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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
542
64
META
I wanted to do a Kharijite run for a while, and after getting bored of a previous game that had devolved into Francia blobbing again I thought it was a good time.

In planning this game I'm essentially trying to balance three somewhat contradictory objectives:
  1. Be at least vaguely reasonable RP, so no cheesing religion changes ad nauseum. For a MAXIMALLY Kharijite RP run I suppose one would start in a position where both the character and the province has that religion, but no such case seems to exist in 769.
  2. While I’ve been playing CK2 for about 6 years I basically never played on Ironman before (not because I like savescumming, but because in 2013 had a toaster PC that kept crashing and killing my ironman saves), and so I could do with a game where I get a few cheevos. The maximally adventurous Muslim-only achievement seems to be Great Indian Sultanate (convert all provinces of Rajastan to Muslim, which according to the wiki means “the sovereign of all the de jure provinces of the Empire of Rajastan must be Muslim”).
  3. I'm hoping that this is interesting enough to convert to EUIV and do a megacampaign, and in aid to that objective I should actively aim against blobbing all the way across 4 empires from the Kharijite heartland in the Maghreb to Rajastan.
In balancing all these objectives our best bet seems to be a suggestion I spotted on the forums here: an Iron Centruy 936 start as Marzoban Meraan Ma'danid of Makran, a one-province independent Kharijite count sandwiched between two Sunni kingdoms at the gateway to India. I believe he's the only independent Kharijite at any start date?

House Ma'danid, the last bastion of the Balochs

20191120012929_1.jpg


My father never spoke of how he came to be Marzoban. When he departed this world and the title passed to me, I searched through the documents in our keep in Al-Haur, wondering if he might tell me in death what he would not tell me in life. He first signed his name Marzoban in a document dated 936; before that, I find next to nothing. Makran was held by Marzoban Amr Saffarid - some distant relative of my current Shah - in 861, and before that by Emir Uways Midhhalbid in the time of Caliph Al-Mansur, 765. Records of our grandfathers' times do not keep well on these desert coasts.

One can, of course, make inferences. Were our house the scions of great Sultans and Caliphs, I suspect my father would have been rather less silent - he was an just and erudite man, but humility was not one of his virtues during my childhood. And what man yearns to admit that he came from low stock? Once, perhaps, I imagine he and my mother Naazbibi were but Balochi commonfolk, walking through the streets of the city of Kiz, haggling for dorr and speaking with neighbours like any of the other hundreds I see from my window now.

To compound the mystery of our rise to minor nobility is also my parents' awakening to the true faith of ash-Shurah - or, perhaps, together these mysteries are less mysterious than they are apart. The Ibadis across the strait in Oman may be the most horrendous blasphemers, but their texts do at least agree on the caliphate of Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi
. If my father collected an Ibadi book from a trader, and divined what meaning the heretics tried to obfuscate... then might the truth of his revelation not have drawn other men to him as a leader? A Balochi leader in a Balochi land; might the smallfolk not have preferred him as their sovereign rather than the Persian Shah?

I cannot know. Inshallah, I shall ask him in Heaven.

- Marzoban Isa Meeranani Ma'danid of Makran, 945

The briefest of freedoms: 936-940

20191120224323_1.jpg


God has seen fit to grant me an independent Makran; but God has also seen fit to grant me the wisdom that it cannot survive as such, while the kufr tower mightily beside us. My choice is only to whom to swear fealty; the Sindhi Maharaja Umar, or the Sistani Shah Ahmad? The latter path, it seems, holds within it the greater opportunity, for within the fief of Sistan lies also the Satrapy of Makran, a greater title to which my house might aspire.
- Marzoban Meraan Ma'danid of Makran, 936

20191120223839_1.jpg


Meraan spent his first year of fealty busily finding wives for his court, and being promoted to spymaster and commander of the Shahdom of Sistan. This included for himself a second wife Golshan Parvizdokht, the shy 23-year-old daughter of Marzoban Parviz of Jask some ways north in Zabulistan, a woman who would later become rather macrohistorically important. In 938 the Shah recreated for himself the Satrapy of Makran, somewhat aggrieving House Ma'danid that they would no longer be able to do so themselves. In 939 Meraan left for the Hajj, and was wounded in a boarding action against pirates, although this would heal without issue into a nasty scar. A third marriage to the daughter of Marzoban Ardavan of Tis in 940 was formally elevated into a full Tis-Makran alliance, put to use immediately to declare a conquest war against Marzoban Fereedun of Bost. Alas, while Tis did formally declare on Makran's side, Meraan was a trusting fool not to check first that Ardavan would actually help; in fact Tis' army was busy in Fars and therefore never came to aid Makran at all. Fereedun therefore easily defeated us and made off with most of the ladies of the court as captives. Disaster.

20191120234342_1.jpg
 

Bullfilter

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Off to an interesting start here. I hope House Ma’danid can recover from the failed foray into Bost!
 
Last edited:

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
542
64
My Zabulistani Stepmom Can't Be This Cute: 941-961

The final years of Meraan's life were not happy ones. Following his defeat to Bost via the foul betrayal of Marzoban Ardavan of Tis, all three of his wives (and most of the other women of Makran) were thrown in Marzoban Fereedun of Bost's dungeon. As Meraan had only one dynast, his son and heir Isa, the loneliness of his once-busy bedchamber constituted not only a profound military and personal humiliation but a grand-strategic threat, for if misfortune were to befall his son then the Ma'danid dynasty's gonna have a bad time.

The years 941 to 945 were therefore rather parlous ones for Makran, with Meraan saving up all his money to buy his wives back from Fereedun. Although it didn't seem to do him much good in the bedchamber; no further children were forthcoming. Nevertheless, the return of his (second married, but now first in primacy) wife Golshan Parvizdokht to our keep in Al-Haur coincided with interesting diplomatic developments. Golshan's father Parviz had in the intervening years been promoted form mere Marzoban of Jask to the Satrap of Zabulistan, and the strongest power in Sistan next to the Shah himself. He died in 944 and the new Satrap, her brother Charmander Kharmandar, was rather better disposed to Makran than their father. He agreed to a formal alliance, and so in late 944 things were looking up... until Meraan died unexpectedly at the ripe old age of 40 in 945 (so unexpectedly, indeed, that one can't help but suspect foul play, though no evidence was forthcoming).

20191121001839_1.jpg


The unmarried 19-year-old Isa "the Dove" Ma'danid assumed the Marzapanate of Makran on his father's death - along with ruined plans of a Zabulistani alliance. Or were they ruined? His stepmother Golshan was still at court, daubing her eyes over the coffin of her departed husband, and at 31 she was still... not UN-marriagable, especially if Isa were to get three additional wives to guarantee the succession. Rather than wait for her to return to her brother's court, Isa wed her barely after his father was in the ground, and re-affirmed Makran's alliance with Charmander Kharmandar in Zabulistan.

The Dove's first diplomatic coup was quickly overshadowed by the second. Makran's Grand Vizer, Mayor Chaakar of Kiz, had been at Shah Amad's court for years to try and positively dispose the monarch to House Ma'danid; but apparently the Dove was more likeable than Meraan because the Shah just gave us the province of Zaranj for free, thereby increasing our realm holdings to 250% in one swoop. Grand Vizer Chaakar would later be (vicariously) rewarded for this work, as his son would be given land and one of Isa's daughters as a wife.

20191121023840_1.jpg


One alliance that was not renewed by Isa was that with the treacherous Ardavan of Tis; instead, with Zabulistan's aid, we attacked and conquered Tis in 947. This began over a decade of only good news, with opportunistic attacks against the various neighbouring Sunni Persian marzobans of Sistan allowing us to overtake Zabulistan and even the Shah himself as the largest territory-holder in the Shahdom. We were even able to take land from the rump-state of Sindh, reduced as it had been to next to nothing by Hindu holy wars from the east. Meanwhile, Isa's stepmother/wife Golshan - whom he had only married to maintain access to Zabulistan's troops - surprisingly proved an absolute champ in the bedroom in contrast to her frigidity with his father, providing Isa four children and two sons.

Theological Developments, "Ali Is Not My Caliph": 962-965

Allah has given me true allies in the wars to further my house and the Kharijite ummah, and for that I am thankful. But I remember always that the true war is spiritual, fought in the hearts of men against Al-Shaitan. In this war, also, it seems we are divinely aided. In the distant lands across the Strait of Hormuz, the Ibadis are being forced out by the Sunnis - and while these are all kufr, the Sunni at least do not persecute we Khawarij nor profane the sacrifice of al-Rasibi, so may be considered less heretical. I receive news that in lands more distant still - near the western extremity of Islam, as we lie at its east - in Maghreb the holy site of Bordj has appointed a Khawarij imam. Our rise and the Ibadi's fall is so great that all theologians agree Ibadi is a heresy of Khawarij, not the other way around. Allah al akbar!

While encouraging, of course, one should not think that this victorious jihad over the Ibadi leaves our temporal position any more secure. If anything, it is the opposite - Shah Amad now insists that my children be educated in the Persian Sunni style, and even grown men may be led astray by his perfidious imam. My father refused to send me to the Shah's court, but Allah forgive me, in my arrogance I dared to think that my son Joma would see through their lies. Alas! He returns to me a wretched perversion of a man, praising the false Caliphs and... zina of such unspeakable fahisha I dare not write it. I must return him to the right path.

- Marzoban Isa Meeranani Ma'danid of Makran, 965

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stnylan

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The Dove gets off to a good start
 

Bullfilter

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Wondering why the strike through on Charmander. :confused:

Isa has done well and secured the start of the dynasty, but his son and heir’s apostasy presents a serious challenge if you want this to continue to be a Kharijite story.
 

Specialist290

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Wondering why the strike through on Charmander. :confused:
He's trying to hide the fact that that the Satrap is actually a two-foot tall fire-breathing lizard. (Unsuccessfully, of course, as we have managed to see through the chronicler's lies! The lizard folk walk among us!)
 

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
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Lay off the dum biryani, dear: 969-977

Kerman (to the northwest) had mighty Transoxiana as its suzerain, which… we don’t quite know what their strange foreign legal arrangement entails, but we married a Transoxianian princess anyway in order to prevent any interference when we attacked. While Transoxania didn’t interfere, Dhu Zabi across the strait of Hormuz did, obliging us to buy some mercenaries – and then marry Sheik Muhammed of Dhu Zabi’s daughter to prevent that from happening again. We used the mercs to also get Chagi from Bost before the money ran out. In 969 the stress of stweardship began to get to us. At this point our eyes were mostly fixed on Keramn, and our desire to defeat Satrap Ilyasa entirely so we could take his title for ourselves. Alas, we had to wait both for truces and for Sheik Muhammed of Dhu Zabi to die – apparently the marriage to his daughter wasn’t enough to get him to keep a nonaggression pact.

971_a_Fareedeh_Love.jpg


While essentially tapping his feet in between bouts of Baluchistani warfare, Isa was unexpectedly smitten with love for his fat, gluttinous, slothful, cynical, possessed excuse for a wife, Allah preserve us!

971_b_Fareedeh_UnLove.jpg


Oh, well, fortunately the infatuation only lasted two months, thanks Allah! Whatever was in the food that his wife enjoyed so much, well, it was so bad it gave me...

972_Cancer.jpg


In latter 972 Sheik Muhammed of Dhu Zabi to die finally obligingly died and we immediately attacked Kerman. While Dhu Zabi didn’t get involved, this time Transoxania did. With no chance of standing against them we were obliged us to issue a humiliating surrender and indemnity in 974. Then, in 975, the new Shah Ali did what we could not – usurped the Satrapy of Kerman. We gnashed our teeth, but only for about a month – then he gave it to us freely. The advantages of being stronger than the monarch, so he knows he has to keep us sweet!

975_a_Satrap.png


975_b_Revoke.jpg


Or were we stronger than the monarch? Was it all a ruse? Apparently in exchange for making us Satrap of Kerman, he tried to revoke our ground-level count-tier holdings in the form of the Marzapanate of Tis. And we said no – so rebellion and war! Startlingly, though, it lasted only a year and ended without any battles, as he agreed to a white peace just a month or so later. However, this didn’t end the demands – Ali asked again, and this time we acceded, then he asked for another county, and so we raised our banners again. We couldn’t call our ally in Transoxania because they were currently allied to Ali in a holy war against some Hindus, so we tried to win by using small fighting bands to outmaneuver his monolithic army. Isa died of cancer in 977, and Joma took over.

977_ded.jpg
 

stnylan

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That seemed to be a swift decline
 

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
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64
Satrap Joma, my eyes!: 977-993

978_Mehlab.jpg


Joma inherited the satrapy of Makran from his father in 977, but he had certainly led an interesting childhood before that. Specific details are sketchy, but it seems near-certain that he'd carried off an incestuous teenage love affair with his twin sister Mehlab, which ended in some sort of chronic falling-out that left them sworn rivals for life. The affair must have ended in at least 865 because this was when their father Satrap Isa had married Mehlab off to a Transoxianian ally (and she'd subsequently been kidnapped as a bed slave by Belzooan nomads and ended her days in the frozen north). Anyway, when not breaking up with his twin sister, Joma enjoyed false confessions of the faith - he had been sent away to the Shah's court in Sistan in his childhood, but came back Sunni, and though his father had extracted out of him a reconversion to Kharajite, it was clear when Joma came to power that his outward faith did not match his inner one - that, after all the twists and turns, remained Sunni.

Joma's reign was marked by constant antagonism frequently spilling over into formal war between the Satrapy of Makran and the Crown of Sistan, but very little actual fighting or resolution on this axis, as the combattants tended to gather their armies but then agree to white peace before actually taking to the field. There were something like six of these phony wars during the reign, none of which was as interesting as the defining war of Joma's career: against Kerman.

981_Eyes.jpg


The Marzapanate of Kerman had resisted annexation by the Sistani crown since the 860s, and Joma decided to take it for himself in 981. However, in the immense 981 Battle of Bom, the Kermanis put up a strong defence and Joma, leading from the front, had both his eyes gouged out by scimitar to the face in single combat with the Kermani commander Ruholla Muhammadzade Ilyasid. Surgeons thought infection would set in and claim Joma's life... but amazingly, he survived, and carried the horrific wounds with him for the rest of his life. Kerman was indeed captured, though at huge cost to both Joma's face... and a much changed future reign.

988_Revengeance.jpg


Not especially gifted at stweardship, Joma was obliged to hand out titles that his father had kept in demense, and this led to many warriors form the field of Bom being raised to lordships as a reward for carrying their blinded lord from the field. And while not previously much of a one for torture, in the years that followed (characterised mostly by further inconclusive posturing stand-off between he and the Sultan) Joma kept his eyes out (metaphorically and literally, lol) for Ruhollah, the man who disfigured him. He would turn up on the battlefield in the service of the Shah in 988, and that's how he found his way into a very slow, unpleasant end in Joma's dungeon. In the end, though... it took 12 years, but that fateful battle in Bom did eventually claim Joma's life.

993_DoW.jpg
 

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
542
64
Back to Square 1: 994-999

Following the despairing suicide of his father, Horsond Jomaani Ma'danid succeeded to the Satrapy of Kerman. A Kharijite through and through, contrary to the false faith of Joma, Horsond continued to dole out marzapanate titles in his increasingly expansive and ungovernable realm to religiously loyal retainers. However, theologically this wasn't a great deal of help; far to the west, Cordoba was expanding and persecuting the few remaining Kharijite rulers in the Maghreb, so by 994 Kharwaij was again relegated to a heresy behind Ibadism, as our little sect in Sistan constituted literally the only faithful rulers left.

994_Horsond.jpg


...and soon, there was not even that. Civil war once again flared up between Satrap Ali of Sistan and the Satrapy of Kerman in 995, but since this was the eighth time it was so old hat we barely noticed. Alas, an eye off the ball carried a heavy price, for Horsond was captured by Ali, the worst possible conclusion to the war, as it gave Ali carte blanche to strip the Ma'danid of titles. So the Satrapy was taken from us... but then Ali went above and beyond, and started stripping Horsond of Marzapanate titles too. Technically, the crown law of Sistan disallowed the king to take unilateral action like this; the price of treason should have been the Satrapy only, even for an open heretic like Horsond, as the crown laws weren't "advanced" enough to allow for religious persecution. Nevertheless, by this point the Horsond was the only Satrap left in the Shahdom other than the Shah himself, so Ali presumably wasn't so concerned about incurring tyranny. More fond of his nobility than his faith, Horsond, desperate not to be knocked down to the lowly life of a mere baron, converted to Sunnism in an effort to stay Ali's hand... which apparently worked, the Ma'danid family did at least retain one title.

1000_Lose_everything.jpg


Horsond was thus enervated to a mere one-province minor count Horsond, Marzoban of Makran: the exact same place his great-grandfather Meraan had been in 936. Three quarters of a century of striving, thrown in the dustbin by one man's negligence. His first wife cuckolded him, his Kharajite family and former vassals despised him for apostacy, the commonfolk laughed at him in the stocks... when finally released after languishing in prison for 2 years, he was greeted with jeers on his ignominious return to the ancestral Ma'danid barony of Al-Haur in 997. Horsond was quickly able to reconquer the neighboring province of Saravan, but these were small potatoes compared to the Ma'danid's former trajectory.

1000_NowBetterOffDead.jpg


Blood, New Blood, and New Land: 1000-1018

Enough was enough. Still following the orders of the man who had all but destroyed Kharijite power and turned his back on the teachings of Abd Allah ibn Wahb al-Rasibi to instead follow the false Sunni ways... no. The Kharijite faithful, led by Horsond's younger brothers Sayaad and Beh'zaad plus his uncle Braanz, staged an assassination. Horsond plunged to his death from the balcony of Al-Huar; few mourned his passing as his immature son (well, at least legally his son) Gaazi became Marzoban.

1000_SuccessionOfGaazi.jpg


The conspirators wasted no time in undoing the Sunni apostacy. Conspirator and zealous Kharijite Branz became the regent, and ensured Gaazi received an excellent Kharijite education. However, Gaazi also learned secrecy and conspiracy from his father's killers, and he hid his faith behind closed doors from 1007, pretending to come to a religious accord with the new Shah, Ahmad. Retracing the steps of his great-grandfather Isa the Dove, Gaazi gradually built up a power base by attacking those neighboring Marzobans who the Shah had installed after taking Horsond's lands - and the expansion was much quicker than last time, as we were aided by a staunch ally in the merchant republican Wali-Emir of Kerman, Hayaat. Hayaat's father had been one of those commoner Kharijite soldiers rewarded with land by Satrap Joma after the Battle of Bam, and after the destruction of Horsond's power, Hayaat had risen to power under the Shah. The nous behind Joma's appointments paid off, for Hayaat's faith disposed him positively to us in our time of need.

1010_SauviranHoliday.jpg


In 1009, the Hindus to the east launched one of their periodic attacks on Sistan, which was rebuffed as the might of Arabia marched to the front to defend the borders of Islam against the heathens. But this got Gaazi to thinking: why not turn this most awesome power to our advantage? After securing various alliances, then, we declared """Sunni”"" Holy War on the triple crown of Rajputana. Intense violence raged around the delta-lands of the Indus river as Muslim fought Hindu for years... but it worked, we got ourselves 5 new counties and a new power base just over the line into India! De facto control of the lands of Sauvira became de jure control when we usurped the Satrap's title from its banished former master. This was especially nice as it was a title which did come with laws permitting Cuius regio, eius religio: his land, his religion, so we could clear out the Hindu landholders root and stem to replace them with reliable Khawarij boyz. The greatest beneficiary of this land redistribution was Beh'zaad Jomaani, one-time conspirator and granduncle of young Gaazi, as the Satrap died childless (not in suspicious circumstances, rather a bout of dysentry) in 1018, leaving Beh'zaad as his successor by right of having the largest tracts of Indus real estate.
 

Monturiol

Major
Jun 5, 2019
542
64
The Ummah Assailed From All Sides: 1019-1054

The Indus frontier would flip back and forth between Hindu and Muslim control a lot in the coming decades, as Hindu rulers declared holy wars against it, only to be counterassaulted by Muslim rulers declaring holy wars against it. Defence of the realm was supposed to be the responsibility of the Shah of Sistan, so the new Satrap, Beh'zaad, was not as committed a participant in these wars as he would have been if sovereign. Instead, the satrap found more interesting ways to occupy his time: THE NECRONOMICON. Acquired from a mad Arab, the book was an obsession of Beh'zaad's for several decades. He used its pages to help in his astronomical studies, although as the work continued he slipped into madness, madness! Convinced that the stars were looking at him.

1022_Necro.jpg


Beh'zaad's reign saw the Ma'danid house claw its way back up to the heights it attained before Horsond's losses, and beyond with the addition of Sauvira. No-one seemed to have informed Shah Ahmad II the Frog of this, though, as he very unwisely tried to revoke our titles again in 1029. Since our holdings vastly outnumbered his in the Shahdom, though, we were easily able to defeat him and keep all our lands.

1029_Revoke.jpg


Beh'zaad's would have followed up by attacking Satrap Abas of Makran, but in one of these interminable wars Abas had sieged Al-Haur and taken Beh'zaad's Khitan Buddhist wife, Princess Pusuwan Liao, captive – and he wasn’t letting her go, precisely because she was his ticket to detente. As a hostage she thwarted Beh'zaad's plans for expansion elsewhere in Sistan - but in 1040 came the opportunity for military adventurism further afield, as Pope Ioannes XV declared the First Crusade against Sunni Egypt. Sauvira was slow to send forces west as Beh'zaad was temporarily concerned with a landgrab intervention into the 1037 Transoxianan Revolt, installing his nephew Rahmat into the Satrapy of Mafaza. But once that work was complete, he hopped on a boat, rounded Arabia, the Sauviran army landed in Sinai in 1045. Beh'zaad helped resist the infidel for 2 years, before the grind of attrition reduced his expeditionary forces below fighting viability. Alas, occupation of the Muslim armies with the Christians in Egypt left the door wide open for the Hindus in India and we found ourselves again losing Sauviria proper, this time to Gujarat… and later in 1948 the Crusade was lost anyway, and Egypt became Christian. However, things quickly turned right back around: 1049 saw both us call a new Holy War for Sauvira and the Shia Caliph call the 1049 First Jihad for Egypt. In 1050, Beh’zaad named his youngest son Shanbeh as heir, because he had a claim on Transoxiana via his mother, Princess Tourandokht Hormozdokht Samanid.

1045_EgyptCrusade.jpg
 

terr0rizm

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Quite a wild ride for the Kharijites until now. Very nice read!
 

Monturiol

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It's A Shahdom, But Not As We Know It: 1051-1069

1064_ForKhorsan.jpg


To the north of the Shahdom of Sistan, the double-shahdom of Transoxiana-Khorasan under the Samanid dynasty had since the 800s represented one of the great powers in the region, matched only by Abbasid Arabia to the west. However, in the new millenium its power had started to wane, enervated by tribal raids from the horse lords to the north and rebellions from within. Indeed, Houde Ma'danid had succeeded in placing one of our own people in Transoxiana-Khorasan's Satrapy of Mafaza by force during their 1037 Rebellion. When Satrap Beh'zaad died, it was for precisely the reason of waning power to the north that he entrusted his nephew Shanbeh with the succession: Shanbeh's mother was a Princess of Transoxiana-Khorasan, conferring a claim on the kingdoms to the north through her father Shah Hormoz the Monster.

In order to destabilize the Samanids' hold on power, Shanbeh had Transoxiana-Khorasan's Shah Fareed the Just assassinated - and his 12-year-old son Hormoz II too, just to make the point. At around the same time Shanbeh married as his first wife Princess Adila bint Khaireddin Abbasid of Iraq, leveraging this into an alliance with the powerful Sultan Muhammad V. Now facing the infant Shah Abbasto the north, surrounded by an aristocracy that didn't know him or like him, it was time to strike, and Shanbeh called all his allies into the war, throwing everything we had at them. Happily, the plan went off without a hitch - a weak Transoxiana-Khorasan and a strong suite of allies, running from Bengal in the East to Iraq in the west - meant that we wrested the Crown of Khorasan from the Samanids in 1069. The Ma'danid Shahdom begins! Everyone thought it would have been in Sistan, but, eh, a crown is a crown.

Or is it...

The Brothers Braanzani: 1069-1083

Khorasan was very, very unkind to its new rulers. Parochial Balochis, the Ma'danids didn't especially have designs on lands outside the Persian or Ragastani spheres of influence, and Transoxiana proper belonged to Turan; nevertheless, any intention Shanbeh may have had of pressing his claim on the other half of his Saminid heritage quickly drained away as he caught dysentry from the water of his new Shahdom and promptly died childless only 2 months after being crowned.

1069_ShortReigns.jpg


Shanbeh having not put any specific thought into the succession, the crown passed through an arcane and unpredictable legalism to his 14-year-old nephew Beh'zaad Braanzani Ma'danid - who was unironically Sunni. Fortunately, he spent only a month in spiritual darkness before Shanbeh's most trusted contact in the Exchangers, Abrisham the Recluse, inducted the new Shah into the Kharijite secret society, but the incident broke the Ma'danid stranglehold on the Kharijite conspiracy in ways that would cause the dynasty problems later. Shah Beh'zaad also only spent a month out of spiritual darkness because not only the water-bourne bacteria of Khorasan not like their new ruling dynasty but the actual human vassals didn't either - Beh'zaad was assassinated by a coalition of Khorasani aristocrats and his own lunatic uncle Delaa'waar Ma'danid. Thus Khorasan got its fourth Shah in as many months in the person of Beh'zaad's younger brother Baaraq Braanzani Ma'danid. Whom found himself bumped right down to the bottom of the Exchangers heirachy, alas.

Baaraq lasted a little longer than the two months of his predecessors - he managed four years. Which was actually quite good considering his situation. As underaged Shahs from an undistinguished branch of House Ma'danid, with no illustrious father whose memory could be leveraged to mollify vassals, the brothers Braanzani would have had trouble were it only their Sistani homeland they were trying to control - but as new conquerors of Khorasan, containing an aristocracy many of whom weren't even Muslim (the Khurmatza religion, an incomprehensible creed of Mazdanism, was followed by about half of the Khorasani nobility), it was double trouble. Attempting to head off a civil war, Baaraq attempted to lock up Marzoban Keyhobad of Kerman province... but then got distracted by raiders (having inherited exactly the curse that had weakened Transoxania-Khorasan under the Samanids), and in the end Keyhobad's flagrant rebellion going unpunished for so long obliged Baaraq to abdicate to his younger brother Bouheyr in 1074. The elder Baaraq, stripped of his pride and lands, immediately slid into decadance and debauchery.

1075_CivilWar.jpg


Of course, getting rid of a weak Shah only encouraged the internal resistance, and in 1075 Khorasan exploded into civil war. Without the strength to defeat his enemies himself, Bouheyr pimped his decadant elder brother to both Bengal and Khazar for the alliances, although he relied mostly on his own brother-in-law Sultan Muhammad V of Iraq, having personally remarried Shanbeh's widow Princess Adila Abbasid. With external help the wars against our rebels were going well, until Bouheyr took a crushing blow to the head in the 1077 Battle of Tis and was rendered incapable. However, this was probably for the best, considering what was about to be revealed in his personal life. Baraaq had taken his relegation from Shah to "trophy husband" poorly, deciding that if his younger brother were going to use him as Princess-bait, that's what he'd be: and carried on an adulterous affair with Adila, cuckolding his own brother! As Iraqi troops were crucial for the ongoing civil war, divorcing Adila was out of the question; she was merely imprisoned, giving birth to the bastard Jalil Makran (whom neither brother acknowledged) in a filthy cell. The ordeal would eventually kill her, and the brain-dead Bouheyr followed shortly after in 1079.

1077_Adila.jpg


And who should inherit? Why, his successor was also his cuckold and his predecessor, his elder brother Baraaq. The middle Braanzani brother's second reign mostly involved carousing; his decadent lifestyle would eventually see him perish, as he contracted the gout and died of complications from Court Physician Kotyan Elbeslikid's botched leg amputation in 1083.
 

terr0rizm

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Holy smokes, that is a LOT of successions in little time. It's almost as if Khorasan didn't want to be ruled by the Ma'danids under any circumstances.