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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

4th Dimension

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Heh. I guess the Romans finally returned to Rome. Back to the roots so to speak.
Since I don't have the Old Gods, and since the game starts before the split in Christianity, how does the game handle that?
 

tnick0225

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Part 6.2 - Mauretania

@4th Dimension: Yeah the Byzzies finally returned to Rome, I don't know how long they'll be able to keep the Pope under their thumb though. As far as the schism in game, it isn't handled at all. At ToG start there's Catholic and Orthodoxy, just Orthodoxy isn't as spread out as it is at the 1066 start, since it's mostly just in the ERE and Bulgaria. It'd be cool if the game showed some of the schism and its intrigue. But it'd probably be pretty hard to do so I understand why they left it out.

@LordEnglish: Yeah most of Mali is Pagan. The Muslims have taken a small portion of it though. As far as major conversions, not really, there have been a few lords in Norway, Sweden and Denmark that have forsaken their pagan ways, but no major Kingdom conversion, yet.

~~~~~
Part 6.2 - Mauretania​



Where we left off last time the wonderful Rahhalid Sultanate had declared a Holy War for Tlemcen against the Ummayad Emirate, which unfortunately dragged me into the war due to Samir's sister being married to the Sultan's son. However, I decided to quit helping and allow my levies to regenerate, as there is some jungle I want to go adventuring in.

While the war rages and Muslims march around in my land, Samir's vassal the new Sheikh of Touradant, who just so happens to have the surname of Shaiban as well (albeit a different Shaiban dynasty) decides he wants to become Emir of Marrakech. I tell him no, and that he needs to go to prison for desiring such things.


I then get the pop-up letting me know that King Indy over in Ireland has won his war against England to take the small county of Teviotdale. So Indy is still increasing the might of Ireland-Alba.

In September of 1084 Samir falls ill and stays ill until November when he recovers.

Sadly, the Ummayads are now laying siege to the Canaries and fully occupy my beloved islands burning Samir's vacation home to the ground. I look at the warscore and smile, a couple more holdings captured by the Ummayads and the Rahhalid Holy War will be a complete and total failure.

In April of 1085, I get another pop-up telling me of news over in another former playground. The King of Hungary Stanislav Mihaljevic, has won a war against Bulgaria. In fact it wasn't just a war for land, he won the Crown of Bulgaria.


Our time over there playing as the Mihaljevic's has certainly paid off, and the AI surprisingly has taken what I left them with and built something giant! However there is some sad news. Hungary-Bulgaria will be short-lived under the current succession laws, as for some bizarre reason Hungary is a Seniority Succession Kingdom and Bulgaria is the typical Gavelkind Succession. So upon Stanislav's death the Kingdoms will once again split, and probably result in perpetual succession crisis. With that in mind I guess the AI's seizure of Bulgaria shouldn't be all that great of news, as it will probably spell the destruction of the Mihaljevic Dynasty.

Some more time passes and on June 21, 1086, the Rahhalid's finally surrender to the Ummayads.


Which means I feel okay with raising my troops and going off on my own wars now.

Two days after the Rahhalid surrender, I declare a Holy War for Ghana, sparking the beginning of the Conquest of Mali.


It takes our men a while to get Mali in fact it takes almost six months before my first wave of 3200 men make it down there to begin laying siege to the first Pagan stronghold. And from there it takes another year before they occupy their first holding. But by that time I also have a second wave of 4,000+ men down in the southernmost province of Ghana laying siege as well. Hopefully things will progress a bit more rapidly now.

In February of 1088 a second holding falls to our men and we meet the Malian forces in our first battle in which we win easily. By May of of 1088 we finish our third siege which gives us a 100 percent war-score, allowing Samir to enforce his demands.




Not really knowing who I should hand the new territories over to I decide to host a grand tournament in celebration of our victory over the West Africans. The winners should they be landless will be given Counties and the winner of the Tournament or highest placing landless courtier will receive the Emirate of Ghana.


Second place, went to the man I raised up as the Emir of Tangiers so the winners will be the First place and Third place finishers. I give Abdul-Qadir, the Sheikhdom of Aoudaghost, and I give Samir the champion the rest of the lands of Ghana along with the Emirate title.


I like parceling lands out in this way if the option is open, just makes it feel like I'm actually rewarding the jousters for their great skills.

In November of 1088 word comes that Samir's sister Taliba who was married to a prince of Andalusia (the Rahhalid Sultanate) died in childbirth. I think this will temporarily end our alliance with them, which may be a good thing as they've proved to be a pain in the neck kind of ally.

A month later, Samir decides he is not finished with Mali, and declares another Holy War this time for the Emirate of Mali itself.


As our men are slowly gathering for the march back to the jungle word comes that the Assassins have arrived, and I begin to wonder if I'll be a target of those assassins. Be a bad thing if I am as our dynasty is rather tiny and couldn't withstand more than two well-timed assassinations. If such a thing happened we'd probably get our wonderful game over screen once more.


January of 1089 comes around with news that Samir's wife has died of slow fever.


I go around looking for a wife for Samir which is something I haven't done in a while. I settle upon the young Sheikha of Saraqusta, but it will be a year or two before she comes of age.

Samir though, is saddened by the loss of his wife, and I get the event to decide to become lustful or celibate. I choose lustful just because Samir needs more boys! I can't risk only having one son.


In June of 1089, more news from far away comes. Apparently the Saudi Caliphate was short-lived, as it has already fallen to a decadence revolt. Its successor is the Ismalid Caliphate.


A month later our forces fight against the pagans once more and slaughter their 1600 men, giving us 16 points towards war-score. This is actually when our forces first arrived down there again, so as you can see, it takes a LONG time to get to the lands we're attacking, which means it will take a very long time to conquer all of Mali.

In April of 1090, Samir's daughter Rah-Rah comes of age. And I decide to go against my better judgment and marry her to the new Sultan of the Rahhalids, Mubarak.


I'm not sure when Mubarak became Sultan, but with that kind of name one would expect him to be Sultan of Egypt, not of Andalusia.

By August we win our first siege, finally. And things seem to be going in the right direction for us.

The Pope, then decides it is time to call another Crusade for Jerusalem.


This makes me wish I wasn't at war already. I think it would be fun to bring the Shaibans to the Holy Land. But then again I would have to hold it and defend it anyway and that probably wouldn't work out all that well. So maybe its a good thing that I can instead focus my efforts on West Africa.

Between November 1090 and February 1091, Samir occupies three more holdings driving the war-score nearly up to 70.

Samir himself is leading the siege in Gao. I chose that spot because our enemies forces were sitting in a County whose only way out, was through Samir's men. I thought the position Samir was in was highly defensible, and that the Pagans wouldn't stand a chance on breaking out. But we lost quite a few men during a few sieges and the Pagans saw their chance. Battle was engaged.


During the battle of Gao, Samir learns to be an inspiration to the troops and drives a charge against the heathens only to be routed. It seems there is more to this jungle warfare than I had thought.


The war-score drops a bit due to that, Samir's forces begin running with plans to run all the way back to Marrakech. Whether the forces of the Shaiban Sultanate can recover and finish their war will be something we will have to wait and find out.
 

mike the knight

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such a glorious meteoric rise for mihaljevic ! In other news you will have another crown too ;)
 

Stuyvesant

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Desert warfare doesn't translate seamlessly to jungle warfare? Who'd have thunk? Anyway, you lost a battle (quite badly) and your forces are on the run. On the bright side, considering how long it took you to make your way down to Mali, it should be a long time before the pagans can threaten your heartland. Plenty of time to recruit some mercenaries, draw the Malians into the desert and slaughter them all.
 

GreatUberGeek

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Seeing your luck in previous chapters...no. You will lose. :p
 

tnick0225

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6.3 - Mauretania

@mike the knight: The Mihaljevic's are thus far our greatest success story after leaving them. Be interesting to see what happens after Bulgaria and Hungary split. As far as Shaiban getting two crowns...well maybe, our camels may die in the African jungle.

@Stuyvesant: Apparently the transition to jungle warfare won't be very smooth as it leads to other issues later on...you are right though, I definitely need to hire some mercenaries now. Luckily I have a back up stack in the jungle, but they're not big enough to take the pagans on...

@GreatUberGeek: My luck has recent taken a downward turn. Hopefully that gets reversed soon!

~~~~~
Part 6.3 - Mauretania​



The destruction of Samir's main army leads me to get worried about the future in the Shaiban Sultanate. I cannot get beaten by some little old Songhai chieftain!

However, Samir during his escape from the jungle has other plans. Like getting married to his newly turned 16 year old bride from Saraqusta.


I guess if I had gotten beaten bloody down there in the jungle I'd want to retreat into the arms of a new wife as well.

After the marriage I look for a good mercenary company to hire. One of those super expensive ones with tons and tons and tons of men. Because I need them, and well the jungle as we recently discovered is not a very forgiving place. Especially when the bulk of your army is riding camels.

Meanwhile, the second army is laying siege still, and not doing a very good job at it. For a while I was nervous thinking the chief of the Songhai was going to take his stack down there and deliver another death-blow. Luckily he decided to settle for liberating Gao. All the while my new shiny European mercenaries are slogging into the jungle to show the pagan chieftain that resistance is most definitely futile.


By March of 1092 the mercenaries and Samir's men finally make it to the front. And begin making their way towards Gao to slaughter some pagans.

Their progress is interrupted by the news that El Rif and Cebta have both converted to Catholicism, which is good as it should reduce the chances of another Sunni uprising in the future. Another month passes and in April, Samir's new wifey gets pregnant. Another good thing especially if it is a boy. As we need one more boy to feel safe during succession even if we're currently running gavelkind.

On June 8, 1092, battle is finally engaged. Did I mention travel times are killers down in this part of the world!!!

This time the Second Battle of Gao goes remarkably well. Apparently the European knights are better at this jungle warfare than our Bedouin Camel Warriors.


We somehow manage to capture the High Chief, effectively ending the war.

Before I can sue for peace however, Samir decides he doesn't associate with Thieve's Guilds. I don't really understand why I'm getting these strange Thieve's Guild events, I guess maybe Samir was bankrupt at one time or another, or something...


On June 25, we finally enforce our claims against our POW and win our little war.


A month later, before Samir even returns to Marrakech his high stewardship somehow get's rid of the local Thieve's Guild.


Some more time passes and I think about declaring war again. But decide to wait. I'm a little hesitant about further wars in the Jungle. Probably shouldn't stop just now, but I think those shamans have put a hex on me, or maybe it is the Mazdaki's punishing me for such a poor performance with Vahid.

I sit around and watch the time pass by a little, November of 1092 rolls around and the new wifey goes into labor and gives birth to a girl named Samira. However, our new wifey does not survive childbirth.


Which makes our daughter all of a day old the new Shaykah of Saraqusta, and at the mercy of the evil Karling Sultan of Aragon. I'm pretty sure little Samira is going to have a rough childhood.

I now have to go off and find another new wife. This time I settle for the daughter of a Baron. Quite the low marriage, but Samir used to be of lowly stock anyway. So the marriage to Layla Ibrahamid is suiting.


She's also a bit older then the last fragile one we married so perhaps she'll prove more robust in childbirth.

I wait around again and let the new year dawn. Still a bit worried about going to the jungle, when I get notified that a Sheikh of mine is planning on murdering my own son Shaiban. I can't be having that!

I think about imprisonment for a second and decide against it and elect to be nice to the old Sheikh by simply requesting that he put his knife down and quit plotting against my one and only son.

The old man relents, thankfully, because having Shaiban killed would be a disaster.

In August of 1093, Layla get's prego, and the Crusade for Jerusalem once again comes to an end. And guess who won it????


Yep those pesky damned Teutons win it again. Let's see if they can hold it for more than 10 years this time.

In March of 1094 Layla goes into labor and gives me a boy...which means I can quit stressing about the succession for a while. At least if little Prince Shaiban meets an unkind end he'll have a little brother to take the crown for him.

And a month later Samir gets the nickname of "the Pious".


Later that summer, Layla apparently becomes bored with life. I ignore her too much and tell her to make a new friend. Which she does. Perhaps she'll get knocked up and blame it on Samir the next time he's off playing in the jungle.

Speaking of which, Samir decides to declare against the King of Mali again. I forgot that I had a truce though, which means Samir can add Truce Breaking to his already lengthy resume.

I begin gathering our troops again for the long march back to Mali. I do have some levies already down there, do to our holdings we've acquired but at the moment those numbers are pretty small, like to the tune of 800 men. Definitely not enough to do any good. So I'll have to wait for our main body of camel warriors to make it to the jungle again.

In the meantime Prince Shaiban ibn Samir Shaiban comes of age.


And on June 5 of 1095, Samir decides to roll the dice on having an affair. Its been a long while since I got to tumble something, well the last one was Countess Sabd Crovan which led to King Fergal getting an infected wound...I hate wondering how tumbling and an infected wound can be tied into each other...

Off to go tumbling though!


The tumbling results in a bastard boy which I acknowledge but don't legitimize. A decision that may bite me later on. This occurs in March of 1096, and still we haven't had our main body reach Mali yet.


By May however our forces are finally beginning to lay siege. And one night outside the city of Bambuk Samir is sleeping soundly dreaming of the tumbling he had with little Ibriham's mother. When he awakes he's confused and weak and well infirm...probably because he rolled out of bed and hurt himself somehow.


So now Samir is infirm which probably means he won't live much longer. And our war is still raging or I guess I should say crawling by.


Two years and no siege, no battle to make note of. And led by a weak infirm Sultan. I can see that this is going to go rather well...
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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Hm, your game seems to have the same kind of moral compass as most 1980s slasher films - if you stray from the path of virtue and abstinence, bad things will happen to you. Tumbling is clearly a Bad Thing[sup]tm[/sup]. I'm just waiting for a Malian native with a Captain Kirk facepaint job to show up and start hunting down your family. ;)

So let me get this straight: it takes TWO years to get your troops from North Africa to Mali?! And then there's attrition... Sheesh, these expeditions across the Sahara take a fair bit of planning, I must say.
 

tnick0225

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Hm, your game seems to have the same kind of moral compass as most 1980s slasher films - if you stray from the path of virtue and abstinence, bad things will happen to you. Tumbling is clearly a Bad Thing[sup]tm[/sup]. I'm just waiting for a Malian native with a Captain Kirk facepaint job to show up and start hunting down your family. ;)

So let me get this straight: it takes TWO years to get your troops from North Africa to Mali?! And then there's attrition... Sheesh, these expeditions across the Sahara take a fair bit of planning, I must say.
I may be exaggerating a little bit with the two years thing. Although by the time I get my forces gathered the way I want them to be and then marching down there, probably a year to 18 months. I think we've been laying siege for a little while though.

As far as a Malian native well I'm sure one will appear soon to do exactly that ;)

@Scott1964: I hope I can, but I'm sure I won't since we've just really engaged in the actual war at this point.
 

Hiryuu

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In my last game the Queen of Gales and Ireland (formerly Countess of Dyfed) got Infirm 5 or 6 times - and recovery from all of them, dying of old age at 83yo :)
 

DennisRoos

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Oh dear, it turns out tumbling isn't good for you at all! First King Fergal with Sabd Crovan, now Samir. At least your heir has pretty good stats. Maybe he will be more able to lead the peasants into the Malian jungles without them all dying of malaria.
 

tnick0225

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Part 6.4 - Mauretania

@Hiryuu: Yeah you can live a long time with the Infirm trait. But something even better is going to happen to Samir....

@DennisRoos: It is looking rather bad, and it would be great if Samir's son will be a better leader.

~~~~~
Part 6.4 - Mauretania​



So once again RL has gotten in the way of me updating Samir's life post-tumbling accident. But anyways, he's still leading the war effort against Mali, which being infirm and in the middle of a war has got to be a very bad idea.

But anyway the war begins to swing in our favor. I guess I exaggerated a little about it taking two years to make it down there, as I apparently had two stacks already laying siege to holdings. So it probably took a year to year and a half.

Pretty much the rest of the year is taken up by watching our forces occupy Mali's lands.


By November of 1096, the war-score is already up to 68% so this war is drawing to a close.

After the occupation of Oulata Samir takes his men and engages the enemy at the Battle of Kiffa. The Sultan's men were slightly outnumbered by about 400 men, but the forces of Mauretania were better equipped and better warriors.

The battle was swinging in Samir's favor, when out of nowhere our illustrious Sultan of the Shaiban Sultanate, received a blow to his head. Upon seeing him fall, his men quickly retreated from the Center which caused the flanks to rout as well.

At the end of the day the grievous wound delivered to Sultan Samir was winning blow that saved the day for the Pagans.


Meanwhile the second Army of Mauretania continued to occupy settlements and burn pagans at the stake. After seizing a few more villages, they turned to deliver vengeance to the Africans for putting their Sultan into a Coma.

The Second Battle of Kiffa was a sure thing. The Shaiban Sultanate outnumbered the Pagans nearly five to one. And the victory carried the day ending the war and forcing the Malian King to the peace table to cede more of his lands to the Shaibans.


With that war over the Andalusian's would call us into war to help protect the Rahhalid Sultanate. Samir's son Shaiban (the current Regent) agreed.

However, no war would be waged, our forces were too bloodied and I decided it to be more important to relax and recover from the losses before involving myself in Iberian affairs.

On October 1097, Sultan Samir Shaiban would die, passing the crown onto his son Samir, and the Emirate of Fez would pass to his second son Emir Husam IV Shaiban.


I was a bit saddened to see Sultan Samir leave us, we were with him for a good 27 years that saw his influence expand, going from a mere Sheikh to Emir to Sultan rather quickly. In fact I could have formed usurped the Sultanate of Mali at that time as well but due to gavelkind decided against it.

Now it will be time to see what Samir's young son the Sultan Shaiban ibn Samir can do with what his father had left him.

Apparently as Regent the new Sultan was conducting a Grand Hunt when his father passed away, because I get a notification that the Hunt has ended. I then take some time to look around the world. No reason to really do much of anything. It's time to lay low for a little while and consolidate.

1098 passes by quickly and with nothing remarkable happening. Andalusia's war comes to an end in a white peace which is good for everyone.

1099 begins with the notification that King Indy has finally died leaving the world at the ripe old age of 72. He is succeeded by a son that he named after his old drinking buddy, Mayor Iacob. So Ireland and Alba are now ruled over by King Iacob de Wexford.


I look over at East Africa saddened that the Ethiopians have disappeared but I notice something bizarre over on the Horn.


Apparently the Greeks got lost, and a Makedon has taken over the County of Berbera, and to top that off Krete is really lost! What the heck is it doing down there?

I would say a ship wreck or something but no that can't be. Wish I knew how they ended up over there as that is pretty interesting. I'd actually enjoy playing as one of those characters, reforge Abyssinia as the lost Makedons.

It's then in February of 1099 I get another notification that King Stanislav "the Ill-Ruler" Mihaljevic of Hungary-Bulgaria has died. His death splits the united realm in two.


Towards the end of the year, Shaiban's betrothed comes of age and they get married.


She is a princess of Castille, so hopefully that will prove to be a better alliance then the annoying Rahhalid (Andalusia) alliance.

As a new century begins, Sheikh Shaiban Shaiban of Tamdoult dies without an heir giving Sultan Shaiban all of his money and lands.

I for some reason forgot to take a screen shot of Sultan Shaiban after his father's death, so this is his character screen as of 1100.


Shaiban is full of money, and also one of the best generals in the land, so he'll definitely be leading the troops much like his father had.

The rest of the year passes by with little else to report, the merchants from some far away land came to town and gave us some eunuch who proves to be rather useless to the Shaiban war machine.

Castille then calls us into war pressing some random guy's claim on the throne of Aragon.


I sit and watch Castille fight and realize they don't need any help as it looks like they outnumber the Aragonese by quite a bit.

Two months later the West African Pagans become upset and a local Shaman convinces the pagan villagers to unite to liberate their lands from their Christian conquerors.


I begin raising the troops again prepared for another long march down into the jungles of Mali. But at least this time I do have some troops already down there. However, their numbers are to small to engage the Shaman.

While I am waiting for my men to merge into a large enough stack I get notified that Pope Gregory VI has died and has been replaced by an old man taking the regnal name of Gregory VII.

The Holy Roman Emperor I guess was not fond of the idea of yet another Pope named Gregory, so in response the Emperor hand selected the stupidest, most wicked priest he could find and named him Pope Celestine II "the Wicked".


I think this Anti-Pope could very well be the undoing of the Christian world. I mean look at those stats! And that grayed out cross icon can't remember what that means, but isn't it something like "wicked Priest" or something of that nature? Regardless it'd be hilarious to see Celestine placed upon St. Peter's Throne in Rome.

By February of 1102, things are beginning to look horrible regarding this West African Shaman. He's already occupied some of our land. Luckily I finally have a stack of 6300 men which should be able to slaughter his stack of 4900. Seeing an opportunity I march this first stack over to engage. I watch in horror as the Pagans slaughter my almost 4000 of my men!

They retreat, and the Pagans give chase, attacking them again in the battle of Gurma. We lose this battle as well.


Luckily, Sultan Shaiban is on the march and entering the jungle at the head of an army of 11,500 men. With the Pagans chasing our men that are fleeing Shaiban can quickly assault the holding the holding the Africans occupied and liberate it.

With the siege of Macina won, I march Shaiban to get revenge against this evil Shaman.

Once again a battle is waged at Gurma, I know Shaiban will prove victorious as our numbers this time are far far far greater.

Easy win right?

Of course but not without a heavy cost.


Sultan Shaiban was hit in the head as well just as his father Sultan Samir. Shaiban then goes into a coma and his days are numbered as well.

At least we won the battle, though. With the Pagans fleeing Shaiban's men give chase and annihilate the Shaman's army. But, it appears the West Africans have placed a curse upon the Shaiban family. For it is starting to seem that all of them are bound to die in a coma after getting hit in the head.

On August of 1102, the Shaman surrenders finally. And Shaiban's men make the same trek home as they had with his father's comatose body five years ago.

On October 4, Sultan Shaiban would die, childless, passing the Sultanate of Mauretania onto his little brother Emir Husam IV, who would now be known as Sultan Husam II ibn Samir Shaiban.


At least he is a boy and we won't have to worry about him getting hit in the head by a pagan club anytime soon.

So here's to hoping Husam II's reign will last longer and go a bit more smoothly then Shaiban's.
 

mike the knight

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heavy clubbing continues :p In other news Iam also intrigued about this lost Greek count!
 

Stuyvesant

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Dang. Those pagans might not be the most technologically advanced, but they sure know how to use their clubs to good effect. Perhaps Husam should start wearing a helmet right away. Or simply never lead any troops.

How much longer do you have to go before Mali is completely wiped from the map? Or am I too optimistic there?
 

Hiryuu

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Who said concussion weapons aren't dangerous? Hope the new kid on the yard have a lucky fate...
 

tnick0225

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@LordEnglish: I know! They have some brutal clubs I tell ya...

@mike the knight: Hopefully no more clubbing will continue ;) The lost Greek Makedon down there in Berbera is interesting, and I look forward to seeing where he winds up!

@Stuyvesant: I agree, think I'll by Husam II a football helmet for his next bday :p He may need some condoms too since tumbling somehow infects my characters or makes them infirm...

As far as Mali being wiped off the map? Well the "official" Kingdom of Mali, is down to OPM status now. They own one county in the dejure duchy of Timbuktu, which is held by the Ummayads. However there is still the independent Duchy of Songhai, which holds I believe three provinces still. And well due to truces I'm sure the Ummayads will be more than happy to knock the Malians off the map for us.

@Hiryuu: The evil Concussion weapons! I guess in a world of sharp blades one forgets the usefulness of a club :) Having experienced a baseball bat to the head as a wee lad, I definitely would agree blunt weapons hurt! I walked around with two black eyes for a week or two looked like a damn raccoon!

I too hope that Husam has a bit of a luckier fate. And hope that his butt has at least two boys because at the moment he's the last male of the Shaiban Dynasty. There is that bastard child Ibrahim but he has his own dynasty since he was legitimized. So that means Husam's old sister Rah-Rah is now heir to the Sultanate again ;)
 

tnick0225

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