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

  1. #61
    Zardishar Calipah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comrade Chaos View Post
    GLORIOUS NITPICK AHEAD
    Isn't that Ctesiphon?
    Nope, near the location of Madyan certainly, but thats as closely related as it is. Its a new thing. In fact, the name "Baghdad" is a Sansikrit word meaning the "Gift of God" illustrating the fact that the city was actually designed and built by Indian architects brought in by the Abbasids.

    Now when are we going to get back to that grammatical orthodoxy I was promised?
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    Al-Shunduqi "Risala fi fadl al-Andalus"

  2. #62
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    Now when are we going to get back to that grammatical orthodoxy I was promised?
    At present rate, by Christmas!
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  3. #63
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Chapter 11
    The conquests of Mariam I the Conqueror

    Mariam’s rule was a combination of extensive military ventures – whose high command was composed by her and a few trusted generals – and of great economic growth and reconstruction, handed mostly by the palace bureaucracy. During this period the Caliphate expanded into every direction: into the eastern areas of Persia, into North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the lands surrounding the Horn of Africa.


    The Red Army in battle. Note the use of cannons in the distance.


    While Mariam was decidedly what could be described as a ‘progressive’ monarch – as her support of the merchant class and of meritocratic appointments show – she did not lack the widespread religious zeal that characterized most of the Caliphate’s rulers. It is with her rule that we begin to see the Caliphate’s expansion into areas that were not traditionally held by Muslims, and the – mostly successful - attempts at conversions of said areas.

    After true internal stability was achieved, she proceeded to conquer and submit the Black Sheep Turks, and with it bringing the last significant Shi’a populations under her control. Needless to say, a sect which at every point reneged her authority was not very well-received and its members were prosecuted to renege their faith. Colonies of Syrians were established among the mostly nomadic Turks, contributing to the conversion and assimilation of these nomadic cattle herders.

    Almost simultaneously, large swathes of Timurid land were taken, establishing a line of defense that went all the way from Makran on the Persian Gulf to the Aral Sea.


    The mountain ranges and deserts of Eastern Persia proved to be easily defendable, and would remain the Caliphate's eastern border for quite some time, while it was more focused on its Mediterranean ventures.


    Seeing this rapid and decisive action by a supposedly ‘frail woman’ – while Mariam did not ride directly onto battle, she was a confessed tactical and logistical genius, having pushed for the adoption of standardized supply carriages which adapted nicely into rough cobblestone roads, and enhanced the efficiency of supply operations, and the later adoption of muskets as standard combat weapons – a group of Sheiks from the region of Adal, who found their possessions endangered by the encroachment of the Yemenite Kingdom – which had been, for over a decade, ‘exiled’ in Ethiopia – begged the Calipha to help them and defeat the Yemenites, who routinely descended from the Ethiopian Highlands to raid and pillage the lands and cities of the Somalis and Adalans – which relied on the Indian Ocean trade routes for their wealth.


    General Zulqifar Jahagir, an adventurer who left his home in the Maghreb as a young man - at the time of its conquest by the Christians - to work as a mercenary for the highest bidder. Eventually he became an officer in the newly-formed Green Army. His sound tactical mind, good leadership and resourcefulness - which were to prove crucial during the campaign in Ethiopia - landed him promotion after promotion, eventually serving as a War Minister and general to Mariam I and shortly to her sucessor.


    Knowing that these would-be allies were in dire straits and she could simply strangle their trade routes if she desired, Mariam compelled them to accept vassalage – which would later be replaced with full rule under a nominated governor, after the Caliphate’s position in the region had stabilized. Thus the Red and Green armies were dispatched under Zulqifar Jahagir (who had been given full control of the theatre, given its remoteness) to annihilate the Yemenite Kingdom.

    What transpired was a difficult campaign, despite the Caliphate’s superiority in armament and discipline – the Yemenites were driven to conscript Christian Ethiopian auxiliaries, who, wary of their oppression, frequently mutinied. The war was mostly fought with ambushes and siege warfare along the narrow passes of the mountains. The troops of the Red and Green armies eventually succeeded, however not without many deaths from pestilence and starvation in the barren Highlands. With the capture of Harer and the Yemenite Sultan, he was forced to swear vassalage and turn his kingdom into a protectorate, while ceding control of all coastal cities to the Caliphate.


    The area around the Horn of Africa after the war, circa 1490.


    Jahagir’s decision – as a plenipotentiary – is very much understandable. He knew that the populace would relentlessly rebel under direct rule, while they could be easily contained with – Yemenite – control closer to them, and that the Caliphate could not have a naval adversary who could easily blockade entry into the Red Sea – hence the conquest of all coastal territory surrounding the Horn of Africa, from Eritrea to Mogadishu. This joint rule of much of Eastern Africa lead to a rapid development of once-tribal areas and the adoption of Arabic culture and customs by the populace, along with widespread propagation of Islam.

    With the Caliphate’s eastern and southern flanks secure, Mariam turned her attention to what would become her most lasting contribution to the Caliphate’s history: the beginning of the conquest of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean.

    With her father’s timely decree (just shortly before his mysterious death) of creating a strong naval presence in the Mediterranean to prevent the widespread piracy conducted by the Knights of St. John, Mariam was left with a strong fleet, crewed mostly by inhabitants of the maritime Syrian cities – as had been the mighty fleets of Phoenicians under the Achaemenid rulers of ancient Persia - and Alexandria, fisherman and overseas traders by tradition.


    The standard warship in the Mediterranean Fleet's arsenal during this time. A fusion of the European carrack design with the oars of a galley gave it both the heavy cannon and durability of the former, and the manouverabity and ability to sail against the wind of the latter.


    In an unexpected move, Mariam, instead of contenting herself with playing on the defensive and responding to the roaming Christian ‘knights’, issued a full-on attack on the island of Malta, the Order’s stronghold. Using gigantic cannons together with a complete blockade of the island lead to the fall of the Knights’ citadels, and the entire garrison – which had surrendered and included the Grandmaster and all high officials of the order – was put to death for the crime of piracy.


    The Order's Grandmaster, Philipe de Anjou, in face of a losing battle, makes the decision to surrender.


    The proceeds from the looting of the Order’s treasury – mostly the result of raids on Muslim shipping and coastal areas – were to be given to their former owners, but the administrative limitations of the era, a shortage of cash in the Caliphate’s aerarum and the desire to maintain the army’s goodwill led to it being more or less split between the Caliphate’s treasury and the army officers, who were instructed to split it among themselves and the soldiers.

    Although the Calipha was well, the Calipha and therefore the protector of Muslims, the destruction of the Order of Saint John led to the Caliphate being increasingly recognized as the Muslim power par excellence; this was also due to the sad fall of the North African sultanates at the hands of Spaniards, and the demise of the Ottomans into infighting.

    The few remnants of the Order were received by the Orthodox bishop of Crete, and Mariam now understood that she would have to control the Mediterranean itself to ward off this menace.

    This, coupled with a desire to liberate the Maghreb from Christian rule would lead to the Great Jihad against nearly all Christian powers on the Mediterranean – and even some outside it: the Kingdom of England and Aquitaine sent its formidable fleet to help its allies, but a precarious logistical position eventually led to its withdrawal – and the eventual declaration of the 11th* Crusade, headed by the Holy League – an alliance of Venice, Spain, Portugal, the Pope, the Kingdom of Austria-Sicily#, the Kingdom of Sardinia and Corsica, and all Italian Statesº except for Florenceª.


    The Holy League's flag. The Holy League was an alliance composed of nearly all Christian states on the Mediterranean, who were very much threatened by the Caliphate's apparent intention of expanding its rule and influence to all corners of the Mediterraenian Sea.


    The Mediterranean would soon be plunged into one of its most vicious wars, and the winner would control all. Thousands of empires rose and fell in the Mediterranean Basin. Would the Caliphate be just another one?


    The Mediterranean Fleet leaves the port of Alexandria, to relieve a minor Venetian fleet's blockade of Patras, on the Peleponnese. They were surprised by a much larger force of 225 galleys, 6 galleasses and a vast array of pinnaces and other smaller ships. Outnumbered, cornered and nonplussed, hopes of victory seemed dim at the Battle of Lepanto

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

    Notes


    * The failed 10th Crusade had been directed against the Caliphate some 20 years before. It was joined only by Castille, who sent tens of thousand of its men to die in the Libyan Desert. The 11th Crusade had one sole objective: the utter destruction of the Caliphate; recently revealed documents suggest that Judea and Jerusalem would be given to the Bishop of Rome, while the rest of the Levant would be allotted as trading colonies to the Italian States. Spain and Portugal would be free to partition Egypt and Arabia as they wished.

    # The Habsburg main line had inherited Joan II of Anjou, Queen of the Two Sicilies, who died with no male heir and was pressured to marry her eldest daughter to Charles, the father of the then- current King. With the southern half of the kingdom of Austria-Sicily poised in the way of Islamic interests, the kingdom was, together with Spain and the Pope, the ones to first to push for the Holy League and the 11th Crusade.

    ºThe Italian states which joined in the League were:
    * The Pisan confederacy - a union of the various cities on the coast of Tuscany, from Lucca to Siena.
    * The Most Serene Republic of Venice - which had been a resolute enemy of the Caliphate since it denied them trading rights on the Levant, reducing it to seek concessions from the fickle barbarians of the Golden Horde for an overland route to the spices and silks of the East.
    * The Papal State - whose main contribution was in the naval sphere at the battle of Lepanto, since its armies were tied down fighting the Florentines.
    * The Duchy of Savoy - whose ruler died on the taking of the isle of Corfu from the Caliphate, leading to the absortion of the rulerless Duchy by the French Crown, setting the stage for the War of Lombardy.
    * The Margraviate of Ferrara - who sent ten galleys to the battle of Lepanto.
    * The Duchy of Milan - who unsuccessfully tried to prevent the sacking of Rome in the Battle of the Tiber.
    * The city-state of Genoa - who, after the loss of its overseas colonies (Azow, Kaffa, the isles of Lesbos and Corsica) sought to establish colonies in the Holy Land.
    * The city of Cremona, where the League's treasury was located, and lent mostly finantial support in lieau of its lack of a navy or a substantial army; the large sums kept treasury were later plundered by the Milanese forces, desperate for funds and men at the beggining of the War of Lombardy.

    ª The Florentine Republic, in a move that didn’t endear it to the rest of Christian World (for obvious reasons), declared war on the Papal States – becoming an unintentional ally of the Caliphate in the process - and gained the coast from the Po estuary to and including Ancona. The Republic, headed by the de Pazzi family, which had defeated the upstart de Medici family and exiled them to Genoa, was to play a preeminent role in the Peninsula’s politics from then on, managing to keep itself clear of trouble through clever diplomacy.
    Last edited by mayorqw; 07-08-2011 at 14:38. Reason: Good spelling is good for you!
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  4. #64
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    building up nicely to a monumental tussle for the med ... really enjoyable stuff
    Last edited by loki100; 01-08-2011 at 22:28. Reason: must learn to spell properly
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  5. #65
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    This ought to be interesting
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  6. #66
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Very much enjoying the history book style, especially as every update is still sprinkled with your own great dry wit.

    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    The Mediterranean would soon be plunged into one of its most vicious wars, and the winner would control all. Thousands of empires rose and fell in the Mediterranean Basin. Would the Caliphate be just another one?
    Considering how able and indeed formidable Mariam is proving as a ruler, I'm going to say no (typing this, I've likely jinxed everything now...).
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  7. #67
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    1st Post edited to have a Table of Contents and countless tiles for the Caliphs
    It about as much work as a full-blooded update. Expect one tomorrow; I can barely look at my keyboard.

    And it will be damn interesting! If morningSIDEr doesn't blow it. Because if something goes wrong, I'll blame it on him
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  8. #68
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    1st Post edited to have a Table of Contents and countless tiles for the Caliphs
    It about as much work as a full-blooded update. Expect one tomorrow; I can barely look at my keyboard.

    And it will be damn interesting! If morningSIDEr doesn't blow it. Because if something goes wrong, I'll blame it on him
    well given the title in your very natty and delightful TOC (so much better than mine with their dry listing of posts), you really have no choice but to ignore the jinx he's put in. I mean, now, you just have to dominate the Eastern Med or redo the TOC.
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  9. #69
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Chapter 12 – The 11th Crusade
    Part One: Opening Moves



    The Mediterranean and the the surrounding lands at the start of the 11th Crusade.


    A war that would decide the fate of generations to come had begun. Swift messengers ran in and out of the War Ministry to and from all corners of the palace and the Caliphate. At the head of the table stood Mariam, with two massive men behind her, with arquebuses in their hands and steel sabres in their scabbards, to deter any would-be assassins. Precautions never hurt anyone, and it did magnify Mariam’s already imposing presence.

    Thre were men to drill and equip, ships to refit and crews to recruit. The Ottoman Empire, so-called ghaznis – warriors of the faith – would give little to no help to her, and like the crows, would be ready to attack her when – if, she added mentally, trying to keep some shed of optimism – she and her men fell to the ground. Holding Constantinople, the city of Emperors, did little for a man’s integrity it seemed.


    The Red Army on the move to Alexandria. Most movements were made under the cover of dark to surprise the enemy forces


    Already the four Armies – Red, for the blood shed in battle, Blue for the community, Green for Islam and Yellow, well she just liked yellow – had begun preparations – together with the two ‘wings’ (the Calipha’s Guard and the Syrians), armies in all but name. The troops were superb, and experienced with both musket tactics and melee combat with scimitars and halberds; however, she knew the war would be won or lost on the ships’ decks, an area which, unfortunately, the Caliphate was lacking in leadership. Had it not been only 80 years ago that the Caliphate had little more than a strip of land near Basra for a coast?

    Just before the hostilites she had ordered for thousands of men from the Indian Ocean Fleet – an area of intense commerce and, as such, excellent seamanship – to be relocated to the Mediterranean Fleet, to break the Syrian nigh-on monopoly on crew positions. New blood would do much for its combat effectiveness, altough she fered she was only plugging holes… The Spanish had Catalan sailors, the Venetian their citizen-crewed galleys… However. She could arrange for some contacts with the Barbary pirates. Yes, that would stall the Christians long enough for her to be a worthy opponent.


    The Barbary Pirates sack yet another Christian vessel


    The Barbary Pirates, the ever dreaded raiders of the Western Mediterranean, while very much affected by the Iberian occupation of their lands, were more vicious than ever, fighting for an Islamic liberation of their homelands – with some loot in it for them, of course. To Mariam it seemed that they may have just devolved – or evolved, as it suited her interesses wonderfuly – into warriors of the faith, willing to strike at the infidel at any time, despite their panache for looting.

    Now she pondered what her opening moves would be.


    Their thick halberd formations won Spain many a battle. This formation would later be fitted with musketeers to create the formidable tercio infantry.


    The Spanish Army, always seeking to be modern embodiement of the chivalric traditions of old – substituting the brave charges of knights with merely the elan and bravado of marching through several thousand kilometers worth of desert along the North African coast – readily swept through the Lybian Desert, taking control of the peninsula of Kyrenaica and seemingly ignoring the lessons that it should have learned, lest it lose half a generation of hidalgos – nobles – like two decades before.

    The Red Army and the Calipha’s Guard were soon on the march to dislodge the 23,000 army from the Caliphate’s westernmost port. Fanatical in their mission, they were ambushed and surrounded outside of Tripoli. More than 6,500 men died before the army could retreat to Alexandria. The Spanish had leaned their lessons it seemed


    A formidable opponent, Juan Beaumont's use of raids and hit and run tactics forestalled any meaningful by the Caliphate's Armies towards Tunis for over a year and a half.


    The Spanish king had entrusted the African Campaign to an beloved bastard of his – fruit of a relationship with a French countess – Juan Beaumont, and he did not waste it. In a manner much like the Berber’s which harassed the Spanish possessions in North Africa, he attacked the enemy’s garrisons and towns, only to disappear in the same sandstorm caused by his cavalry’s thundering hooves. He was eventually to meet his death at the hands of an assassin, sent according to Mariam’s orders. He was found in the morning, his head hanging on a pole by the camp’s entry (the vengeful Spanish king, Carlos V, was quick to try and repeat the favor to the Calipha, a situation in which her two bodyguards proved most useful). Meanwhile, Beamont proved a major annoyance to the Caliphate.

    The year of 1495 started with the first major naval operation by either side. The Caliphate took over Cyprus – which was under a Venetian queen – and proceeded to island-hop, taking Crete, Naxos, Kefalonia and Corfu in the process. The lack of a meaningful response both reassured and frightened Admiral Abdullah El-Baz (the Falcon). On one side it could mean that the Pirates were slowing down the League’s mobilization, on the other that they were biding their time, waiting for a crack to show. He chose to believe the former, sending the navy to Alexandria to refit and repair. This mistake on an otherwise brilliant career – he was made admiral at 28, and at 42, now ambitioned a spot as Navy Minister in the Palace – almost cost the Caliphate the war and its spot in the sun, since it allowed the League’s navies to set up the trap that led to the Battle of Lepanto, the most decisive moment of the war, the one that, as the century drew to a close, would shape the events of the next. As we will see soon, it led to expected profound geopolitical changes, on all continents.


    Cesare Borgia, the Captain-General of the Florentine Army, favoured the creation of a volunteer - and conscripted, in times of war - citizen army to replace the fickle Condottieri - mercenaries which had a monopoly on land-based warfare in Italy - which often switched sides mid-war and fought mock-battles with other condottieri to extract wages from their patrons. Their shameful attitude during the War of Lombardy eventually led to their demise in the Peninsula.


    All the while, the Italian States tried to fight back Florentine army, which, under Cesare Borgia, son of Catalan noble which befriended the de Pazzi family – the real rulers of Florence, behind the façade of ‘republic’ – managed to score victory after victory against the other Italian States, due both to his military acumen and to the generous subsidies handed over to him by the Caliphate. A pragmatic, he used them to full advantage, despite the further enmity it generated in his enemies; Florence, branded a traitor to the faith, was of immense help to the Caliphate, distracting the Italian armies from trying a coordinated assault on the Muslim lands.

    As was said in the previous chapter, the Fleet was lured to Lepanto due to a blockade by a small Venetian armada, only to find itself cornered into the Gulf of Corinth and fighting a huge fleet, with ships from all of Christendom: Spain, the Republic of Venice, the odd Austrian craft, Portugal, the Pope and the smaller Italian States, with Genoa and the Pisan Confederacy supplying the most ships among these city-states.


    Abdullah the Falcon, leading his troops


    El-Baz positioned his medium to light ships in the centre, and with the wind at his back, distributed his heavier carrack-galleass models in the flanks, to ideally serve as shock troops and engage the enemy centre through flanking. Yet despite his strategic brilliance, the battle hang more in the hands of Fortune than in his. Both sides prayed for a swift victory that would lead them to predominance over the other; neither expected the utter chaos that would ensue.
    Last edited by mayorqw; 19-12-2011 at 00:29.
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  10. #70
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    I really like the little references to the events of our history. It helps make the story even more interesting.
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  11. #71
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    For the Caliphate's sake, let's hope this doesn't turn out like the real Lepanto
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  12. #72
    Comte de Purchase Merrick Chance''s Avatar
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    Honestly that new model of Arabian ship looks like it came straight up out of Monty Python
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  13. #73
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great stuff, trading assassinations, raids and a major naval showdown as a cliffhanger (can you have a cliffhanger at sea?) and as with dinofs, I like the cross-referencing and use of actual events to support the narrative
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merrick Chance' View Post
    Honestly that new model of Arabian ship looks like it came straight up out of Monty Python
    If Im not mistaken, these look like Ottoman miniature artwork, but yes, they have a monty python quality

    Well now, Spain and Portugal do seem to have cut the Maghreb neatly. Time to mess it up!
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  15. #75
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dinofs View Post
    I really like the little references to the events of our history. It helps make the story even more interesting.
    Thanks! I was tempted to substitute Cesare with Machiavelli, but Niccolo was too young at the time... But we will feature soon enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by TKFS View Post
    For the Caliphate's sake, let's hope this doesn't turn out like the real Lepanto
    Stay tuned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merrick Chance' View Post
    Honestly that new model of Arabian ship looks like it came straight up out of Monty Python
    You can't deny its nautical awesomeness. Repent! Repent! Repent!
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great stuff, trading assassinations, raids and a major naval showdown as a cliffhanger (can you have a cliffhanger at sea?) and as with dinofs, I like the cross-referencing and use of actual events to support the narrative
    You can have cliffhangers at sea, provided you can hang on to the masts!
    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    Well now, Spain and Portugal do seem to have cut the Maghreb neatly. Time to mess it up!
    Oh I only hoped they had. In *reality* it was the biggest mess I’ve ever seen. They divided it into strips of one or two provinces each. So little continuity. I changed into a way that maked some semblance of sense

    ***************************
    Chapter 12 – The 12th Crusade
    Part 2 - Lepanto




    Small round lead bullets flew through the air, their targets obscured by the sulfurous smoke from hundreds of cannons and thousands more of arquebuses and handguns. The sound of crackling wood was heard as ships rammed into each other, each trying to reduce the other’s hull to a handful of floatsome. El-baz stood inpaciently in his flagship; over the horizon one ship fell into the waters of the Golf of Corinth, to its left, ten others. It was a spectacle as close to Hell as The Falcon had ever seen. A fight between the damned amid the roar of brimstone.


    The battle quickly turned into a disorganized close quarters fight in the centre.


    What had begun as an orderly cat and mouse game – flanking and counterflanking – between both sides had ultimately degenerated into little more than a land battle on platforms. One had no need of a plank or grappling hook to board a ship, merely to walk over a gap a foot wide. The ships’ marines engaged in deadly battle, each sure of the enemy's weakness and their own righteousness. This situation had cleverly – though El-Baz was unsure whether this was actually a tactical decision on the Christians’ part or merely the way the cards fell – negated his advantages, namely his long-range cannon and the wind's direction, to his back.

    The Christian centre was mostly composed of Spanish galleys and Portuguese small craft, under the command of the Duke of Barcelona. It had remained mostly static throughout the battle, except for a bold move to exploit a gap in the Muslim line; a move that had precipitated the battle into its current state, as El-Baz threw everything he had at this possibly fatal attack.

    In the Left, the battle was carried on by the Venetian Doge, one Matteo Barbarigo. His galleases put in check the heavier enemy ships, their experienced and motivated crews managing narrow victories here and there. It was however, in the Right and in the Reserve that the battle was decided. The Reserve was still far behind the main battle line, due to the assumption of a smaller number of Muslim vessels. As such, the Christians couldn't use a large amount of heavier ships to turn the tides of battle. The Right, held by an assortment of ships from the Italian States and larger Portuguese carracks, nominally under Pope Alexander V – who was present in the battle, at his insistence, despite his old age of 68 – but in reality under Francisco de Almeida, the Portuguese Viceroy of Morocco. The Portuguese ships were nearly unmanouverable in the shallow waters, and served as little more than gunning platforms. As the Muslim ships encircled the disorganized – altough accepting de Almeida’s authority, the italian ships, under native captains, proved unreliable, making foolish ‘charges’ into a well-prepared enemy - flotilla, it, under a deputy of El-Baz named Zakaria Melad – a converted Egyptian Copt – swept through the enemy, neutralizing much of the enemy carracks with well placed cannon shots.


    Our Lady of Guadaloupe appears to Pope Alexander V during the battle.


    Seeing the infidel inching closer and closer, Pope Alexander reportadely had a sudden vision. He saw Mary, mother of Jesus, appearing to him, and ordering him to lead a full on attack on the incoming ships; his faith and devotion would save him from any peril and Christian rule over the infidel would be assured. In the galleass Pietá, loaned by the Venetians as a flagship, he stood at the prow as his ship, surrounded by the remaining boats in the Right, moved slowly – the wind was against them – to the mass of Muslim ships. As soon as they were at boarding distance. As his aides scrambled to remove him to a safe cabin, the Pontifex motioned negatively. As he, a strong man, despite his age – he would’ve made a fine mercenary in another life – jumped onto the Amatullah, a single shot was fired. He fell. Seeing the men staring as he fell into oblivion, he merely prayed one more time, a sword in one hand, a rosary in another. Soon enough the fiery tone of the afternoon had turned to black. He was at peace.

    The sailors raised the Pope's bloody mitre* as the entire right Christian flank plunged into disorder. Men jumped overboard in a panicked frenzy, trying to reach the shore, only to be cut down by a swarm of grape shot, bullets and arrows. As the news of the Pope’s death swept the ranks, morale plummeted.


    The Duke of Barcelona watches as his fleet falls.


    Entire crews surrendered or abandoned their ships. With the once glorious fleet in disarray, the Duke of Barcelona, Jose Orellana, stood still. The Crusade crumbled around him. All dreams of conquest and fame, glory and victory faded away, as if taken by a thief in the night.


    Part of the Christian Left manages to escape.


    Of the 260 Christian ships, 37 fled, with 134 captured, the rest sunk, and of the 24,000 crusaders they carried, over 21,000 either perished along with their boats to the depths, were enslaved or held as hostages - the Venetian Doge was held for a huge ransom, and was propmtly deposed when he arrived at the city of Venice. To add insult to injury, on the Principe de Asturias, was Ignacio de Toledoª, a chaplain that was to cause a comparable amount of destruction to the Catholic Church as the Battle itself when he hung his 106 Theses on the Cologne Cathedral, seeing the fact of it being unfinished as a metaphor for the Catholic Church’s failure to truly divulge the Christian Message, and, having lost God’s favour, been destined for annhilation at the hands of the heathens.

    Later that year, a defenseless Rome was sacked by Muslim troops, whose only opposition was a half-hearted atttempt by the Milanese to fight back at the Battle of the Tiber. Not having yet – understandably so – recovered from the moral shock of the battle of Lepanto, their troops were routed. Fine works by the greatest masters of the Renaissance were carried to Alexandria, the 2nd capital of the Caliphate.

    Also poor was the resistance attempted by Spanish and Portuguese troops in North Africa, having had the cream of their leadership and troops killed at Lepanto. This token resistance allowed the Red Army to seize all of the Maghreb, even Sicily – although they were repelled from Naples by the undeterred Austrian troops. The ‘peace’ was celebrated with the Treaty of Malta, 1496, with most of North Africa, and many Mediterranean isles being handed to the Caliphate, along with establishment of a protectorate in Western Morocco, given the distance it had to the centre of power.


    The Mediterranean after the failed 11th Crusade.


    With all Christendom appaled at her success, her opposition silenced, and her rule extending throught the Mediterranean Basin, Mariam the Conqueror died 4 years later, on the 6th of May, 1500; she left the throne to Jafaar I, a weak ruler, with real power being held by his sister, named Mariam in homage to her mother, and equally as strong, although she preferred more tactful ways to achieve her goals, and had an easier time navigating the bureaucracy and the teacherous world of diplomacy,managing to stop any attempt of forming a 2nd Holy League - the Caliphate had also lost many capable men and ships in the war, and who knew if her enemies wouldn't try bringing other powers, such as France and England, into the fray?

    With her accomplishements, Mariam I the Conqueror led her country into the 16th century; the Caliphate’s century.

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


    *His mitre is now at the Vatican Museums, Avignon, after being gifted by the Baghdad Historical Institute, that had held it since its inception, in the 19th century.

    ªHe journeyed to Northern Europe in search of peace, his revolutionary doctrine already shaping in his mind. He found a worthy patron in the merchants of the Hansa, who sought to be taken as an independent power from the Holy Roman Empire, and to collect loans with interest.
    Last edited by mayorqw; 19-12-2011 at 00:30.
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  16. #76
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well its a relief that Mariam overcame the curse of Morningsider. I was a bit worried when the Pope had his vision-thing. And good to see that the Caliphate intends to ensure the men have no real power for a while ... that should increase your chance of longer term success
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  17. #77
    Major TKFS's Avatar
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    Who is that bright red in North Africa?
    "Game over, man! Game over!" -Pvt Hudson

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  18. #78
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    A stunning victory at Lepanto, which is already being exploited nicely by the sacking of Rome and continued fighting in North Africa. The battle report for the actual engagement at Lepanto was brilliantly written, very engrossing stuff. Credit to the doughty Pope Alexander, he acted bravely, if foolishly. Now that the impressive Mariam has passed away, hopefully her daughter proves able to live up to her name.

    Oh and I knew Mariam was a wise ruler;

    Quote Originally Posted by mayorqw View Post
    Already the four Armies – Red, for the blood shed in battle, Blue for the community, Green for Islam and Yellow, well she just liked yellow
    My favourite colour is yellow, very glad one of the armies was thus given the title, despite possible insults being levelled at it regarding yellow bellied and the like. Clearly it was this decision which brought victory at Lepanto.
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  19. #79
    Jalayirid Caliph mayorqw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    well its a relief that Mariam overcame the curse of Morningsider. I was a bit worried when the Pope had his vision-thing. And good to see that the Caliphate intends to ensure the men have no real power for a while ... that should increase your chance of longer term success
    The vision-thing was a play on the supposed appearance of Our Lady of Guadaloupe to the Pope in Rome during the real battle - you can check the wiki... Just thought it'd be a nice twist for it to actually make the Christians lose the battle
    Quote Originally Posted by TKFS View Post
    Who is that bright red in North Africa?
    The protectorate in Morocco. I just noticed I wrote 'Eastern' instead of 'Western' Morocco. Ninja edited
    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    A stunning victory at Lepanto, which is already being exploited nicely by the sacking of Rome and continued fighting in North Africa. The battle report for the actual engagement at Lepanto was brilliantly written, very engrossing stuff. Credit to the doughty Pope Alexander, he acted bravely, if foolishly. Now that the impressive Mariam has passed away, hopefully her daughter proves able to live up to her name.
    Oh and I knew Mariam was a wise ruler;
    My favourite colour is yellow, very glad one of the armies was thus given the title, despite possible insults being levelled at it regarding yellow bellied and the like. Clearly it was this decision which brought victory at Lepanto.
    Thanks for the praise for the battle; I was actually worried it was the weak point in the update, I'm not very good at writing about the battles themselves, naval or otherwise. Or not, it seems.
    I already knew you liked yellow*; it was an attempt to shake off your curse

    And 6/6/7 rulers don't disappoint. Quite otherwise
    *psychic skillz
    Last edited by mayorqw; 08-08-2011 at 04:12.
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  20. #80
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    Now it all makes perfect sense, haha
    "Game over, man! Game over!" -Pvt Hudson

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