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Thread: PiRAAtes! - The rise (or fall) of Tripoli

  1. #41
    Major TonyJoe's Avatar
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    Very nicely written. I hope the new Malik can hold it all together.

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  3. #43
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    well I am more worried about staying alive during 13 years of regency when the truce with the Mamluks will be off soon and there are more than them out there...

    might as well I wish You all Happy Holidays too!

    vasziljevics
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  4. #44
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    Happy Holidays to you as well!

    The long regency is a bit nasty, but at least the heir is very good. Nice job against the Mamluks, reconquering Libya and getting the core on Marau should mean relative stability and safety as you're 100% cored.
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  5. #45
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    Nice

    Btw, what map font are you using? Is it one of the MEIOU ones? Because it looks good

  6. #46
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernKing View Post
    Nice

    Btw, what map font are you using? Is it one of the MEIOU ones? Because it looks good
    yes, that is MEIOU map font though I wasn't aware that the install applies it to vanilla as well.
    You can call me Dan.

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  7. #47
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 06 - A Long Expected "Party" (1454-1468)

    Mansur didn't even get out of Tripoli, heading to Sirt to his beloved veterans, when a messenger arrived - with a declaration of war from the Sultan of Algiers. And then some of the council members deeply considered calling him back...





    Because the situation of the High Council wasn't good: they forced their most popular and successful leader into retirement, gave his title to a newborn child and the devastation of Mansur's wars still had it's scars on the country. And now, though he didn't have any legal claim on any of the corsairs land, in his letter the Sultan of Algiers proclaimed himself protector of the Tunisians and claimed that barbarian pirates shouldn't have the right of controlling civilized followers of Allah. Though the Council felt that this statement could be right vice versa as well but that didn't count - once again they had to defend the people of Tripoli from being conquered by they neighbors.

    There were also protesters who blamed the council members and wanted Mansur back and though they numbers weren't high the Council understood that they must win the war if they wanted to remain the leaders of their people...

    ...but the Algerians had vast naval superiority and they proved that in the battle of the Gulf of Alexandria where they sunk the ships of Tripoli's Turkish allies to the bottom of the sea. Due to this and the fact that the Navy of Naples still didn't exist after its defeat at the hands of the French some 15 years ago the ships of the corsairs didn't even leave port. Despite the fact that the corsairs were mainly seamen and not soldiers, this war had to be fought on land.

    The High Council was very cautious with the small armed forces of Tripoli. After more than a year of tactical warfare and the defeat of the Tunisian army at Constantine, the first true battle between the forces of Algiers and Tripoli was fought at the walls of Gafsa. The enemy was a smaller contingent of the main army, besieging the fort of Gafsa, but it was eventually surprised by us and thanks to superior numbers it was utterly destroyed.





    In the meantime a mysterious delegation of men appeared before the Council, claiming that they are able to finish the war quickly though they didn't have answer to the question of "how". After some debate, the council members decided to turn they offer down because after Mansur they became cautious about people with superior personal abilities...





    The next attack came in late 1456. Seeing that the resistance is heavier than he thought, this wave of the Algerian forces was led by the Sultan himself and consisted twice the size of the whole army of Tripoli. Fifteen thousand Algerian soldier marched across Tunisia and defeated the forces of the corsairs at the battle of Gabes. The casualties were high on both sides but the corsair army, led by council member Mahir Izzet, managed to retreat to Sirt. And then the Sultan committed a mistake that would cost him the war...

    Being assured that the forces of Tripoli were defeated once and for all the Sultan laid siege to the capital itself. He didn't cared about his stretched supply lines nor the reforming Tunisian forces he left behind. And thus the first decisive victory over the invaders was won outside the besieged Tripoli.





    The tired, hungry, ill and demoralized army of the Algerians was completely destroyed, and after the battle even the Sultan himself was found dead among his soldiers.

    Following the great victory, the council decided to take the war into Algerian land. While they were trying to reform their lines, corsairs, Tunisians and contingents of Turkish troops smuggled in with small boats started to siege Algerian border forts.





    Though he tried to lift the siege and save his capital it was finally fell to Tripolitanean forces led by Izzet and after that there was little hope for the newly crowned young sultan to win the war. Allied armies began to slowly occupy all of Algiers while local peasants tired of the war started riots in the western parts of the country.

    With the war going to foreign countries, the people of Tripoli started to feel a bit more trust towards the High Council as well. And with Mansur's veteran house in Sirt and other aid from the government, a somewhat optimistic atmosphere was set throughout the Free Cities.





    Finally, after five years of costly war and with his country mostly occupied, on a sunny day of autumn in 1459 the Sultan of Algiers sat to a table with the representatives of the High Council and agreed upon their terms of peace. And those were harsh terms indeed.





    The formerly annexed Fez was freed from the oppression of Algiers and the Sultan had to hand over the rich port-city of Oran and the region of Aures to the High Council. As it didn't border any of the lands controlled directly by Tripoli the latter was almost immediately granted to Tunisian administration.

    And then the Council took a deep (common) breath. The war was long and it costed the majority of Tripoli's finest men so waging more wars in the near future wasn't planned at all - though they agreed on that this is not only theirs to decide. In the meantime Mamluk and Ottoman armies advanced deep into recently conquered Timurid territory and the forming of a strong (and very treacherous) empire just at the outskirts of the Free Cities was certainly not a very comfortable feeling for them.

    Also due to the recent wars which were mainly fought on land instead of sea, some deeper military reforms became necessary. The first step of these new reforms of the Council would be a somewhat more offensive military doctrine among the shipmates - as they were fierce and brave soldiers on the sea too, they must take this spirit into battles on the shores as well.





    The next three years passed in peace with the Mamluks were still being at war with the Timurids and the new Algerian sultan been dethroned by his own people because of his poor performance in the war his own father started.

    New merchant routes were discovered even as far as the German city of Lübeck to help fund the technological development which was already well behind that of the European infidels.

    Like it was in the past, the peace brought back the voices of those who had problems with the policies of the High Council but as many times before the council members yet again defended their reforms and pointed out that due to these even against bad odds the Free Cities could win the fight.





    And then something unexpected happened. A lone ship under Candari flag arrived at the port of Tripoli with messengers, high-ranking aristocrats and veterans from the Algerian war on board. The envoys headed straight to the Council Chambers and there they made an astounding statement: with the recent passing of they Chief, Malik Ibrahim, with no heir remaining of him and with the long friendship and mutual military operations in the past against Byzantines, crusaders and Algerians alike, they offered all their lands to govern to the wise High Council of The Free Cities of Tripoli.





    The council members were truly surprised by this event. While this was hard proof for their authority and good leadership in both Tripoli and abroad the de facto personal union (or "multipersonal union" in this case) had a hidden danger too which wasn't spoken about by the Candari envoys: the fact that the Sultan of the Ottomans had claims on both of Tripoli's allies in the region. It was very possible that the delegate from Candar came to seek protection from this threat as the High Council had amiable relations with the Ottomans, but they had the same with the Algerians and still they didn't hesitate do declare war if not on Tripoli itself but on its subject lands the High Council had to defend.

    Despite this, after some negotiation, the offer was finally accepted because the Council needed all support to its power to keep the Free Cities from falling apart. The Ottomans had bigger issues for the time as they were at war with both the Timurids and the Golden Horde to the north and there was little chance that they would have the time and/or the resources for an attack on Candar in the near future. But chance existed, every member of the council agreed upon that.

    Anyway the debate wasn't remained on the Carpet of Ahmad - it slipped off the Council Chambers somehow and the sight of the protesters against "the weakness of the nobility" strengthened the council member's will on accepting the Turkish offer...





    However the economy was still thriving. With the relations to the Venetian merchants getting better and better in the last decades some of the wealthier of them decided to start exclusive business in the newly acquired city of Oran.





    But it was a long time since the departure of Mansur and the young Ahmad, who was only a little child when the path of his destiny was set by the High Council, grew up and reached the age of maturity. So on 28th may 1468 the little boy "who was found by accident" was raised to the title of Malik, High Chief of the Free Cities of Tripoli and the Sheikdom of Candar, Protector of the True Faith.

    It was truly a big, lavish festival in Tripoli and the council members felt entirely relieved as the young Malik stood in the front of his people. They were excellent advisers and diplomats and even better when it came to administration, but leading the corsairs wasn't their destiny.





    The soldiers, the shipmates, the merchants... every group of the corsairs cried for a single a person, a leader, whom they could trust. So the Council gave them their leader - for now. And it was up to him if he could live up to their expectations.

    Thus for the time being, the council members retreated back to the shadows of the Council Chambers to work on their further plans - they began with the never mentioned "brother" of the young Ahmad, whom they named Mansur...
    Last edited by vasziljevics; 05-01-2012 at 18:17.
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  8. #48
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Some nice gains, even if the PU is risky like you mentioned.

    It'll be interesting to see how the Malik-Council relationship develops with the strong rulers coming up.
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  9. #49
    Excellent AAR so far, great country choice and the roleplaying/narrative side makes this a really interesting read, can't wait to see where this goes.

  10. #50
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    Most excellent, but i fear the machinations of the "Council" will inevitably come to bite them in the posterior. And the Ottomans certainly are a threat to take seriously.
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  11. #51
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 07 - Forging an Alliance (1468-1478)





    So Ahmad II took the title of Malik but more importantly, along with it he also took all the nominal responsibilities the High Council had to wield for more than a decade. Although they defended their land against the Algerian aggression, they weren't too popular in the eyes of the common people.

    An average person in the Free Cities would be more likely a harsh, rustic corsair than anything else and those people would rather remember the victories and glory Mansur the Great (as they referred to him now) had achieved than the pure economical prosperity the Council and some Venetian merchants were fighting for, regardless the amount of physical damage the former brought to them and the latter healed.

    Despite this (and due to the constant backing it had all the time) trade became the first priority in Tripoli since the reforms of the old Council started some 70 years ago and for now "the merchants of the Corsairs" were considered to be the most widely seen Muslim traders across the flourishing cities of Europe and the Middle East.





    With the power vacuum emerged after their defeat in the last war, there were also strong demand among the veterans and common shipmates about bringing the declining, rebel-torn Algerian Sultanate under the protectorate of Tripoli but as it would cause war with the Mamluks who also claimed to be protectors of them as well as with their Ottoman allies, the tensions were eased for the time.

    Also the great war of the East was already near to its end with Shiite subjects of the Timurids declaring independence from their oppressors and establishing a theocratic government of their own which they would call Persia.





    This was a worrying development of the situation as it lifted the pressure from both the Ottomans and the Mamluks but also hopefully prevented the former two destroying the remaining Timurid Khanate and claiming all its land and resources as their own.

    Not much later news arrived about the arrogant French attacking the small city state of Genoa and thus taking the wrath of the King of Austria, also Holy Roman Emperor. And the Council thought it was time for some [as we say it in my country] "fishing in the muddle".

    Orders were given and the raiding fleet set sail towards the little duchy of Urbino, located between the lands of the Pope and the Duke of Naples. The Emperor took this as a personal insult but his forces were on the western borders of the Empire facing a huge army of France so he couldn't send any aid to the small coalition of Urbino, Genoa, Savoy and the Pope - all of them weren't much more than city-states already being at war with the French.





    To prevent the Mamluks exploiting the situation, efforts were made on the eastern borders to fortify the defenses against possible invasions.





    The first major victory in the Italian raid came in early December when the combined fleet of Tripoli and Naples defeated the fleets of Genoa and the Pope.





    With their small armies overrun, the Pope and the Urbinese couldn't put up much of a fight - they fortresses were occupied in less than a year by the forces of Tripoli, Naples, Candar and Karaman. And so it came that in late 1471 Honorus V, Chief of the Holy See and leader of the Infidels, conceded one of the most bitter defeats the Christians ever suffered from the followers of the Almighty Allah.





    The Pope himself was outrageous when he took a look at the terms of peace the Council presented to him but, as it is befitted to good Catholics, the kingdoms of Europe which could have prevented this shame were busy enough cutting each others throat at the moment.

    However the Council understood that dethroning or further disgracing the Pope could trigger an all-out crusade against the Corsairs so they agreed upon that the Pope doesn't have to maintain any "official" ties or any kind of alliance with the Free Cities - they settled for the Pope remaining neutral in situations in connection with them and paying a yearly tribute for the "protection" the fleet of the Corsairs guaranteed to him.

    To even more "compensate" the Pope for his loss in prestige, the Duchy of Urbino was going to be granted to his permanent possession however because of the presence of large French forces in Italy that agreement didn't last long. France already annexed Genoa and didn't want to strengthen the Pope with more Italian lands so he had to give up Ancona with its independence restored as ally to the French Kingdom.

    However this and the following peace with the last member of the alliance, Savoy raised the Free Cities of Tripoli among the secondary powers of the Mediterranean.





    The people of Tripoli, shipmates and all the others alike were most pleased with the outcome of the war as this time the battles were fought on distant shores and victory was achieved quickly and - which was more important - mostly due to the fleet.

    The crowd praised the young Malik Ahmad II, well below twenty, but the shipmates found his actual absence from anything related to the campaign itself most curious...

    However they didn't have much time to complain as with the focus of the Mamluks shifting to their newly acquired provinces in the east time has come to strike back at Algiers to finally unify the people of the North African coast against the mutual threat, commonly known as Castille.

    This war was quick and successful [so quick that I forgot to take a screenshot of it...] as well, and in the end the Algerians had to cede their western exclave to Fez, revoke their claims on the territories they lost in the previous war as well as admit the superiority of the High Council as leader of all the corsairs along North Africa from Tangiers to Cairo.





    Due to the recent developments the people were utterly convinced about the ways of the government but the lack of involvement the Malik showed in these campaigns made a significant group of shipmates very suspicious...

    Meanwhile the council members decided to take further steps for boosting the economy with trading across Europe. New regulations were introduced for merchants, the taxation of them became standardized and thus the income they provided to the Council's coffers was raised significantly.





    The increasing funds were partially used up for bribing foreign diplomats and agents and strengthening the reputation of Tripoli among the countries of the region that way.





    With the French war was going on endlessly in the northern part of Italy and the veterans of war in Sirt gaining more and more support from the people, a possible revenge on Aquileia showed up - a revenge for their devastating expeditionary attack on Tripoli back in the 1440s.

    Thousands died because of their armies and every family along the Coast of Tripoli had their own scares of that war.





    The attack was a complete surprise, even the allies of Aquileia didn't have the time for any action before the whole country was overrun by Tripolitanean and allied forces.

    [: Basically I attacked Aquileia because I have this mission of annexing Achaea for some 50 years now but they are guaranteed by everyone in Italy including their mothers and all their relatives as well and Aquileia was their only ally - but as for now all my efforts have been in vain since the damned Achaeans dishonored the CTA...]





    However the council members of Tripoli weren't the only cunning leaders of their time so as their forces were invading Aquileia the Spanish and their English crusader allies declared war upon Fez, faithful ally of Tripoli since the restoration of their country ten years ago.

    It was a hard decision but the Council agreed that the Free Cities and their allies didn't have the resources needed to wage war against two major powers of the western crusaders. So the only help the Fezians got were volunteers from Candar, subject to Tripoli, but it turned to be a disaster for them as well as Spanish fleets and armies led a punishing campaign to the southern coast of the Black Sea and seized the city of Sinope from them.

    With Fez passed on as potential ally of Tripoli against outer threats, the council members were just beginning to try and find a replacement of them when envoys from the far lands of Morocco showed up claiming that they have better potential to withstand the invading crusaders. With desperately searching for every ally they could have, the High Council nodded on their suggestion and agreed upon an alliance between the Free Cities and the Sultanate of Morocco.

    And thus, with the inevitable subjugation of the evil Aquileians under the rule of Tripoli, the alliance facing the Crusaders started to form shape...





    However, the mysterious absence of the new Malik (frequently praised by the council members as "true successor to Ahmad the Old" in the past) when it came to anything above formal started to ignite some serious debates among the shipmates of all the lands...
    Last edited by vasziljevics; 18-01-2012 at 21:54.
    You can call me Dan.

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  12. #52
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    oooh a disturbance in the ranks over the Malik's fondness for the front
    Time for the Council to start grooming another successor. And Castille is going to be trouble sooner rather than later.
    Of course it could be worse, it could be the English.
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  13. #53
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 08 - On Dangerous Waters (1478-1489)

    So when we last left the shores of North Africa the Aquileians were just being subjugated under Corsair rule. With the Algerians also recruited for the cause (though it took the usage of some force to make them see our point of view) and the neutrality of the Pope ensured, the alliance facing the Castilians grew even stronger.

    However in the same time the Spanish crusaders eventually managed to annex the state of Fez, whom Tripoli couldn't help. Although the moves on both sides were cautious enough and neither the Spanish nor the Corsairs didn't make any direct step towards each other the war has already begun with the humiliation of the other side's potential allies.





    While the Crusaders used brute force to destroy any country that was a potential ally to Tripoli the High Council instead focused on the shattered peninsula of Italy and tried to rally every possible resource of it against the inevitable Spanish invasion.

    But wars are not decided by sheer diplomacy so further steps were made to ensure that the quality of the fleet is good enough to take on the Crusader ships.





    Meanwhile on the European continent another great war broke out: fed up with the uncontested power of France, the King of Burgundy who also wore the Imperial Crown decided to take up arms against the Frenchmen. Just in a few days half of Europe found themselves in war with the Burgundians, the Milanese, the Swiss and the Spanish on one side and the French and their minions on the other.

    With his country under attack from three sides the French king had to neglect his duty of protecting the Catholic kingdoms from heathen threat so the time has finally come to "remove the annoying duchy of Achaea (already a vassal of Hungary) from the map."





    The fleet was dispatched to the Adriatic Sea and troops were sent to both Achaea and the Principality of Tuscany which was an ally to the Hungarian Crown.





    The Tuscan army was annihilated just as the Achaean fleet and the brave soldiers of Tripoli won the siege of the Achaean capital in a few months.

    While the Hungarians had large forces on their southern borders, the lack of fleet prevented them to make any counter-step against the amphibious invasion of the corsairs.





    In the late summer the city of Firenze surrendered too.





    Although the raid was quick and successful there were news of shipmates being dissatisfied with the purely "political" wars the last decades brought to them. The amount of loot decreased with every new invasion and abstract ideas like "vassalage" and "subjugation" replaced the chests of gold.

    So the council members decided to sponsor the army with their own wealth to help keeping up the morale of the fleet while fighting on distant shores.

    In the meantime, with their allies destroyed and their ports blockaded, the Hungarians didn't have much hope of gaining anything by continuing resistance so delegates were set up on both sides to agree on terms of peace.

    These were not too harsh as there weren't many casualties on the Corsair's side [and because even in these times I have feelings about my home country] so apart from the ceding of Achaea to direct corsair control only a larger amount of gold had to be paid by the Hungarians.





    With the Achaean problem resolved only one Italian state remained with serious threat to corsair naval hegemony in the eastern Mediterranean Basin - the merchants of Venice who controlled the largest fleet east of Gibraltar.

    They were also the only thing between the present and the possible dominance over Italy in the future. However it is not wise to turn on "silent allies" when you still have things to learn from them, so (as it turned out) a very short term contract was signed between Venetian representatives and members of the High Council: the former agreed upon shipping Italian quality cannons for the Corsair fleet - however this was highly anticipated among the captains as they considered it admitting inferiority.





    The next four years passed with upgrading the fleet using the new weapons, further helped by the funding of the local merchants of Tripoli.





    But the silent preparations came to a loud end in the summer of 1484 when a petition arrived at the Seat of the Council. A petition addressed to Ahmad II himself.

    Although he was the formal leader of the Council nobody remembered seeing him in any of the last decades' conflicts. People on the streets started to talk about the very existence (or non-existence) of him...





    The High Council was caught in a dire situation. They expected less "turbulence" in foreign affairs with the young Ahmad whom they claimed to be a direct descendant of Ahmad the Old and raised as if he was their own "common child" - and with the proper "teaching" they ensured that he won't have any bold ideas of his own ever. But the total absence of the Malik from government affairs for more than a decade eroded even his never-existed popularity - along with the people's trust in the Council...

    So the council members had to implement new maneuvers to remain in control over the events. And these new maneuvers became more and more improvised (and even more desperate) over the time - this very last one was leading to support the small anti-Venetian groups operating in the lands of Montenegro...





    It was inevitable to deal with the Venetians sooner or later but this decision of the Council was indeed a bit sudden. And now it was Ahmad himself who had to announce the declaration of war...

    The council members could only win with this solution: if the alliance they forged was to succeed over the Venetians then they would pass an important test before they have to face the wrath of the Crusaders - not to mention that the popularity of Ahmad would rise and the unrest against the Council would calm.
    And if the fleet fails... then all they have to do is blaming the still young and not too experienced Malik and force him to step down in favor of another Chief - whom they would choose of course...

    Meanwhile, with the first attack, a large Venetian contingent moved into Southern Greece from Athens but the rallied forces of Tripoli under the command of the veteran captain Abdallah Reis repelled them and hunted down the entire Italian army to the last man.





    The Venetians had naval superiority and with the help of their Austrian and Bohemian allies they capital was safe for the moment - however it took a whole year for them to recover from the defeat in Greece. Their second attack was aimed at Naples, the nearest and strongest of Tripoli's allies by far.





    With the Corsair fleet luckily evading the Venetian galleys the army was dropped from Greece to Southern Italy where the combined forces of the Corsairs and Naples defeated the second invading Venetian army.

    Meanwhile Corsair agents appeared in the great cities of Vienna and Prague offering some... compensation for the Austrian and Bohemian king if they were to left a war they clearly cannot win - as they didn't have anything that could be called a port or a ship.

    With their manpower depleted and their allies bribed out of the war the Venetian war machine started to decline. And just when the moment of turning the tides and laying siege to the city of Venice itself had came, other opportunists of the Mediterranean set their plan to motion...





    This was the second time when Tripoli was in no position to help one of its allies against the Spanish crusaders - the army and the navy was in the Adriatic and it wasn't possible for them to reach the far side of Africa without being seriously endangered by the whole Spanish AND English fleet.

    And if this wasn't enough, with the troops in Italy and on the Balkans the star of organised crime (and here I mean "not-government-organised crime" again) blazed over the shores of Tripoli.





    But the Venetians were already broken. With their last fort in the distant land of Hum falling they didn't have much choice but to agree upon the terms of peace the High Council presented for them:





    They ceded the lands they had around Aquileia as well as the rich city of Athens and they had to promise they won't dare to plot any aggressive movement on the shores of Western Greece as from that moment on it was considered to be in the sphere of Tripoli.

    And then the council members took a deep breath again - with the successful maneuvers against their former friends in Venice they removed the last obstacle from the way to Corsair dominance in Italy. Now they only had to deal with that fool Ahmad II - and the Spanish of course...
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  14. #54
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    well, in case anyone interested I plan to do a post that will cover up the first hundred years - I guess it will be pure boring statistics so this is the last chance to talk me out of it.
    You can call me Dan.

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  15. #55
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    Nice gains here, Venice is wrecked!
    Spain will prove a bigger roblem , being a centralized opponent , much stronger than the corsair vassals.
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  16. #56
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprites View Post
    Nice gains here, Venice is wrecked!
    Spain will prove a bigger roblem , being a centralized opponent , much stronger than the corsair vassals.
    ...and they are allied with England. I should have no problem routing possible invading armies but together they're literally invincible on the seas and the North African provinces of Castille are mostly overseas so they would count next-to-nothing in WS - tough situation.
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  17. #57
    Field Marshal blsteen's Avatar
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    Interesting that Venice went down so quickly, but with no support from Austria or Bohemia it wouldn't be looking good.
    And the Spainish as the other opponent should be interesting.
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  18. #58
    Colonel vasziljevics's Avatar
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    Part 09 - Fragile Peace (1489-1501)

    There was great unrest among the people of the Free Cities - and this unrest was aimed at the High Council. More and more shipmates demanded the Malik at the head of the fleet and the ease of the Council's full control over the corsairs. Although it was Ahmad II himself who declared war against the Venetians five years ago, yet again he remained hidden in the Council's chambers during that war.
    In time the pressure on the Council grew stronger and stronger and it seemed that by the year 1490 the situation reached its boiling point: the council members couldn't risk any more military movement without also risking a major revolt against their successful but quite eroded regime.
    What was previously unknown now became common: people on the streets openly complained about the machinations of the High Council during the last hundred years and there were voices amongst the protesters who said that they do not even deserve to rule Tripoli anymore - these people said that the Council was always coward and the members of it hid behind puppets of their own whom they called "Chiefs". And every time one of these Chiefs began to gain power or popularity or both the High Council stepped in and got rid of their own protégé for the favor of a new puppet...

    So on one hot day, in the summer of 1490, a delegation of the fleet appeared before the surprised Ahmad, Leader of the Corsairs and supreme commander of the largest fleet in the Mediterranean. To be honest, the delegation was also surprised a bit...
    They didn't see Ahmad since the declaration of war on their former allies in Venice and even before that he was rarely seen in public. He was remembered as a young Malik, barely out of childhood at the time he ascended to the throne but now that was more than twenty years ago and Ahmad became a black-bearded, middle-aged, thin man with dark, intelligent eyes and a friendly smile on his face.

    The delegation quickly explained the political situation and begged for the help of the Malik, who was in fact quite surprised. He said that during the last two decades everything was claimed to be calm by the council members who visited him from time to time in his palace. But Ahmad had to hear yet more interesting stories from the delegation... and after the it was gone, he didn't feel as well as earlier in the morning... in fact he felt something that he didn't feel in all his life.





    Everybody was shocked, when an invasion against the Portuguese was declared and even more as it was declared by Ahmad II himself. He sent out his personal bodyguards to take his orders to all the ships and their crew across Tripoli and to gather the fleet.

    The Portuguese were already at war with the Spanish (curse them!) and their only ally, the Holy Roman Emperor of Burgundy couldn't afford a fleet after his recent war against the French so the timing for the attack was perfect.

    The Council was shocked. Of course they knew about the visit of the captains at Ahmad's residence but the Malik was surprisingly quick to jump to a conclusion and the council members didn't have enough time to consider counter-steps.

    The fleet was dispatched to the Atlantic and while the Portuguese were fighting the Spanish fleet just outside Lisbon, the units of the Corsair "marines" laid siege to the city itself.

    To gain advantage over the still cramped High Council, with his next move Ahmad II tried to reach the most potent class of the Free Cities - the merchants. He declared the implementation of a new "corsair" gold coin and along with it he banned the usage of Venetian coins which were looked upon as a standard in Tripoli in the last hundred years or so. This harsh movement caused some stir in the commerce on the short term but the merchants welcomed the new system in general.





    Due to the brute force of the former and the element of surprise of the latter, just in a few months all of Portugal was in the hands of the Corsairs and the Spanish.





    With no hope remaining, on 13th October in 1491 the Portuguese signed the terms of peace - this time to Ahmad II himself: they paid a sum of gold to Tripoli and handed over their colony on the Island of Madeira in the Atlantic.





    The country was overjoyed. Every single person in Tripoli praised Ahmad II for accomplishing such a big task: humiliating a regional power in the Mediterranean and gaining a foothold for the corsairs in the Atlantic. The Malik, who's connection to the Burjis was questioned so many times before, suddenly became the "true successor of Ahmad the Old" in the eyes of the commoners.

    His actions had serious impacts upon the apathetic mood of the nation - and even prompted some of the more opportunist captains who thought that the time had come to get rid of the Council once and for all.





    However (contrary to the supposition of the council members) Ahmad was no utterly fool: he understood that the impregnation of the High Council in the corsair society was so strong that they couldn't been just thrown out on the window like an old carpet. ...yet they could be exceeded through technological development and with the help of the youth of the shipmates.

    There were quite a few ideas circulating among the people about the future of Tripoli at that time and some of them even reached the ears of Ahmad but for the time being that was all. Despite all the strength he showed for his people and against the rusted reputation of the Council he didn't feel the power in himself to fight for ultimate power. So he dropped the matter for the time - but sadly the Council didn't want to give up its rule so easily...

    At first, things seemed to be run smoothly with the people being happy about their "reborn" Malik but after three peaceful years the first strike arrived: some previously peaceful Portuguese protesters on Madeira suddenly became bold and attacked the port en masse. As they had no just cause for it, Ahmad was not the only who suspected the destabilizing machinations of the High Council in the event.





    With the help of the fleet the order was restored quickly but because of the events Ahmad became even more careful in the matters of politics. He avoided active foreign diplomacy and was a bit hesitant even when a delegation from the Holy City of Mecca arrived. Its rulers, the Hedjazi people were once an ally to Ahmad the Old but they didn't like when he (still a crude pirate) subjugated the Hafsids of Tunisia. Now, when a almost a hundred years had passed, they offered an alliance again - an alliance against the Mamluks, who were silently expanding to the east, into former Timurid lands and were threatening the independence of not just Mecca but all the lands surrounding it.





    The offer was welcomed by the highly opportunist High Council too - so it seemed that for the time being, the hostilities between the Malik and the Council Members were ceased.

    However this caused some unrest in among the people as both supporters of Ahmad (the fleet and the merchants) and the High Council (the older captains and the common folk) expected the matter to be decided quickly - but, and it was against the wishes of the masses, the Malik and the Coucil had reached a fragile standstill as neither of them held enough power to fully overthrow the other.





    The next move to be made went to the Council - due to his "mental instability" they revoked the status of Ahmad II's younger brother, Mansur as successor to the throne [and yet again I forgot to take a screenie...] - this was a blow Ahmad had to take because the High Council was still holding
    the rights of introducing the heir to the title of Malik. And it was not without precedent that the council members reconsidered their former decision.

    So Ahmad's hope of passing his title to someone whom he could trust vanished - but at the same time his own position was strengthened even more because the Muslim scholars of Tripoli had had enough of the dishonourable behaviour of the Council and they made an open declaration in which they ensured Ahmad that he has the full backing of the Islamic Code (and the scholars of course) in his duty of leading the corsairs.





    Thus Ahmad's idea about exceeding the old rules of the High Council seemed to be a good way in general and the balance between the Malik and the Council seemed to be tipping in favor of the former over time - however, Ahmad knew that his time was passing quickly. He was already in his 40s, without a child and he knew if he has to die with his succession unsecured the Council will have the full authority of choosing the next Chief...

    So as his next move, the Ahmad tried to gain allies among the subjugated lands of Tripoli - his first choice was the Algerians as they were Muslims too but their lands were just recently brought under the control of Tripoli and there was still significant disapproval against it. And since it was officially the High Council and not Ahmad who demanded their full surrender they could hope that the Malik would loosen up the grip on their country.





    This was a dangerous move as favoring one vassal over the others could have split the fragile alliance that was formed under the leadership of the High Council but the Algerians also knew that they would need all the help they could get against the Spanish to keep at least their formal rule over their lands.

    So as time passed and a new century began (well, for at least the infidels), the century-long in-fighting among the Malik in power and the High Council now became an open struggle - and it is yet to decide, who will lead the corsairs into their future in the next decades.





    However, the Muslims of North Africa were not the only ones who's internal struggles would led to a split in their previously uncontested unity...
    You can call me Dan.

    If you want to see my Tripoli (not so) horribly fail... PiRAAtes! Ongoing again. Hopefully.

  19. #59
    Major il_loco's Avatar
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    I like the way you incorporate the random events into the story. A nice update, I hope there will be more to come and quick.

  20. #60
    Field Marshal Malurous's Avatar
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    Madeira is an interesting one - heading for the Caribbean?

    Nice victories recently, Italy seems to be pretty heavily under your influence.
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