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Thread: AAR on the Caspian Sea, a SoI AAR

  1. #1

    AAR on the Caspian Sea, a SoI AAR

    I have decided to give a try at doing an AAR. I have loved reading the AARs on the forum here and CK2 completely surpassed all my expectations for a game. Having played a bunch of both Islamic and Christian nations I think I have enough grasp of the way the game works to give a run at it. So I am going to be doing a custom character run. I will be playing as Emir of what is historically the Hashimid Emirate. Set on the western shore of the Caspian Sea with the Byzantine’s to the west, the powerful Seljuk’s to the south, the Caspian Sea to the east and various minor lands to the north it should be interesting to see if I can carve out a Persian Empire of my own while in the shadow of major powers.

    I look out from my bedroom window upon Derbent and the Caspain Sea. My name is Fereedun Samanid and through circumstances that I will not speak of in this journal I have risen from unknown to rule over the territories of Derbent, Semender, Albania and Shemakha. The year is 1066 and at 24 years of age I am a man of the true Sunni faith who can trace his descent to our Prophet himself. Truly Allah must favor me to put me in this place for I would never have sought it myself. Though it shames me to admit it I care more for women and gold than I do many other things. Still I have the teachings of my father, the teachings of the holy Qur’an and a great faith. Though I did not seek this position I shall not shirk my duties.

    My arm still stiff from a wound earned in battle, still wrapped and bandaged I turn from the view to the papers upon my desk. The first is a map of the area. Mountains to the west and south, the Caspian Sea to the east and some fertile plains to the north. The next is a map of the nearby lands. The large Byzantine Empire not far to the west. So called Orthodox Christians. I do not hate these misguided men. It is not their fault that they do not understand the truth that Jesus was merely a prophet of Allah and not his son. They have been deceived by their greedy priests and leaders. Even my own people here in Derbent have not come to fully embrace the true ways. To the south are the Seljuks. A powerful nation. Other nearby lands are the Kingdom of Georgia, the duchy of Alania, and the counties of Dwin, Suenik, Kartli and Kakheti.

    I look over the collected information about the Emirate. Wali Fariburz governs Albania and Shemakha for me. A good man and like me a bachelor though he has seen only 16 years to my 24. Something I must rectify for myself immediately. I must have sons to continue on my line and govern the Emirate after I have passed on. I cannot help but smile a little at that thought. For surely a man of my position deserves no less than four wives. In fact that shall be the first thing I attend to. The appointment of a council can wait. I speak with those in my court and though I admit I am tempted to invite the most beautiful in all the known world to marry me I am convinced to seek out those who will give me strong sons to carry on my line.

    Those of my court must be well travelled for they tell me of a woman called Dorothea von Alba-la-Romaine. They speak in glowing terms of her. She will be my first wife and I write to her liege Prince Bishop Girard of Vivarais. A strange name for a Persian land and a strange name for a Persian woman... well no matter. The important thing was that I was assured that while she would not give me lands or great allies she would give me strong sons. Did I need much else? Within days my proposal is accepted and she arrives at my court. It would seem that while my court was assuring me of the beauty of her eyes and the charm of her smile they neglected to mention she was a Catholic from Germany! Well no matter her figure was appealing enough and she proved brilliant and charming as was told to me so I let the matter slide.

    With that done I quickly set up a council of my best and brightest. They were quickly set to work converting the people of Derbent to the Sunni ways and other matters to ensure the lands prosperity.

    I quickly set out to invite more to join me in marriage. None of these women live in the area and so I only had the stories from my court to advise me. Khaterah Dubaid a fellow Sunni from distant Tabuk. A shy woman with a taste for falconry.

    Then there was Magdelene af Itzehoe! I swear some people have strange names. A blonde haired woman from distant Denmark. I found myself leaning over to speak to my Grand Vizier as she entered my court dressed in her foreign attire of far off lands. “I had heard the stories of men and women with hair like gold but dismissed them as myths. Do you think it true what the tales say? That their land spends months at a time without the sun?” Whatever he said to me in turn I cannot recall my attention drawn to the woman who would be my third wife. I permitted her to keep her Catholic cross from the time being while she learned the language and adjusted to her new life, I was not a cruel husband afterall.

    Finally there was Beset Saqqarid who came from distant Egypt. A wonderfully charming woman her only fault was she was Shia and not Sunni. Well as they adjusted to life in Derbent they would leave their Christianity and Shia ways behind I was sure. They were all strangers to each other and to this land though and I was confident that without other ready friends or distractions they would get along well in time. Perhaps a bit optimistic of me we would have to see what the future brought.

    Days seemed to pass like seconds before Fariburz reminded me that I should make my Hajj to Mecca. I admit I was quite content to stay in the palace with my new wives but as much as I might privately wish otherwise Allah before the pleasures of the flesh. I wisely left a series of instructions to be followed while I was gone before I set off for Mecca.

  2. #2
    I have never completely understood what AAR's are but I'm enjoying reading these. ._.

  3. #3
    I am not a shy man and I try to take my duties seriously so I invited Musafir from my court to join me on my Hajj. This will surely make the trip go better.

    I cannot help but think that I should have taken with me some soldiers perhaps as not long into it bandits try to accost me and my group of pilgrims. Yet with sword and faith we scatter them and continue unharmed towards Mecca.

    As we travel the deserts I grow to miss my home along the shores of the Caspian Sea…such dry deserts nearly drives a man to madness with mirage’s and dehydration. I ignore the tempting images of djinns and cool drinks as best I can as I keep Mecca firmly in my mind.

    Yet we reach Mecca without any more problems. Performing the Tawaf is truly a humbling experience. Allah is great indeed. I return home healthier, holier and maybe a little wiser.

    While on my Hajj I learned that the Seljuks or at least one of their Emir’s or Walis or something started a Holy War upon Suenik just southwest of my domain which had pulled in several other Christian nations in the area to its defence. Before I had left one of the instructions I had left at the insistence of my Marshal was what to do if my neighbours became involved in wars. I would return home to learn that they had dutifully followed my instructions and already a holy war was being waged upon the Christian count.

    King Bagrat IV of Georgia had also gotten involved in the affair. A troubling development to be sure but my forces were already getting entrenched into a siege against Count Agsartan of Kakheti. The Georgian king had only a slight numerical advantage I knew which would fail him in the mountains once I was there to receive him. His forces met mine at the gates to the castle and thanks to some impressive maneuvering and the defensive nature of the mountainous terrain my forces outdid those of the King and gave him a crushing defeat.

    While sieging the walls I learned my wife Magelene was pregnant. I thanked Allah for this gift even as I continued my siege. I also learned why the Byzantines had not joined the fray. The Seljuks had started a war in Armenia against them! Truly Allah smiled on me. Then it came to pass that on December 23 of 1067 after more than a year of battle we forced the surrender. I was surprised to learn that during the siege the lord of the land had passed on giving control of the land to a mere boy. Count Kvirike but it did not matter though. Kakheti was mine and I returned triumphantly home to Derbent to be with my wives while good dependable sunni men were put in charge of the city and mosque. My wound had healed though I was no longer so pleasant to look upon thanks to my scar. I was also quite privately pleased to know that while I had waged wars Magdelene and Beset had both converted to my Sunni faith. Praise Allah!

    With the start of the year 1068 my wife Dorothea was encouraging me to get out from the castle and invade one of my neighbours. Things were still tense between her and I not the least of which because she had stubbornly stuck to her Catholic faith and I admit a little suspicion that her advice was designed merely to get me out of the castle or killed.
    “Honored husband…” There was something about how she said honored that seemed…insincere to me. “What do you think of your neighbor Wali Sawur of Dwin?”

    “Sawur? I admit…he is not my favorite in the region.” I carefully put down my ceramic cup and turned my attention to her. She continued to steadfastly wear the clothes of her homeland in distant Germany but at least she had picked up the local tongue in the two years she had been here. Sawur was a sunni muslim like myself though the man was a coward who cared nothing for justice.
    “You should take Dwin and force him to bend a knee to you. If you don’t another will and that will just continue to put your realm at risk. Another’s growth is your loss. Their soldiers are few. It would fall to you quickly if you are decisive…husband.”

    Again that pause in her words. Yet I could not dismiss the truth in her words. Sawur was not the most capable of men and if I wished to ensure prosperity and safety for my sons…and perhaps a little more peace at home it would be wise. Yet I would not take her advice purely at face value. Only upon discussion with my marshal Shahab did I press for conquest in the region. With war declared I gathered my forces and began to march them. My own forces went to gather in Kartli while Fariburz gathered his men in Albania. Sawur was a fool and tried to strike against Fariburz in Albania where he waited. With my forces waiting in the mountains a crushing ambush broke his line and shattered his levies driving them home even as those forces I personally commanded began to move south into his doman. Fariburz though was perhaps too brave and took an arrow to the heart in the battle leading the charge. He did not survive and with no children his lands passed to me.

    Even as my forces finished cutting down the last of his men and putting siege to his walls a letters arrived. I had a son! Praise Allah! The second greatest moment of my life after my pilgrimage to Mecca. The doctors and apothecaries assured me in the missives that the boy was healthy. I resolved to end the war quickly so that I might return home to meet the boy. Though Magdelene was not my first wife she certainly held the most favor with me now. I would have to do something nice for her I promised to myself. But first the siege.

    Like a vulture the king of Georgia started a war as well against Sawur calling in some allies in the region to join him. I scoffed. My forces already surrounded his capitol. By the time the Georgian forces reached Dwin I would control the siege. It was a little strange. My forces beside those of the Georgian king’s around the main capital. Still strange as it was we were not enemies, and we were not allies. Just we both happened to be fighting the same foe. We avoided each other such as it was. Still as the year started to come to a close I was in a fine fine mood. My first wife, Dorothea, was with child I had learned. This time I would be back home in Derbent in time to see the birth of my second son.

    In the first weeks of 1069 Sawur was forced to call me liege and I returned home. The Georgians left as well. I wondered where their king thought of the whole thing. This could be a problem later on but no matter. And speaking of problems…though it shames me to admit it I indulged in indescretions with one of the women of my court. I can only pray that Allah forgives my unfaithfulness to my wives. The young second wife of my old Wali even. Through this all the Seljuks and Byzantines continued to war over Armenia. Dorothea assured me that was a good thing. While they fought we need not fear either for they would not split their forces enough to trouble us while they fought.

    With Dorothea pregnant it seemed my wives abandoned me to care for her. She had finally converted to my faith and I was pleased they are getting along but it vexes me on lonely nights. I turned to books to help pass the nights and before long found myself enjoying scholarship and reading. I was even engrossed in a book the very day that I was told my wife was in labor. Ahh, another son. I praised Allah as I held him in my hands. My Imam said that he had been in prayer during the labor and that he had received a wisdom from the Prophet that this boy would grow up to be great.

  4. #4
    My wife Beset has been pressing at me since I returned home with a grand scheme almost dizzying in its brilliance. Oh what would I have done with my life without these wives? She showed the maps of the region to me as she explained her plan to me late one night. “See here, the kingdom of Georgia is composed of these 10 counties.” She said, pointing to each in turn.

    “You control four of them. The current holder of the title has five. If you took control of Kartli you would possess five as well.” She explained as I nodded along.
    “And then I could compete with him back and forth for the title. An expensive proposition and why bother? It would just needlessly antagonize King Giorgi. Or I could compete with his duke for the title for the Kartli region. Again expensive and we each would control half. It would pass back and forth.” I was no imbecile as I sat back ready to turn back to my book.
    “Not quite my dear husband.” She said to me leaning in to whisper softly into my ear. Oh how I loved that perfume she wore, the feel of her pressing against my arm as I turned my focus back from the book to her. “If you take the title of king of Georgia you reduce King Giorgi to a duke. The duke of Tartli served the Christian kingdom of Georgia. If you gain the title he will become independent. The boy duke will not serve one who is his equal.” She smiled softly. “The Christian kingdom would be broken in half. It would be years of war before it could be unified to try to retake the title from you. With one small war you could break the strongest nearby antagonist without ever facing him in battle.”

    I was amazed at the brilliance of her plan. Not only would I expand my domain gaining another Wali in my service but to achieve such a defeat without ever facing my foe head on? Truly a masterful plan. Though it would take me from my comfortable palace and my wonderful wives she was right I saw now. It would ensure years of peace for my lands. And so I gave the orders and we marched on the troubled county of Tartli. Though we could not predict how other events my play out this we could make work. Still the Byzantines and the Seljuks warred with each other ensuring my relative safety. Growing now only made sense. The big bears were fighting and distracted. I could move safely around them.

    Yet all was not well as I lay siege to Kartli. Word was sent that the duke of Alania, Durgulel ‘the Unready’ had decided to strike while I was occupied. I was tempted to call the siege of Kartli off but my spymaster pointed out that Kartli would soon fall and the Duke could not field a force as large as my own. Finish the siege and turn and strike down the attacker from the north. Forcing his surrender would go a long way to ensuring the success of my plan. Following his advice we continued the siege.
    Word arrived shortly after the news of the northern aggression that once again Magdalene was pregnant. It seemed that my wives liked me at my most ambitious. Three wars, three pregnancies. By September of 1070 Kartli had fallen and I was moving my forces down to the plains of Semender to crush Duke Durgulel.

    Besting his forces in Semender I marched north into Kuma to siege his lands. Word arriving that my wife Magdalene had birthed me a daughter named Noor. I took only enough time away from the siege to return home to see my child(and enjoy the company of my wives) before I returned to lead the siege in Kuma. I find more and more evidence that war suits my temperament. Not long after my return to the siege in Kuma I receive word that my wife Beset is with child. Ahh, if only I could have peace and family but I suppose war against the Christians and family will have to do. It also suited my subjects well as promising men grew from the battles with the Christian duke.

    Months passed and the duke stubbornly refused to yield. Beset gave birth to a daughter who we named Mahdokht. The Duke of Alania’s northern border suffered incursions as the large nation of Cumania to the north started a battle against him. Trapped between my own armies and the pagan forces of that land his fate was sealed he just didn’t know it yet. Finally even his limited intellect could not deny his end and he surrendered. His defeat weakening the authority of all Orthodox Christian followers and empowering my own…as well as a most wonderful chest full of gold to appease me.

    In January of 1073 after nearly four years in the field I was at home and at peace. Magdalene was pregnant against with my third child by her. I was Sultan of the Arsacid Sultanate. Just as Beset had assured me taking the title of Georgia from the Christian king had broken his power. Now only the duke of Abkhazia his one time vassal the duke of Kartli had split off and become his own master. Amazingly the Byzantines and the Seljuks continued to war over Armenia. I could scarcely remember a time when they were not fighting.

    Oh how I hoped for some peace now. The two great nations to the south and west of me continued their seemingly eternal struggle. To the west on the coasts of the black sea lay the divided remnants of the ex-Kingdom of Georgia. To the north the weakened duke of Alania continued to suffer invasion at the hands of those Cumanians. My own domain is ruled by sunni leaders but the people in many parts cling to orthodox Christianity and try as my Imam might he has had no luck converting them. Even Derbent where I have ruled for some 7 years remains Christian. I can only pray that Allah opens their eyes.

    At my wife Dorothea’s suggestion I appoint my court Imam to be my chief Qadi. The battle over Armania is resolved…in a way by June. The Aremenian’s rise up in revolt against the Byzantines and declare their independence. Which means the Seljuks and Byzantines are no longer fighting for the region.
    “So Keykhosrow, explain this to me.”
    “What oh wise sultan?”
    “The Seljuks had invaded Armenia wishing to take it from the Byzantines and make it part of their own empire.”
    “Yes my lord it is so.”
    “The Byzantine Emperor decided to fight back.”
    “Even those Christian’s do not just give up their lands no matter how wrong their faith.”
    “Of course. Now then, this…” I shuffle through some papers until I find what I was seeking. “Duke Alusian decided to throw off the yoke of Byzantine rule and declare independence.”
    “Quite so. Doing so even while the Duke of Athens started a war to depose the Byzantine Emperor. A bold move.”
    “Quite. But why does the Armenians becoming independent mean the Seljuks turn around and go home?”
    “Well they were fighting the Byzantines for Armenia.”
    “Yes but they were fighting to conquer Armenia.”
    “But the Byzantines.”
    “So they just leave and call the war off for the place they wanted because it isn’t being ruled by some foreign lord anymore.”
    “Correct wise Sultan.”
    I just don’t understand politics I suppose and leave the matter alone. Besides Magdalene has given me twin sons. Though…well all children look a little off when born if you ask me but the younger twin Sadri…well maybe I can have him tutored somewhere far away. I keep such thoughts privately to myself though. No mother wants to hear such things about their children. In fact it is enough that while I normally would be happy to stay at home I decide to press further into Kartli and take Tao from Duke Davit of Karli. With the Byzantines distracted, Alania suffering invasion and the Giorgi still weakened I even risk a holy war on the whole domain.

    Days into the invasion a letters arrive. Dorothea and Beset are pregnant. I really do find it amusing. I will never be at home when I find these things out. Well…my initial opinions about Giogi and Yasynya were off. The ex-king and Durgelel’s son who took over after he passed Yasynya join the fight against me. I should have just stayed at home.

    The sieges press on with a few battles between soldiers. A daughter and son born again while I am stuck in a tent. The soldiers of three duchies gather into a single powerful force and sieges the county of Kartli. My own forces split up as I siege the whole of the rest of the duchy. Still it took them far too long to gather and maneuver through the mountain passes of the area. I will be able to force surrender without any needless deaths of my soldiers.

    The duke of Kartli is forced to surrender all his lands to me. The entire duchy is mine though I have yet to formally acquire the title. So much to spend my gold on and I am loathe to give up any of it. My forces disperse back to their homes. The men are tired from these wars one after the other. It is time to look inward and focus on strengthening my realm now which stretches from the Caspian to Black Seas. The Byzantines and Seljuks both fight internal wars now from troubling dukes. Dorothea insists I should hold a grand tournament now that I am sultan. Beset says I should finish taking the titles now for myself. As for me…I just want to spend some time educating my two eldest sons. One of them will take on after me and I must be sure they will be ready.

  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    I will be following this. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Four wives is too much! I have started to regret my choices. Why bother with a council with those four scheming? Well at least their schemes I can claim as my own schemes and my council remains impressed with my work and apparent brilliance. In less than a decade I have more than doubled the holdings I have been entrusted to. My coffers are emptier than I would like yet the wives make a good point. Since I never fought directly with the ex-king of Georgia there is no truce between our two lands. I could invade and siege his strongholds and convert his lands to my own. Do I risk a holy war or a more conventional invasion?

    The Byzantines are still involved in a civil war as the forces of Athens tries to overthrow their emperor. Likewise to the south the Seljuks are dealing with one of their own lords trying to revolt. My spies bring word that past Alania to the north the great forces of the Cumanians war with some group called the Rus. All my neighbours are busy so I cast the die and risk it with a holy war upon the last lands held by duke Giorgi.

    I fear and worry. When word reached me that the duke of Alania had joined I scoffed. Combined their forces were a fraction of my own and in my experience these minor lands had little in the way of true warriors. But then terrible news. Byzantium would fight for the duke! I paced my tent back and forth. Could I still win this? No no, I must believe in Allah. He shall protect the faithful. I know that for all its might the levies of Byzantium are depleted. Nearly a decade of war with the Seljuks and their own civil war which still rages has weakened them. I have some 2500 soldiers under my command. Amazingly I am lead to believe that the Byzantines cannot even gather 6000!

    So I hurry my men with promises of gold and glory for their sultan! We must move swiftly if we hope to do this. Byzantium is weak but it would not be long before those massive lands could crush me as surely as an avalanche. We march through the mountains towards Imeretia. My men meet those of the duke there and we fight on the shores of the Black Sea. I drive his forces from the lands south into my own territories but they don’t have the numbers anymore to threaten my lands.

    A wife becomes pregnant. Of course. My blessing of war and children holds there at least. Though I am loathe to do so I make my forces press the siege and assault the walls. It is costlier than waiting but time is one thing I can’t afford. The county dominated by my forces I march them west into the last of his lands, Abkhazia. My borders continue to see no sign of the Byzantine Emperor. Was him joining the fight a ruse? A deception? Or does the civil war against him truly command that much of his attention? No matter I press west with all haste. Reaching and settling in I attack the walls like a man whose salvation rests on the other side. Well in a way it does. If I the duke holds out long enough I could be over run. My holdings damaged, my forces scattered…weakened for the other nations. What would I leave my children then? What of my wives? What of those who rely on me for guidance? So I order the assaults.

    Oh there is a parade and such celebrations when I return home. Not a single Byzantine soldier crossed my borders before I had driven the Christian duke from the last of his lands. I am at the limit of my ability to manage my territories now. Most of my lands hold to Christian values even! Still I feel a deep sense of accomplishment. In the quiet hours after the grand celebration I pull my two eldest sons aside to speak to them. They are still young and I personally tutor them to shape them into wise men. It will be hard to chose between them when the time comes. My eldest son against the son of my first wife. Still I have some small piece of wisdom to share with them.

    “My sons, listen well to me. I risked much this last year in battle. Around us are three powerful nations. To thrive you must be cunning. You must look for the chance to move when their attention is elsewhere. Pick the fights you can win. If a fight is picked with you that you can’t than you must minimize the damage. If you do this the Arsacid Sultanate will endure for so long as you stay true to Allah.”

    They nod their heads and I think that Shahbaz, my second son understands what I mean better. They are only 7 and 6 though we shall see how they turn out. In the months that follow I make a few changes to the laws of the land to further cement the authority of the Sultanate. Interestingly when I had taken the title from King Giorgi he had already worked to build up the authority of laws that went with it. When I took the title they remained at that level so I could build upon that. The authority was not absolute but it was strong.

    Time passes. I have ruled for ten years. It amazes me when I think back on it. I send word out across my lands. A great martial competition of furisiyya will be held! While we enjoy our tournament I men from far off lands bring tales of what goes on. The Byzantines fight with another break away state. Most of the Seljuks eastern lands have went up in revolt as well. And while I admit I have had a few issues with the peasentry none of my vassals have done so. Why I even am at home when my wives get pregnant this time!

    Shortly after the grand tournament, an event that will surely be talked about for years to come the stubborn people of Derbent come around to follow the faith of their Sultan. I suppose after 11 years and numerous victories they can’t deny Allah anymore! I reward my Iman with the title of cupbearer for my court even as I sent him to work on the other lands that still hold to Orthodox Christianity. I continue to focus on internal matters occasionally hearing about changes south of my lands. Several counties in the Byzantine’s eastern lands revolved only to be immidiently assaulted and conquered by the Seljuks who have for now calmed their lands and united them.

    After two years of peace I am forced to ride out into battle once more. The Cumanians to the north have usurped the title of duke of Alania. The counts now their own minor separate powers I take the chance to unify the last part of the Duchy of Abkhazia under my rule. It is a swift and short battle barely worth even recounting though I embellish the tales I tell my sons when I return home triumphant and with more land to my name.

    My wife Khatera! She has betrayed me. She tried to murder my spymaster to keep her plots secret. I sought to jail her but she forsaw my plan and slipped away into the night to flee to her land of birth. In our twelve years of marriage not a single child either! I should never have married her. I immidiently divorce her. Yet my other wives seem not at all troubled by this. Instead they are quick to suggest her replacement. The eldest child of the great Fatamid Sultanate whose lands stretch across Egypt, Jeruselem, Arabia and Africa. Their Sultan rules from Cairo and though he is younger than I he would become my father in law. The only problem is that she is young. Only 9. Well…no matter. We shall be betrothed.

    Though the sultan is Shia he sees advantage to my offer. Together we hedge in the Seljuks. The Cumanians grow to be a bigger and bigger worry to me. Perhaps I should have tried to marry one of their princesses? No matter. The last remnants of the Christian Duchy of Alania are being threatened by the Cumanians and rather than let them have it I declare a holy war and force march my soldiers into the lands and take it for myself before they can gather their full might in place to force its surrender. At the same time my soon to be father in law calls a great Jihad against the Byzantines in Antolia. Apparently a boy emperor sits on the throne and sensing weakness he strikes!

    A little investigation into the matter makes me laugh. The great emperor of Byzantium who fought for a decade with the Seljuks…died against rebelling peasents. Peasents! Truly the god of the Christians is not kind. Yet where other men might that be a sobering message about how easily even the mighty can fall by twist of fate my string of victories have turned me brave. Yet I am only brave not stupid.

    The Cumanian Khan declared war for the region I recently conquered. He can gather five times my forces. Now is not the time to foolishly fight. The land wouldn’t be of use to me for years anyways. I will give this Khan the territory and take a peace treaty in turn. I have five years of reprieve from this Khan Saru the Fat.

    Nearing 40 the things that once interested me don’t. Where once gold made me smile it is now my children and my wives. The process of changing the lands I rule from Orthodox to Sunni is slow but steady. My eldest son finally comes of age. Talented enough but…his younger brother. I cannot help but compare the two. I shall see how he turns out in one more year. In the meantime Goshtasb is given the rank of Steward and set to gather coin to spend upon improving the lands under my rule. I had almost forgotten about my betrothal to that princess while I worried about my own realm. Yet not long after she turned 16 her father sent her to me to be married cementing an alliance between us. Useful to be sure. Now I fear those barbarians to the north a little less.

    My second son, the son of my first wife, is now of age and I have put off the matter of my heir long enough. I look at the two. My eldest is a complex man. Full of pride and temper, greedy as I once was yet more ambitious than I ever was. Goshtasb could be a fine man. He has his faults but some virtues too. None could discount his bravery though not the best with a sword. Yet I look upon his brother I must admit that he is the better man. I arrange two wives for him before I march off to aid my father in law in his crusade for Anatolia in the heart of Byzantine lands. Once Shahbaz is married I give him the lands of the duchy of Abkhazia and it is done. Magdalene will not be pleased but I must do what is best for my land and people.

    The war in Anatolia is interesting. If the Sultan wins I gain nothing directly and his lands extend into the very heart of the Byzantine realm. Yet if he wins the heart of the Byzantine realm will have been cut out weakening it greatly. That is the reason I march. To ensure success in future years. A strong Byzantine Empire would surely have fought me at some point if left alone.

    While fighting for my sons the Sultan of Persia dies putting a 3 year old boy on the throne. Sensing an opportunity I betroth one of my daughters to him. Perhaps I should have chosen a younger girl who would not be as old when he was of age…if he even lives that long. I suspect that his brothers and cousins will not be happy with a youth on the throne. The months of battle in Anatolia have become years now. I hear about hassasshins? Something like that. Strange tales but I put them aside for more worrying news. A crusade has been called by the so called Pope for Jeruselem! So much for breaking the strength of the Byzantines. The war has been mostly a stalemate but with this news I will continue to loot what I can and pull my soldiers back as soon as it looks like they have gained the upper hand.

    I immidiently redeploy my soldiers once I have pulled them back. As predicted the Seljuk realm is splintering and one of the Emir’s that borders my lands is perfect to strike at before I even cross the border the Emir went back to the Persian sultan. So much for that…

    (I got kinda caught up in things and forgot to take some pictures. First the Jihad, then defending against a crusade and those things don’t just end overnight. Marry a few kids off and give the sons land. That whole marrying four wives can bite you in the ass! I need to keel over so my son can clean house still at least it gave me an amazing heir. And it’s the year 1100 now! Ahh well. I will do a summation and state of the world thing next post for my sultans 34 years of rule.)

  8. #8
    Ahh my old journal. I have not picked this thing up in years. I have been…busy and I feel tired. I am still healthy but the concerns of my family and nation weigh upon me. Yet at the same time those very things give me the fire to keep going. My sultanate stretches from one sea to another. Each of my sons has at the least a county to his name with my heir ruling three and holding the rank of emir. He lives in the old home once held by Giorgi who was an Orthodox King when I rose to take over the Arsacid Emirate.

    The year is 1100 and I find myself reflecting on my life now. I am 57 and while the sight of young beautiful women still catches my eye well I must confess my youngest child is 23 now. Of the women I married when I was a new ruler only that traitor is no longer around. The rest still live with me though as they reach their fifth decade they are not having any more children. The young Egyptian princess may give me a child still but I have enough now. I am not that worried about such things.

    All of the minor forces in my region are gone. To my north are the Cumanians. That damn Khan who invaded my lands years ago still sits fat on his throne. There will be an opportunity there soon I feel. He plans to divide his lands amongst his children in what is called Gavelkind succession. I doubt that his children will happily stay together upon his death. Maimed from his years of wars he will not last long. I admit a smile does creep up onto my face knowing where he will be going soon for his pagan faith.

    To the west of me is the powerful Byzantine Empire. Their Emperor is a coward and I pray that he meets the same fate his father did in his wars. Still I am grateful that he makes wars with those to his west rather than turn his attention east. The Seljuks are Sunni so attacking me risks him coming to my aid. For a time I had the Fatimids on my side but that alliance no longer exists sadly.

    The Seljuks are doing well. I can’t help but feel a little bit of pride at the strength of my Persian neighbors. There has really been no problem with them in all my years of rule. Their current leader is a Turk. Trade to and from them is regular enough. The Caliph of the Sunni faith is part of the Seljuks as well. Ahh…so long ago was my hajj. Fond memories.

    The Fatimids are having trouble now. Their current Caliph is a mere boy and he has some 5 vassals of differing levels of power trying to get their own independence. Though it would require a march of many miles perhaps I could pick up a few of those rebelling lands. Hah! Now I am the vulture I suppose but they are not a carcass to pick but young lions trying to thin the pride. It is too many lands for the boy to administer anyways I would be helping him by picking off a few of them.

    Some days ago a young man trying to earn my favor brought me a great map. Who knows how out of date it is though he promises me that it accurately shows the lay of the land in the known world. Nothing seems too different from what I remember of my youth and how the great powers of the world were. Some were larger some were smaller but all the great nations still exist. Well…not the Christian Kingdom of Georgia.

    As I look inward I have made great progress I feel converting the land to following Allah. The cultures are very mixed though. Persian here and there, Armenian, Georgian, Turkish…even a little Russian at the most distant fringe! Well I am Persian still and so are my sons. We will not abandon our heritage. At times I fear that my great neighbors will just crush and absorb me. If it comes to that…well I would bend rather than break if I must. Still I hope to do more with this. There are some things that I can still do before Allah takes me from this world.

    I gather Beset, Dorothea and Magdalene along with my heir to discuss things. Together we settle upon a grand plan, perhaps the last time I will lead my men in war. The county of Kerek in Jerusalem is trying to achieve its independence. In Mecca the land has become ruled by a man of the Harufi faith, a shia heresy I am told. Farther south in Ethiopia two lands also try to throw of the Fatimid rule as two Walis that hold to the Monophysite faith fight for independence. Against all four I call a holy war and my troops march, following the path I once took on my Hajj and head for Kerek.

    Even as I head south my youngest daughter goes north to marry a princeling from Volga Bulgaria. They are the powerful nation north of the Cumanians and though I must send her into distant lands it will help to blunt that nation’s power. Also they are Sunni like myself so at least I need not worry they might demand she do something which would upset Allah. My forces manage to move unhindered through the Yousifid Emirate which also fights against the Egyptian boy Caliph and start to arrive in Kerek.

    Success! Success more than I ever dreamed! Kerek and Mecca both fell to my forces before the boy Caliph could gather forces to bring them back under his heel. The two Ethiopian lands he did manage to reclaim. Yet even as I return home I immediately ride out again. The emirate just south of me has tried to gain independence from the Seljuks! I waste no time and press a lightning assault upon the north most but fail to make headway before he surrenders back into the Seljuk fold. Still I think I have shown that this old lion still has teeth.

    Allah is kind! While aiding my ally Sultan Ismail of the Orghuz Sultanate the Cumanian Khan dies and his realm fractions as his children vie for power. I immediately withdraw to launch bold new wars northward to strike at the fractured land. I take the greater part of Alania swiftly though while I am at war there the Yousifid Emirate attacks my distant land of Kerek. I call in my allies but focus still on further wars in the north hoping that the Seljuks will decide to come to their fellow Sunni’s aid and bring their superior numbers to fight.

    I next assault the land of Azov. I even hear a few thousand mercenaries to aid me in this invasion. He holds the last parts of Alania that I wish to bring under my rule. Also while my forces are unneeded by the Seljuks I offer to join their wars hoping that will win me favor enough with their leader that he will join my own.

    The siege presses on. One of the wars the Seljuks are waging and I was helping with is won. Other Sunnis who do not wish to see the Yousifids take over Kerek have aided me there and who controls it goes back and forth. I force surrender and all of Alania now lies in my hands. I am not idle though and press on to attack Itil now.

    But they unify back with Cumania before I can take it. Still I have claimed 5 counties from those barbarians and a duchy. Yet as I had hoped the ‘aid’ I gave to the Seljuks in their internal wars has paid off with him offering to help me with holding Kerek. As my own forces move through the desert a great army of rises up to march with me. Though old and ready to return home I have only lost one territory in all my years of rule and though it may have taken more than 30 years I got it back. I will not let my life end with this unresolved.

    With Persian men bolstering my armies I break the sieges on Kerek, liberate its lands and begin sacking territories around it. The Emir yields soon after and I go home with my soldiers carrying great chests of tribute. The new Khan of the Cumanians is young and his followers are loathe to support him like they did his father. This suits me just fine. It allows me the chance to press another war into his lands for Azov. I may be an old man but I will leave things as strong as I can for my heir when he takes over.

    The Fatimid Caliph, may Allah give him no sons, declares war over Mecca and Kerek while I fight infidels. I have no hope of matching his might so I wait. The Seljuks may yet decide to lend their aid to me in this matter. If so I may yet hold those distant lands. But the offer never comes and I surrender Mecca and Kerek to that cursed Egyptian. And though I must bolster my forces with mercenaries the Khan sees that my God is greater than his primitive beliefs and relents giving me those lands.

    In 1115 an opportunity arises for me to take a fragmenting piece of the Byzantines and I dispatch my forces. I risk a lot these days. My dear wise Beset passed on and I am ready to pass on to the next life. Fighting the Christians to my last days. The land becomes mine and the people of Derbent after so long under my rule are indistinguishable from any other Persian land. I begin the march home.

    At the age of 77 Sultan Nezam passed away in his sleep.
    Last edited by BogMod; 16-07-2012 at 22:35.

  9. #9
    I am Sultan Shahbaz of the Arsacid Emirate. It is a time of mourning across my land. My father, Nezam Arsacid has passed away. He ruled this land for 53 years. Allah blessed him with family and success. Now his lands are my lands. His responsibilities are my responsibilities. My mother, his first wife, has passed on to me my father’s lasts thoughts on what to do with these lands. A son honors his father and so I read them. In these letters left to me he explains about how important it is that one leaves an heir as capable as the one who ruled before. These words are wise and I must admit to myself that my own children are am now hesitant to leave things to. I suppose I always imagined my father would always be there.

    My father was always happy with how things were. If he had coin and women he needed no more. I know that it is thanks to people like my mother at his side he pursued advancing this kingdom as much as he did. I am not so hesitant. Some of my brothers will not be happy with my position and to be honest the family tree could use some pruning. Furthermore I do not have that heir suited to taking over when I pass on. So I immidiently imprison several of my family who may try to take over, divorce my wives and seek new younger ones. I also change up my council. I am a new Sultan and I will do things in my own way not my fathers. I have my own dreams and goals. I shall be proactive where my father needing pushing. I have my sights set upon the halls of the Christians to the west. They lack the unity of we Arsacids and I will slowly carve apart their lands to make my own. That is my dream and hope for whatever years Allah sees fit to give me in this life.

    I also immediately call for a grand tournament across my realm. Three of my brothers are in prison for now but more will follow in the years to come. I marry three younger women I hope to get an heir from and arrange a marriage with a princess from Volga Bulgaria to the north to keep them as an ally. Though it takes me the better part of two years I put my lands in order. There is much blood on my hands but my territories will be stronger for it. Then west of me the Byzantines fracture as a huge group starts a war to reduce their Emperor’s power. In the face of this I rally my forces and declare a holy war on each and every one of them who has rebelled but not the Byzantine’s themselves. I have learned that lesson from watching my father wage his wars. If any of them abandon their war against him my aggression does not transfer to the greater whole

    Even as I march my forces my fourth son is born. Perhaps he will have that quality my father spoke of. Well, when I finish my wars we will see. Yet during my joy there is also fear. The Hashshashin kill one of my court. I ask my spymaster to do something about things but…I fear nothing will come of it. These murderers are like the morning twilight and impossible to capture.

    The young Emperor of Byzantium is swift to put down the civil war but not before the county of Ani is mine. In the halls of my palace the stories gains legend about how Arsacid now rules one of the Byzantium lands! Trying to clear things up for my own sons I try to imprison my nephew. He revolts but he lacks the power to enforce win things.

    It doesn’t last and I finish my…purges. Father is lucky he didn’t live to see this. No matter. The Cumanians are caught in two wars at once to the north. I see my change and strike hoping to claim the lands of Itil once again. Another lesson learned from my father. If you can take enough of another territory you can snap their lands in two and divide power amongst the numerous counts or emirs or such. My brother-in-law in Volga Bulgaria answers my call to war. This should be glorious! Furthermore one of those wars he is engaged in is defending against the Seljuks invading. A massive Sunni force from Persian ramages through their lands even as I fight him as well.

    While I fight the Cumanians the Christian Pope calls for a great war against the Shia muslims in a holy war for Jeruselem. Well, let the Fatimids deal with it. After they took my lands I have no desire to help them. Rus is an interesting prospect. A boy leads them for the moment and they are nearby Volga Bulgarian allies. Yet I hold off. While Rus is not at full strength given time they will force me back. The nearest region is large as well. It would be hard to force a surrender quickly. Furthermore they are Orthodox and I can’t trust the Byzantines to remain uninvolved. Even with their invasion of Croatia it is more risky than my battles against the Cumanians.

    Then an opportunity arrises. The Cumanians suffering two invasions including one from the Byzantines I take this chance to strike at them. Their armies are already being depleted. Each loss of territory to others makes the lands I successfully siege even more effective. The Byzantines succeed at their invasion. No surprise there! Another no surprise there is my victory and expansion ever northward.

    I see a chance for striking and minimizing Rus expansion and strike out against one of their rebelling dukes. The battle is swiftly won and I grant these large tracks of northern lands to my fourth son making him my heir. I see in him the passion and talent that my land will need to prosper in the future.

    Little chances to try to take small pieces of the Seljuks to the south keep arising and yet they always resolve them before I can organize my forces. I hound the remnants of the Cumanian empire north and east. The Crusade for Jerusalem fails. Hah! Allah protects his faithful. The Khanate will never recover now. A single territory I forget about them as I give lands to my family. The Shia calls for a Jihad in Aragon. Another matter I have no interest in really.

    “Father father! Good news!”
    “You are a man now Bahktiar, address me as Sultan. You may be my son but you have responsibilities.”
    “Forgive me Sultan.” He kneels, the heir to the Arsacid Sultanate almost giddy. We work closely together as he serves me as my Grand Vizier. “I know it is a little late but Allah seems to have seen fit to give you a wonderful gift for your 70th birthday.” Like my father I have been gifted with increadible longevity. Though because of his long life I have not sat on the throne as long as he did nor will I unless I live to be 100.
    “Oh? And what is that?”
    “The Emperor of Byzantium is dead. A 12 year old boy sits on the a gilded throne.”
    “I remind you the words of your grandfather my son. Look for weakness in your foes and then strike!”
    And with that we wait to see what happens in Byzantium. Twenty years ago when I took over I dreamed of these opportunities. Only once was I able to act upon it. A single county but I took it from them. Now maybe a chance for more. If I can do this all will remember what I and the great Arsacids did.

  10. #10
    And trouble with Photobucket now. Sigh...gonna have to wait on my next update. But in the meanwhile for those following along lets just say I am at a rather large choice. Join the Jihad for Anatolia in the heart of Byzantium or I can wage my own personal war against what is basically Syria. They are Shia so I can throw a holy war at them and currently I have an alliance with both the Seljuks and the sultan of Egypt.

  11. #11
    It is as I hoped. Massive civil war across the Byzantium Empire. From Trapezous in the east to Krizevei in the far west his dukes and counts rise up against the boy emperor. My spies even report that at this moment while he is divided I can muster a larger military force than what remains of the Byzantium empire. I am 71. The boy emperor 12. Let us see what damage I can inflict on the Christians before he unifies things…if he ever does.

    A crusade is called for Sicily by the Caliph of the Sunni faith. I would join it but involved as I am in my own wars…it would take some time to march them there. How I wish I had boats! No matter. I will keep fighting I will….

    I am Sultan Bakhtiar of the Arsacid Emirate and I will carry on my father’s wars! He died having claimed the duchy of Trebizond from the Byzantines and I plan to take more from them still! Ahh the rush and thrill of battle! This is my first war actually and I am nervous and excited all at once. At 19 I haven’t even gone on my hajj yet. I was too busy fighting these wars with dad. My wives travel with me and the nights after my victories I spend in glorious revel with them.

    The rebelling lands return to the Byzantine empire but not before I have claimed four of them. Returning home I put my court in order, stopping an affair from one of my courtiers. You swore an oath before Allah! Have some shame!

    A few more minor matters to deal with and before I reach my twentieth birthday I leave for my hajj. When I return from there I plan to hold a great tournament to remember my victories against those foolish Byzantines! Also what an idiot the Caliph of my faith is! A holy war for Sicily…the Seljuks hold no coastal lands. How did they plan to reach there? No wonder it fails I am surrounded by idiots.
    The trip to Mecca goes well. I join a large group of pilgrims already on the way there. A few bandits are seen but they don’t make any trouble for us. Though when I see them attacking a smaller group my blood boils and I lead an attack against them! I find killing those who would attack pilgrims to Mecca even more satisfying than killing Christians.

    I meet an old mystic on the road. That night as we talk over bread and drink he shares with me words of wisdom. They resound in me and I nod along. Perhaps he himself was set there by Allah to share these words with me? A blessing for my works against the bandits and Christians? I will have to speak with my Imam when I am home about this.

    We use only the purest of well waters to purify ourselves though we have to find a second well to do so from. The first well was not untainted and thus unsuited for our preparations. At every circuit I give a great shout. I am a great man and all shall know of my greatness and my piety. I share coin with some who made the trip unprepared and then I return home. Allah is great and I shall be great for him.

    “What do you mean no one will attend!” I stand up from my throne, my eyes wide as I glare down at my steward who kneels.
    “Forgive me oh merciful Sultan. It is true though. Everyone still morns the death of your illustrious father before you. Your victories in Byzantium they lay at his feet not yours.”
    “But…I won those battles. I claimed those lands! Do they…fine. Fine.” I am suddenly calm. “If that is how things are then I will give them proof. Send out the word. We march north! I have lands to conquer!”

    I claim two northern lands from a duke rebelling against the Rus and march home with gold and victory to my name. Not my fathers, not my grandfathers, but mine. This reminds the people that it is I who rule now. When I send word out across the land people come to see the great tournament I host.

    I am like a dervish! When I am not putting down peasent rebellions I am leading conquests of foreign lands. Sure I have been wounded in battle but I remain convinced Allah will shield me from any greater harm. Yet through all this I keep my eye on the prize, a prize I feel destined to claim. Byzantium! When I had left it they had put an elder man on the throne after he successfully usurped the title from the boy. But at his age he did not last long and now a woman…no a girl! A babe sets on the throne!

    I am rather disappointed when the various lords under her rule don’t rebel. Most confusing. Well no matter. As always there are things I can be doing. Bordering my southwestern lands is a small emirate called the Salaghurids or something like that. Their name isn’t important. What is important is that they are ripe targets for expansion and I lead my forces into their lands to force their obedience.
    It is 1154. I have been waiting oh so patiently for some sort of opportunity. Then one pops up. A massive civil war in the Seljuk Empire!

    I launch two quick wars to start. Wars of conquest on Vaspurakan and upon Bira. Like a flood my troops maneuver through the mountain passes and I lead crushing assaults on their keeps not waiting to let the sieges force their surrender. I then let my troops return to their homes then launch another raid upon Nisibin. When the boy I desire to be my heir is of age I shower him with 3 wives and numerous lands. The collected journals of our family going into his hands so he can learn the wisdom of what he is inheriting.

    As the Seljuks continue to have their problems I continue to launch raids into rebelling lands. One county claimed but then troubling news. Apparently there exists a place called Hungary. They must suffer many famines. There king has declared war on me. On me! I haven’t had anyone dare to attack me in years! Who is this fool!

    Hmm…he possesses a force strong enough that I must pull my forces away from fighting in the south to face him at my western borders. The calls go out to my allies. We will make this Christian King bleed for this. My forces quickly march through Byzantium lands. Their empress isn’t helping him in this war. I wonder if that was his scheme. No matter. I quickly press into his lands to siege him and break his armies.

    Each battle leads to more prisoners who I trade for gold. I imagine the poor king hiding on his throne. The last of his serious forces crushed in Belgorod I put his coin to good use and build new castles in some of my domains. Such is my confidence in the outcome of the war I leave such matters to others and focus on personal growth. I am going to try to memorize the quran.

    At the start of the year in 1170 the Catholic begs for peace.

    I accept for there is a great opportunity I sense. The Seljuks continue to fragment and even more interestingly the Yousifids have finally gone Shia. This gives me a chance for a great invasion of all their lands. The Egyptian sultan is my ally thus hopefully denying them the aid from fellow Shia muslims. I could take it all. But first I must let my lords who are upset over using their troops for so long calm down.
    But wait! A jihad being called by the Sunni Caliph for Anatolia in the Byzantine empire? Oh…what do I do…what do I do…

  12. #12
    Great meteoric rise to power there. When you commented you'd been playing the Islamic version of Georgia, I tried looking for the AAR, but now that I've found it, I'm going to keep an eye on this.

  13. #13
    My biggest worry atm is the Mongols are just going to rampage over me when they show up. I haven't played a group that had to worry about them before now so...that will be interesting to see.

  14. #14
    Yes, Mongols are a big worry if you're in the region. More so if you're directly in their path as one of the first targets.

  15. #15
    I have decided I am going to join the Jihad. First I will let the Seljuks invade and both sides can weaken. Then my own forces will come in. Not only will this let me get the greater glory but to be honest my forces need to rest from my battle with the King of Hungary. As I watch and wait across the known world warriors of Allah gather and join the fight.

    In turn it seems that the Pope sees a chance and calls for another Crusade for Jerusalem. Doesn’t he understand he cannot win? Or maybe he thinks that Sunni and Shia are the same? No matter my forces and leaders have calmed enough and I gather the fullness of my strength to march into Anatolia and lay siege to the Byzantine lands.

    The war isn’t going well. Rus has joined the side of the Byzantines and they have great forces to lend to the war effort. My initial forces suffer defeats and trouble moving through the mountainous lands but I keep up the effort. Mercenaries bolster my ranks as I prepare a second invasion force to move in at Byzantine lands from their eastern borders. Yet the Byzantines have few allies and their main ally is very distant. Though we suffer initial setbacks we begin to turn the tide slowly after three years of war. After four years we hold the upper hand but things are not set in stone. Jerusalem is lost to the Christians. Specifically that coward King of Hungary I bested years back.

    It is to our advantage that the Russians tend to march through my lands to reach Byzantium. They starve on the way as they lack the supplies to make such a march safely though enemy lands. Very little lands actually change hands in all this. Mostly great armies clash and clash trying to find and crush smaller forces and whittle down the opposition. The war continues to slowly inch in our favor. It has been six long years at war in Anatolia. Gold is spent on mercenaries to supplement my forces. The Seljuks are even involved now having dealt with their internal matters.

    The forces of Allah manage to catch a powerful Byzantine force with a more powerful collected effort. Soon the war will end. Maybe a single year to go. Momentum is now swinging very strongly for we faithful muslims. After 8 years the outcome is clear. We have too much in the Empresses lands. She will not be able to reverse the damage and turn this war around. It is only a matter of time before the lands of the Empress become my lands. Since the days of my grandfather Arsacid has always had a fear in the back of everyone’s mind. What of the Byzantines? When would they strike?

    “Listen to me.” I have gathered all my nobles to my great court in Derbent the seat of Arsacid power. “It is done. No longer will we have to fear the swords and false beliefs of the Byzantine Empire. Today we have carved out their heart and taken the Kingdom of Anatolia for ourselves. No, the Sultanate of Anatolia!” My words are met with a massive resounding cheer. Across my lands there is a vast celebration. The celebration hides something darker though. The explosion of territories even after sharing them with numerous of my vassals means if I want to keep my empire lean and ready for the future…things happen in the night.

    My realm is stable. Before I attacked the Byzantines I had considered the Yousifids. They are quickly losing ground to outside forces and I decide that some of their Shia lands really should be Sunni lands. I set my sights on Galilee. I have heard good things of the Mediterranean coasts. It can be barely called a war before he offers me the lands. I feel a little bad for the Seljuks to the south. They continue to have these large issues with rebellions in their lands. Not that it stops me from claiming territory from them.
    Word is brought that Hungary is suffering a massive civil war. Well…those lands in Jerusalem really shouldn’t be held by infidel hands.

    However as much as I wish to invade I hold off. I have numerous lands that need to be incorporated properly into my territory and furthermore it is quite possible that the civil war in Hungary will end before I can properly take it and make my efforts for not. My son in law, the Sultan of the Seljuks dies in an accident…but I suspect something else! Hungary meanwhile has split in half. Part of it is the kingdom of Jerusalem and half of it the Kingdom of Hungary. Well the Jerusalem kingdom will not last long. Yet I am nearing my end. I am 68 now and long have I gone to war. I have known defeats and victories. I have capitalized when I could but no longer do the Arsacids expand north. Now we fight south and west into Shia and Orthodox lands.

    I gather my court. Even at my age I hold a presence that none of them can argue with. I have proved the divine favor that Allah holds in me and my line. Most of my vassals are of my family…a few are not but they are either recently brought into my lands or put in place by my children and family.

    “Sultan!” I turn my attention to the first to speak. My son, Prince Fath, stands and we turn our attention to him. Our longtime allies the Volga-Bulgarians have made strong inroads against the Rus. “Their power is broken. A dozen disloyal lords have abandoned the kingdom and become their own lords. Apparently loyalty is not a Christian virtue.” There is some chuckling from around the room and he smiles. “Give me leave lord. Let us unleash our riders and soldiers and we will carry the Arsacid Sultanate into the north and west.”
    I give my beard a long stroke as I consider his idea. Another speaks up. Ahh a distantly related kinsman the Emir of Galilee. What was his name ah yes, Salman. “The lands of Jeruselam and the areas around it remain heavily divided still. The Fatimids are weak. The Yousafids weak. This so called King of Jeruselam is weak. Let us take them and spread the strength of our domain towards the Nile.” There are murmers of agreement there as well.

    Though this all no one speaks of the Byzantines. It is not because we are in fear of them. No we have grown too much in power to fear that. No they are strong enough that we avoid each other lest we bleed each other dry. They lead great wars in the west or try to steal small pieces of the lands through the regions of Syria or Mesopotamia. The two start to argue about the merits of each plan. About the glories they will lay at my feet. Each begins to boast more and more. I stand and the hall goes quiet.

    “My loyal kin and followers. You both raise very fine ideas. I will think long on this. Tonight though we feast.” I clap my hands and delicacies from across my realm are carried in on plates of silver. My ivory and gold up filled with wine. I have long held the policy to always keep my own council. I already knew what I would do. Fighting the Fatimids would take more time than I wanted to spend. Instead I would unleash my forces upon the divided fragments of Rus. I have a plan that I have already shared with my son and heir. The Sultanate of Ruthenia. We shall make it.

  16. #16
    I give some time for my forces and vassals to rest up and gather strength. 8 lands held by Christians I call a war upon as the fire of a holy war fills my legions and they march north. Novgorod Sevrsky, Bryansk, Suzdal, Vyazma, Volhynia, Uglich, Chernigov and Lyubech all suffer my invasion. The battles are swift and even though the King of Rus joins the fight I have overwhelming superiority. I divvy out territory to loyal kin and smile. At 70 I wasn’t sure if I would survive leading a war in the north. Yet for Ruthenia I must fight one last war against the Rus directly.

    This wasn’t a war. It was a massacre. The Rus have a tenth of my armies and my hordes invade and dominate the territory I hope to claim.

    Damn! A miscalculation. I will leave the matter of Ruthenia to my son. It is time to relax for my final years and spend my efforts on strengthening things for his eventual takeover. There are a few lands within my domain that are not controlled by my descendants. This gives me a chance to reorganize things a little.
    Yet I find myself living. No diseases or infirmity. I push the invasions and form the Sultanate of Ruthenia. I…did not think I would live to this day. Yet the celebration is short lived. For on the return trip I feel myself grow weak. Word goes out across the realm as I sense Allah has decided my time was up. Having done that one last task it seems he sees fit to recall me.

    61 years of rule. Well father you haven’t left me much time to enjoy my new position have you?

    At 52 I have inherited a realm already at war. Apparently I am at war with the…King of Poland? I hate battle…but I suppose I don’t have a choice? Why can’t I just retire to our land in Derbent? Well first things first I do as my fathers have always done when they took the throne…you lock up a bunch of your kin who are sharpening their knives and marry a bunch of young beautiful women after divorcing your old wives.

    Poland falls. The problem is the nature of the war. It was not a holy war leaving me with numerous rebelling dukes and counts. Which means as they turn I have to march my forces all the way back in there to put them down. At least doing that allows me to take their titles from their traitorous hands. I then grant those lands and an emirate to my son to deal with that problem to a degree. I sit back to examine my realm and its size makes me marvel.

    I think things have calmed down so I call for a great martial tournament. Such things are a tradition. I really have no interest in such things…but my vassals love them. My father who watches with Allah loved this sort of thing. Well…we are different people.

    Rebellions in Poland. How tedious. I dispatch my vassals that way to resolve it. Whenever they crush one rebellion I strip them of titles and give them to my family. Annoyingly Anatolia has long resisted conversion to Sunni ways. I should have words with my court Imam over this. He is slacking. Actually, actually getting my hands at the reins of power in the land has served me well I think. The content laziness I once had has dissipated and once more I consider ways to expand my might and holdings.

    Nikomedia is in revolt and I quickly try to march a force there. Conquering it would put my territory on the very doorstep of Constantinople. I see a few more places go up in rebellion. A little investigation and I see why. The Empress has died putting her son in charge. His vassals do not believe in him. He cannot field the full force of the Byzantine empire. I sense an opportunity! The Byzantines can only summon a third of the military might I can bring upon them. I have decided it is time for the Byzantine Emperor to move. Constantinople needs someone else to sit on its thrones. Even as I do this the Shia Muslims launch a holy war for Syria against the Byzantines. Welcome to the duties of being a ruler Emperor.
    And the sunni caliph calls for a jihad against the Papacy in Aragorn. The year 1212 is full of great wars indeed! Unlike the jihad that went against Anatolia the holy war I am leading against Thrace is going particularly positively. He surrenders surprisingly quickly. I had conquered a few outlying counties and started to siege the area itself. I suppose he just knew what was going to happen. Yet while I am at peace with him his rebelling vassals well…they are another matter. Upon his defeat I move my forces out, disband them then call for new wars.

    Lower Dniepr and Walachia are first. These are the next places I shall lead my legions against. The Emperor has relocated himself to a place called Hama. A place of Levantine culture in Syria. Oh how his ancestors must loath him. Both those places are lost and I share some titles around. Next I launch wars upon Ephoses and Tripoli. The Polish lords are insane. As I had gathered my armies in that region a count decides to try to win his independence from me. Insanity given all my forces in the area were mobilized and nearby him. Well I wanted to revoke that title anyways. Even when there are problems they only serve to further my goals.

    Word is brought to me about a Khan of Khans. Leading great armies in far off distant Cathay. The tale amuses me for a time. I always enjoy a good story. In 1217 the story becomes reality. A great force from the east slams into the Seljuks from the east. Well what can some barbarians really accomplish?

    As for me well at 68 I feel I have used my years on the throne well. I have lead an attack personally against the Byzantines and removed them from Constantinople. I have noticed a troubling trend in my northern and eastern domains. How do these people not related to me end up in positions of power? If only it were easier to trim those other family trees. Well no matter. It is a little more costly but I can rearrange the power situation there with time. I should also see about consolidating the realm as well. Parts of it have stretched this way and that in ways which are really rather ungainly.

    (Hmm...at this point a lot of these minor invasions don't even feel like being worth commenting on. I really should focus more on at least talking about them, fleshing them out a bit)

  17. #17
    I think it nicely reflects the paradigm shift as the empire grows and you no longer worry about trifle things. I guess you are ready to receive the Orde well.

    By the way, do you breed your heirs and raise them yourself? All of them seem rather exceptional.

  18. #18
    Lucky one there to have had the horde arrive in Persia instead, but im sure you are already prepared to face it when the time comes. Great AAR!

  19. #19
    Also whats that white in Spain, I assume its the Papal States?

  20. #20
    First wife I pick for having exceptional stats and the Genius hereditary trait since her stats are the ones that count for my bonuses to my traits. Next two wives, also young with genius trait. Of those 3 the odds are pretty good you can get Genius trait heir out of the deal over a 20 year span and well don't feel like you can't divorce them for new wives to keep trying. Aside from the +5 to all stats you get from Genius that bonus reputation with all vassals helps. Then yes, I make sure to educate my heirs personally to keep them diplomacy focused. And yeah, a while ago the Pope lauched a Crusade into the muslim lands of Spain and won it. So its Papal States as the white. The Mongols are still fighting with the Seljuks and sitting at about 41% warscore I think. That lighter grey chunk to the right of the HRE is Jeruselem actually. At full power I can bring more than 100k soldiers into a fight. When I go through a succession the numbers drop to around 50k until the various vassals like me again.

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