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Thread: Sundiata, an Epic AAR of old Mali

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    Sundiata, an Epic AAR of old Mali

    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.

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  2. #2
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    Throughout Mari-Djata's childhood, the realm of Mali and Bamako was ruled by his mother Sogolon. While Mari-Djata's brother Abubakari was being trained by the general of the armies, Kaya Bamako (also the Wali of Bamako, a mosque-region in the Bambuk, to be a great warrior, club-footed Mari-Djata remained under his mother's care.
    Though remembered for her hunchback and extreme ugliness, and at times the subject of ridicule from the other widows of her husband and many of the griots in the realm, Sogolon was also a shrewd ruler who set a number of griots off into Aoudaghost, the neighbouring realm, singing a falsified song of Sogolon's father 'who ruled that land in the old age'.

    An event of some importance during Mari-Djata's childhood was one of great importance for the whole world, and the Islamic world specifically. In 1220 a jihad is called to push the Christians from Sicily, a region once held by The House of Peace. Mande leaders decided to cross the Sahara with their warbands in order to aid their Muslim brothers against the Christians. The Caliph's call to arms is taken up slowly, as all throughout the Islamic world small armies like that of the Farbus of Mali, Soumaoro Diarisso, make their way to the point of conflict. Mande troops crossed into Iberia at Granada and marched their way along the Mediterranean coast to fight in the mountainous Lombardia region in northern Italy. They were quickly defeated by superior Christian armies. A second wave of Mali's young men was sent in June of 1223, which followed a similar route and suffered a similar fate. The jihad was of course called off in April of 1227, after seven years of bitter defeat for the Muslims.



    The returning jihadis brought tales of a wide world with them, and told the people of Mali all about the Maghreb and the Western Mediterranean world. It was not long before many of these Mujahids became the heroes of the griot's songs throughout Mali. What was more, Mari-Djata's marshall, Wali Kaya Bamako of Bamako, had tested the loyalty of the troops and was eager to use them in Africa after the defeats in Europe.

    Sogolon called for the invasion of Aoudaghost to begin shortly after the jihadis returned, in the heat of 1229's August. Suomaoro, the liege lord of Mari-Djata, looked on with dismay, knowing that the increasing power of his Farbuses could only reduce his own power. Suomaoro then elevated his title to Musa (King), from being merely the Farbus (duke) of Mali, Ghana, and Tumbuktu. It was a brilliant move on Suomaoro's part, for it allowed him to distribute the three Farbus titles of the realm and still maintain his superiority. Mari-Djata was given the Emirate of Mali, and his rival in Aoudaghost was given the Emirate of Ghana, which caused the province of Idjil to come to his aid.



    Nonetheless, under Wali Kaya's brilliant leadership, the armies of Aoudaghost were defeated in battle, and the province was handed over to the clubfooted boy Mari-Djata. The Farbus of Ghana escaped with his household to Idjil, but was captured there in 1233, along with that province, after a suitable claim was commissioned by Sogolon.



    Having gathered a large realm under his rulership, Maridjata finally came of age in the same year that Idjil was conquered. Like his mother he became a master of intrigue and the use of the griot. Though clubfooted, due to hard work he had become a passable warrior with his iron staff. He arranged a marriage with Sogolon Zuwa, the audaciously-named sister of Farbus Yasiboy of Songhai. Songhai was the last of the four Emirates which made up the Sultanate of Mali, a new empire more powerful than the Ghanan which had come before (in game terms Ghana is a duchy and Mali a sultanate, though historically Ghana and Mali were both 'empires' over a large number of city-states).



    It would be years before his wife came of age, and so Mari-Djata took the Hajj, travelling to Mecca in the Arabian peninsula with his iron staff to help him walk when necessary. Wali Kaya Bamako was granted stewardship over the Emirate of Ghana, Mari-Djata's domain, while the Farbus undertook his pilgrimage.

    Returning from the Hajj in September of 1233, Mari-Djata was a new man, but would he be prepared for the new challenges that adulthood would bring?
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  3. #3
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    Mari-Djata fled to the kingdom of Memel
    Didn't know he lived in Lithuania.

    Okay, okay, I'll stop.
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
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    A solid start. Very good read so far.
    For awesome CK II graphical stuff please click here and here.

    I'm currently working on my own set of semi-historical scenarios for CK II. ETA: Q1 '15.

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    Arilou: Haw haw! :P

    Sleight of Hand: Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it!

    The next part shall be popping up in an hour or two
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  6. #6
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    Returning from the Hajj, Maridjata prepared to take the command of his now enlarged Emirate of Ghana and Mali. To please the Islamic subjects of his Emirate, among whom could be found the most wealthy of merchants and the most knowledged of scholars, Maridjata had his griots go throughout the realm telling tales of an important Ramadan fast.

    Maridjata took Islam seriously, especially after returning from the Hajj, and used this occasion to free the various prisoners who had been imprisoned under the reign of his Marshall and Regent, Wali Kaya Bamako. Naturally the end of Ramadan demanded a major feast, 'Eid, and all of Sundiata's loyal vassals arrived, from throughout Mali.



    With his subjects satisfied at his magnanimity, Maridjata was prepared to push his next claim. In 1234 his griot returned from Idjil, one of the minor kingdoms (county) in western Mali, the Emirate of Ghana. The scholars of that realm recognized the righteousness of Maridjata, and invited him to rule them. Maridjata prepared to travel the sunny country and press his claim to that territory, and his troops, hardened by their successes in the earlier war against the Emirate of Ghana, had no great difficulty in conquering the region. With this victory Maridjata was able to lay claim to the Emirate of Ghana, securing even greater power within the Empire ruled by his nemesis. While on the road to Idjil, Maridjata called for a Furusiyya, a great contest of martial prowess. This strengthened the loyalty of his troops, who knew themselves to be serving the next Alexander.



    With the conquest of Idjil secured, Maridjata could no longer be denied to have achieved the Emirate of Ghana under his control. A feast was held in which this title was claimed by Maridjata, to be held forever unto the children of his line. In Djenne, Mansa Soumaoro, the evil Sorcerer King, howled in displeasure. He began seeking aid from the other kings in the land in his quest to stop the power of Maridjata from continuing to increase.



    With the threat of his Mansa weighing heavily upon him, Maridjata felt the need to further expand his power. He betrothed his sister to the ruler of Taghaza, and prayed to Allah that if his liege should come against him his allies would heed the call. Mansa Soumaoro would be broken without the power of Songhai, Taghaza, and Araouane behind him, but Maridjata had now secured alliances with both Songhai and Taghaza. It would be some years yet before either of these alliances would be cemented through marriage. All that remained was Araouane, and it was in 1237 that his claim there finally came through. Demba, the Mayor of Kiffa, Maridjata's primary court griot, returned in that year and told Maridjata that the preparations for an invasion were complete. Araouane could do nothing to stand up against the might of Maridjata, an by the time the rains came in November of 1238 Maridjata's preparations were complete for a final confrontation with his sinister liege Mansa Soumaoro.





    __________________________________________________ __

    January 3rd, 1236:
    The sun sets upon the sunny plains around Boure. Maridjata, an African king in full Islamic finery walks with the aid of an iron staff. At his side is his loyal griot, as well as his Marshall Kaya Bamako, both dressed for war with chainmail armour and carrying long spears, bows, and a quiver of arrows. Ten African soldiers follow behind. They are approaching a sandstone building, illuminated in the dusk.

    Maridjata: Let not the spirits of our ancestors frown upon this, it is not right for a family to fight against itself, not when the evil sorcerer-king Mansa Soumaoro plots against the tribe of Keita.

    Marshall Kaya Bamako: Sogolon Djata, mighty son of the lion and the buffalo, your slave begs of you to be strong. Allah does not look favourably on the man who lies with a man, nor shall the griots and travellers who visit our country.

    Maridjata nods and they arrive at the door. He gives a meaningful, dipping nod, and waves his hand at the door. Marshall Kaya, a burly man in his late 50s, winds up his leg and smashes it through the door with a dramatic crash. Fragments of wood spray into the interior, from which can be seen a number of naked African men fornicating and drinking wine. Maridjata and Marshall Kaya enter the door, and the view of the interior is blocked by the African soldiers in their entourage. Voices can be heard, however.

    Disembodied Voice (Abubakara): Son of Sogolon! Of course all of Mali rejoices to see you walk, but must you walk into my home while I entertain visitors? I assure you, this is all, ehm, part of a... a Sufi ritual!

    Maridjata: You have brought dishonour and decadence to our name, Abubakara, and I cannot let your vile deeds be broadcast all over our country by the griots and merchants! Your days are at an end!

    A crash is hard, and the sound of swords cutting into flesh and the screams of men permeate.

    Abubakara: Please! My brother! Are we not both of the divine blood of Mansa Maghan!?

    Maridjata: Marshall, stay your sword. Let my brother live on in captivity, hidden on the seventh floor of the royal palace. Allah has softened my heart for this man who sprung from the lion just as did I.

    Marshall Kaya Bamako, angrily: This slave does your bidding, Maridjata, though you would be wise to slay this infidel.

    Maridjata: All men have a fate, and it cannot be escaped. Let time tell whether I have made a mistake or not...

    Fade to black
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  7. #7
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    Hooray for African AAR! Mali seems pretty powerful and still has plenty of place to expand. The real question is how will they fare at extending their reach to the north, where so much importance lies...
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    Thank you for your interest, Saithis! The north is a long way off for Maridjata. As a general note of interest to readers, I am going to be working on indexing and formatting the story a bit better for the future. Here's part 3, enjoy:

    The War of Independence Period

    It was 'Eid in 1239, and Farbas Maridjata I Keita held a great feast to which all of his vassals attended. Marshal Kaya Bamako had recently died of old age. Maridjata reorganized his state to better accommodate his undeniably primary position in the distribution of power in Mali. A new marshal was selected, Cisse, the Wali of Niani, a city in the province of Aourane. Marshall Cisse was sent to train troops there in his home province. Kayna Bamako, the heir of the late marshall, was selected to be the master of griots and spies and set to seeking out plots within Maridjata's capitol at Boure.

    Furthermore, Maridjata attained two new allies through marriages at this feast. The first of whom was Amira Almohad, a 16-year old daughter of Sultan Musa I Almohad, commonly known as 'the Bewitched'. This marriage secured an alliance with the Sultanate, though it was unlikely for the Mauretanians to interfere in Malis affairs. Furthermore, Musa the Bewitched had no legitimate heir and his realm was likely to pass to his brother, the homosexual Emir Abdul-Wahid I of the Marrakech Almohads. The reasons for Maridjata's marriage to this possibly collapsing house are hard to say for certain, but Amira was certainly known to be talented and perhaps Maridjata believed a son borne of her could produce an heir with the ability to expand into Mauretania.



    Maridjata's position in the kingdom of Mali was greatest during this period. The powers of the crown over the nobility were strictly limited, however, and the other vassals had few qualms with Mansa Soumaoro's methods of rule. Farbas Yasiboy of Songhay, for example, was perfectly content and was known to have great admiration for the Mansa. The young Faran of Taghaza, Tunka Modibo, too appreciated the great freedom with which he was able to rule his realm. The young Faran may have been betrothed to Maridjata's daughter, but for him to turn against his liege was unthinkable.


    In March of 1240 Maridjata requests control over Ouadane, a territory traditionally held by the Farbas of Ghana. Mansa Soumaoro refuses the request, pushing Farbas Maridjata to declare war out of pride and rage. Because of the nature of this war, in which Maridjata had no true cause within the kingdom, but only fought for his secession from the Mali Kingdom, the idea of bringing in allies from within the kingdom was unthinkable, for the other Farbases and Farans would have been reluctant to join even a just war. On March 13th, a Friday, of 1240, the doomed war begins. Sultan Musa I Almohad, 'the Bewitched', refuses to interfere in the war, thus hammering the final nail in Maridjata's coffin.


    The first battle takes place in April of 1240 in the province of Ouadane between Ijdil and Aoudaghost in Ghana, this was the province requested.

    The second battle takes place in the province of Ghana where Maridjata and Marshall Kayna with 3000 troops attack Wali Kalabi of Fakala the court Imam of Soumaoro.

    The battle of Sila in Ghana is a great victory. 1200 of the Mansa's troops were killed or wounded for only 146 of Maridjata's troop's casualties.

    In Ouadane the troops from Aoudaghost arrive on May 5th, turning the battle to Maridjata's favour. By late May Maridjata had attained a victory. His troops then headed northwest to Idjil to gather their strength and cohesion, but then were directed south to Ghana, as the victorious troops in the province of Ghana were now in great danger. Mansa Soumaoro had gathered 10,000 men in the east and would arrive in the province by June 24th. Maridjata's southern troops had no chance of escaping, and his northern troops could not arrive before a month of doomed fighting.


    At the Second Battle of Sila, Maridjata was attacked by the Mansa's ten thousand troops, and fled to meet with the northern army in the province of Aoudaghost, taking 1200 casualties while only inflicting 300.

    In July, the battle of Taghaza is a victory, which meant very little, over in the east. The troops in this region soon disband for fear of the Mansa's large armies.

    By this time Maridjata's western troops had retreated to consolidate their strength in remote Idjil, hoping for the Mansa's troops to suffer from disloyalty and starvation, or that by some miracle of Allah's favour another vassal would rebel, or another entity would invade; anything to defeat the vile Soumaoro!


    By October of 1240 when the rains set in, it was clear to everybody in Mali that the Mansa would be the victor. The only question was; would Maridjata perish in defeat, or prove such a wily foe as to retain his freedom?

    In February of 1241 Maridjata brought his troops south, having heard from the griots that the army of Soumaoro in Aoudaghost had suffered significant attrition.



    On May 30th the 24 year old Maridjata, his spymaster Kayna Bamako, and Marshall Cisse's troops meet with Soumaoro's troops. The battle goes poorly. Within ten days Maridjata's center column is routed which gives the enemy a distinct advantage. Mayor Cisse was still able to crush their flanks by the end of June, which finally led to a victory on July 14th. The enemy suffered 4,000 for Maridjata's 3,000 casualties, making it the most decisive battle to take place in the war of Maridjata's independence.



    During August, at the height of Mali's brilliance, Soumaoro's forces were on the run in western Mali, but the troops from the east, facing no resistance, would be more than Maridjata's armies could overcome and so Mansa Suomaoro knew he had some leverage in the bargaining. The old Mansa met the upstart Farbas under a peace banner and a white peace was signed. Each agreed to forgive the transgressions of the other and return to the previous relationship that had existed between the two.



    The war was a loss and Mansa Soumaoro shortly thereafter gave Maridjata the title of Chief Architect in hopes of placating him. The 61-year old Mansa gave up on his plot to revoke Maridjata's territory, and thus the war was over for now. In the rainy season of 1241, the Mansa was assured of his power and increased crown authority in Mali, reducing the powers of Farbases in regards to settling debts of honour or property amongst themselves.

    The Iberian War Period

    In January of 1242 the Aragonian Holy War for Valencia held by King Alfonso II of Portugal and King Jaume I of Aragon was joined by Mansa Soumaoro. This was a conflict that had begun years earlier, and the Christians seemed to have had the upper hand in the fighting up until this time. Though it seemed a doomed effort at the start, Mansa Soumaoro's forces proved to be the deciding factor in pushing back the infidels in Valencia. By 1244 the Almohads can claim a decisive victory over the Christians.



    During the Iberian War years, Maridjata had three children, and began the construction of a mosque, ensuring his legacy; the glory of which was no longer assured due to the failure of his rebellion. The first was Abanata, a healthy baby girl by Sogolon Zuwa. Amira had a girl when she was 19, who was named Sogolon in honour of Maridjata's mother. Amira had a second child on May 10th, 1246, finally, a boy, and he was named Maridjata for his father. He would grow to have significant difficulty with speech due to handicap whose exact details remain a mystery to historians. Nonetheless, his place at the time of his birth was one of glory; the firstborn son of Maridjata.



    The Three Peaceful Years

    The mosque Ksar El-Barka was completed in June of 1246 shortly after the birth of the heir. The three years following the construction of the mosque were generally peaceful, though plots on the part of Mansa Soumuoro against his own son were discovered during this period. As for Maridjata, he took to training with his griots and came to be known as a great poet and singer. His realm continued to grow rich and his armies increased in size.

    His second son was born in 1247, in September, and he named him Maghan Kon Fatta in honour of his father.

    In May of 1249 Soumaoro Diarisso, the Mansa of Mali, declared an invasion of Sijilmasa. This was made possible due to a succession crisis within the Almohads upon the death of Sultan Musa the Bewitched.

    After Musa's passing, the 5-year old dwarf Sultan Sultan I Almohad assumed the throne. The son of Musa's brother, and the current Sultan's cousin, Abdul-Wahid the Ill-Ruler of Badajos declared himself to be the rightful Sultan over Mauretania and gathered support from throughout the realm; including Al'Abbas of the Marrakech Almohads, Sinbad I Seqtaid in Granada, and Abdal-Qawi I Tijinid in Alger.



    In all this chaos and confusion Soumaoro chose to declare a conquest upon the young Emir Al'Abbas I Almohad in Marrakech and thus expand the realm of Mali. How would Maridjata bring this to his benefit?


    __________________________________________________ __________________________

    The Worldly Travels of Abu Bakr Cisse
    ...........

    Oh, Islam, House of Peace, I have travelled out unto the House of War, and I have travelled within the realms controlled by infidels and apostates alike. Listen to my tales, for they surely hold piece of the puzzle! The cycles by which all kingdoms and empires rise or fall is an effect which can be predicted and replicated just as any other science can be.

    Look at the infidel kingdom of the ferengis, or Franks. The king of France has been considered infidel by even his own subjects, and their Caliph in Rome, Pope, has called for him to be removed from power. See these regions on the map? Holland, Brittany, and Aquitaine? These dukes are working to do as Pope commands and destroy the Frank King. The Flanders region is merely seeking their own independence, and like to get it with the distractions which King Frank has today.

    Well, you say, but the Franks are only one type of infidel. But looks at England, this island nation north of France, their sultan is called Henry III Plantagenet. King Henry is also excommunicated by Pope, but he faces very different threats. He may lose these Irish dukedoms, Meath and Leinster, as each fights their own independence wars. Only a precious few of his dukes have allied under Duke Gloucester to remove him from the throne. Henry III Plantegenet is unlikely to suffer nearly so great as King Frank, who faces strong, united enemies.

    What of these lands to the east? Livonia is a land controlled by the Christian priests, who fear the pagans there. Vitebsk is a Princedom of a Rurik. The Ruriks control most of Russia, and their largest kingdom is called Volga Bulgaria, which today succumbs to invasion by the easterners, the Golden Horde of Tengri Mongols. Poland is ruled by King Piast. Bohemia is independent, so much that neither they nor the Holy Roman Empire which used to claim overlordship on them has any peace treaty; but there they exist side by side! Who rules this kingdom of Bohemia? An 8-year old Rurik boy, of the Eastern brand of Christianity, and working to help Volga Bulgaria in the futile battle against the Tengri Hordes.

    Hungary is a Catholic kingdom led by a woman, Queen Arpad. Serbia is an Orthodox kingdom led by King Nemanjic. The old Greek Roman Empire has been collapsing since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him, and controls only the principalities of Thrace, Nikea, and Samos, plus a few of the Aegean Islands. A newer, but similarly stagnating Latin Empire also exists under the Frankish House de Courtenay, while Venetian merchant-princes hold dominance on many of the islands and coastlines, including Crete.

    In the House of Peace, the Sunni Caliphate is stewarded by the Abbasids, who rule from Basra and control the territories of Baghdad and the Tigris valley. In Egypt are the Ayyubid sultanate, who are Sunni. In fact, Shiism is mostly an extinct religion today, the sun has set on that sect, for only a few small rulers profess Shiism around the gulf of Hormuz and Iberia. Their caliph has not been declared for many years. Lastly there is a significant breach of our House, the Christians retain some lands in the Levant which they fashion the Kingdom of Jerusalem. They are ruled by a woman, Sultana Isabelle II de Brienne, who has taken to Levantine customs though she still holds claims to some Frankish lands.

    There is your knowledge, Maridjata, now what shall you do with that, hm?
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  9. #9

  10. #10
    General KPJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for subscribing kittenagogo!

    Well, I had a slight problem with my game and was forced to re-install, no big deal, I kept the save game separate. What I forgot, however, was to keep the screenshots separate. So here is a special text-only episode of Sundiata, an Epic AAR of Old Mali!
    Thanks to those who have voted for me in the official poll thread, I greatly appreciate it. For those who are unaware, there is a stickied thread on the Crusader Kings 2 forum in which you can vote for a favourite Sword of Islam AAR.

    Finally, as an added bonus for getting through this text-only update, I have decided to purchase the African Units Pack. So next update, with screenshots, will have some fancy new art for you guys.

    __________________________________________________ _



    The war went well through 1250, with Mali crushing Marrakech's troops along the eastern pass and a second force moving up the western. It is all for naught, however, as by June of 1251 the Sultanate of Mauretania's civil war comes to an end, with Sultan Sultan I Almohad, the child-king and dwarf, winning.
    In the aftermath, the boy was able to imprison the majority of those who rebelled against him (Emir Abdul-Wahid Almohad of Badajoz, Abdal-Haqq Marinid of Fez, and the Zikri Emir 'Umar Almohad of Tlemcen); all but the Sebtaids in Granada who rose up again shortly after. They were one of the last remaining states who professed Shi'ism. This revolt would prove ill-fated, and the Almohads had once again become a powerful and stable presence in North Africa-- their Empire stretched from Tunisia in the east to the trade routes into Mali in the southwest and Iberia in the northwest.

    Shortly after the war Mansa Soumaoro invited Maridjata to a plot to revoke the shiekdom of Djenne from his son, Prince Faga-Laye, following the war, which Maridjata declined. Maridjata then sent his griots throughout the realm to wreck the plot, proving his power over the Mansa. Maridjata and Soumaoro had almost a power-sharing setup at this point, with Soumaoro the liege of Maridjata in name only. September of 1251 the truce with Soumaoro ends and Maridjata sets out on a plot to reduce his authority over the lords of Mali. Unfortunately for our crippled hero, the Mansa in his old age was well-loved by his subjects, and the other Farbas and Farans declined to join.

    May 1252 Maridjata takes over the education of his stuttering son Maridjata II (as he would also come to train his second-born, Maghan Kon Fatta). By this time he has lost being stressed as well as his envy for other rulers in the realm. Though his greed would never decline and continue to define his reign, he was otherwise considered the archetypal Islamic African gentleman. Still, the Mansa was seen in much the same way, and the idea that either of the two could claim a greater righteousness or decry the decadence of the other would have been a difficult one to prove.

    Sept 12 1253 Farba Basilie Tudjinid of Alger, Maridjata's 3rd wife, has a son named Dankaran Touman after Maridjata's half-brother who ruled Mali for a brief period before losing his titles to Mansa Soumaoro. Basilie, a son secured, then attempted to poison Maridjata II Keita. Her husband, our protaganist Maridjata I, had her executed. Maridjata married a new wife, Rafika Abbasid, a Sayyid descended from the Prophet. She was unfortunately a known homosexual, and many of the Abbasids were considered very decadent at this time.

    Dec. 28 1254 Soumaoro gave up 2 provinces to Maridjata in hopes of appeasing him, Ghana and Mali. Unimpressed with the appeasement, Maridjata immediately declares war for Djenne, a further title to which he has claim as Emir of Mali.

    The decisive battle began in May with 10,000 of the Mansa's troops attacking Maridjata's troops who besiege Djenne. Then on the 28th July 1255 Soumaoro died a natural death at age 75. When a Mansa dies it is common for all those in the realm to enter a period of mourning, but due to the war this was impossible. Young, handsome Mansa Faga-Laye I became the new Mansa. He was known to be a coward, but was otherwise a good Islamic subject. Talented in skills of statesmanship and extremely handsome.

    By August of 1255 Mansa Faga-Laye's troops were essentially beaten. 9,000 under Maridjata head into Djenne to settle in for a long siege. 4,000 under the Mansa are not deemed to be much of a threat and were allowed to roam the countryside whilst the siege in Djenne was resolved.

    May 1256 Maridjata left behind a force to continue the siege at Djenne, and headed into Ghana to defeat Soumaoro's troops under Prince Takoi. Prince Takoi and Mansa Faga-Laye were attacked in Ghana by Maridjata who crushed them decisively. Macina in Djenne fell in July 1257, and the siege continued on to the great walled city of Djenne. By May 1258 the Mansa's larger manpower base came to pose a problem for Maridjata, as groups from all over the country arrive to help the Mansa. Maridjata returns some troops home to refresh and replenish their numbers, and avoids combat for some months. Maridjata's mother dies during this period, May of 1258, the darkest summer for Maridjata's life.

    However, just as the hottest times were upon them, the Mansa's troops were split between the east and west. Maridjata orders his troops in Aourane, his eastern province, to head south and meet with the main force. In August the siege of Djenne is complete and Maridjata sends word to his troops in Mali to rise up and head to Ghana for a final confrontation with Faga-Laye.

    In October, however, Prince Takoi declares himself Mansa of Mali and attacks Mansa Faga-Laye before Maridjata's troops even arrive. Maridjata's enemies had collapsed upon themself, just as the war seemed to be growing unsustainable. Prince Takoi controlled only one province, but Faga-Laye too had only an equal amouont of territory, and depended on his vassals for troops. Most of these vassals had been tapped out because of Maridjata's war, and therefor the war between the brothers Takoi and Faga-Laye for the Mansa-hood of Mali was tight enough to be essentially a stalemate.

    In December of 1258, the 2 princes met and battled in Timbuktu. Songhay's Zuwa prince continued to hold his troops in Gao, in the east, in hopes of defeating a group of Kafir pagan rebels.

    The next month Faga-Laye surrenders to Maridjata's demands, having realized that without the aid of this vassal he had no chance against Prince Takoi. The province of Takoi is granted to Maridjata, to be held by his descendents for time eternal. In an unprecedented move in Africa, the administration of Djenne is handed over to Mayor Manding-Bory who becomes a Wali-Mayor of the province of Djenne, the first instance of non-inheriting title under the Empire of Mali. Maridjata had successfully created a 'free city' much in the manner of Germany's imperial free cities, and this was what led to Djenne becoming such an important trade centre during the middle ages.

    In 1259 Takoi invaded El-Ghaba in Ghana, Maridjata's territory, while the combined armies of those who remained loyal were unable even to defeat a pagan uprising which threatened to overtake a province in southern Mali. In October of 1259 Maridjata arrives in El-Ghaba and met with Prince Takoi. Maridjata decided at this point to lend his strength to Takoi's claim, probably in the hopes of keeping Mali weak for his own aspirations. Naturally with Maridjata behind him, Takoi became unstoppable.

    The war goes on for a few more months before Prince Takoi becomes Mansa Takoi, and peace once again fell on the Shining Land. Maridjata succumbs to age at 42, in August of 1260. His son Maridjata inherited control of the Emirates, though he was only 13 years old.

    By February 1262, Maridjata I was two years dead, and the war and regency had taken their toll. Large gangs of bandits were roaming throughout Bambuk. Maridjata, a depressed boy was unable to run the state properly, and the regent proved more interested in filling his pockets than administration. Maridjata came of age on May 10th of 1262, and was known to be a skilled tactician by any military-man of the day. But would these skills be enough to pull the Emirate back together? And would Prince Takoi prove to be a just Mansa, or a despicable one?
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  11. #11
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    Great AAR! Sundiata is one of my favorite little-known historical leaders, so I am really happy to see him in an AAR.

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    Thank you very much for your interest Xenophon13! I first learned of Sundiata while doing a History of Africa course during my undergraduate studies in History. The paper I wrote, after reading D.T. Niane's Sundiata, was about the role of the griot in medieval Mali, who were a class of bards, storytellers, propoganda-spreaders, military leaders, musicians, poets, and so on. Very interesting stuff. Not sure when the next update will be at this point, I have quite a few things going on in real life so making a detailed game long and converting it into nice readable text is something I haven't been up to for the last few days. The story will continue before the week is done though, and with screenshots including the promised African Units Pack graphics.
    How did you first hear of Sundiata?

    Also a big thank you to all the voters, looks like I will be getting a name into Crusader Kings 2, and I couldn't be more pleased.
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  13. #13
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    This thread has been closed due to massive bot infestation. KPJ, if you want to continue this AAR please PM me or one of the other AARland staff and we'll open the thread back up.
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