Started as a Kurdish Count to the Seljuks in 1066. I usurped an Emirate, stayed loyal to the Sultan, and began gobbling up independent counties every few years when a succession crisis hit. In a big civil war I finally turned on the Sultan and broke free. Within 20 years was talking chunks out of the Sultanate. At the end of my third ruler's life I got bold and launched an invasion of Persia. With my warscore at 90% against the Seljuks the ERE and a large kingdom of Georgia declared holy war on me. I split my armies to counter both threats and my Emir, with a 15 diplomacy, 21 martial and 19 stewardship, was killed in battle with the Emperor of ERE. My fourth ruler defeated the Seljuks and took all of Persia to the side of the map, but lost three counties to the evil ERE. I became a super-duke (or Emir) with a holding larger than most kingdoms. The remaining Seljuks revolted and left the Sultan (and Sunni Caliph) with one county, which the Fatimids (in control of everything to the East of Tunisia to Jerusalem and all South of that) quickly gobbled up. So only about six months after taking power and gaining a massive amount of land (and losing some too) my Emir had the choice to create both a sultanate and the caliphate. Also, I had lots of free land to give to my deadbeat relatives, bringing my Decadence down to the high 30's. I used my new title to declare a Jihad against the ERE and took all of Armenia! My father-in-law, the Shiite Caliph and the Sultan of Fatimid then declared war on me before my troops could even complete a triumphant return to their own land. They are currently kicking my teeth in.