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  1. #21
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Ah, another Tall Tale is being told. I along with the others will be reading with pleasure and antisipation the stories of love and war in that far off country Ak Koyunlu.

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  2. #22
    Irken Tallest Arilou's Avatar
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    Hehe... Excellent! Look forward to it's continuation!
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
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  3. #23
    Weapon of Mass Distraction PriestOfDiscord's Avatar

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    35BB? Bah, where is the rampaging spirit?

    Completely serious though, you have a real talent for writing. I've really enjoyed this so far, and I hope it continues well into the middle of Europ...I've said too much.

  4. #24
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    Finally, rather than catching up with older AARs, I'll be able to watch history in the making. And if the three or four Peter Ebbesen AARs I've read (plus the posts thus far) are any indication, this is gonna be good.

  5. #25
    Field Marshal Judge's Avatar
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    Peter, if you can devote enough time to write such an impressive AAR that this one seems to be surely you can devote some time to play the Knights when version 1,06 is ready

  6. #26
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    • Director - I am in charge of the single entendres, here
    • Norgesvenn - Nope Different ethnic makeup
    • Storey - Well, "Love & War" it ain't, but a tall tale? I shall do my very best, sir!
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  7. #27
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    Persian Tales, Chapter 3

    That went rather well, didn't it? Drovers slaughtered and wagons captured. A painless victory for your depraved gang of bandits.

    Now, no reason to feel insulted. You are a gang and you are bandits, right?

    If you say so, informal revenue redistributors you are, though I am not sure exactly what you mean by that. And as for depraved, do you see what your right hand man is doing with the corpse of that sheep?

    Oh, a family tradition. I see. Then it was a most glorious and painless victory for the traditionalist informal revenue redistributors! Congratulations. Bravo! Most excellently explained.

    Sarcastic? Who, me? Never. I was just reminded of the tale of the honest man who disliked sophistry.

    You don't know that one? It is a classic. Since your men are occupied for now with torturing some poor wretch who survived the assault, allow me to tell the tale.

    No, no. Don't thank me. Just sit down and listen..

    Now, that's better. Now, let me tell you


    The tale of the honest man who disliked sophistry

    Hear my tale!

    There was a fisherman who, as fishermen should be, was a humble man. He had a wife whom he loved and four surviving children, two fine daughters and two strapping lads, each the apple of their father's eye. Though the family was poor in wordly goods, they managed to scrape by, year after year, on the fisherman's catches.

    Now, it came to pass that on one overcast day, as he was fishing with his sons, that he caught something heavy in his net. Undaunted, he and his sons strove mightily and barely managed to pull the net aboard. Dismayed, he saw that it was no huge fish he had caught, but merely an old jar, lid tightened, stamped with the seal of Lord Solomon, son of David, tall as a man and stout as a tax collector. Still, he thought it might be worth a few dinars in the market, so he set sail for shore.

    As the tiny fishing boat made landfall, the fisherman decided to inspect his catch more closely before returning to his wife. It might, he thought, be better to know exactly what he had caught, when he had to explain his unfortunate lack of fish.

    So he opened the jar, breaking the seal, and out of it rose in a cloud of smoke an Ifrit of terrible size with eyes like swords and a breath of fire, and the humble fisherman and his sons cowered in fear before it, crying "There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah the Glorious, the Great!"

    "Be of good cheer, Fisherman. There is no god but God: Insh'Allah. Today is your auspicious day. Now, if you would kindly direct me to Tabriz, I'll just run along and present myself to the throne on which sits the Prince of Persia, I'm sure his wrath was a temporary matter, and make good my apologies."

    Now, the fisherman wondered sorely which of the many princes the Ifrit was referring to, and, being of an inquisitive nature, asked such of the Ifrit, and mentioned that the throne, last he had heard, was in Isfahan, was it not?

    "Why! Have you not heard of the great Ismaīl? He now sits the ancient throne of kings in Tabriz, blessed by Allah the beneficient. I really must be out in the hinterlands. Surely you must have heard of him? Walked the desert, preaches in the cities, talks to the beasts (favour of Allah!), slays his enemies? Rings a bell, right?"

    Though quivering with fear for his very life, the fisherman, who had been taught honesty at the belt of his father, couldn't help but inform the Ifrit that Ismaīl I, King of Persia, had been dead for centuries.

    "Centuries? Where does the time go. I remember it as were it yesterday."

    Quoth the Ifrit:


    The tale of the man who walked with God

    Hear my tale!

    There was a man who walked into the desert. This heralded the beginning!

    He was a devoted believer of the Safavid heresy, as it was known in those days. He had lived a good and content life, helped his neighbours, been generous to the poor, and been a devoted servant of Allah. Nevertheless, one day he left his house and family behind and walked into the desert.

    Walking in the blistering heat of the noonday sun and under the starry heavens of the chilly nights beneath the moon has an ability to change a man profoundly, and the humble man was no exception.

    One night he came upon an Ifrit busily constructing a house of cards. As each card was placed in its proper place it emitted a soft sigh of pleasure, when a card slipped, it cried in terror as it fell. Unmindful of his spectator, the Ifrit built the house higher and higher, till it reached the heavens themselves, at which point it collapsed.

    "There is no god but the God, and Solomon is his Prophet", the Ifrit whispered under its breath, as it began reconstructing its house of cards. "Nine million, two hundred and eleven thousand, seven hundred and forty times have I failed at my task, but I will persevere. Perhaps the ninety-first floor was unstable? That card did look bent. Or was it the fundament this time? No matter, I will undoubtedly succeed this time. I have figured it out, doubt me not, Lord Solomon. I will beat you at your own game yet."

    "There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is his Prophet", said the humble man, "Lord Solomon, Son of David, was taken by Allah millenia hence. And, if I am not mistaken, your problem is the fundament"

    "How so, mortal?" asked the Ifrit. "I am, and I can say this without boasting, probably the most accomplished builder of houses of cards. Certainly few can best my experience!" it thundered.

    "Most magnificent Ifrit, I cannot help but notice that your lowest level is filled with kings and potentates, the second-lowest with wazirs and royal advisors, third tier nobles on the third tier, and so on and so forth."

    "Indeed, the strongest backs must bear the strongest weights. I must admit that I sometimes let the kings be below the wazirs, and sometimes the wazirs below the kings, for it is a difficult matter at times to decide which is the more powerful. This one, for instance", the Ifrit grinned as it withdrew an angrily complaining card from the heap, "is the Great Vizier Iznogood, who desired to be Caliph instead of the Caliph and wielded untold powers before I struck him from the tale of life and made of him a card. Now, how should he be ranked? Above or below Harun-al-Rashid?"

    "Ifrit, you are in error. The strongest backs should not support the strongest weights", the humble man interjected.

    "How so!!!!" raged the Ifrit, "It is a tried and true principle!"

    "Yet all the strength of their backs avail them naught without the favour of the all highest", answered the humble man, "and while position in life is often indicative of the favour of Allah the glorious, at times wicked men rise beyond their stations. Thus, building on the backs of mortals, be they ever so powerful, is doomed to failure. Rather, you should build on the words of Allah and Mohammed his Prophet."

    "Perhaps there is something to what you are saying, after all", grumbled the Ifrit, smoke rising from its ears.

    And the humble man spoke the sacred words and took cards according to their worth, ignoring their pleas of preeminence while living, and placed them upon the words of Allah. Higher and higher he built, a house of cards hanging in the still air, suspended on the words of his faith. When he could no longer reach, for he was not a tall man, he asked the Ifrit to lift him up, that he might continue the building. And the Ifrit did so, and the humble man built the house of cards, card following card, and seventeen million, nine hundred and sixteen thousand, four hundred and seven cards did he use.

    "That was most impressive, mortal. You have freed me from the strictures that Lord Solomon laid on me for a minor infraction that he chose to view as an act of rebellion (though in all fairness, I never ate that army despite what the witnesses said), and I am much pleased. Pray, would you tell me more of this Mohammed fellow? He must have some serious mojo!"

    And so the humble man told his captive audience of the Prophet, and the Ifrit was much amazed and proclaimed thrice "There is no god but the God, and Mohammed is his Prophet!" in a booming voice that shook the heavens. And following that, it spoke thusly, "I would gift you with the riches of the world, save I suspect you would refuse them. I would gift you with a thousand virgins, save you claim to be happily married. I would gift you with the kingdoms of the world, save you do not lust for power. As such, I will bless you in the name of David, and of Solomon, and of Mohammed too, and say this: Go speak unto others as you have spoken unto me!"

    The Ifrit then gave him Godspeed, saying, "Allah grant we meet again," and struck the earth with one foot, whereupon the ground clove asunder and swallowed him up.

    And the man who walked into the desert walked out again, and the lions assaulted him not, but kneeled as he passed. And he walked into the streets of the cities, and he brought the word of the God to the masses. In the mosques, he proclaimed the truth, in the streets he dispensed justice, and he drew ever more followers.

    And even as he walked and preached, the realm was wracked with turmoil. Incompetent Sultan followed incompetent Sultan, each more depraved than his predecessor, and the people cried out for deliverance. And on one fateful day they heeded the will of Allah and overthrew the Sultans, and the man who walked into the desert they proclaimed the man who walked with God, and he took on the mantle of the Prince of Persia. The tribesmen joined the Safavid cause when they heard the news, and the man who walked with God moved the throne of Kings to the city of Tabriz. And the Persians under Uzbehk and Timurid sway broke their yoke and rallied to the green banner.

    Then the Prince of Persia was crowned taking the name Ismaīl, and he raised the green banner on high and led the faithful against the enemies of the Safavid cause. The Timurids he smote, and the old Kaliphate as well. Likewise Oman, Hedjaz, Aden, Tunisia, Aden, the heirs of Osman, and the Mamelukes of Egypt. And works of art he commisioned aplenty, and he restored the land.

    And it came to pass that as he felt old age approach, the Ifrit returned and bowed before him, asking him if he would care, for old times sake, to play a game of cards? To this Ismaīl agreed forthwith.

    It is a complete and utterly groundless fabrication that the Ifrit cheated at cards, or, at any rate, it was never proven, which is much the same, is it not? However, Ismaīl, grown terrible in his wrath, listened to the baseless rumours and stuffed the Ifrit into a jar and laid on it the Seal of Solomon.

    And thus the Ifrit suffered a tragic fate because of the jealousy of minor backstabbing courtiers, who ought to be devoured slowly after endless torture, their last months becoming an agony to rival that of Ahriman, but it was resigned to wait a couple of weeks or months in solitude to be released, for such was its faith in humanity.


    "And that is the tale of the man who walked with God", said the Ifrit to the fisherman.

    "Strictly speaking", quavered the fisherman, honest to a fault, "it is the story of a deluded and vengeful evil spirit with too much time on its hands."

    At these words the Ifrit raged, and he tore the fisherman's sons apart, limb by limb, in front of their terrified father, and he ate them up, and he crippled the fisherman and set him afire with an imperishable flame. Staggering back to his hamlet, the fisherman sought solace from his wife, but only succeeded in burning her and their humle house. Deprived of house and income, he threw himself into the sea, a suicide in the end. His daughters, lacking kith and kin, were forced to sell themselves into prostitution to survive.


    And that, my scruffy-looking informal revenue redistributor chieftain, is the end of the tale of the honest man who disliked sophistry.

    Yes, I knew you would appreciate it. Ah, it sounds as if your fellow redistributors have finished their entertainment. Perhaps you would join me in a hand of cards? No cheating, Insh'Allah.


    The Facts

    Persia is reborn, 1501


    Persia, 1524

    (France and Spain are doing well, as can certainly be said for Hungary as well. The English hav rid themselves of the Scots, and Denmark and Sweden are much unchanged. Meanwhile, the Golden horde and Lithuania put a real break on expansion by Muscowy, and it can be observed how Nubia has almost destroyed the Mamelukes. The Ottoman Empire have still not taken Constantinople, but now that the Ottomans have been converted (along with their vassal Tunisia, which shares the same colour as Persia and the Golden horde), Persia is actively engaged in helping them against the infidel at the time of Ismaīl's death. The Timurids, who did so well until 1495 when they finally lost four provinces to defection - none of them to Ak Koyunlu, I am sorry to say - have rebounded from five provinces to nine under Babūr, and are getting ready to pounce on Delhi or, more likely, the Centre of trade in Gujarat)

    Code:
    Domestic Policy     1419      1435      1487      1524
    Aristocracy           9         9         9        10
    Centralization        0         0         0         5+5
    Innovativeness        2         2         5+3       7+2
    Mercantilism          8         8        10+2      10
    Offensive             6         9+3      10+1      10
    Land                  6         6         6         3-3
    Quality               2         3+1       4+1       4
    Serfdom              10        10        10        10
    
    Economy             1419      1435      1487      1524
    Monthly income        6d       26d       62d       84d
    Census taxes         11d       81d      166d      178d
    Inflation             0%        8%       24%       34%
    Badboy                0        12        10         9
    
    Tech                1419      1435      1487      1524
    Land                  1         1         2         2
    Naval                 0         1         2         2
    Trade                 0         1         2         3
    Infrastructure        0         1         3         4
    
    Military            1419      1435      1487      1524
    Army support limit   11K       23K       58K      109K
    Navy support limit   --        11        28        49
    
    Memorable Events
    1490  Baisunqur Sultan
    1491  Ismaīl walks into the desert
    1492  Rustam Sultan
    1493  Ismaīl returns from the desert
    1496  Ahmad Sultan
    1497  Murad Sultan
    1497  Ismaīl preaches in Tabriz
    1498  Alwand Sultan
    1499  Muhammed Mīrzā Sultan
    1501  Ismaīl is proclaimed Prince of Persia
    Tribesmen join the Safavid cause
    Ismaīl moves the capital to Tabriz
    Mass conversion of Persia to Shia muslim
    Uzbehks and Timurids give up their Persian provinces without a fight
    1505  The insufficient bureaucracy is strengthened
    1511  Ismaīl displays signs of megalomania - and decides to invade the Ottoman Empire
    1514  Ismaīl reforms the trade and infrastructure of Persia
    1516  Dreadful Plague sweeps throughout the land. Thousands die in Daghestan, Kirkuk,
          Lebanon, and Tabriz, permanently reducing the manpower of these fertile lands
    1519  A noted Court Painter is hired
    1519  Recovered from megalomania, Ismaīl is considered only temporarily insane
    1523  Following an artistic duel, an even better court painter is hired
    1524  Ismaīl I, Great King, Prince of Persia, the man who walked with God, dies
    
    
    Diplomacy of note
    1487-1524  N/A
    
    Construction
    1487-1524  Tax collectors and two refineries
    
    Wars       Opponents        Outcome
    1502-1504, Timurids         Gained Herat, Kushka, Zahedan, Qandahar
        -1503, Kaliphate        Converted the Caliph. Also got 100d
    1504-1504, Baluchistan      Vassalised Baluchistan and took Kalat
    1506-1507, Oman             Converted the Omanis and received the colony of Bahrein
    1508-1511, The Hedjaz       Converted the puppet ruler of Mekkah and Medina and got 250d
        -1511, Aden             Converted the Sultan of Aden and took 50d
    1511-1515, Ottoman Empire   Converted the Sublime Porte and got Sivas and 180d
        -1515, Tunisia          Converted the puppet ruler of Tunisia and got 91d
    1518-1519, Mamelukes        Converted the Mamelukes
    

    ...To be continued...
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  8. #28
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Thus the wise man said: Do not talk back to large nasty spirits with a temper. (which may or may not include the teller of tales ).

    Just caught up, interesting to see you play differently from your reputation. Enjoying this very much.
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  9. #29
    Holstein's Envoy in Vienna Syt's Avatar
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    Interesting map. Nice to see the Golden Horde going strong. Bad to see the Ottomans suffering again. Is it because of your wars with them?
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  10. #30
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    Another great one, Peter I especially liked the philisophical part with the cards build on the words of God, whether you made it up or not

    V

  11. #31
    Irken Tallest Arilou's Avatar
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    LOL! That story was THE BEST!

    LOVE the Iznogud reference btw.! Iznogud rocks!
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
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  12. #32
    Weapon of Mass Distraction PriestOfDiscord's Avatar

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    Originally posted by Sytass
    Interesting map. Nice to see the Golden Horde going strong. Bad to see the Ottomans suffering again. Is it because of your wars with them?
    I'm also interested by this. Are you propping the Horde up with military/monetary support?

  13. #33
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Peter Ebbesen


    At these words the Ifrit raged, and he tore the fisherman's sons apart, limb by limb, in front of their terrified father, and he ate them up, and he crippled the fisherman and set him afire with an imperishable flame. Staggering back to his hamlet, the fisherman sought solace from his wife, but only succeeded in burning her and their humle house. Deprived of house and income, he threw himself into the sea, a suicide in the end. His daughters, lacking kith and kin, were forced to sell themselves into prostitution to survive.
    Now there are some among the audience who might call this a less than happy ending but it was still a good story.

    It looks like you're poised to move in any direction you want to. I say southwest is the way to go.

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  14. #34
    That first bit sounded a bit, ahem... plagiarised. But with such old stories we can stand it.

  15. #35
    LurkAAR Norgesvenn's Avatar
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    You really have a soft spot for the Timurids, haven't you Peter?

    So this Persian event... it's not a standard event, I guess. Does it give some RR and trouble before handing the crown over to the Safavid dynasty?
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  16. #36
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    I don't know it is standard or not, but it is in the events folders with a basic install v1.05.

    You've changed your avatar back to EU2, how nice

    V

  17. #37
    Compulsive ReadAAR. Commandante's Avatar
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    I almost fell off my chair when I saw that a new Ebbesen AAR had popped up in the forum... Excellent AAR and very well-written as usual, Peter!

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    Ideology: Socialist
    Issues: Planned Economy

  18. #38
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    Hmm, long time without answering. Well, here goes.

    No, I have not been propping up the Golden Horde. They seem to have survived by sheer luck coupled with a strong Lithuania. As for the "Fate of the Safavid Crown", that is an AGC event, as is the capital move to Tabriz. I think the EEP has something very similar, since it is an obvious thing to do. And no, I didn't really suffer anything nasty beforehand, but then I was at stability three all along and Persia didn't form from any of the other nations. As for the house of cards built on the words of God, that one was (for once) not nicked from someone else, and yes, Iznogood is great. Always did love that comic.

    As for expansion, well, now that all the neighbours have embraced the true faith, it is time to do a wee bit of colonisation. While keeping an eye on the Mughal Empire. I'll have a screenshot of them ready two chapters from now. Let us just put it like this: They rebounded nicely from their low of five provinces and finally took Delhi in 1554, triggering the inheritance of what was left of Delhi. And with the aggressive Mughal AI, a very rich territory, and a Shiite bonus of +1.0 to morale, they didn't stop there...
    Confused about how manpower is determined in EU4? Read my Manpower Guide

    Finally got around to writing a list of my AARs in the inkwell.
    For those interested in Dominions 4 (SP or MP), we organize the Wrinkletoes games and answer general questions related to the game in this thread.
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  19. #39
    the Conqueror Peter Ebbesen's Avatar
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    Post

    Persian Tales, Chapter 4

    Now don't be a sore loser. You came so close to winning. What say you to another game, double or nothing?

    No call for that! I never cheat and I seldom bluff. But you don't need to pay me now. Just promise me on your honour that you will pay me in full in time, and let us play another hand. A man of honour like you, chief of the informal revenue redistributors, would not be foresworn in the sight of Allah the merciful, I am sure.

    Indeed. A man must honour his promises, or he is not a man. A sage thought, and one that reminds me of


    The tale of the merchant and the three maidens

    Hear my tale!

    This is the life of Khalid.

    He was born of a woman of the tribes and her husband, a brave warrior, in the year that the man who walked with God strode out of the desert. In his youth, he rode with the faithful of Thamāsp and wrought the fall of Constantinople. He rose to become a leader of men and a great captain. He served loyally for a decade and a half, before mustering out honourably for personal reasons. Having acquired substantial wealth during the wars against the Sunni heretics, he settled down to the life of a merchant, but he took no wife.

    However, it must be said that he was possessed of a flaw most unbecoming in a merchant. This was it: He was honest. He gave honest measure and delivered goods of the highest quality. As such, in due time he impoverished himself. Now, it happened that a notorious robber was said to be roaming the countryside, and a great reward was offered by the Wazir for his capture. The honest merchant being in dire straits, he sold his business. Then he took his old sword "Trusted One" and mounted his old warhorse "Word of the Faithful" and left the city behind.

    As evening approached, he came upon a maiden beset by bandits. Laying into them with the Trusted One, he soon dispatched the ruffians, for though he was past his prime, there were but a score of them, and his arm was still strong, and he had ridden with the faithful in his youth. The maiden thanked him for her timely rescue, and asked if there were aught she could do for him, for she was the daughter of the overseer of the Prince's pigeons, and her father was thus a man of importance. But he desired no reward. "I gave a vow when I was young," he explained, "and I will not break it now". And on this he was adamant. Despite her youthful countenance and bright spirit, he refused to divulge his vow, and the next morning he bid her good day and continued on his journey.

    Now, as evening approached he came upon a slain horse and signs of flight. Spurred he then his old warhorse and galloped onwards at a furious speed. Soon, he came upon a fair maiden running for her life, pursued by a huge following of wolves. He swept her up behind him, and told her to hold fast for her very life, and the Word of the Faithful surged ahead. Faster it ran and faster he rode, and the Earth blurred beneath him, but the wolves followed still. Faster he rode, and the grass caught fire where it was struck by the hooves of his old warhorse, but the wolves followed still. Faster he rode, and the Earth clove at the strike of the hooves, but the wolves followed still, though they were tiring. Then turned he at bay and reered high on the of the Word of the Faithful and drew he then the Trusted One and charged the pack of wolves and slew them all. The maiden thanked him for her timely rescue, and asked if there were aught she could do for him, for she was the daughter of the captain of the guard. But, he explained, he desired no reward. When he was young he had made a vow to Thamāsp himself, he said, and he would not break it, even for her sake. The next morning he bid her good day and continued on his journey.

    Now, it came to pass that the bandit chieftain used to be a general in the Mughal armies, before their defeat at the hands of the great Prince Thamāsp, and he was a cunning wight, and had set lookouts and warded his camp well. He was a monster of a man, big, bad, and lecherous, and he took a special joy in the deflowering of maidens. Thus the chieftain was in an excellent mood, that night, since his men had caught a fair maiden earlier in the day and saved her as a special treat for him, when he heard the sound of horse approaching. He had just thrown the maiden to the ground and was fumbling at his leggings, when three loud thumps were heard, and the heads of his sentries rolled past him, eyes staring and blood and gore dripping from them.

    He waxed wroth indeed, drew his mighty scimitar, and called out to his men to slay the interlopers, for he thought the entire camp was beset. Then drew Khalid the Trusted One and laid about him mightily. How he strove! How the blood flowed! He was the sword of Allah that day - Insh'Allah! - One-two, one-two, and through, and through, the Trusted One went snicker-snack, he left them dead, and with the maid, he went galumphing back. The maiden thanked him for her timely rescue from a fate worse than death, and asked if there were aught she could do for him, for she was the daughter of the Wazir. But he wanted no reward, he explained, for he had made a vow to Thamāsp himself, and not even for the sake of the friendship of the Wazir would he break it.

    And thus he returned to the city and claimed the reward for slaying the bandits and he attempted to start a new business. But that too, failed spectacularly, and he was beset by creditors.

    As he sat in despair his house was guested by three prominent visitors. The keeper of the Prince's pigeons, the captain of the guard, and the Wazir himself. They saw a man stricken in spirit and offered him gold and servants for the debt they owed him for their Daughter's honours, but he refused them all, saying that he would abide by his vow to Thamāsp. "What then was this vow?" asked the keeper, the captain, and the Wazir, but he refused them all.

    They then went before the King of Kings, the Prince of Persia, the Shield of the Faithful, Thamāsp I, who was in one of his lucid phases between bouts of paranoia, and asked him, "What then was the vow of Khalid? Could it not be circumvented? They were bound by the debt they owed him for the sake of their daughters to help him."

    "That," answered the King of Kings, "were none of their business, and it were better they forget the whole matter, or they might live to regret it, much though he loved Khalid. That man were ever stubborn and true to his word. However, if they insisted, he would tell them, help Khalid, and it would be their own bloody fault."

    Brave men all, they insisted, despite this dreadful warning.

    Quoth the King of Kings:



    The tale of the man who died not

    Hear my tale!

    Khalid's word has always been iron, insh'Allah, which caused me much joy when he was foremost of my captains. However, in one particular instance it brought him nothing but grief. During the siege of Constantinople Khalid took a wound that should have been mortal. Even the intercession of an Imam of high standing was not enough to save his life, and I was resigned to lose him, my greatest captain.

    Now, as he lay dying, a shapely veiled woman came to me, saying that she could save him with her arts, for she had studied the medicine of the ancients. As all men know, such aid is fraught with peril, for who can say whether it is of Allah or not? Yet I urged him to accept it, for I had need of his strong arm and his battlewisdom. However, to heal him he would have to see her unveiled, she explained, which would bring her great shame, as they were not of family. That is easily remedied, I said, assuming you are unmarried. As that was the case, an obvious solution presented itself to me, and I decreed that should she save him, Khalid should take her for wife, and should she fail on her promise, she would be put to death as a licentious woman and an herb-witch. She readily, nay even eagerly, agreed, and Khalid, who was near raving at that time, agreed as well, or so I chose to interpret his fevered mumblings.

    Her arts were miraculous indeed! Within a week, he, who should have been dead, was walking again, and eager to lead the assault on the city - but that I could not give him, having promised that honour to the Turkish Sultan, who had embraced the true faith but a few years before at the hands of Ismaīl, great be his praise! Rather, I said, he should be married right away, as agreed.

    He was not disagreable, having been smitten by the beauty of his healer, and I, thinking to reward his good service, arranged a battlefield wedding right away. How was I to know better?

    Thus I, the Wazir of the West, and the Imam presided over an exclusive wedding, and a great feast and great gifts had been prepared. And if the bride was seen to fidget slightly, well, that was only to be expected, and would be remedied by the groom after the wedding when they were alone. Thus is it often. Now, the Imam was a holy man indeed, such men are rare! As the Imam spoke the holy words, the bride began shaking uncontrollably, and distraught, he quickly blessed her in the name of Allah and Mohammed his Prophet. At this most holy of utterances she shrieked in pain and her clothes burst into flames, and she stood revealed for us all, an Infritah, terrible in her pain, yet still beautiful beyond any daughter of Eve. Quickly, the Imam began laying words of binding on her, before she could slay us all, and, praise Allah, the beneficient, the great, the magnificent, the Imam was strong in his faith and she stood entrapped. Yet what could I do? Though I slashed at her with my sword while Khalid, out of his mind, sought to stop me, my blade did not pierce that growing whirlwind of flame.

    Fortunately, the Wazir of the West was strong in the arts, and he bade the Imam hold her fast for but a while longer. Then he drew around the Ifritah the seal of Solomon, and began uttering the words of power over her. Meanwhile, I had my guards restrain Khalid, who looked ready to kill us all to defend the evil spirit. Thus does evil ensnare even the most worthy of men.

    And when his spell was well nigh completed, the Wazir of the West told me to strike for the heart of the Ifritah, and I did so, though the flames burned by arm. As the blade struck home, the Ifritah gave a mighty shout of rage, and began changing form. Terrible it was to behold, I tell you, yet ultimately the spell was done. The Wazir of the West had bound her within the shape of a black mare and had bound her power within the blade.

    Khalid was a shattered man. He took up the blade and he claimed the horse his own, and he vowed that he should never be aided by any woman again, save he marry her, and bade me to witness his words, for he, in his grief, blamed me, first for being the cause of the gift of love, then for taking it away.

    A holy madness was upon him, and, sick at heart, I proclaimed that it would be so. Thus does the plans of men oft come to ruin.

    From that day he was a changed man. He was a greater general than ever, and riding his black mare, which he named Word of the Faithful, and wielding his mighty blade, which he named "Trusted One", none could stand against him. But he loved nothing more save his horse and his blade, and he was ruthless beyond measure, though honest to a fault, and he took no wife nor accepted he ever the aid of a woman. In the end, the slaughter sickened even him, and he left my service, and I cannot say that I regret it, for he had become a terrible man.


    "And that, my functionaries, is the tale of the man who died not, and the tale of Khalid's grief", said the Prince of Persia. "Do you now understand his plight?"

    They reassured the King of Kings, that they fully understood what a terrible life Khalid had had, but that that surely would not prevent them from helping now?

    "I should think not", said their monarch, "since he will be your son in law"

    At this the three men gaped and stammered their confusion.

    "Since the aid is coming at the insistence of your daughters, as you made very clear, he will have to marry them all, or I will be foresworn. That I will not be, and thus they are to be married. All four of them, and soon. I will brook no resistance to this. You were warned, after all." concluded the King of Kings.

    And thus it were. The man who had been a great general was married to the three maidens and was brought to great estate. And though his wives lived in a loveless marriage, Khalid did beget a son and a daughter on each of the three, and all six children embraced the path of the warrior, even the girls, and they were, if possible, even more cruel than the sons. And when those seven in later years went to war for their king, and Khalid lived to fight till he turned four-score and three, the enemies of Persia trembled, for none could stand against them. And when at long last Khalid died, he was laid to rest in a tomb beneath the mountains, and the Trusted One was laid on his breast and the Word of the Faithful lay down at his feet, and the children, mighty warriors all, slew the builders that none but they might know the tomb's location, and went their separate ways, carving their ways across the world. But the tale of the deeds of the Siblings of Swords, terrible though it may be, is not mine to tell.



    Indeed, a man must honour his word, or he is not a man, be he king or pauper. And thus I am certain that you will pay me in due time.

    Why are your men acting up?

    Oh, you lost another man? Careless of you.

    No, no, I meant that in the most polite way possible. He was probably snatched by one of the harpies that lair nearby or eaten by something nastier than he was.

    Yes, didn't you know that? The great Abbas II, long may he live in the memory of man, proclaimed them a protected species to ensure their survival. If they are the ones that got your man, he will probably be used for breeding purposes before they tear him apart and eat him alive.

    Well, there are worse fates. At least they are more civilized than they were of old. They do not eat with both hands, and they heed the Quran. What more could any man desire? Is not this creation, this work of Allah, magnificent?

    Ah, well, some people do not share the true pleasures of life. At any rate, your boorish man probably just ran away or spontaneously combusted. A much more likely explanation. These things happen all the time, after all. One moment a healthy brigand, the next a heap of ash, stirred by the breeze.

    You doubt my words? I have seen it happen too many times to count. But hearken! What do I hear?

    Wonder of wonders, what a splendid horse she is, that has wandered into your camp by chance. I hope you don't mind me claiming her to replace my old horse, which you shot the other day? She is even the same colour. Surely, this is a sign from the all-highest, that she was meant for me?

    Insh'Allah. Come to me, my beautiful, together we shall ride the whirlwind.


    Code:
    Memorable Events
    1524  Fanaticism in Kirkuk spreads the Persian culture (SSREM: Kirkuk converted and become Persian)
    1524  Clergy argues against Thamāsp but are ignored
    1527  More freedoms are granted the artisans
    1531  The Ottoman allies aided by Thamāsp have annexed the Duchy of Athens, Morea, and Dulkadir
    1533  The nobles are reigned in and the realm centralised (SSREM: cen+1, ari-1, stab-1)
    1536  Obscuratism sweeps the land
    1538  The peasants are unhappy (-2 stab)
    1541  The peasants are even more unhappy (-3 stab)
    1542  Widespread corruption is crushed (-1 stab)
    1543  An uncooperative philosopher is imprisoned
    1544  The peasants are still unhappy. So what else is new (-2 stab)
    1545  An unprovoked revolt is swiftly dealt with
    1552  Thamāsp suffers from occasional paranoia
    1554  The Mughal Empire takes Delhi, the fall of the Sultanate of Delhi.
    1559  Poor government policies create unrest
    1567  An excellent court painter is hired
    1569  Thamāsp I suffers from Paranoia again
    1575  And imprisons yet another famous uncooperativer philospher. Will they never learn?
    1576  And the Clergy protests, and this time Thamāsp listens
    1576  Which causes the peasants to revolt. Again.
    1576  Thamāsp I, King of Kings, Prince of Persia, beloved, dies.
    
    (Whew. 1538-44 saw a total of -8 stab from events. Not nice)
    
    
    Diplomacy of note
    1547  Baluchistan is diplomatically annexed
    1555  Oman is diplomatically annexed
    
    
    Wars       Opponents        Outcome
    1524-1525, Roman Empire     Help the Ottomans take Constantinople
    1535-1536, Mughal Empire    The Mughals are converted to the true faith
    1536-1538, Kazakh           The Kazakhs convert
        -1539, Chagatai         The Chagatai are converted
        -1540, Uzbehks          The Uzbehks are converted
    1540-1542, Aden             Aden is vassalised
        -1545, Oman             Oman is vassalised and hands over Mekran
    
    

    ...To be continued...
    Last edited by Peter Ebbesen; 17-02-2003 at 02:32.
    Confused about how manpower is determined in EU4? Read my Manpower Guide

    Finally got around to writing a list of my AARs in the inkwell.
    For those interested in Dominions 4 (SP or MP), we organize the Wrinkletoes games and answer general questions related to the game in this thread.
    Current ongoing Wrinkletoes 3 Dom4 game's list of players: linky.

  20. #40
    This is one of those AARs that can stand on its own with no knowlege of EU2 needed to enjoy it. I wish I was as good.

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