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ekorovin

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Foreword

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my new AAR. As you may have guessed from its name, it's about Arabs and Caliphate. Shia Caliphate to be precise. Fatimid Shia Caliphate to be even more precise.

Now, if you're like me you like Fatimids. What's not to love: opulent luxury, dreams of world conquest, secret societies, mysticism, intrigue, intricate architecture, blooming arts, corruption, decadence, mad caliphs, mysterious disappearances of mad caliphs, desert tribes! More desert tribes to put down revolts of desert tribes! Slave armies to put down revolts of desert tribes! Desert tribes to put down slave armies' revolts!

Sorry, I got carried away. Initially, I started the game as Fatimids in Syria in 867, without planning to go AAR on it. But since this game turned out one of the most interesting games of CK2 I ever had, I've decided to AARize it. This means I don't have screenshots of most events between 867 and 1114. It also means that the first installments of the AAR would be me recapping the proceedings of founding years of Caliphate. The actual gameplay would start from 1114. Be warned.

I play with all the modules included in the latest version of HIP. How people manage to play in Levant without SWMH is a mystery.

This AAR is organised as follows: first 2 chapters mostly deal with events, preceding 867, chapter 3 tells about Ismaili uprising and birth of Al-Fatimyyun state. This chapters constitute part 0, which can be skipped without hesitation. Actual game-play starts in part 1. The events, preceding 1114, can be found with 900-1114 timeline.

The narrative part of the AAR starts here.

Sorry for inconvenience.

inside%20the%20mosque%20of%20Al%20Hakim.jpg
 
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ekorovin

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Table of Contents:​

Part 0 - Events, preceding actual game-play.

Part 1:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

The rulers:
Hussain I (834-886) - 3rd Da'i of the Ismāʿīlī mission, announced 10th Ismaili Imam by his son Ismail.
Ismail I (868-922) - 4th Da'i of the Ismāʿīlī mission, openly announced himself as 11th Ismaili Imam.
Hussain II (896-958) - 12th Ismaili Imam.
Ismail II (915-963) - 13th Ismaili Imam.
Mansur (944-976) - 14th Ismaili Imam.
Jibril (964-1014) - 15th Ismaili Imam, 1st Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Shamir I (1003-1046) - 16th Ismaili Imam, 2nd Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Shamir II (1044-1051) - 17th Ismaili Imam, 3rd Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Abdallah (1008-1058) - 18th Ismaili Imam, 4th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Zeid (1048-1093) - 19th Ismaili Imam, 5th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Musa (1079-1096) - 20th Ismaili Imam, 6th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Ismail III (1075-1114) - 21st Ismaili Imam, 7th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Sadiq (1107-1114 ) - 22nd Ismaili Imam, 8th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
Jalil - 23rd Ismaili Imam, 9th Caliph of al-Fatimiyyun Caliphate.
 
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ekorovin

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There’s only one way to start. The year is 867, and we are in what is now Syria, in the lands of Abbasid caliphate. And it’s not a good time to be here. To understand why, we should look at situation in the Abbasid caliphate, known as “Anarchy in Samarra.” Note, that the following is a simplified account of very complex process. Note also that I'm not a specialist in the period, so there's bound to be some mistakes.

Chapter 1, in which I talk at length about “Anarchy in Samarra”
The desire of caliphs to achieve absolute authority over their dominion came into a conflict with the structure of Arab society. Tribal and clan allegiances, predating the birth of Islam itself, let alone ascension of Abbasid dynasty, prevailed over any allegiance Arab subject may give to caliph. Thus, Caliphate needed the source of loyal servants, especially in military ranks.

Over the time, caliphs had tried different approaches to this problem, mostly relying to administrators from newly conquered peoples, rather than Arabs. Sure, Persian or Greek had no friends among the Arab aristocracy, his only friend and protector was the caliph himself.
And then one man decided that rather than trying to purchase men’s loyalty, he’d better purchase the men themselves. Enter Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd, better known by his throne name, al-Mu’tasim Bi’llah. While his brother, caliph al-Ma’mun, practiced astronomy and was trying to get into Cheops’ pyramid, al-Mu’tasim begun purchasing Turkic warrior-slaves. These warriors became known as “Mamlukes” (Arab for “property”) or Ghilman (Arab for “young servant”)

640px-Three_Mamelukes_with_lances_on_horseback.jpg

After his brother’s death in 833, al-Mu’tasim quickly ascended the throne, with non-surprisingly little opposition. Would you want to oppose person who have 15 000 strong army, officers and all, as his private property?
At first these mamlukes were stationed in Baghdad itself, but that quickly proved troublesome. Good citizens of Baghdad were not too happy leaving around what they saw as unruly mob of barbarians, and mamlukes, mostly Turks, answered only to caliph himself, gladly abused their position andterrorized citizenry. And so the new capital city of Samarra was built.

800px-Kamal-ud-din_Bihzad_001.jpg

Fast forward to the year 861.
Turks achieved dangerous level of control over the caliphal court, army and state as a whole. When caliph Al-Mutawakkil tried to move capital from Samarra, they just didn’t let him. Mutawakkil started slowly fight Turkic influence in the army, by, see if you can guess it, purchasing warrior-slaves of non-Turkic ethnicity, Berbers of North Africa, Armenians and peoples of Caucasus.

On the unrelated note, in 850 Mutawakkil named his son al-Muntasir as heir apparent, but over the years something happened between them, and Mutawakkil chose his other son, al-Mu’tazz.

This was a match made in heaven. In the year of 861, Turkic bodyguards murdered al-Mutawakkil and proclaimed al-Muntasir caliph, al-Mutazz was forced to abdicate.

But in the summer of the same year al-Muntasir died of unknown reason. Turks, despite the order of succession, proclaimed al-Mu’tasim’s grandson,al-Mustain.

Al-Mutazz didn’t recognize that, and was proclaimed caliph in Baghdad. Did I mention that while Tukic commanders were playing kingmakers, average Turkic soldiers weren’t paid for two years? Yes, that bound to simplify matters.

432px-%D8%B4%D8%A7%D9%87_%D8%A7%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%DB%8C%D9%84_%D8%AF%D8%B1_%D8%AC%D9%86%DA%AF_%DA%86%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%86.jpg

The following civil war of 865-866 had so many betrayals, side-switching and other fun, that it’s incredibly hard to tell about in a few sentences. So, fast forward to 867: Al-Mutazz is caliph, murdering everybody he deems dangerous, but extremely dependent on his army, Turkic, of course, they switched sides. Not once. Provinces, like Ifriqiya, Iran and Egypt are effectively independent. Bands of Turkic, Berber and other warriors roaming the roads of Caliphate, while in the cities Arab mob is murdering anyone who looks too Turkic. Desert Bedouin tribes raid settled lands without any other justification, but their ability to do so. There is no money in the treasury and so on, so on.
Where does it find our Fatimids? Find out in the next installment of “AARabian Nights”!
 
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LumberKing

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The title caught my attention.
 

RossN

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Very interested in seeing how this goes. :)
 

ekorovin

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This looks cool! Following!
Glad to have you here.

The title caught my attention.
Let's hope the contents will hold it
Very interested in seeing how this goes. :)
There was some fun along the way.

By the way, I'm planning maybe one more pre-game history chapter, in which I try to talk about Ismaili's and why they are cool, and then I'll start recapping the events of 867-1114, on which I don't have much screenshots, so that will be fast, and then I finally start writing as I play play.
 

ekorovin

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In the following chapter you'll find the short overview of Ismaili history. Again, I'm not an expert, so it's in no way complete and thorough. Plus I omitted all the theological differences between different branches of Islam, instead focusing on political history.

Chapter 2
In which we finally deviate from the real history.
The other thing we have to cover before delving into the game proper is the origins of house al-Fatimiyyun, and for that, I need to talk about Sunni/Shia schism and later emergence of Ismaili sect among the Shia. I don’t want, nor am qualified, to talk about theological differences between branches of Islam, so I’ll keep it purely political. While Sunnis believe that theoretically anyone can be chosen as caliph, the ruler of Muslim Ummah, the Shias believe in the divine right of House of Ali, descendants of Mohamed’s daughter Fatima and his cousin Ali to rule. The final split between movements occurred in the year of 680, when in battle of Karbala Ali’s son Hussain was killed by Ummayad forces.

Karbala.jpg

Reconstruction of the battle of Karbala, I have no idea of its plausibility, but yes, Ummayad forces majorly outnumbered Hussain's

But as most movements forced into underground, Shia creed begun splitting off. The most important for us occurred in the year of 765. Imamate, the position of leadership in Shia community, “shadow caliph” if you will, was hereditary among House of Ali. In 702-765 this position was occupied by Ja`far ibn Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq, 6th Imam. The man was seemingly content with his quiet life as lawyer and philosopher in Medina, without any pretense to military coup and overthrowing of Ummayad/Abbasid (he lived under both) government. He appointed his son, Esmail, as successor, but later changed this decision, afraid of Ismail’s militant attitude towards the government.

651px-Baghi_tomb.jpg

Imam Jafar's tomb was in Al-Baqi mausoleum in Medina, built in VII century, demolished by Saudi government, don't worry, they are democratic as hell, just ask State Department.​

After Jafar’s death split occurred, between those he recognized his other son, Musa, as Imam, and those who believe that the true successor should be Esmail’s son, Muhammad (Esmail didn’t outlive his father).


Little is known about the life and career of Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil, the seventh imam of the Ismaʿilis. The relevant biographical information contained in early Ismaʿili sources has been preserved by the dāʿi (q.v.; Ismāʿili missionary) Edris. Soon after al-Ṣādeq’s death, and after the recognition of the imamate of his uncle Musā al-Kāẓem by the majority of the Imamis, Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil left Medina, seat of the ʿAlids, and went into hiding. His decision marked the initiation of the dawr al-satr, or period of concealment, in early Ismaʿilism that lasted until the foundation of the Fatimid state when the Ismaʿili Imams emerged from their concealment. Henceforth, Moḥammad acquired the epithet of al-Maktum, the Hidden One, in addition to al-Maymun, the Fortunate One. Nonetheless, Moḥammad maintained his contacts with the Kufan-based Ismaili organisation from different localities in southern Iraq and Persia. He seems to have spent the latter part of his life in Ḵuzestān, where he had some following. He died not long after 795 during the caliphate of the ʿAbbasid Hārun al-Rašid. On the death of Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil, the organisation split into two groups. A majority refused to accept his death; they recognized him as their seventh and last imam, and awaited his return as the Mahdi. A second, small and obscure group, acknowledging Moḥammad’s death, traced the imamate in his progeny. Almost nothing is known with certainty regarding the subsequent history of these earliest Ismaʿili groups until shortly after the middle of the 3rd/9th century, when a unified Ismaʿili movement appeared on the historical stage.

It is certain that for almost a century after Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil, a group of leaders who were well placed within Ismaʿilism worked secretly for the creation of a unified, revolutionary Shiʿite movement against the ʿAbbasids. These leaders did not openly claim the Ismaʿili imamate for three generations. They had, in fact, hidden their true identity in order to escape ʿAbbasid persecution. ʿAbd-Allāh al-Akbar, the first of these hidden leaders, had organized his campaign around the central doctrine of the majority of the earliest Ismaʿilis, namely, the Mahdism of Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil.
ʿAbd-Allāh al-Akbar, the first of the early Ismaʿili leaders after Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil, settled in ʿAskar Mokram, in Ḵuzestān, where he lived as a wealthy merchant. From there he began to organize a reinvigorated Ismaʿili daʿwa sending dāʿis to different districts around Ḵuzestān. At an unknown date, still in the first half of the 9th century, ʿAbd-Allāh found refuge in Syria, where he eventually re-established contact with some of his dāʿis, and settled in Salamiya, continuing to pose as a Hāšemid merchant. Henceforth, Salamiya, situated some 35 km southeast of Ḥamā, served as the secret headquarters of the Ismaʿili daʿwa.

640px-Salamiyah_Mosque.jpg

The modern view of the city of Salamiya, Syria

The revolutionary and messianic Ismaʿili movement appealed to underprivileged groups of different social backgrounds.
By the 867, the leader of this secret army is the Abd-Allah’s son, Hussain, the 10th Imam. And with the Abbasid Empire descending into chaos and anarchy, the time has come to strike, and for the true Caliph from the House of Ali to emerge in place of decadent Abbasids.* And so the march to the great city of Damascus, which was the capital of the Caliphate and will be, had begun:

TXNUqGA_3mY.jpg

Ummayad Mosque in Damascus.

*Here we finally deviate from the OTL history. In reality, it was Hussain’s son, known as Al-Mahdi, who would lead an open Ismaili uprising, and it would happen not in Syria, but in Northern Africa.
 
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ekorovin

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Chapter 3, in which the further splitting of Ismailism occurs and the idea of supreme authority of al-Fatimiyyun dynasty is born.
Ismaili machine preparing for such a blast for a long time. And finally the signal was given, and the machine sprang into action. Sleeper cells awakened, long since prepared weapon stashes unearthed, volunteers swell the ranks of warriors. Finally, it was time for messianic and revolutionary war against heretic oppressors. In a rather anti-climactic turn of events the war didn’t happen. The city of Damascus opened its gates, underpaid and underprepared Abbasid troops ran away without fight or joined the Ismailis*. Caliph in Baghdad had no other choice, but recognize independence of a new state*. In order to channel the energy of his faithful, Hussain ordered a series of attack against surrounding rulers. The likes of Greek eunuch turned Muslim, Munis, or Turkic warlords Ashinas or Al-Armani were no match to religiously charged warriors of Imamate.
Hussain was happy with his position as chief dai of Ismailis, a sort of viceroy for the Muhammad ibn Ismail, the Mahdi, who will one day return to lead the faithful. Hussain used the title “Emir of Damascus.”

Muhammad_Ali_001.jpg

This can’t be said about his son Ismail, who not only saw himself as a secular king, indeed calling himself Sultan of Sham, but instituted a religious reform. Instead of advocating Moḥammad b. Ismāil as Mahdi, the new leader now claimed the imamate for himself and his predecessors, the central leaders of the Ismaʿili daʿwa. He explained that as a form of taqiya (Shia practice of hiding their true believes in a situation, when revealing them would lead to death), the central leaders of the daʿwa had assumed different pseudonyms, such as al-Mobārak and al-Maymun, also assuming the rank of ḥojja, proof or full representative, of the absent Imam Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil. Ismail, whose own pseudonym had been al-Saʿid, the Happy One, further explained that the earlier propagation of Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil as Mahdi was itself another dissimulating tactic and that this was in reality another collective pseudonym for every true imam in the progeny of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādeq.


The doctrinal reform of Ismail split the Ismaʿili movement into two rival factions. One faction remained loyal to the central leadership and acknowledged continuity in the imamate, recognizing Ismail and his ancestors as their imams, which was in due course incorporated into the Fatimid Ismaʿili doctrine of the imamate. These Ismaʿilis now allowed for three hidden imams between Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil and Ismail. This loyalist faction came to include the bulk of the Ismaʿilis. On the other hand, a dissident faction rejected Ismail’s reform and maintained their original belief in the Mahdiship of Moḥammad b. Esmāʿil. Henceforth, the term Qarmaṭi* came to be applied more specifically to the dissidents, who did not acknowledge Ismail, as well as his predecessors and successors in the Fatimid dynasty, as their imams. The dissident Qarmaṭi faction, which lacked central leadership, soon acquired its most important stronghold in the Bekaa valley, not far from the capital of Damascus.

2GDaTp2eh5Y.jpg
* - I one independence via faction, Abbasids accepted
* - such a reform was indeed enacted OTL by Hussain's son, Abdallah, the real-life creator of Fatimid state and Qarmati dissidents were a staunch enemy of Fatimids. The reason I include this is there are some provinces in 867, populated by Druzes, Shia heresy. Now, this is a bug, Druzes didn't exist until way later, but since I have fought numerous religious uprising, I've decided to pretend, that that's actually Qarmatian uprisings, which is period appropriate.
 
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ekorovin

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Since I wanted to continue playing the game already, I decided to condense events of 900-1114 into brief timeline. The most important events would be elaborated later on, if when this AAR become popular, and raging public would demand MOAR!

Timeline of 900-1114

900 - Ismail I openly proclaims himself and his predecessors Ismaili Imams, and claim superior authority, both temporal and spiritual. Becomes sultan of al-Sham.

900-965 - Ismail and his successors, Hussain II and Ismail II, expand the state in Levant and Al-Jazira.

965 - Sultan Mansur conquers Jerusalem from Egyptian Tulunids, leading to a great exaltation among Ismailis.

976 - Sultan Mansur is killed, leading the assault of Abbasid capital of Baghdad, his son Jibril succeeds him.

986 - Jibril conquers Baghdad and Shia holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, proclaims himself Caliph and commander of the faithful.

fig. 1 - Fatimid Caliphate after Jibril's and Shamir's conquests.
ezmD8Je.jpg
980-990 - Orhan, sultan of Seljuk Turks, conquers Persia.

1025 - Orhan and Seljuk Turks invade Mesopotamia, in the titanic battle of Dehloran in Ilam the caliphal army is utterly destroyed. Mespotamia is annexed by Seljuks, Baghdad and Shia holy cities sacked by Turks. Caliph Shamir, shocked by the events of Dehloran, orders for all his subjects to don blue clothes of mourning and paint the banners of remaining hosts blue, confines himself in the palace, leaving all matters of the state in the hands of his nephew, Abdallah.

fig.2 - Fatimid Caliphate after battle of Dehloran:
bWmlfkF.jpg
1046 - the death of Shamir, succession crisis and Shamiri schism. His son, infant Shamir II, succeeded, but quickly died in accident. Abdallah was proclaimed caliph and imam, but a certain heretic group believes that Shamir II didn't die, but went into mystical state of occultation, while Abdallah is an usurper.

1058 - Abdallah invades Egypt, but dies before the conquest is over, his Zeyd succeeds him.

1062 - Egypt is finally conquered.

fig.3 Fatimid Caliphate in 1062
YdEZlle.jpg
1083 - Using the turmoil in Byzantium after the ascension of 10-year old Lombard Catholic girl to the throne, Zeyd invades Asia Minor. The Catholic knights all over Europe gathered to help repel the invasion, only to be massacred in a battle of Kaisereia. Most of Asia Minor falls to Fatimids.
fig.3, 4 Battle of Kaisereia and Fatimid Caliphate in 1088
8mXZhUB.jpg


tgpMG7p.jpg
1093 - Death of Zeyd leads to another succession crisis after his son Musa was murdered in 1096 by his other son, Nasr. Most of empire considers Zeyd's other son Ismail III Caliph and Imam, while certain dissident fraction supports Nasr.

1104 - Union of Constantinople, Eastern Roman Empire and Patriarchy accepts Pope as the supreme leader of the Church. Georgia renounces Union and becomes the only Orthodox-ruled independent country. Catholicos–Patriarch of All Georgia becomes the new leader of Orthodox world.
fig. 5 - Union of Constantinople.
WJ9WtIg.jpg
1110 - Supporters of Nasr conquer Damascus, forcing Ismail III to flee to Egypt. There he assembles an army of Berber, Sudanese and Bedouin tribesmen, marches on Damascus and crushes Nasr's followers at Irbid. Kills Nasr in personal combat.

1114 - Ismail III dies in Seleukia after the conquest of Cilicia, his son Sadiq succeeds him.
 

ekorovin

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Nooooo! Not Orthodoxy!
Orthodoxy's still alive in Georgia and Caliphate-occupied Asia Minor. In fact, Orthodoxy is the second largest religion in caliphate, after Sunni Islam. While the official creed of the state, Shia Islam, is only the third. Since my inspiration for this state, along with obvious RL Fatimid caliphate, is Sefevi Iran, I think it's plausible to say that Fatimid regime favors Orthodox over Sunnis.
 

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I hope you do not plan to cinquer the entire world very soon :p It would be great to have sons follow different religions XD
At least you are not the green blob now with HIP :p
 

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I hope you do not plan to cinquer the entire world very soon :p It would be great to have sons follow different religions XD
At least you are not the green blob now with HIP :p
I'm not a green blob because I'm using sultanate of al-Sham as primary title, Shia color is green and for the most of the game I was bordered by another green blobs, so in order to save my eyes I rolled with Syrian grey.
 

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Chapter 1​
On a distance of barid* from the walls of Seleukia the night was torn by a multitude of fires. The fires were scattered onto a vast plane, without any semblance of order.



Few days before, after the army of great caliph Ismail were pulled out from Seleukia, after a customary three-days leave to pillage and stationed on the other bank of Mangavat River they were arrayed in an orderly formation of military camp, but with all the loot all ethnic and tribal rivalries sprung into an ever-ending series of clashes, so the army was breaking apart, each tribe finding its own place to camp.



The camp of Abdul-Salam of Salaami was one of the largest and well organized. Abdul-Salam knew that it was not due to his noble lineage. He was a bastard, and his tribesmen in the stony and hot strip of Sinai Mountains Jabiliya Bedouins called home never let him forget about it. But he long since founded new tribe, far more powerful than Jabiliya. Among invisible tribe that was pre-destined to rule the world Abdul-Salam was not a bastard, but the prince.

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The poet, wandering about the tribal lands and telling intricate tales, in which every word had thousands meanings depending of the level of initiation of the listener, tasked with proselytizing the creed of Shia Islam among the Bedouin tribes, who were more pagans then Sunnis, with their adoration for stars, guiding in an endless desert, and wells, sources of life, saw something in Abdul-Salam, for he purchased boy no one wanted and took him with on a long journey. Thus, Abdul-Salam met his dai.

BedouinGuides%2526Camels_DesertTrek_WadiRazarah_SouthSinai-6862_V2.jpg

He was brought to the city of Cairo, the great city, far beyond anything he might have imagined, where he stood in the House of Learning, and he was taught how to read and how to write in different scripts, and how to learn and right in the script that only Initiates can understand, and he was taught of the Faith, and how there was Zahir, exterior meaning to anything, and hidden Batini. He was a good pupil.
And then he was sent on a thousand missions, and he rose among the ranks of Initiates and one day he met the One, who was Key and the Door, Caliph Ismail himself. And he put Abdul-Salam in command of his armies, and Abdul-Salam led them well.
He was among his tribe of old now, Jabiliya, and no one dared to call him bastard anymore. He listened to the song of his old tribe as performed by a certain elder men, stating how mighty and glorious his tribe was, and smiled, for his tribe was infinitely more.
His servant came and touched his shoulder, and then whispered in his ear: “The gold coin was lost, and the silver would be melted.”
Abdul-Salam rose, slowly to avoid causing attention, and went for his tent. Few minutes past he and his chosen warriors were riding towards the city of Side.

side_an.png

Ah, what a glorious morning in the glorious city of Side! The sun is high in the sky, and the sea is blue, and a certain young man is sitting on the branch of the tree in palace’s garden and has no inclination whatsoever to listen to an old eunuch, pleading him to descend. But there’s one thing to ignore an old eunuch, and the other to ignore an old and tall man called Shamir, whom the father of a certain young man put in charge of the city of Side and young man himself. There was something about Shamir that made ignoring him feel like a dangerous thing to do. It was extremely surprising for young Sadiq, that the same second his feet touch the ground, Shamir fell to his knees, kissed the ground between Sadiq’s feet, and said “Oh Commander of Faithful, your revered father is now in the Garden, permit this unworthy slave to touch you.” “Sure”, Sadiq said, and Shamir put a jeweled turban on his head.

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The following moment the other man entered the garden, taller than Shamir, moving with fluid grace of a professional warrior. He kissed the earth between Sadiq’s feet, after which rather unceremoniously threw him over the shoulder and exited the garden.
 

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Did you get invested in this AAR? No? Good, for I tried to load the save and got crash after a year or so. I reloaded and it happen again. So I'm sorry, but this has come to an end. It was a good game, though, so I may have try another Muslim, possibly Yaqub as-Saffar. Stay tuned.
 

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Aw man........
Sure you can't try reinstalling or something like that?

Whatever happens, I'm looking forward to whatever's next!
That's probably save corruption, I loaded new game and everything was ok. The thing is, the only other save I have is from the time before the events I've described, so that's it. I'm kinda sad, this game had so beautifully disintegrating ERE, so historically Persianized Seljuks. Anyway, I found out that all this "Muslims are unplayable" thing is not true.