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Thread: Visions of Doom - A Volga-Bulgarian AAR

  1. #1
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    Visions of Doom - A Volga-Bulgarian AAR

    Hi to all!
    I decided to start this AAR because of the contest organized by Paradox. The thing is... I´d already started this game some time ago as the Duke of Bulgar in 1066, and now I´m in 1158. I wanted to see if I could form a realm strong enough to battle the Golden Horde when they arrive.

    So, the structure of this AAR will be somewhat strange. It´ll be written as extracts from the journals of each ruler of my dynasty, but starting as my current ruler in 1158. It´ll all start when he finds writings from his great grandfather about some visions he had during his Hajj.

    Just for you to know, this is my first AAR, and I don´t how it´ll come up. Right now I´m on vacations, so I have time to write this, and I hope to be able to have a good head start. Next week I´ll go back to work, so I probably won´t have time to update more often than once or twice weekly.
    Other thing for you to consider: English is not my native language. So, please, bear with me and let me know if any awful error comes up.

    Enough chit-chat. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. #2
    hmmm very nice choice we are waiting to see it unfold mate

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    Visions of Doom
    A Volga-Bulgarian AAR


    21st of Raby` al-awal of the year 553 from the Hijra (April 22, 1158 A.D.)

    My name is Borç of the House Dulo, but I am known as Khan Borç I "The Wise" of Volga-Bulgaria. I am Khan of Volga-Bulgaria, Rus and Cumania.



    My realm is amongst the most powerful states in the civilized world, rivalling in strength with the Christian Empires and only dwarfed by the mighty Fatimid Sultanate, which comprises more lands that I care to count. However, I fear for my realm. For I have found something that makes my body tremble from the thoughts of what my descendants will have to fight. Thus, I write these pages, to let them know of my findings, to warn them of the impending doom our dynasty will face. And to hope that they will be ready...

    First, I will introduce myself more properly. I am now 52 years old, it has been 19 years since I inherited my realm from my father, the great Khan Ituk I "The Just". Most of those 19 years I have spent fighting. Fighting for the Sunni faith, and for the expansion of my lands, in order to give my heir an even stronger Khanate. But, Alas, it seems that my fighting days will not be over until I am gone from this world.
    My father was wise enough to entrust my education to an expert diplomat, and that decision has paid off. I am also proud to call myself a brave person, not shying away from conflict. I have always had great ambitions of conquest and power, but I have also learned to be kind to those who deserve it.
    My heir is my one and only adult son, Surg, who I must admit would not be as good a leader as I wish.



    I have just one other alive son, Törtogul, but he is only 1 year old.



    My realm is vast, and it makes me proud to belong to such a distinguished dynasty, which achieved to obtain such a large amount of land within 4 generations. My ancestors, as well as myself, fought the Russian Dukes, and the Tengri Cumans, and defeated them soundly. This land is their legacy, as well as my own, to those who will came after me.



    Why am I so afraid, then? After defeating such dangerous foes, and commanding one of the strongest armies in the world? As I mentioned before, I have found something. Some writings from my great grandfather, Duke Akhad I Moshka of Bulgar. Perhaps after you have read them, dear reader, you will begin to understand my fear.
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 14:46.

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    22nd of Raby` al-awal of the year 553 from the Hijra (April 23rd, 1158 A.D.)

    As I mentioned before, I have found some writings from my great grandfather which have disturbed me greatly. He wrote these pages after he returned to Bulgar from his Hajj, I will transcribe them below.


    My great grandfather, Duke Akhad I Moshka of Bulgar

    "In the 24th day of the month of Raby` al-Thaany, 461 years after the Prophet Muhammad made his Hijra, I have returned to my homeland of Bulgar having completed my pilgrimage to Mecca, my Hajj. I must say I have returned a new man, humbled before the greatness of Allah and the teachings of His Prophet. It was not an easy journey for a man of my age, as 68 winters have passed since I came to this world, but it was a most illuminating one.
    There is, however, something that disturbs me. During the journey I dedicated vast amounts of time to meditate about my life, and my purpose in this world, asking Allah to give me a sign. It was during one of these sessions that I had a vision... or a dream, I am not sure. The dream showed me a frightful scenario, with a horde of fearless warriors with strange features invading land after land, subduing even great Kingdoms. They seemed unstoppable.



    Visions of Doom

    Consulting with my Court Imam, a very learned man, he suggested that the dream could have actually been a vision granted to me by Allah Himself! Alas, the warriors did not look familiar to me, and none of the scholars I have consulted on this matter seemed to recognize the strange facial features I described to them. Wherever these warriors come from, if they do exist, it must be far away.


    No one I consulted could recognize these features

    I do not know why this vision was given to me. But something has compelled me to describe it in written words, so that, perhaps, someone may be able to make sense of it later."


    You must be wondering, dear reader, why should I believe what these pages say. Why should I believe that my great grandfather´s "vision" was nothing more than a bad dream? Because, dear reader, I have had the same vision. During my Hajj, as well, so many years ago. Back then, I discarded it as nothing more than a bad dream, as yourself would have probably suggested, but I could never remove it absolutely from my mind. Now I know it was not a bad dream, but a dreadful vision of things to come. For my vision showed me more than what my great grandfather saw. It showed me that this warrior horde will come from lands far to the East, and that when they arrive here, rivers and land alike will run red with blood. Rumours of tribal wars from exotic lands have reached my ears... wars fought by men with strange features such as both my great grandfather and myself saw, men with remarkable skill for using a bow while mounting a horse.

    This is what Allah tried to show my great grandfather. For him to warn his descendants, to prepare for the doom that awaits us. He was wise to write his visions down, as now I know what is to come, as much as it frightens me. Since only faint rumours have reached these lands of what transpires in the far East, I think the impending doom is not near yet. I will probably not live to see it arrive. But I will do everything in my power to prepare my realm and my descendants to face it as best as they can.

  5. #5
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    24th of Raby` al-awal of the year 553 from the Hijra (April 25th, 1158 A.D.)

    In this journal I will describe the efforts I make in order to ensure that my descendants are as best prepared as possible for the coming invasion. It is my hope that they will continue this tradition, so when the time comes, the one who will be facing this doom will know that we who came before him did our best to help him. Nevertheless, before continuing to strengthen the realm, I will describe how the lands ruled by our dynasty turned from the Duchy my great grandfather ruled to the three combined Khanates I rule today.


    Rule of Duke Akhad I Moshka of Bulgar

    My great grandfather Akhad I Moshka inherited his realm almost 100 years ago, at the advanced age of 60 years of life. His father had lived a long life, as he died being 83 years old.
    He was in a dangerous location, to say the least. Surrounded by infidels in every direction: the Tengri Cumans to the east and south, the Suomenusko Pagans to the north, and the Orthodox Russians and Romuva Pagans to the west.


    My great grandfather´s inherited realm, the Duchy of Bulgar

    The first years of his rule he spent bringing stability to the realm, as he suffered some rebellions, but they were quickly put down. He then planned to invade the Duchy of Mordvins, ruled by Romuva infidels, to the south west, but decided to take a pause from this plan to go on his Hajj.
    When he returned, he learned that Mordvins was already under attack by the Russian Duke of Rostov, and that the war was close to be won by the Russians. He knew that taking the disputed Duchy from the Russians would be harder than taking it from the Romuva, since a Holy War declared on the Russians would have been likely to attract his fellow Orthodox Christian Dukes to the fight. So, he made a controversial decision, but one that proved to pay off. He declared war on the Duke of Rostov to conquer the county of Nizhny Novgorod (a small county just north of the Duchy of Mordvins), so he had an excuse to storm the holdings taken by the Russians in Mordvins. He did not actually care if he would be able to take Nizhny Novgorod, he just wanted to drive the Orthodox armies off from Mordvins. In the end, and with careful use of his armies as well as mercenaries, he could take the county from the Russians, and later the Duchy of Mordvins from the Romuva.
    Regrettably, these wars were exhausting for Akhad, and he passed away not long after he defeated the Romuva, at the age of 75. But he left his heir with a good powerbase for his own endeavors.


    Rule of Khan Selim I Kolyn of Volga-Bulgaria


    My grandfather, Selim I Kolyn

    I have not been able to recover any maps from my grandfather´s time. It was a rule that suffered many wars, and many documents seem to have been lost since then. I do know that during his rule, Duke Selim I claimed the title of Khan of Volga-Bulgaria. He expanded the Khanate to the north, taking lands from the Suomenusko infidels, as well as to the south west, taking lands the Russian Duke of Ryazan had taken himself from the Tengri Cumans.
    He also repelled an invasion by one of the Khan of Cumania´s vassal, the High Chief of Itil. It was a bloody war, but the compensation the High Chief was forced to give my grandfather after his defeat was of great use to fund a new invasion of the Duchy of Rostov, which had grown to be a powerful enemy. But, Alas, Khan Selim I would not see this war to its end, for an illness took him in the year 485 Hijra (1092 A.D. in the Christian calendar), leaving his heir Ituk, merely a 10 years old boy, with a war to handle.


    Rule of Khan Ituk I "The Just" of Rus


    My father, Ituk I "The Just"

    My father´s rule was a glorious one. However, his first years as Khan were spent learning how to rule from his guardian and regent, the Court Imam, who had previously served his father. During this time, his regent continued to fight the war with Rostov according to the plans left by Khan Selim I before his death. The war ended with victory for Volga-Bulgaria shortly after my father turned 16.
    Many felt Khan Ituk did not have the neccesary attributes to be a great ruler, but he was young and determined, and he proved to be more resourceful than his detractors thought he was. Through many campaigns he expanded the realm further west, decimating the powerful Duchy of Rostov while doing it. Fortunately, the Russians Dukes often got involved in war amongst themselves, which my father took advantage of with great efficiency. Within 30 years, he took so much land from the hands of the Russians that he eventually crowned himself Khan of Rus, an honor his Orthodox neighbours envied greatly.


    The realm my father inherited in his childhood


    The realm ruled by my father 30 years later

    My father´s campaigns against the Russian infidels had been successful, but a great danger lied still to the south and east: the massive Khanate of Cumania. The Tengri infidels posed a risk too big to ignore, but my father knew that he would have to wait for a right time to attack them, as their numbers were too great for a full war.
    In the year 518 Hijra (1124 A.D. in the Christian calendar) Khan Ituk I finally saw an opportunity to strike at the heart of the Cuman Khanate, as a terrible civil war erupted within it, when the Khan´s brother tried to seize his throne. My father then took the chance to invade the land from where the Tengri had offended us before: Itil. It was an even bloodier war than the invasion my grandfather had suffered during his rule, as Sunni Cumans battled Tengri Cumans for over 10 years, but finally it was Sunni nobles that occupied the lands south of Bulgar once the dust had settled.
    The Tengri Cumans would continue to fight their civil war for another 15 years... a terrible war indeed. This event, coupled with my father´s invasion, marked the beginning of the fall of the once great Tengri Khanate of Cumania.

    The war with the Tengri Cumans had taken much of my father´s strength, and he spent his last years in peace, developing his lands and making sure the realm could recover from the long conflict it had suffered. He died being 57 years old, in the year 534 Hijra (1139 A.D. in the Christian calendar), and left me in a much better position than he himself had had when he inherited the realm from his father. He will be remembered as a great leader of our people, I will make sure of this.
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 14:49.

  6. #6
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    27th of Raby` al-awal of the year 553 from the Hijra (April 28th, 1158 A.D.)

    Today I will describe shortly what has transpired during my rule up until this day. When my father passed away I was 33 years old, and I immediately went on my Hajj to find guidance for my rule. I only hoped to have a rule worthy of my father´s legacy, a hope I still have. Only the generations that succeed me will have a word in this subject.

    As I mentioned before, my father had left me in a good position, with many Russian Dukes and the Tengri Cumans greatly weakened. I soon took advantage of this weakness, as I invaded the lands held to the east by Cumania. Having only recently finished their own civil war, the Cumans could not raise an army strong enough to repel my attacks, and soon the most eastern provinces they held where in Volga-Bulgarian hands. This conquest allowed me to usurp the title of Khan of Cumania from the Tengri infidel who held it before me, an act that sealed the fate of the once mighty bastion of Tengri faith. The Pagan infidels´ realm was now fractured in small counties and duchies which will fall soon enough.

    However, another potentially troublesome neighbour had to be dealt with first, as the Russian Duchy of Novgorod had risen its power by expanding towards the remaining Suomenusko lands in the north and by subjugating some of its fellow Orthodox neighbours. Thus, an invasion to the heart of Novgorod was launched. The battles were numerous and hard fought, since the few remaining Russian Dukes stepped into the fray in defense of their Christian faith, and the Duke of Novgorod had found a powerful ally in the King of Norway. Fortunately, I had secured the help of allies of my own, as the Hashimid Emirate (located just to the East of the East Roman infidels´ Empire) and the Sultanate of Khiva sent their reinforcements, which, though took a long time to reach the war, proved their valour in battle.
    Finally, the Volga-Bulgarian armies where the ones standing when the sounds on battle subsided, and the strength of the Russians suffered another severe blow.


    My realm after the invasions of Novgorod and Cumania

    Now I must consider what to do next to continue strengthening my country.

    The position of Volga-Bulgaria is solid. The Tengri Cumans are soon to be totally exterminated, and the Russian Dukes´ power is greatly diminished. Moreover, Duke Vladimir I of Galich has converted to a strange religion called Monophysitism, a fact his Christian neighbours find highly offensive, so lately the remaining Russians have been fighting amongst themselves. The east is now under complete Muslim control, as other Sunni rulers have taken advantage of the Cumans´ weakness, such as my Anushtiginid allies. This will provide a good battle front for when the barbarians arrive from the far east.

    However, there are things to be considered which could pose potential risks to my country. Not only Muslim rulers have taken advantage of the Cumans´ fall, but Christians as well. The Kingdom of Hungary has expanded vastly in the years since I became Khan of Cumania, and could be dangerous if left unchecked. Also, as much as it pains me, I have to admit that my son Sugr is not an ideal succesor. I fear he will have trouble in keeping the realm together if he inherits from me. If only I could live long enough to see my young son Törtogur become an adult...

    Another fact that worries me is the fall of the Seljuk Empire, which once was by far the mightiest bastion of the Sunni faith in the world. But, Alas, internal conflicts slowly eroded it away for over 20 years, until it became a multitude of Sultanates, Emirates and Sheikhdoms... a shadow of its former power.


    The former Seljuk Empire, now completely divided

    A Seljuk Empire in its full might would have been a great help against the coming invasion.


    Regarding what to do next, an invasion of Hungary is an option, but my spies´ reports tell me that their strength matches our own. Also, in the event of a Muslim invasion of Hungary, their fellow Catholic Christians of the Holy Roman Empire might come to their aid, making the war a very dangerous affair indeed.


    A war with Hungary would probably not be a good idea right now

    However, my reports tell me that the Hungarian King is quite old... counting 78 years of age already. The wisest thing would probably wait for him to pass away, and hope his heir has to cope with some instability. That would be a good opportunity to seize.

    Meanwhile, I will conquer the last Tengri lands in the name of the Sunni faith. My Hashimid allies will be helpful in that endeavor, as their territories lie very near from my intended conquests. I expect no hard resistance from these infidels, so hopefully my next entry in this journal will be a victorious one.
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 14:53.

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    Whew! This was the introduction I felt was necessary in order to set the correct mood for the AAR. Next I will actually, and finally, start telling the story of my rulers looking forward instead of looking backwards. Hope you guys didn´t got too bored with this beginning, I swear the story gets more interesting from now on! (and I hope it´ll get even more interesting when the Golden Horde arrives, but I still have like 60-70 years to go until that... we´ll see what happens before that when the Il-khanate gets here!).

  8. #8
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    21st of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 553 from the Hijra (January 13th, 1159 A.D.)

    Eight months have passed since I last wrote in this journal, and busy months they have been.

    A few days after my last entry I declared a Holy War for the Tengri counties close to the Coast of Kolkhida, north east of the Black Sea. These states that soon felt the might of the Volga-Bulgarian armies are the counties of Alania, Kakheti, Imeretia, Manych and Sarpa, and the two-provinces Duchy of Abkhazia.


    My intended conquests

    I was sure their armies could not stand against my own, but since I was looking to siege seven provinces, none with less that three holdings to take, I thought calling my allies for help would not be a bad idea. My reasons for doing this were two-fold, actually: I would obviously be able to end the sieges of the Tengri holdings faster, but I would also be able to see how many men my allies could provide for my aid in future wars. Always thinking about the coming great invasion, this last piece of information was particularly important for me.

    My allies replied favourably, as I expected. I would count with the aid of the Hashimid Emirate, the Sultanate of Khiva and the Anushtiginid Sultanate.



    My vassals could provide a vast army for this war, but it would take time to mobilize it to the Tengri lands, as my strongest provinces lie far from them. It is that way that the Hashimid forces arrived before my own to engage the infidels. By the month of Jumaada al-awal (June in the Christian calendar), my allies were already attacking the Tengri province of Alania, while my armies were still travelling south to aid them.


    The Hashimid sure are faithful allies

    After winning that battle, the Hashimid army started sieging the local Tengri castle. It would be over two months longer until my vanguard forces finally arrived to reinforce them. By that time, one of my batallions had arrived at Sarpa and was already laying siege to the holdings the infidels held there.


    My forces are about to arrive in Alania

    As for myself, I did not march with my armies to take the fight to these infidels. Not because I fear going to battle, but because this war should be easily won by my own and my allies´ forces. I could trust my generals to do things right. However, I did travel to my castle in Itil, a province next to the Tengri border, in case the infidels planned to storm my holdings in the south. Eventually, a pitiful force of 54 men set camp close to my castle, where my garrison of 1448 strong stood alert of any Pagan reinforcements that may arrive. None would come to the aid of the small band.


    I could rest assured my garrison would hold against this invading army!

    Not all news were good during these eight months, as in Thw al-Qi`dah (November in the Christian calendar) reports reached my ears that the Hungarians were taking this opportunity to strike at the last Tengri province north of their Kingdom: the isolated County of Novgorod Seversky. The army of about 2000 strong the Pagans could muster there were no match for the invading force, so the Hungarians soon got their victory.


    Sneaky Hungarians!

    As of today, the bulk of my armies, about 25000 strong, have arrived to the Tengri lands, and are laying siege to their holdings as I write these lines. Even now, reinforcements continue to arrive as my Khivan allies´ forces approach from the east. The sieges will last several months, but I foresee that the invasion will proceed without complications.


    The invasion proceeds smoothly as planned
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 14:58.

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    Very long intro, but it set the scene quite nicely. Volga-Bulgaria is a real powerhouse and the Mongols may have a tough test when they do eventually arrive. Taking the Caucasus now while Borç still has the manpower and opportunity sounds wise, and it would be good to get a physical bulwark against the Greeks.

    Subbing, looking forward to future updates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Very long intro, but it set the scene quite nicely. Volga-Bulgaria is a real powerhouse and the Mongols may have a tough test when they do eventually arrive. Taking the Caucasus now while Borç still has the manpower and opportunity sounds wise, and it would be good to get a physical bulwark against the Greeks.

    Subbing, looking forward to future updates.
    Yeah, it came up quite long indeed! I summed the first 100 years of my dynasty as best as I could.
    I´m glad you like it so far! Interesting events are ahead! And funny you mention the Greeks, as they are about to get into the scene...

  11. #11
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    17th of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 554 from the Hijra (December 29th, 1159 A.D.)

    It has been almost a year from my last entry. A rather eventful year, I might add.

    The invasion of the Tengri lands has indeed been proceeding unstopped, as I expected. By the month of Sha´baan (September in the Christian calendar), all the holdings in the provinces of Manych and Sarpa had been taken, and their infidel Lords had no option but to surrender. Those same holdings are right now in the hands of loyal Sunni nobles, and I immediately sent order for my armies to advance to the provinces of Imeretia and Kakheti. They will not hold for long.


    The first infidel provinces to fall

    Earlier today I received word that the holdings of the County of Alania have fallen as well, and a messenger has already been sent to the local Tengri Chief demanding him to surrender. I do not doubt what his answer will be.

    Nevertheless, there have also been bad news. I have received word from my brother-in-law Mesud, the Anushtiginid Sultan, explaining he could not send aid for my forces, as his lands were suffering a fierce internal war. Apparently, his brother means to depose him, and that conflict has divided the country. I hesitate to send help to him, as his brother is also my ally, and I would not want to tarnish a good relationship with a war I am really not directly involved in.


    It pains me to see two allies of mine fighting each other

    Even in war, life goes on. On the 14th day of the month of Jumaada al-awal (June 3rd in the Christian calendar), my lovely daughter Yasar turned 16 years old, and a fine match for her had to be found. Consulting with my Chancellor, we quickly found a suitable candidate: Prince Is´mail of the Fatimid Sultanate, the brother of Sultan Sharif I, who is also the Caliph of the Shi´a people. Such an alliance would be most helpful for my realm, as the Fatimids are the most powerful dynasty in Muslim lands. Five days later I would receive good news from the Fatimids.


    Good news indeed

    However, all the events I have told in these previous lines pale before what transpired these last days. Five days ago, messengers arrived to my court, bearing ill news: the Sunni Caliphate had fallen! Former Caliph Alaeddin I was a Sheikh in the Sultanate of Persia, until his title was usurped by Emir Eskander of Shabankarai, thus leaving our former Caliph with no lands to his name. He ended up being the steward of a lowly Timariot (a title similar to that of a Baron in our lands).


    A fate not worthy of one who used to be a Caliph

    I immediately summoned a council meeting to address this situation. The Sunni people need a spiritual leader to guide them! I was surprised when my Court Imam suggested that I could claim the Caliphate for myself.
    "I am in contact with Imams across the entire Muslim lands, my Khan", he said. "They tell me that due to your many victories against both Christian and Pagan infidels, most of the Sunni people consider you the fiercest defender of their faith, and would follow your lead to deliver the teachings of our Prophet to the four corners of the world"
    "Indeed, my Khan", my Chancellor continued. "You are held in high regard my most of your fellow Sunni rulers... they see you as a highly pious person, and they would undoubtedly support your claim of the Caliphate"
    After carefully considering the words spoken by my councilors, I instructed my Chancellor to deliver a message to every Sunni ruler. The message states that, not wishing our people to feel lost without the much needed guidance of a Caliph, I had decided to take upon my shoulders the responsibility of providing such guidance in the name of Allah, and that I hope to count with their support in this glorious endeavor. People will now refer to me as Caliph Borç I!


    Caliph Borç I
    Last edited by Gedierond; 09-07-2012 at 09:37.

  12. #12
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    4th of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 555 from the Hijra (December 4th, 1160 A.D.)

    Another year has passed since I last sat to write in this journal. A year not as interesting as the last one, but a good year nonetheless.

    My Holy War with the Tengri is finally over. After almost two years of assaulting their lands, by the month of Raby` al-awal (April in the Christian calendar) every holding the infidels once possessed were in Sunni hands. It will take time to subdue the population in these new provinces, but they will be a good asset for the realm.


    Finally, the Tengri Cumans are no more

    The growth of Hungary still concerns me, but the time to strike them has not come yet. The old King András II still lives... he is 81 years old by now. I can still wait for him to pass away, and see if his heir can hold the Kingdom together.


    A quite appropriate nickname, if you ask me

    The month of Shawwal brought very good news for me, as in its 13th day my beautiful wife Dunya gave birth to my fourth son, Sokal. If only Allah would give me the longevity to watch him grow, I would be a most grateful man.


    A child is always welcome news

    I have no immediate plans for the next year. I will continue developing my holdings, to make sure my demesne contributes as much as possible to the strength of the realm. And we will see what tidings will the following months bring.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    13th of Thw al-Qi`dah of the year 556 from the Hijra (November 3rd, 1161 A.D.)

    In my last entry I mentioned how I expected to continue developing my lands for the time being. I have been doing so, but, regretably, war again looms upon our land.

    In the month of Rajab (July on the Christian calendar), I received word from Duke Aepak I of the northern lands of Hlynov that he would lead his armies against the Russian Duke of Volhynia (the former Duke of Novgorod) to claim the lands of Bjarmia for the glory of the Sunni faith. I replied wishing him good fortune in his glorious quest, and assuring him that the Christian infidels would soon feel the might of Allah´s faithful. Alas, I feel his campaign will not be a victorious one, as the Russian Duke has called for the aid of his Catholic ally, the King the Norway. Hlynov´s forces will not be able to stand against the Norwegian army. Hopefully, Norway will be held long enough by the Swedish forces, which are also assaulting Volhynian holdings due to their own war against the Russians.


    I truly wish the best for those men

    However, news of a much terrible conflict has reached my ears. Yesterday, a messenger arrived in my court, carrying a message from my dear son-in-law Hooshyar, the Hashimid Emir. He informed that the East Roman infidels had declared war in the name of their false God, and planned to take the lands occupied by my faithful Hashimid allies. He pleaded me to go to his aid with my forces. My Marshal immediately let me know that the Roman Empress commanded an impressive force, and that, as powerful as our own armies are, going to war against these Greeks would be highly costly for our realm.
    I understand the concerns my good Marshal has, but I can´t leave the Hashimid on their own in this conflict. The Romans would overrun them. They have come to our aid when we called for it, and so we shall send our aid in their moment of need. Besides, I am the Sunni Caliph. It would indeed shame me if I do not help a fellow Sunni ruler against these Christian infidels! And finally, I do not forget about the coming invasion from the east... we will need every ally we can get then, and the Hashimid could certainly lend their aid when the time comes.
    Thus, today several messages left Bulgar. One was sent back to my son-in-law, assuring him that Volga-Bulgaria will send its forces to the fray. And others were sent to my vassals and generals, ordering them to raise their armies and assemble to the south. We will go to war again! In the name of Allah!


    These Greek infidels will feel the might of our armies!
    Last edited by Gedierond; 13-07-2012 at 22:48.

  13. #13
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    26th of Safar of the year 557 from the Hijra (February 13th, 1162 A.D.)

    These last months I have spent riding to the south, leading my armies in the way to aid my son-in-law Hooshyar. As I write these words, my men and I are camping at the base of the mountains south of Imeretia, taking a brief rest before continuing to march to battle in the province of Guria, our first battle with the Greeks.

    Soon after I replied favorably to Hooshyar´s call for help, news arrived at Bulgar that other of my son-in-law´s allies had as well. Wali Merwan and Sheikh Tarfiq of the nearby provinces of Taron and Nisibin, respectively, would send their aid against the Roman infidels.


    The other Hashimid allies´ forces

    I immediately realised that their forces would not match those of the Empress, so I sent my allies a war strategy conceived by my Marshal which would probably be the best approach to a good use of our combined forces. As Hooshyar´s as well as my own forces bring battle to the Empire´s armies in the north of Armenia, Merwan and Tarfiq will lay siege to Greek holdings in the south and west. If we can keep the pressure on the Greek forces on our flank, the armies of Taron and Nisibin should be able to take the southern and western provinces without any risks. It is a bold plan, but also a sound one.

    Just a few days after I received reply from my allies approving my Marshal´s plan I was about to depart with my forces to the south, accompanied by my court. It was then that a messenger arrived from the Fatimid Sultan, informing me that he had declared a Jihad for the Shi´a faith on the other Roman Empire, the western one, claiming the lands of Sicily. He asked me to join his Jihad, as our alliance demands.


    Another great war is declared

    Tempting as it is to join the fight against the so-called "Holy" Roman Empire, my participation in the current conflict against the eastern Romans makes it impossible for the time being, so I had to refuse the Shi´a Caliph´s call for aid. The following month, news would reach my ears that Hungary would join the Romans in their fight against the Shi´a. This news eased my heart, as I feared that the Hungarians might seize the opportunity given by my aid to the Hashimid to invade my country.

    In the month of Muharram (December in the Christian calendar), I made a brief detour with a fraction of my forces to Itil, where my court will stay during the war. There I will visit my wives and children when the breaks between battles grant me enough time.

    Two months later, I reached the vanguard forces in Imeretia, where I received notice that Hooshyar was already battling the Greek forces in the neighbouring province of Guria, and that a smaller force of 1100 Roman soldiers was laying siege to the castle of Abkhazia. Thus, I immediately send notice to my son Sugr´s army, stationed in Manych, to free Abkhazia, as my own forces would march to aid Hooshyar.
    So here I find myself today writing these words, on my way to reinforce Hooshyar´s army with my own. These mountains are difficult to traverse, and I fear we will not reach Guria in time. I just hope Hooshyar holds long enough.


    I am coming, friend!
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 15:10.

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    Only just finished the intro, but good work so far! It was a really good read!
    Be nice to your fellow human beings, they're the only fellow species members you have!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KPJ View Post
    Only just finished the intro, but good work so far! It was a really good read!
    Thanks! Glad you´re enjoying it so far!

  16. #16
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    26th of Thw al-Hijjah of the year 557 from the Hijra (December 5th, 1162 A.D.)

    These last months have seen intense fighting, more intense than any other month of my life. Right now there is a respite amongst all the battles I have fought lately, and I have seized the opportunity to visit my family in Itil. As I am here resting before heading back to war, I thought it would be a good idea to take a moment to write these words. I have found that these writing sessions clear my head and allow me to think more straight.

    Regrettably, back in Safar, I could not reach the battle in Guria in time to aid Hooshyar, and he lost the fight. Fortunately, he was able to escape the battlefield with some seven hundred soldiers to Kakheti. In fact, our first battle with the Romans was not in Guria, but in Abkhazia, where my son Sugr´s army expelled the sieging Greeks with ease. He then proceeded to follow their remaining forces, in order to secure the border north of the Black Sea.


    It is important to start a war with a victorious battle

    When my own army arrived at Guria, they found the Greek forces remaining from the battle with Hooshyar still recovering from their last fight, and so we obtained another quick victory against the Empire.

    Shortly after the victorious battle at Guria ended, I received a message from Sugr, indicating that he would advance to lay siege to the Greek provinces north of the Black Sea, starting with the county of Korchev. The boy was eager to proof himself in war, I see, and I replied favorably. In fact, I sent word to some of our still gathering armies to reinforce him. There, he would be able to focus on taking holdings instead of doing battle, and would be safer than here with our vanguard forces. It is better that way.


    My son will be safer there

    Hooshyar had been laying siege to a Greek holding within my realm´s county of Kakheti, the Bishopric of David Gareja, so I headed there with my army to aid him in the taking. When we arrived there in the month of Jumaada al-awal (May in the Christian calendar), we embraced as family, and he thanked me dearly for helping him in these difficult times. As our combined forces finished the siege of the temple, we discussed how the war had was going.
    "Your forces could not have arrived at a better hour, dear father-in-law.", he said. "My reports tell me that, as we speak, a huge Greek army, numbering over ten thousand strong, comes from the west. It appears they will arrive at Guria in the first days of Rajab (June in the Christian calendar)."
    "By Allah, I have already sent a small force there to start laying siege to the county!", I replied. "We must now ride to Kartli, to intercept a smaller Roman army on their way to invade your lands, friend. I will send word immediately for my men in Guria to retreat here, but I fear these treacherous mountains will not allow the message to reach its destination in time...".

    Indeed, on the 7th day of Jumaada al-Thaany (May 23rd in the Christian calendar), as I was fighting the Greeks in Kartli, a messenger from my forces stationed in Guria informed me that my command to retreat had arrived late, and that a truly numerous Roman army would reach them before they could regroup in Kakheti.


    There is no hope for my men to retreat in time

    The second battle of Guria was a true massacre. I regret not being able to help my men in their plight. But I swore that day that I would make the Greeks pay for what they did.


    A lost battle does not mean the war is lost, I will show them!

    The same day I received word of this terrible defeat, better news arrived from far to the north. The Duke of Hlynov informed me that his Holy War against the Russian Duke of Volhynia was proggressing smoothly, and he had already taken all the holdings in the land of Bjarmia, which he claimed. He expected the Russian to surrender soon. I personally doubted the Christian infidel would surrender so easily, counting with powerful allies as he did, but I sent my vassal an encouraging reply nonetheless.


    Hlynov´s war is going better than I expected, I must admit

    After the defeat suffered in Guria, I knew I had to unite all of my forces in Armenia to repel the huge Greek army, so I sent word to my generals in the neighbouring provinces to send a combined attack to Guria. I had to defeat that army before further reinforcements arrived from the heart of the Empire. In fact, as I marched to engage the Romans in Guria, reports from my scouts informed me that another massive army was coming from the west.


    This infidel Empress surely commands an impressive force, as my Marshal warned me

    I immediately sent word for my remaining councilors in Bulgar to hire the best mercenary bands the realm could afford. I instructed them to hire armies composed only of mounted men if possible, as they would have to ride south as quickly as possible.

    On the 11th day of Sha`baan (July 25th in the Christian calendar), my forces arrived to Guria to bring battle again to the Greeks. It was a long and bloody battle, lasting over a month, with fourteen thousand Volga-Bulgarian soldiers facing thirteen thousand Greek ones. During most of the battle the Greeks were being driven back by our forces, especially after reinforcements of about three thousand men arrived from Kakheti. But the last days of the fight were hard indeed, as the Greeks received reinforcements of their own... six thousand men arriving in boat disembarked in Guria to join the battle. Fortunately, by the time they arrived the battle was decided already and ended on the 26th of Ramadhaan (September 8th in the Christian calendar) with a victory, albeit a costly one.


    The greatest battle so far in this war was a victorious one

    After the third battle of Guria, I left my generals in control of my army to rout the remaining Greek forces. The second huge Roman army had retreated, to regroup and advance in greater numbers, no doubt, so I took the opportunity to come here to Itil. My son Törtogul turned 6 years old six days ago, and I plan to teach him myself, so I came to start with his lessons before I ride back to battle. I have instructed my generals to regroup in the province of Kartli and await there the reinforcements coming from Bulgar (among them the mercenary bands of the Khazar and the Steppe Companies). I will join them soon to continue the war against the Christian infidels. Let Allah guide me and my allies to victory!
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 15:20.

  17. #17
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    24nd of Muharram of the year 559 from the Hijra (December 22rd, 1163 A.D.)

    The war against the Roman Empire rages on. And even though it goes well so far, it is beginning to take its toll on both me and my armies.
    A whole year has passed since my last moments of relative calm, those days I spent with my family in Itil. And I have not had a single moment of peace since then.

    When I left Itil and rejoined my forces in Kartli, my scouts reported that, indeed, the Greeks had regrouped and were stationed at the province of Tao with a huge army. I also received news from Hooshyar indicating that another large Roman army was attacking his holdings in Albania. I immediately marched to Tao, knowing my men outnumbered the enemy, and not wanting any Greek reinforcements to arrive.


    We march to battle once more

    The battle of Tao was a great victory for my forces, and a big blow to the Empress. The Greeks escaped to Guria, and my army followed them, since I did not want to give them any chance to regroup.

    After we routed the remaining Roman forces, I prepared to march to Albania to free it from the infidels´ attacks. A few days before departing, I received a message from Sugr, indicating he had entirely occupied Korchev, and was moving forward to the county of Theodosia. The boy is doing fine, and I replied I am proud of him.


    Carry on, my son!

    As I marched to Albania, Hooshyar´s forces joined my own. He wanted to be there in the liberation of Albania. As we traveled he informed me he had received reports from our southern allies from Taron and Nisibin. Their sieges where proceeding unopposed so far, and they were confident the Empress would soon have to realise she could not fight in every front.


    Our plan is working: Taron sieges to the west, as Nisibin sieges to the south

    On the 29th day of Sha`baan (August 2nd), we freed Albania, forcing the Greeks to retreat to Kartli. Our armies followed and destroyed them completely, and proceeded to lay siege to the Empire´s holdings there.


    Albania is free!

    As I write these lines, my army has taken all the Greek holdings in Kartli, and is preparing to leave for Guria. My reports tell me that yet another Roman army is headed there, and I wish to use the rocky landscape to my advantage there, so I need to arrive before our enemies. If we can obtain a few more victories, I think the Empress might begin to reconsider her desire to take my son-in-law´s lands.
    Last edited by Gedierond; 16-07-2012 at 15:23.

  18. #18
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    9th of Rajab of the year 559 from the Hijra (June 1st, 1164 A.D.)

    We have fallen prey to an ambush! These Greeks are not to be understimated, even if we won several battles against them. Yet our last battle was a terrible defeat...

    As my reports accurately informed me, a Roman army was indeed headed to Guria. And the battle began entirely in our favor, as my forces outnumbered those of the Empress´ by three-to-one, and we had the terrain to our advantage. However, a force of almost six thousand Greek soldiers disembarked in Imeretia and immediately arrived to reinforce their friends in Guria. And these new arrivals had to be hard trained mercenaries, as they fought fiercely.


    I did not see that coming

    In the end, my forces were defeated, and we had to flee to Kakheti. I feared the Greeks would chase us, but their commander decided to march to Kartli in order to retake the province from my soldiers. I had my army retreat to Saray, and sent word to my holdings as well as my vassals´ to raise reinforcements and muster a new large army to march south once again. Meanwhile, I departed once again to Itil, to visit my family, and continue to teach my son how to rule.

    Not all recent events were bad, as news arrived to Itil shortly after I got here that King András II "the Old" of Hungary had been killed in battle against the forces of the Fatimid Sultanate, while defending Sicily from the Shi´a Jihad. We will see if his heir is able to stand against the might of Volga-Bulgaria when the time comes.


    I will follow your heir´s rule closely, András

    Right now I am waiting for my reinforcements to arrive to Saray. As soon as I gather a force strong enough to drive the Greeks off of Kartli, I will ride south once again to battle. We have come too far to let this war slip through our fingers now!! We will have victory!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9th of Ramadhaan of the year 559 from the Hijra (July 30th, 1164 A.D.)

    I have stopped my preparations for the feast just to write a few words. The war is over! The Empress finally surrendered to Hooshyar!!
    I would appear that news reached the Empress that I was already gathering a new army to send to Armenia. Knowing that more fierce battles were on the horizon, with several holdings having already fallen to her enemies, and probably her own armies being quite depleted, surely the infidel saw no other option but to surrender and stop all aggressions towards the Hashimid.
    This is a day to celebrate!! A feast will be held here in the castle of Itil, with Hooshyar and our allies Merwan of Taron and Tamfiq of Nisibin as guests of honor!


    Victory, at last!!

  19. #19
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    I like this; subbed.
    The Iron Horde: A Kirghiz Narrative AAR My Inkwell.

    "There is nowhere else. You will only tread a circle, Titus Groan. There's not a road, not a track, but it will lead you home. For everything comes to Gormenghast."

  20. #20
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    A very nicely written AAR I like the idea of upcoming Tatar invasion - wonder if it will be as epic, as your khans' visions predict. And good job on the Byzantines.

    BTW, I like the dating system - are you using some kind of on-line date converter?
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