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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Range

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I think that the victory is clearly Sultan's - following the good old Faruqi strategy of hiring generals with the same name as the simultaneous ruler...

I must bow to the brilliant rule that leads Khandesh. They not only took Nepal as a vassal, but also lost 2 infamy points in the bargain.
 

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Poor Nasir, nobody credits him with anything good. But look - he won the great war(s) and raised a fine heir. Very underappreciated man.
 

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Hilarious as always. :)

And I second aldriq, can't wait to see who the scary enemy will be... and how our valorous Nasir will go about this challenge.

Btw, he should really make more affort at multi-tasking. Combining child-raising and professional career is what a modern man is supposed to do with ease.
 

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Oh my god, you're going to fight Ethiopia?

You're doomed.
 

morningSIDEr

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Thank you profusely for the replies!

loki100 - It has been a tough time for him, no doubts about it, especially due to Miran's keen interest in weaponary. Thankfully though the time of peace is now at an end, but I get the feeling Nasir would have possibly preferred if it had continued!

Athalcor - A very good point! It is very likely Nasir has already begun tampering with the battle reports.

Range - Vikas may lose his head at times (literally) but he truly is a master of diplomacy, hence why Khandesh loses infamy when gaining vassals!

aldriq - Miran has an impressively high (well, impressive for a Miran anyway...) military score of 7; he is destined to prove a military genius. As for the enemy, I'm very glad it wasn't China, the actual enemy proved difficult enough!

blsteen - Very true, things remain the same, Khandesh remains wonderful due to enlightened Faruqi rule!

RGB - I cannot agree more. Worst of all, even when Nasir attempts to aid a fellow family member he still isn't given the praise and thanks his noble actions deserve, as this update shows.

gabor - Thank you for the kind words (your bribe is en route!). 'Enemy' is the wrong term in honesty. It is more a case of 'misguided ally who for some reason thinks Khandesh an enemy'. Still, Nasir does reasonably well in helping this 'friend'.

I agree completely regarding the multi-tasking, thankfully though Miran seems to be turning into a fine young man even without his father's guidance.

naggy - Never! Khandesh would indeed be doomed were she to tangle with such a colossus! aldriq's AAR showed me that Ethiopia has too many mountains and too much coffee for even the mighty Khandesh to be able to defeat her!

A belated happy new year to everyone, I hope everyone had as enjoyable a hogmanay as myself and I hope everyone has a great 2012 (needless to say I also hope the Mayans are proved wrong).
 

morningSIDEr

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Chapter Eight: For the Horde!​


16 January 1491

Proudly Nitin accepted his commendation from Nasir. He had been hard at work recently, sent into Delhi after the rebellion he had been tasked with placating the citizenry there and he had excelled in his work.

UP35-1.jpg

He had establised numerous schools throughout the province and subjected the children of Delhi to the torture of suffering through hours of lessons every day. Their frightened parents had quickly forced any thought of any further rebellion from their minds, they had no wish to suffer a fate as horrible as that which their children were now forced to endure.

---------------------​

17 August 1491

Rushing into the palace Hemant headed towards Guest Room A; Maroon With White Spots Version, carefully making sure he was not being followed and hoping to avoid Miran on his way there. Entering the room quickly, he hurried over to Nasir.

"Were you followed?" Nasir instantly demanded of him, worry etched upon his face.

"No, sire, no, I am quite sure no one noticed me."

"Good." Nasir relaxed slightly, "And?"

"Excellent news, sire! As you thought their appears to be some kind of familial tie between yourself and Temur!"

UP35-2.jpg

"Good, good but hardly a surprise. Just look at the vast realm he rules over, we Faruqi always do well, distant relatives or not."

"Yes, sire, a vast realm currently in the grip of rebellion due to the inept Burji family. I can now see why you identify strong comparisons between the Golden Horde and ourselves what with the rebellions and the...uh, similarly skilled rulers."

UP35-3.jpg

Nasir glowered at Hemant.

"By similarly skilled I mean both brilliant of course, sire!"

"Quite." Replied the still suspicious Nasir. "Well, he is family, however distant a relation. What is our family tie anyway?"

"You are related due to Temur's wise decision to marry into the Timurid and Khorasan royal families, both Faruqi families as you'll remember, sire."

"Ah, very clever indeed. He did not have any Faruqi blood himself but soon sought some out."

"Indeed, sire. Strangely enough it was shortly after marrying in to the Timurid and Khorasan royal families that his realm was engulfed in rebellion having previously experienced decades of peace. Much as happened when a Faruqi took the Timurid throne and that nation went from peace to anarchy within weeks."

"Very strange as you say, especially as we Faruqi usually prove excellent rulers. More importantly though, does he need our...'aid'?"

"Oh yes, sire. It would be quite remiss of us to fail to give 'aid' to a fellow family member, however distant, when he so clearly needs it."

"Wonderful! Well, arrange matters. I've been stuck in the palace for too long. I need some exercise. Of course I wish I could stay with the family but my country nee-"

Nasir was suddenly cut off by the sound of something whirring through the air, swiftly followed by several thumps and some yells of pain, this noise coming from the direction of Miran's bedroom. Miran had recently taken to experimenting with a variety of different weapons and he was proving impressively proficient in the use of each of them.

Nasir and Hemant shared a worried glance.

"Ah, I assume the young prince must be up now." Hemant said slowly, desperately glancing around the room for possible cover.

"Yes, yes he must be." Nasir replied quietly. "Which is why you must sort out this war-that is, this mission of aid, with all haste. Get to it! I need take my leave"

"Well, sire, the war-uh, the 'mission of aid' is already under way. I knew you would be loathe to leave your family but thought it prudent to get things started as quickly as possible."

UP35-4.jpg

"Good man, good man! Wait, is this report right? The Golden Horde have 65,000 men under arms?"

"Yes, sire. They are called the 'Horde' for a reason."

"Hah, yes, well, uhm...since they have such a large army do you really think they need our 'aid'?"

"Sire?"

"In truth I have been bonding well with Miran recently, I am not too sure I can actually leave for the frontlines. Not that I am scared to face the Golden Horde and her massive armies, I hasten to add, but, uh...yes, I would really rather stay with my family." Nasir stated the last bit through clenched teeth.

"But, sire, the men need you!" Hemant stated whilst truly reflecting the men needed Nasir like a hole in the head. He needed Nasir out of the way though, he had plotting to do whilst Nasir was away.

"Yes, well, I am sorry but my family must come first in this instance." Nasir stated with little conviction. "And that truly is final."

Both men suddenly froze as they heard people running frantically past the room. All was quiet for a few moments before a single person could be heard slowly walking down the corridor outside. Suddenly the footsteps stopped outside the doorway. There was a knocking at the door.

"Dad? Are you there? I've just found out about some weapon called nunchucks and I was wanting to show you this nifty move I've been practicing, it seemed to impress everyone else."

"And by final, I mean I will certainly travel to the frontlines with all haste, and that is final." Nasir whispered to Hemant before opening a window and slowly lowering himself out of it. Hemant quickly followed Nasir.

"Dad? Dad?!"

---------------------​

6 January 1492

Nasir had to admit he had probably worried too much about the large force the Golden Horde had at her command. Reports quickly showed that the Horde, whilst having many brigades in theory, was rather short on manpower.

UP35-5.jpg

This nonetheless puzzled Nasir, that Temur, a member of the Faruqi family, could struggle militarily. He may not have been named Miran, with all of the martial glory said name carried, but Faruqi's usually had no trouble when commanding men.

Noting that Temur was struggling against the rebels in Kalmykia, Nasir quickly gave the order for his own army to rush forward to Temur's 'aid', desperate as he was to crush the rebellion and thus aid his fellow family member.

UP35-6.jpg

It was such a pity then that both Khandeshi and Horde forces got rather mixed up. The Horde somehow thinking Khandesh was attacking them instead of the rebels. A most regrettable occurrence.

Sadly an occurence which was to happen again mere months later when the Horde spurned Khandeshi help against the rebels of Sarai.

UP35-7.jpg

The Khandeshi army waiting patiently in Sarai for the end of the battle so as to have a chance to attack the weakened Horde. That is to say, the Khandeshi army waiting patiently in Sarai for a chance to aid the Horde in defeating the rebels.

Despite this offer of aid the Horde surprisingly turned upon the Khandeshi army once again, after having vanquished the rebel foe.

UP35-8.jpg

Nasir could not understand Temur's reaction to Khandesh's kind offer of aid. He had invaded, uh, moved into Golden Horde territory intent upon only crushing the rebellion so as to help a fellow family member. Perhaps crushing the Horde army too if possible, this only to aid Temur as clearly his army was too large for his nation to support. He did not expect any recompense for this noble and selfless action. Perhaps a province or five, simply to make things easier for Temur, giving him less people needed to rule. He could not understand why Temur did not understand this and trust him.

Undaunted, and keen to continue providing Temur with aid, Nasir continued to follow the main Horde army, happy to provide 'support' to it.

UP35-9.jpg

This despite Temur showering Nasir with curses, rather than thanks as should clearly be the case, as they met time and again on the battlefield.

Temur was ungrateful for Khandesh's aid but Nasir was not overly concerned as soon his conquest would be complete. Uh, the conquest of the Golden Horde rebels would soon be complete that is. He was intent on holding out for just a few more months until he could grab all of the land he wanted. Nothing would dissuade him from this goal, he would aid Temur whether Temur liked it or not.

UP35-10.jpg

Then again providing aid to one so ungateful as Temur was clearly a waste of time. Nasir quickly sent Vikas forward to thrash out peace terms, suddenly acutely aware of Temur's anger at his offer of 'aid'.

UP35-11.jpg

An acceptable peace deal having been secured, Nasir hurriedly retreated to the palace, for once glad to return there. It was not that he had become afraid of Temur and the Golden Horde's large armies after the defeat at Voronezh, it was rather that the rebels had been crushed. Khandesh had completed her mission and cleared the Golden Horde of rebels, hence her quick exit. That the Golden Horde's lands were still filled with rebels was but a small and highly unimportant consideration.


An excerpt from Khandesh: The Nation Always Happy to Help

The war against the Golden Horde proved a relatively short affair, Khandesh seemingly launching this opportunistic attack due to the Golden Horde's weakened position caused by her rebel problems. Khandesh's forces were left bruised after her war against the Golden Horde but this would not stop her from fighting many other nations in the years ahead.
 

Fyregecko

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As both of us have learned, clearly the Horde are fools. How can they not understand that Nasir is there to assist? Clearly the Tartars will be much happier under his enlightened rule!

(Incidentally, can we swap Hordes? You can have my nyaarwekilleverythingfornoreason version, and I get the one that's baw-deep in rebels?)
 

Memento Mori

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I just had this mental image of the crown prince of Khandesh practicing fighting with pokers. Ugh. You should send him to the frontline as fast as you can, preferably alone, so he won't damage your own armies too much...
 

loki100

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that was an awful drain on Khandesh's aid budget there, but I suppose it is a bit hard to tell a legal Mongol apart from an illegal one? Hence all those regretable incidents.
 

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It's always a pleasure to see the Faruqis succeed despite overwhelming overwhelmingness.
 

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The unstoppable forces of aid! Huh! I wonder if Kandesh will ever be in (rebel-triggered) need to be blessed with their selflessness. :)

If the combat with GH was really a challenge, why was it? What might have made them a (seemingly almost even) match to the Faruquis?
 

Athalcor

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Faruqis. Helping their relatives since 15th century.
 

Range

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Like they always say, you can't help someone that doesn't want your help. It was only fair you got some payment for your troubles. Great success...GH is a nation to be reckoned with.
 

morningSIDEr

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Thank you profusely for the replies!

Fyregecko - I too am quite mystified as to how the Golden Horde thought Nasir to be acting with anything but the noblest of intentions, he is clearly merely wishing to aid them.

As for the Horde swap; deal, but only if I get a rainbow coloured waistcoat for the Faruqi family (although really, considering how ridiculously skilled they already are, adding a rainbow coloured waistcoat to their arsenal would make things far too easy!).

Memento Mori - You are quite right, a poker wielding Miran is a truly terrifying thought! Thankfully Nasir is keeping Miran quite busy these days, as you shall see in this update.

loki100 - Exactly so. If only the Golden Horde troops would equip themselves with some highly visible uniforms which clearly differentiate them with GH rebels, all of these regrettable misunderstandings could have been so easily avoided!

RGB - Indeed! Being overwhelmingly able in every aspect of life allows any Faruqi to overcome overwhelmingly overwhelming odds.

gabor - As you say, I hope that should Khandesh somehow be subsumed by rebels, she receives the aid she so richly deserves from the many nations she has aided herself!

The only reason Khandesh's near invincible armies were for once defeated is because it was a Faruqi meeting a fellow Faruqi in battle (well, Temur is at least part-Faruqi due to marriage), as it is only a Faruqi who can best a Faruqi in combat!

aldriq - A truly excellent idea. Especially as this would also bring about the end of the Golden Horde's rebel problems, Miran would make short work of them after all, as this update shows!

Athalcor - A truly close family!

Range - Quite so. Nasir did his best, it is just a shame that Temur could not understand he was being helped rather than hindered!

blsteen - The FAP (couldn't hope for a better acronym really); much wanted by any nation in trouble.
 

morningSIDEr

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Chapter Nine: Genoa Chance​


Nasir was exasperated. Exasperated and angry. How anyone could think it possible for Khandesh to 'improve relations' with another nation when she had Vikas as her chancellor was truly beyond him. Even his undoubted Faruqi charm could not succeed in such circumstances. It was a waste of time asking Khandesh to achieve the impossible.

UP36-1.jpg

Despite deep misgivings he had sent Vikas to Qara Koyunlu, interested as he was to see if Khandesh could perhaps complete a peaceful mission for once. A short time later, after Vikas mortally offended Qara Koyunlu by simultaneously covering her ruler in spittle, leaving several embarrassing body parts in inappropriate places and introducing a new and particularly deadly disease to the nation, the mission was cancelled. In truth Nasir was rather impressed with Vikas' work. Still, from this rather messy affair with Qara Koyunlu Hemant had now brought Nasir a far more useful mission.

Nasir was never a man to pass up an opportunity to give a smaller nation a sound thrashing. It was such honourable tactics which made Khandesh great.

UP36-2.jpg

Plus, rather more importantly, Nasir was never a man to pass up an opportunity to give a smaller nation a sound thrashing as it got him away from Miran for a few months.

With Nasir leading from the front the war was over in double the time it would have otherwise taken but it still finished soon enough with Ramazan accepting annexation into the glorious Khandeshi empire.

UP36-3.jpg

The only real dissapointment of the campaign coming at the end as Hemant delivered yet another unsatisfactory mission, leaving Nasir little choice but to reluctantly return to the palace.

---------------------​

29 September 1494

Nasir sat back in his saddle whilst surveying the battlefield, feeling for the first time that he could remember a proud father, as opposed to his usual feeling of being a horribly terrified father. Miran was making short work of the enemy.

UP36-4.jpg

It was whilst touring the country as he regularly did, anything to get away from the palace for a few weeks, that local rebels has risen in revolt whilst his party passed. This had rather shocked Nasir, he found it impossible that any could complain about his fantastic rule. The rebels though were rather aggrieved by a number of issues such as their being sick and tired of paying taxes only for Tushar to steal most of the money, the rest they felt wasted by Nasir on items such as expensive Diwani script documents. These clearly unimportant issues which in no way justified this wholly unacceptable rebellion.

Unfortunately for the rebels, and for Nasir too, Miran had been with Nasir on this tour of the country. Nasir's wife insisting it was time the boy learned something of statecraft from his father. Nasir had merely pointed a fully loaded Miran at the rebels and they were soon put to flight.

---------------------​

1 January 1495

Hemant approached Nasir with a trembling cartographer following in his wake. Things were coming together, his plans were proceeding nicely and now this cartographer had given him yet another reason to send Nasir away from the palace. A reason which would further cement Nasir's status as a bumbling, warmongering fool.

"Sire? I have some important news."

"Yes, what is it?" Nasir replied distractedly. He was rather preoccupied with mending his arrow covered armour. Miran had returned to archery recently.

"Our wonderful cartographers have made another important discovery, my liege."

Nasir straightend from what he was doing. Turning from his armour, which Hemant could not help noticing was also covered in a variety of nicks as would be caused by sword blows, clearly Miran was continuing sword practice as well, Nasir subjected the unfortunate cartographer to a stare.

"Have they indeed? Which huge land mass sitting mere metres over Khandesh's border for years on end has finally been identified this time?"

"This one, sire."

UP36-5.jpg

"We conquered Cherkassk nearly two years ago. How is it you have only now identified a province lying just over the border from it?" Nasir quietly asked the cartographer, his anger slowly building.

"Well, uh, hah, two years is quite quick for us cartographers, sire!"

"..."

"Uhm...what I mean is, uh, well, uhm, you see, uh, the land around Cherkassk is very difficult to navigate and map, and uh, Genoa were not keen to give us access to their nation. Something about not trusting so warmongering and dishonourable a nation, sire."

"They said that about us?!" Nasir asked, anger at the cartographer momentarily forgotten.

"Yes, sire, a shocking slur I thought too! Obviously we are rather war hungry in Khandesh but that is no bad thing is it? And we aren't a dishonourable nation! It is the useless Faruq-uh, it is, uhm...we aren't dishonourable, sire." The cartographer finished lamely.

"Indeed. Well, thank you so much for finally doing your job. You are a true credit to your profession. Allow me to give you a bonus."

"Oh no, sire, I don't want anything, simply serving you is reward enough." Gabbled the cartographer as he desperately began backing away.

"I insist, you seem distinctly ill looking, not been around Vikas recently I hope?" Beckoning Nitin over, Nasir continued. "Make sure our fine cartographer here is well and truly fustigated, Nitin. We cannot have such an able man unwell when he is so clearly needed for further work."

"Thank you, sire." Stated the quivering cartographer as he was led away. It could have gone much worse he had to admit, Nasir was rumoured to be arranging another game of 'Kick the Cartographer' soon.

"So Hemant, what do we know about Genoa?"

"Quite a peaceful European nation, my liege..."

"Oh. That does not sound very interesting."

"...who have grown rich through trade."

"Ah. Rich you say? Well, considering the slur they have made upon Khandesh's good name it is only right that we defend our honour! Wait...they don't have a large army do they?"

"Quite small, sire."

"Good, good. Yes, well Khandesh need defend her honour and strike at those who dare insult her good name!"

"Exactly so, my liege, we do a good enough job of ruining our own reputation, we do not need others doing so as well."

"Right, right. Thus for our treasury, to war!"

Hemant coughed discreetly.

"What? Oh, ahem. For our honour, to war!"

"But of course, sire."

Hemant smiled and cackled quietly as he stalked off to set things in motion.

UP36-6.jpg


---------------------​

21 February 1495

With war against European nations likely to become far more common as Khandesh expanded further west, as this current entirely unavoidable conflict against Genoa showed, Nasir felt the quality of the army need be improved.

UP36-7.jpg

With this in mind Nasir quickly hired an able commandant so as to achieve this increase quality. Miran proving hugely able in whipping the men into shape.

Whilst leaving his son to mercilessly drill the troops Nasir turned his attention towards the navy. For some reason Khandesh's numerous attempts to build the innovative Sinkmarine had ended in failure. It almost as if the grass and marble from which various models had been constructed were poor building materials for constructing naval craft. Currently her navy, such as it was, consisted of some canoes, kayaks, fishing boats and pedalo. Whilst this was undoubtedly a formidable fleet Nasir did think some more conventional ships could prove useful.

UP36-8.jpg

Thus he ordered the creation of Khandesh's first fleet. This pleasing and worrying Khandesh's smattering of naval officers in equal measure. Pleased as they were to finally have some actual ships to command and worried as they were to finally have some work actually required of them.

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12 December 1495

Vikas, acutely aware of a need to redeem himself after the episode in Qara Koyunlu, had managed a considerable success.

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Whilst staying in the province of Quetta for a few weeks on diplomatic business Vikas was left bemused and also thankful upon being told by fellow diplomats from Khandesh's vassal, Baluchistan, that they were more than happy for Khandesh to simply take the province of Quetta for themselves. Ruined as it now was by several viruses sweeping through the population. The first of which, by a startling coincidence, had started to affect the population at the same time as Vikas entered the province.

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Having finally defeated Genoa's experienced and well equipped men, whilst having suffered many casaulties themselves, Khandesh's troops could finally rest. The province of Azow had now been captured and the war could now come to an end. It had proven a tough, bloody war but the reward of a rich new province being added to the empire made it all worthwhile.

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Such a pity then that this was quite impossible.


An excerpt from Khandesh: The History of a Naval Colossus

Khandesh's war against Genoa proved another in a long line of diplomatic embarrassments for the nation, which was quickly gaining the reputation of a blundering warmonger. Despite finally beginning to build something an actual navy Khandesh had no hope of gaining further land from Genoa and thus perhaps gaining something from the war. Thus her hopes of seizing Azow were quashed.

[Yes, I did it again, another pointless war fought. I was simply hoping that Azow would prove cheap enough to nab from Genoa without further occupation of her provinces being required. Thankfully the 'war' consisted of a single battle against a small Genoese force in Azow therefore this mistake was not too costly.]

The war against Genoa would dwindle to an end early in 1498, this just as well as the next few years would prove especially tumultuous for Khandesh.
 

loki100

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superb stuff ... but it leaves open several questons ... just what body parts did Vikas leave where? ... and, does Miran understand the subtle difference between 'whipping the troops into shape' and whipping the troops?