Sundiata is an important figure in the history of Mali. The son of a hunchback princess, so ugly as to be called the Buffalo, Sogolon, and Maghan the Handsome, Sundiata was prophesied by the African Traditional magicians to be the one who would unite the twelve kingdoms of Mali. Historically, he did accomplish this, and by incorporating Islam and African Traditions into his state, create a powerful African Empire.
In Crusader Kings 2 we find Mali a Kingdom, not an Empire, but it's fair enough. The duke-level titles can probably be considered kingdoms, but for ease of understanding I will be using the terminology used by Crusader Kings 2 in this regard. Furthermore they have Anglicized his name as Maridjata, which we will be using from hereon.
This is a game of Crusader Kings 2 using the Sword of Islam expansion and beginning with version 1.06. The start date is January 1st, 1209, the first date after which Sundiata's father has been killed. This AAR is intended to read mostly as a historybook after this first post. It was begun with the intention of participating in the Sword of Islam AAR competition.
Historically, Mari-Djata fled to the kingdom of Memel in his youth to escape persecution when his father died. Years later he was invited back to invade Ghana, then ruled by the evil sorcerer Suomaoro Kante, whom he defeats, and unites a number of the Mali kingdoms to defeat the remainder.
Our story will go somewhat different, with young Mari-Djata at 2 years old ruling over the two southwestern-most counties of the Emirate of Timbuktu. With a group of (hopefully) loyal councillors, Mari-Djata's entire childhood shall be dominated by his education as a statesman, and the eventual rise to power of him and his descendants. Here is that council now:
Mari-Djata's power is quite significant within the realm of his liege, Suomaoro, but it will be a long time before our boy is able to defeat his enemies.
Mari-Djata's mother was a grotesque creature, and was impregnated by Maghan Kon Fatta on the orders of his holy man who told him that the child of this union would unite the kingdoms of Mali into a great Empire.
Mari-Djata's mother Sogolo, and the diplomatic map.
Perhaps as a result of his strange parentage, Maridjata had a deformed foot and leg, and walked only with the help of an iron staff given to him a later date than this. At two years old, it's not yet become such a concern.
Mari-Djata, and a religious map, showing that African Traditional religions are still a major part of society down here in Mali.
And, for those who are curious about the start-date, here is Southwestern Europe and the Maghreb:
I am most familiar with Sundiata through D. T. Niane's French version which was copied from West African griots, translated again into English by G.D. Pickett. From oral tradition, to written form, and now to AAR, I feel I am really contributing to world literature with this undertaking.
Post 1- Introduction