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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Varam

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Islam in the East - A Bengal AAR

May 30th, 1453

The Sultan's Palace, Capital City Howrah

There is a great discussion taking place in the Grand Council Chamber. Nasir ad-Din Mahmud, Sultan of Bengal, listens intently as his advisors present him with report after report on the status of the Sultanate. His chief cartographer presents him with a map of Bengal and the surrounding lands.



As he looked at the map, Nasir-ad Din could not help but think: My, what a lovely shade of blue my lands are. His thoughts were interrupted, however, by the fanatical Imam, Mahmud Suri. Mahmud was a young man, but he was also extremely zealous and deeply concerned over the lack of the true faith amongst Bengal's populace.



Nasir ad-Din was also also concerned about the situation, albeit for different reasons. He was a descendant of the Turkish warlords who had invaded Bengal over a century ago, and although the ruling class was nearly entirely Muslim, they ruled over a vast Hindu population. Nasir ad-Din was not a deeply religious man, but he was worried that his people resented him. More troubling was that with the exception of his friend Ali Khan in the small state of Arakan, all of the surrounding rulers were also Hindus. Nasir ad-Din did not like to think about what would happen if they joined together to free the people of Bengal from his rule.



The council brought to Nasir ad-Din's attention a very talented man living in Bengal named Hamza Shaikh. There was another man known as Hamza Shaikh, but he was considerably less talented and likely an imposter hoping to profit from tales of the other man's genius. Although it cost him nearly his entire treasury, Nasir ad-Din hired the real Hamza Shaikh and brought him to his court.



Nasir ad-Din himself was a fairly talented administrator, and he wished that he could spend the rest of his days peacefully overseeing Bengal's development. Sadly, Nasir ad-Din's wishes rarely came true.

To be continued.
 

Nikolai

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A very good start you've written there.:)
 

unmerged(48100)

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Nice start. Hamza Shaikh really seems to be a damn good advisor, if you only could stay in peace, but knowing Bengal this will be rather hard.
 

Varam

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Islam in the East - A Bengal AAR



Despite Nasir ad-Din's best efforts, relations with most of Bengal's neighbors were tense. Nasir ad-Din's only friend was to be found in the small state of Arakan, which was ruled by Nasir ad-Din's close friend and fellow Muslim, Ali Khan. Nasir ad-Din was thus not surprised when a messenger from Arakan arrived with a wonderful offer.



Nasir ad-Din was happy to agree, and soon the royal houses of Bengal and Arakan were linked not not just by friendship, but by marriage. The ceremony took place in Howrah, and Nasir ad-Din and Ali Khan financed a great festival. The celebrations were cut short, however, when a messenger from Delhi arrived with grim news.



Although Delhi was ruled by a fellow Muslim and Bihar was on very poor terms with Bengal, Nasir ad-Din did not rejoice at the news of the invasion. If India were to erupt into a great war, Bengal would be in a very precarious situation indeed. Although he dreaded the possibility of such a conflict, Nasir ad-Din ordered that his army be raised to four thousand men, which he believed to be the maximum Bengal could support. As he considered Bengal's situation, he realized that as much danger as Bengal was in, Arakan was even more vulnerable. He immediately dispatched an envoy to the court of Ali Khan, intent on forging a defensive alliance.



Ali Khan accepted without delay, and envoys were sent to the other rulers announcing the alliance. Nasir ad-Din hoped that the combined might of Bengal and Arakan would be enough to dissuade their neighbours from attacking. A week later, two messengers arrived at Nasir ad-Din's palace at simultaneously, both claiming to have an urgent message for him.



The messenger from Pegu taunted Nasir ad-Din with suggestions that Bengal would be wiped from the map if it came to Arakan's aid. The messenger from Arakan pleaded for help, urging Nasir ad-Din to come to Ali Khan's rescue. Nasir ad-Din had sat in silence as the messages were delivered, but the very moment they were finished he rose to his feet and ordered his guards to behead the envoy from Pegu. That very night, Nasir ad-Din rode east from Howrah, leading his army to war.

To be continued.
 

EvilSanta

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Damn, you got one nice advisor there!
 

GeneralHannibal

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Your maps look very good, and Pegu looks like a weak, far enough away state as to not cause much trouble to you.
 

coz1

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That is one hell of an advisor! That should be a great help. And already to war - good luck. Nice work so far, and lovely job on the screenies. :)
 

stnylan

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Like others, that is certainly an advisor worth having, and you have touched those maps up beautifully. And now time to see what metal Bengal is made of. Exciting times are ahead!
 

brisduv

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Very nice start, what an advisor. May the Bengali rule all of India. :cool:
 

Varam

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Everyone - Thanks for the comments!

With regards to Hamza Shaikh - He really is a great advisor, and the best non-historic one I've had so far.

Maharaja - I was actually going to mint some money to hire the naval advisor too, but I totally forgot about it and now he's long since been hired by someone else. :(

----------------------------------------------------------------

Islam in the East - A Bengal AAR

The Epic War of Pegu Aggression

The war began on May 4, 1454. Nasir ad-Din's army was comprised of three thousand Indian Foot and one thousand Indian Hill Cavalry. It was not exactly a grand force, but it was significantly better than what Arakan brought to the war effort. This is because Arakan did not actually have any soldiers. Nor did Arakan have a fortress to slow the Pegu invasion, and Nasir ad-Din worried that the Pegu army would overrun his completely defenseless ally before his army could arrive.

When Nasir ad-Din finally arrived in Arakan, he was relieved to find Ali Khan still in control. Ali Khan acknowledged Nasir ad-Din as the leader of the war and presented him with all he knew of Pegu's movements. Ali Khan suspected that Pegu's ruler, Mawdaw, had not been expecting Bengal to come to Arakan's aid. Pegu's army had not yet attempted an invasion, and Ali Khan believed that Mawdaw was preparing his forces for a defensive battle in hopes of launching a counter-attack.



Ali Khan advised Nasir ad-Din to hold his forces in Arakan and force Mawdaw to make the first move, but Nasir ad-Din was wary of leaving his homelands undefended for a long period of time. So Nasir ad-Din and his men left Arakan in Ali Khan's hands and marched towards Pegu.

December 2, 1454

The Battle of Pegu

Nasir ad-Din encountered the forces of Mawdaw shortly after crossing the border into Pegu. The battle began with light skirmishes, inflicting few casualties on either side. But soon the main force of both armies came into contact, and a bloody melee ensued. When Nasir ad-Din lead his cavalry around the battle to charge into the enemy's side, Mawdaw's men despaired and began to flee. After the battle Nasir ad-Din was relieved to find that most of the corpses strewn across the battlefield had belonged to Mawdaw's army.



After the victory, Bengali forces enter and occupied Mawdaw's capital at Pegu. The city had not been fortified, and the populace offered no resistance. Mawdaw and what remained of his army fled to the province of Moulmein, but Nasir ad-Din pursued them and they were forced to flee onwards to the province of Tenasserim. Mawdaw had hoped to regroup his forces and confrotn Nasir ad-Din in a second battle, but Nasir ad-Din would not relent and pursued him into Tenasserim. Mawdaw had nowhere left to run, and after a minor struggle he was captured and brought before Nasir ad-Din.



"You are a pitiful man, Mawdaw. Your greed drove you to war with Arakan, but you did not consider the consequences of your actions," Nasir ad-Din paused for dramatic effect, "And now your army is scattered and all of your lands are under the lovely blue stripe of Bengal. Tell me, why should I not have you killed where you stand?"

"I'm sorry," said Mawdaw, pleading for his life as best he could.

"You seem to be truly repentant, Mawdaw," Nasir ad-Din paused for bonus dramatic effect, "So I shall allow you to live. Now, let us discuss the terms of peace."



Although Nasir ad-Din could have demanded land from Mawdaw, he had little interest in Pegu's territory and was satisfied with Mawdaw's oath of fealty. Mawdaw was not thrilled with being Nasir ad-Din's vassal, but he was thrilled to be alive, so it balanced out. Nasir ad-Din lead his army back towards Bengal, stopping to visit Ali Khan on the way, and arrived in Howrah just in time to witness Hamza Shaikh's great discovery.

To be continued.
 

unmerged(48100)

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A good war and a better peace proposal. You really don't need buddhist lands to hold as well, especially since there are quite some enemies nearby. Any chance of getting Arakan as vassal? They proved to need your help more than anyone else and would make a nice addition to your eastern border in the next years.
 

stnylan

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Vassals are always nice, and very ... ah ... collectable ;)
 

coz1

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That certainly worked out well. Nice going. Should make other neighbors stand up and take notice.
 

Varam

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Maharaja - Manipur does indeed have Bengali culture, and so does Silhet.

coz1 - Yes, although I must admit I prefer it when they kneel down and surrender. :D

----------------------------------------------------------------

Islam in the East - A Bengal AAR

God's Will: The Wars of Bengalese Aggression

When Nasir ad-Din returned to his palace in Howrah, he found Hamza Shaikh and Mahmud Suri sitting in the Grand Council room. The two had been left in control of the government while Nasir ad-Din was campaigning in Pegu, and they had been quite busy planning for Bengal's future. Mahmud rose to meet his lord, but Hamza's attention was focused on the book laying before him.

"Welcome home, Mighty Sultan," said Mahmud Suri, "We have heard all about your victory over Pegu, but of course it was the only possible outcome. The righteous always prevail!"

"Ahem," suddenly Hamza Shaikh began to speak, "Oh my. What is this that I have just now discovered while reading the Quran?" Hamza Shaikh rose, pulled a piece of paper from the holy book, and handed it to Nasir ad-Din.

"What in the world is this?" asked Nasir ad-Din.

"Clearly," Mahmud Suri spoke in a well-rehearsed manner, "it is a secret message hidden in the Quran, written by God and intended to only be read by you."

Nasir ad-Din read the piece of paper aloud.

Dear Nasir ad-Din,

How are you? I am doing well. I am hereby assigning you and your bloodline the task of crushing the infidels and making them recognize me as the supreme creator. I know you will not fail me.

Your friend,
God


"Amazing!" shouted Mahmud Suri, "God has entrusted you with such an important mission! It is a miracle!"

"Hmm," Nasir ad-Din said, "It certainly looks legitimate. He signed his name and everything. But who could have guessed that God and Mahmud Suri had such similar handwriting?"



And so Nasir ad-Din had began to prepare for a new war the same night he returned from one. This time, however, Bengal would be the aggressor. He called his advisors to council and asked them which of Bengal's neighbours would be the easiest to defeat in a war. The majority of the advisors felt that although Assam and Manipur had recently allied, they would still be easily defeated by Nasir ad-Din's army. Soon Bengal's forces were ready, and Nasir ad-Din rode to war once more.



Manipur had no army and no means to raise one, so Nasir ad-Din chose to lead his forces against Assam first. After a decisive victory against the woefully outnumbered Assamese army, Nasir ad-Din split his forces and began to siege all of Assam's provinces. But events soon made Nasir ad-Din regret his decision to save Manipur for last.



The upstart ruler of Taungu had seen a chance to profit from Bengal's invasion and leapt upon it. Nasir ad-Din took his cavalry and rode for Manipur as soon as he received word, but he arrived to find he was too late. The city was surrounded by troops bearing the flag of Taungu. Rather than stay and help the Taungu forces in their siege, Nasir ad-Din rode back north and helped his men finish the siege of Assam. Soon all of Assam was occupied, and Nasir ad-Din negotiated peace with it's leader, Suhung.



Like Mawdaw, Suhung was forced to acknowledge Nasir ad-Din as his superior. Unlike Mawdaw, Suhung was allowed to keep his treasury and instead forced to cede land. The people of Silhet were culturally Bengali, and Nasir ad-Din believed that all of the Bengali people should be united under one banner.

Even as Assam submitted, word arrived that Manipur had been entirely annexed by Taingu. Nasir ad-Din lead his forces out of Assam and into Silhet. There he stopped to reinforce his army and raise a new regiment of Indian Foot Infantry. At the same time, Taungu's leader Zalahtinyan began to mass his forces on the Bengal-Taungu border. Still bitter about having had Manipur stolen from him, Nasir ad-Din rashly decided to launch an invasion into Taungu without even returning to Howrah to consult his advisors.

Bengali scouts reported that Taungu's army consisted of at least four thousand men, which was nearly as many as Nasir ad-Din had. All of Bengal's previous victories had been with a significant numerical advantage, but by now Nasir ad-Din had become confident in his ability as a commander. Nasir ad-Din marched across the Taungu border and into the province of Ching, where the entire Taungu army was stationed.



In the chaos of the battle, Nasir ad-Din and Zalahtinyan had come face to face. The two engaged in a duel and after several moments of hectic combat, Zalahtinyan perished on the end of Nasir ad-Din's blade. Zalahtinyan's heir was not yet old enough to take the throne of Tangui, so a Regency Council governed in his place.

Except for the Manipur, none of the Tangui lands had fortresses. Nasir ad-Din pursued the remainders of the Tangui army across the land while the rest of the Bengali occupied all of Tangui. Soon, the Regency Council was forced to accept peace.



The peace mirrored the one with Assam, as Manipur was also populated by Bengalis. Having defeated all of the states immediately east of Bengal and secured Silhet and Manipur for himself, Nasir ad-Din rode back towards Howrah. On the way, he stopped in Arakan to visit Ali Khan, only to find that his friend had passed away of old age no more than a week before. Nasir ad-Din was deeply saddened at the news. Ali Khan's son, Thirithudhamma, recognized Arakan's weak position and requested that Nasir ad-Din agree to become Arakan's protector. It was a request that Nasir ad-Din could not possibly refuse.



When he finally reached Howrah, the first thing Nasir ad-Din did was order his cartographer to redraw the royal maps to reflect the new situation.


Assam, Arakan, Taungu, and Pegu are vassals of Bengal, but only Arakan is Bengal's ally. Bihar (not Bihat, the cartographer couldn't spell), Gondwana, and Orissa have formed a three-way alliance after Delhi defeated Bihat in a war. Bengal's blue remains as lovely as ever.

To be continued.
 
Last edited:

Sir Humphrey

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Great tale so far. : )