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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Italianajt

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Can I get the Saoshyant Steam Achievement?
Can I actually Roleplay my characters?
Can I make this longer than 5 pages?
Will these questions ever stop?
For my second AAR I am choosing to try for the Saoshyant Steam Achievement. I also wanted to play a tribal nation/character. My AAR will start in 769 as other attempts with single county Zoroastrians ended very quickly. However, I won't be starting with a powerful Zoroastrian character, but High Chief Qutlugh of Kirghiz.

So the parameters of this AAR will be a strict adherence to roleplaying each main character. Unlike my Galimani AAR I will try to flesh out the characters through a story and so will hopefully have more "meaty" updates. Also, Qutlugh is Manichaean, which, in CK2 is a Zoroastrian heresy even though the religion incorporated deities and beliefs from Christianity, Zoroastrian, and Buddhism. I was initially going to convert to Zoroastrian but the Manichaean religion is so unique I'm going to try my best to incorporate it into the story. And for any Manichaean adherents in the forums, I'll be using the Wikipedia entry on Manichaeism so if it's wrong, I apologize. This will also be an Ironman playthrough (to get the cheevo).

To Summarize:
1. Obtain Saoshyant Achievement
2. Strict Roleplay of each character
3. Maintain Ironman

I hope everyone appreciates this AAR!
 
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Nikolai

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Good luck!
 

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Definitely watching this. I didn't know Manichaeans could get the achievement.
Actually, I may need to research this. Wouldn't that suck if my whole premise is moot? But I think I can as it's a grayed out option in my Intrigue panel.

Good luck!
Thank you Nikolai!
 

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Chapter 1

We Manichee, the followers of the Prophet Mani and his teachings, see the world as flawed. Our lives, are flawed. Yet we strive to find Truth and to embody each of the five Shekhinas created by pīd ī wuzurgīh, The Father of Greatness. When I came of age to lead my tribe of Kirghiz I knew I had found haunâ, Reason. Yet I had no grasp of reyana, Intelligence, nor of madde´â, Mind. Still, through my tutelage and studies I had begun to gain that Shekhina which guides my sword, tar´îtâ, Understanding, and to be able to discuss mahšabtâ, Thought, with the rest of the aradwan (church members) and the mahistan (priests).[1]


I am fortunate to be here, orphaned at the age of 13 by my father, Bayanchur, after his death, I was raised by local men of note in the tribe. I am named after my father’s father who helped establish the Kirghiz people here in our lands.


I rule the Tribe of Ket to the north, the Tribe of Urzhar to the south, and my own Kirghiz tribe. We are not rich but we know how to work this land. I will use haunâ to make my tribes rich. Maybe I will not do it directly, that much is probably true. There is nothing finer than sitting in my tent, surrounded by my tribal council, and watching the spoils of raids and exploits of the Tang merchants from far east of us come in to my lands and laid before me.


Those men, who at times ably ran the tribe before now, are quite good. My father knew how to draw men to him. My uncle, Alp-Qutlugh, firstborn of my father’s father, helps in all matters relating to dealing with neighboring Mahommeds, Suomensukos, Tengris, or any other peoples near our tribal lands. He is designated to take over the tribe should Ahriman, The King of Darkness, take my life from me. I must be wary of him until I find myself a wife and produce an heir.
My marshal, Saru, is a local warrior who fought alongside my father. I know he does not approve of Mani’s teachings but still holds to his Tengri beliefs, which my father held as well. Yet Saru is invaluable on the field of battle. My wonderful Steward is Tolossu, my cousin, Alp-Qutlugh’s son. While he says to me that he does not desire to lead the tribe, I must prepare for any outcome. Though I may not have a full grasp of madde´â, I know it’s best to watch one’s back around claimants to lead the tribe. I turn to Itlar to put in place any types of shadow works which needs to be done. He is said to have ears and eyes in every tribe close to us. Sadly, mahšabtâ has not given us anyone who can espouse on Mani’s teachings. I make do with Kuntuvdi. Perhaps I’ll send him to convert these local peoples if I remember to ask Alp-Qutlugh to do so, that is. Not that Kuntuvdi would have much luck. Sometimes, when we speak to each other privately, I find the need to correct him on his misrepresentations of Mani's teachings.

These people. Why my father never understood the teachings of Mani is beyond me. Here I am, chosen to lead people who don’t want to hear about the struggle between light and dark which is all around us. Tengri’s everywhere I look. Maybe if I bring in more money they will start to listen?

At length I have spoken with Alp-Qutlugh on how to bring Mani’s teachings to all around us. I am not one of the mahistan, but shouldn’t the rest of the world know of that one day the light will be gone from this place, reclaimed by the Father of Greatness and his World of Light? Alp-Qutlugh jested that I should focus my attentions on finding out best how to accomplish this pious deed. I actually thought this was a splendid idea, until Itlar came to me in confidence and informed me what a terrible idea this was. Though I heard Itlar speaking, my mind began to wander and I thought to myself, maybe I should do something drastic. Maybe I should search for a way to spread Mani’s gospels.
---------------------------
[1] For the purposes of the AAR the five Shekhinas (divine attributes of light created by the pīd ī wuzurgīh) correlate as such to the five attributes in CK2:
  1. Reason (haunâ) = Stewardship

  2. Intelligence (reyana) = Diplomacy

  3. Mind (madde´â) = Intrigue

  4. Understanding (tar´îtâ) = Martial

  5. Thought (mahšabtâ) = Learning
 
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Italianajt

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Chapter 2: Happiness is a warm Gunes, baby

May the Father of Greatness lead my walk through this flawed life. There is a girl here in Kirghiz that I used to play out in the steppe with. She was not the most beautiful of women, and she did not follow Mani’s teachings, but she was my friend. We built dirt piles to tear them down. We ran through the endless fields of shrubs. It was fun, while it lasted. But then my father died and I became the Great Chief. We had drifted apart by the time we were 13 and Alp-Qutlugh thought it not best to associate with the girl any more. Upon becoming a man and fully taking on the mantle of Great Chief, I brought Gunes to me and told her she would not be leaving. Perhaps I should have heeded Alp-Qutlugh’s advice and informed her parents first but I never got around to it. Alp-Qutlugh also wanted me to take a wife from the Chach tribes, maybe a sister of the Chief, but I had my eye set on Gunes. She followed the Tengri beliefs, but I knew she would see the light still left in the world through Mani’s teachings in time. Still, Gunes hated me for the way she was brought to my yurt.[1] I told Gunes that I would be a faithful husband and dote on her. She alone could break through my shyness.


While holding council in my yurt it was brought to my attention that a well-known man from Ket had come seeking my help. Alp-Qutlugh suggested the man be allowed entry to beseech my help. I hesitated once, fearing having to speak to a stranger, but Alp-Qutlugh huffed and brought him in anyway. I but on a face I saw my father use with those coming to his presence in the hopes of hiding my shyness. The man pleaded his case quickly, asking for my help in resolving matters of the division of sheeps and goats with tribal members who wanted to leave the tribe. I kept trying to find the right words to say. I knew the answer the man wanted but time past as I fought to say the words. Alp-Qutlugh was about to lead the man out of the tent when I finally let out a few words. With the barrier cracked, I finished as quickly as possible with my answer. The man thanked me again and again, for my wisdom. Slightly emboldened I let my indignation show when he attempted to leave without properly compensating my great wisdom. Maybe if I put most matters into terms of gold I could speak more openly?


With the man gone I decided not to let my newfound words go. I issued orders for all of my council. Alp-Quthlugh would travel to Chach to let the chief there know about my friendly and cooperative intentions with his tribe. I ordered Saru to gather up men from the tribe in order to begin raiding, he began to protest, but I cut him off. Tolossu I asked to begin informing the tribe of my how great my rule will be and how this greatness was instilled during my upbrining. I asked Itlar to remain close to me to sort out any rumours or plots against me or Gunes. Kuntuvdi I asked to spread the teachings of Mani, as best he could.

By myself again I began to think of how best to find the Saoshyant to spread Mani’s teachings. We Manichee were not very great on the steppe. But those who stuck solely to the Zoroastrian beliefs were many, as well as the Mohammeds. With the raiding party I hope to strike fear into the local tribes, maybe if I could grow my influence over some of the Suomensuko fools to the North or to the Mohammedans to the west I could win better holy men to my tribes who could instruct me on how best to find this Zoroastrian Saoshyant?

Within a month or two Saru informed me of a great host of men who were eager to pillage the tribes nearby.

As the men gathered Saru jested if I would not be more comfortable sending him out to lead the raiding party. “Why should I let you get your hands on the gold first Saru? Perhaps what you brought back may not be as much as was actually raided?” Saru bristled at my words. “Saru, no one gets between money that should be mine and me. No, you will stay here to see that all is taken care of.” I thought I heard something about my fool religion, I needed to remember to tell Itlar to watch Saru.

I led the raiding party north first to the Suomensuko people. We found their tribe but the men defended their caravan and we simply had no way to loot or steal any livestock. I grew tired of the long journey through the steppe and instructed my commander to take the men south into the khan’s lands and left with men enough to protect me until I arrived in Kirghiz once again.[2]

When I arrived, I immediately went to see Gunes. I had been gone so long and we had not been getting along very well so I thought there would be no great need for speed to return. But as the tribal village came into view, I found myself wanting to see Gunes. To touch her, to be satisfied with her company...in more than one way. I did need an heir after all. So I went to her and embraced her in our private yurt. She looked very startled to see me back so soon, which I took to be a good omen. Had she been desiring my return? Or??? In any event, we spent almost every moment together through the next week and we began to act as we did as children.


As the winter began to set in, a runner came with word from Alp-Qutlugh that Chief Wakhushakk was becoming more agreeable and understanding of my stance towards his peoples and my desire to find the Saoshyant.


I had just ended a vigorous time in between the blankets with Gunes when I heard a call from outside my yurt. Excusing myself from my dear wife, I went out and found Itlar, cloaked in black. I then remembered that I never asked Itlar for help in keeping eyes on Saru’s actions. But what Itlar told me confirmed my suspicions, someone was out to get me. But they were cowardly, Itlar’s “eyes” had told him rumours that a member of my tribe was looking to strike out at me by killing Gunes. Itlar asked me if I wanted to hide my wife among the Ket or Urzhar tribe. I scoffed at the idea. “I may not have very many wits, but one does not hide his gold under a basket, my Master of madde´â.” Itlar protested but I was confident I would start to win over my people by producing an heir soon.


The morning after Itlar gave me this grave news, I had to leave to attend to matters of the Urzhar tribe that called upon my authority as the Great Chief. Although I asked Gunes to accompany me, she asked to stay behind since she was not feeling well. I gave her my permission to stay behind while I attended to my official duties. Those duties, upon arrival in Urzhar, consisted of telling the local leaders that they were still beholden to the power I derived from my father and my father’s father, just as their father’s and father’s father’s were. I dealt with some family issues that were disrupting the cohesiveness of the tribe but were really minor, when one got down to the realization that everything could be solved with money. Not my money, but other people’s money. Usually, I took a share for the aggravation it caused the tribe.

The winter began to wane when the old women came to me with Gunes and informed with great joy that the chieftess was with child. The happiness that I showed on my face masked my inner turmoil.

I knew it took women a few months to show that they were with child but I was away for two months in the south. But, maybe, perhaps our last night together was enough? I consulted Itlar who told me his eyes had seen nothing improper, he offered to have a handmaiden of my wife’s bribed to find out the truth. I thought it over, waste 5 precious gold pieces to have one of my wife’s handmaidens, who were really her childhood friends, potentially find nothing? What a waste of money. Plus, Gunes and I had been very close before I left for Urzhar. I could not betray the lifetime of friendship we shared for suspicions.


--------
[1] This is probably not the right word for the dwelling of the Kirghiz people of this time. But the Uyghurs did use yurts and Qutlugh is from the Uyghurid dynasty.
[2] Always check to see if people CAN be raided. Make sure that all of their gold isn't protected by their fort level. I will not be raiding again for a long time...sigh.
 
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Nikolai

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Gunes acts suspiciously...
 

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Your image links need fixin.
Shhhhhh. it's all better now.

Gunes acts suspiciously...
I know but...Qutlugh, while paranoid, has a 1 Intrigue. So even though he somewhat suspects, he can't comprehend if something is really up. Plus, he needs an heir, which secures his position, which brings in more potential money.

I'm really enjoying this.
Thanks! I'm glad you're reading it. These types of posts are always little vindications that I'm just not banging away on the keyboard for one or two people.
 

Specialist290

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An intriguing premise. You don't see too many Manichean AARs about, that's certain. I'll be keeping an eye on this, and hoping that Qutlugh and his descendants do great things in their efforts to spread Truth throughout the world :)
 

Italianajt

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Chapter 3: A Brief Tale of The Runners

The light of the full moon shone down upon the steppe. The livestock and horses slept close together with the shepherds of the Kirghiz ever watchful. The din of the tribe had died down, most were asleep, but there was a fair amount of activity around the yurt of High Chief Qutlugh. Two older boys waited on the perimeter of High Chief’s court. The space provided for gatherings and councils with the high chief gave a dull gray reflection of the moon’s glow where firelight did not touch it. The two boys watched their High Chief pace back and forth across the open space. Drifting in and out of the firelight, it appeared his expression changed from concern while in shadow to wided-eyed terror as he walked past the burning torches.

“I think he’s crazy,” said one of the boys.

“Quiet, he’s concerned, that is all. Now is when we find out if we have an heir to the High Chiefdom.”

“You think I care about some whelp?” the boy said this louder than he intended to and one of the high chief’s guards came over to them.

“Mind your tongue,” the man said in a harsh whisper. “What are you two standing around here for anyways?” The guard tightened his grip on the hilt of his sword, still sheathed.

“We...we...we are the runners from the tribes of Ket and Urzhur. We were kept here upon the rising of today’s sun by High Chief Qutlugh’s command to announce the impending birth. Our father’s and cousins are waiting for us along our journey home. Saob meant no offense with what he said.” the boy was breathless as he finished. Sweat started to form on his forehead as he waited for the guards reply.

The guard stared at the two boys, grunted, turned, and walked away.

Oh Saob meant nothing by it. Please stop looking at me. Where is your backbone? You expect to be a warrior with such meekness?” Saob said mockingly to the other boy.

“I at least know how to act around those in authority in the tribe.”

“This isn’t my tribe, Griane. This isn’t your tribe either.” Saob lowered his voice. “Just because this man’s father got the best of Ket’s great warrior, doesn’t mean I should kneel and swear obedience to him.”

“No one is asking you to swear obedience to him. Just to acknowledge his rule over our tribes. Do our families still walk the steppe, tending our livestock and growing in numbers? Imagine being from this tribe, always having the suspicion that the Master of Madde’â will find out that you were having interesting thoughts about your beautiful cousin.”

Saob gave Griane a sidelong look. “Speaking from experience?”

Griane clenched his fist ready to strike Saob, this boy from Ket was aggravating. Whining and complaining the entire day. Boasting what he would do in defiance of High Chief Qutlugh’s commands, given the chance. The invincibility of pubescence. Griane new his place in Urzhur, as well as in the High Chiefdom of Kirghiz. He was no one outside of his family, which was fine for him right now. He’d rise when he had the chance, when it mattered, not trying to boast in front of an unknown as Saob was doing.

Saob had continued his bleating throughout the night when a cry pierced the night from the High Chief’s yurt. An answering cry of exclamation was given by High Chief Qutlugh as he ran to the opening of the yurt to inquire within. The old women positioned at the door held him at bay as the sound of a baby’s cries escaped from within. Eventually Qutlugh was allowed to enter. Muffled talk came from within. Saob and Griane both crept slowly towards the yurt, this is what they were here for, to report the news to their tribes.

“You both can ride?”

The voice from behind scared both of them and made them jump. The boys turned around to find a man cloaked in black with a dark turban around his head. There was a shocked pause. “Yes Master Itlar,” Griane spoke up, “I can.” Saob only nodded meekly.

Itlar threw reins to both of them. “Mount. As soon as they tell you the outcome, ride. No straggling behind looking for a warm bed or food to steal.” Itlar’s turned to walk away but stared at Griane for a time, gauging him almost. With a grunt he finally moved on and Griane’s breath slowed, he had felt an accusation coming...or was it something else?

The flaps to the yurt flew open and out came High Chief Qutlugh with a bundle between his arms, wrapped in a wool blanket.

“My son! Bayanchur, heir to Kirghiz!”

 
Last edited:

Italianajt

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Well...thank you all for your interest but the update killed my game. More like, made me a god.

First this happened on the first day's advancement:


Then, if you notice in the upper right, I was granted 74,000 Prestige and 45,000 Piety
I also acquired all tech advancements and have over 10000 unused tech points in each category.

Basically, the save is broke. I don't mind rolling the update back, if someone would tell me how to do that. Or, just to trash it, and start the Saoshyant with Manichean role play again.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Dayni

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You go into the options for the game in steam, then proceed to check betas and click for 2.3.6.

Also, I just know one of the family realises the truth: That the saoshayant was in them all along.
 

darkhaze9

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I just now found this, but I really hope you start over in the new patch or something, so the search for the Saoshyant can continue.