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AbZeroNow

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I'm slowly catching up with what I'm currently up to in game(1418). Nicholaus II will likely be a shortish entry[there will be a sorta facepalmy moment there], then Utman and then Suleyman(who is still my current king).

I think Pope's targeting of Crusades has improved but it still needs to get better.
 

AbZeroNow

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Chapter 16: Nicholaus II, the struggling king(1364-1376)


Historians look at Nicholaus II, as one of the lesser known kings that could have had potential to be a greater king than he was. Nicholaus II had the bad luck of being the son of a great king and the father of a great king. Nicholaus was well-known for his inability to have vassals see eye-to-eye with him, which resulted in Nicholaus having to give in to a gavelkind faction in Frisia and a Elective faction in Jerusalem. Nicholaus did at least marry well, as his wife was a double-Duchess of Leon & Portucale and he would ultimately have four children.

When his mother, Gisele, had died on May 16, 1368, Nicholaus had inherited the Duchy of Burgundy, and suddenly France had a slighly smaller realm. This would also be the first time that the Zirids would foray into French court politics as France was an elective realm. Around this same time, Venice had gotten a Waldensian Doge, and many wondered if this was gonna be another revivial of the heresy that seemed to have died with the HRE. Nicholaus was at least cunning enough to take advantage and he gained the Duchy of Susa in a holy war sometime in the early 1370s. There was even a Crusade called against Venice, but it ultimately fell apart when a proper Catholic Doge inherited around 1373. Nicholaus had seiged enough of Italy that had that continued for another year, he would have added King of Italy to his already impressive number of titles.



Of Nicholaus's children, his eldest daughter Adba would be renowned for marrying 4 times(all Greeks) and surviving all of her husbands. Nicholaus's eldest son was groomed to handle the realm, and Utman was educated in the proper Occitan culture. It helped that Utman was well-liked by most of the Burgundian vassals, which ensured his election as King of Jerusalem. The youngest son Ya'far was considered slow-witted like Nicholaus had been as a child. Nicholaus had wanted to fix the problem of Frisian succession but his own poor health betrayed him as he would die at 40 on July 23, 1376, leaving Utman under a regency and the Kingdom of Frisia became split from the realm.

 

AbZeroNow

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I'm curious to see how long these states remain sultanates.
It's just a cultural thing in this case. Nick II was Andalusian cultured so kingdom is called Sultanate.

Probably will catch up in the next few updates:
Utman
Suleyman
Abbad [current king as of November 1438]
 
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AbZeroNow

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Chapter 17: King Utman "The Hammer" of Burgundy(1376-1402)

Burgundy had seen its first regency under the Zirids when Nickolaus II suddenly died at 40 on July 23, 1376. His elder son Utman had inherited most of his father's titles. Frisia had gone to Ya'far, the youngest son because of a faction changing the succession law. Utman showed promise in the area of diplomacy from a very young age,which helped his election to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Utman was ultimately schooled in administration since that was also needed to run an expanding realm. In fact, even before Utman came of age, he became the Duke of Leon when his mother died on November 12, 1378. During Utman's regency, a large warchest was gathering, since Utman's advisors saw weak opponents near Muscat and there was a desire to get the Jerusalem holdings and Baluchistan holdings closer together as the Shia Caliphate in Egypt had been expanding into the heart of Persia.



Finally in the waning months of 1383, King Utman(who came of age just the previous year) had amassed a large number of hired forces in Muscat, and so in quick succession, holy wars against those who held land in Oman had been declared. Most of Oman fell into Utman's hands on June 20, 1384 and then the province of Dhu Zabi followed on November 6, 1384. By this time, the local Muslim rulers had started forming defensive pacts, but a quick holy war for 2 of the 3 provinces of Damman had been declared, and two years later on March 16, 1386, Burgundy had expanding its realm further into the Persian gulf. Utman had exhausted his ability to pay for further holy wars, and so Burgundian expansion was put on hold, and further consolidation was the order of the day. The Sunni Caliph had felt extremely threatened by Burgundian presence in Oman, and so declared a Jihad for Arabia but Utman was able to fight off this by 1391.





Utman had earned the nickname "The Hammer" in his successful defense against the Sunni Jihad. Utman had also noticed that he was increasingly unable to sire a son, and he wished to employ a strategy to best ensure that the realm would not be broken apart again. And so in the 1390s, Burgundy & Austrasia became elective in addition to the newly created Kingdom of Baluchistan and the eventually usurped Kingdom of Leon.



At age 30, Utman would regain the Kingdom of Frisia, making him a six-time king. Eventually his plans were to fix the Frisian succession problem but Utman like his father Nicholaus was a bit sickly. Utman would die of fever on September 1, 1402. His brother would regain the Kingdom of Frisia, and the other 5 kingdoms would be inherited by Suleyman, the Duke of Murcia. Suleyman was in his mid-30s(only a few years younger than Utman was). Consolidation was very much the first thing Suleyman would have to do.

 

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Chapter 18: Suleyman "The Hammer" (1402-1427)


Suleyman, who had been Duke of Murcia for at least a decade before coming the new King(although he called himself Sultan) [born September 10, 1368], and who was descended from the youngest son of King Tanim II, had the unenviable task of having to give up Murcia to hold Granada and Burgundy's duchies. Frisia had once again split from the realm, but the split was smaller than the last time it had happened thanks to Utman's efforts in separating titles from Frisia. Unfortunately, Suleyman did not have a claim on the Kingdom of Frisia itself so that would become a small kingdom consisting of just Holland. At least Suleyman could take comfort in that Christianity itself spread from Ireland to Cathay.



1405 had seen a new Crusade called for some distant kingdom called Gondwana. Suleyman figured this would be a way to expand the faith and so joined almost immediately. Initially, things even went the way of the crusaders, but then Suleyman would have to focus on a different & more powerful enemy....the Shia Caliph.





Ultimately, Suleyman was able to force the Shia Caliph into a white peace to end his Jihad for Arabia, but the damage was done. The Pala Empire had been able to rout the few Crusaders left in Gondwana, and Suleyman had exhausted most of his money & levy fighting against both the Pala and the Shia Caliph(although many Catholic rulers also joined Suleyman to defend Arabia from the Caliph). The loss of the Crusade for Gondwana left a bitter taste in Suleyman's mouth, and he was said to have sworn vengeance against the Shia Muslims. It would take him some time but the opportunity came.





Suleyman had carefully considered his next holy war target. Damascus was tempting, as the Arabian duchy but ultimately Sinai was his choice of the holy war to bring his revenge onto the Shia Caliph. He figured that taking Sinai would split that Caliphate in two, and he wanted more of a connection between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean so being able to have a port on the Red Sea would be his first step. A decadence war was keeping the Caliph occupied, and so Suleyman along with all 3 major holy orders fighting alongside him had swept into Sinai, and seiged through the peninsula. On December 13, 1418, Sinai became the newest addition to Suleyman's realm. To ensure that his descendants would at least have land of their own, he granted his eldest son the provinces of El-Arish and eventually Sinai itself. He would have eventually given that son, Abdul-Rahman, the duchy, but his son had died of disease leaving those provinces to his young grandson.



In the chaos that followed the Shia Caliphate transferring to the winners of the decadence revolt, Suleyman would capture Maan and Tabuk from a revolt on October 26, 1421. His late years would see him fight off the Abbasids who declared another Sunni Jihad for Arabia. Victory for Suleyman happened in January 1427. His death would follow shortly after that last triumph, leaving his realm to the Duke(Emir) of Brabant, Abbad.







 

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Chapter 19: Abbad, the expansionist(1427-1444)


When Suleyman had died in 1427, Burgundy(which was being called the Zirid Sultanate in those days) had most of the Muslim & Western European Christian realms on edge. The new king, Abbad, who had been the Duke of Brabant, had let the Brabant holdings go to his eldest son while he held on to the ducal lands of Granada & Burgundy. Since the rulers of Egypt just had another decadence revolt, Abbad quickly declared a holy war for more Arabian lands...Petra and Al'Aqabah. This was quickly won on August 24, 1428, making the Kingdom of Jerusalem's defense all the more secure. He would grant some of the land to a son of his, since none of his sons would pass muster with the kingdom electors and so he wanted to ensure that his line would have an inheritance.



Abbad noticed that his list of places to expand the realm was smaller than his predecessors were, mainly since if he declared war on some of the smaller realms, he'd have to fight off six or seven armies, and Abbad had enough troubles without having to have mercenaries beat back puny lands for just one province. Of course, when rebellions occured, Abbad was always quick to check if he had causus belli, and usually declared. A French revolt that began in 1430 had given him his oppertunity to war for Denia on the behalf of a claimant, but it also meant undoing the stain of Denia being in French hands for so long. On April 3, 1431, Denia had returned to the Zirid realm.

Of course Abbad had to consolidate a few things, as a few pesky vassals were trying to fabricate claims on his lands, which either resulted in imprisonment or a revolt. The Count of Macon had rebelled in 1433, but Abbad was able to put that revolt and further add to his personal holdings in the ducal lands of Burgundy since he was able to revoke that title. Sometimes Abbad would not revoke titles but just vassalage if the internal borders didn't make sense to him and if the lord was imprisoned righteously. Abbad also kept building a warchest since he wanted to expand further into Arabia. He was given another oppertunity to do so in the mid-1430s, and so declared a Holy War for the Emirate of Medina. His purpose was twofold. 1.) Gain more Rea Sea coastline 2..) Further weaken the still strong Shia Muslims. After mostly sieges and one very intensive battle involving his army of 20,000 against 20,000 Shia, Abbad had struck the heaviest blow to Muslims yet. In a day that would forever live in infamy for Muslims, Medina & Mecca both fell to Christian hands on December 7, 1437.



Of course, Abbad would be effectively be at war with every Muslim if he declared another war within the next 10 years, and this had somehow raised the alarm of every Christian ruler in Western Europe. Abbad also knew that his realm's finances needed to recover from the expansive war he just concluded against the Androusids. And so, Abbad concentrated on internal matters. Surprisingly in the early 1440s, there was another revolt that Abbad would take advantage of, and so, a claim war for Seville was declared, and it took less than two years for it to also be included into the realm on March 2, 1442.



By this time, Abbad had a clear successor in his cousin, the Emir of Leon. The work of keeping the large realm together had left Abbad severely stressed however, and his heart finally gave out on August 21, 1444. Yahya, the Emir of Leon, became the new king of Burgundy, Austrasia, Jerusalem, Baluchistan & Leon. Yahya would almost be immediately tested to see if he was as fit to rule as Suleyman & Abbad were.

 

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An epic dynasty, AbZeroNow. Please note that you have been nominated in the Weekly Showcase of AAR writers !
 

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Chapter 20: Yahya's years of challenge and expansion(1444-1453)


As Yahya, the Emir of Leon, was elected to replace Abbad in 1444, he faced having to deal with the inefficiencies that arose from the conquests of Abbad and his own holdings. Yahya had granted his son, also named Yahya, the Leonese holdings. Of course, soon there were quite a few discontent vassals, most in the lands that his more recent predecessors had conquered. Once the Emir of Sinai(who was the grandson of Suleyman, a previous Sultan) had started an independence revolt, Yahya had sprung into action to put that rebellion down. Luckily for Yahya, the Emir of Sinai had overestimated his strength, and all of the revolting vassals were defeated and imprisoned. Since the Emir of Sinai was still in line to inherit the province of Istria, Yahya had spared him, basically putting him under house arrest. Other revolters were not so lucky however.


Yahya had also achieved a goal that other Zirid kings had set for themselves when he conquered the Emirate of Sanaa in 1446. Now the Zirid lands had the entire eastern shore of the Red Sea, and was connected to holdings in Oman & Damman. It also would make it easier to connect the Arabian lands to the Balochistan holdings. However, Yahya would spend the next decade basically consolidating rather than expanding since Muslims & Hindu had hefty pacts to stop any further Zirid expansion. Christian rulers were also weary of Yahya, even though he had no designs on making war with his neighbors.



In 1448, Pope Callistus II had declared a Crusade for Rajputana. Yahya was not in any position to answer the Crusade at that time, and he was not going to waste men & gold by the time he would be capable since it seemed unlikely that any other Christian ruler would be able to subdue Rajputana. And indeed, sometime in 1452, the Crusade was lost.





Yahya had received welcome news in October 1452, when the imprisoned Emir of Sinai inherited Istria, which gave the Zirids more land that had formally been under the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bohemia now had less ports in its realm. As 1453 came around, Yahya was still Sultan over a large realm, and his son was in line to be elected as his successor. Burgundy was crawling closer to being an Empire, and its future looked bright.

 

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Damn, but the Zirids have done well!

This bit reminds me of The Lost Crusade, any relation?

In 1448, Pope Callistus II had declared a Crusade for Rajputana. Yahya was not in any position to answer the Crusade at that time, and he was not going to waste men & gold by the time he would be capable since it seemed unlikely that any other Christian ruler would be able to subdue Rajputana. And indeed, sometime in 1452, the Crusade was lost.