailed with Da Gama as a lieutenant in one of his ships during his voyage to India. Since then, he had worked with the Consulate of the Indies – the name given to the Republic’s administration in the East – to continuously expand Lisbon’s territory in the Indian Ocean, as well as participating on the ‘Carreira da Índia’ (Route of India) – more or less equivalent to a ‘Treasure Fleet’, a huge armed convoy bringing great amounts of Far Eastern Goods every year. He had heard from Chinese merchants in India of their homelands, and hoped to further increase the Lisboetas’[1] grip as the foremost maritime traders in Eurasia.

    Setting sail from the rechristened St. Paul, in eastern India, his fleet, helped by Chinese navigators, soon found its way to Malacca, setting up a small Jesuit mission and leaving shortly afterwards; the reason for this is given by Fernão Mendes Pinto as due to ‘an urging by the Mahometans to convene with their king’ – whose name he renders as Solomon II – ‘in the isle of Brunei’. Reaching the capital within a few weeks, they were received warmly by the Sultan, who desired their help in attacking the Khmer empire[2]. Politely refusing the offer – since Covilhã intended to use them as barter in China – the armada went northeast, to coastal Vietnam (which they referred to as ‘Cochinchina’), arranging for an embassy to make its way to Angkor, so as to lobby for the Republic’s commerce[3].


    Portuguese Macao, several years after being leased by the Ming Emperors to the Lisboetas


    Going north again, Covilhã bypassed Hainan and landed at Macao, meeting with the province’s magistrate, who was very enthusiastic of the foreigners’ arrival. Holding a meeting with him with the aid of their Chinese navigators, they expressed their desire to conduct trade with China; then, the magistrate informed them of the system of Chinese tributaries, which required those participating in trade with China to nominally accept the Emperor as their overlord. Pragmatic above all else, Covilhã accepted, and pledged to send an envoy each year to maintain relations with the Ming and in turn to profit from the products of China. Unfortunately for the magistrate, Macao was later to be handed to the Portuguese as a base of operations to conduct their business, and remained the Republic’s easternmost trade port until it dissolution, a place where goods from Korea, China, the Fernandines – named after himself by Portuguese colonists - and Japan were stored while awaiting for transport to Goa, and from there to Cape Town and finally Lisbon.

    Proceeding along the prosperous ports of Fukien – which were to be the main trading partners of the Portuguese, as they were designated as ‘free zones’ – they soon made contact with the Korean Kingdom, with the southern islands of the kingdom too being designated as open ports, thanks to Covilhã’s skillful diplomacy. Westwards, they soon reached the land of the Rising Sun, Japan; more specifically Nagasaki.


    Covilhã's fleet docked at Nagasaki.


    Fernão Pinto correctly assigns to the expedition the honor of being the first Westerners to set foot in Japan, and described Kyushu’s customs in great detail, even though he mistakenly referred to the Daimyos as ‘Kings’. It was in the Shimazu clan that the Portuguese found great supporters. Having conquered most of the western Kyushu coast, and actively fighting piracy, the Shimazu had developed naval skills, and had previously sought foreign help in their quest to dominate their island – this they would do with the help of the Republic. Fully fitted with western arquebuses – though initially ill-received among the soldiery and prone to misfire, the Japanese made them their own, referring to them as ‘Nagasaki’, after the place where they were first introduced - cannon – and soon western morals – the clan would come to dominate the island, and by the end of the century, Japan itself.

    ****************************


    The Portuguese Landfall, as represented in a Japanese 16th Century screen


    It is important to underline here the singular importance of this moment in Japanese history. Much like the Fall of Constantinople is referred as the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe, the Portuguese Landfall is the beginning where the Sengoku Jidai begins its sunset, and Japan enters its ‘Modern Era’. As important as the guns and cannon brought by the Portuguese was their fate, Christianity – specifically Catholicism. As much as the figure of an all-powerful priest – the Pope – did not appeal to the Japanese daimyos or commoners, he was conveniently placed on the other side of their globe; his faithful and – more importantly – their guns were not. Indeed, St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Japan, when questioned by his Jesuit brothers as to certain heterodoxies in doctrine - such as preaching in vernacular Japanese instead of Church Latin, as well as identifying Christian virtues in several Japanese mythological and folk heroes, which under Church policy, were at best virtuous pagans – responded simply with ‘Estamos muito longe de Roma' - ‘We are a long way from Rome'.


    St. Francis Xavier.


    Thus it was that, while taught by foreign missionaries, Christianity took on undoubtedly Japanese characteristics – one of which is a simplified adaption of the complex tea ceremonies developed in Shinto traditions into the Christian rite of Communion, where the host and wine (which was substituted with sake in lieu of wine due to the extraordinary expense needed to import it) are given by the priest to the faithful – and was on its way to become integrated into mainstream society, and eventually to have its practices standardized by the Shimazu rulers of Japan.

    It is vital to understand both early Christian converts and sympathizers in the light of the period – the Sengoku Jidai, or the ‘Period of the Nation at War’ - in which they were placed. In face of over a hundred years of brutal war and decay of the central authority with the Emperor - and the court at Kyoto - being little more than a distant figurehead, deprived of any real power by warlords seeking the title of Shogun, it is easy to understand the commoners’ desire for a new, exotic faith and, one which, to boot, promoted the equality of all men [4]- a fact which the Jesuits were very keen to remind the peasantry, oppressed by the bushi (warrior) class, which comprised the samurai and daimyo. The new faith found its most zealous members in the lower orders of society; only gaining support among the merchants – for the easier negotiations with Portuguese merchants – and the bushi – for access to European weaponry and, where the peasantry consisted mostly of followers of Catholicism, easier control over their subjects.


    The Japanese flag. While the Chrysanthemum was the symbol of the Emperor and therefore of the old order, it was given, in true Christian tradition[5], a new meaning, suited to the new religion. The Chrysanthemum itself references St. Francis's miracle. Legend tells that St. Francis and his followers were smuggling Bibles, crucifixes and other Christian symbols and icons when they were approached and apprehended by guards. Upon closer inspection of the Christians' belongings, the items they were carrying were miraculously changed into chrysanthemum flowers, despite it being spring and them being out of season. St. Francis' followers - in which there were some of the first native Japanese missionaries - were released; St. Francis, however, being a Jesuit, was not, and was - in a show of irony by the guards - crucified in the same day. Furthermore, the flower's 4 golden intersecting petals and button symbolize Jesus Christ; the 12 paler ones represent the Twelve Apostles, and the 16 golden under-petals represent the Martyrs of Kyoto, who were crucified during the 'Bloody Night' of 1622.


    The Shimazu would eventually unite Japan under their banner, but for now they were simply a moderately powerful state, on the southernmost main island of Japan.

    ****************************



    As the fleet set out for the soon-to-be Fernandines, Covilhã’s ships were loaded with goods. Once in the islands themselves, he embroiled himself in its politics, losing several fingers in a battle against opponents of his would-be-fief – the islands were later settled, on his recommendation, with Portuguese colonials, who built Manila and would continue to live on the islands long after the Republic of Lisbon fell. In the return trip thereafter, his troops attended the coronation of a Khmer prince in Angkor, and reported that the embassy that had been established there was making good progress.


    Fernando Covilhã.


    After a few months of navigation, the fleet, packed with goods, was to arrive at Nossa Senhora das Índias (Our lady of the Indies), a bustling European port in Ceylon. Fernando Covilhã was received with honors by the Consul and his entourage, although he was not accorded the same deal of admiration that Da Gama enjoyed. However, it was Covilhã’s nautical genius and tactful approach to foreign peoples that guaranteed the Republic’s success east of the Strait of Malacca. And, more importantly, that introduced Christianity to the Far East for the first time since Nestorianism, where along with southern India, it was to find fertile ground.

    ****************************


    [1] Designation for the inhabitants of Lisbon, and, by extension, those in the service of its Republic.

    [2] Sultan Suleiman II, who had succeeded Suleiman the Great as Sultan of Brunei, would later die in battle against the Khmer. The disorder that was expected from his father's death occorred at his death instead, an in this period of weakness of the Bruneian Empire, the Lisboetas siezed Malacca and northern Sumatra

    [3] They were successful in procuring for the Lisboetas a special status in several coastal cities of Indochina, similar to that enjoyed in Fukien, Nagasaki and the southern Korean islands, in exchange for European arms to be supplied to the Empire

    [4] This doctrine, later termed ‘Christian Egalitarianism’, while ignored in practice in Christian countries – by virtue of human nature – was extremely successful in gaining - much like the slaves and downtrodden of the Roman Empire during the first days of Christianity – the adherence of the disenfranchised of Asia: the Pariahs (‘untouchables’ or ‘caste-less’) and Shudras (laborers and artisans) of India; the Burakumin (similar to the Pariahs) and peasants of Japan.

    This school of thought, so to speak, was based on a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (specifically 3:28) that states that: There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    [5] Notable earlier examples of non-Christian symbols adopted by the faith to represent and celebrate it were the cross - crucifixion being seen as the punishment to the most terrible crimes in Roman society, but by the Christians a symbol of Christ's sacrifice - and the feast of Christmas - which appropriated the date of the festival of Sol Invictus as the date of the birth of Christ (whose exact date is unkown).
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    well to add to the earlier comments - this just gets better. A superb fusing of points of view running from the Caliphate almost ignoring a major naval setback to the dynamics within Japan ... bravo (& other sounds of electronic applause)

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    Zardishar Calipah's Avatar
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    I think the main issue in terms of style was that the begining really needs sprucing up I think - its too scattered and unserious when compared to what we have now. Currently, the quality is unmatched I think. Perhaps you could consider "updating" the first parts of the AAR?

    In anycase, Im bringing in a couple of readers who are in love with the notion of a Catholic Japan. Romantic enough I'd say
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    nor meet any person, who may contradict him"


    Al-Shunduqi "Risala fi fadl al-Andalus"

  17. #137
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    I think the main issue in terms of style was that the begining really needs sprucing up I think - its too scattered and unserious when compared to what we have now. Currently, the quality is unmatched I think. Perhaps you could consider "updating" the first parts of the AAR
    If there are a few more supporters of this idea I just might do it! They don't match very well with the current style, and it would be an interesting exercise, both for me and you, in 'translating' events from comediesque to History Book
    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    In anycase, Im bringing in a couple of readers who are in love with the notion of a Catholic Japan. Romantic enough I'd say
    Only time will tell where Japan will go! And thanks for the readers!
    Crusadin' maybe? But suffice to say it'll take a while for the political situation to stabilize... Maybe the reforms are even undone by Shinto Buddhist reactionairies? Minamoto Musashi the Apostate has a nice ring to it
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    I like the historical touch to this AAR.
    CoT today, gone tomorrow
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    If there are a few more supporters of this idea I just might do it! They don't match very well with the current style, and it would be an interesting exercise, both for me and you, in 'translating' events from comediesque to History Book
    I think half the problem for me is that insanely annoying Gulf guy with the Shimagh tie. It just hurts me in more ways than you can imagine. And yes, Im from the Gulf
    "Praise be to God who ordained that he who
    speaks with pride about Al-Andalus may do
    so without fear and as boldly as he likes
    nor meet any person, who may contradict him"


    Al-Shunduqi "Risala fi fadl al-Andalus"

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    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANO1453 View Post
    I like the historical touch to this AAR.
    I'll take that as an aye
    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    I think half the problem for me is that insanely annoying Gulf guy with the Shimagh tie. It just hurts me in more ways than you can imagine. And yes, Im from the Gulf
    He has that nice Petroverlord feel about him. Be sure to file your grievances in a PM Contest open for images for Shah Walad I
    I've using using mostly Ottoman sultans, but i guess using Safavids may work as well. Dunno why i hadn't thought of it...
    Possibly unfortunate for the nationalist in you... Iran in the cultural sense is a bit smaller than in OTL
    My AARs:
    Baghdad in the Sky with Diamonds (last updated 27/08/13)
    So Long Mom, I'm Off to Drop the Bomb - A Fallout 2 AAR (last updated 08/06/14)

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